What I Read In January
January was an incredible reading month for me! I read 5 books. To the avid readers, it is probably nothing but for me that’s a lot! January is usually a slower month for me, so I had a bit more free time. Also, when we were heading to Florida I was able to read quite a bit on the plane and by the pool. This month was a mixture of genres, so hopefully there’s a book in here for you!
What I Read In January
Elena Richardson believes in order and playing by the rules. She and her family live in Shaker Heights, OH – Cleveland suburb. Shaker Heights is an affluent neighborhood and known to be a progressive suburb. Everything in Shaker Heights is planned, from the color of the houses to the residents who live there.
Then there is Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl. Mia and Pearl rented a house from the Richardsons, and they’re opposite from the Richardsons. They are constantly on the move, don’t really have a plan, and don’t care about status quo. One day the Richardsons’ family friend adopted a Chinese baby and the town is divided. Elena looks into Mia’s past and unravels a secret while things with Elena’s family are not so picture perfect anymore. This leads to an unexpected and devastating event.
All I can say about this book is WOW. I remember hearing from several sources how amazing this book was. So I’m probably a few years late and now I can see why this book was loved. You really get a deep knowledge of every character’s emotions, thoughts, and actions while something is happening simultaneously. I didn’t think it was possible to write this way but Celeste nailed it. The story line was fascinating too. I couldn’t put the book down. This book touches the subject of race, mother’s choice, anxiety, poverty, what’s right or wrong, etc. There were parts of the book I could relate to, especially regarding society’s thoughts of the Asian race in the suburbs. It touches a subject I felt growing up and how that transition was like for me going from living in the city to the suburbs.
Nikole went to a Dodgers game with her boyfriend Fisher and his friends for his birthday. All of a sudden Nikole looks at the Jumbotron and Fisher proposes to her and he is on his knees. Fisher even spelled her name wrong. She was shocked. They never talked about marriage, never said they loved each other, and they only dated for 5 months. The entire stadium is looking at them and Nikole is mortified. Carlos and his sister Angela are only sitting a few seats back and rescue her. Nikole is trending on social media and news outlets. Nikole figured a handsome guy like Carlos is not looking for anything serious and they start hooking up.
I decided to read this book because I loved the Royal Holiday (super adorable book). So I was curious what the other Jasmine Guillory books were like. This book was easy to read and quick to grab your attention right at the beginning. It was good but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the Royal Holiday. I felt like the whole hooking up between Nikole and Carlos dragged and I wanted something more out of it. So personally, I think the book could have been 100 pages shorter. I don’t need to keep reading about their hook ups.
I was most intrigued when it would go over Carlos. His character had more depth. However, if you are looking for something fun and quick to read, then I think you’d be into this book. It was a great book for me to read after reading Little Fires Everywhere. It’s a nice break from something intense.
Lowen is a struggling writer and uses up every penny she has and is being evicted from her current apartment. Lowen was heading to a publisher and meets Jeremy. Jeremy is the husband of a best selling author, Verity. Verity can no longer finish the last books of her series and her publication is looking for a ghost writer. Lowen only accepted this job because the pay was too good to pass up. So she moves into Jeremy & Verity’s house and looks through Verity’s office to see if she can find any ideas and outlines about the remaining books in the series. That’s where things took a turn.
She finds a hidden manuscript that’s noted as an autobiography. Lowen is finding the darkest secrets and she gets paranoid being in that house. She questions the entire time if she should tell Jeremy because this changes everything.
I can’t decide if I love or hate this book. But one thing is for sure, I was hooked and basically finished it in a day. This book was so dark!! I had to find out what the heck was going on. Throughout the book, I was constantly coming up with what I think the ending would be. The end is definitely a twist and it now messed with my mind. This is why I can’t decide if I like it.
It’s so dark and the twist was unexpected. But part of me is thinking, do I believe the end? It’s really hard for me to give my thoughts on this book without ruining the story for you all haha. Do I think this book is worth reading? Yes, and I am so curious what you all think about it! My friend Katie loaned this book to me and my friend Sarah told me I had to read it so we can talk about it. She also has so many thoughts haha.
Irene Steele has the perfect life in Iowa City. She has a husband that adores her and in her eyes a little too much that it is embarrassing. But because of her husband’s (Russell Steele) job, she has her dream home. On a snowy New Year’s Eve night, she gets a call that her husband has been killed in a helicopter crash. Irene and her two sons were having a hard time processing the news. They headed to St. John’s Island to get more details on Russell’s death. As soon as they arrived on the island, it led to so many more questions. It was as if they didn’t know Russell and during their time on the island they were unfolding a secret.
This is my first Elin Hilderbrand book. So many of you recommended I read her books. I am impressed with her writing and with this book. I loved that throughout the book, it revealed more secrets and you know me, I love juicy details haha. This book makes me want to book a trip to St. John’s island! The entire time, it kept me wondering how Russell was able to pull off this secret for so long! I wanted to know how he did it because it’s the main reason why I was so hooked on reading. I wanted answers. The secret itself wasn’t the surprising part to me. The end of the book had a cliffhanger so I really hope the second book gives me more answers!
Anna Fox lives alone in a large home in New York City. She does not leave her house. She spends her days (and nights) drinking lots of wine, watching old movies, reminiscing, and spying on her neighbors. Then new neighbors move across the street and of course Anna spies on them. They seemed like the perfect family – father, mother, and one son. One night when she was peering over at the Russells (the new neighbors) she witnessed something horrific. She wanted to help and she tried to reach out for help. As she re-tells the incidents, she unfolds more secrets. But then it leads her to question if it was real or her imagination.
I’ll admit at first I was so confused in the beginning of the book. There was so much happening and I had no idea what was going on. Luckily, it all came together in the end and I couldn’t put this book down as I got closer to the end. Looking back, I think the author wanted me to be confused in the beginning because I was tapping into Anna Fox’s mind. I thought ok this is the twist every time a secret was unfolded. I know who did what, what she saw, etc. But then I get another twist. The ending was not what I expected at all! A movie of this book will come out later this year.
Have you read in January? Anything you loved or hated? As always, I’m looking for book recommendations!
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