January Book Wrap Up | Books I Read In January 2017!

Come check out what books I read in January 2017 and what I rated each of them!

Books Mentioned:
#1. The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller – 5 STARS: I LOVED this book! I have seen some negative reviews on this one, complaining that “not enough happens” or the “story is too slow”, but personnally I love a slow burning story with in-depth character development. When I read a story, I want it to feel believable. I want to really get to know the characters, and “follow them around” for a while before getting into the main plot. I dislike books that are all actions with little character development. This book is full of wonderful, funny, characters. There were many passages in this book that made me laugh out loud and I couldn’t resist reading some of them to my husband. The interaction between the Prince and Asher was great. The book ends with a huge cliffhanger; when the story is just reaching it’s climax. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered which makes me excited to continue on with book #2.

#2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – 5 STARS: I started reading this book around 6:30pm and finished it by 10pm the same night. For being a relatively short story, at least compared to most books I read, it sure packed quite a punch. The monster was so intriguing that I could not put the book down, and while not having as much character development as I typically prefer, I found myself totally invested in the main character. In addition, though I guessed the purpose of the monster a little more than half way in, I was still so wrapped up in the story and eager to see it through that I was not disappointed by the transparency of the plot. This story just has that special something. Overall, a fantastic read, a good tear jerker and a great message.

#3. The Awakened Mage by Karen Miller – 5 STARS: WHY IS IT OVER? This book was SO good. Even better than the first book! For anyone who thought that #1 wasn’t “exciting enough” this one definitely remedies that. The story picks up right after the cliffhanger ending from book #1 and is full of suspense and drama from the get go. I was on the edge of my seat or in tears for a large portion of the book, and finished it in 4 days. The writing was wonderful, the characters well developed, and the story full of surprises. 5 stars!

#4. Zamba The Greatest Lion That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer – 3 STARS: This is a lovely (true) story of Zamba, a lion rescued from Africa and raised with a compassionate approach to training, which was unheard of in the 1950s. The book contains a collections of mini-stories about Zamba’s adventures with his owner Ralph. For the most part it was a very light read, but it did have a few very sad, heartbreaking moments. I would have loved for the book to go into more detail about how specifically Zamba was trained, what his day to day life was like and more detail about the growth and operation of Ralph’s exotic animal ranch. Overall though, this was a very enjoyable, interesting read.

#5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas – 4 STARS: I must admit, the first 200 pages of this book felt like a chore to get through. The characters lacked depth, felt superficial, and I didn’t connect to the world. I knew nothing going into this book other than that it was getting great reviews, and didn’t realize until a hundred or so pages in that it was loosely based on a beauty and the beast retelling. Once I figured this out, a lot of the cheesy moments started to make more sense….and I started to enjoy it more. As the story progressed some of the questionable choices characters had made were explained and the characters started to feel more real. The last one hundred pages or so were very thrilling, and despite some very transparent plot points (ahhh…the answer to the riddle was obvious to me the moment I read it) I still enjoyed it quite a bit!

#6. We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson – 3 STARS: This story was okay. It was enjoyable enough to read, and had some good messages in it, but the ending was so anticlimactic. I went into it thinking there would be more focus on Henry’s alien abductions, but it turns out that wasn’t the main focus at all. The story follows the teenage struggles of a boy who is bullied in school, who has lost someone he loves and who has a complicated family life. I definitely felt for him and was rooting for him along the way, there just wasn’t as much resolution to Henry’s struggles as I was hoping for. If there was a final chapter set years from now so we could see how Henry’s life turned out the story would have had more closure.

#7. The Gift by Danielle Steel – 3 STARS: This was an easy read. The story was “cute” and heartwarming. The writing was very story driven; and by that I mean there was a lot of “she did this and he said that and they went here” but not as much descriptive details about the surroundings as many other books I read have. The story was enjoyable to read, and had some great lessons in it, but it wasn’t one of those stories that I couldn’t put down. I do wish there was a sequel, because I’m wondering if the main characters kept their promise to each other or not.

#8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – 4 STARS: What a wonderfully bizarre, magical story. This story is written in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s hard to explain, but it has a mysterious, not-so-straight-forward feel to it. The story was captivating and sometimes even confusing….but not in a bad way. The descriptions of the way the circus made the visitors feel reminds me of how I feel when I go to Disney World…it has that “Disney Magic” feeling to it! The only thing that I did not like about the story was how it jumped back in forth in time a lot, and I kept having to check the dates at the beginning of the chapter I had just finished to know where in the timeline I was for the next chapter. Overall, a wonderful read!

#9 Anne of Green Gables #1 by L.M Montgomery – 4 STARS: Anne of Green Gables is such a BEAUTIFULLY written story! The descriptions of the surroundings are so intricate and detailed and Anne as a (very chatty) character was so well developed that I could almost believe she was a real person. I do not see why so many people consider this a children’s book though (given how complex the writing is) so I looked it up and discovered that it wasn’t originally intended to be a children’s story. Don’t get me wrong, the content itself is very child friendly, but the beautiful writing makes this a great story for adults to read too! It wasn’t the most thrilling story I’ve read, and I was annoyed by how often Matthew said “Well now”, but overall I’m happy I read this!


Jennie from Habitat for Happiness

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