Before I get into my January wrap up I want to give a brief explanation, since my blog has quite a few followers that aren’t active in the book blogging/online community and won’t know what it is. So, for those of you that don’t know wrap ups are done at the end of each month, and basically you just go over all of the books that you read that month. I’ll list each book, their summaries, and my thoughts and rating, as well as when I read each book. If only one date is listed then that means that I read the book in a single sitting. Now without any further ado I’ll just jump right in.
Title: First and Then by Emma Mills
Summary: Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life. Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself
Date Read: January 7th, 2017
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
My Thoughts: This was a nice, quick, easy read. It was cute and fun, and had a great cast of characters. I wish the ending had been a bit more developed, but overall this is a great book to pick up in between heavier reads.
Title: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Summary: Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…
Date Read: January 8th, 2017
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
My Thoughts: I devoured this book, it was just so addictive. When I first started reading it I was pretty unsure, Nemesis was just so cold and calculating. But she really grew throughout the book, and ended up being an amazing character. The plot itself was fast paced and kept you thinking, and there was a twist at the end that was just so perfect. I ended up taking half a star off because of the slow start, but that is really my only complaint for this one.
Title: The Outliers by Kimberley McCreight
Summary: It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself. This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him. But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?
Date Read: January 9th, 2017
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Thoughts: It’s no secret amongst my friends and family that I get scared pretty easily, and this book really freaked me out while I was reading it –but in a fun way. It would be a perfect book to pick up around Halloween. It was fast paced and suspenseful, and ended on a wicked cliffhanger. I laughed, I cried, I was scared – this book had it all. I loved both Wylie and Jasper, their back and forth was great and I loved watching them become friends and learn how to rely on each other. The plot had so many twists and turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Title: Joyride by Anna Banks
Summary: A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks. It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico. Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber’s mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects. All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.
Date Read: January 10th, 2017
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
My Thoughts: This book started out really promising, it was funny and interesting. But about halfway through it fell flat, the plot didn’t develop and was completely predictable, the characters didn’t grow, and the humor stopped. The only reason why I read this one in a single sitting was because I knew that if I put it down I would never pick it back up again.
Title: All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Summary: Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.
Date Read: January 11th, 2017
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Thoughts: This book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but not interesting enough to make me want to read the rest of the series. The main character, Grace, was pretty annoying. But there were a few characters that I did really enjoy, such as Grace’s best friend. Overall is was just okay.
Title: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Summary: As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
Date Read: January 11th, 2017
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
My Thoughts: This was actually the second book that I read in a single sitting on the 11th, and I’m glad that I read it that day because as mediocre as All Fall Down by Ally Carter was The Winner’s Curse was amazing and more than made up for All Fall Down. I can’t even begin to explain the absolute and complete but wonderful agony that reading this book was. I was completely caught off guard by the turn it took, and the ending was absolutely amazing and horrible. I don’t even know how to explain my thoughts on this book, because I don’t want to spoil anything. But trust me, you have to read this one.
Title: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
Summary: Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men shows up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead. Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home—a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back? Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.
Date Read: January 12th to 13th, 2017
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
My Thoughts: I loved Lewis’ other novel, Stitching Snow, which was a Snow White retelling. While I didn’t love Spinning Starlight as much as I loved Stitching Snow, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The world building was interesting, and the plot itself was decent. I enjoyed the way the chapters alternated between present day and flashbacks to Liddi growing up and her brothers. Unfortunately I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, and the romance in this one felt very instant and fast, and not natural to me.
Title: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Summary: In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands. Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home. Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself. In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Date Read: January 13th to 17th, 2017
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Thoughts: It took me forever to get into this book. I didn’t really start to enjoy it until over half way through, and up until that point it really bored me. It took me a long time to grow attached to any of the characters; the multiple POVs played a part in that I think. However once it picked up it really picked up. I ended up really liking Iseult, but Safi never really grew on me. The ending was fast paced and interesting enough that I will probably give the second book in this series a chance.
Title: Nemesis by Anna Banks
Summary: Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude. Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined. Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?
Date Read: January 17th, 2017
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Thoughts: I was nervous to read this one as I had read Joyride by Anna Banks earlier in the month and hadn’t liked it. But I was happily surprised by Nemesis, and really enjoyed it. The world this was set in was richly imagined, and I fell in love with it. The characters were well rounded and interesting. The plot was solid, and the ending was the perfect set up for a sequel. I had to take a star off because this book was completely predictable, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a fantasy and a romance to read.
Title: Paper Princess by Erin Watt
Summary: From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself. These Royals will ruin you. Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from. Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. He might be right. Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
Date Read: January 18th, 2017
My Rating: 1/5 Stars
My Thoughts: I don’t often say this, in fact I’m not sure that I have ever said this, but this book was a complete waste of paper. If you’ve read and liked this book, I’m not trying to offend you. This is just my personal opinion. There was absolutely no plot. No really, it didn’t have one. The entire book consisted of the Royal Brothers belittling, bulling, and degrading Ella and various other female characters. The characters in the book went to parties, hooked up, and fought. Then the book ended. Seriously. The characters themselves were flat, vapid, and clichéd. I really hated this book, and the only reason I finished it was because I try to never leave a book unfished, and I try not to make a final decision on how good or horrible a book is unless I’ve read the entire thing –because some books do get better the further in you get.
Title: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Summary: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland.
Date Read: January 18th to 20th, 2017
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
My Thoughts: While I didn’t love this book, I did really like it. Los Lagos was really neat, and definitely had an Alice in Wonderland feeling to it. The mythology and culture of brujas was incredibly interesting, and the main character’s family was wonderful. It was also a diverse read, as the main character is bisexual and Latina. However, parts of this book just fell a bit flat for me. The main character was selfish, and the romance felt forced. Overall it’s definitely worth reading, but just keep your expectations a bit lower.
Title: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Summary: Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up. Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world
Date Read: January 20th to 22nd, 2017
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book… until the last 100 pages or so. The characters, world building, and use of magic were so unique and well done throughout the entire book. And then the last 100 pages… it all just kind of fell apart. At least in my opinion. It was enough for me to knock off two full stars from my rating.
Title: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Summary: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Date Read: January 24th to 25th, 2017
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Thoughts: This was another book that started off slowly but got better as the book went along. There were so many great things about this book, I loved Blue and her family. Blue, the main character, lives with her mom, her mom’s three friends, and her cousin. It’s a houseful of women, and they are all physics. I loved the dynamic between all of them; it was probably my favorite part of the book. The four Raven Boys took me a while to warm up to, but I definitely grew to enjoy them as well. Blue herself was a great main character, and I loved her. One thing that I didn’t like was the constantly changing POV, it made it harder to get to know any one character because the POV kept switching. The plot of this one was a bit slow as well.
Title: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Summary: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after.
Date Read: January 25th to 26th, 2017
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
My Thoughts: This was the sequel to The Raven Boys, and while I enjoyed it much more than I enjoyed the first book, it was still just okay. I did enjoy getting to know the characters more, and the plot was much more interesting than the plot of the first book. Overall it was good enough that I’ll probably read the third book at some point, but the series so far hasn’t been good enough that I feel the need to read the third book immediately.
Overall in the month of January I read 14 books, so it was definitely a good reading month for me. Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them?