January book in review cover

Chai Mommas January Books In Review

Can you believe we are already in the second week of February? It seems like the days are passing by rather quickly! I was satisfied with what I read in January. I read some good books and some not-so-good ones. This year I am also making a point to read as many genres as possible, not just the ones I normally read. 

Below are some mini-reviews from books I read in January, I hope this inspires you to pick them up and give them a read. Happy READING!

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jiminez

There is not much I can say about this book that has not been said already. I am glad this was my first book of 2021, although I wish I had reached into my TBR pile and read it sooner (I have had this for a couple of months).

Although this is a stand-alone book, you must read Abby’s first book, “The Friend Zone” so everything ties in together. I started reading this on New Year’s Eve and finished it the next day. I usually don’t read that fast, but I was so invested in Sloan and Jason’s story I just needed to keep reading and find out what happens next.

The best part of Abby’s writing is her ability to write about a deeper issue, but make it witty and emotional. There are times you will find yourself laughing out loud and then there are times when you will have tears in your eyes but not the kind that make you feel down or low. I loved this book and would highly recommend it. It’s so beautiful it will stay with me for a while. I already pre-ordered her next book, coming out in April and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Abby is an auto-buy/ pre-order sort of author for me now.

Click here to read synopsis: The Happy Ever After Playlist 

Verity by Colleen Hoover

I think almost everyone I know has read and reviewed this book already. This is my first Colleen Hoover book. From what I read online, this is different from her other books.

Loved: the story development, the mystery, there was even a kind of spooky element to the story which also kept you wondering what would happen next.

Didn’t like so much: repetitive graphic sex scenes, I don’t believe I needed to read about 20 times how Jeremy and Verity had sex. Without giving away too much, some details that were discovered near the end were unimaginable. Finally, as someone who plans to have children in the future, some scenes and descriptions can be unsettling.

This book is a bestseller and has almost 200,000 reviews on Goodreads! I enjoyed the book because it was hard to put down, and I knew it was a well-loved book, but I also knew it would get disturbing, so I was prepared for that. I am looking forward to going back and starting reading other books by the author! 

Click here to read synopsis: Verity

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

I’m so glad I read this book and wish I had read it sooner. It was so beautiful. It will always have a place in my heart. Some stories are so beautiful and poignant and relevant.

I read this book as we were also facing political upheaval here in America thinking, what impact could one incident have on so many of us? Imagine living as if the entire political structure and governance were in a state of flux and striving to be overturned. I cannot even imagine what it would be to live amidst that. In an environment like that to have faith and hope and look forward to life is not easy. 

Roya’s character was so beautifully thought out and developed as she journeyed from being a love-struck 17 year old to realizing she was heartbroken. Building your own life in a new country, giving up your dreams, and finally learning to love the life you live, all while dealing with heartbreaks and life upheavals. If you love historical fiction and mature romance – there are no sex scenes or steamy scenes in this book – you should read this one. 

Click here to read synopsis: The Stationery Shop

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

When this book was selected as my BOTM (Book of the Month), I was captivated by the idea of a thriller based on an influencer’s life. In spite of the love-hate relationship social media has with most of us, social media is a regular part of people’s lives. 

I think this book highlighted some important points – technology, social media fame, lows of influencer culture, and difficult decisions you may have to make when your life is public around parenting and family.

The pacing of the book kept me from loving it. It felt like I was reading Emmy, Dan, and the Stalkers’ journals for almost 200 pages where they describe events in their life and their thoughts. It wasn’t until the end of the book that the story came together and became a storyline. Concluding, I enjoyed the book – but not loved or hated it!

Click here to read synopsis:People Like Her

Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

I finished reading this book last week and let me tell you – I LOVED it. This was the first book in the Raje series – Trisha and DJ’s story. I loved all the characters in this story. The huge Indian family, their values, their struggles, the bonding between the siblings, the reference to the family house as “animal farm”, All the thoughts that Trisha has in her head, but can’t say out loud due to the respect she has for her family, the Bollywood references – There were many times during reading this book I kept thinking of “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham,” HRH (Trisha’s father) reminded me of Amitabh Bachan in the film. You should read this book if you haven’t already! Can’t wait for Sonali’s next that comes out this summer, part 3 in the The Raje series. 

Click here to read synopsis: Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors

Hope you guys enjoyed this article and get a chance to read some of these books! If you post any pictures or thoughts, please tag @thechaigirls and @readwithchai so we can share! If you have any comments or feedback, don’t forget to drop them below.

Sarah Saeed is an Agile Delivery Lead (Techie) based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her goal is to bring light and awareness to Diverse and Own voice authors focusing on South Asians. Reading isn’t just a hobby but something that has been a part of Sarah’s life since she was very young, setting the record one summer reading close to 200 books. She believes the right story can be inspiring, engaging, and educating which she tries to bring across through her book reviews and articles. You can follow her on Instagram @readwithchai.

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