January 2019 Wrap Up (+ Mental Health Book Bingo Wrap Up)

Monthly Wrap Up newest

Life Update 

  • I started the month in the best way, traveling through Italy. I went to Rome, Florence and Venice and it was amazing! Venice was so beautiful.
  • Then I got home the 8th of January and I started my internship the next day – after a 20 days trip through France and Italy – and it was exhausting if I’m being honest. The internship has been kind of a disappointment.
  • I also had exams during January, I did really well on those, but with everything that was going on, my anxiety got a bit out of hand after a few months of being in very low levels, which sucks.
  • Still, overall it was a good month, I love the fact that I started the year traveling and I’m so grateful I got that chance!

What I Read 

This year I’m participating in a few reading challenges, so I’ll be lkeeping track of that with some emojis!

                     🌸 =Reading Women Challenge 🌿= Catch Up on Classics                                    ⭐= Dancing with Fantasy and Sci-fi Challenge 🌻= Year of the Asian

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire (4,3 stars): my favorite book in the series so far! I found the goblin market so interesting and the characters were so complex! This entire book was so bittersweet and I loved it! (review)  – ⭐

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (3 stars): This was disappointing; the writing style wasn’t for me, I didn’t found the case interesting and the only really good thing was the characters. (review) – 🌿

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (5 stars):  Lovely, flawed, amazing characters and a really interesting relationship and dynamic between them.  (review coming this week!) – 🌿🌸

Tangled Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie (4 stars): This was really good, Thatcher is not my favorite but I love Jane and they work as a couple and I liked that we got to see more of the Cobalts. Honestly,  I can’t wait until we get a Sulli and Akara book. I NEED IT! – 🌸

Hi Fi Fight Club by Carly Usdin (4 stars): I really liked this, I think the characters are amazing and the art and color pallet are so lovely! (review)

Lumberjanes by Various Authors (4 stars): This was so much fun! The perfect amount of spooky and mysterious to make want to continue with the other issues. (review)

Lumberjanes: 2016 Special by Various Authors (3,4 stars): Didn’t really enjoy this story as much, I think it was a little too ridiculous and not spooky enough. But the art was pretty. (review)

Mental Health Book Bingo 

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (4 stars): Beautifully written, I loved the romance and seeing the evolution of the father/daughter relationship. I wasn’t even 10% into this and it had me tearing up. My only problem with this is that it dragged a little. It has depression rep, so trigger warning for that and for suicide.  (review) – 🌻 🌸

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (4,5 stars): I loved all the characters in this book so much and I had a lot of fun reading this story until the moment when my heart was broken. Besides that, I really liked that this was a Fantasy standalone, which we need more of, and it’s a fantasy with anxiety rep, which we need even more –  ⭐

Darius the Great in Not Okay by Adib Khorram (4,5 stars): This was fantastic, the family relationships were the main focus of this book and there were so many complex and interesting characters that even when there’s not much plot, I still found this absolutely compelling. The friendship part of the story was also really sweet and i loved that it was set in Iran and mostt of the main characters were iranies. Also, this was the second book this month that made me tear up, which is so unusual for me! Trigger warnings for depression- 🌻

You Are Here by Dawn Lanuza (3,5 stars): The writing style wasn’t that great, but I really liked the themes this addressed, like depression and  second love, and I found a lot of what the author was trying to say relatable. (review coming this week!)

Blog Posts 

Here are some of my favorite blog posts I wrote in January:

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?

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Book Review: In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream

Title: In An Absent Dream

Author: Seanan McGuire

Published by: Tor.com

Publishing date: January 8th 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 187

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone . . .

Goodreads| Amazon 

In An Absent Dream has become my favorite book in the Wayward Children series. I found the Goblin Market to be a more fascinating and intricate world than the worlds in other books in the series and I found the whole concept of Fair Value, which is the base of the Market, to be really thought provoking and critical of some of the behaviours and systems we have as a society.

Seanan McGuire takes the writing in this book one step further, it feels even more like a fairytale than the other books and the way in which she tells this cautionary tale is intriguing, because there’s a sort of omnipresent narrator that shows the reader this little glimpses of what’s gonna happen later in the book and that kept me interested and made me want to keep reading until I could found out exactly how thing were gonna play out.

The relationships in this story are very complex and they were of my favorite things about this book.  I loved the friendship between Lundy and Moon and the relationship between Lundy and the Archivist, even if the way those relationships ended kind of dissapointed me. The relationship between Lundy and her father was so interesting and intriguing to me that I wish I got more of it. And lastly, I freaking adored the little bit we saw of the relationship between Lundy and her sister, it was precious.

This book focuses on the moments between adventures, the book mentions that Lundy went questing and defended the Market, but those are not the stories the book is telling. instead, it’s about understanding how the market works and the consequences of not paying fair value. At the beginning, I was a bit disappointed that we were not getting to see Lundy’s adventures, but then I understood that wasn’t neccesary because that wasn’t what the story was about. And also, the events and consequences of those adventures were mentioned enough to answer some of my questions about them while letting the world keep an aura of mystery that was very compelling. I think that’s something Seanan McGuire does very well in all the books in the series, she gives enough information about the world to make it interesting, but there’s things that remain unknown and that way the worlds keep being intriguing.

From the start, you know this book is not gonna have a happy ending, but I didn’t see coming the especific way it ended. I wouldn’t say it was surprising, but I was a bit confused and disappointed in how easily some of the other characters let it happen. I feel like Lundy would have done a lot more to avoid something like that happeneing to the other characters, so I felt a little betrayed in her behalf. But then, I remember that Moon had told Lundy that she would never understanding Fair Value completely, because she wasn’t originally from the Market and I think neither Lundy, as a character, or me, as a reader, completely understood what Fair Value means until the last page of the book. 

