Hello bookworms!! Welcome to the January 2o22 wrap up.
Yes, January. Which ended 3 months ago. In fact, you might have noticed that I haven’t done a single wrap up so far this year. (Then again, you might not have.) You see, to go with this new year of blogging, I’ve been thinking about how I want my wrap ups to look. And, well, it’s taken me three months to figure it out.
It’s not that the previous template was bad. I just never remembered to record everything I watched or did over the month. And I want to talk more about my reading stats, because I am nothing, if not a data girl at heart. (That’s actually not true, but I DO like data. It tells its own story about things and that’s kind of cool in itself.) (Speaking of stats, I do still plan to post my 2021 wrap-up, but I did get a bit carried away with stats, so I now need to pare it back some…)
So, this is why it’s taken me so long to get here. We have a new template with new bits and pieces. But I didn’t throw out everything. There’s still some old in there too. So, let’s go see what I read in January.
January 2022 wrap up
The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
I really loved this book, which shouldn’t have been as surprising as it was to me. I’ve loved every Morgan Matson book I’ve read (which is only two, but I want to read more).
It’s an amazing story of family, friendship, first love, and that unsureness about the future. It’s one of the best coming of age stories I think I’ve ever read. And I can’t believe it took me this long to actually read it.
The Poison Eater and Other Stories
Author: Holly Black
This book was a total struggle for me. I wanted to love it so much more than I did, but I would be lying to myself if I didn’t say that I disliked it.
It’s a book of short stories, and while some of them were ok, there were quite a few that were actually horrible. In saying that, that is the nature of classic faerie stories. They’re usually a cautionary tale of why you shouldn’t interact with them. And Black does this well. It’s just that it makes the stories less enjoyable than her more recent fae series. But on a positive note, it’s now ticked off the backlist!
Author: Sarah Hogle
I LOVE Sarah Hogle books. I normally read three before declaring an author an auto-buy, but both of her books have made such an impression I added her early.
Twice Shy tells the story of a sunshiney, daydreaming introvert, who has been undervalued and unappreciated most of her life. She is paired with a grump (who secretly has a heart of gold). It has almost every trope that I love, and it made me cry so much. Sad tears and happy tears. (Look, I’m a crier, ok?!) Just everything in this story was amazing.
Author: Jen DeLuca
Series: Well Met #3
I love this series. It’s fun and flirty, and although I’ve never been to a renaissance faire (I don’t think they even exist in Australia?) it makes me really want to.
This is the third book in the series, and follows April and Mitch. I have to say, I had high hopes for this story because I see a lot of myself in April (shy, not a joiner, etc.) and Mitch is the total opposite. The story is really about facing fears, trying new things, and overcoming adversities in your past. It’s also about community, which is a really lovely theme in a contemporary romance novel.
The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2
I can’t even remember when I started reading this series, but it has been a bit of a slog to finish it. Yeah, this is not a reread, this is a first time read.
The series is good, and I feel like it hasn’t aged poorly at all. Which is a testament to Riordan. It’s just not written for people my age, although I still enjoyed it.
While Percy is the hero, it’s nice to see him sharing the spotlight some and learning about having more family. Grover is still secretly my fave, but Annabeth is a close second. And I love how the Greek mythology is interwoven throughout the story.
The Titan’s Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3
This book was interesting because I felt like it ended up working towards more of the overarching storyline of the series than it’s own story. There’s a lot more of the prophecy in this book than the other two combined, and we see the introduction of characters who will likely become pivotal in the next two books. (Or at least, that’s what the set up looks like.)
In saying that, it’s still a good story. But like other middle grade series it’s getting a little darker as the series continues. We’ve seen death in almost all of these, but it’s usually a side character who is ‘bad’, or monsters. This book introduces the death of a ‘good’ character, grief, and how it can change us. It was sadly missing Annabeth though, but I did like Thalia.
Here’s To Us
Authors: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Series: What If It’s Us #2
I had so many quiet hopes that we would get a sequel for What If It’s Us, that when it was announced I think I actually imploded slightly. In saying that, I also still loved the ambiguous ending for the first book. But this story gave life to my poor shrivelled heart.
