Thursday 28 March 2019

My 2019 Reading Challenge - Update #1

After completely falling in love with reading again last year, I went into 2019 with a goal in mind. With the speed I'd been getting through books before Christmas, I decided that reading 30 books this year should be doable. Well I've currently just finished book number 21 so I thought now was an appropriate time for a little update. My plan is to do maybe 3 or 4 updates throughout the year going through the books I've read so far and my brief thoughts and then at the end of 2019, put together my top 10. So as we have over 20 books to get through, let's get started!
stack of books in front of musical programs - the tattooist of Auschwitz, the last piece of my heart, the guilty wife, tell me a secret, everything everything

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first book of 2019 and honestly, I'm finding it hard to beat. A harrowing yet beautiful story of how true love can overcome anything. You can find my full review here if you want to know more.

Obsession by Amanda Robson - ⭐⭐⭐

This book was just strange. I was so intrigued by the synopsis of two couples kind of being obsessed with each other and literally one question setting everything off but it was extreme. Very uncomfortable at times and just a bit too far-fetched.

The Man Who Didn't Call by Rosie Walsh - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

After a bit of a slow start, I ended up really enjoying this book. Loved the change in narrative throughout and it had a brilliant twist that I didn't see coming. 

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really didn't expect to enjoy a memoir as much as I did. At first I did find it hard to connect with Dolly but I grew to love her as she told her stories of love, loss and friendship. I think it's a real girl power book.

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I couldn't really give this anything other than 5 stars because it had such an affect on me. Not necessarily in a good way, it's very heavy on mental health issues towards the end which there was no warning about and it really got in my head, I actually found it genuinely scary at times. It was just nothing like I expected so for that, it deserves a lot of praise.
stack of books in front of musical programs - the tattooist of Auschwitz, the man who didn't call, everything I know about love

Johnny Be Good, Baby Be Mine & Johnny's Girl by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I adore Paige Toon's books so I was really excited to finally read Johnny Be Good. Like any book of Paige's it was full of ups and downs, heartache and romance, just everything you want in a love story. The sequel Baby Be Mine was just as enjoyable too. I don't necessarily think the third follow up Johnny's Girl was needed but that's just my opinion, still a really lovely series of books!

In A Cottage In A Wood by Cass Green - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had been wanting to read this for such a long time. It was full of tension, very dark and genuinely creepy throughout but I do think the ending let it down a little. It just felt rushed and like the author realised she needed to wrap it up. One more chapter and it would have been 5 stars.

Our House by Louise Candlish - ⭐⭐⭐

A great premise and it started off so well. I loved how it was told by both characters involved and that the main character Fi's side was told through a podcast, a really interesting idea and nothing like I've read before. It went on for too long though and the ending wasn't as shocking as it leads you to believe. 

Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I think I've got a new author to add my collection of favourites, one's that I'll keep going back to. I just didn't want this to end! I love that it was focused on friendships (or more how difficult they can be at times) and didn't have a romantic element. It was lighthearted and had lots of humour throughout but also full of drama. Just a brilliant read.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a book that's extremely hard to review because what can you say about such a horrifying event? It's a tough story but told beautifully by John Boyne. I do think I prefer the film though.
stack of books in front of pink fluffy pillow and eiffel tower ornament in the background. Johnny Be Good, Baby Be Mine, Tell Me A Secret, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

The Last Piece Of My Heart by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another stunning read from Paige Toon. How does she get it so right every single time? So believable, full of feeling and I adored the characters, especially Bridget. I think it's my new favourite from Paige.

The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don't know why but I went into this not expecting much. I ended up being pleasantly surprised though. In fact it's one of the best thrillers I've read this year. I was gripped from the start and it was so unpredictable which I always like. A very frustrating ending though!

Anna by Amanda Prowse - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Really interesting to have a love story told by both characters in the form of two separate books. I found Anna's story really easy to get into and loved finding out more about her past.

Theo by Amanda Prowse - ⭐⭐⭐

Because I liked Anna, I expected reading Theo's side to be just as enjoyable but for some reason it wasn't. Something was just missing throughout. Lots of time jumps with very little explanation so it was just confusing at times.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I just adored this book. I actually watched the film first which is definitely a new fave of mine and the book was just as beautiful. I loved how it was told in short and snappy chapters, in fact I got through it all in one sitting. You can find out more of my thoughts on this in my review.
flatlay - The last piece of my heart, Anna, Theo, The Guilty wife - all laid down, Everything Everything on top in the middle

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen - ⭐⭐⭐

This would have been 4 stars but the ending was just one twist too far. I love thrillers that keep you guessing and have the shock factor which this did for the majority but the ending actually annoyed me. It just ended up all over the place and I felt the main character was totally ruined by end.

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Not quite as good as 'Tell Me A Secret' but still one of the better books I've read so far this year. Each chapter just flowed seamlessly into the next and I always wanted to keep going with it. I loved the main character Amy too and I liked that it was very focused on betrayal and deceit this time.

The Confession by Jo Spain - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

So much is revealed straight away with this so I was really intrigued with where it could go next, as it's quite a long book. I did find it a little boring at times and I found myself skimming parts of it but it did have it's positives too. I enjoyed the 3 person narrative and how they all had a different view on the murder.

The Sister by Louise Jensen - ⭐⭐⭐

After feeling quite disappointed by 'The Surrogate' I wanted to give another book of Louise's a chance but after reading The Sister, I've come to the conclusion, this author just isn't for me. It had a good premise and really could have been brilliant but again, just too many twists. It was over complicated and I just couldn't work out what was going on most of the time.
stack of books in front of musical programs with eiffel tower ornament on top. The Surrogate, Faking Friends, The Confession, The Sister
So that's all of the books I've read so far this year! 21 out of my challenge of 30. There has been a real mix over the last few months so I'm excited to write another update later in the year and see what else has impressed me. I'd love to know if you've read any of these books too and what your thoughts are!

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When 2 become 5 said...

I love this round up. There are a few there that I’m interested in reading now. Thank you for sharing x

Debbie said...

What a great collection of books to read, I've wrote some down to try and hunt out later on x

Tiffany Timms said...

No problem! Xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Yay! Hope you enjoy xx

jennyinneverland said...

30 books is definitely doable! You've done amazingly so far! I can't even remember what I set my Goodreads challenge to this year. I found last year I was getting slower at reading and not making it a priority. I still love it deeply but it's not the first thing on my agenda anymore. So I haven't read an awful lot this year so far but have read some great books which is what counts I suppose!


Joy said...

Isn't The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas just heartbreaking?

Boxnip said...

Wow, I haven't read that many in the last 10 years, let alone in the time you've read them! :D I really need to read more this year. :)

Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip

Tiffany Timms said...

Yeah definitely, it’s hard to just keep going sometimes and I’m currently having a bit of a slump with it. I’ve read so many in such a short space of time, I’ve not currently got that urge to keep picking up a book if that makes sense, I think I’ve spoiled myself with so many great ones too so I’m finding it hard to find others which live upto them! xx

Tiffany Timms said...

It’s so sad, I think it was told really well though x

Tiffany Timms said...

I don’t normally get through this many 🤣I just seemed to have a constant urge to read at the start of the year xx

rewuest said...

I have bought The Tattooist... and The Boy in the Striped PJs. I love historical fiction! I've also read 21 books so far, hopefully we can keep it up!

Rachel ||

Sophie said...

My goal for this year was also 30 and I'm at something pitiful like 7 right now. Going to check a few of these out and add them to my list! x


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