Reading Updates: January 2014

Now I’m never going to be one to have finished eight books in a month (apart from August when all I do on holiday is binge read by the pool) but I thought it would be nice to record how/what I read monthly. I’m really interested to see if there is a pattern or if particular months influence what I read because of the weather especially as I know that I tend to read by mood. So without further ado, this is what was consumed this month!

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 I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk

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Angela Clark is essentially a grown-up Georgia Nicholson who moves to New York. She’s messy, clumsy, and all-round brilliant. I would not recommend reading this in public unless you want weird looks on the train from the business people with their laptops out while you’re laughing your head off opposite them.

I’m not going to write a synopsis of this as it is the sixth in a series, but seriously check it out! I didn’t think that I was going to like it as I tend to find books about girls going shopping and boy-drama a bit boring but I really love these books.

The friendships between the women are all great and balanced, the romance is never soppy or cheesy, and Angela is a fully rounded character so she never comes across as an empty cardboard cut-out that I’ve found with a lot of protagonists from “chick lit” (which is a term that I hate.) Most of the story in the whole series is about these women changing the things in their lives that they don’t like be it their careers, family problems, or their relationships, all with the support of each other. I really like that there is never any frenemies or backstabbing, it’s a realistic portrayal of friendships between adults.

Let It Snow

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Anything John Green touches is gold to me. I just thought you should know how incredibly biased I am towards his work before we continue.

Let it Snow is a compilation of three stories, each written by a different author. Maureen Johnson takes the first one which introduces us to Jubilee (she knows) who is sent off to her grandparents’ on Christmas Eve after her parents are arrested in a Flobie Christmas ornament riot. When the train breaks down in Gracetown due to a blizzard Jubilee meets some of the residents who kick off the other stories.

I’ve not read anything by Maureen Johnson apart from this which has made me more eager to pick up her Shades of London series. The same goes for Lauren Myracle who I haven’t read either, will have to see if I enjoy any of her solo work.

Her story is about Addie who is told by all her friends that she is too self-absorbed. To prove otherwise she takes it upon herself to collect her best friend’s new teacup pig from the pet store, and along the way she learns to become a better person. This was my least favourite as it seemed to be aimed at a younger audience than the other two which jarred it a bit. I also didn’t like the obvious “swearing is bad” preach that was put in. I did like how she wrapped up the stories though, it was a nice touch and because the book is set at Christmas it wasn’t cheesy.

John Green’s story was really funny and had great characters. He knows how to write realistic teenagers and never resorts to stereotype, although this story is about two boys desperately trying to get to the Waffle House which is full of cheerleaders whilst dragging along their best friend Angie (also known as The Duke) so perhaps this isn’t the best example! I really enjoyed the way the characters interacted and the romance was sweet and awkward which was perfect.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

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This was the first David Leviathan book that I read and to be honest it made me unsure that I’d like any of his other work but I have since read Will Grayson, Will Grayson which I really enjoyed so don’t let that put you off. I have not read any of Rachel Cohn’s work but I do want to read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist at some point.

This book was cute but I did find it a bit annoying at times. Lily came off as being very young and even though she became more independent by the end of the story she still didn’t seem ready for a relationship. Dash, on the other hand, was very good at pretending to be an adult whilst it was obvious that he needed an adult in his life to notice how lonely he was. Another thing that bugged me, but other readers may like, was the metaphor (I use that word lightly) of Dash being like Holden Caulfield. He even wears a deerstalker hat at one point.

It did make me laugh a couple of times but little things about the writing style, and the whole YA “Where are the parents?” trope got on my nerves.

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What did you read read this month?

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