It’s January 31st! We made it! At least, that appears to be the general consensus in the wrap ups I’ve read this morning. Apparently January took too long. 🤔 I’ll admit, I didn’t notice. But then again, I’m always dreading the passing of time. I’ve got so much to do and not enough moments in my life to do it. C’est la vie.
There’s a lot that went on in January for me and while I’ve got a few topics I want to address, let’s start with the books!
The January Read List
I started off the year with Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. It’s a book with an interesting premise (brings me back to the nostalgia of my Labyrinth days) and a great beginning, but it fell flat for me about halfway through. It’s definitely not the worst book I read this year, but it’s certainly not the best either.
Read my full review here.
Next up is the hilarious Heart and Brain: Body Language by Nik Seluk which I’d honestly suggest to just about anyone. Go online and google some of the comics yourself or buy the book from your local bookstore (though admittedly I’m a huge fan of Barnes and Noble). Heart and Brain is just so realatable in the most amusing of ways that you can’t really help loving it.
Read my full review here.
I read both The 5th Wave and The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey this year, delving into the world of an alien attack that was so psychological in its nature that I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. Yancey’s series was incredible, to say the least. I love the characters and I love the premise. I’ve only finished my first review in this case, but both books were pretty fantastic.
Read my full review (The 5th Wave) here.
I’m gonna put it simply here. I hated Roseblood by A. G. Howard. I can’t think of a single book she’s written that I actually liked due to the number of problems they have in terms of character, writing, and an ignorant lack of respect, but Roseblood was by far the worst. I haven’t finished writing my review for this one just yet, but I know I wont be picking up a book written by Howard in the future. I gave her four chances and I feel that’s more than enough.
By Your Side by Kasie West was problematic before it even began, just on account of the question of who gets locked in a library for the weekend these days? Was there really no phone in the damn library? I always felt there was quite a bit of realism I was going to have to give up in order to accept this book, but I was all for it! I mean, locked in a library? What a dream! I feel like I should have known better. Ironically, the worst thing about the book was the main character, but I’ll delve more deeply into that when I get around to writing my review.
I read And Then I Met Margaret (🌟🌟🌟) by Rob White, Solaris Seethes (🌟🌟) by Janet McNulty, Life Before (🌟🌟) by K.L. Romo, and The Rebirth of Francesca (🌟) by Yoleen Valai thanks to an Online Book Club that I’ve recently become a part of. It’s a sort of free-for-review site for the most part though I’d definitely recommend Netgalley over this one.
Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes is a book I more or less read on account of the fact that I’ve already invested too much time in the series to quit now. I don’t even really like it, in large part due to the fact that I don’t care about the characters at all. But prior to reading this I’d listened to the previous four on audiobook in a binge and it’s just silly in my opinion to quit without knowing the ending. But I don’t know, my interest wanes even more with each subsequent book. I’d honestly enjoyed the first one but everything after has been disappointing. And I just hate Magnus so damn much.
I read The Epilogue for the Selection Series by Kiera Cass literally just because it was on my to-read list and I’ve been trying to get that number down significantly (in part thanks to the wonderful Beat the Backlist Challenge ❤️). I actually really hate the Selection Series. The first book had an infinite amount of promise and then the author just had to go and destroy it all by making the main character fall in love with the Prince. I just…couldn’t. It felt forced and terrible. And I’ve sworn off any new Kiera Cass books as a result. I mean, how many more of these crappy novels can she pump out?
I’m gonna lump A Long Conversation and Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (🌟🌟🌟) together. And I’ll admit what I consider to be a huge failing on my end in the fact that I do actually really enjoy reading these books. I’m ashamed of it. I don’t know how many people are actually aware of the giant shit show that is Cassandra Clare on the internet, but basically someone should take all social media away from that woman to start with. I’ve never in my life heard of an author being a shittier person. And I’ll give credit where credit is due, but I’m just not sure if she deserves any of it anymore? The plagiarism scandal was enough for me to hate her as an author but add her disgusting bullying of readers and honestly, I’d be happy to see this woman rot. I like to sometimes pretend that she’s not the one who wrote the books so I can actually feel justified in reading them (and who knows, she really might not have been!). I don’t buy her books anymore because I can’t condone supporting such a terrible person, but sometimes I borrow them because I admittedly do enjoy the characters and stories.
