The first month of the year is over, and so far 2021 has been going well. I’ve gotten a lot done & started a new semester of school!
I read 8 books this month, which is more than I was expecting to! My only real goal for the year is to slow down with reading and take my time with each book. So far that’s going really well! I’m also trying to prioritize the books I already own (and I can only read other books if they’re from the library).
The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab– ⭐️⭐️⭐️
As my first read of the year, this was an enjoyable one! It’s definitely not my favorite Schwab read so far, but I still enjoyed it.
If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a book about a small secluded town where a stranger shows up one day, and children start disappearing at night. The townspeople believe that these kidnappings are caused by the stranger, but our main character, Lexi, believes he is innocent.
There were things I loved (the witches, the premise), and some things I didn’t like as much (the romance, the character development), but overall, it was good!
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I picked up this audiobook from Libro.fm because I was seeing it everywhere. I really enjoyed it, and now I want to pick up a physical copy so that I can see the illustrations in the book.
This book follows two different timelines. One is in the past at a boarding school where a couple of girls form a club inspired by a popular memoir. One day, two of the girls are killed by a swarm of yellow jackets, and then a few weeks later, another girl dies holding the memoir. The present timeline follows an author who wrote a book about the boarding school. The book is being turned into a movie, so we also learn about the two actresses playing the leading roles in the film.
It was a spooky book full of twists and turns, and I really enjoyed it!
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I feel like I’ve talked about this book so much already, but I really, really liked it! I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about reading a book about illness during a pandemic, but I’m actually very glad that I did. It was comforting in a way, and I could really relate to the characters.
The writing was beautiful, and I liked the pacing. We followed various characters through short chapters, so it felt like we were going scene to scene like a movie.
Unfortunately, this next read was not so great. I honestly thought it was a contemporary novel, just based on the cover & synopsis. But in reality, it was masquerading as a fantasy. The main character drops out of high school to try and make it as a broadway star in New York City. When that doesn’t work, she follows the mom of the girl she is nannying to Montana to continue to work for them. One day, she enters a bookstore, gets a book, and then starts reading it. Suddenly, she gets transported to the book she’s reading.
The premise sounded okay, but the execution was so poor. The main character was so unlikeable. Actually, all of the characters in it were unlikeable. This book was just a mess in my opinion. It felt more like I was reading a middle grade novel than YA, but it didn’t make a lot of sense. The ending was the worst part—it was so random and not entirely explained.
The first time I read this classic was junior year of high school. When Libro.fm was offering the audiobook for free, I jumped on the chance to re-read it. I adored it even more on my second read than the first.
I also remember really enjoying the movie, so that is now on my list of things to re-watch soon!
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I don’t know where to even begin with this book. It was such a wonderful reading experience. I really took my time with it, and I fell in love with Ami McKay’s writing. This book contains everything that I love—NYC, witchcraft, murder, friendship, a mysterious crow, and more. There is a bit of a mixed media element to the book, too, which made it really interesting.
What I enjoyed most was the way the story unfurled and came together. These seemingly unrelated chapters all slowly weaved into each other. It was quite honestly a masterpiece.
This was a book I picked up from the bookstore on a total whim, and it is one that I am so happy to have in my collection. The characters and the atmosphere just feel like home to me. It’s going to be a comfort read for sure.
Gerald’s Game by Stephen King– ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I think I’ve just accepted the fact that King’s writing is not for me. This book started off okay, but then it seemed to drag on for longer than it needed to. I wasn’t particularly interested in the characters, so the plot just fell flat. It was also a little unrealistic for me. If it weren’t for the audiobook, I probably would have DNF’d. I don’t see myself reading anymore of his works in the future, either.
Laura by Leonora Sansay– ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I don’t have much to say about this story. I read it for my English class, and it was a very short read! It was an interesting story, but not something I would read again.
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What were some of your best reads of the month? Did you find any new favorites?