January 2017 Reads

Life According to Steph

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today on the blog it’s all about book love!  I am linking up with Jana and Steph’s monthly Show Us Your Books link up to share my January 2017 reads.  This month I read 12 books.  It seems like a lot, but several of them were middle grade fiction books.  I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts and adding to my goodreads list!  And speaking of goodreads, you can friend me if you’d like to see what I’m reading or what I’ve read.  So in order of least to most liked, here are my January reads:

2 Stars


Marvin and the Moths by Matthew Holm – This is a middle grade fiction book that I read and reviewed for Kiss the Book.  It involves a science experiment gone wrong and giant moths and a killer spider……yeah, not really my thing!

3 Stars


Autumn’s Wish by Bella Thorne – This is another book that I read and reviewed for a Kiss The Book review.  It’s the third book in a YA series that I was just “eh” about.  Not having read the first two books in the series wasn’t really a problem.  They give enough back-story about what happened in the previous books.  My issues with the series is that it is written about a group of high school kids.  However, it’s kids my daughter’s age (almost 11/middle school) who are fans of Bella Thorne from her Disney show Shake It Up.


Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo – Raymie starts taking baton lessons in hopes of winning the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition.  If she wins, her picture will be in the newspaper and she’s hoping that her father, who left town with a dental hygenist, will come back home.  She meets two other girls at the baton lessons who form an unlikely friendship.  My daughter read this book.  Since we no longer read together, like my son and I do, I like to at least occasionally read some of the same books as her.  This won the Goodreads Choice 2016 for middle grade and children’s books and has been nominated for other awards as well.  Having read some of DiCamillo’s other books, this book was just an okay read for me.

4 Stars
Home by Harlan Coben – Besides James Patterson, Coben is one of my go-to authors for quick, suspenseful reads. This is book number 11 in the Myron Bolitar series.  It had several unexpected twists.  While I prefer to read a series in order, I think that this book can be read as a stand-alone without feeling totally lost.


The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – I read this book with my son over the course of a couple of weeks.  Somehow I had missed ever reading this book on my own.  This is book #2 in the Chronicles of Narnia series, but I think the most popular?  Honestly I didn’t even realize there was a whole series and that I wasn’t reading the first book, until we had already started reading it.  This was a great fantasy read that we both enjoyed.  We then watched the movie which we both liked, even though it was a little different in parts.


Nowhere Girl by A.J. Paquette – I received this book and read and reviewed it on my blog for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.  It tells the story of Luchi, girl born in a prison in Thailand.  It’s the only life she’s ever known.  But when her mother passes away, she is released into the real world.  As Luchi embarks on her journey, she learns secrets about her mother’s past.  This was a really great book that I had never heard of and would never have read if I hadn’t participated in Multicultural Children’s Book Day.  Our children need access to more diverse books, including this one!


Only Ever You by Rebecca Drake –  3 year-old Sophia disappears from a playground for a few minutes, scaring her mother, Jill.  When she is found she has a tiny needle mark in her arm, which everyone convinces Jill is just a bug bite.  But then  Jill feels like she’s being watched and has someone been in her house?!  When Sophia is later taken from her own house, the blame is put on Jill and her husband, David.  Jill has to prove her innocence and find her daughter.  This was a suspenseful read that had me guessing until the end.


Perfect by Sara Shepard – I finished the third book in the Pretty Little Liar series.  Since I started reading the series, it looks like I’m reading about one book a month.  These books are filled with lots of high school drama.  They are fun, brain-candy reads for me.


Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick – I love Anna Kendrick!  In this book she talks about the beginning of her career, being a celebrity, romance and more.  It’s all told in her humorous, tell it like it is, down-to-earth style.  As I was reading, I could imagine her voice telling the stories.  If you’re a fan of hers, I recommend this book!


Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein –  Isaiah, known as mouse #97 was raised in a laboratory along with his other 96 siblings.  In an escape attempt, he is the only one who makes it out of the laboratory.  He eventually meets Mikayla, another mouse who introduces him to her family.  Can he convince them to help save his family?  This is Patterson’s newest middle grade fiction book.  My son is fan of Patterson’s other middle grade fiction series.  He borrowed this book from the library and loved it so much that he insisted that I HAD to read it.  I thought this was a cute read and had good lessons on accepting differences.