I reread The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski this month! I just love this series so much. The world building is beautiful, the characters are perfection in writing, and the plot was just so perfect. I couldn’t give enough praise to this series and I guarantee that I’ll be reading it again sometime in the future. It’s simply too good not to. Seriously. If you havent read these books yet, go out and buy yourself a copy of all three. I promise it’s worth it.
I won The One Apart by Justine Avery in a Goodreads givaway (oh my gosh, those things are so fun) and got it maybe a two weeks ago? I finished it the day before its release, but wasn’t able to write a review until a few days later. I was pretty captivated in the beginning and got through the first half of the book in about a day. Unfortunately, the second half drags. A lot. Even so, the book was ended well and I still have a lot of respect for Avery as a writer. It was an impressive imagining.
Read my full review here.
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev was such a creative read. I’m still kind of reeling from how interesting I found it all. Now, the story definitely isn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, and when I look back on it the whole climax was rather rushed but the funny thing is that I didn’t mind at all. At the end of the day, Mantchev’s most powerful asset is that her characters and the world are fascinating. I can’t even decide who I liked the most. I don’t think this book is for everyone and admittedly I found Bertie incredibly childish (though I don’t think I’d want her any other way?) so I’ll concede that this is a book that is really only for certain people.
Naturally I saved the best for last and in this I’ll begin with my runner up for Best Book of the Month, The Ice Child: A Winter Fairy Tale by Evangeline Denmark. I’m incredibly fond of this woman’s writing and it’s such a shame in my opinion that she doesn’t actually have that many books written. I’ve enjoyed everything I read by her immensely. And while this is a novella and indeed very short, I simply couldn’t put it down. I wanted more. I still want more.
Read my full review here.
And for the Best Book of January (drum roll!):
The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown.
I know I’ve talked about this book a lot since I read it (who doesn’t want to share their favorite book, though?) and it’ll probably slow down on my end after this, but I just needed to highlight the fact that this book is the best book I’ve read so far this year. I had the fortunate pleasure of being approved to read the ARC on January 6th (which is only significant to me because that’s my birthday 😋). It’s the best Peter Pan retelling that I’ve ever read. And it’s officially my favorite book of all time, surpassing Marissa Meyer’s Cress just barely. There’s simply too much to praise in this book. It’s an absolute pleasure to read and it touches on the importance of taking women seriously (a topic that needs more attention and is fortunately getting it lately) and seeing them as strong and capable.
I realize that the time period in which this book is set can bring forth the argument that “we don’t treat women that way anymore” but I think many of us know that a) that isn’t exactly true and a little bit of progress doesn’t mean we’ve accomplished our goals, and b) these are still discussions we need to have. The Wendy is a Peter Pan retelling, but the strength and willpower that Wendy portrays throughout the novel is so essential to young female readers today and even young male readers. We need to know not to give up on our dreams, to persevere in spite of the obstacles and what the world deems their right to tell us we are not capable of.
And behind wonderful storytelling, characterization, and whimsical writing The Wendy encourages us to do precisely that.
You can read my full review for The Wendy here.
Reviews I Wrote in January
A few books I read in 2017 but wrote reviews for this month are listed below.
Curio by Evangeline Denmark
Before the Snow by Danielle Paige (which is on my Goodreads, but I apparently forgot to post here)
Books I Bought in January
This is an admittedly short list mainly due to the fact that I’m pretty poor and borrow more books than I buy. But I did add a few wonderful books to my shelf and am excited to list them here.
Curio by Evangeline Denmark
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
The Unexpected and Highly Misguided Theory of Everything by June Rossaert (who is actually a friend of mine and I’m so proud of her for getting her book out there!)
Wires and Nerve Vol 2 by Marissa Meyer (cause I buy all her books)
Brave by Rose McGowan
The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown (I bought a copy for my mom and sister)
I’m participating in three reading challenges this year thus far and I’ve honestly been having a blast. There’s the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge, Beat the Backlist, and 24in48. This is my first year participating in reading challenges and I really appreciate the opportunity for reading that they’ve been giving me. I hope to participate in many more in the future. Check them out if you’re interested!
And I’m gonna go ahead and wrap up there. It’s been a long month but it’s been an enjoyable one. As always, feel free to add me on any of the platforms below and let me know what you think of any of these books! Happy reading, everyone!