Hey everyone! Can you believe the first month of 2018 is over already?! I love this time of the month, seeing what everyone has been reading.
I managed to read 17 books in January! If this is the rate I’m going to be reading all year, I’m more than happy.
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux
This was one of my first rereads of the year. I adore the story of the Phantom and the 2004 movie adaptation is one of my favourite ever movies, so I was definitely due to revisit the bowels of the Paris Opera House. It was fun to listen to this as an audiobook for a change and I loved it just as much, if not more, than the last time I read it! I recommend this to readers who loved Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, or anything else with misunderstood anti-heroes!
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Can you believe I’d never read The Jungle Book before this month?! I decided it was about time but, silly me, I didn’t realise it was actually an anthology of stories! Mowgli and co. do feature heavily but there are also stories about other jungle animals. A decent enough read, nothing amazing.
Five Children and It by E. Nesbitt
A childhood classic I’d never read but that I absolutely fell in love with! This is an utterly charming story and I found it completely endearing. It made me feel nostalgic for those stories I loved as a child and it was a lovely adventure.
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
This was my first read of the year, kindly sent to me by Penguin Random House. After reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo last year, I was excited to continue my foray into the world of the DC Icons. Sadly, I didn’t love this one as much, finding it harder to suspend my disbelief. You can read my full review here.
Shadows by Paul Finch
This was the second book in the Lucy Clayburn series which I am loving! Sent to me by the lovely Elke at Avon Books, I really enjoyed both this and the first book, Strangers. I have a double review here if you’re interested. I’d definitely recommend this series to fans of gritty thrillers!
Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Sent to me by Harper 360 YA, I sadly didn’t love this one as much as I’d hoped to – however, I still found it an entertaining read! There were a few too many tropes for my liking, but I did like the protagonist and the wintery aesthetic was to-die-for! My full spoiler-free review is here. Not a 5-star read for me but still worth a try if you feel at all interested in it!
Books from my TBR
This is the most important section of my wrap-up this month since my main bookish goal this year is to vanquish my TBR! (Or at least as much of it as possible). I’m delighted to say it’s going well so far.
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
I picked this one up on a whim one night and read the whole thing before going to bed! I read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series last year and fell in love with Laini Taylor’s writing. Zuzana was one of my favourite characters of the series so I was certain I would enjoy this novella focusing on her first date with Mik! And I wasn’t wrong. It was completely adorable and a lovely bit of fluff in between more serious reads. Plus the artwork is gorgeous and really added to the whole experience.
The Dollmaker of Krakow by R. M. Romero
I was desperate to read this book when I heard about it at the end of 2017 so I was overjoyed when my bestie Mia gifted me it for Christmas! It was as beautiful and magical as I had expected and has already earned itself a place on my favourites list for this year! You can read my gushing review here.
Everless by Sara Holland
I received this book in my last (*cries*) FairyLoot box in December and had heard a lot of hype about it on Instagram. Thankfully, it lived up to the hype for me! I really enjoyed the story and liked the protagonist. I would have actually raced through this much faster than I did but I left it at work one day!! Here’s my spoiler-free review.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Oh my goodness, this book! Serious heart eyes. After Night of Cake and Puppets, I was in the mood for more of Laini’s gorgeous writing so I finally picked up Strange the Dreamer – and I adored it. Lazlo and Sarai are two of my new favourite characters and the world-building is incredible. I cannot WAIT for Muse of Nightmares. For more of my flailing, check out my review here.
Alice and the Fly by James Rice
I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect from this book so I went in pretty much blind – and I would suggest you do the same! Police interviews scattered throughout the book hint at something shocking and kept me racing towards the end! It’s a fascinating look at mental illness and was much darker than I expected. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe
This book had been on my wishlist since last year – African magical realism with a circus setting? Heck yes! So when I saw it on sale after Christmas, I snapped it up. Sadly, something just didn’t gel for me. The book couldn’t seem to decide what genre to be and there were jarring modern images that didn’t fit with the Ghanaian folklore side of things. Consider me disappointed.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
After buddy-reading The Scorpio Races with my lovely friend Jennifer in November, we decided to pick up Stiefvater’s latest book, All the Crooked Saints. We both agreed that, though the prose was gorgeous once again and Stiefvater’s imagination is wonderful, we didn’t love this one quite so much. It’s very slow-paced and character-driven, and I wouldn’t recommend it for readers who are just starting out on their Stiefvater journey. Don’t get me wrong, I still really liked it – but The Scorpio Races is still the winner for me.
The Empress by S. J. Kincaid
This was my book club’s pick for January, after we all read The Diabolic last year and it pleasantly surprised us all! I think I probably liked the first book more (but that just seems to be my way, I love first books!) However, this was still an enjoyable final read of the month.
24-in-48 Readathon Books
Angelmonster by Veronica Bennett
I really enjoyed this fictional account of the life of Mary Shelley. Definitely recommend to fans of Frankenstein, which incidentally I’m thinking of rereading next month!
One by Sarah Crossan
Brutal and beautiful, this book written in verse took me by surprise and absolutely ripped the heart out of me. A great quick read – but have some tissues handy!
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
An all-time favourite, The Hobbit has been calling to me to reread it for MONTHS. I finally let myself pick it up again and enjoyed the adventure just as much this time round.
To read more about the 24in48 readathon, I wrote a post about it that you can check out here.
(Some of these books were so hard to photograph! So much foil, my gosh)
The Snazzy New ‘Stats’ Bit!
I want to be more mindful of what I read this year so I’m going to add this little analytical section into my monthly wrap-up posts to track things like my male:female author ratio and the lengths of books I’m reading.
Books read: 17
Total pages: 5662
Average pages per day: 182.6
Longest book: Strange the Dreamer (536 pages)
Shortest book: Angelmonster (199 pages)
Favourite read of the month: The Dollmaker of Krakow
Biggest disappointment of the month: A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars
Male authors: 5
Female authors: 11 (though 2 books were from the same author)
Books read towards Pop Sugar Reading Challenge: 13
And that’s it for this month guys! Well done you if you made it all the way through this post – it took me so long to write this wrap-up! But I’ll happily do it every month if it means I’m reading so many amazing books. Here’s to a fantastic February!
How many books did you read in January? What was your favourite read of the month? Link me up to your wrap-up posts if you have them!