In January 2021, I joined a reading challenge called JanuarYA, organized by my friend and fellow book club member. The purpose of the challenge is to read more YA (Young Adult) novels that you would normally read. So I thought it would be a good occasion to start monthly posts about What I’m Reading! Without further ado, here is a look at all the books I read in January.
It’s Not Summer Without You – Jenny Hann
This sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty was a great continuation of Belly’s love life. Through the story, you get to know the characters on a deeper level and you learn how they navigating challenging experiences, including the grieving process. I especially liked the character development and their struggle with growing up and learning hard lessons. I’m looking forward to reading the third and final book of this trilogy.
Ensemble – Tania Boulet
J’ai trouvé ce livre sur les étagères de la bibliothèque publique en ville pendant que j’empruntait d’autres titres de la même auteure. Il n’y avait aucune mention que cette histoire était une continuité d’un autre roman, donc je l’ai lu sans avoir premièrement lu Des milliers d’étincelles.
Malgré cela, l’histoire se suivait bien. J’étais un peu déçue de sa prévisibilité, quoique le déroulement gardait bien mon attention. Je l’ai presque lu en entier pendant une soirée.
PS: I Still Love You – Jenny Hann
This is the sequel to the well-known To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I didn’t think I would like this series because of all the hype – it had set the bar quite high in terms of expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised and I was hooked after the first book. I loved the main character, Lara Jean, and wanted to know more about where life would lead her.
The characters of this series are very relatable, and I like that we got to know them a bit better in this second book. Lara Jean certainly grows as a person, but other characters do too, which impacts Lara Jean’s life in more ways than one.
Sur les pas de Julie – Tania Boulet
Ce livre est dit d’être la continuation des romans Envers et contre tous, et En plein coeur. Cependant, nul part ne précisait un changement dans la narration, ce qui m’a pris par surprise en commençant Sur les pas de Julie. J’aurais peut-être du m’y attendre avec le titre du livre, mais je dois avouer que j’étais déçue du changement. Le point de vue de Clara était plus complexe que celui de Julie. Quand Julie raconte un peu son histoire dans ce troisième roman de la série, on se sent un peu déconnecté. Elle semblait aussi avoir complètement changé depuis les deux derniers romans, donc c’était plus difficile de comprendre son personnage et ses décisions.
Je trouvais aussi qu’il y avait un manque de détails dans l’histoire. Souvent, le temps saute d’une journée à l’autre, d’une semaine à l’autre, et on n’a aucune information de ce qui s’est passé. Je préfères des romans descriptifs donc j’ai moins aimé celui-ci que les autres. Toutefois, j’aime tous les autres personnages et j’ai hâte de savoir où la vie les amènera dans le prochain roman.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Hann
I couldn’t wait to finish the trilogy about Lara Jean. And although I rated them all the same star rating, I liked this last one the best. Lara Jean grew a lot throughout this book and she learned how to make difficult decisions while keeping her happiness and well-being in mind. She faced new struggles with so many changes happening in her life. Despite all this, she learns and she grows from those experiences, and she blossoms into herself wonderfully.
Sur la pointe des pieds – Tania Boulet
La finale de la série de Clara et Julie se termine avec des nouveaux défis – surtout pour Julie! Elle se trouve au bord du précipice avec un choix difficile quant à sa vie, sa carrière, et ses relations (amis et amoureux y compris). Julie ressent beaucoup d’émotions, qui auparavant lui étaient inconnues.
Le tout se termine sur un bon pied (hahah!) et j’ai mieux aimé ce dernier roman que son précédent.
Saving For School – Gail Vaz-Oxlade
This was certainly a different read for me. I’ve lived frugally for a long time, especially when I was in university. Reading this really brought me back. It gave me insight on all the things I had done right, and all the things I could have done different to save more money.
Although we don’t have kids yet, I took lots of notes from this insightful book. You can learn the basics about money saving tips at home, how to open an RESP, and how to give your child (or yourself) the best chance to get through post-secondary education with minimal debt.
Crossed – Ally Condie
Crossed by Ally Condie is the sequel to Matched, where Cassia’s story begins. In this dystopian series, The Society pretty much dictates how everyone lives their lives, including their Match (life partner). In the first book, Cassia becomes matched with her best friend, but a glitch in the computer system also shows her a second face – a second person she knows well. The love triangle continues in this second book, although it does lean very strongly toward one person more than the other.
Cassia must face a completely new reality in this second book. There are some surprising turn of events, including each character’s purpose and values. We get to meet new characters and see how the main character grow and change with their new acquaintances, newly acquired knowledge, and of course, new experiences.
The only part I didn’t like as much was that this story (and the following book) alternate from one character to the other every chapter. I feel like this interrupts the flow of the story, but I loved it so much that it didn’t deter me from reading on.
Reached – Ally Condie
My first 5 star rating of the year was Reached, the final book of the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. This third book was definitely more action-packed than the previous book, which made it easy to get lost in the story. Throughout this book, we hear from 3 different perspectives: from Cassia, Ky, and Xander. Although it is sometimes confusing because of the first person narrative, it certainly gave a more in-depth look at each of the characters’ experiences.
I found that the story progressed very well and that the world building was more detailed, therefor easier to picture. I highly recommend this series if you like Dystopian YA novels, and perhaps not read the online reviews as there are some people who absolutely hated the series.
Personally, I prefer to read books without reading any reviews so as not to taint my perception and my expectations.
We’ll Always Have Summer – Jenny Hann
We’ll Always Have Summer was my final read in January. It’s also the final book of The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy. Unfortunately, I felt that it fell short and did not meet my expectations. The major plot point happens at the beginning of the book, and hardly anything happens after that. I was disappointed by the slow progression of the story. On top of that, the story just seemed filled with infantile decisions that took place, despite character development in the previous books. Only one character seem to have changed throughout We’ll Always Have Summer, with no explanation as to why.
We also get to read different perspectives in this book, but I did not feel like it was relevant or helpful to the story telling.
All in all, it was a great reading month. I don’t remember the last time I read so many books in one month. I hope you enjoyed this post about What I Read in January and that you’ll be interested in following along. You can subscribe to the blog on the right hand side of the website on a computer, or by scrolling down on a phone or tablet.
To take a look at other books I plan to read this year, you can click here to see my Chapters Wish List.
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