The 7 Awesome Books I Read Last Month: January Book Reviews
Welcome back! How’s winter treating you so far? Aside from having to drive in the snow, I actually kind of enjoy winter. The cozy factor is a big plus for me.
To add to my coziness, I tried to read some winter books in January. Winter books that aren’t about Christmas are a little hard to find, but I did get my hands on a couple.
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While not all about winter, I managed to finish 7 books last month, which is definitely the most ever.
The reason for that is they were pretty much all really good.
Let’s dive in!
My Fiction Reads:
Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr
Plot: Kim is a legal secretary by day, and a book blogger by night. She finds her day job uninspiring, though she does enjoy seeing handsome Nicholas at the office. When she’s asked to review the book of her old high school nemesis, she has to decide whether or not to be kind. And will her frenemy steal her crush as well?
My review: I enjoyed that the main character was a blogger. I don’t read a ton of ‘chick-lit,’ and I found the plot to be a bit…simple for my taste.
At first I was disappointed, but the main character did end up growing on me. And, as it turns out, it offered a nice balance to some of the darker books I read.
If you’re a blogger, or like the chick-lit genre, you might enjoy Blogger Girl.
There are actually 3 books in the series so far, including Novelista Girl and Bridal Girl.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Plot: Jack and Mabel are homesteading in Alaska in the 1920s. Winter is brutal, and their relationship is suffering because of the hardship and their heartbreak over losing a baby years ago.
One night, in an unusually light-hearted mood, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone, but they catch sight of a young blond girl in the woods.
Jack and Mabel aren’t sure how this child, Faina, came to be, but they start to love her like a daughter. But is she even real, and will their hearts be broken yet again?
My review: If I thought Blogger Girl was too light, The Snow Child might be a bit too heavy.
I did really love the story, which is based on a Russian fairy tale. It had a magical quality to it, and I found homesteading life in Alaska fascinating.
Parts of it are depressing though, so it’s not for everyone. If you have seasonal affective disorder, or have dealt with the heartbreak of losing a child, I’d pass on The Snow Child.
Otherwise, I’d recommend it as a cool, unique story.
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Plot: Set in the snowy mountains of Oregon, the ‘child finder’ Naomi searches for Madison Culver, who’s been missing for 3 years. She’d be 8 years old now, if she survived.
Naomi understands missing children, because she used to be one of them. Unfortunately, she can’t remember what happened to her.
Will Naomi find Madison, and if so, will it reveal anything about her own past?
My review: So, so good. Very dark subject matter though, just to be clear.
While nothing is overt, child abuse is definitely part of the story.
I thought the story was well-written and thoroughly intriguing. I sped through it, dying to know what would come of the situation.
If you can handle this type of book, I think you’ll like The Child Finder.
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Plot: It’s 1950 Vermont, and boarding school Idlewild Hall is the unhappy home for teenage girls that nobody wants. Four roommates bond over their nightly whispers about Mary Hand, the ghost who supposedly haunts Idlewild. They become closer each day, until one of the girls disappears.
Years later, in 2014 Vermont, journalist Fiona can’t stop dwelling on the circumstances surrounding her sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was discovered on the abandoned grounds of Idlewild. Even though her sister’s boyfriend was convicted of the crime, Fiona knows there’s more to the story.
But while writing an article about an anonymous benefactor restoring Idlewild, she discovers secrets that were meant to stay hidden.
My review: This book. Is so good. I absolutely could not put it down, and am still sad that I read it so fast.
Told both by Fiona in 2014, and the Idlewild girls of 1950, the characters were intriguing and really likeable.
Since I never too thoroughly read a book’s description beforehand, I didn’t realize there would be a supernatural element. I didn’t mind it.
I highly recommend The Broken Girls! I’ve never heard of the author before, but I’ll definitely be checking out her other books.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Plot: Struggling author Lowen accepts a dream job offer – finish a book series for popular author Verity Crawford, who was injured in a car accident.
Verity’s husband offers for Lowen to stay at their home, to sift through Verity’s office and notes as inspiration.
She just didn’t expect to stumble across Verity’s secret, unfinished, and bone-chilling autobiography. What will Lowen do with the information she discovers, and how can she even feel safe in this house?
My review: I don’t know how authors come up with these crazy characters, but let me just say – I’m SO here for it.
Love, love, love this book. It gave The Broken Girls some serious competition.
The story is told both from Lowen’s and Verity’s points of view, via her autobiography.
I don’t like to give anything away, so I’ll just say that if you like thrillers, please read Verity! I’ve never seen a book with so many 5 star reviews.
I read it for free with a Free Kindle Unlimited subscription.
My Non-Fiction Reads:
How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana White
Premise: Author Dana White, who blogs at A Slob Comes Clean, argues that most organizing books are written by organized people, and hard to relate to for messier folks.
In this book, she offers a realistic approach to cleaning and decluttering, with a step-by-step guide for getting rid of clutter.
My review: I read this for 3 reasons: 1) The cover is hilarious 2) I was curious about her approach and 3) it was free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Dana really writes with a sense of humor, and a deep understanding of messy people.
I’m not really a messy person (anymore), but can definitely see how this book would benefit many who are.
With the popularity of the new Tidying Up show, this book will help you feel inspired, with perhaps a more down-to-earth approach.
- Declutter Your Home Checklists: 135 Things to Get Rid of to Organize Your House Fast
- 13 Decluttering Questions to Ask Yourself Instead of ‘Does This Spark Joy’
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Premise: With the tagline “stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be,” Rachel reveals 20 misconceptions that hold us back from living our best life.
My review: I found Rachel’s writing ‘voice’ to be really relatable, funny, and encouraging. She speaks from her own experience, and tells many entertaining (and some heart-wrenching) stories from her life.
If I had a criticism, it’s that she talks about herself, rather than offering strategies for everyone. Still, I found it interesting, and breezed through it in a few sittings.
I had never heard of Rachel before, but I did enjoy this book, and look forward to reading her next book, Girl, Stop Apologizing.
Wrapping it up
January was a great reading month. I feel like it had been a while since I’ve enjoyed books quite this much.
It’s almost a 3-way tie between The Child Finder, The Broken Girls, and Verity.
Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books
Have you read any of these books? What about other good books you’ve read lately?
I really enjoyed Verity too and The Snow Child – for very different reasons 🙂 The Blogger Girl series sounds cute and it’s on Hoopla so I will check it out!!!
Ooh I’ve never heard of Hoopla! Sounds like something I better check out! : )
The Snow Child is one of my all-time favorite books and it’s a perfect read for winter. I listened to Girl, Wash Your Face as an audiobook and loved hearing her stories told by her. There were parts I didn’t identify with as much but overall I loved the book and thought she had some interesting insights.
I agree – it was a little hard to relate to her life in a lot of ways, but I loved her stories and insights.
I really liked The Child Finder too. I want to read Verity and Broken Girls, so I’m glad to see you really loved those too.
Please do read them both! So, so good!
Yes Yes for Verity! I loved it. As soon as I was done I text a bunch of my bookish friends and told them it was on kindle unlimited and they needed to read it!
Haha I love that! Gotta love Kindle Unlimited too : )
i read and really liked the snow child a couple of years ago.. definitely depressing. Verity is our next book club book and I’m super excited, I’ve heard such good things. adding the child finder and the broken girls to my tbr!
Discussing Verity in a book club would be so awesome. Lots to talk about!
I’ve had The Broken Girls on my bookshelf for at least a year. I need to get to it!
I loved Verity, absolutely tore through it.
Yes! I’m pretty sure you’ll love it : )
Ooh – I think I added most of these to my list (Snow Child was already on there).
Oh good! SUYB is the best day of the month haha. I love reading about everyone’s favorites!
Everyone seems to love Verity. I think it’s on my TBR, and if it is, I should probably get to it at some point.
Haha I highly recommend that you do : )
Everybody has been raving about Verity but I wasn’t actually sure what it was about and obviously too lazy to look it up. But it sounds so good! Adding it to my TBR. Also Child Finder and The Broken Girls. Both sounds great, although I’m not sure I could read all of these in a month and not be scared to leave my home without a bodyguard. 😀
Too funny, Tanya! Yeah, I’m not sure why I read so many ‘dark’ books in a row, but that’s how the spirit moved me I guess!
I’ve heard so much about Verity lately – I think I’m going to have to pick it up! And I didn’t expect to love The Broken Girls because I don’t always love mystical elements, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I thought it was a great read!
I’ve heard mixed reviews on verity but plan on checking it out sometime.
Yes, please do! I have yet to hear of anyone who didn’t like it.
I like fluffy reads. 😉 I do have The Snow Child though, which I am saving for a day when I am in the right mood! 🙂 XO – Alexandra
Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
great review! I’ve actually heard quite a few negative comments about Verity, more so than good! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Oh really? I can’t imagine that people who like mysteries/thrillers wouldn’t like it!
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