Hey hey, it’s MJ,
Here we are again with another month and another set of books that I have read, again, I am doing this monthly so there will be less books on these than my posts of last year. There were so many in some of them last year and it was too much. If you want to read about the 9 books I read in January, you totally can.
I am hoping to shrink my TBR pile even more this month and read a few more books that BookTok made me order. I mean I am easily swayed when it comes to reading, so I bought six books in January because of BookTok…It’s a lot.
A Fate of Wrath and Flame by K.A. Tucker (5/5)
The second one comes out in July and I will be preordering it soon, like really soon. This was the first book that BookTok made me buy and it was because of one exchange. I bought the book for like four lines of dialogue. It was so good; I loved the spinning of the worlds and it was such a fun read. I laughed, I questioned my very existence, and I read 300 pages in one day. One day! I loved the story and the characters and it was just a touch spicy and it is for sure enemies to lovers and who doesn’t love that trope? I mean I really do and here we are. It was totally worth the 492 pages; it was so good I could not put it down. I cannot wait to read the next one because this one left off at a cliffhanger and I want a happy ending because I like books with happy endings and this was for sure only my second five-star book of the year. I saw people reviewing it that they didn’t like the politics in it, I didn’t really think that I thought that it added a layer of realism and intrigue to it, and the twist was something I kind of figured but it’s fine. I cannot wait to read the next one and see how this story concludes, or keeps going I am not sure if it’s a duology or a series, we’ll find out I guess.
Hot Vampire Next Door (Season 1) by Nikki St. Crowe (4.3/5)
It is rare for me to buy a book and read it in the same week, this was a novella and it is a serial on Kindle. I saw it on TikTok and it is spicy, a lot spicier than I usually read. It was really funny though and I didn’t really mean to read it but it was only 132 pages and I did, while finishing the book that is right above this one. I laughed a lot, I cannot wait to see where it goes in Season 2, which I will buy when it comes out in paperback because I don’t read e-books. I really should have a “TikTok made me buy it/or at least add it to my Amazon cart” post. Maybe down the road I will. It was a really fun little paranormal romance with so much going on. It was fun, it was sexy, and overall amazing.
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander (3.8/5)
Three out of the last five books I have read have been historical mysteries and this is was my favorite of the three. I have had this book in my collection for probably nearly a decade, maybe not that long but who knows. I bought the 8thbook on clearance and bought this one after. I have not read any of them until this one, the second is on my TBR for next year and I might read it sooner than that but who knows. I loved the intrigue of this one, I hated Emily’s mother but that is modern sensibility as opposed to the Victorian morals. The story had me guessing until we actually find out who is guilty. It’s not a murder mystery! Which is super cool because I loved the fact that it was about stolen antiquities and I hated the person who was actually behind all of it from the beginning. I wrote in my book bullet journal in my thoughts section that I wanted to punch him. I am really excited to read the series. (Even though there are 15 published and the 16th comes out later this year.) I cannot wait to see what happens next in Emily’s life.
Twisted Love by Ana Huang (4.3/5)
Well, this is another book that BookTok made me want and I read it in one day and I read 100 pages in another book. It was really good and I could not put it down. I mean my reading tastes have for sure changed since last summer. I am going to be honest about that one, I don’t know why. It was hilarious at parts and absolutely broke me at others. It was so much, like so much and I could not put it down. Mind you it is currently February 5th and I already have four books on this post! That’s so many! I cannot wait to read the rest in this series since they are intertwined standalones. So excited for them, I cannot order any of them at the moment though (spoiler alert, I did order them…oops) because I promised myself that I would whittle down my physical TBR before I bought anymore and I bought 6 books because of BookTok in January and that is so many. Y’all, BookTok is a wild place, a really wild place and I have never had more fun reading.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight (3.8/5)
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this one. I really enjoyed it, I saw some mixed reviews and I need to stop looking at reviews. It was really cute and I have had it in my collection for a long time. This is one for sure that I don’t think I would have liked when I bought it but I read it in two days. This was the book that I read 100 pages in when I was reading Twisted Love, I read two books this weekend. It’s the 6th… I mean really. I need to stop devouring books this fast. It was a really cute story and so much. There were parts where I had to put the book down and laugh because I love a good rom-com. I was a teenager and into college at the height of the rom-com movie phase. There is a lot of talk about death in this one but it was good and showed that dealing with grief is not a linear and straightforward thing, it can take a long time to get over. It was a powerful story and it was fun, super fun.
City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte (4/5)
City of Dark Magic is one of my all-time favorite books and I should have read this in like 2016 when I read the first one but I didn’t want to finish the series and here we are six years later and it didn’t have the same magic for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the book. I called the plot twist early on though, and for me that’s odd. The ending left me a little underwhelmed because it just felt too sudden and almost too peaceful for the rest of the book and even the one before it. I loved the time travel mechanic and who doesn’t love a sarcastic immortal dwarf. It’s a good book and I need to go back and reread the first one. I loved it so much when I read it and it was a good duology.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (3.5/5)
Well, this book got so hyped last year and it was a lot. I enjoyed it to an extent but it is not my favorite. The fact that it was told through the eyes of what felt like 30 people was a little much for me and the ending was lacking. It just kind of ended and it was very odd. It was a fine book but it was not my favorite. It was an interesting story and it only took me three days to read and that’s pretty normal for me. I read it, I liked it enough, but it not going to be a top ten read this year. It was just a lot and all of the family drama was interesting but a little much for me as a reader.
