I’ve said it before, but January was one of those months that felt long and fast at the same time? I definitely appreciate its length in a weird way because I read so much this month!
My favorite books of the month are from a wide range of genres. I found myself going on a YA mini sprint this month between reading some books I picked myself and some student picks, but my two fave YAs were The Summer Broken Rules by K.L. Walther (I definitely get the hype) and Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover ( a new release so worth picking up!). One that surprised me was Cece Bell’s semi autobiographical memoir, El Deafo -loved it so much!
I found myself getting back into non-fiction this month as well, with one of my new all-time favorites being Dr.Edith Eva Eger’s The Choice, following her experiences during the Holocaust and how trauma impacted her life and then work as a psychologist. I also really enjoyed Katherine Center’s What You Wish For (a 2020 release that’s been on my TBR ever since) and my reread of Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, confirming that Finlay Donovan is one of my all time favorite series!
Summary (from the publisher): Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.
Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soul mates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.
Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company—and the world—that the app works. So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soul mate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago. Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
We all know that a new year brings new books, and I was so excited that one of the YA novels I was most looking forward in 2023 just came out this month, Ellen O’Clover’s Seven Percent of Ro Devereux. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux follows high school senior, Ro, whose senior project, an app of the same name as the game MASH, gets picked up by a tech company and her life completely transforms as the game gets downloaded by thousands and thousands of people each day. What also makes things crazier? The company wants Ro to be the face of MASH, and Ro gets matched with her former best friend, Miller. As the two become the face of the app and the media world’s darling couple, Ro questions if the company’s goals are the same as hers.
Seven Percent of Ro Devereux is perfect for fans of YA contemporaries from authors like Rachel Lynn Solomon and Marisa Kanter. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux was the type of book I didn’t want to put down. Most of you know that I’m a middle school English Language Arts teacher, and I was so excited that I started a new round of independent reading with my classes (sidenote that we’re currently reading contemporary fiction as we read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover) the week I was reading this book. I continued reading at work with my students! Ellen O’Clover’s writing style was engaging from the get-go. I loved her opening lines each chapter, hooking me instantly and the way each chapter ended, whether from purposeful/obvious cliffhanger or not, made me want to keep going.
I’ve had a really strong start to 2023 when it comes to my reading. At the time of writing this post, I’ve read 7 books so far in 2023! In true new year, not so me new fashion, I’m behind on sharing my thoughts on some of those books, so here’s some mini thoughts on some books I’ve read this year. I’m feeling a little inspired by 2022 rounds-ups from people like Abby of Write On With Miss G, who shared their thoughts on ALL the books they read in 1 sentence per book.
The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walthers – The Summer of Broken Rules is the kind of book I would save for a summer day, following a girl staying at her family’s Martha Vineyard’s estate for her cousin’s weekend & whose swept in a family-wide game of assassin. I totally understand the hype for this book for its cute romance, summer setting, and focus on family & loss, as the main character has recently lost her older sister. I’m looking forward to reading K.L.Walther’s debut and her 2023 release, What Happens After Midnight. My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins – I admit that I likely would’ve passed on Rachel Hawkins’s latest release if it hadn’t been picked as Bad on Paper’s January Book Club pick. This book has been hyped as The White Lotus meets Daisy Jones & the Six meets thriller. I see the comparisons based on the book’s setting (Italian villa) and premise, since the story alternates between two kind’ve best friends’ vacation and the villa’s past when a famous rockstar stayed there and someone was murdered, but wouldn’t necessarily recommend the book based on those comparisons alone. The book also has the addictive quality everyone has talked about (I gobbled it up in one afternoon spent sitting on the couch), but I don’t think it will be particularly memorable and there’s a plot hole or two that’s still bothering me (being as non-spoiler as possible, but if you’ve read it, the thing that was hidden and where it was found..). My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: A romance novel-obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You. Romance book connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men—all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead, thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.
Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.
The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily ever after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Since I adored Amy Lea’s debut, Set on You, in 2022, I couldn’t wait to reader her latest release, Exes and O’s. The next book in TheInfluencers companion series, Exes and O’s follows Crystal’s sister, Tara. As soon as we met Tara in Set on You (PSA that you don’t have to read Set on You before Exes and O’s other than of course being ‘spoiled’ about Crystal and her love interest), I knew that I wanted a book all about her, since she is a book influencer!
Getting back on her feet after her fiancé canceled their wedding, book influencer & nurse Tara is moving out of her sister’s place and sharing an apartment with her broody roommate & Boston firefighter, Trevor. With her hospital’s Valentine’s Day Gala coming up & wanting to have a romance like the ones she reads about all the time, Tara works through her list of exes, determined to have a happily ever after, second chance romance with one of them. Tara enlists Trevor to help her out with her ex dates and the two might just be finding more chemistry with one another than Tara is having with her exes…
Celebrating this first Friday of the year with a quick post featuring three books I’m currently borrowing & four books I currently have hold from the library!
The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama – Like the rest of the world, I really enjoyed Michelle Obama’s Becoming and couldn’t wait to read her follow-up book, The Light We Carry. There are still many stories about her life and life post- Becoming, but the book has more advice and strategies for dealing with uncertainty.
Five Survive by Holly Jackson – Again like nearly every reader ever, I loved Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series in 2022, so I’m looking forward to reading this YA crime thriller.
It’s time for one of my favorite posts each year: my annual anticipated book releases! It’s somewhat difficult to create this list so early in the year, given that the majority of announced books for 2023 so far are mostly coming out between January and June while we wait to hear about later summer and fall releases. Here’s to always hoping for a new Sarah J. Maas book!
Kicking off the new year on the blog by looking back once more at 2022 with my December Wrap Up. I read 15 books in December (thank you holiday break!) and finished the year with 182 books read (and yes, this includes some rereads and novellas but I haven’t had the opportunity yet (and honestly feeling to) look more into my reading stats). This intro is slowly turning into a year reflection, but I didn’t feel the need to really analyze my reading at the end of the year and just really want to focus on reading (good!!) books.
My favorite books of the month:
Anon. Pls by Deux Moi – This was such a fun binge-read and reminded me of the YA gossipy-like books I loved in my early YA days (and honestly still love). My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk – Many books over the past 2 years especially have taken on the time loop trope and The Christmas Wish is one of the best books with this plot point. It’s also one of my new favorite Christmas books and has the best sense of humor & witty dialogue. My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell – This short story collection was a Christmas gift that I devoured over the two days after the holiday. This book reminded me why I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing so much and made me once again crave another contemporary release from her. My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars