January ‘20 Haul

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the blog! January is such a strange month, but I feel like it’s been a good start to the year. I’m ready to start work training next month, and I’m feeling better physically and mentally. I haven’t been about on the blog much though, and I do apologise for being busy with other things! This being said, I’ve had time to pick some books up, so without further ado, let’s begin this haul, and fair warning, there may be spoilers.

The first book I was sent this month was from my best friend, and that was The Secret History by Donna Tartt, which is an adult thriller. This follows a group of students at an elite New England college who discover a new way of thinking and living away from the others around them. Under the influence of their classics professor, the students will go beyond the boundaries of normal mortality to change their lives forever… We had been talking on the phone, this book was mentioned, and the next thing I knew, it dropped on my doormat. I’m definitely interested in this, and I’m looking forward to getting around to reading this!

the secret history

I borrowed three books this month from a friend, and they were The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies and The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, which are all adult fantasy. These are the first three books in the Gentleman Bastard series, which follows a group of people, who undertake daring heists, and get themselves tangled up in fantastical and terrifying acts… I’ve heard good things about these, and I think it was really kind of my friend to lend me them. This is the first book, and I just love the cover!

the lies of locke lamora

I also went to the library this month and borrowed Renegades by Marissa Meyer, which is a YA science fiction fantasy. This is the first book in the Renegades series, which follows opposing superhero teams. The Renegades are seen as the good guys, though villainous Anarchist Nova has a reason to hate them. Nova infiltrates the Renegade team, but it isn’t long before she crosses paths with Adrian – a Renegade who believes in justice, and her… I’ve seen a lot of hype around this series, so I’m definitely interested to see if it lives up to those comments!


From the library, I also borrowed The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, which is a YA contemporary. This follows Harlem teenager Xiomara, who lets her fists and fierceness do the talking. Her words are confined to a notebook full of poetry under her bed, until she attends a slam poetry evening. When the world wants her to be quiet, Xiomara will refuse to stay silent… I believe this deals with faith, feminism, and race. I’m aware that this is told in verse, but I hope I will get through it, as it’s been hyped up!

the poet x

I also borrowed With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, which is a YA contemporary. This follows high school senior, Emoni, who juggles schoolwork with being a teen mother. Emoni’s escape is cooking, although she knows she’ll never be able to afford the trip to Spain with her new culinary arts class. Emoni is going to juggle her dreams with the rules she has for her life – and the rules everyone else has for her… I’ve heard very good things about this, and there’s something very appealing about this plot!

with the fire on high

The first book I bought this month was a book I read in 2018, and that is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, which is an adult contemporary. This follows Eleanor, who has a simple life. She lives life by timetabled events with repetition – the same clothes for work, the same lunch deal, same vodka at the weekend. An act of kindness leaves Eleanor changed, where she must navigate a world that everyone lives in and takes for granted, whilst finding the courage to face a hidden darkness… It’s an interesting novel, and I’ve been wanting to read this again. I spotted this on the charity stall at the supermarket, and I couldn’t resist, especially because it was only 20p!

eleanor oliphant

I then bought Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, which is an adult thriller. This follows nine strangers at the health and wellness resort, Tranquillum House. They are miles away from home, without cars and phones, with the resort director looking over them. Tranquillum House has a beautiful facade, but underneath there is a dark agenda… I’m curious to see what this is going to be like, as I had mixed feelings about her other novel, Big Little Lies. This was also on the supermarket charity stall, and was also 20p!

nine perfect strangers

The next book I bought was in a Waterstones Buy One, Get One Half Price deal and that was A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, which is a YA fantasy. This is the second book in the Cursebreakers series, which is a retelling of the fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Following on from the events of the previous book, Prince Rhen still faces trouble, although his terrible curse is broken. There are rumours that his love Harper is not a true princess, his best friend and soldier Grey has fled the castle, and a rival heir is on the horizon… I loved the first book which I got in my first Fairyloot box all those months ago. I can’t wait to dive back into this world again, especially as this is one of my most anticipated books of the year. At the time of purchase, this was £7.99.

a heart so fierce and broken

The next book I bought in the Waterstones deal was One Of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus, which is a YA contemporary thriller. This is the second book in the One Of Us Is Lying series, which follows students at Bayview High School. A year after the events of One Of Us Is Lying, someone has started a terrifying game of Truth or Dare. Reveal your darkest secrets, or accept the danger… I enjoyed the first book in the series, and I was really surprised to learn that this would be a sequel. I feel like there’s going to be a lot of drama and action, but will be a good read. At the time of purchase, this was £3.39.

one of us is next

The first Kindle eBook I bought was D.O.G.S by M. A. Bennett, which is a YA contemporary thriller. This is the second book in the S.T.A.G.S series, which follows student Greer at a prestigious boarding school. After the events of the previous book, Greer is trying to concentrate on her exams and schoolwork. For her drama exam, she comes across a play considered so dangerous that other copies were burnt – The Isle of Dogs. As the students begin to rehearse, events become dark and strange, leading Greer back to the horrifying hall and its secrets… This is another book where I really enjoyed the first book in the series, and was surprised to see a sequel. I want to know the secrets so I imagine I’ll be reading this soon. At the time of purchase, this was 99p.


The next eBook I bought was Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo, which is a YA fantasy. This is the first book in the Into the Crooked Place duology, which follows Tavia, a busker in the streets of Creije. Creije is full of deadly people, and lots of dreamers. Tavia is ready to put her crimes behind her, along with her criminal friends, until she makes a crucial mistake – she delivers a parcel of dark magic to someone she cares about, sparking conflict the likes nobody has seen before. Tavia and her friends must come together to save their home, and their world, before it’s too late, but can they trust anybody? Can they trust each other? This is a book I’ve been seeing on Amazon for a little while, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try! At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

into the crooked place

The next eBook I bought was A Throne of Swans by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr, which is a YA fantasy. This the first book in the A Throne of Swans duology, which follows a kingdom where nobles are able to transform into birds that represent their bloodline. Seventeen year old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys after her father’s death, however she has been unable to turn into a swan since witnessing the death of her mother – torn apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the War of the Raptors. Aderyn is now at the mercy of her uncle and his court. Driven by revenge, Aderyn must venture to the Citadel to find out about the attack that changed her life and and fight for her home… I believe this is based on the ballet, Swan Lake, which is based on German and Russian folktales. I haven’t seen many of these retellings, so I’m curious to see how it will be handled. At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

a throne of swans

I also picked up the eBook of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, which is a YA fantasy. This follows January, a ward of Mr Locke in a sprawling mansion full of peculiar treasures. One day, she stumbles across a strange book that carries the scent of other worlds, and is full of adventure, love, secret doors, and of course, danger. Each page reveals more and January discovers a story entwined with her own… I’ve seen a little about this, but the cover is what’s drawn me in the most. It’s gorgeous and I love it a lot! At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

ten thousand doors of jan

And the final eBook I bought was The Queen’s Resistance by Rebecca Ross, which is a YA fantasy. This is the second book in The Queen’s Rising series, which follows Brienna, a young girl who becomes embroiled in a plot that will change and shape the kingdom. Following on from the events of the previous book, Brienna has become settled in her new life. Things are never as simple as that though, as she must prove her loyalty and ensure that the queen’s coronation goes off without a hitch… I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed the first book, so I’m hopeful I’m going to enjoy this too. At the time of purchase, this was £2.99.

queen's resistance

So that’s it for the first haul of 2020! Have you read any of these books? What books did you get in January?

– ReadWriteZoe.

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