What I Read January 2020

by - February 02, 2020

January just didn't want to end, did it? It feels like we should already be at least three months into 2020, when in reality it's only been a few weeks. My reading was kind of all over the place this month. A few series I had been waiting on released their final books, but in all but one I just couldn't get pulled back into the story. I also forced myself to read something a little more grown-up this month, as I feel like I've kind of exhausted the contemporary romance genre for the time being. In fact, my current Kindle Unlimited list looks drastically different than it did just one month ago!

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury
Author: Marc Levy

Alice Pendelbury's life is turned on its ear when she lets her friends convince her to see a fortune teller at a carnival. The mysterious woman tells Alice that she's living two lives and must encounter six people before she finds the most important person in her life, in Turkey of all places. After confiding in her curmudgeonly neighbor, Mr. Daldry, Alice decides to take the fortune teller's advice, and Mr. Daldry insists on paying for the trip. On this journey, Alice learns that everything she thought she knew about herself and her family is a lie.

This was probably my favorite book from the month. I loved going along for the ride as Alice uncovered the past and discovered things about herself she'd forgotten as a child. Alice, as a character, was well-written and I loved her snark, especially when dealing with Daldry.

The Cardinal Bird & Cardinal Caged
Author: Mia Smantz

These books kept popping up in my Kindle recommendations, so I decided to give them a shot. Callie was kidnapped when she was 11 and trained to be a hacker. Then she was kidnapped again by a truly terrible organization. Somewhere along the way, she begins corresponding with the good guys, and believing she's about to be killed, gives them her kidnapper's location. Callie is rescued and taken in by a secret government organization called Delta, but her kidnapper wants her and the knowledge she holds dead.

What made this book interesting for me was watching this girl who's spent her entire teenage years as a captive forced to do illegal things try to find her way in this new reality. The unusual dynamics between the Delta teams provided enough comedic relief to balance out the heavy. I didn't realize this series was incomplete, so now I'm impatiently waiting for the next book.

The Secret Girl, The Ruthless Boys, & The Forever Crew
C.M. Stunich

When Carlisle's dad becomes the new headmaster of Adamson All-Boys Academy, Carlisle refuses to attend the school as a female. Instead, she dresses in baggy clothes, gets an androgynous haircut, and forgoes all makeup to become Chuck. Unfortunately, she gets on the bad side of the student council and pretty soon they figure out her secret. That's not the crux of the series, however. Someone is trying to kill Carlisle, and the crew think it has something to do with Ranger's older sister's death from when she attended the all-boy's school many years prior.

This wasn't the most involved story I've ever read, but I did want to know who was behind everything. All of the characters had surprising quirks (Ranger's is my favorite but I won't spoil it for you). I started this series last fall, but the final book wasn't released until mid-January, which is why I included all three books.

The Peer and the Puppet
B.B. Reid

Let me start by saying that the two main characters of this book have weird names. Four is a biker girl. She works in a garage and illegally street races the bikes she fixes. When one such race ends in her almost being killed by a gang, Four's mother moves the two of them in with her new boyfriend and his son, Ever. Ever doesn't want his father to get remarried and sets his sights on Four, getting her sent overseas to an all-girls reform school, but after a year Four returns with a plan for vengeance.

I really had to admire Four's resilience in the face of everything she goes through in life. Likewise, Ever's not quite as bad as he's been painted, but you'll have to read the book to find out why. There are two more books in this series, but I haven't decided if I'm going to read them yet.

To be read...
The Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler
Year One by Nora Roberts
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
The Whisper of the Moon Moth by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Agent of Enchantment by C.N. Crawford
The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shein
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
The Designer by Marius Gabriel
Harley Merlin and the First Ritual by Bella Forrest
The Rejected Writers' Book Club by Suzanne Kelman
The Night Crossing by Robert Masello
Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn

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