As you know, faithful readers, I've adopted a new reading regime for 2017. Each month I'll have a set theme for my reading – this will hopefully help me write reviews, catch up on what I keep putting off and just generally get my life more organised!! Let us pray...
Now, January was my Middle Grade month. I read 4 books from the 9-12 fiction zone, and they were all rather lovely. One thing I picked up on was how fantastical and magical a Middle Grade will be – every character has some kind of power in them, even if it's just a natural ability to read or run or write...everything sounds more exciting and sparkly!
Okay, time now for a quick run through of my January reads.
'Maybe a Fox', by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee.
My MG month got off to a tricky start – because guys, this book was sad. I knew it would be, to an extent, but wow. A death, a disappearance, a broken family, a new birth – of a fox – and a cold brutal winter. I was so immersed from beginning to end. The fox narrative was trippy but brilliant, so different to anything I'd read in a very long time. Overall, a great book that I admittedly only bought because of the beautiful cover art...oops *slaps self on wrist*.
'The It-Girl', by Katy Birchall.
This starter to the magnificent series by Katy was the perfect introduction to Anna and her ridiculous life. It reminded me of my time being an awkward teen feeling like I was being needlessly thrust into the spotlight now and again – nowhere near as much as she was though, I mean whoa. This book genuinely made me giggle as I read. And trust me, these days, not many books can do that!
'The White Tower', by Cathryn Constable.
I was sent this book by my faves at Chicken House; I knew it would be good from the off because, well, Chicken House. Their fiction game is so strong right now, guys. And I've probably said it before (maybe in my rave review of 'The Girl of Ink & Stars' by Kiran Millwood Hargrave), but I love their little 'have a try, read this page' on the back of each paperback. Such a good idea.
Right so, the book. Excellently unique story, tricky subject matter (the protagonist's friend had recently passed away when the book began) which caused a ton of sad feels but with happy realisations creeping in and dissipating them almost completely in the end.
Had some gorgeous one-off lines as well - see my fave below!
I also cheated a little in January and read (in one sitting over a coffee) 'Brave Enough: A Mini Instruction Manual for the Soul', by Cheryl Strayed. That was what it was; a good little dose of self care and mindfulness, paired perfectly with a hot and bitter brew.
Oh okay fine, I also cheated by reading 'Lying About Last Summer', by Sue Wallman. This was because I attended a Scholastic bloggers event on the 21st and realised my dire need to read my friend Sue's work. It felt like the right time! And y'know, I loved it. Even as a person who doesn't always swoon for thrillers! I properly got into it, appreciated each clever turn and tragic reality...mmm, damn good end to the month, that was.
Now we are looking ahead to February 2017! The month's reading theme will be revealed soon. In the meantime, let's see who won my Middle Grade giveaway...
In January, I'll be reading 9-12 fiction.— Grace Latter (@_gracelatter) January 2, 2017
Win a book I've read this month - your choice which!
RT & follow to enter. UK only. Ends 29/1. 📚 pic.twitter.com/2cJRdpqyWj
...that's right, after a month of it running and over 600 retweets, we have a winner. Picked with Tweetdraw, the winner of this bookish giveaway is...
@amyjanealice! Congrats, my dear. I will DM you so you can reply with your address!
Thanks everyone who took part in that month-long giveaway, it was so fun to run. I'll be doing another for the entirety of February, when I announce that month's theme. Stay tuned!