January 2019 Reading List & Reviews

Sharing the books I read in January! Be sure to check out all of my reading lists!January 2019 reading list life with Emily book reviewsIt’s the end of the month, so it’s time for another reading list and reviews post! This is the first one of 2019 and I promise it won’t disappoint! Since my last reading list I have gotten a fair share of reading in! Between a tropical vacation at the beginning of the year with my family and what has felt like endless rainy days I was able to start the year off strong with ten books in January – 8 physical books and two e-books! A few notable favorites are Where the Crawdads SingMy Favorite Half-Night Stand and Lilac Girls. The three are different in every way possible, but really great books in their own way!

January 2019 Reading List and Reviews

VERITY BY COLLEEN HOOVER | Lowen’s life is in shambles—her mom has recently passed, she’s not able to make ends meet, and she’s on the brink of eviction if her career as an author doesn’t take a turn soon. Lowen receives an opportunity of a lifetime and she’s whisked off to the Vermont Countryside to fulfill her obligation as a ghostwriter for popular author, Verity Crawford. Lowen certainly has her work cut out for her as she researches and plans the last three novels in Crawford’s popular series. But as she continues her research she stumbles upon something that let’s her in on who Verity really is, or so she thinks. review: When I first heard that Colleen Hoover was coming out with a thriller I was a bit perplexed. I’ve always associated Colleen Hoover with the heart-wrenching love stories, but I knew I should never have doubted her after reading the first chapter of Verity. This book was “unputdownable,” a term meaning I devoured the book in one sitting and simply couldn’t bear to put it down! Verity is anxiety-inducing and disturbing and unlike any thriller I can recall reading in the past year. This book was incredible and one I certainly won’t forget, especially with how it ended. Colleen Hoover, you’ve done it once again! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️

MY FAVORITE HALF-NIGHT STAND BY CHRISTINA LAUREN | Millie Morris is a female expert professor with a record for failed serial dating experiences. Luckily, she has her four best guy friends to lean on – so much so that the five of them will forever be sitting at the “single’s table”. So when they make a pact to find dates for the upcoming university gala, Millie finds herself signing up for an online dating service with little potential for a decent match. When Millie creates a second, secret profile in an attempt to let down her hair, she finds herself in a love triangle with herself, Reid, and… herself. Will Millie be able to come clean with Reid, or will she risk losing a friend and a lover all at once? review: Christina Lauren are a dynamic duo when it comes to writing a great book, so picking up their latest book was a no-brainer! I loved that Millie was not a typical girly-girl and that she was closed off and guarded when it came to dating, like most women. The characters were lovable and relatable and I didn’t want the story to end! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING BY DELIA OWENS | For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. Abandoned at the age of ten by the last of her family members, Kya has grown up on the marsh by herself. As the years go on, Kya grows up in loneliness, she learns life lessons from the marsh, the sea, and the many living creatures that surround her. Those who have come to know her, love her. But the locals who have shunned her all these years have other things to say about her. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. review: I was hesitant to start this book because there was a lot of hype surrounding it. After hearing time and time again how great the book was I finally decided to dive into it. I was immediately captivated by both the writing and the story of Kya Clark. The author’s writing is informative and eloquent – I really felt like I learned a lot about my home state in the process. I can’t recommend this book enough to anyone and everyone. I did a mix of audiobook via Audible and physical book and both were equally great. The narrator captures the accents and voices of each character perfectly. rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️where the crawdads sing reviewALL THESE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS BY ELIZABETH KLEHFOTH | Charlie Calloway is the wealthy daughter of Allistair Calloway, a highly regarded real estate mogul in NYC. When Charlie was 7 years old her mother, Grace, left abruptly and never returned. Charlie is now attending the prestigious Knollwood Prep where a secret society, “the A’s,” have tagged her to become an initiate into this elite group. The A’s initiation process is grueling, embarrassing, and they will stop at nothing if you don’t complete your task. As if that wasn’t enough, secrets of the past are coming to light and causing Charlie to wonder if her mom really did run off, or if something much worse is at play. review: This is a slow-building book is perfect for anyone that liked Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars. As the story unfolds, you’re left questioning what actually happened to Grace, Charlie’s mother, and if everything is actually as it seems… or if secrets are still lurking in the background. This wasn’t as fast paced as I thought it would be, but still enjoyed it nonetheless. The last quarter of the book was incredible and the ending was such a good one! rating: 3.5 out of 5 ⭐️

