I was on a book-reading roll in January of 2023! One of my new year’s resolutions was to read more books and read before bed instead of using my phone. I have to admit, I’ve been pushing myself a little.
My intention was to read 20 books in 2023 and by January I had already finished 8, so I was way ahead of schedule. In February, I shall try to take it a bit easier.
I also bought a new Kindle Paperwhite 2021! My old one from 2013 was slowly dying, couldn’t charge properly and also was extremely slow. The Kindle definitely helps me read faster and save space in my already-cramped room – but nothing beats the feel of a real book.
I would like to emphasise that I am not at all a book reviewer and this is my first book review post. I apologise if this is not the type of book review you’d normally read with other bloggers.
The first book I started the year with was Finding Home by Kate Field. I was on the hunt for a book that was relatable, and since I was about to move abroad this year (new year, new me?), I thought Finding Home sounded like something I could really enjoy.
Mim is a girl who has recently lost her home and job, and a very kind and very wealthy Howard Family decide to ‘take her in’. Set in the coast of Devon, it tells a very heartwarming story of kindness, love and friendship.
All characters in the Howard Family are lovely and extremely likeable. This book beams positiveness and emphasises the aspect of helping others, even if they are a stranger to you.
If you’re a book lover, I’m sure by now you would’ve heard of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.
I finished this book surprisingly quickly, even though I found some chapters to be really slow-moving. As much as I wanted to fall in love with the 2 main protagonists Sam and Sadie, I found myself loving Marx, a semi-side character, the most.
A great nostalgic read set in the 90’s. Lots of focus on video games and how they’re made (I had no idea before this!) and a shocking turn towards the end that forced me to the edge of my seat. If you love video games and storylines revolving around ponderous friendships and relationships, you’d love Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.
I know what you’re thinking. WHAT?! Jacqueline Wilson has a new book?! Indeed she does! Baby Love by Jacqueline Wilson was released in mid 2022 and is one of her very few novels for adults.
Jacqueline Wilson never disappoints. She has and will always be one of my favourite authors and I only wish she wrote more books for adults now that I’m almost 30! I definitely wouldn’t say no to re-reading some of my teen favourites like The Illustrated Mum and Double Act.
Her writing is engaging as always, and she tells the story beautifully. Baby Love is not a slow read, neither is it boring at any point. I could’ve finished it off in one sitting if it weren’t for general life commitments. As someone who finds it hard to read more complex, wordy books, this was a solid 10/10 and perfect for anyone trying to get into the groove of reading consistently.
The topic of teenage pregnancy can be very touchy for some but Jacqueline does a fantastic job of tackling the topic with Baby Love with the sensitivity and care that it needs. I almost felt like I was mid-therapy while reading the Afterword! Extremely heart wrenching, funny, and also realistic. The ending came quite abruptly but it was a good ending nonetheless.
JW, if you’re seeing this, please keep writing, and never stop!
I bought this book because of the huuuuge hype around it that seemed to have lasted for months. It was also a relatively short read, so I thought I’d give it a try. Before The Coffee Gets Cold follows a concept of ‘time travel’ in a mysterious cafe where sitting in a particular seat will bring you back in time, whenever you wish.
Enjoyed the first chapter “The Lovers” and everything else after that seemed like a blur. I felt like characters were not introduced properly and I didn’t get to know them well enough, which made me lose track of who was who. The storyline about the Alzeimer’s was very sad, heart wrenching, and relatable to many. I felt they could have done more with that plot. The writing style wasn’t my favourite, and I found that I couldn’t wait to finish this book (I always force myself to finish books, even the ones I don’t like to give them a chance).
Personally, if written in a different style and extended, I feel Before The Coffee Gets Cold could’ve been more enjoyable for me. I will unfortunately not be purchasing the prequels.
I’m not really one to read romance novels but the description of Three Days In Florence by Chrissie Manby sounded right up my alley – a married woman gets stranded in Florence, Italy, when her flight booking doesn’t seem to go through.
Very nicely written, and I absolutely adored the protagonist Kelly Courage. She is taken in by the Innocenti Family, who provide for her and help her enjoy her 3 days in Florence without the watchful eyes of her mean, aggravating husband Neil, who goes back to London on the flight Kelly was meant to be on.
At the end of her short stint abroad, she realises she must change her life for the better, and she notices her worth. What a great read!
I can’t even begin to express how much I enjoyed The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. Also voted one of 2022’s top reads on Goodreads, I knew I had to get into it ASAP.
This book was written in a very unique but comfortable style – through the perspectives of each person involved in the story. At some bits, you’d find yourself going back in time. Initially, I thought it’d be hard to follow, but it was actually really easy and I finished this book in less than 3 hours.
Jess makes a last minute trip to Paris to stay with her brother Ben, but as soon as she turns up to his apartment, she realises he is not there. The cat has blood on it, and the apartment has an eerie, uncomfortable feel. The story follows Jess and how she tries to uncover, and meet people, who can tell her the whereabouts of her brother.
An absolutely brilliant book, cannot wait to read more by Lucy Foley!
I absolutely breezed through The Maid by Nita Prose. It follows the story of a rather peculiar, but wonderful, woman in her 20s who works as a maid in the Regency Grand Hotel. She is a kind-hearted, truthful, but also a very socially awkward lady. A very loveable character, in my opinion.
Her love for her now-deceased grandmother brings me to tears. Her grandmother’s voice in her head almost acts like her own personal Jiminy Cricket – she helps her through life.
One day, Molly discovers a prolific guest dead in the hotel room and not before long, she is accused of his murder. The suspense is in the air for more than half of the book, which is something I really like.
Written simply, and easy to digest – my sort of murder mystery! Can’t wait to see Nita Prose put out more amazing books like this one.
Another great read by Lucy Foley, following The Paris Apartment!
Lucy has a great, immersive writing style. I also like how the story comes together from different people’s perspectives – it is unique and not confusing like I thought it would be.
The Guest List follows the story of Will, Jules, Charlie, Hannah, Olivia and a bunch more a few days leading up to Will and Jules’s wedding. Will holds many many secrets, and it all starts to unravel during one of the most ‘important’ days of his life. Filled with murder, mystery, and themes of assault, this book was definitely heartbreaking and suspenseful all the way up to the end.
What books did you read in January 2023? Are there any you feel like I’d enjoy? Let me know in the comments!
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