We’re going to pretend I *didn’t* wait until February 12th, to post this. Ssshh, know one needs to know. Just ignore the time stamped date.
The books I read in January all had the same theme, and I’m not complaining. Six out of the seven books I read were high fantasy/SF – they make the hours at work pass faster. Eight hours goes by pretty quickly when I’m absorbed in some fantasy world. Clearly I’m in a fantasy mood, and that hasn’t changed now that it’s February.
I really enjoyed six out of seven of these books…I did enjoy the other one, but it feels a little weird saying that, and I’ll get to that in a moment.
◊So, the first book I read was –
Windwitch – Susan Dennard – 4.85/5
Audio Book Finished: January 11, 2018
I won’t go into too much detail since I do have a full review already posted, but I absolutely loved this book and the characters and cannot wait to see where the story goes next. Because I desperately want and hope to see Safi and Merik grace the page AT THE SAME TIME again.
◊Second book was (finally) –
Tower of Dawn – Sarah J. Maas – 5/5
Audio Book Finished: January 18, 2018
I did a full review on this book as well, but I don’t know why I waited until January to pick this book up. I’m crazy, I know. I thoroughly loved this novel and it’s characters, and I’m dying for the final book in the Throne of Glass Series. Someone is going to have to put my heart back inside my chest after Sarah is done ripping it out.
◊Next is the book that I feel weird saying I enjoyed.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things – Bryn Greenwood – 3.75/5
Hardcover Finished: January 18, 2018
Diverging from the SF/F for the moment – I don’t have a review for this book, except a quick one I posted to Facebook –
“Not something I would have chosen to read, but I did. The story was captivating and compelling and so beautifully written. BUT the relationship between Kellen and Wavy as the story progressed started really bothering me.
“A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives. As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold. By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won’t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.”
I wouldn’t classify this as a “beautiful” love story, but it is provocative and I think it shows reality in a very real way. Definitely look up reviews for this book as it deals with a VERY unconventional relationship between a child and a man. Read at your own discretion.”
I touch briefly in my short review about why I liked this book. Even though it was about a taboo topic, that I do not condone, the book was written so beautifully. The writing and detail and craft of the story was just so well done. That’s why I like the story. Not because of the questionable motives and actions of the characters, because of the attention and care that is apparent in the way the story was written and told.
◊Diving back into some high fantasy, I read a book that Facebook recommended to me. And oh my god, it didn’t disappoint.
Blade & Rose – Miranda Honfleur – 4.5/5
Paperback Finished: January 23, 2018
This book. I loved this book. It was exceptionally long at 651 pages, effectively making it a brick to carry around, but I devoured this book. I loved the world, I loved the characters. I already bought book 2, and it’s sitting on my table right now (and it’s even longer than the first one). I can only assume that book 2 is going to be as good if not better, but Blade & Rose was such a good read. If you like fantasy with high stakes, intrigue and magic, definitely check this book out.
◊Next I read one of January’s most anticipated books, which was and still is being raved about.
The Cruel Prince – Holly Black – 4/5
Hardcover Finished: January 24, 2018
To be honest, as I was reading this, I kind of felt like I was reading a different book from what everyone else was reading. I didn’t understand why people were so hyped. Yes, the characters were compelling, and the world was rich and terrifying, but the story itself was kind of “meh” – until the end. That twist. It left me jaw dropped unable to function for a good five minutes. And then I understood the hype.
◊Just like with most of these books, I did a review on this one as well, and ended up putting out a disclaimer. This book when it first came out was highly criticized. Personally, I really enjoyed this book, and just because I enjoyed it, doesn’t mean you have to as well, or will even share my opinions, and that’s okay.
Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth – 4/5
Audio Book Finished: Jnuary 24, 2018
I had tried to read this book numerous times since it’s release, and could never get past the beginning, which felt insanely slow. So I decided to audiobook it, and it made a world of difference. I got so sucked into the world Veronica created, and the characters that inhabited it. I loved Akos and Cyra and the companionship that they found in each other.
◊To round out my reads for January, I ended the month with a book that has been sitting on my shelf for far too long, and I am so glad I finally read it.
Alchemist of Loom – Elise Kova – 4/5
Finished: January 31, 2018
I’ll have a review of this going up probably later this week, so I don’t want to go into too much detail. I wish I could give this 5/5, but I was left a *little* disappointed. I LOVE the Air Awakens Series, and I think I had really high expectations going into this new trilogy, and while expectations were met, I think her Air Awakens Series will alway be my top rated and fave no matter what. It feels a little unfair to compare the two since they are so dissimilar, but I can’t help it. But I really did enjoy this book. I think the world is fantastic and amazing and so interesting. I like the contrast and the characters and their motives. I’m chomping at the bit to read book 2…I just need to buy it first.
To keep track of all these books, I made it a personal goal to write them all down in my journal, creating a little book shelf with empty spines (inspired by all the Bullet Journal videos I’ve seen) – if only my actual shelves were this clean. The number of spines on the shelves is arbitrary – if I manage to fill them all in 2018, fantastic. But if I don’t, that’s okay too.
So that’s my January Wrap Up! Stay tuned for my really late February TBR!