Hi everybody, and welcome to my January wrap up!
Is it just me, or is January always kind of a sucky month? It’s cold, it’s dark and it lasts FOREVER. But on the bright side, I started my reading year STRONG! And music wise there were some great bops this month. And we got a ton of Bernie Sanders memes to enjoy. So let’s focus on that, shall we?
Midnight Lies (Shifter Island #2) by Leia Stone and Raye Wagner
I read the first book in this series last year and really enjoyed it. Sure, it was not a perfect read, but I overlooked all those little issues because it was such a fun ride: werewolf academy setting, mystery, a romance with secret mates, and a huge focus on friendship. I loved it.
But book two? I have to admit that this kind of lost my attention. The werewolf academy part is reduced to almost zero, the world and storyline that was mysterious in book one now felt full of plotholes, the romance stopped at the true mate part and didn’t develop further and the friendship was absent for most of the book. I don’t think I’ll continue.
Overall rating: 2,5 stars
This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
I’m still making my way through the Night Huntress series and I’m loving every minute of it. Though this book felt slower to start than the others, I still love Cat and Bones so much, and I ADORED the appearances by other characters.
There was a certain chapter that had me sobbing my heart out, (which was unfortunate as I was driving to work at the time, so I was full on sobbing with red eyes, runny nose, and all that just 5 minutes before I had to start work. Fun times!) and the ending was amazing. Hope to start the next book soon.
Rating: 4 stars
Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura Thalassa
This was such an amazing read and I’m kicking myself for not picking it up earlier! Rhapsodic is the story of Calypso who is a siren who owes over 300 favors to the Bargainer, the fae king of night. For years, he hasn’t called in any of those favors, but one day he shows up in her room and tells her it’s time to start repaying. Which includes helping him solve a mystery in the Otherworld.
The story is told alternatively in the present and the past, and we slowly get to know Callie and the Bargainer in the present while we learn what happened between them all those years ago that led to so many favors and why they haven’t seen each other in years.
This was a super character and romance driven read that had me hooked from start to end. Also, I may have a thing for fae kings of nights with wings. I am okay with that.
Rating: 4,5 stars
A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2) by Laura Thalassa
Ugh, I hate that this didn’t live up to the awesomeness of the first book! Though I LOVED book one, book two was pretty disappointing. It missed the fun, mysterious romance build up and character development that made book one so special. It also started SUPER slow and I was actually debating DNF’ing, when it did get a lot better around the 40% mark. Then the mystery kicked in again, we got to know a lot of other characters and my favorite snarky friend made an epically badass entrance. So overall, 3 stars. I still want to read book 3, but I don’t feel an overwhelming need to do so RIGHT NOW.
Rating: 3 stars
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a slow and kind of sad read. But it’s such an intriguing plot, with amazing characters and gorgeous writing, that it’s worth every second. This book had its claws in me from the get-go and I could not stop thinking about Addie and her curse. But besides Addie, I was equally invested in the other two main characters. I related so much to Henry, the boy who felt too much, cared too much and never felt enough and was thrilled when his story collided with Addie’s. And though he’s kind of the villain of the story, I was intrigued by Luc and wanted more of him. I highly recommend this read, and really, really want to see a movie version of this as I’m sure it’ll be such an amazing story to see on screen.
Rating: 4,5 stars | Read full review
Shipped by Angie Hockman
Shipped was an adorable debut that was the best kind of mix of The Hating Game and The Unhoneymooners, but more soft and mature than both of those. The story is about two office rivals at a cruise company, who have never met because one of them is a remote worker, but their email battles are pretty epic nevertheless. But when both of them are in the running for the same promotion, their boss decides they should go on one of their cruises to work out a proposal to boost sales of that cruise destination. Best proposal wins the promotion. And when they meet, they may find more than they expected. Needless to say, this was the BEST setting (Galapagos islands), filled with fun banter, memorable secondary characters, chemistry and even a critical look at the struggles of women in the workplace. Definitely a rom-com to try!
Rating: 4 stars
A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Re-Read)
I’ve rediscovered my love of re-reads in December and decided to keep it up in 2021. And what better way to start my re-reading habit than with the ACOTAR series, one of my all-time favorites and just in time for the release of A Court of Silver Flames in February?
