Hi everyone! it’s time for the first wrap-up of the year. I actually had a pretty good reading month in January both in terms of quantity and quality, and I’m excited to share my thoughts on the 10 books I read.
But before getting into the books, here are some posts I wrote in January in case you missed them:
- My favorite books of 2021
- Favorite romances of 2021
- Disappointing books of 2021
- Reading Other People’s Favorite Books | TBR
- Anticipated romance books of the first half of 2022
- Favorite authors I discovered in 2022
- Ranking the 31 kdramas I watch in 2021 – part 1 and part 2
- My favorite book bloggers | 2022 support book bloggers challenge
Now, without further ado, here are the books I read in January:
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (3,5 stars): The first 40% of this was confusing and a little frustrating. It did get better after the 40% mark and the last 30-25% was actually really good. My main issue was not that it was confusing, it was that I had a rough idea of what was going on (not everything but I guessed some things) and that made the past timeline a little boring for me, even if at the end, something surprising happened with that storyline.
This was a very unique and original book and I appreciated that. I like the weird relationships between all the characters, every interaction was charged and it was interesting to understand a little of the backstory of those relationships. I also really appreciated all the twists and turns the story takes. While I liked Harrow as a pov character, I missed Gideon, she made book 1 funnier and more entertaining.
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova (4 stars): This is a beautifully written and magical story, full of strange and wonderful magic and about a large and complicated family. It explores the importance of knowing and understanding where we come from and it deals with the things we inherit from our families, the good and the bad. A story filled with interesting characters, that changes perspective often and while there were moments where it seems like it’s going to dive deeper into the characters, it never really happens.
A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark (3.5 stars): I enjoyed this, but not as much as I was expecting. The setup, the concept and the world-building are amazing. Steampunk is not a subgenre of fantasy that I read often, so a lot of elements from this felt new and interesting to me. I really liked the main character as well, she is sassy, strong, and independent. While the mystery was interesting, the resolution felt really rushed.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (3 stars): I had high expectations for this book and I’m so sad that I didn’t love it. I usually end up loving hyped romances but it was not the case with this one. In the beginning, I was really enjoying this story. I liked Piper from the start and I actually enjoyed her character development throughout the book. At first, I also liked the relationship between Piper and Brendan, the bad first impression, the bickering, the slow transition into a friendlier relationship. I liked all of it. But I had so many issues with the second half of the book, Brendan decides that he wants Piper forever after less than three weeks of knowing her and he becomes pushy and annoying, and the book becomes so cheesy that it was almost unbearable at times. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was so dramatic when narrating the dialogue, which didn’t help.
The Introvert’s Guide to Online Dating by Emma Hart (3,5 stars): This was a fast and entertaining read, which was exactly what I needed when I picked it up. While it was good, it wasn’t anything memorable. It has a frenemies-to-lovers relationship which is a trope I love, it has good banter, it is a little steamy and it has sweet moments. The main problem with this is that it had way TOO MANY side characters for such a short novella.
Finlay Donavan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano (4,5 stars): This was fun, fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and absolutely absurd. It kept me at the edge of my seat. My issue with this is that was a lot of convenient and unrealistic things happened, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment too much. More of my thoughts HERE.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (4 stars): I read this in one day and it was a fast and entertaining read. It had captivating characters, complex relationships and the Filipino culture and food were an interesting part of the story. The mystery was entertaining, but there wasn’t any sense of urgency or danger, which made it feel just a little lackluster. More of my thoughts HERE.
We Have Always Live in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (4 stars): I didn’t have high expectations for this book and maybe that’s why I ended up really enjoying it. I know this is an unpopular opinion but this was a very quick read for me. This had an unreliable narrator but also unreliable characters in general, they all seemed to be hiding something even from themselves, and it’s set in a creepy little town full of hateful people which added to the atmosphere of the story. While not a lot happens, it was still an interesting read because I kept trying to figure out what really happened even if I had strong suspicions.
The Low. Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado (4 stars): I didn’t know what to expect going into this so I was shocked while reading it. This is like literary horror put into graphic novel form, so it’s slow and it’s disturbing and sinister in a quiet way. But it’s also so powerful. It’s a story about two queer women of color and it’s definitely a story for women and about women’s experiences.
Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson (4 stars): Jenny Lawson is honest, raw and funny while talking about her mental health, her chronic illness, her marriage, being an introvert and her life in general. Which makes this book very touching and entertaining at the same time. The chapter that it’s a letter to Lawson’s health insurance company is one of the most heartbreaking, infuriating, and powerful things I have read.