Ben and Arthur are just so freaking adorable. They, of course, go through a LOT of ups and downs in this. There is some use of the miscommunication trope, but honestly, it’s not overused, so I think it’s forgivable. I also loved that this story was set some years later, and not immediately afterwards. It gave us a chance to see how they had each grown individually and how they still leaned in. And it was so nice to see how they were chasing their dreams too.
Author: Kiku Hughes
I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much while reading a graphic novel. I’m not even sure how to talk about it, and it’s been months. The story is part biography, part non-fiction, part historical fiction, part magical realism. And it is set to the most beautiful art.
Displacement tells the story of Kiku and her grandmother, Ernestina, who was placed in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. Kiku ends up going back in time and living alongside her grandmother and others in one of these camps. The story has this bittersweet feel that shows how Japanese culture was adapted to be more socially accepted by Americans during the war. But it also shows the generational impact of that, and how culture, which was celebrated, became something to be ashamed of and hidden. It’s a really beautiful, poetic story, but with such tragic, and long-lasting, implications.
The Trouble With Hating You
Author: Sajni Patel
I am ashamed to say that I got this as a review book (thanks Hachette!!) in 2020, and only read it this year. And I’m mostly ashamed because I freaking LOVED it. In fact, it was my favourite book of the month.
The Trouble With Hating You is an enemies to lovers, arranged marriage, own-voices Indian family story. Liya, our MC, works in STEM (honestly, I am loving this being a thing more and more now) and is successful, independent, and the bane of her father’s existence. She follows some traditions, but wants to live a more modern lifestyle than her family allows (and therefore has a not-great reputation). The latest man her father tries to set her up with is Jay. A charming lawyer who has no idea what he has walked into, and of course, hears every bad thing about Liya. But the hurt and trauma in the past to both characters, as well as their growth, is what really set this story apart for me.
Mr Fairfax, Mr West and the Meet Cute
Author: Anyta Sunday
Series: Love, Austen #0.5
I’m pretty sure this is the last book in the Love, Austen series. Which is great. Because while I enjoyed them, my enjoyment definitely got lessened with each book. Which is a shame. And, in fact, I don’t even remember if these two showed up in the Emma adaptation, as it was the first book in the series.
The story was fine, although not memorable at all. As usual, I skipped over all of the smut, so there was even less book there than usual as it’s a novella. But yeah, it was a sad end to the month, especially after I’d just read three amazing books in a row.
So, each month I either have or will be setting a TBR. You can see my January TBR here. I also have a few challenges that I have signed up for throughout 2022, which are the Goodreads challenge, Beat the Backlist, A-Z reading challenge, 12 in 12, and Pondathon II. On top of that, I also have my new book buying… not really a ban, but limit. And to get me through all of that, because I’m a mood reader, we also have my Bookopoly board, and my RNG challenge.
Now, it would be unfeasible (and also boring) for me to go through all of these every month. So, I’m going to condense it, and give an overall picture of where we are at. So, let’s do this!!
|Goodreads goal||100 books||+ 10 books||10 books|
|Beat the Backlist||400 books||– 9 books, + 5 books||452 books|
|A-Z Reading Challenge||26 books||+ 5 books||5 books|
|12 in 12||12 books||Nil||0 books|
I can’t exactly remember how many books I read for Pondathon II in January, but I did make a lovely terrarium patch!! I have split all my rewards so far and separated them by month, so this is just my January rewards. I think I might amalgamate everything into one garden, once we hit the end of the series though. And I got the secret January reward as well!!
And finally, my reading stats for January. As each month continues through the year, I’ll add monthly comparisons to this as well.
Books by genre in January
Interestingly enough, while I thought I had been on more of a fantasy kick this year (although maybe this will come in later months), more than half of the books I read were either contemporary or romance.
Books by age category in January
I’m actually really happy with this mix of middle grade (MG), young adult (YA) and adult fiction. That’s possibly what my collected books looks like as well. Good representation ― and hopefully I will start to really get through my MG backlist soon…
Books by page number in January
I read a grand total of 3,159 pages in January, which gave me an average page per book of 316. Which, is not too shabby considering I read a novella and a graphic novel during January. In fact, this is a decent start to the year, and I’m happy!!