Hi everybody, and welcome to my January wrap up!
I don’t want to add to the thousands of people and memes saying that January took forever, but really though… January took FOREVER! I do think that the months of January and February usually are the worst months of the year – it’s dark, it’s cold, the excitement about the holidays is over. But that just means we have to focus on all the good things some more, don’t we? And the good thing is that I actually got quite some reading done in January, which I’m happy about. And I got back into blogging, after 1-2 months of semi-hiatus. (I realize I never did a post announcing my return but oh well… HERE I AM!) So pretty good right?
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to in January:
Druid Vices and a Vodka by Annette Marie
By now, it’s probably no surprise to you how much I love this series. I have several reviews and other occasions where I’ve been raving about Tori, the fiery main character, or her three best friends, or the laugh-out-loud humor or the epic worldbuilding or the heart-warming friendships or the swoony slow-burn romance. I mean, this is not new. It’s book six by now and I love this series a little more with each and every new book.
Rating: 5 stars | Read my full review
The A.I. Who Loved me by Alyssa Cole
This sci-fi audiobook about a woman falling for the hot A.I. next door came up in Audible’s top romance picks for 2019 and I picked it up almost immediately because it sounded like something I’d love. Also, it’s narrated by Regina Hall with a cameo by Mindy Kaling, as if I needed another reason to jump on this. I highly enjoyed this novella (it’s only 5 hours listening time, that’s novella right?). It was cute and fun and I enjoyed the romance aspect. Could have used just a bit more worldbuilding, but what we had in the amount of time we had was definitely great, highly recommend!
Rating: 4 stars
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Ninth House was just amazing. Truthfully, the first few chapters were a bit hard to get into, as you get really thrown into this story with a non-linear storyline with two POV’s, but I was quickly hooked. Leigh’s writing style is as beautiful and grandiose as ever, but this time there’s also a palpable darkness surrounding every phrase that just grabs you and won’t let you go. So while this book is indeed quite dark, violent and gory – way more than what I would normally be comfortable with – I did indeed fell quite in love with it. That’s because – gore aside – it managed to hit all my spots: intricate worldbuilding, hauntingly beautiful writing, AMAZING CHARACTERS and dealing with real issues. Definitely check out the trigger warnings before reading though.
Rating: 3 stars | Read my full review
The Royal Trials series by Tate James
So uhm… I tried a reverse harem series? And I didn’t hate it?
Truthfully, I’ve been intrigued by the concept of reverse harem ever since I saw mentioned on the first Guild Codex book by Annette Marie that it was definitely NOT reverse harem. And I was like, “Good! …Wait, what’s a reverse harem?” So I looked it up and turned out it’s one girl and multiple guys, no choosing. My first instinct was nooo that’s not my thing. But I still wanted to try it, and so I picked up The Royal Trials trilogy by Tate James. Basically it’s about a girl thief accidentally being entered into the Royal Trials, a deadly contest to select the next Queen. Think The Selection meets Throne of Glass. Except, she falls for ALL THREE of the princes. Enter: reverse harem.
And guys, I thought I would hate it. But I sped through all three books over the course of three days. I was addicted. I LIKED this series. Sure, it’s not perfect. The worldbuilding was lacking and the characters could have been better developed. The ending was rushed. And it was quite predictable. Also, the romantic part of my brain is still not convinced about the concept of a reverse harem (just choose dammit), BUT I’m definitely still picking up some more Tate James books.
Overall rating: 3,5 stars
TWeet cute by Emma Lord
Tweet Cute was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2020. I mean, it’s about two teens who are both running their family businesses’ Twitter accounts and start a full-out Twitter war when one of them (a burger place) introduces a new grilled cheese recipe that looks eerily similar to the other’s long-time grilled cheese. But then these kids also go to the same school and end up getting to know each other and liking each other in real life. I mean, GOLD RIGHT? While it’s not the full out 5 stars I had expected (I am a huge pen pal nerd, and I was expecting more romance in pen pal form which wasn’t really the case here), this was still such a fun, enjoyable read. The banter. The memes. THE CHEESE!
Rating: 4,5 stars
Don’t you Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
This book was recommended to me by Audible for MONTHS and so I finally caved and checked it out. It’s a story about Georgina, who gets fired from her crappy job one day only to walk in on her equally crappy boyfriend cheating on her. Desperately, she accepts another job only to find out that her first love is now her manager. And… he doesn’t remember her. Ouch. Honestly, I thought this would be a rom-com but it’s not really.
Sure, it’s funny, but it’s funny in a way that packs a punch. Georgina has it rough. Something awful happened to her in high school and it’s been ruining her confidence and her life ever since. From crappy jobs, to gaslighting ex-boyfriends, to undermining family members, a passive-aggressive roommate, and now a first love who doesn’t remember her, Georgina’s had it rough.
And sure, there’s romance, but it’s more going on in the background and near the end. The focus of the book is Georgina and her journey and I was here for all of it. That speech at the end though? I re-winded it because I just had to listen to it again. Worth the relative lack of romance throughout the rest of the book, for sure!
Rating: 4 stars
Top Ten Tuesday
PS: I’m trying a new TTT header theme in order to save time on graphics. (I used to make a new image for every TTT and it took me forever so I’m trying this so I can spend more time commenting, reading or writing the blog post) I first had the top two ones, with some more creative additions, but after a while it felt too busy for me and I switched to the bottom theme, which feels like there’s more room to breathe. But I’m still in doubt. So feel free to let me know which style you prefer!
