Goodbye January & hello February!
I managed to read 12 books in January, all of which were on my January TBR. It’s been a few months since I’ve actually followed my TBR, so it feels good to kick off 2020 on a positive note.
Let’s see what I read this month…
My highlight of January 2020 was that we went on a family vacation! Want to guess where we went?!?
My family visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. This was our first time visiting Universal Studios, and it definitely lived up to our expectations!
I’ve been dying to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter since it opened back in 2010, BUT the timing was never right. Basically we were waiting until our kids were older, mainly our youngest, to fully be able to appreciate the trip.
As you can see, I had a marvelous time 🙂
My favorite Harry Potter ride was Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Ride. Since this ride only opened this past summer, it is obviously a popular ride. We really lucked out and only waited about an hour, and it was definitely worth the wait! I also really loved riding the Hogwarts Express. My inner 10-year-old heart was bursting!
Can we also talk about the highly underrated butterbeer ice cream?! I tried the cold drink and the ice cream, but definitely preferred it in ice cream form.
» The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White
I struggled with my rating for this one. On one hand, I really enjoyed the retelling aspect of this story, but on the other hand there I definitely had a few issues with this book. Despite my various issues, I still enjoyed the story.
» The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan
My mother-in-law actually recommended this book for my son. After reading it for myself, I agree that this book would definitely appeal to boys. There are some wonderful themes like hard work, courage, friendship, etc. I would also consider this a wonderful gateway book into fantasy.
» Compass South (Four Points #1) by Hope Larson
I selected this graphic novel for my middle school book club. This was a lovely historic adventure story about a set of twins. Compass South will appeal to both boys & girls and was filled with gangs, schemes, pirates, travels, etc.
» Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Opposite of Always is a YA fantasy that reads more like a contemporary. There was a lot that I enjoyed about this story, themes included friendship, chronic illness, grief, second chances, etc. I also liked the focus on maintaining friendships despite being in a new romantic relationship.
» The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Montague Siblings #1.5) by Mackenzi Lee
It’s no secret that The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a total guilty pleasure of mine. I adored seeing Monty & Percy again in this short novella.
» Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in American by Ibi Zoboi
Black Enough was a game changer for me. I don’t tend to read anthologies because I find that I tend to struggle to connect to short stories, but I loved this collection! What an excellent book to incorporate during #BlackHistoryMonth in February!
» Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
How to find the words for this book… This book was a super unique take on post apocalyptic fiction. During the first half of this book, I honestly thought it was going to be a 5-star read. Hollow Kingdom is probably one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while. I loved the humor, the characters, and the uniqueness of the story, however things fell apart for me in the second half of the book.
» Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan
I LOVED the overall feminist theme in Watch Us Rise. I think this book addresses some hot button issues like sexism, sexual harassment, racism, body shaming, etc. in a very thought provoking way. While I appreciated what the authors were trying to do here, this book was a bit over the top. I also don’t think the voices in this dual perspective novel were distinct enough. In fact, I had a hard time remembering which character’s perspective I was reading.
» We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia
This book should have been the second book in the series. Had we started earlier in Daniela’s life with her early years & life at the Media School for Girls, I think I would have connected more with this story & the characters.
» Girls Like Us by Randi Pink
Wow! A book about teen pregnancy set in the 70s? Yes! I flew through this book. I was very invested in this story & the characters.
» How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul & Maria Russo
This was a wonderful book with realistic & practical tips and tricks on how to instill the love for reading in children.
» The Lightning Thief(Percy Jackson and the Olypians #1) by Rick Riordan
I can definitely see why this series is so beloved by so many. Riordan wrote a compelling adventure story filled with Mythology and humor that will appeal to even reluctant readers. I also adored that this features a main character with learning disabilities! Being a mother to a son that has a visual processing disorder and ADHD, I appreciate the representation. Why not 5 stars? I felt parts of the book didn’t have great flow and we jumped around a bit.
Goodreads Challenge Update: 12 books in 2020
Which books did you read this month?
Have you read any of the books I read or hauled this month? If so, what did you think?
Did you buy any books? If so, which ones?
Comment below & let me know 🙂