I met my goal of 12 books for January! Other than that, I didn't read what I originally set out to read. Let's get into it, shall we?
MI5 and Me by Charlotte Bingham - This was a super fun book to read for the first book of the year. Her descriptions of her home in 1950's Britain reads like Bertie Wooster becomes a spy. The author's father was a higher up in MI5 and he encouraged her to get a job there, too. She joins the secretarial pool, but she does get involved in some light espionage. It's really funny and silly.
Giant Days Vol 10 by John Allison - Ten volumes in and I still love this graphic novel series. Esther, Daisy, and Susan are college students in England. The series follows their antics through their college years. In this one, we are in their final year of college. I am nervous about this series ending. I don't want to see it go!
Giant Days Vol 11 by John Allison - This one continues to relate the events of the girls' final year of college. Each one of them has story lines, but of course they all weave in and out of each other.
Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer - Ok. I know this has a dumb name. I was truly judging it when I read it. I expected a book as dumb as the title. What editor let that happen? It's so bad. Anyway, the book was really good! It's about a girl who moves around with her mother a lot. She doesn't usually bother making friends because she will just have to leave them behind in a few months. They are running from her father who was abusive, but never caught. She does have friends on Catnet, though and she counts on them to keep her sane.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett - This book is like Lord of the Flies meets The Handmaid's Tale. In this county, the girls are known to have magic. They are all sent off into the wilderness for a year when they are 16 to release their magic so they can come back to the county and be demure, obedient wives. Our main character is not popular among her year of Grace Year girls and quickly gets thrown out of the camp. This book is brutal and sick and I only marginally liked it.
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay - Jason learns of his cousin's death in the Phillippines and feels like he should have done something to save him. They were close once, but Jason had kind of stopped answering Jun's letters because he was made uncomfortable by Jun's emotional outpourings. On the other hand, he knows there's no way the cousin he knew would have been the drug addict the Filipino government says he was. Jason goes to the Phillippines to find out what happened. This book was very emotional. I felt angry and sad and horrified and melty. All in one book.
Book Love by Debbie Tung - This is the only 5-star book of the month! It's a cute little book of cartoons about a girl and her books. I could relate to a vast number of the cartoons. It was magical!
Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron - This one is set in Edinburgh Scotland which is interesting. Our main character, Brody, is a high schooler whose family has been through a lot since his father was beaten badly when he interfered in a fight. Since then, he has been agoraphobic and unable to work. They had to move to a tiny flat in a rough neighborhood and life has been rough. One day, Brody meets a boy who takes him through a portal into Everland. In Everland, everyone is weird and everyone is nice. Brody feels accepted and himself like he never does in the real world. I didn't love this one, but it was okay.
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater - This is the first in a new series that follows some of the characters from a series she finished several years ago. I really liked that series. The main character of this series is gloomy and sarcastic and dark. Therefore, the whole book was way darker than the other series. I liked it, but it also kind of put me in a bad mood. I also listened to this on audiobook, which may have influenced how it made me feel.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo - Everyone told me how great this book is, but since I am a hardcore contrarian, I put off reading it. Now I've read it. It's good. I didn't think it was great. Emoni is a teen mom in her junior year of high school. She has a gift for cooking and this year, her school adds an elective of cooking and restaurant administration with a trip to Spain at Spring Break. She is trying to figure out how to take care of her 2 year old daughter and her elderly grandmother while going to school, working, and thinking about the new boy in school.
Horimiya Vol. 4 by Hero - This is a little manga series about some kids in high school in Japan. It's very sweet and pure and silly. Hori is a popular girl with lots of friends, who goes home every day to take care of her brother and her house. Miyamuri is a quiet, gloomy boy with no friends at school. One day he shows up at her house with her little brother who fell and hurt himself, only he is transformed! He has a bunch of piercings and tattoos and Hori finds him sexy and fascinating. Not like the guy she knows at school. They become friends and eventually (like, 4 volumes later) boyfriend and girlfriend.
Sorry For Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley - Pup is the youngest of 8 siblings. Well, 7 since the death of his brother from meningitis. He's not dealing well, but since no one else in his family is dealing either, no one notices. Luckily, Pup acidentally finds a talent for photography and finds new friends. I liked this one. It wasn't ground-breaking, but it was pretty good. There were some very emotional bits. Some slightly scary bits. It was well done.
And that's it! 12 books. What did you get read in January?