Something Different Sunday
My playlist in January was preettty chaotic. As in all over the place. But that’s okay, I still love it anyway 🙂
DEATH NOTE MUSICAL – HURRICANe
Remember when I was obsessed with Death Note? Well, it’s back in full force! The past few weeks I’ve been listening to the musical songs again. I’m so sad that the English musical never really happened but at least we have the concept songs on Youtube. I especially love Hurricane, which is basically Light’s song. It just feels so powerful and shows the duality of Light so well. I also love the Korean version of Hurricane, which is even more powerful, but then again the English version makes it easier for me to dramatically sing along in the car or shower.
Stray Kids – Levanter (English)
Stray Kids released two of their songs in English this month and even though I don’t think Korean bands have to sing in English I do tend to enjoy it when they do. I especially like the English version of Levanter.
BTS – Black Swan
“A dancer dies twice — once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful.” – Martha Graham
I don’t think I already told this on here, but last November I made the tough decision to stop dancing after over 15 years. It’s something I’ve always done and always loved but lately I haven’t had the time anymore due to several reasons which impacted my enjoyment of it and I just had to make some tough decisions. I decided to stop dancing, which freed up some time especially in my weekends, but I’m not gonna lie, I miss it a lot. So of course that is when BTS releases a song about artists losing the feeling for their art and I’m not gonna call myself an artist in any way, but damn.
Ateez – Answer
This song is so catchy and powerful. That is all.
Halsey – You Should Be Sad
Who hasn’t been listening to Halsey’s new album this month? It’s so good and I can’t choose a favorite song – I love You Should Be Sad, Finally // Beautiful Stranger, 3am, I HATE EVERYBODY, Alanis’ interlude, Suga’s interlude and my personal favorite, Still Learning.
Christina Perri – The Words
It’s been a walk down memory lane this month as I rediscovered Christina Perri. I forgot how much I loved this song especially, but it still gives me goosebumps so many years later. Also, remember when I used to have a crush on Hook from Once Upon A Time?
Dead by Sunrise – Let Down
I mentioned in a previous wrap up that I’ve been listening to a lot of Linkin Park lately. This month, one of my best friends and fellow Linkin Park fan sent me this song by a band called Dead by Sunrise. I played the song and was in awe when I heard Chester starting to sing. Apparently he had a side project which even had a full album out. So of course I listened to this album a lot <3
So I kind of forgot last month, but I actually watched The Witcher around New Year’s, so I’m mentioning it here. I really enjoyed the TV series and I’m wondering whether I should give the books a try as well.
Other than that, I’m afraid I didn’t watch that much TV yet. I started rewatching the Death Note live action tv show (because hello, still obsessed) and I watched the first 2-3 episodes of the new season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but nothing major yet.
Things that made me happy this month:
- Reading: I got quite some reading in this month and that made me pretty happy. Sometimes it’s as simple as that 🙂
- Blogging again. I needed that semi-hiatus but I’m happy to be back!
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- Friend dates!
- My 11-year anniversary of dating my now-husband <3
- Cute new YA contemporary releases: BothYes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed and Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon will be published in February!
- PS I Still Love You will be on Netflix February 12th!
- BTS new album will release February 28th!
HOW WAS YOUR JANUARY? WHAT DID YOU READ? WHAT DID YOU LISTEN TO AND WHAT DID YOU WATCH? WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR FEBRUARY?
I’m glad you enjoyed Tweet cute, I enjoyed it too, it’s adorable & The A.I. Who Loved me, it sounds super fun, it’s the first time I’ve heard about itI’m glad you enjoyed Tweet cute, I enjoyed it too, it’s adorable & The A.I. Who Loved Me sounds super fun, it’s the first time I heard about it ??
They’re definitely both fun, cute books! 🙂
Aww, look at that dog! And that pizza! I love both of them. Happy anniversary. I hope you have a great February!
Haha pizza is pretty amazing for sure 🙂 Happy February!
I’m glad you had a good January. I loved Tweet Cute, too. And your dog is adorable!
Thanks! Hope you’ll have a great February 🙂
I totally agree that January and February are basically the worst months of the year! Glad you got some great reading in!
Haha yeah they are the worst, but at least we can almost start counting down to spring! 🙂
The Witcher yeaaaaaa! I love that show so much. 😀
It was so good and waaaaay too short haha 🙂
It’s nice to have you back, and I’m glad you had a really good reading month. I need to listen to Dead By Sunrise – I miss Chester so much. He had such an amazing voice. I also need to get Halsey’s new album but I love what I’ve heard so far!!!
Thanks, Lauren! I miss Chester so much too, so it was nice to discover this new-to-me music by him. Hope you’ll enjoy the rest of Halsey’s album as well 🙂
It seems like you had a pretty great month. I just looked up Annette Marie because of you, and I now might try this series because it seems interesting. Also, yes, I do recommend the Witcher books. I read The Last Wish last month and am reading Sword of Destiny this month.
Thanks! I hope you’ll like Annette Marie’s book if you decide to pick it up! Thanks, I’m definitely adding the Witcher books to my TBR – I need more of the story 🙂