You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero – I’m going to be honest, this book isn’t for everyone.  But if you like self-help, inspiring books, then I recommend this one.  Sincero is a success coach who tells it like it is.  One of her biggest messages repeated throughout the book is “love yourself.”  This was a timely read for the new year as I try to figure my -ish out!

5 Stars


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I have seen this book reviewed on so many Show Us Your Books blog posts that I finally had to read it.  I’m sorry I waited so long!  If you want a book that gives you all the feels, this is one of them.  I won’t give a summary since I think almost everyone in the link up has already read it, but I loved this tear jerker of a read!



  1. yay glad you loved one true loves! you are a badass & anna kendrick’s book are on my list, and only ever you sounds interesting as well. i had no idea bella thorne had written books lol

    • I’ve already read TJR’s After I Do, but I’m definitely going to read her other books sooner than later after loving One True Loves so much. Curious to see what you think about You Are a Badass…..definitely not for everyone!

  2. All hail TJR!!!! I love her so much.

    Coben is on my list of authors I want to read and then just don’t get around to. No real reason other than I’m drowning in a sea of my TBR.

  3. I’m glad that you’re still liking the PLL books! They really were a good and light read to help pass the time, and I felt like they actually did have a plot line, unlike the TV show sometimes. One True Loves has been on my list for forever as well, and I hope that I read it soon and like it as much as you did!

  4. Definitely checking out Nowhere Girl. Trying to push myself to read more diversely, and while my daughter is still an infant I really want to think ahead about encouraging diverse reading.

  5. For some stupid and strange reason, my library does not carry any Taylor Jenkins Reid. Okay, that’s not quite true – they have one book and one that doesn’t interest me. GRRRRR…. I read Home last month and it was great fun to see Win and Myron again. Adding Only Ever You to my TBR; it sounds like my kind of book!

  6. One True Loves was so so so so good! One of my top picks from last year hands down. I didn’t realize that The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe was a second book in the series? It is the only one I read and I knew there were more but never realized the order.

  7. Scrappy Little Nobody sounds good, Anna K seems like a rare down-to-earth celebrity you could be friends with.
    I’m in “not for everyone” camp with You are a Badass.
    So neat that you read with your son – I’m hoping to continue to read with my kids once they can read for themselves too.

    • If you like Kendrick then I recommend her book. I am trying to enjoy the reading time that I have with my son since I know it won’t last. My daughter’s almost 11 and she stopped reading with me awhile ago!

  8. Oh, I NEED to read Anna Kendrick’s memoir. I love her so much. I need to read something by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I hear great things! Oh, Nowhere Girl sounds amazing!!! I hadn’t heard of it.


    • Yes, if you are a Kendrick’s fan I highly recommend reading her memoir. It’s not for everyone, but I think fans of her will love it like I did! And yes, to Taylor Jenkins Reid! So good!

  9. I’m one of the few that hasn’t read Taylor Jenkins Reid yet. Like you, I feel like I must do it based on what I’ve seen others say.
    Also, I’ve yet to read Harlan Coben. I have no doubt that I will enjoy his books. I just feel overwhelmed when an author has such an extensive amount of books. I don’t know what to grab. Do I start at the beginning of the series? Do I just jump in the midst of it?

    • I think you’ll enjoy Taylor Jenkins Reid! Coben’s stand-alones are good and there are a lot of them. I usually read a series in order, but just realized that I have not with his Myron Bolitar series…..so, they obviously don’t have to be read in order! Oops!

  10. I cant believe I havent read One True Love yet – I keep hearing amazing things about it.
    I have the whole Narnia series… & have never read one book yet. I need to make that my summer reading goal.

  11. I’ve only read one other Coben book (the name is escaping me right now), but I loved it and definitely need to read more by him. I read the first three PLL books last year and thought they were so fun!

  12. I looooved One True Loves, and I’m glad you did too! Have you read her other books? I can’t remember, sorry!! I loved Narnia as a kid and can’t wait to read them with my kids sometime. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is definitely a favourite but the whole series is great. I’m eagerly anticipating Anna Kendrick’s book from the library on audio! I can’t wait.

  13. Ooh, I’ve been wanting to read Scrappy Little Nobody! I think I’m #14 on the waiting list, though.

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