Book Review

Reading Challenge Update – January

At the start of the year, I set myself the goal of completing not one but two reading challenges in 2022. I will be cheating just a smidge and using one book for both challenges where there is crossover, but I am hoping that following the prompts will help me blitz through my ever increasing TBR pile! Here is a round up of how the first month has gone. Full details of both challenges can be found at the bottom of the post.

FIVE FEET APART – RACHEL LIPPINCOTT

This was a book that I could use for a prompt on each challenge, covering “a book already on my bookshelf” and “a book featuring a health condition.”

Five Feet Apart is a book that I had owned for quite a while without reading it. I think I was trying to prepare myself mentally for it being a very emotional read. Although it wasn’t quite the full on heartbreaker I was expecting, it was still a very powerful book and one that I learnt a lot from.

ALL FOR YOU – LOUISE JENSEN

I chose this book for  the “a book from an author I already know” prompt.

I am a huge Louise Jensen fan, and will read anything she writes without even looking at the blurb. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book and take part in the blog tour organised by HQ. I have also had the privilege of meeting Louise and she is just the loveliest person. You can read my review HERE.

ONLY A MONSTER – VANESSA LEN

This was my choice for the prompt “a book published this year.” I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley. It is released on 17th February, but in the meantime, you can read my review HERE.

KEEPING THE DEAD – TESS GERRITSEN

I chose this book for my “book that’s a guilty pleasure,” although in all honesty, I don’t feel remotely guilty about loving the Rizzoli & Isles series. Police procedurals and crime thrillers are my easy reads when I need a breather from all the fantasy books I read, and I particularly love a series because I can dive in to characters that are already familiar.

I think was my favourite of the Rizzoli & Isles books so far, partly because it reminded me of the the museum where I did my work experience at school. We even had a mummy and a stuffed bear.

RHYTHM OF MY SOUL – ELIN DYER

I chose little beauty as my “book that’s a YA novel.” To be honest, I read a lot of YA, so there will be a number of books over the course of the year that would fit this brief, but I am a fan of the author, so this was my first choice. You can read my review HERE.

SILENT SCREAM – ANGELA MARSONS

This was my choice for “a book that’s a murder mystery.” This is another challenge prompt that I knew I would have no problem fulfilling. I opted to read this book for the prompt because I had been hearing so many great things about Angela Marsons Kim Stone series, and had been slowly collecting the books, but hadn’t actually read any of them. The book totally lived up to the hype and I am so glad to have discovered a new series to immerse myself in.

FROM BAGHDAD WITH LOVE – JAY KOPELMAN

This was another double challenge winner for me, matching the briefs of “a book that is set in the continent of Asia” and “a book set in a foreign country.”

I loved reading about how one little puppy won the hearts of so many people, and the efforts they went to so that he could make his escape from Iraq, but I found the writing style hard to fully engage with. It was quite matter of fact, with little emotion, although I can see that this would most likely be the author’s way of processing his experiences in Iraq.

THE LEVIATHAN – ROSIE ANDREWS

The Leviathan was my choice for “a book that has a green cover,” and isn’t it a stunner!. This is another book that I receive an advanced copy of via NetGalley. It is released on 3rd Febraury, and you can read my review HERE.

I am really pleased with how the first month of my challenge has gone, with two books ticked off the Fiction Cafe Book Club challenge, and eight ticked off the second challenge.

OTHER BOOKS READ THIS MONTH:

I did manage to squeeze in some non-challenge books this month, a mix of books read for blog tours, as part of an author’s advanced reader team, and some read purely for relaxation.

The Unravelling – Polly Crosby (read my review HERE)

Dusky Dahlia – Lucy Holden (read my review HERE)

Blue Lilies – Lucy Holden (review coming soon)

The Coffin Dancer – Jeffrey Deaver

The Killing Place – Tess Gerritsen

Night Shade – Lucy Holden (review coming soon)

Livingston Girls – Briana Morgan

The Empty Chair – Jeffrey Deaver

These were great books, all of which I heartily recommend you checking out.

As promised, here are the full details of the challenges in case you fancy joining in. The first of these comes courtesy of the fantastic Fiction Cafe Book Club on Facebook and the second via a friend, so I am not too sure of its origins – if anyone knows, please shout so I can credit the author. I will be back with another update of my progress at the end of February.

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