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January 2018 Wrap Up

Happy Friday Everyone :)

Can you believe it's already February?

January seemed to go by in the blink of an eye, and it doesn't feel like it's already been over a month since Christmas.

However, I think one reason that January seemed to speed by for me is the fact that it was such a good reading month. I literally didn't have one book the whole month that I rated less than three stars, and I seriously love those type of reading months.

I didn't end up doing a December wrap up, mainly because I was busy doing all my yearly wrap ups, but I definitely want to get back on track with doing them again, and so today I'm here with my January 2018 reading wrap up.

I'm going to put these all in the order in which I finished them, and I'm going to try and not say too too much about any of them as I don't want this post to be extremely long winded but we shall see. :)

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren:

This was my first read of 2018, and it was such a great start to the year! I ended up rating this one five out of five stars, and it's my favorite of the series so far. You can read my full review here.

Forward To What Lies Ahead by Chloe S. Flanagan:

This was such an emotional, faith filled novel, and I loved it. I rated it four out of five stars, and you can read my full review here. 

The Proposal by Becky Wade:

I was really glad Becky Wade decided to give Amber her own story in this short, but sweet novella, and I ended up really enjoying it. I gave it four out of five stars, and you can read my full review here. 

Snowed Over by Angie Stanton:

I was a little leary going into this one, as I was worried it was going to be more of a new adult novel with lots of content I wasn't really going to want to read about, but it definitely felt more like a YA novel, and stayed reasonably clean. Overall, I really enjoyed it and gave it three out of five stars. I just wish there'd been a little bit more resolution given with some of the plot points that were mentioned, but I enjoyed it overall. 

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir:

My husband had been pestering me to read this one ever since he read it shortly after its publication. I finally got around to it last month, and while it was definitely more gruesome than I was expecting, I really did still enjoy it, and I gave it four out of five stars. You can read my full review here.  

Of Neptune by Anna Banks:

I'd heard some not so great things about this book before I read it, but I was pleasantly surprised with how Anna Banks chose to end this trilogy. I felt the readers got a satisfactory ending, and it was action packed enough to keep me glued to the pages throughout the entire story, just like with the previous two books. I gave it four out of five stars, and can definitely see myself rereading this series in the future. I only wish I hadn't waited two years between reading books two and three, as I had a lot of plot points I had to refresh my memory on before I could finish it.

Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander:

I can barely even express to you guys just how amazing this book was. Tamera Alexander has a true gift of being able to pull her reader's into her beautiful stories, and this one was no exception. On top of that, the fact that she tackles the controversial issue of an out of wedlock pregnancy in an inspirational historical fiction novel was so unique, and so well done, and I literally could barely put this book down. I gave it five out of five stars, and I honestly can't recommend this whole series enough, but especially this book in particular.

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine:

It's probably embarrassing to admit just how long this book has been sitting on my bookshelf for, but I finally got around to reading it last month. While it's definitely not my favorite story from the Morganville Vampires series, I still really did enjoy it, and I gave it three out of five stars. I especially enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about Shane's background, and I'll hopefully get to more books in this series sooner rather than later. 

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins:

This was another one that I hadn't heard the greatest things about going into it, and while I will say that it definitely wasn't as good as Rebel Belle was, it was still an action packed story, with Harper's signature quirky, trying to control the world ways, and I still gave it four out of five stars. I'm really excited to read the last book in the series. 

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrell:

I really enjoyed this heartwarming, emotion tale about two estranged sisters embarking on a once in a lifetime journey to complete the bucket list left by the heart donor of one of the sisters. It was sooo good, and I ended up rating it four out of five stars. You can read my full review here. 

My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris:

I'd been meaning to get to this last book in Rachel Harris' time traveling series for a long time, but I finally managed to in January. I thought it was a great conclusion to the series, and really gave the reader an extra glimpse into Cat and Lucas' relationship. I gave it four out of five stars, and you can read my full review here.

Then Came You by Becky Wade:

I was really pleasantly surprised to discover that the novella kicking off Becky's new Bradford Sisters series was written entirely in epistolary style, and this story was such a great start to the series. I ended up rating it four out of five stars, and you can read my full review here.

Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton:

It would probably be extremely embarrassing to admit just how long this particular novel had been sitting on my tbr shelf. It was actually one of the books from my very first Book Outlet order back in the day, and yet I seemed to keep picking other books over it whenever I was in the mood for a contemporary. Part of my 2018 reading goals is to start reading more of the books I myself own, and this month I finally got the chance to read this one. I honestly wish I'd read it sooner, as I had no idea what I was missing. I loved the premise of a local girl who lives year round in a tourist destination town, and ends up struggling to know how to handle a relationship with a guy only visiting for the summer. It's all about first love, summer, ice cream, friendship, and how to enjoy the moment when you can't change the future, and I honestly adored it. I gave it four out of five stars; and I thought the writing style definitely draws the reader into the beautiful story. The romance was exactly what I've come to expect from and look for in a ya contemporary, and I've actually already recommended this one to a couple of my friends.

