I listened to so many audiobooks last month, omfg.
Overall, it was a pretty solid reading month! Most of the books – well, the majority I either thoroughly enjoyed or loved – with only a few exceptions. I’m not thrilled that I started the year with two DNF reads, and two 2-star reads, but out of 21 books, I don’t think that’s too bad.
But instead of me sitting here trying to type out an over long intro to this post, let’s just jump into it, and check out what I read in January.
In the Penalty Box – Lynn Rush & Kelly Anne Blount
eARC Finished: January 2, 2021
“[…] I would 100% honestly read a whole series based on these characters. Legit just go down the line of hockey players and give me their stories, them falling in love. I fell in love with just about all of them as they slipped into *almost* big brother roles towards Willow.
Speaking of Willow – fucking badass over here! I loved her. Loved her dedication, willingness to put people in their places and go after her dream. Did I love it when shit hit the fan and things started falling apart, nope. My heart broke, but I get why she does what she does. You can’t live with “what if’s” in her situation. It would have eaten her alive.”
The Fate of Crowns (The Fate of Crowns #1) -Rebecca L. Garcia
eARC Finished: January 2, 2021
“[…] Based on the cover and the synopsis I thought I was going to love this book. It sounded exactly what I’ve been reading, and I was ready to fall in love with a new fantasy world and new characters.
That didn’t happen. I was confused almost the whole book. I kept waiting for it to all make sense. Not sure if I wanted to continue, I went to Goodreads and read a few reviews and they were glowing, all praising the book and the character development the main character goes through.
I didn’t care for Winter and found her to be indecisive and whiny the whole time. Never once does she definitively make up her mind about something. She spends the whole book bouncing around, proclaiming her brilliance, how smart she was, but she doesn’t do anything.”
The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) – Rick Riordan
Audiobook Finished: January 5, 2021
“[…] I enjoyed this book and the cute moments between Percy and Annabeth. I also loved that we get to see a much more vulnerable side to her, since for most of these books, she’s tough, a badass and never stops. She’s strong, and I absolutely love it when strong characters lose their strength and have to rely on people.
I will also say that the big oh my god moment didn’t hit as hard as I thought it would. I kind of expected this book to break me – a lot of people said it might, but other than a little twinge of “oh fuck this is happening” I didn’t really react. Probably because I expected it and knew the next two books were already out. Though, I can image how distraught I would have been having to wait for The House of Hades if I’d read them as they came out.”
The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) – Rick Riordan
Audiobook Finished: January 8, 2020
“[…] I loved this book. I mean, it’s the most torturous one in the series with the most suffering, but omfg I couldn’t get enough. This was kind of the moment I was waiting for – Percy and Annabeth’s struggle in Tartarus. For years that’s been the big shocking event that happens in this series, so I was looking forward to it. I loved how it brought them closer together. And what can I say, I like characters to suffer a bit – though, Percy and Annabeth have been though a lifetime of suffering already.
All those moments where they held each other up, their descent into Tartarus – Percy pulling her close. I mean, my heart. I loved that even though this is probably one of the toughest and scariest unknowns they’ve ever faced, their relationship is stronger than ever. Percy and Annabeth are epic, and no one can tell me otherwise.”
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5) – Rick Riordan
Audiobook Finished: January 12, 2020
“[…] Overall this was a satisfying end to this series – I get the hype. I’m happy with where the characters end up and how everything happened. It felt a little rushed towards the end which left me feeling like it was just a tad anticlimactic – mainly the part with Gaea. The battle with the Gods was epic and I loved it. Everything in this book was vivid as hell and so easy to imagine. Not my favorite in this series, but once again, Rick knows how to tell a story and do it amazingly well.”
The Frozen Crown (Warrior Witch #1) – Greta Kelly
eARC Finished: January 12, 2021
“[…]Overall, this was a pretty decent and engaging read. Reminded me of The City of Brass in political maneuvering, Tower of Dawn in court intrigue and had the engagement of There Will Come A Darkness. It’s a little heavy on the court politics, but otherwise an enjoyable read. The pacing was steady, kept you interested and turning the page – I finished this over the course of a few days, but really in a handful of hours. The world is vibrant and vivid. I had no trouble picturing it.”