And my updated review: I still love this series. Book one was a bit tougher to re-read, knowing what happens and I have to admit I kind of wanted to get to the end because that’s when the story REALLY starts. But it was great to re-read to see from Feyre’s POV and her character development. People always praise her character development in book two (which is amazing for sure), but I think her development in book one is equally worthy of praise.
And of course, book two is still my absolute favorite. I love the Night Court, the Inner Court and naturally and most of all, Rhysand. (My original favorite winged fae lord of night)
Rating: 4 stars ACOTAR and 5 stars ACOMAF
Top Ten Tuesday
Quote It Wednesday
Can’t Wait Wednesday
MY BLOG TURNED FIVE THIS MONTH! Have you entered my blogoversary give-away yet?
January started kind of slow music-wise, but then there were actually some amazing releases!
MY FAVORITE: Dreamcatcher – Odd Eye
Honestly, I don’t think there is any band out that there that just feels so ME like Dreamcatcher. I love their brand of danceable fantasy and rock-inspired pop with meaningful lyrics, and Odd Eye is another FANTASTIC hit!
Olivia Rodrigo – Driver’s License
This song has been trending throughout January and I completely agree with all the hype. The emotion in this song is through the roof and listening to this song I instantly feel like a teenager experiencing my first heartbreak all over again.
ONEUS – No Diggity
This band has been releasing hit after hit since their debut and No Diggity is no exception. I love it and the aesthetic of the video. It’s been on repeat every day since its release.
Yours Truly – High Hopes
This is an older song that happened to come up in a random Spotify playlist and I fell in love. I missed this pop punk style and have listened to this song and other Yours Truly songs since I discovered it.
I originally started writing I didn’t watch a lot of TV this month, but actually I kind of did? Here’s what I watched:
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 4
I am so bummed that this show is cancelled. Unfortunately, the final season suffered under the cancellation. Though it started off strong, the final few episodes felt way too rushed and illogical and don’t even get me started on that ending! I will miss this show, because despite their weird insistence to do musical numbers on a regular basis, I really enjoyed the chilling adventures of Sabrina and company.
The Mandalorian Season 2
I never mentioned me watching season 1 in my wrap-ups, because I literally spent months watching that season. We watched maybe 2 episodes per month. I just wasn’t hooked enough to binge. Season two though? So much better! Even if I was spoiled about the ending (thank you, internet).
I also watched the first few episodes of WandaVision (hooked) and a few episodes of the kdrama Tale of the Nine-Tailed (not yet hooked).
I have to admit, I always tend to struggle a bit in January. I think that’s due to the fact that it’s still winter, cold and dark, but the coziness of the holidays is over and so all that’s left is the cold and dark. Add to that the general state of the world and the pandemic that is still keeping us isolated from friends and family, and yeah, it’s easy to get a little down. This month especially I tried really hard to keep positive and though I succeeded overall, I still had some anxiety that hit me pretty hard and made me physically ill for a few days. I’m also so exhausted I pretty much fall asleep every evening around 20:00 already only to wake up several times throughout the night and then have trouble waking up in the morning. Yay.
So yeah, I’m trying to stay positive while also REALLY looking forward to spring and sunnier days!
Things that made me happy this month:
- Dreamcatcher comeback! I love this group so much, I would even call them my current favorite.
- All the Bernie Sanders memes.
- We got rid of our old tableware and got a whole new set of plates, cups, bowls, … (I know, I know, bring out the old lady jokes, but still… it’s so pretty!)
- MY FIFTH BLOGOVERSARY!!!
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- So many amazing book releases I’m excited about! Most importantly: Winter’s Orbit, Make Up Break Up, The Gilded Ones and of course A Court of Silver Flames.
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean is coming out on Netflix!
- Umm Dawson’s Creek is on Netflix so I’m totally planning a nostalgia binge to get back in touch with my inner Joshua Jackson fangirl.
- Also, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is coming to Disney+, so where do I even start with my nostalgia binge?
- A really short month so spring is just a little closer!