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  • Writer's picturehaleylynnthomas22

January Reading Wrap-Up (14th-31st)

It’s the end of the first month of the year, and I read a total of 13 books this month. This is my reading wrap-up for the second half of the month. I hope you’ll share with me the books you’ve read and enjoyed in January!

1. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (14th-16th): This is a contemporary book that follows two main characters, Rufus and Mateo. They live in a world where you are notified by phone of your impending death on your “End Day.” This book is very much character driven rather than plot driven. I rated it 8.5/10.

2. The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace (18th): This is a book of poetry. I really liked how the poems told stories, many of them quite emotional. They covered topics like eating disorders, loss and grief, love, and self-acceptance. The poems weren’t titled, but my five favorites are on the following pages: 9, 14, 72, 142, 175. I think this is a wonderful collection of poems for young women, and I rated it 9/10.

3. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace (18th): Another book of poetry, this one explored more themes of feminism and women empowerment. As with The Princess Saves Herself in This One, the poems were not titled, but my favorite five poems were on the following pages: 19, 92, 117, 156, 179. Unfortunately, I did not like many of the poems in this book as they felt very negative towards men and I didn’t appreciate those generalizations. I think it’s important to lift women up, but that doesn’t have to mean tearing men down. I rated this book 7/10.

4. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (17th-20th): This is a contemporary/magical realism novel that follows Leigh. Her mother committed suicide, and Leigh believes that she has turned into a bird and is leading her to Taiwan, where her mother is from and where her maternal grandparents whom she’s never met live. This was such a beautifully written story that masterfully blends past and present and themes of love, loss, and redemption. I rated it 10/10.

5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (19th-22th): This is a high fantasy and the first book in the Grisha trilogy. It takes place in the fictional kingdom of Ravka in which there are two armies. The First Army is the more tradition army while the Second Army consists of the Grisha; those capable of wielding magic. There is a swath of darkness filled with terrifying monsters in Ravka that only a Sun Summoner (Grisha) can defeat. At the beginning of the novel it is discovered that orphan and mapmaker for the First Army, Alina, is the one and only Sun Summoner. I rated this book 8.75/10.

6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (23rd-24th): The sequel to Shadow and Bone and the second book in the Grisha trilogy, this book picks up where the last one left off. Alina and her best friend turned lover, Mal (a deserter from the First Army) flee the Darkling (the leader of the Grisha) and become farther entangled in the magic and politics of Ravka. I rated this book 8.75/10.

7. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (25th-26th): The final book in the Grisha trilogy, it follows Alina, Mal and their allies has they search for the final of the three amplifiers and have a final face off against the Darkling. I found this to be a very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy and it was my favorite book of the trilogy. I rated it 9/10.

8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (26th-31st): This book takes place in the same world as the Grisha trilogy, but in the island nation of Kerch. In the city of Ketterdam we are introduced to members of the Dregs gang who are recruited to go on an impossible heist. They must break into the impenetrable Ice Court in Fjerda to break out scientist Bo Yul-Bayur, who is responsible for a drug which enhances Grisha power. This book was a lot more character focused/driven than the Grisha trilogy. I rated it 9.5/10.

Books I Did Not Finish:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas:

This is a high fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast with faeries. I initially read this book almost exactly two years prior and did not like it. I took issue with the pacing, the main protagonist, and the way in which one of the male characters treated the protagonist. I wanted to give this book a second chance, but stopped approximately 100 pages in as I wasn’t enjoying the book at all.

Some January Reading Stats:

Total Number of Books Read: 13

Total Number of Pages Read: 4,426

Average Rating: 8.6/10

Must Read(s) of the Month:

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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