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL BY GREEN HENDRICKS & SARAH PEEKANEN | When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly. review: I thoroughly enjoyed The Wife Between Us, so I was excited to get my hands on their newest book, An Anonymous Girl. From the first chapter I was hooked and kept quickly turning each page to see how the story would unfold. I had a few ideas on what the twist was, but each one proved to be wrong. I loved the suspense and the way they story was told. This author duo are so great together and I’m already crossing my fingers for another book from them. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

NO EXIT BY TAYLOR ADAMS | Darby sets out from Denver, in hopes of making it to Utah to see her dying mother before she heads into surgery. With roadways quickly becoming impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm in a mountainside rest stop. With road closures, no cellphone reception, and dwindling battery life there is literally no exit until dawn, when roads are supposed to be cleared. She’s forced to join the four other strangers overnight in the rest stop in order to survive the storm. On a short trip outside to attempt to gain cellphone service, Darby discovers something shockingly terrifying and she’s determined to do something about it. Her first course of action, figure out which of the four rest stop strangers the van belongs to. Second—and more importantly—pinpoint who seems trustworthy enough to ask for help. review: I left the synopsis a little short because I don’t want to give too much away, but y’all this book is SO GOOD. It’s action packed, intense, and riveting from cover to cover. I was filled with anxiety the whole time I was reading it. It’s filled with unreliable narrators (my favorite) and plenty of twists that will surely leave your jaw on the floor. I couldn’t get enough of this book and read finished it within 24 hours. It’s one of those books that really threw me for a loop in the best way possible!  rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️books to read in 2019 - Christina Lauren lilac girls no exit an anonymous girl the silent patient where the crawdads singDATING YOU / HATING YOU BY CHRISTINA LAUREN | Carter and Evie meet at a Halloween party where they happen to be the only two single people. Despite the odds, they hit it off immediately and find they both have quite a lot in common, starting with working as talent agents. But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirty-something professionals—so why can’t they act like it? review: Anytime I pick up a book by this duo, I know I’m going to love it! I found myself rooting for both Evie and Carter the entire time – and loved the banter between the two of them. I also really appreciated the message in this book: to be your own advocate, especially if you’re working as a woman in a “man’s” industry! If you were a fan of The Hating Game (review here) then you’ll really enjoy this one. rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

THE SILENT PATIENT BY ALEX MICHAELIDES | Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander as she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Seven years have passed since the incident and she has yet to utter a word. Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, takes a job at the Grove determined to get Alicia to talk and solve the mystery of why she killed her husband. review: From the very beginning I was intrigued and I was so curious as to why Alicia stopped talking. I loved the way they story unfolded and that it was told in Theo’s POV followed by Alicia’s journal entires. I thought I had a few ideas of how it would end, but the ending totally surprised me! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

WATCHING YOU BY LISA JEWELL | Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; and it’s the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you. Melville Heights is filled with students, teachers, children, and the like. All seems normal, until you realize everyone is related to a situation twenty-years earlier. Tom Fitzwilliam, headmaster of the local school, is one to garner a lot of attention. Joey, a young neighbor has become infatuated by the headmaster. And Freddie, Mr. Fitzwilliam’s son is watching everything play out. But who is going to be the first to tell the secret? review: I’m a sucker for a good mystery and Lisa Jewell tends to bring a good mystery to the table! The story opens with a dead body and from there the story unfolds as you learn about the characters. Soon you begin to figure out what happened and who did it… with a few twists, of course! I’m a huge fan of Lisa Jewell and while this wasn’t my favorite book of hers, it was still a great, enjoyable read. It seemed to be a “slow burn” of sorts, but the different view points from each character along with the twists made the pieces come together so well. The ending was so good! rating: 3.5 out of 5 ⭐️