Speak the Ocean – Rebecca Enzor
eARC Finished: January 13, 2020
“[…] I inhaled this book. I couldn’t put it down. I started it two nights ago before bed, had to stop reading since I had to get up early for work. And then all day at work I kept thinking about it and I realized how much I love and how much I miss mermaid stories. Especially darker ones like this. Though, I did expect this to be darker.
I enjoyed the cast of characters and the changes they went through. Finn went from slightly annoying playboy to someone who actually cares and figures out what he wants. Jen goes from caring but unsure, to fighting for what she believes in and righting wrongs. Sergio realizes that his rose-colored tinted world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Aunt D can get fucked. I wasn’t a fan from the beginning. She seemed a little wack. Erie is wonderful. She’s fierce, though a little naïve, but she’s also incredibly curious. Her curiosity is what I loved most about her.”
Set Fire to the Gods (Set Fire to the Gods #1) – Sara Raasch & Kristin Simmons
Audiobook Finished: January 14, 2021
“[…] This was like Avatar the Last Airbender & The Legend of Korra mashed together and then thrown into a Roman/Gladiator setting. Here. For. It. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of it and I’m dying for the next one. You can’t end a book like that and expect me not to be dying for the second one.
I kind of figured that I’d immensely enjoy this book, so I’m really happy that I did. I loved the characters and loved their chemistry. Ash and Madoc were so fun to read – and really were great characters. The two of them at the end of this book…phew. So much happens and it’s so good.
I thought the pacing was perfect, I was utterly engaged and never wanted to stop listening. There were quite a few times I forgot that I was at work because I was so invested.”
The Cup and the Prince (Kingdom of Curse and Shadows #1) – Day Leitao
eARC Finished: January 14, 2021
“[…] Ultimately this book just didn’t do anything for me. Comping something to Throne of Glass can be a huge benefit, or detrimental and in my opinion, it didn’t do this book any favors. I had such high hopes for this book and had immediately requested it upon seeing it comped with Throne of Glass. I really liked the cover and synopsis sounded promising.
Then I started reading.
And that’s when the disappointment set in.”
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2) – Kiersten White
Audiobook Finished: January 15, 2021
“[…] Overall, I just don’t have any strong feelings about this book. The ending was the best part, I actually cared what was happening. It definitely leaves you with the need to know what happens next. But other than that, I just didn’t really care. The world was vivid and came to life in my mind, I enjoyed the character relationships, but overwhelmingly I don’t feel strongly one way or another. Not a terrible read, but I’m not desperately anticipating the next one. I can wait and I will.”
Soulswift – Megan Brannen
Audiobook Finished: January 18, 2021
“[…] I 100% blame Sammy over at We Write at Dawn for making me read this. I also blame her for the pain I went through that is the end of this book, because what the fuck. I’ll link her review to this book, so you can check that out as well. I finished the audiobook at work, threw my AirPod down on the table and texted her. My work best friend had to listen to me as well, as I ranted about my feelings. It’s been like a week, maybe a week and a half and I’m still thinking about it.”
Don’t Blame the Reckless – Maddyson Wilson
eARC Finished: January 19, 2021
“[…] I don’t quite know or understand what happened, but this book was hard to follow. The characters gave me whiplash with how often they changed their convictions, their moral compasses, their feelings…
And it wasn’t like a character growth thing – it just felt like either the author didn’t really understand who her characters were supposed to be, or she was just trying to make them into people they’re not.
I’m not even going to dive into the unbelievable relationships in this book. I don’t mean shocking; I just mean that I don’t believe in any of the relationships. There was practically no build up, no emotional weights and it felt like we were just supposed to accept these apparently burning feelings between characters.”
The King (A Wicked Trilogy #3.6) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
eBook Finished: January 20, 2021
“[…] I definitely think this is the best book in the series. All the shit that Brighton goes through is terrible and awful and Not Good, but it shows just how strong she is. The way Jen wrote and portrayed everything Brighton goes through makes you feel like you’re right there with her – which would be a terrible place to be. And the way Jen wrote the aftermath…it makes you feel. It’s rough and Brighton doesn’t make it out completely unscathed, but there’s justice and revenge and a shocking reveal right at the end. I should’ve seen it coming, but I didn’t.
Tink still shines in this book and he’s still my favorite. And in true JLA fashion, Caden is swoony as hell.”
