I am here with January Wrap Up. Oh my god! I think my reading slump bit be over. This month I read 16 books and a total of 5,585 pages.
The genres I read this month were fantasy, romance, historical fiction, literary and a short story collection. I read 2 standalones, 3 first books and 11 sequels.
I will do my best not to include spoilers for the sequels but just be weary if you want to avoid finding out too much about the storyline.
Onto the ratings!
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
This was my first read of the year and what a read! I loved being back in the Grisha Verse and also love how these tales feel like real fairy tales. This collection contains 6 stories and comes from different places in the Grisha Verse. But don’t worry these story are a lot for complex then a standard fairy tale and Bardugo often twists your expectations. The damsels become powerful, in charge of their own faith and at times even become evil.
Also I just want to say that this book is stunning! The illustrations throughout really match the stories and I loved how they grow each page to create a boarder.
Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga) by Kiersten White
I finally got to Now I Rise in January and all I can say is, why did I wait so long!!! I love this world, I love Lada and Radu and I love White’s writing. This is the sequel to And I Darken and take place right after the events of the first book so I won’t say to much because spoilers. This series is a gender-swapped retelling of Vlad the Impaler. While not everything this historical accurate, however, White definitely has done her research on the Ottoman Empire and Wallachia. The setting and time period really come to life.
Radu’s sections were my favourite mostly because there was more scheming and war happening and I love Radu! He is so sweet and deserves everything happiness ever! Lada’s ruthlessness and darkness is growing and she’s definitely becoming the Impaler. I cannot see how this trilogy wraps up.
Mine to Posses (Psy-Changeling #4) by Nalini Singh
I continued on with my read of the Psy-Chnageling series. Mine to Posses follows DarkRiver sentinel, Clay Bennett, and his childhood best friend, Tali McKade. It’s harrowing to see how these two grew up in the slums of New York. I adore that with each book we get to see more of this world and we meet more supernatural type races. In this book we meet The Forgotten. Clay’s character development is the best. He goes from so darkly wounded and wild that he may give up humanity forever to being a domestic super-dad.
Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott
I picked this book up on a whim because I found it at a second hand bookstore and had seen in floating around on Bookstagram. Once I got home, I promptly read this story in one sitting. Oh my god I adored it! In this story, Evelyn Thomas celebrates for 21st birthday in Las Vegas by drinking way too much and getting married to famous rock start, David Ferris. Evelyn is a really relatable character. The romance was a slow burn and sufficiently angst which kept me hooked. Scott’s writing is so funny!
Play (Stage Dive#2) by Kylie Scott
So after loving the first book, I promptly borrowed Play from my library and read it right away. In this story, we follow Stage Dive’s drummer, Mal Ericson who, while looking to clean up his act, pays Anne Rollins to pretend to be his girlfriend. What makes this story line so sweet is that Anne, had Mal face plastered over her teenage bedroom walls. Anne seems to appear like a bit a walk over but I love she’s able to stand her own as Mal tries to bulldozer his way in her life. The relationship that forms is so sweet. The more Anne gets to know him, we find out his more then the crazy party boy image he shows off.
Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott
This might be my favourite book of the series — I adore Jimmy and Lena together! Front man, Jimmy Ferris is dealing with his drug and alcohol addiction after a PR disaster. To help keep him out of trouble the band hires, Lena as his assistant. Lena is so funny and I love that she is a plus size women who is unashamed of her love of food; so refreshing. Also she is one strong women who want be pushed around. Jimmy does try his hardest to push Lena away and most of the time it doesn’t phases her and their relationship grows deeper. My heart broke when she finial had enough. Jimmy’s grand gesture is completely swoon worthy and make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Deep (Stage Dive #4) by Kylie Scott
In the final book of this series, is about Anne Rollin’s younger sister, Izzy getting knocked up by the very much out of bounds, bass player Ben. Deep is definitely the most complicated book of the series, they have a one night stand and Lizzy gets pregnant and the whole band as told Lizzy and Ben to stay away from each other. I admire the hell out of Lizzy. She is strong as hell and once she sets her mind to something anything is possible. Really enjoyed getting to see the band go on tour.
Dirty (Dive Bar #1) by Kylie Scott
After flying through the Dive Bar series, I needed more Kylie Scott in my life so I pick up her another series. Oh my God this might be my favourite book of hers. It is so funny and crazy and I love it. Vaughn Hewson never expects to find broken-hearted bride, Lydia Green in his shower when he returns to his childhood home and he definitely doesn’t expect the drama and chaos that comes with. Vaungh was one of my favourite side characters is the Stage Dive series so I’m so excited he got his own novel. I love how open and honest they were together from the get go. Lydia’s voice is refreshing, she rambles and overthinks and feels very real. I adore these two together!
