January Wrap Up, Part Two

While I didn’t manage to read all of the books on my TBR (I didn’t even touch All the Light We Cannot See), I still feel like I’m relatively on track with my 2018 goals. Sure, I’m behind on my 18 books to read in 2018 list, but I’ve got the whole year! And February is going to be a month I tackle at least three books from that list. Hopefully. I read twenty-two books this month somehow, two of those were graphic novels and one a short poetry collection, but I’m still amazed. Five of the books I read this month were re-reads: Hold Me by Courtney Milan, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’m really excited by the amount of books I was able to re-read. Plus, I’m most of the way through the first Harry Potter on audiobook, which is actually one of the books on my 20 to Reread in 2018 list!

7. Beyond Addictionby Kit Rocha

This is Trix’s book and I really enjoyed it because of how well it expands the world. It’s interesting because I don’t feel like I need the sci-fi/dystopian/whatever it is world to be fully fleshed out when I’m reading romance. But I always love when the authors expand the world and in this one we got to see more of two of the other sectors and meet new characters, which I loved.

8. Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

I was enjoying this book enough that it was headed for a high four star rating and then there was a passage that rubbed me the wrong way. Of course I didn’t take any notes about what it was because why would I do something so helpful? This book is about friendship and a neurodiverse friendship at that (Kat has pretty intense anxiety and Meg has ADHD). The neurodiversity is portrayed well, in my opinion, and I really enjoyed the friendship aspect of this book. What I didn’t like is that there were plot points that weren’t fully fleshed out and wound up feeling like they rushed by or were shoehorned in. Occasionally both. There’s a lot that happens in this book, honestly, so I can understand why things were glossed over, but this book could have benefited from at least fifty more pages fleshing some things out. Overall, I would recommend if you’re still trying to find the book that represents your anxiety or your ADHD or you’re desperate for a book with female friendship, but would skip it if you don’t tend to like YA contemporary stories.

9. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendaby Becky Albertalli

I adore this book and I’m beyond excited for Love, Simon. I was having a bad day and impulsively downloaded the audiobook because I figured I could listen to it and calm down. I don’t necessarily recommend this book for the first time on audio. The first 100 pages of Simon were hard for me to get into when I read the book as a hard copy, but I don’t think I would have made it through the audiobook if that’s how I had started. However, once I got used to the narrator, it didn’t take me long to sink blissfully back into the world of Simon and his friends. I adore this book so much, y’all, and I genuinely cannot wait for the movie.

10. Bad For the Boss by Talia Hibbert

Is there a trope more difficult to pull off than one with a huge power imbalance? For me, the answer is probably not because unless you catch me in a *mood*, I’m never going to be down with the premise. But Alisha Rai was absolutely raving about this book and I decided to give in because it’s hard to resist a plus sized heroine. And bless up, because this book actually examines the power imbalance between them! And at every possible opportunity Theodore gives Jennifer power over him. And most importantly, there are passages that poetically describe her dimpled thighs and her stretch marks. I died. I’m obsessed. Talia Hibbert has a fan for life. I need all of her books now.

11. The Golden Compassand 13. The Subtle Knifeby Philip Pullman

I did my re-read I pulled out of my cup! I’m so proud of myself. I’m working on The Amber Spyglass now, but haven’t quite finished it up. I do plan to finish it before starting on Sense and Sensibility though. I was really surprised by how little I remember from the His Dark Materials series so I’m very glad I chose to read it. It’s really rather dark for a children’s book, but I am quite enjoying it. The cliffhanger at the end of The Subtle Knife was startling to say the least. I didn’t even remember that Will existed somehow. Apparently I should re-read all of the books from my childhood because it will be like reading them for the first time.

12. North to Youby Tif Marcelo

First of all, do not read this blurb because if you do, you will be waiting until 42% of the way through the book for the actual advertised concept to take off. Additionally, if you really dislike the conflict choice of failure to communicate or willfully chose to keep a secret for seemingly no reason, you will struggle with this book. That said, Marcelo writes extremely steamy scenes regardless of the level of contact between her romantic leads and I am always down for that, which is why despite not loving this book at all, I’m extremely excited to pick up the second book in the series.

14. Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

I’ve talked about this book both in my Biannual Bibliothon Wrap Up and in a review of it’s own so all I will say here is that I highly encourage you to read it.

15-18. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan, Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom, Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Anderson, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I discussed my thoughts on these books in the Biannual Bibliothon Wrap Up post as well so please see that for more information.

19-21. Depression and Other Magic Tricksby Sabrina Benaim, Bad Feministby Roxane Gay, and Turtles All the Way Downby John Green

I discussed and read these books during the 24 in 48 Readathon, so see my wrap up for more in depth thoughts! Also, a Bad Feminist will be receiving a separate post in February! Hold me to it!

22. Before the Devil Breaks Youby Libba Bray

This book destroyed me. The end of it? Just… Absolutely blew me away. I think if I was trying to nitpick, I would say that there were some spots in the middle where things could have moved a bit quicker, but mostly, I was just so enamored with everything happening and yet dreading the book coming to a close so I kept dragging my feet to listen to the audiobook. I really want to talk to someone about this book, this series, so if you’ve read them, HIT ME UP. And if you start reading them, feel free to spam me with your thoughts. (I’m so serious about this. You will not be annoying me.)

I’m not sure I can pick a favorite read of January, honestly. Hold Me by Courtney Milan was obviously amazing all over again. Before the Devil Breaks You was absolutely brilliant as were You Bring the Distant Near and Love, Hate, and Other Filters. So many good books in January! We’ll see what sticks with me as time goes on. What was your favorite read in January?


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