Dark of the West (The Glass Alliance) – Johanna Hathaway
Audiobook Finished: January 20, 2021
“[…] I think I built this book up in my head, so it’s honestly on me that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would. Don’t ask me why I thought wartime and romance would pair nicely and I would be simping after these two characters, but I wasn’t. I was bored for like 80% of this book. I also didn’t quite get the “alt history WWII” element. I had to keep reminding myself that, that was the premise. It felt purely fantasy, with like a steampunk element.
Did I love the vividness of the world? Yes.
Did I enjoy the MCs individually? Yes.
Did I enjoy them together? Yes.
But it took 50% of the book for them to even meet, and then she doesn’t even know who he really is, so she falls in love with an idea, which doesn’t feel fair. So, this really didn’t hit the romance mark that I wanted. I think they had great chemistry, and maybe in the next two books something changes, but I don’t know. I was just kind of disappointed.”
The Queen (A Wicked Trilogy #3.7) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
eBook Finished: January 22, 2021
“[…] I need another book. Or another series. Like with Brave the story still feels incomplete. While things do come to a close, enough is left open for there to be potential other books. But also because it was left open, I feel unsatisfied.
Everything ends up very Happily Ever For Now and I love that, but I was kind of hoping for the big battle that’s legit hinted at for all the books.”
Star Daughter – Shevta Thakrar
Audiobook Finished: January 22, 2021
“[…] I still loved this book. It was bright, stunning, vivid and the Hindu mythology – absolutely gorgeous. This was utterly unique, and I can’t think of a single book that’s like it. I had very little – and I mean little – knowledge about Hindu mythology or Desi culture, but I never felt lost or confused. I loved that you get completely immersed in this world and just kind of fall into it.”
Love Spells and Other Disasters – Angie Barrett
eARC Finished: January 24, 2021
“[…] I was so excited when I saw this on NetGalley and after reading the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it. So, I was really happy and surprised when I was approved. This is a pretty quick and enjoyable read – I knocked it out in handful of hours. But there was something about it that just kept pulling me from the story.
I don’t know if it was secondhand embarrassment, too much cringe and cheese, or what, but I kept having to stop reading. The writing felt a little stilted and unnatural, but not enough to really draw a complaint. I still was sucked in and emotionally with the characters. But, I do think the pacing was off, stuff happened so quickly and that created a barrier against getting to know the characters. And because the pace was so fast, I think the relationships between characters were sacrificed.”
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Audiobook Finished: January 26, 2021
“[…] Y’all let me sleep on this book for two years. This is Farscape meets Stargate and that’s my shit. If you know me, you know how much I love Farscape and if you haven’t watched it yet, and you loved this book, go watch it. If you haven’t seen Stargate (which is a pretty expansive franchise) and you loved this book, go watch it. It was so wonderful to see the nods (intention or not, I don’t know) to these shows. I loved this book.”
Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Audiobook Finished: January 28, 2021
“[…] Well, I need book 3 – anyone know when that’s coming out?
I legit got to the end of this book and just sat there, because there is no way it ends like that.
Ugh, just thinking about it again is making me angry. I need to know what happens next.
I’m sitting here trying to think about what to write for this review, and I keep slinking back to finishing this book and being left not knowing what is going to happen next. And then I just want to scream and then scream at y’all to read this book/series if you haven’t yet.”
These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) – Sara Raasch
Audiobook Finished: January 29, 2021
Review TK / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR
“[…] I really had no expectations going into this book, other than pirates. I’m so glad I gave it a second chance. The ending to this book just leaves you dying for the next one, and it’s a good thing it’s out – I didn’t have to wait. I’m sad I’m almost done These Divided Shores, but I’m so happy I got to go on this journey with these characters. If you haven’t picked this duology up yet, then you really should. Go into it expecting pirates, a magic system based on herbs (it’s really quite imaginative and wonderful), a religion based on the antithesis of the magic system, and three characters that you’ll want to protect and hug – because I do.”
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) – Chloe Gong
Hardcover Finished: January 31, 2021
Review TK / DNF @ pg. 115 / GR
“[…] Unfortunately, I had to DNF this book. I am open to giving it another chance down the road, probably in the form of the audiobook. I can’t pinpoint exactly why this book just wasn’t working for me. It might be because it’s a Romeo & Juliette retelling (the worst Shakespeare work ever, imo) or it could be because it was over hyped, but this book failed to meet my expectations.”
Tell me your favorite read from January! Mine is Soulswift – I honestly didn’t expect to love it that much, but I do and it’s amazing.