Books I Read in January

It’s wrap up time! A little (or very) late because I was not sure how to make my wrap up this year. Last year, I did it quarterly but honestly it was quite hard for me to keep up with the reviews. It’s my fault because I postponed writing them until it reached the end of the quarter. Then I write all my thoughts at the same time which can be exhausting. I know I don’t have to review every book I read but it makes me feel good (believe it or not) and fulfilled. Anyway, this year I’ve decided to do my wrap up every month. It will not be always on time that’s for sure but I’ll do my best.

For the month of January:

I read 12 books
3,543 pages | 1,107 minutes (18h45m)
3 Audiobooks, 4 Physical Books, 5 eBooks
Average rating was 3.8

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The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa

I liked the overall message of this book. Rintaro was an interesting character. I didn’t agree with his thoughts on what a true reader or booklover is but I realized that some of them are true. Tiger is demanding and rude at times but I still liked him. I wished he has a much more bigger part in the story and I thought the title was a little misleading. Their journey also helps Rintaro to discover himself and coming to terms with the loss of his grandfather. This book highlights the importance and power of books and literature. It’s thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara, is an Artificial Friend, a solar-powered android designed to provide companionship to children. She spends her time observing and learning about human behavior and emotions through the store window while waiting to be purchased. She drew the attention of a teenage girl named Josie and eventually she bought her home. Klara is a very likeable character and I liked that it’s written in her perspective. It was very interesting to see the world through her innocent eyes. She is very loyal and her observational skills are impeccable. She is also pretty obsessed with the sun and she thinks of it as her creator. I was really enjoying the first half of the book but the rest felt really slow. The premise was intriguing but I wished there was more. The writing is compelling but overall it’s underwhelming.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

It’s hard for me to review or rate this book (or any memoir in general) so I’ll just try to convince you to read it. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by the author and I cried so much. Michelle shares her experiences growing up as a Korean-American, her relationship with her mother, and how she finds herself back to her Korean roots after her mother’s diagnosis. The writing is raw and beautiful. Michelle’s relationship with her mother was very relatable. The tough love and how her mother expressed her love through food. This was an emotional and touching memoir. I didn’t know that Michelle is a lead vocalist of an indie rock band before reading this book. I’m now a fan of her and her music.

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) and Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas

I’m blaming Joyce for this one. Haha! I wasn’t planning on continuing this series but I did it anyway. For old times’ sake. We buddy read Crown of Midnight back in 2015 and I honestly couldn’t remember what happened in the previous books anymore so I had to refresh my brain before reading these books. We get more of Celaena’s backstory and her real identity was quite predictable which I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the new cast of characters (Rowan and Abraxos), and the world building. The change in perspectives was little confusing at first but I eventually got used to it. I can’t really say a lot about the plot without giving any spoilers from the previous books. We’re reading the 5th book this month so it looks like I’m going to finish the series after all.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

I started reading People We Meet on Vacation last year but I ended up putting it down. It worked out really good this time. I loved Poppy and Alex and their adventures. I loved their friendship and their chemistry. The flashbacks really helped a lot to get to know their background and how their relationship build-up over the years. I thought the friends-to-lovers trope and slow burn romance in this book are perfect. Overall, this was a fun and beautiful read.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

This was definitely one of the most hype romance books ever so I was quite nervous getting in to it. Thankfully I got easily hooked. The writing is simple and entertaining but I wasn’t a fan of the third person POV. I liked the focus on women in STEM and the struggles they’re facing on a daily basis. Embarassing and inappropriate PDA aside, I had a great time reading this book. I can say that it’s worth the hype.

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

My first Sayaka Murata read and it was a wild ride! At first I was amazed because young Natsuki’s rich imagination was really entertaining to read but then things got quite strange real fast. There’s a scene where I had to stop reading to get myself together. It’s just heartbreaking and really hard to read. The ending is over the top but I thought it’s fitting. I liked how Murata explores conformity, social norms, and some taboo topics. This was a dark, disconcerting, and definitely a thought-provoking read!

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

CoHo’s books are either hit or miss for me and I’m happy to announce that this book was an absolute hit. I bawled my eyes out reading this book. I loved the flawed characters and their development throughout the story. The flashbacks are written in letter form which was a huge plus for me. There’s just something personal about it. Learning about each of the characters’ stories made me understand their decisions. To be honest, it would be fine for me even without the insta-romance. This book is about forgiveness, second chances, and unconditional love.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Hastings, our narrator, is staying in a manor owned by the Cavendish in Styles. This is also where the murder of Mrs. Cavendish happens. This is Hercule Poirot’s debut. So far I read 5 books in the Poirot series and I can definitely see how Christie’s writing developed throughout the years. I liked how Poirot gives out some clues to Hastings and to us readers as well so we can guess who the culprit is. This was not my favorite Poirot but it’s still entertaining and worth the read.

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

The beginning felt slow but it eventually picked up. I also wanted to see more of the “bickering at work” scenes since this is an enemies-to-lovers too. There were a lot of swoon-worthy moments in this book that made grin like a fool. I noticed the similarities to The Hating Game but I loved TSLD more. Overall, this was an amazing debut! Elena (thebibliotheque on instagram) is one of the sweetest person I know and I’m so proud of her. I can’t wait to read the next book featuring Catalina’s bestfriend.

The Ten Loves of Mr. Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami

This book is divided into ten chapters, each chapter is narrated by women whom at one point became part of Nishino’s life. It read like a short story collection revolving around this man. I liked that we got the women’s perspectives instead of Nishino’s. I thought it was refreshing. The characters were all interesting though it was quite difficult to differentiate their voices. Strange Weather in Tokyo is still my top favorite from this author and in my opinion, it’s also the best book to start if you’re new to Kawakami’s works.

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