January: Books I’ve Read Recently

"Books I've Read Recently" is a series where I, Penelope Gomez, will do a monthly wrap up of the books I've read throughout the past month. In this series I will give a brief synopsis of the story and then give the book a rating out of 5 stars. 5 stars being the best and 1 star being the worst!

I will then give a brief description of why I chose to rate a book a certain way.

So without further delay lets get into the "Books I've Read Recently," and as always leave a comment down below and tell me which of these books you've also read, or plan on reading next.

Books I've Read Recently

We'll Always Have Summer, book cover

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college—only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

This was the perfect end to the "Summer" series by Jenny Han. Although it depends on if your #TeamJermiah or #TeamConrad, if you'll be happy with this book's end result. I personally was happy with who Belly ended up with, but if I'm being completely honest I would have been even happier had she ended up with neither one of them! This had to have been the two most toxic boys ever written about. (SPOILERS) First off, after two whole years of dating, Jermiah decides to cheat on Belly and if that's not bad enough he decides to propose to Belly in order to manipulate her and win her back! Poor innocent Belly decides to completely forgive him and say 'yes' to his proposal and starts planning the wedding like nothing of consequence ever happened. Conrad on the other hand also sucks... his communication skills were like a negative 5000. Conrad is older than Belly and Jermiah and has been living on his own for a few years, paying his own bills, cooking all his meals, etc. Conrad was the closest thing to an adult in this book and he still couldn't even form a sentence to tell Belly how he felt! Never have I ever wanted a main character to end up alone more than I wanted Belly too. This book was incredibly well written, but my only disappointment in this book is the fact that Belly never rubbed her last two brain cells together to think, "maybe neither one of these boys is right for me?" That’s probably an unpopular opinion but nothing is going to change my mind. This book should have ended with Belly alone.

The Silent Stars Go By, book cover

The Silent Stars Go By Sally Nicholls

It's Christmas time, 1919. Three years before, seventeen-year-old Margot Allan, a respectable vicar's daughter, fell passionately in love. But she lost her fiancé, Harry, to the Great War. In turn, she gained a desperate secret, one with the power to ruin her life and her family's reputation, a secret she guards at all costs. Now Margot's family is gathering at the vicarage for the first time since the War ended. And Harry, it turns out, isn't dead. He's alive and well, and looking for answers.

My Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

This book was so boring! I was really struggling to finish this book. Although it was beautifully written, it didn't have that 'oomph' that I was really looking for. In this book we follow Margot who accidentally gets pregnant with her boyfriend Harry, right before he leaves to fight in the war. She ends up finding out that he was killed in action and decides that she can't raise a baby on her own out of wedlock. Her parents decide to adopt her baby and Margot is sent away to live her life elsewhere. A few years later Margot finds out that Harry isn't dead, maybe they can finally be together and maybe she can ask for her child back. Margot basically struggled the entirety of this story debating with herself if she should tell Harry that they had a child together or not. It was the most dragged out decision EVER! What should have been a really dramatic story was just following Margot around, pinning away with her secret for chapters on end. I got bored. I've had more fun getting a cavity filled at the dentist then I did reading this book. I would just skip this book entirely. I think the plot was really amazing, it was just really lacking in the drama department for such a dramatic plot line. It was stale, it was boring, it was a very bland and unseasoned read. I could see other people really liking this book, since it is a beautifully written historical fiction, but it was just really lacking for me. I don't recommend it.

Play It Cool, Guys. Vol. 1, book cover

Play It Cool, Guys. Vol. 1 by Kokone Nata

They’re so goofy, they’re cool.
Enter: a group of cool guys who seem like they’ve got that unapproachable swag. But look closer and you’ll find a bunch of dorks who’ve gotten the act down pat. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy watching these clumsy dudes try to look cool all day, every day.

My Rating: 1 Out of 5 Stars

This is a manga series, but I could barely get through book one it was so boring and lacked substance in my opinion. I completely gave up on this series. In this book we follow a group of 4 boys. These four boys are handsome, but extremely clumsy. Book one in this series just introduced each character individually all leading up to the last page where all 4 boys finally meet and realize that their lives all intersect. Each character's story arc lacked substance. Aside from being slightly clumsy and making small mistakes all the time there was really nothing fueling this story or its plot line. I did not read the other books in the series, I just merely skimmed ahead to see if there would eventually be some kind of plot line, but there was nothing of substance that I could see, no turmoil or love interests so I completely scrapped the series. The artwork for this manga is very detailed and cute. I did appreciate that this manga series is completely in color which is rare since manga is typically black and white, but I still don't recommend this series. It’s an hour of reading I can never get back. Just skip it.

Tokyo Revengers by Ken Wakui

Tokyo Revengers. 1-2, book cover
Tokyo Revengers. 3-4, book cover
Tokyo Revengers Omnibus 3, book cover

Watching the news, Takemichi Hanagaki learns that his girlfriend from way back in middle school, Hinata Tachibana, has died. The only girlfriend he ever had was just killed by a villainous group known as the Tokyo Manji Gang. He lives in a crappy apartment with thin walls, and his six-years-younger boss treats him like an idiot. Plus, he’s a complete and total virgin… At the height of his rock-bottom life, he suddenly time-leaps 12 years back to his middle school days!! To save Hinata, and change the life he spent running away, hopeless part-timer Takemichi must aim for the top of Kanto’s most sinister delinquent gang!!

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

I am fully invested in this manga series! It was so good and suspense filled. I could not put this book series down! In this story we follow an adult named, Takemichi Hanagaki. Takemichi is incredibly unhappy with his life. He works a dead end job, has bills to pay and absolutely no love interests. His last girlfriend was all the way back in middle school! In middle school Takemichi was part of a gang named the Tokyo Manji, he wasn't so much a part of it as he was more like the gang's “errand boy.” As soon as he graduated high school he ran away and hid from the gang, cutting off all his friends in the process. Years later he hears on the news that his first and only girlfriend, Hinata has died as part of a Tokyo Manji Gang fight. Anyway something ends up happening and Takemichi ends up time traveling back to middle school. He decides he’s been given this second chance at life in order to save Hinata, the only girl he's ever loved. This manga had an incredibly cool cast of characters and a lot of action packed scenes. Takemichi thinks it will be easy to save his first girlfriend, but not everything is so clear cut and easy when it comes to time travel. Everything he changes has a ripple effect and he starts to affect other people’s lives as well, not just Hinata's. I loved the plot and I loved the setting of Tokyo Manji's gang life. It was a really interesting read, there was never a dull moment. This book was so emotionally charged. Ken Wakui did an amazing job of building suspense at every single turn! I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of this series.