On my Bookshelf: My Reading Update, January 2018

Find out which books I read in January 2018, in the first On my Bookshelf update for the year.

A pile of books and a mug of coffee, ready for reading!
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The first month of 2018 is already at an end. And for the first time in 3 years, I’m not starting a new reading list challenge – click here to find out why.

But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been reading. OK, so I’ve read a little less frequently than in previous years. That’s because a lot of time has been taken up with the new site design (do you like it?) and also with relaunching my YouTube channel.

But I’ve still made time for some reading, and it’s still one of my favourite ways to wind down at the end of a busy day.

So let’s take a look at the books I’ve been reading in January 2018:

The One by John Marrs

Imagine a world where you can find your perfect match, just by taking a simple DNA test. That’s the world that John Marrs has created in his novel The One.

Scientists have discovered a gene that each person shares with their one true love, and of course, there’s money to be made out of it. In this near future novel, Marrs follows five different people as they meet their Match. And human nature being what it is, each of these five people has a secret that they are keeping from their soul mate.

Mark bought me this book for Christmas, he always gets me at least one new novel. And I have to admit that it really captured my interest from the very start. I always love a dystopia, and while this novel isn’t truly dystopic, the use of technology to subvert human behaviour is usually enough to get me reading.

But I found that not all of the five stories were as interesting as each other. The story about the serial killer who is matched with a police officer was really enthralling. The woman whose Match died before they could meet didn’t grip me as much.

And as none of the five stories were interrelated, I found that I was skimming the less interesting threads, to get to the chapters about the plots that were more interesting.

Although I enjoyed The One, I think that it would have been better if there had been fewer threads to the story. Perhaps if there had been 2 or 3 stories, or if there had been links between them, I might have found it more satisfying.

The blurb:

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

A fun concept, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me – 7/10

Buy the Book on Amazon*

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I don’t read Young Adult literature.

I’ve tried a few times, and just never got on with it. So now I tend just to pass over the genre as a whole. But I’ve mentioned a few times that I would like to read the Hunger Games trilogy, because I really enjoyed the films.

So I was really happy to unwrap a copy of the first book in the series on Christmas Day, thanks to my son, Ollie.

You probably already know what it’s about, but just in case, here’s a quick synopsis. The book is set in a dystopic near future, in what used to be called North America. Following a brutal civil war, the State maintain their power over the people through a horrendous reality TV show.

Each year, 12 boys and 12 girls are selected to enter The Hunger Games, and fight to the death. Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her 12 year old sister’s place, and accepts that death is almost inevitable. But she’s going to fight it every step of the way!

Usually, I prefer the original book to a film adaptation. In fact, I still haven’t watched the film of The Time Traveller’s Wife, because I just know that ‘their’ Henry won’t be like ‘my’ Henry.

But I really enjoyed the Hunger Games films, so I was intrigued to see if I would enjoy reading the book, after watching the story play out on screen?

The answer is a definite yes, The Hunger Games is a fantastic read. And although it is marketed as Young Adult fiction, I think it’s suitable for older readers as well. You get more of a sense of what Katniss is thinking from reading the book, and the description of the Games themselves is harrowing enough without being too gory.

I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games, and definitely plan to read the two remaining parts of the trilogy.

The blurb:

First in the ground-breaking HUNGER GAMES trilogy. Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

A very enjoyable read that’s definitely not just for Young Adults – 8/10

Buy the Book on Amazon*

So that’s two books read for January 2018. I’m not going to aim for a target this year, but I will be keeping track throughout the months.

Check back at the end of next month to see what I read in February!

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