Books I Read January 2021

by - Monday, February 08, 2021

January was a really subpar month of reading for me. I felt like I was in a huge rut similar to what I experienced early on in the pandemic when I just couldn't sit down and focus on reading. I still managed to read a bit, but other than one or two of these books, I really struggled to get through most of them. 

January 2021 books

Four Stars

ValentineValentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw Elizabeth Wetmore speak at a virtual book festival back in the summer and had been looking forward to reading her novel since then. This book opens with the brutal rape of a 14-year-old girl and follows what happens from the time of the crime to the court case. This book is told from the points of view of many different characters, and I found it really interesting how little the 14-year-old got a voice in the book compared to the other characters in the town. This was a good, but sad read.

The Wife UpstairsThe Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was the twisty thriller I needed to help pull me out of my January reading rut. It follows Jane, who has recently moved to Birmingham, Alabama, ready to start over. Jane meets the very wealthy Eddie when she's walking dogs in the neighborhood. Eddie's wife and her best friend have recently gone missing after a boating trip, but he and Jane strike up a romance anyway. Jane has her own secrets to hide too and things heat up quickly.

Three Stars

No Filter: The Inside Story of InstagramNo Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I flew through the first part of this book, but then really struggled to get through the second half. Not sure why, since I found the overall history of Instagram to be an interesting topic. It could have just been that a lot was going on in the world in January and I had a hard time focusing, which is likely impacting my rating.

Mr. NobodyMr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as Something in the Water. I picked it up thinking a fun thriller would jolt me out of my reading funk, but this book didn't really do that for me. It was an interesting premises: a man wakes up with no memory, and the doctor sent in to treat him begins to realize not everything quite adds up. I found parts of it slow, until the action really picked up toward the end.

Two Stars

My Dark VanessaMy Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book got such great reviews and I had been so excited to read it, but it was painfully slow. It looks at what happens when a student and a teacher have an affair, and years later the girl still doesn't see that there was anything wrong with the relationship -- even as other women are coming forward, claiming the teacher was a predator. This book has potential, and parts of it were good, but it just moved way too slowly.

Cobble HillCobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got all excited to read a book by the author of the Gossip Girl series. While I never read those books, I really enjoyed the show and was expecting something equally great. This book was not that. It wasn't bad, it was just sort of weird. It's set in Brooklyn and follows a bunch of different characters and their kids trying to prove themselves worthy of living in Cobble Hill. But the characters were written to such extremes that none of them were super likeable and that made this book kind of meh for me.

View all my reviews

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