3 February 2018

What I've Been Reading: January 2018.

This year is the first time ever that I'll be participating in Goodread's reading challenge. I've set myself a goal of reading 96 books over the course of 2018. Last year, I read about 6 books average per month so I'll have to make it 8 per month this year to reach my goal. Did I read 8 this month? No. I'm still on my usual 6 so not the best start to my challenge! I'm gunna start with the books I liked least and end with my favourites of the month.

"Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the tomboy, her closet filled with her brother's hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and socccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers. Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling  deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if her only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it's too late? Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother's footsteps might be all wrong. Nolan Lennox was everything that was the opposite of expected. She didn't flirt, she didn't drink and she didn't sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn't look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed's thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?"

I was not a fan of this at all. The writing itself wasn't bad but the story dragged on and on. I loved the first book in the Harper Boys series by Ginger Scott but the other books by the same author just don't cut it with me, this one included. It's set over four years, four years worth of young adult by numbers. All pretty predictable and the characters themselves aren't even that likable. Hard pass.

"Della's over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party- but the she discovers her diary has disappeared... When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della's distraught- how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?"

This was a quick, easy read that in all honestly, I'm probably a little too old for. I really like Keris Stainton as an author, Counting Stars was one of my favourite books of last year so I'd recommend skipping Della Says OMG and going straight for Counting Stars!

"When Jena Leigh is in a near fatal car crash, she wakes to find her younger brother close to death. Jena soon realises that the crash was no accident but a deliberate attempt to kill her and her brother. But why would a complete stranger want Jena dead? Seeking answers from a mysterious young man named Cary, Jena finds herself on a terrifying journey in search of the truth while trying to avoid those who chase life."

I really liked this. The idea behind it is very original but that isn't surprising considering the author. Lynda O'rourke is also the author behind the Kassidy Bell series, which is a series I love! I definitely prefer that series over this one but I'll be continuing the Chasing Life series when the next book is released.

"For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12- "Cupid Day"- should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is... until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined. "

I really thought this was going to be my favourite book of the month as I devoured this pretty quickly. Unfortunately there were 2 other books this month that I read after that also blew me away. I watched the movie on Netflix after finishing this and honestly, the film was good but the book is better! There are slight changes in the movies that I didn't like so if you do want to watch the film, read the book first. I'm shocked that this is a debut novel as it's amazing. A book you should definitely read!

"Bo Luxton has it all- a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers' retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page."

Wow. I'd never heard of Sarah Stovell before but this popped up in my recommendations.  I'm really glad it did! It kept me guessing and the ending was satisfying to read. There's a reason the book description is so vague, with no idea where this book was going to go, I couldn't put it down. Also, how gorgeous is that cover?!

"Natasha's sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn't tryto killer her? Natasha is the most popular girl in school. So why was she pulled out of a freezing river after being dead for thirteen minutes? She doesn't remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this- it wasn't an accident, and she wasn't suicidal. Now Natasha's two closest friends, who are usually her loyal sidekicks, are acting strangely. Natasha turns to Becca, the best friends she dumped years before, to help her figure out the mystery. At first Becca isn't sure that she even wants to help Natasha. But as she is drawn back into Natasha's orbit, Becca starts putting the pieces together. As an outsider, Becca believes she may be the only one who can uncover the truth... which is far more twisted than she ever imagined."

Hands down, the best book I read in January! In fact, Netflix have already bought the rights to this. The creator's behind CW's Gossip Girl are on board to write the adaption and produce it. I'm a little disappointed the film adaption will be made by an American company as the setting of the book is something I loved. Brit authors really are smashing it right now! It's a shame the BBC or ITV didn't pick up the rights to this but I'm still excited to see the Netflix movie whenever it does come out. As usual, I'm sure the book will still be better!
There are so many twists and turns in this, I was definitely put through the wringer. I thought the book was winding down, tying up the loose ends, reaching it's conclusion when I noticed the time left in book at the bottom of my Kindle told me I was only halfway through. What?! Just when I thought one thing, this massive curveball comes along and shatters everything I thought I knew. If you take anything away from this blog post, please let it be that you need to read this book! I promise you won't regret it.

What have you been reading over the past month? Have you read any of these?

If you wantt to see previous posts of What I've Been Reading, just click here.
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