LILAC GIRLS BY MARTHA HALL KELLY | Lilac Girls takes place during World War II and follows the story of three women during the war. Herta Oberheuser is enticed by a great job and begins working at a “re-education” camp; although she quickly realizes their definition of re-education is in the form of a concentration camp used to de-humanize and torture humans. Kasia, a Polish teen, finds her way working for the Resistance and is forced to grow up quickly. Caroline is a New York socialite working for the French Consulate in New York. She worked tirelessly to help French orphans and later survivors of the war. Although each woman comes from different circumstances, each story is equally powerful and one sure not to be forgotten. review: I cannot put into words how incredible this book was and how much it has stayed with me since reading it. I have a deep love of historical fiction and WWII, and aside from The Nightingale, this may be my favorite book that I have read. I loved the writing style and how each of the characters were so powerful and interesting. The fact that it was based on a true story made the story even better. I loved the acknowledgements and author’s note at the end. The author did such a great job educating and explaining while telling the story so eloquently. rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️

shop my January reading list below

Leave a Reply


  1. Jessi wrote:

    When did you read The Au Pair? I have been so curious why it only received three stars from you! HA

    Also, make sure The Lost Girls of Paris is on your TBR list! SO GOOD!

    I own Lilac Girls and plan to read it, but now I want to read it right away!

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Ah, I totally forgot to put that book in my list! I read it earlier this month but just didn’t love it. It was a very slow moving book for the first 1/2 and the second half was just all over the place, a bit confusing & overdone for me! I know so many people that loved it, but I didn’t! Maybe it was when I read it though?! I’m glad you liked it though!!

      And yes, I have The Lost Girls of Paris on my Netgalley but also ordered a finished copy because I knew I would want to have that one on my bookshelf (#bookhoarder!)

      And yes, move Lilac Girls up on your TBR…. INCREDIBLE

      Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  2. Allie wrote:

    I totally agree about Lilac Girls! I read it a few months ago and I still think about it all the time.
    I can’t wait to pick up Where the Crawdads Sing! Thank you for the recommendations!


    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  3. Leslie wrote:

    No Exit was my BOTM pick and I still haven’t gotten to it yet because I had so many from the library but I hope to start it next week! I’ve got quite a few of these on my list!

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  4. Rochelle wrote:

    I’ve heard so many booktubers rave about No Exit.


    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  5. Emily MacPherson wrote:

    Great recommendations! I have Where the Crawdads Sing on my bookshelf for my next read! Every month I am shocked you still haven’t read The Alice Network!! It is such a great book! 🙂

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  6. Cathy wrote:

    I’m looking for some new books to read, I will have to check these out. Thank you for the recommendations!


    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  7. Avani wrote:

    That is a great reading list to have. Thanks for sharing

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  8. Olga wrote:

    I also loved Where the Crawdads Sing – that ending had me SHOOK!

    Verity & No Exit are on my list, glad to hear you enjoyed those!


    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  9. lyddie wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your reviews! I haven’t read any of these and now I have an idea of what I’d like to pick up next.

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  10. Kim wrote:

    I always love your book reviews! I just read Verity and it was SO good! I love Colleen Hoover so much!


    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  11. Okay I want to read all of these! I’ve heard a lot about Lilac Girls lately. May have to give that one a try.

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  12. Maria wrote:

    I haven’t read any of these books yet but I’ll have to. Thanks for the recommendations!

    xo, Maria

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  13. Stephanie wrote:

    My list already feels a mile long, but now I want to add a few of these to it as well. So many interesting options.

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  14. kileen wrote:

    Ooh, going to add a few of these to my reading list! Now I definitely need to check out “Where the Crawdads Sing”!

    cute & little

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  15. Jillian wrote:

    I LOVED Lilac Girls too! I haven’t read anything quite like it and I loved the insight into 3 very different stories during WWII. I would love to visit the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Connecticut someday!

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  16. I love your reading lists and reviews! Always so interesting and helpful!

    Posted 1.29.19 Reply
  17. Adding all these to my reading list right now! Thanks for the recommendations.

    Posted 1.30.19 Reply
  18. Laura wrote:

    I used to be so into books but they’ve taken a back burner to life. These all sound like amazing books, I need to give some of these books a read! You do such a great job with these books!

    Posted 1.30.19 Reply
  19. denise adele k wrote:

    Girl we are reading twins! I’ve read most of these in the last few months too and I def felt the same about Watching You. I LOVED An Anonymous Girl and No Exit.

    I read Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren and now I need to read the entire backlist. I’m hooked!


    Posted 1.30.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Oh my gosh, YES you need to read ALL of the Christina Lauren books now! I loved My Favorite Half-Night Stand, along with J&H’s Guide! They have so many good ones! XO

      Posted 1.30.19 Reply
  20. I would love to read Dating You / Hating You now! The Hating Game was one of my favorite books to read in 2018 🙂

    -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

    Posted 1.31.19 Reply

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