Best In Books | January 2017


Best in Books is a monthly feature created by BookTuber Hope Ortego
A playlist of her Best In Books videos can be found HERE.
_________________________________________________

Welcome to my Best in Books for January! Best in Books was created by my friend Hope and she was kind enough to let me join in on her feature (because she's awesome that way). Her BookTube channel is linked above and I hope you'll check her out. Now on to all the best bookishness in January...
Violet from Long Way Home
Violet was a character that grew on me more and more as the book progressed. She was a young woman not afraid to speak her mind or do what she felt needed to be done. She found herself in such a difficult position, forced to make impossible decisions - choosing between the safety of her family or the betrayal of those who she once considered family. Her strength, her loyalty, her courage, and her absolute refusal to be pushed aside or ignored because of her gender, made Violet my favorite female character.

Kellen from All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
If you've read All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Kellen may seem like an odd choice for my favorite male character. He's not the typical male main character. He's not a hero - not in the usual sense. Kellen is involved in a drug ring. He's served time. He can be violent. But he is also the only person who truly saw Wavy for who she was. Who accepted her, cared for her, loved her. From the outside Kellen may not have seemed like a complex character, but there was so much more to him than met the eye. 

Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Despite The was my first book from Keelend and Ward and it was a lot of fun. Super sexy, a tad angsty, and plenty of humor. Here's one of my favorite funny lines:

"My boyfriend had been f*cked over by Barbie and Ken. And I was more like the Bratz doll rebound.” 

Rome by Jay Crownover

Without giving away any spoilers, Rome had a turn of events at about the 80% mark that I did *not* see coming. It had me so surprised, and Cora's reaction was so emotional, that I actually got a little teary-eyed and choked up. Not what I expect from series that I listen to mainly just for fun.


Nash 

When it comes to the "bad boys" of the Marked Men series, Nash is my favorite. Yes he's tattooed and pierced and can be a total badass, but he's also laid back, patient, kind and a total sweetheart. His story still had drama and angst and he was dealing with a lot, but it was never due to his bad decisions or a bad attitude. While his love interest, Saint, sometimes drove me crazy, I was always behind Nash completely and cheering this bad boy on.

Long Way Home

Knowing the history between Chevy and Violet and what they were going though, this quote spoke volumes and really hurt my heart.

“I thought loving people was supposed to be easy,” he says quietly. "But it's the hardest thing I've ever done. I wish I knew how to love you right."

"I've told you how to love me. You aren't willing to love me how I need to be loved." 
it rode in on

For the first time ever, I found it impossible to choose just one Best Book of the Month. Because I read two in January that were so amazing and so unforgettable, each in their own way, that I couldn't pick one over the other.

From Sand and Ash

From Sand and Ash was the first book I read this year. It also happened to be my first 5 star book of the year. I was completely captivated by the historical fiction novel and was totally invested in the story of Eva, a young Jewish woman, and Angelo, a Catholic priest. Set in Italy during WW II, From Sand and Ash shines a light on an aspect of WW II resistance that I hadn't known before: the involvement of the Catholic church in hiding and safeguarding Jews during the Nazi occupation. It was also a love story - one that endured hardship and separation with no sight of a happy ending on the horizon. Without a doubt, this will be one of my favorites of the year. 

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Two 5 star reads in one month is unheard of for me, but it happened. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a unique story and one that I can admit probably isn't for everyone. Even so, I was astounded by the story of Wavy and Kellen. It made me sad, it made me uncomfortable, it made me think. And it was unforgettable. It's been a couple weeks since I read it and I still haven't managed to write a review, even though I can't stop thinking about it. It somehow managed to be sad and disturbing and uplifting all at once and is another than will surely be a favorite of 2017.
______________________________________________________

Now it's your turn: What was the best book you read in January? 

18 comments

  1. I am hoping to read From Ashe and Ash next month. I can't wait. I LOVED All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. SO difficult but kind of amazing. I have to try Stuck Up Suit. I have found Vi Keeland to be a fun quick read. Hope you have a great February!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll love From Sand and Ash, Grace. Reading it made me even more excited to pick up Bright Side.

      Delete
  2. Fun idea to do every month! Love the best of quote. That can be very true sometimes.

    -Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lauren. I skipped December's Best In Books since I was already doing several 'best of the year' posts but I really love putting together my Best In Books every month.

      Delete
  3. I love your "best of" segment! All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is on my tbr so it's good to know it's a refreshing and awesome read!.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lauren! The credit for Best In Books really goes to my friend Hope who created it for her BookTube channel. She was nice enough to let me borrow it because she's good like that. :) I hope you'll like All the Ugly and Wonderful Things when you get to it. It'd different, for sure, and makes you think, but it sure made an impression on me.

      Delete
  4. Great reading month! I had a pretty good one two. I loved Timekeeper, The Hate U Give, If I Was Your Girl, and Blackhearts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you had a good reading month, too! I've heard excellent things about The Hate U Give and If I Was Your Girl.

      Delete
  5. I feel like everyone and their mother read and loved All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, going to have to go to the library and pick it up XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's funny is that All the Ugly and Wonderful Things came out last August but I only started noticing it in December. It was a different kind of story and difficult at times but I'm so glad I read it.

      Delete
  6. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is on my list. I hope I get to it at some point. My favourite book in January was the first two books in the Red Rising Trilogy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll enjoy All the Ugly and Wonderful Things whenever you get to it. I've heard awesome things about the Red Rising trilogy but haven't read it myself. My husband read the trilogy last year and really enjoyed it.

      Delete
  7. I wasn't at all surprised to see Katie McGarry on your list and Violet sounds like my kind of heroine. I was thrilled to see Rome and Nash on the list as I have those set aside to read soon. :) Your TWO favorite books - both 5-star reads - sound incredible. From Sand and Ash seems to have affected you the way The Nightingale affected me and so you know I'll be reading it...hopefully my library has a copy. ;) All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is also going on my tbr not only because of your description and that it was a 5-star read but also because of what you said about Kellen. I'm intrigued. Looks like January was a pretty good reading month, Tanya!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. January really was a good reading month for me, Brandee. Katie McGarry just never fails. The Marked Men series by Crownover is fun. They fall into the "good not great" category for me. But I enjoy listening to them on my daily commute. From Sand and Ash definitely gave me similar feels to The Nightingale. (Although there was a point right near the end of The Nightingale that I full on ugly sobbed and I never did that in FSaS. LOL)But it was also powerful and moving and dealt with atrocities that were heartbreaking. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things... just, wow. Like I mentioned, it's not going to be a book for everyone but I was just captivated. I would read and find myself sympathizing and then question my own feelings... it was incredible. I could see it being a great book club pick because of the discussion potential.

      Delete
  8. What was the best book you read in January? Tough one. I ended the year on a crappy book rut. So of course out of the 9 books I read and listened to in January, I gave them all 4-5 stars! Ugh. I'm gonna have to say that Retreat by Jay Crownover (the first book I read this year) was my favorite. - Lauren @ Obsessive Book Nerd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hearing that Retreat was your favorite! I've been reading (on audio) the Marked Men series and, while it's not necessarily my favorite series ever, I have really enjoyed most of the books. Enough that I definitely want to read more by Crownover. Good to know that Retreat is so good!

      Delete
  9. I've been hearing a lot about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things---I definitely need to read that one!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely a thought-provoking read!

      Delete