A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova (4/5)
I read it in two sittings because I couldn’t put it down, the blurb on Malibu Rising I wrote yesterday to give you some context. This was another book that TikTok made me buy, I don’t even remember what enticed me to it. It was real cute, like real cute. It had very strong Beauty and the Beast vibes which I was totally there for. It was predictable in the best ways and there was a moment there were I was thinking that it wouldn’t end happily and y’all know your girl almost threw it across her office. It was such a fun read about learning and being in a new place and how sometimes you find what you are looking for when you aren’t even looking. It was a touch spicy, just a little and that’s fine. I really enjoyed the magic in this story and I will be reading the other books in this series when I get a chance to order them but I am putting myself on a self-imposed book buying ban until at least my birthday (except my BoTM) because I really need to stop buying books and then neglecting the books that I own and need to read.
Hot Vampire Next Door (Season 2) by Nikki St. Crowe (4/5)
It was really good, I read it in about an hour literally the day it showed up at my apartment. There were for sure some parts where I would urge you to read the content warnings. I had to stop reading for a minute an collect myself because I was in shock, let’s just say if you are averse to blood… I wouldn’t recommend it. I cannot wait for Season 3 and I could read it on the Kindle but I don’t like eBooks, I never have. This book left off on a soft cliffhanger, I don’t want to call it a hard cliffhanger but it’s still a cliffhanger. I want to read the rest of it. I love the characters and the story is absolutely bonkers. I mean it’s really bonkers but I am really enjoying it. It’s spicy and I mean it, well, it’s spicy for me. I know people who can blow through a lot spicier content than me with a straight face, I will sit and blush like an idiot. That’s just who I am as a person. Seriously, TikTok made me buy it and that’s just apparently who I am at the moment.
A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross (4/5)
I was not planning on opening this document again tonight, I did though and here we are. I have been reading this through the last two books so here we are. I really enjoyed this one and I wrote a whole post on it because it was my February Book of the Month. So that will be out next week at some point so I am not going to go into heavy detail here. I enjoyed it and the next one doesn’t come out until December so that’s a bummer.
The Fine Print by Lauren Asher (4.4/5)
I even liked the epilogue in this one and everyone should know by now how much a detest epilogues. I could not put this book down and I am reading a non-fiction at the moment as well so I needed a break from that. I loved this book; the concept is amazing and well I mean it’s a theme park that feels very much like a certain mouse themed park and that was a fun thing. Rowan is so grumpy; I love the grumpy/sunshine trope though so that was fun. I really liked how there were some tough topics discussed and that was so important to see in a book like this. It’s spicy, it’s real spicy. I cannot wait to read the second one though and that comes out somewhere near the end of the month, which is next week and I am really excited for it because let’s be real; I love series like this that focus on one group or family apparently.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor (4/5)
This was a gift from my step-grandmother when I graduated from high school in 2010. At the time I thought it was an odd gift to give someone at 18. Now at 29, I see the value. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and reading this book made me remember and realize how much of my time as an undergrad was spent trying to chase the high of positive psychology. This book was great, it’s non-fiction which for me takes a lot longer to read but the contents of it were fascinating and I am going to try and implement them in my real life. It’s a lot, it’s so much trying to be happy at work somedays but we all try and we all want to do better (at least I hope that’s the case). It was eye opening to read this book that was published in 2010 that it still holds true because we went through another crisis and I feel like most of us throughout the pandemic have been living in a constant mode of crisis and uncertainty. It’s a good read if you are interested in psychology and I know that Growth Mindset is on my list of books to buy and has been for years. We are allowed to be happy in all aspects of our lives, it just takes time.
Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire (3/5)
I didn’t really enjoy it and that is okay. I have had this in my collection for years and I was hoping it would be much more fantasy and much more about the nutcracker than it actually felt like it was. I didn’t really like the pacing; it was just a little weird for me and it wasn’t a book that is for me. That’s totally cool because it is for someone else. I just didn’t jive with the story and the style of it. I thought it was interesting but it was just odd in many aspects and jarring in others. It was just weird. I don’t really have anything else to say about it, it just wasn’t my favorite.
Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford (3/5)
This book has been in my collection for a long time. I liked the idea of the BBC in its infancy, there is a lot of espionage and I didn’t know that one of the characters was a real person. Not until the end. I expected very different things from this novel. I liked the character of Maisie, but there were a lot of things that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I know men treated women like this back in the day, but man, I wanted to punch things reading parts of this book. I expected more radio, less fascism. It was a lot and it just wasn’t for me and that is totally okay. I have read 14 books this month, and I have read almost 25 this year, we are bound to find a few that aren’t for me.
I didn’t expect to read this many books this month, I read 14 in December and this post is just as long or longer which is insane. I have trained myself to read like 100 pages a night and some nights that goes by super-fast, sometimes it takes me a long time. I had some highs and lows this month in my reading because some of my TBR books are just things that I am forcing myself to get through. I don’t DNF, I just don’t because what if it gets good ten pages before the end and that makes it all worth it? Will that actually happen? No, but do I think maybe someday it might? Maybe.
I have no idea how I read so much this month besides a few AMI days and books that I just couldn’t put down. I think on average it took me something like two days to finish each book which is insane and a breakneck pace that I cannot sustain. I need to not condition myself to do this because I will be finished with my TBR by the summer and I don’t need to be.
I cannot wait to read some of the books that I have planned for March and I am going on a book buying ban until my birthday so I cannot buy the four or five books that I have sitting in my Amazon cart, I need to get off BookTok because it’s one sentence and I am buying a book, which honestly seems a little insane; but here we are.
Well with all of that I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!
Let’s Keep Track Shall We?:
General Fiction: 2/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, )
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 1/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, )
Historical: 4/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, )
Thriller: 1/2 (The Alienist)
Free Choice: 3/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, )
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (Buffering, )
General Non-Fiction: 1/2 (The Happiness Advantage, )
Book of The Month: 2/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, )
Extras: 7/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, )