January 2020 Books #AmReading

Well, looky here! It’s the end of January, meaning a whole month has passed by in this new decade. What have you been up to? You’ll know my news, having read my Chai And A Chat updates, won’t you? And on top of madcap life, I have been reading, as alway.

The aim, this year is to read at least 50 books, rather than nearly 150 like last year, because I need to try and put a little more time into writing!

But read, I did; eight books to the eleven I managed in January, last year; and here are the reviews!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, #1)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that went down better than expected!
I was given a copy of this book by a friend, and I’ll have to be honest, it wasn’t the sort of read I would usually pick up, but, seeing as I had been lovingly gifted it, I thought ‘why not?’
And I am glad I did.
A book based heavily upon historical fact, peppered, liberally with fictional elements, charting the life of Abraham Lincoln, not only towards the presidency, but of his alternate life as a vampire hunter.
Honestly, it was written brilliantly; even the gore!
And I think that is high praise indeed, from a diehard RomCom fan!
Really want to watch the film now!

Dear Edward

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dear Edward is an intriguing read, focussing on Edward Adler, a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash.
We move between a dual timeline throughout the book; that of the day of the crash, where we view the day from the viewpoint of several of the passengers and crew on the flight, and the life of Edward, as he comes to terms with being the only one alive, losing his family, and trying to make sense of his survival.
It’s not a situation that would be familiar to many people, but I was eager to keep on reading, to find out what actually happened on that crash day, and whether Edward came out of his PTSD feeling whole, or still as empty as the shell who ended up living with his aunt and uncle after the crash, not sure whether he should even have been alive.
A thought-provoking read.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Traded: Brody and Kara (Cliffside Bay, #1)

Traded: Brody and Kara by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why do I do this to myself?
Why, when I already love an author, do I go and start the first book in a series that will make me want to just forget life when I am back to work after a break?
I’ve read some of Tess Thompson’s other series and found myself drawn to the characters and story, eager to read on, and Traded, the first in the Cliffside Bay series, was no different.
Whipped from the life she knows and loves, Kara is sent to a sleepy town no one has heard of, for her safety, and there, she meets Brody, a famous footballer, and his family and friends.
The twists and turns the story takes, not only hooking you to the developing love between Kara and Brody, but sucking you into the lives of the other characters, makes this an addictive read, especially knowing there are plenty more stories to come!

Deleted: Jackson and Maggie (Cliffside Bay, #2)

Deleted: Jackson and Maggie by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, now I need to go and get book three ready!
I love series where you become totally engrossed with all the characters, and each story leads to another, exploring other characters, and this set of books is exactly that!
This time, we learn more about Jackson and Maggie, who comes back from the dead. (I can’t go into, it, but what a twisted tale!)
Awful history uncovered, mysteries solved, and even more connections are planted like seeds, leaving the reader guessing as to who will get the Cliffside Bay treatment in the next book!
Love it Love it Love it!

Jaded by Tess Thompson

Jaded: Zane and Honor by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am really enjoying getting myself totally immersed in Tess Thompson’s Cliffside Bay series.
The story of Zane and Honor is another touching one, where we learn more about the tragedies of Honor’s life in care, and how she becomes the way she is.
Zane’s background is no walk in the park either, with a mother who walked out on him as a baby, and as he settles into adulthood, a father who needs to go into care, and a family business to run.
Stubbornness keeps them apart, though a magnetic attraction keeps pulling them together.
Coupled with new additions to the family, Honor and Zane’s story is another page-turner!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book I really enjoyed reading.
Lydia Bird has it all. A job she loves, a family she adores and a fiance she can’t wait to get married to.
Everything is going to plan when a tragic accident claims his life on her birthday.
Life doesn’t seem worth living. Everywhere she turns, reminders of Freddie greet her. Including Jonah. Jonah, who was her best friend, as a child, then became Freddie’s.
But what happens when the magic of a little pink pill offers a chance to live the life she had expected?
Fantastically written, and, well, I knew what the end would be, but I was willing it to happen!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu by William A.E. Ford

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu by William A.E. Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Beautiful Book!

What a beautifully illustrated story of going home!
I was captivated by the tale of Kian the Cockatoo who escaped from the zoo to find his way home to Timbucktoo.
He visits many lands on his quest, then finally remembers the advice his mother gave him about finding the way home.
Will it help him?
Well, you’ll have to read on to find out, and I can guarantee a colourful, fact filled journey along the way!

One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie

One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I was in, I WAS IN!
We are swept into a year in the life of the extended Palacious family in Trinidad. Venezuelan by birth, but living in Trini as illegal immigrants. The story is told from the view of Yola, one of the daughters of the family.
They all get caught up in a drama caused by illegal undertakings organised by Celia, Yola’s deceased aunt, and are introduced to Ugly, a not very nice character, with his fingers in all the wrong pies.
He expects the family to all club together by working for him, to run illegal safe houses for immigrants trying to start a new life in Trinidad.
Yola is already missing her aunt more than she could imagine, then has to deal with finding out about infidelities, untruths, and she meets Roman, one of Ugly’s henchmen, for whom she develops a real soft spot.
What helps her through a year of struggle, is a manuscript that was penned by her aunt, Yola’s only supporter of her writing.
It was funny, dramatic, and I found it addictive by the end!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and The Borough Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 5th March 2020

So, what have you been reading, so far this year?

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennie
    Feb 03, 2020 @ 13:43:37

    I am impressed, Ritu!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. robbiesinspiration
    Feb 02, 2020 @ 09:03:17

    A lovely selection of books, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Rebecca Moon Ruark
    Feb 01, 2020 @ 03:07:45

    You really do get a lot of reading in. I thought that Dear Edward sounded very interesting. I’m just about finished with a translation of Elena Ferrante’s first book in her Neapolitan quartet: My Brilliant Friend. It’s quite good but I don’t know if I’ll read all four. I’ve been working too much to have much time for reading or blogging–ugh–but hoping for a work slump soon!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Elizabeth
    Feb 01, 2020 @ 00:13:45

    Wow! 8 books in a month! I’m happy I have finished 1 and I’m 1/2 of another one! My goal for this year is 25.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. johnrieber
    Jan 31, 2020 @ 17:30:27

    You are off to a great start! I just finished “On The Plain Of Snakes” by Paul Theroux, a powerful travel book as he goes along the US/Mexico border, then south through the entire country to see how our “border war” is impacting life on both sides…now onto “A Very Stable Genius”, a look at the upheaval of American democracy…

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Annette Rochelle Aben
    Jan 31, 2020 @ 14:10:33

    Becoming Michelle Obama

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Darlene
    Jan 31, 2020 @ 08:40:39

    Wow! You did well. I only managed to read 2.5 books this month.

    Liked by 1 person


  8. foodzesty
    Jan 31, 2020 @ 08:28:52

    Traded seems interesting…:)

    Liked by 1 person


  9. CarolCooks2
    Jan 31, 2020 @ 07:53:02

    Currently reading Climate Justice which is raising as many questions as it is answering for me.. Very thought provoking..

    Liked by 1 person


  10. potatosandwich
    Jan 31, 2020 @ 07:13:56

    Currently reading ‘A Tiny Bit Marvellous’ by Dawn French. Very interesting read and I’m loving the structure. Certainly some ideas for the next project. #happyreading

    Liked by 1 person


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