wrap up

January 2018 Wrap-Up (Part Two)

Hihihi lovely people, and welcome to Part Two of my January Wrap Up!

The second half of my reading month was even better than the first, with three 5 star books, and two 4 star books, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Without further ado, here’s what I thought of them…


Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect by Fearne Cotton

fearnecot

Rating: 5 stars

A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad I took her advice. This is one of the best self-help books I’ve read because it comes from a place of total honesty. The way Fearne openly talks about her battle with depression struck a chord with me because her descriptions of how it felt for her strongly resemble my own experiences with depression. This book is by no means a cure for depression, or a substitute for seeking medical guidance, but the suggestions it gives for helping you to feel more in control and balanced, and helping to boost your mood, were really useful for me. It doesn’t cover loads of new ground, but the down-to-earth way Fearne discusses each concept meant that the advice finally sank in for me in a way it hasn’t with other self-help books I’ve read. This book meant a lot to me, and I plan to pick up my own copy of this one (having borrowed this from the library) because I want to work through all of the activities at the end of each chapter in my own time.


Margot and Me by Juno Dawson

margotandme

Rating: 5 stars

I picked this book up on a whim because I was looking for comforting books, and this one was described as witty and heartwarming on the cover. The story unfolds in two timelines, both of which are historical fiction, as the ‘present day’ storyline is actually set in 1998. All of the 90s references made me so nostalgic! The ‘past’ timeline is set during World War II and told in the format of a diary (written by our protagonist Fliss’s grandmother, Margot). In the ‘present day’, Fliss and her mother (who is recovering from Chemotherapy) move from London to Wales to live with Margot. Fliss has a difficult relationship with Margot, and doesn’t want to be there one bit, but when she discovers Margot’s wartime diary in the attic, she becomes fascinated by her grandmother’s experiences as an evacuee, even though she knows she really shouldn’t be reading them. This book was emotional, heartbreakingly sad in places, but also heartwarming. I loved the family dynamics explored in this book, and the gradually thawing relationship between Margot and Fliss was done so well. I loved both Margot and Fliss as characters. Fliss’s narration was very witty, and I was constantly laughing at her sarcastic comments. Margot was an unexpected badass, full of determination to stand up for her beliefs. This book told a wonderful story, and it’s my favourite I’ve read so far this year.


Magpie Murders by Anthony Horrowitz

magpiemurders

Rating: 5 stars

I borrowed this book from the library after hearing one of my favourite booktubers, Charley from Duvet Day Devours, talking about how much she loved it. This book is the ultimate murder mystery, because it’s a murder mystery WITHIN a murder mystery. One strand of the book follows an editor called Susan who is reading the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest book in his ‘Atticus Pund’ detective series. The other strand is the manuscript of said book. This book is all about art imitating life, and when something happens to the author of the book Susan is editing, she turns detective, like Atticus Pund himself, to try and piece together what happened to Alan, sure that the answers lie somewhere in his manuscript. I loved the structure of this book, and everything was so cleverly plotted down to the tiniest detail. I didn’t guess whodunnit in either murder case, but I was satisfied with the outcome in each storyline. All of the characters were so distinctive in this novel, and all were shady and secretive enough to convince me that any of them could be capable of murder. I had so much fun trying to work it all out, and I was amazed at how complex the whole puzzle ended up being.  I also loved all of the literary references to detective fiction, most notably Agatha Christie’s work. Atticus Pund reminded me a lot of Poirot, and if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie you will eat this up!


One by Sarah Crossan

onesarahcrossan

Rating: 4 stars

After enjoying Moonrise by Sarah Crossan, I picked up another of her novels, One, from my library. This story, about conjoined twins Grace and Tippi, is written in verse and beautifully told. It was a sad book but also very touching. Reading about conjoined twins made me think about the world from a completely unique perspective, and put me in touch with my own ignorance, particularly with regards to the questions I had about the logistics of sharing a body (which are exactly the kind of ignorant questions the girls get asked all the time). The most profound thing I took away from this book is that pity can be unkind. I loved that Grace and Tippi were happy together, that they could think of far worse things than being conjoined, and that they didn’t want others to pity them. I appreciated how much research and thought had gone into this novel, and how every detail gave me pause of thought (for example, what it’s like when one twin wants to do something, like trying a cigarette, and the other doesn’t want to.) I loved both characters, the dynamics between them, and I loved the way this book explored the fact that although they Grace and Tippi are separate people, they are also one, and cannot imagine a life separated from one another. Though this book didn’t hit me quite as hard as Moonrise did, it was still a very powerful read.


The Note by Zoe Folbigg

thenote

Rating: 4 stars

I borrowed this book from my mum, because I was in the mood for something light and fluffy, and she had just read and enjoyed this one. I loved it too! This was a sweet and uplifting story about how small acts of bravery can change the course of your life. The story is all about a woman named Maya, who falls for a man named James who gets her commuter train to London every morning. It’s based on the true story of how the author met her husband, whom she introduced herself to by handing him a note saying she thought he looked lovely and asking him out for a drink. Although the writing style wasn’t my favourite (third person present tense takes some getting used to), I loved the concept of this book. Rather than being a book focusing on a relationship, this book is more about two characters gradually becoming the people they are supposed to be before the timing is right for them to end up together. There were some secondary characters in this book whom it was quite fun to hate, and it made me root for Maya and James even more strongly. Although I loved the ending (FEELS), I do sort of wish that the characters had had more shared page time overall. Nevertheless, I found this book very heartwarming, and it made me smile, which is exactly what I needed.


So that’s the end of my January Wrap Up! Have you read any of these books? What was your favourite book you read this month? I’d love to hear from you!

7 thoughts on “January 2018 Wrap-Up (Part Two)”

  1. Oh gosh you read so many good books last month! Love the sound of Margot and Me. I’ve also had Magpie Murders on my radar a while- I like the sound of the references to Christie. I think the message that “pity can be unkind” in One is a powerful one and makes me want to pick it up. Awesome wrap up!

    1. Thank you! Yes Margot and Me was wonderful! And you should definitely check out Magpie Murders if you’re an Agatha Christie fan. It was one of the best murder mysteries I’ve read in a while! And yes One had some very powerful messages and was very well written – highly recommend!

  2. I’ve never read a book about conjoined twins… I’ll be adding One to the TBR now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I love reading books that open my eyes to others’ life experiences, and it sounds like One does!

    1. You’re welcome! 🙂 It was definitely an eye opening read, and I think you would enjoy it! I also highly recommend Sarah Crossan’s other book, Moonrise, which is about a boy whose brother is on death row. Both books are very powerful, emotional, and beautifully written!

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