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander:

Thanks so my amazing church library, I got the opportunity to finish The Timber Ridge Reflections trilogy this month. While my favorite of the series was definitely still Beyond This Moment, I really ended up loving Rachel and Rand's story as well. In particular, I found the backgrounds each of them had to overcome to find their way to each other to truly pull me into the story, and I ended up rating it four out of five stars. Tamera Alexander is fast becoming one of my all time favorite historical fiction authors. 

True To You by Becky Wade:

Is there honestly anything more exciting than one of your favorite authors starting a brand new series? In January, I finally got the chance to read the first book in Becky Wade's Bradford Sisters series, and it was everything I was hoping for and more. Nora is probably one of my favorite character's she's ever written, as her love of books, British television, and historical things really brought her character to life, and I truly felt connected to her story as I was reading it. John is definitely my number one book boyfriend I've read this year so far, and his gentle, caring spirit spoke volumes of his character. The romance was spot on, and had me glued to the page, and I'm starting to think that Becky Wade couldn't write a bad book if she tried. All in all, I gave this one five out of five stars, and I will definitely be anticipating the release of the next book this spring.

The Slope Rules by Melanie Hooyenga:

And if I had to pick my most disappointing read of last month, this one would definitely be it. Now, I didn't dislike this book. In fact, I really enjoyed parts of it, and I actually read the whole thing within a couple of hours. I thought Cally's relationship with her dad was refreshingly beautiful for a YA novel, the setting of the ski slopes was truly brought to life for the reader with Melanie's vivid descriptions, and honestly, I really even enjoyed a lot of the characters, and the serious issues that the author sheds light on throughout the story. 

However, this wasn't the swoon worthy, YA romance I'd been building up in my head. I've talked many, many times about how excited I was to read this book, and in fact, it was one of the books I'd most requested for Christmas. Honestly though, I was really really underwhelmed when I finally got the chance to read it, and most of that was because I felt the romance was just not what I was expecting. Cally and Blake get serious insanely fast after they get together, and it just didn't feel believable considering she was only fifteen. Their relationship massively felt like insta-love to me, and I wasn't expecting that. As well, I found a lot of their interactions seemed really juvenile, and it just didn't fit with the serious way they were feeling about each other. All in all, I really did enjoy both Cally and Blake as characters, but their romance was just not what I was expecting, and I felt certain things with Blake's back story, like as to why he lies to Cally in the first place and why he feels the need to ignore her for so long, really didn't add up, and I wasn't a huge fan. While I definitely still liked this story, and will most likely read more from this author in the future, this only ended up being a three star read for me, instead of the five star read I'd build up in my head. 

Shadowed by Dani Pettrey:

Imagine how excited I was to learn about a year ago that one of my all time favorite series had a prequel novella I never knew about. I adored Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series, and I couldn't wait to dive into the story about how the McKenna parents first met. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as I was thinking would it really be possible for Dani to bring her signature suspense type stories alive in such a short span of pages? However, I was definitely shown that yes she definitely could make a novella just as intriguing as her full length novels, as not only does the reader get an awesome, keep you glued to the page type of story, but they also get an in depth glimpse to the romance developing between Ben And Libby. Suffice to say I loved this one, and I gave it four out of five stars. I'm already excited for Dani Pettrey's next book release this spring, and this helped tide me over in the mean time. 

Life In The No Dating Zone by Patricia B Tighe:

I can honestly say that this novel that's been on my TBR list for literally forever definitely did not disappoint. This was exactly what I was looking for, and was the perfect YA contemporary, and I can't recommend it enough. I don't want to say too too much about it here as I'm planning on posting a full review of it on my blog shortly, but suffice to say it was a lovely, swoon worthy romance that got a rating of four out of five stars from me.

By Your Side by Kasie West:

And finally, my last read of January 2018 was actually a reread of a novel I'd read in 2017, and enjoyed. One of my favorite ways to de-stress lately after a long day of work is to have a bubble bath while listening to audiobooks, and I chose By Your Side by Kasie West as last month's read. I enjoyed this even more the second time around I think, and I was almost tempted to bump up my four star rating in 2017 to five stars but alas I ended up leaving it the way it was.

I'm so glad I got the opportunity to enjoy so many amazing titles last month, and I'm excited to see what new amazing titles I'll discover this month!

Thanks so much for reading guys :) I hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you all again on Monday.

This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The photos do not belong to me, and all rights to the respective owners. 


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