Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January Book Recap & Reviews

Well we finished the first month of 2019 y'all and it was full of great books. I wanted to continue to read several books a month this year and I have gotten a good start with January. Is anyone else freaking out a tad that it is already almost February? WHAT??
Let's talk about the books I read this month.

Letters to the Lost by: Brigid Kemmerer
Merphy, one of my favorite BookTubers, always raves about this book and claims it as a favorite so I knew I had to read it. I loved this story. It read like a young adult contemporary but was a little darker and more mysterious. I loved this one!

This book is about a young girl who is cemented in her grief after the death of her mother and copes by writing letters to her. She leaves the letters at her mothers gravesite and one day gets a written response from  a young man her age. They begin to communicate and help each other through dark times both in their past and present, before ever meeting in person.

This was a quick but gripping book. I can't wait to read the companion novel about one of the other characters in this story.

Rate: 5 Stars!

Where the Crawdads Sing by: Delia Owens
I was so nervous to read this book because I have heard so many people rave about it and was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype. I had such high expectations and wanted this book to be a little more like Susan Crandall books which I love. Overall, I enjoyed the plot and storyline but found the descriptive writing a little too much. My aunt and I both said that the book could have been trimmed shorter and found ourselves skimming some of the overly descriptive paragraphs. There was also poetry quoted in this book and I found it pointless to the story.

This is the story of Kya, a wild and introverted girl who has raised herself in the marsh swamp on her own from a young age. She is isolated and accustomed to people walking out of her life. Over the course of her life she falls for two boys, but a murder of one of the towns stars lands her as a main suspect. There is love, drama, science, murder, redemption, and revenge.

Again, I didn't love this one as much as I had hoped I would, but the ending shocked me so much I had to rate it well. The last 100 pages had me on the edge of my seat and were truly thrilling.

Rate: 4 Stars

Teach Like Finland by: Timothy Dale Walker
I am just about finished with this book and it has been very insightful. Those of you who are educators or are studying education have probably heard all about how Finland has one of the most successful education systems in the world. Their students score highest across the board when it comes to testing and their teachers and students are the happiest.

This book is written by a man who left America to go teach in Finland. He documents the major and minor differences that make such a drastic change. What I liked about this book, is that he didn't make our education system seem helpless. Obviously the culture and politics is completely different in Finland, so we can't assume overnight we can adapt their practices. However, he gives such practical advice on how to implement strategies he learned into the American classroom. These strategies are research proven to increase productivity and overall quality of education.

This book was rather wordy and repetitive at times, but I still found it extremely helpful and interesting.

Rate: 4 Stars

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by: Rachel Lynn Solomon
I will be honest and say that I went into this book not knowing a single thing about it. I saw Heather recommend it and so I decided to give it a shot without even reading the summary. This started off like a cute Young Adult book but ended up being much more mature and serious than I originally thought. There was some language and scenes I didn't really appreciate, but think this authors writing is superb.

This is the story of two twin girls who are in their senior year of high school. Their mother is deteriorating from Huntington's Disease, and when they turn eighteen, they go to get tested to see which one of them has the gene that will do the same to them. These sisters are not close and certainly not perfect. They are both flawed and you will love them and hate them at the same time.

Something I found interesting about this book is the prevalence of the families Jewish religion and how different members of the family approached it. I thought it was honest, and unlike anything I have read before.

Overall, I liked it and didn't see any of it coming... but I didn't love it, you know? I do recommend for a good, short, read but be warned of a few minor adult scenes.

Rate: 3.5 Stars

All The Light We Cannot See by: Anthony Doer
I have heard non-stop chatter about how marvelous this book is since it came out. The online book world is always buzzing with people who love this book and so I naturally couldn't wait to give it a read. I am a sucker for almost any Historical Fiction book set during WWII, so this book looked right up my alley.

This book however, was super disappointing. I made it over half way through and was not at all interested. I was trying to force myself to like it because it had sounded so great but the pacing was incredibly slow and there seemed to be a disconnect between the reader and the characters. Sad to say I am not a fan of this one.

Rate: Did Not Finish

Lucky in Love by: Kasie West
Yay! It has been a hot minute since I have read a book by my girl Kasie West and this one was just as quick, cute, and charming as any of her other books. I have read almost every one of her books so I knew I could expect a cute romance story that would make for a quick fluffy read.

This is the story of Maddie who is the ultimate nerd and is focused on getting into college while her family life is on the rocks. After a pathetic fail of an eighteenth birthday party, she decides to buy a lottery ticket on a whim and her life is changed when she wins. I was worried this storyline would be a little cheesy but I actually liked the lottery winner plot. Not only was there a cute romance in there, but I found it interesting to compare what she spent money on to what I would spend money on if I had won.

Overall, this was everything I could ask for in a Young Adult Romance book. I recommend this one!

Rate: 5 Stars!

There you have it folks! I want to know what YOU have read this month. Drop a comment here or on my Instagram and let me know your favorites. Have a happy Wednesday!



  1. I'm reading Where the Crawdads Sing right now. I feel the same way, it's been a little hard to get into. I'm eager to get to those last 100 pages like you said!
    All The Light was an utter disappointment for me! Very slow and boring! I'd say you did the right thing and gave up on it honestly. The ending doesn't pay off.

    1. Oh good, glad we are on the same page! Those last 100 pages will hopefully be worth the wait girl (:

      Thanks for commenting! I can't wait to hear about what other books you read!


  2. I still need to read All the Light We Cannot See. I' guessing that you're a teacher? I am and have always been interested in how Finland has been so successful.

    brooke -

    1. Hi Brooke, I didn't finish All the Light We Cannot See, but you may like it. I just thought it was too slow but have heard mixed reviews. I am studying Education so that book on Finland was super interesting to me (:



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