Hey bookish friends! I hope you are all doing well and have had a good and productive first month of 2019. I myself, hit kind of a road block in January in regards to any and all things creative along with, well, anything that I set myself as a goal. January was just a very off month for me and I can’t really put my finger on why. While I do still feel a bit like a fish out of water in regards to most things, I think trying to push myself to do some of the things I wanted to accomplish last month, this month, would be a good idea and will hopefully get me out of this little rut I’m having. I know I said that I wanted to be more active and I had plans to post some more 2018 wrap up type blog posts, but I’ve decided to scrap all those and lessen the pressure on myself and just try posting here when I feel like it for now, no real schedule or anything like that—because right now, that apparently makes my brain freak out. So I hope that you enjoy my posts when I do get them up and if you are dying for more of me, I am active on my IG regularly (@ericasbookshelves) Without further ado, here is my January 2019 bookish wrap up!
Seven Tears Into the Sea by Terri Farley
This is the first book of the year that I pulled for my TBR project(I haven’t talked about that here but I do have a highlight for it on my IG) and this one was put in there by my wonderful friend Ginger from @pagesfromwonderland and it was a great one to start both my year and the TBR project with. At the age of 10 Gwen had an odd middle of the night encounter with a boy who seemed to come from the sea, whisper words into her ear and then disappear back into the sea and never return. Now, at 17, Gwen is returning to her childhood home to help her Grandma, but Gwen knows there’s another reason. She yearns for the sea and she needs to find out what happened to that dark eyed boy who seemed to come from the sea. This was a short book—it comes in at 279 pages—and it gave me feelings of nostalgia, even though I had never read it, or another one of the authors works, before. This is exactly the type of book I would have read when I was 14/15 and I found myself smiling along the entire time while reading this book. The writing was nothing groundbreaking and I could have used more character development, however, it was such a fun read. This book deals with the legends of selkies—mythical beings capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin—and that was a myth that I had never read anything about so that instantly made this book unique for me. I wish we had gotten more scenes with Jessie and Gwen, I feel like he was such a big part of the book, while barely being in it at the same time. I liked Gwen as a character, so I wish I got more backstory for her so I could get to know her better. She was a strong character and I loved her relationship with her Grandmother. Overall, this was a fun, extremely quick read that I think I would have absolutely adored if I read it 10 years ago.
The House of Hades(The Heroes of Olympus series 04) by Rick Riordan
Were you seriously expecting me to give a book in the PJO world anything other than 5 stars?! Because that probably won’t ever happen, I’m in love with this world and in love with everything I’ve read by Rick Riordan so far. I’m going to skip the summary here because not only is it the fourth book in the Heroes series, I also personally feel that you need to also read the Percy Jackson series to fully enjoy these, and well, that’s just too much for me to try to summarize for you without spoilers haha. I loved this book so much, it had been a year since I had read the previous book in the series—I have a bad habit of not picking up Riordan’s books because I don’t ever want to run out of books of his to read—so I did have to read a quick synopsis of what happened in The Mark of Athena, but as soon as I read that, everything came flooding back to me and I had to dive into this one. I loved how we got to spend more time with Nico in this book, he’s a character that always fascinated me but never got much page time, so I greatly appreciated getting a little more of him in this book. Plus, something I kind of always wondered was confirmed so that was a good feeling. My heart hurt with what Annabeth and Percy were going through, like seriously, they’ve been through enough and you throw that at them?! My heart can’t handle it. I also loved getting to see more of Leo because, man, that kid is hilarious, he’s one of my favourites in the series for sure. I know I’m being super vague about everything but that’s what happens when I have to keep things spoiler free but we’re at a book that’s so far into a series. I’ll end with just saying, if you haven’t read Riordan’s books, you need to. They will likely give you feelings of home, similar to the HP series, at least that’s what happened for me. Riordan is the king of writing lovable and funny characters. He’s also great at dusting exactly the right amount of humor and emotional scenes throughout the action sequences and quests.
