January roundup & book of the month: Pilu of the Woods

January’s been a pretty busy reading month for me. It’s the first year I’ve really decided to take the GoodReads challenge seriously. To try and avoid being overwhelmed, I kind of lowballed myself with a goal of only 25 books this year (about two weeks for a book should be no biggie, right?)

Turns out, I’ve managed about 10 books this month, plus about another 300k+ of reading if you look at the fanfiction I’ve been dipping in and out of… *cough* binging until 4am on weekends *cough*, so… yeah… My name is Evie, and I’m a book-a-holic~

TBR lists and reading choices

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been a bit…well, worried about some of the books I’m reading. I know, I know it’s stupid; I’d never judge someone else on their reading habits (well…I’m allowed to slightly judge Twilight and 50 Shades fans at least, right?), but I can’t help but worry that some of the books I read aren’t ‘serious enough’ for someone of my age. Which, yeah, is pretty darn stupid.

I’d like to take a moment to say a huge thank-you to everyone who commented on my tweet when I asked if anyone else worried about being judged for their TBR list~

I see a lot of friends I know in real life reading big, serious, motivational books meant to help drive their careers forward, or life-changing inspirational non-fiction books as thick as a phonebook, and… well, it makes my towering stack of manga and YA fiction I SIMPLY MUST READ seem pretty childish.

Thanks, awesome #WritersCommunity for reminding me that we each like what we like – and fuck anyone who tries to judge us for that.

Anyway, on to the good stuff~!

Book of the month

For me, Pilu of the Woods by author Mai K. Nguyen has been the most outstanding book of 2019 (so far). A middle-grade, beautifully illustrated graphic novel, Pilu of the Woods is the charming story of Willow, a young girl who bottles up her emotions but often lets her anger get the better of her after losing her mother months earlier.

Nguyen’s latest work shows freaking awesome, positive depictions of mental health. Willow works through her grief and anger, learning about the importance of embracing and accepting all of her emotions – not just the positive ones. The artwork is (I say it again) beautiful. Pilu of the Woods perfectly explains the emotional rollercoaster that children, tweens and teens who have lost a parent or are facing big changes following the loss of a loved one face.

I’d recommend this not only for children and tweens who have lost a parent, but for any younger readers who may have a friend who has lost a loved one; Pilu of the Woods really shows how compassion can have a huge impact for others. This is just a perfect book to help younger readers become a little more aware, understanding, and compassionate.

You can check out my full review (and the review of other awesome people on GoodReads) by clicking on the cover below.

January ’19 roundup

Total books read this month: 10
Favourite book of the month: Pilu of the Woods
Top book of 2019 (so far): Pilu of the Woods
Favourite series of the month: Dreamin’ Sun
Most re-readable book of the month: to be honest? None. There were plenty of awesome books, but none that really stick in my mind as ‘I HAVE to re-read this’.  

Voices of Powerful Women: Words of wisdom from 40 of the world's most inspiring women
Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women
The Orphanage of Gods
The Happiness Passport: A world tour of joyful living in 50 words
Dreamin' Sun 01
テンジュの国 1 [Tenju no Kuni 1]
Pilu of the Woods
Dreamin' Sun 02
Pink Hair and Other Terrible Ideas
Our Super Adventure: Press Start to Begin


Bonnie Evie’s favorite books »
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Author: Bonnie Evie Gifford

*waves* I'm a writer and blogger from the not so sunny south coast of England. With bylines in Happiful Magazine, Harness Magazine, as well as on Counselling , Therapy, and Lifecoach Directories, I write about books, mental health, wellbeing, autism, and culture. When not writing, I can be found partially buried under a stack of books, hiding from the outside world. Find me lurking on Twitter: https://twitter.com/begifford

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