Twist (Dive Bar #2) by Kylie Scott
Not surprising, that I picked this book up the second I was done with Dirty. Alex Parks decided to pay a surprise visit to Eric Collins, the boy she’s been talking to from online dating site. However, Eric hasn’t been messaging her at all and lost interesting this the online dating scene. Eric’s older brother, Joe did only intend to log into Erics account and shut it down, until he read about Alex and couldn’t help but messaging back. I felt the embarrassment, Alex feels when she realised she rocked up a family function and has been tricked. Despite this, I can’t help but love Joe. He really does try his best to make it up to Alex and explain why he did what he did. Also loved that he took care of her when she was sick. Also, I was so excited to see that Alex’s best friend was a trans women and there was no fuss made about it.
Chaser (Dive Bar #3) by Kylie Scott
To round out this series, next up is ‘manwhore’ Eric Collins who’s tries to hit on Jean the first moment she walks into Dive Bar. She’s new to town, single and stunning. Problem is she really wants nothing to do with him and she’s pregnant. I really love that his book is told from Eric’s point of view — it’s the first I’ve read from Scott’s which is — his voice seems believable and is in no way a stereotype. I really love how their relationship blooms from Eric avoiding her, to the pair keeping each other company when they can’t sleep, to Eric being Jean’s birthing buddy and helping her with Ada.
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan
Wow, I was not expecting that ending! I adore this series. This is the penultimate book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Percy Jackson hurried to Camp Half Blood when demonic cheerleaders invade his high school. From there he, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson set out on a quest through the Labyrinth, is hopes of keeping the Titan lord, Kronos from destroying camp. Like always I love the way Riordan modernises mythology, it’s highly engaging and also education. I love how this Labryinth has a mind of it’s own and how is constantly moved and shifted. I will say I found Annabeth a touch annoying as she was the head of the quest. I’m excited for the finally and to see how Percy’s prophesy unfolds.
99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai
I have a full review for this book so I will keep this short. 99 Nights in Logar is a wonderful exploration of Afghani culture and the Islamic faith. On a trip to visit is family, twelve-year-old, Marwand’s spends his time searching for the family’s missing dog. The search is told is 99 night quests which sends Marwand and his cousins across the landscape of Logar. This story reminds me of a mix between A Thousand and One Nights and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I really enjoyed this book. I think isn’t important for book showcasing different cultures is hugely important.
Mayhem (Mayhem #1) by Jamie Shaw
Since I fell head-over-heels with Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series and I was waiting for the first book in her Dive Bar series to arrive, I picked up another contemporary-band-boys-series. Mayhem follows college freshman, Rowan Michaels who meets up-and-coming rock star Adam Everest. She kisses him to distract herself from her broken relationship but refuses his offer to spend the night. Fast forward to months later were Adam is in her French class and failing badly. Rowan offers to tutor him and spends the weekend on tour with his band. Overall I enjoyed this book, Adam is swoony and I loved getting to see the life on a tour bus.
Riot (Mayhem #2) by Jamie Shaw
In here, we follow this on-again-off-again relationship of college student, Dee Dawson and mohawked bass play, Joel Gibbson. Neither are the type to settle down, they both enjoy sex and casual relationships. I love that Dee’s character was confident in both her body and sexuality. I was nice to see there relationship grow from no-stings-attached-sex to caring deeply about one another. Dee is a strong character and she doesn’t cope well when she needs help. Joel is there for her, no matter how hard she tries to push him again. The birthday party she throws from Joel is so sweet!
Chaos (Mayhem #3) by Jamie Shaw
Choas really was the perfect tile for this book, because that’s exactly what Kit and Shawn are together. Kit is the new guitarist for the band as has a complicated relationship with lead guitarist Shawn — he took her virginity when she was 15 and never stayed in contact, but he was also the most who inspired her to play guitar. This book highlights the importance of communication. Kit and Shawn both act like they’re never meet each other before, while also trying to goad the other one into admitting they did know each other. The grand gesture is so sweet and I’m glad when they actually talk to each other. Really not a fan of the depiction of groupies, it’s rather cringy and cliche, in the whole series but this book was the worst for it.
Havoc (Mayhem #4) by Jamie Shaw
Mike might just be my favourite book boyfriend of this series — yes, even in spite of the whole dating Danica but talking and falling in love with Hailey at the same time. Hailey Harper leaves her family’s farm to enrol into veterinary school and she has a plan which revolved around not upsetting her uncle who’s paying her tuition. Therefore, to not pissed off her self-adsorbed and manipulative cousin and room mate, Danica. Hailey doesn’t really stick to the plan as she falls in love with Dancia’s ex-boyfriend and rock star Mike. Danica is really one of the worst characters I have ever read. It’s harrowing to see Hailey struggle between waiting to be with Mike and following her dream of going to school. Hailey and Mike really are perfect for each other. I really hope we get more from this world, even if it’s just a novella.
Comment down below and let me know what you’re favourite read of the New Year was.
Until next time, happy reading!