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January Reading Wrap-up and Mini-Reviews

Updated: 2 days ago

1.Two Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig (YA Fantasy) (430) (4.5⭐️)
This is the sequel to One Dark Window and follows Elspeth, Ravyn, and Elm as they attempt to unite the Providence cards and cure their kingdom of its magical curse. This was a wonderful sequel/series conclusion. It adds multiple new perspectives that helped me to connect better with the characters. It also expands more on the lore/history of the kingdom that we began to learn about in the first book.

2. Next of Kin by Hannah Bonam-Young (Adult Romance) (295 pages) (4.5⭐️)
Chloe and Warren are both trying to get custody of their younger siblings and so they move in together to meet the standards set by CPS. This is a found family story that is emotionally heavy but also has so much heart.. The romance at the center could be described as enemies to lovers but it's a very beautifully healing relationship for both characters.

3. What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez (YA Historical Fantasy) (396 pages) (4.75⭐️)
Argentinean Inez travels to Egypt in order to investigate her parents' disappearance. This is Ibañez's first historical novel and it's evident in the story itself that she took care to do her proper research. The novel has a little bit of everything; exploration, mystery, romance, and magic. Even if Ibañez's previous works haven't appeared to you I urge you to give this one a try because I doubt you'll be disappointed.

4. Death of a Bookseller by Bernard J. Farmer (Adult Mystery) (265 pages) (4⭐️)
Policeman Wigan befriends a rare book collector who turns up murdered. He tries to solve the murder when he believes a man is wrongfully accused. This book was published in 1965 and in some ways it does show its age. However, it's still a mostly fun mystery that caters perfectly to the bookworm.

5. Midnight is the Darkest House by Ashley Winstead (Adult Thriller) (400 pages) (3⭐️)
Ruth is the daughter of a pastor in a small, ultra religious town. A skull is found in the swamp and Ruth's childhood friend, Everett, is the prime suspect. This book was an improvement over Winstead's last but is still weaker than her first. I tend to like the small town with insidious secrets trope but the plot was a little too all over the place for me. It was JUST good enough to not DNF.

6. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (Adult Fantasy Romance) (498 pages) (4⭐️)
Violet Sorrengail wants to be a scribe but instead her mother forces her to train to be a dragon rider to fight in a centuries long war. This is an enemies to lovers romance set at a war college. The world building is pretty simplistic for the seasoned fantasy reader but I feel the main appeal to the novel is actually the romance. It's an enemies to lovers romance that, despite my general dislike for said trope, I found myself swooning over. The ending has a good set up for future books. Full Review: Coming soon to the blog!

7. Dark Corners by Megan Goldin (Adult Mystery) (341 pages) (2⭐️)
True crime podcaster Rachel Krall is brought in by the FBI to help in finding a popular social media influencer that went missing. This is a companion book to Night Swim. While I really liked Night Swim this book disappointed me. Without getting into spoilers, the author made so many baffling choices when it came to the plot and characters. The story is just inherently flawed.
Full Review: Coming soon to the blog!

8. I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai (Adult Mystery) (438 pages) (5⭐️)
Bodie Kane returns to work at her old boarding school where her roommate was murdered. She attempts to solve the murder. This is my first 5 star of the year, hooray! The things that made this book a 5 star for me are the way that Bodie as a character is written and the unique writing style. If you're considering it, it's definitely worth the read. Please be warned this book deals with topics such as pedophilia which I know can be very triggering.

9. Making it Write by Betty Hechtman (Adult Cozy Mystery) (218 pages) (3⭐️)
Veronica Blackstone is a writer for hire who is hired by the wife of a famous artist to write her memoir. When her client turns up dead Veronica becomes a suspect. This is a quick, easy, adequate cozy mystery book. It's the third book in a series which I was unaware of when I picked it up. It reads, however, as a standalone story and does a good job of introducing the characters so I wasn't lost.

DNFs

1. Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer (Adult Fantasy Romance) (read 76 pages/22%)
The book is about Evie Sage who gets a job working for an infamous villain. She develops a crush on him. I went into this book expecting it to be frivolous but it was just way too cringey for me. I felt like my brain was melting from the ridiculousness. Also, being clumsy isn't a quirky or endearing character trait.

2. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (Adult Cozy Mystery) (read 32 pages/11.85%)
This book is about a woman, Clare, who returns to the coffee house she used to manage to work there again. One morning she finds her employee in the store having been attacked. This book had a couple of lines that, as a woman and past retail worker, distasteful. I am being harsher with my DNFs this year and this book also just didn't capture my attention.

TOTAL PAGES READ (JAN): 3,389
AVG. BOOK LENGTH (JAN): 376.55 pages
AVG. BOOK RATING (JAN): 34.75/45⭐️ (3.86⭐️)

AUDIOBOOKS (JAN): 3/9 (33%) PHYSICAL READS (JAN): 6/9 (66%)
BORROWED FROM THE LIBRARY (JAN): 4/9 (44%)
Books Purchased (JAN): 1
DNfs (JAN): 2
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