Rating: 4,3 stars 

Have you read this book? Are you planning on reading it? Are any fantasy books that you think are similar to this series and that you would recommend?

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Anticipated Releases of January 2019

Hi everyone! A new year means new amazing books that are being released and I’m so excited to talk about 4 books coming out in January that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

There’s one book coming out in January that it’s missing from this list, Tangled Like Us by Krista and Becca Ritchie, because I mentioned in my post about December anticipated releases before it was announced that the publication date was being moved.

King of Scars

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Nikolai is one of my favorite characters from the Grisha Trilogy and I’m so excited to see how his journey continues. I’m also looking forward to cameos of some of the characters I love from the original trilogy and also from Six of Crows.

Release date: January 28th

The Wicked King

The Wicked King by Holly Black

After the revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

The Cruel Prince was one of my favorite books of 2018, so I’m incredibly excited to find out what happens next. I feel like we are gonna get a lot more of Jude and Cardan in this book and I’m here for it! Also, the fact that so many people that got arcs loved the book is giving me a good feeling about it.

Release date: January 8th

In an Absent Dream.jpg

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well. For anyone . . .

I have so much fun reading this series, I truly love the concept behind it and I’m excited to find out more about one of the most intriguing characters in the series and the fact that it’s set in a goblin market makes it even better.

Release date: January 8th

Black Enough

Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi

Black Enough is an anthology that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.

Whether it’s Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.

I wasn’t much of a fan of short story collections, but in 2018, I found a few that I really enjoyed and I want to read more of them. The topics of this particular collection are so important and I’m looking forward to see how every author addresses them, especially since I have read and loved books by some of them.

Release date: January 8th

What January book releases are you anticipating? Do you want to read any of the books I mentioned? Have you read any of them already? what did you think about them?

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Book Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the sugar sky

Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Author: Seanan McGuire

Published by:  tor.com

Publishing date: January 9th 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 174

Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world. 

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

Goodreads | Amazon 

The premise of this series is fascinating and, as someone that loves fantasy and that has wanted for a big part my life to get to have an adventure in a magical world, this series speaks to me in a very personal way. I’m always in awe of the amount of worldbuilding that Seanan McGuire manages to accomplish in these very short books.  There’s so much creativity and imagination put into creating the different worlds that these kids call home, they all sound unique and whimsical, but there’s so much logic put into the classification of the worlds and that makes it even more interesting.

This third book in the series has a more concrete plot than the second book, which to me made it more enjoyable. The second book was centered around exploring Jack and Jill’s world and getting their backstory, which we already knew how it ended because we had seen them in the first book. Something different happens in this third book, because there is a quest, a purpose, the characters are working toward something and that made me be more invested in the story. 

Nonetheless, the fact that these books are so short sometimes makes it hard for me to get to know the characters and care about them, and that was definitely the case with the characters in this book. I really enjoyed seeing what happened to the characters of the first book, like Nancy, Christopher, Nadya and Kade. Also, I loved the fat rep that the new character that’s introduced, Cora, brought to the story, I really liked her as a character and her responses to everything that was going on were very relatable. BUT I feel like if a new character was gonna be introduced she could have had a more important role in the story. She is there, she is one of the POV characters, but I didn’t see why she was necessary even when I really liked her as a character.

Overall, I really liked the premise, worldbuilding and plot of this book, but I had some trouble  feeling invested and caring about the characters. 

Overall rating: 3,8 stars
Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?
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7 Most Disappointing Books of 2017

7 most disappointing books of 2017

Yesterday, I talked about books that surprised me in 2017, because they were better than I expected them to be. Today, I want to talk about books that I was disappointed with, not necessarily because they were bad,  but because they weren’t as good as I expected them to be.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

I was so intrigued by this book, the cover looked great and I had heard so many amazing things, that I was simply expecting more. I thought this was a good book, but some of the big reveals felt forced and the ending wasn’t my favorite.  Actually, I’m not excited to  continue with this series, I gave it 4 stars but I think I was generous.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I saw the ending coming since the beginning of the book, which wasn’t good, and I hated the ending, which was even worse.  I ended up feeling like the three books had been for nothing, like I got no pay off after reading the entire series. I gave this book 3,5 stars and I think I may have been a bit generous.

A Courts of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

I really liked this book , I gave it 4,3 stars, but after the amazingness that was book 2 in the series, I was expecting so much more out of the ‘final’ instalment in every sense. Also, there’s some bisexual representation and I feel like it wasn’t handled that well, which frustrated me a lot.

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis

I had really high hopes for this book bacause I had heard nothing but good things. I recognize that this book does a god job with representation, it has a pansexual main carácter and a Lesbian filipino love interest, BUT the writing is terrible and I could get pass that.  I gave it 2,8 stars at the end.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

So many people say that Animal Farm is their favorite book and that George Orwell is a genius for writing it, so I had huge expectations for this book and I was completely disappointed. I know this book is a clever allegory, but I found reading it to be tedious and I actually thought this was boring. The only part I really liked was the ending. I gave it 3,2 stars.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I have seen this book around a lot, but i didn’t know that much about it before reading it, but after seeing this everywhere I was expecting it to be amazing. At the end, I hate the way this was written, aspects like the fact that it’s told in vignettes, the lack of punctuation, and the lack of real plot confused me and made me not enjoy reading this at all. I gave it 3,4 stars.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

I loved the first book in this series and I was expeting to love this one as much, but that did not happen. I still enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as good as I wanted to be. I gave it 3,8 stars.

 

Tell me in the comments, what books were disappointing in 2007? I would love to know!