January’s Reading Wrap-Up and Book of the Month

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

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

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?  


40 thoughts on “January’s Reading Wrap-Up and Book of the Month

  1. katharine owens says:

    GREAT review– TSPOLAFS is on my list now! I’ve also got Shipbreaker on my list, too– but I have to psyche myself up to read all these dystopians!!!! They get a little depressing. :0)

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, yeah. Ship Breaker is very bleak. I owned it for nearly a year before finally getting into the mood required to pick it up. It’s excellent though, when you’re ready to sink into dystopian depression. 🙂

  2. Sarah G. says:

    ME TOO. Loved TSPoLaFS so, so much. A friend just returned my ARC, so now I keep gazing upon it adoringly. Bets are on for when I break and go out to buy a hard copy. And I just bought BEFORE I DIE, so when I next feel like sobbing, it’s first on my list.

    • katyupperman says:

      BEFORE I DIE is fantastic. It’s definitely heartwrenching, but there are moments of joy in it as well, which is why I enjoyed it so much. Let me know what you think after you’ve read it!

  3. Sara Biren (@sbiren) says:

    I’m going to buy _The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight_ TODAY! It sounds like a perfect read for me.

    I’m sad to say that I only read one book this month (I started a new job, so I’m using that as my excuse) but it was a good one. I’ll be blogging about it this evening. 🙂

  4. Rebecca B says:

    “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.” Yes, yes, yes! I have to read this now.

  5. Jaime says:

    Ditto on THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I even typed out that whole title because that’s how much I love it 🙂

  6. Elodie says:

    The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – I´m with Jaime on this 😀 I loved it so much it needs to be spelled out entirely 🙂
    I have to add some of the other books you mention to my TBR, they sound great!

    • katyupperman says:

      TFIOS was wonderful. I was lucky enough to see John Green’s show last night, actually, so now I love the book a tiny bit more, if that’s possible. 🙂 Hope you get to THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY… it’s amazing!

  7. Lora Palmer says:

    I loved A MILLION SUNS! Oh, and I will have to add THE FAULT IN OUR STARS to my to-read list. I heard about it on the latest Pottercast when Melissa and her guest discussed it. Sounds incredible!

  8. Cindy Thomas says:

    GREAT choices, Katy! I absolutely adored THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT as well and CHASING BROOKLYN is one of my favorites, too. Actually, anything by Lisa Schroeder I love.

    • katyupperman says:

      I love Lisa Schroeder as well, Cindy. I’ve been to a few of her signings and it’s a joy to hear her talk about books and writing. She’s incredibly smart!

  9. Christa says:

    Oh, everyone is talking about the Statistical Probability…I am clearly going to have to go buy this one. My favorite read in January was EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE. So good, Katy.

  10. Carrie says:

    I haven’t heard of this book but it is going to have to go on my list of books to read. Sounds like a great choice

  11. sarah says:

    Oh man, EVERYONE is loving this book! I can’t wait to read it. I MUST! Also, as someone who is frequently hanging out at airports, the premise makes me smile.

    MAN. You read some awesome books this month!!

  12. karensandler says:

    My faves were a tie between THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and BRUISER. I also liked SHIP BREAKER, although I read that one a while ago. Thanks for some new recommendations.

  13. crystalschubert says:

    These are pretty much ALL on my TBR list already, so I’m stoked that you liked them all–especially STATISTICAL PROBABILITY. That one looks so adorable.

    And it’s interesting that you didn’t like TFIOS as much as LOOKING FOR ALASKA… I really loved ALASKA, so I hope TFIOS isn’t just over-hyped when I get around to reading it! Eep!

    • katyupperman says:

      No, I wouldn’t call TFIOS over-hyped. It really was excellent, but ALASKA will always hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps because it was my first John Green? Let me know what you think when you get around to TFIOS!

  14. Kitty says:

    They all look so good! I’ll probably have to read Ship Breaker because I love dystopian (depressing or not!). That last one… y’know with the really long title that I’m too lazy to type – that looks intriguing, too! I have promised myself, though, that my next book will be Across the Universe because I’ve been dying to read it for so long – and then will probably quickly be followed up by A Million Suns. Thanks for the reviews!

  15. Sophia Richardson says:

    Dang that’s a lot of comments!

    I love stories (okay, romances) where two people meet and connect over the course of a (usually crazy) 24hrs, so I might have to check out The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, even though I’m not a huge contemporary YA reader. Thanks for the rec!

    Best book I read? The Handmaid’s Tale: gorgeous writing, character-driven literary sci-fi (it can be done!), awesome premise, neat feminist themes.

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