Green River Running Red by Ann Rule
Or what I like to call, GRRR, because well, the actual title is a mouthful and GRRR is much more fun to say haha. This was a buddy read that I did with Ginger (@pagesfromwonderland) and I’m so glad she asked me to buddy read this with her because this was 1. a very interesting book about a crime I knew literally nothing about and 2. it cemented our friendship because she liked the same fucked up shit that I love, which honestly doesn’t happen much. This book follows the crimes of the Green River Killer, who went uncaught for 20 years and murdered at least 49 victims in the Seattle area. How crazy is that? (the answer is super fucking crazy). I like to think I’m pretty well versed in serial killers —please don’t leave and unfollow me, I’m not some fanatic who is in love with them, I just find them/why they do it/their psychology fascinating—however, like I said, this was a case I had never even heard of until she brought this book up to me. Since this is true crime, I don’t really consider anything spoilery so if, for whatever reason, you want to know nothing about this case, then skip to the next book because I’ll be going over some things(no graphic details, I promise). This case was fascinating, the killer focused almost solely on prostitutes, which is one of the reasons he got away with it for so long, it often took months before anyone reported them missing because of their lifestyle. He evaded law enforcement for 20 years even though he was literally right under their noses multiple times. He was so normal and plain that he blended right in and even attended Rule’s book signings and wrote the police tips. This book focuses alot on the victims which I both liked but also disliked a bit. I liked it because these victims deserve to have their stories told and their names deserve to be known just as much as the killers. However, I didn’t like it because sometimes there was just too much about them that was unnecessary information(and yes, I do feel bad saying that). I wish we got to hear a smidge more about Ridgeway’s childhood and teenage years because like I said, I find that fascinating. Overall, if you’re a true crime junkie like me, you need to read this book. This is my second book written by Ann Rule that I’ve read and while this one is not as good as The Stranger Beside Me, it is still super interesting—I honestly just don’t think any true crime book will top TSBM, it was so fascinating for so many different reasons.
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
This one is honestly more of a 1.75/5 than a 2/5 but I tend to round up if that’s the case. I read this for Katie(ChapterStackss) Year of Horror Book Club and I didn’t like it at all. You guys, I seriously have never almost DNFd a book as many times as this one. I was really expecting to like it, it has been on my TBR for what feels like ever and I was so excited when I saw it was the first book for her book club. I didn’t have a physical copy so I started trying to read it on ebook and I just couldn’t do it so I switched to audio book and that made it slightly better. In We Need to Talk About Kevin we read in the perpective of Eva, Kevin’s mother, who is writing letters to her estranged husband Franklin. Eva never wanted to be a mother and she certainly didn’t want to be a mother to a boy like Kevin. One who was so unlovable and ended up murdering nine people two days before his 16th birthday. It’s been two years and now Eva is reflecting on it all in letters to Franklin and is wondering what exactly was the reason for Kevin turning out the way he did, was it her fault or was he simple born like that? I didn’t like the writing right from the start, it was pretentious and overly wordy, with tangents that meant nothing to me or the story. We spent chapters on chapters just listening to why Eva didn’t want a kid or how much she adored Franklin and hated the United States, among other things. Eva as a character was unlikable, actually everyone in this entire story was completely unlikable and just a shitty human. Now, I don’t mind unlikable characters but when the story itself is also super dull, it’s just too much. We don’t actually get to the murder part until practically the end(it was a 16 hr audio book and it happened with only 1 hr left) I was hoping for more about Kevin and what he did, and that’s just not what I got. This book has been on so many “Most Disturbing Books” lists and quite frankly, I just don’t think it should be. Objectively, the author is a good enough writer, it was just such a boring and dull book and nothing much happened. Definitely don’t go into this story expecting anything close to fast paced because you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. The only interesting parts in this is when Kevin actually did something, but those events were few and far between and almost exclusively happened in the last 1/2-1/4 of the book, which in my opinion, is just too long to go with mostly filler.
Those are the books that I read in the month of January, stay tuned for my next post which will be a movie wrap up(spoiler, I had a pretty unimpressive movie month filled with meh movies.
What was your favourite book you read last month? Have you read any of these, if so, what did you think about them?