Oh my goodness, has January been good to me on the literary front! I can honestly say I enjoyed every. Single. Book. I read, which rarely happens. They were all winners, but of course I had a stand out favorite. Here’s the wrap-up:
Before I Die by Jenny Downham – Melancholy but lovely. Read my Bookanista recommendation HERE.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi – A post-apocolyptic/dystopian mash-up that left me feeling hot and dirty and bleak. That’s not to say Ship Breaker wasn’t good–it was excellent. I felt a deep connection with protagonist Nailer, which is unusual for me when it comes to books written in third person. And the world building… thorough, gloomy, enviable.
A Million Suns by Beth Revis – I very much enjoyed Across the Universe, the first book in this trilogy, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that AMS improved upon it. Loved it! Read my Bookanista recommendation HERE.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green – This one was equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. Hazel was absolutely darling. Her observations about life and love and death were so very YA and incredibly profound. Though TFIOS doesn’t take the place of Looking for Alaska as my favorite John Green novel, it’s still a definite recommend.
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally – A contemporary full of realistic high school relationships and snappy dialogue. It was fun to be immersed in Jordan’s world of football and cute boys. Plus, this book was set in one of my very favorite cities, Franklin, Tennessee!
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder – I love Lisa Schroeder’s writing, and I loved this book. It’s a study in nuance and rhythm, and it’s full of beautiful language, imagery, and symbolism. If you’re unaccustomed to novels written in verse, Chasing Brooklyn is a great place to start. I bet you’ll adore it as much as I do!
And my very favorite book of January:
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith…
From Goodreads – Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything? Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A. Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.
Title? Perfectly unique. Such a mouthful it can’t help but be intriguing.
Cover? Perfectly adorable. Love the color scheme. Love the font. Love the poses of the models. Love the slightly askew heart encircling them.
Characters? Perfectly delightful. I want to know Hadley and Oliver. I want to hang out with them and laugh with them and hear their stories about childhood. They’re true-to-life teens–flawed and funny and confused and endearing.
Romance? Perfectly real. Sure, it develops in a super short span of time (twenty-four hours!), but you will believe in it and you will root for it because it jumps off the page in its sincerity. And the kisses… so sweet.
Want to know the BIGGEST reason I love The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight? Why it won the title of January’s Book of the Month by a landslide? Easy. This book is contemporary and fairly simple in concept, but Jennifer E. Smith’s writing brings a magical quality to each and every page. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is about people and relationships and learning about one’s self. There are no explosions or evil villains or paranormal beasts, yet I was still at the edge of my seat, flipping page after page to find out what would happen next.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is honest and heartfelt and warm, authentic in its execution. It’s exactly the kind of book I aspire to write, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Tell me: What’s the BEST book you read in January?