January Wrap-Up | 2019

Hopefully, January is an indicator of how the rest of the year will go, because it was a pretty solid month, both reading and watching-wise. I read 11 (ELEVEN!) books this month, and only one of them was a comic, and two were novellas. Also, I finished off some books that were leftover from 2018. It was a pretty productive month, so let's get into it.

Out of the eleven books that I read, six of them were 4+ stars, and my average star rating for the month was 3.81; so overall, a great month.


A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE - Brittany Cavallaro: 3.5/5 - I've heard about this book for years now and finally just grabbed the audiobook from my library. And this was fun. It was nothing revolutionary or groundbreaking, but I had a good time reading it. I'll definitely continue on with the series, most likely through audiobooks from the library, throughout the year. I will say I'm not the biggest fan of, especially in Sherlock Holmes retellings/reimaginings, when the gender/sex of either Holmes or Watson is changed to a female so that then there's an "acceptable" way to shoe-horn in a romance. It just bothers me, because the only reason you made one of them a girl is so that she's there to fall in love with the companion or with Moriarty or whoever. It's just a personal pet peeve of mine.

BY NIGHT, VOL. 1 - John Allison 3/5 - I actually read most of these in single issues during 2018, but I read the last issue this month. (The TPB is supposed to release in March.) This is from the author of everyone's favorite title, Giant Days, and ... it's not as good as Giant Days, but I didn't expect it to be. This is a bizarre little supernatural book, and it has me intrigued enough to try the second volume but I'm not sure if I'll continue on after that.

GONE GIRL - Gillian Flynn: 5/5 - I didn't read this for years because I figured that the hype was undeserved, and it was just kind of the popular book of the time. Also, I knew nothing about it. I literally knew that there was a woman and that she went missing. That's it. And wow wow wow did this completely surprise me. This was exceptionally well written, and the story was top-tier twisty and intriguing. It kept me reading, and I couldn't put it down. If you've gone as long as I have without getting spoiled for this, you should definitely read it. A new favorite, for sure.

IN AN ABSENT DREAM* - Seanan McGuire: 4.5/5 - I love this series, so much. I especially love these even books that delve fully into one character's story, one character's portal fantasy world. This fourth book in the Wayward Children series is following Lundy and her adventures when she was younger in the world that was opened up to her, the Goblin Market. As with the other books in this series, I really enjoy McGuire's writing and ability to craft such beautiful and vivid worlds in a succinct but effective way. A great installment in the series and I'm eager to continue on when the next book releases.

ONCE GHOSTED, TWICE SHY - Alyssa Cole: 4/5 - If you're not reading the Reluctant Royals series, you need to be. Alyssa Cole is here to come for all these pseudo-not-that-feminist-feminist-romance writers with quality romances. This one's a novella (you can read it as a standalone, but I would recommend reading at least the first book, A Princess in Theory, in order to get the full context of the story) following Likotski as she's back in New York and reconnecting with Fab, the woman who broke her heart the last time. This is a F/F romance starring two black women, and I completely fell in love with it. It's a little short, and I would have loved for this to have been a full-length novel. Likotski, who we meet in the first book, gains so much more depth to her character, and Fabiola is fantastically fleshed out, especially for having just been introduced in this story.

EVIDENCE OF THE AFFAIR - Taylor Jenkins Reid: 3/5  - Not going to lie, this was kind of disappointing. First of all, it's an epistolary novella, neither of which are formats that I really enjoy that much. Secondly, this was just very standard, based on the title and the premise, it's exactly what I figured it would be. About halfway through, I thought maybe there would a twist or a raising of the stakes, but this story is very flat and not much happens.

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: 4/5 - If I wasn't reading these books through the Stephen Fry-narrated audiobook, I likely wouldn't enjoy them as much as I do. But I read this book (as inspired by Olive's random TBR pick) because I picked it for my randomly generated book off my physical, owned TBR shelf. I will hopefully continue reading this series throughout the year.

* I read and reviewed an early copy of this book for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own and aren't affected by receiving this book for free.

FIERCE FAIRYTALES - Nikita Gill: 3/5 - I keep reading modern poetry, hoping to find one that really hits me and that I completely fall in love with. But this was fine? There were a few that I really liked, but often with modern poetry, and this collection was no exception, I just feel like it gets very repetitive very quickly. If you like modern poetry mixed with prose, this is a really good collection. I just keep reading things I know I won't like.

RAMONA BLUE - Julie Murphy: 3/5 - I still don't know quite how to talk about this book. But the main component of this that I didn't quite enjoy was Murphy's writing. This was the first book I read from her, and it'll probably be the only one that I read. My enjoyment of an author's writing is a huge part of whether or not I like a book, and I really did not gel with her writing. It's just very not for me. The story itself was okay, but nothing was exceptional for me.

THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY - Ruth Ware: 4/5 - My first Ruth Ware that I picked up solely because of the fact that it takes place in an old, abandoned, gothic-y house, which has to be my favorite settings of all time in books, movies, anything. It's my weakness. And I got exactly what I wanted with this book. Was it like the most predictable thing I've ever read? Yeah. Was I very satisfied that I was absolutely right? I sure was. Did I stay up until 3am to finish this? I sure did. I could not put it down, and if you want a gothic-y stuck in a house atmosphere, you should read this one. I've heard her other books aren't as good, but I'll probably still give one or two a try.

SAGA, VOL. 1 - Brian K. Vaughan: 5/5 - Oof. Another completely hyped book that I feel like I'm the last person to read. This is incredible. I'm going to continue reading this series ASAP. If you like operatic SFF and comics, you've probably already read this, but if you haven't you should. It completely lives up to the hype.

And that's it. All the books I read in the first month of 2019. A good month, if I do say so myself.

Please tell me down in the comments any of the books you've read this month or if you've read any of the ones that I mentioned please let me know! I'll talk to you all again soon. 

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