What a fun month! I continued to navigate working from home, full-time mom-ing, and I also started a fun 365 Days of Movement challenge where I dedicate time to moving every day! We also went to the beach for a week, and Nora crushed her first family vacation!
I read three books in July, and DNFd a fair few. Bleh. Anyways, here is what I read this month!
The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
What I liked:
This book was pretty darn funny!
The inside scoop on reality TV — ‘cuz we know it’s not real.
Inclusivity: LGBTQ, diverse characters, neurodiversity, and mental health.
What I didn’t like:
Honestly, nothing. I loved it! 🙂
Trigger Warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, depression, conversations about OCD and mental illness, drinking, alcoholism, familial estrangement, homophobia and racism (challenged)
Finlay Donovan is Killing It: A Mystery by Elle Cosimano
What I liked:
This book was super quippy and fun!
The plot/idea behind the book is wildly entertaining.
That this book is a series!
What I didn’t like:
The main character is “eh.” She makes a lot of obvious mistakes that can lead her to trouble but she somehow gets away with it? Not very realistic.
Some of the book was too detail heavy, and could have benefitted from some editing to focus on plot movements rather than mundane “tell not show” details.
What a whirlwind of a month! Our little girl joined us in early February, and let’s just say that I’ve been a little busy!! Now that we’ve established a routine, I am catching up on my blog posts!
I read a good amount of fantasy books in January, as well as a 5-star read! (Haven’t had one of those in a while).
Here are the books:
The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War series #2) by R.F. Kuang
I can’t get enough of The Poppy War series! The Dragon Republic was incredible. While The Poppy War felt like a slow burn, this book was very fast-paced and filled with action. I enjoyed every moment.
The Burning God (The Poppy War series #3) by R.F. Kuang
The final book of The Poppy War series doesn’t disappoint. The ending is fantastic. I don’t want to give much away, but you can read more about my thoughts on the series here.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
This novella fell a little flat for me … which was surprising. It was hard to follow and I couldn’t connect with the story. I’m happy to share, however, that I’ve read all of Backman’s work!
Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
This book was funny, quirky, romantic, and super entertaining! The characters are lovable and you root for all of them! You can learn more about why I loved this book in my review.
The Drowning Faith (The Poppy War series #2.5) by R.F. Kuang
Nezha is one of my favorite characters in The Poppy War series, so I was so happy when a fellow bookstagrammer let me know that Kuang wrote a collection of short stories from his point of view. Definitely wish it was longer, but I enjoyed hopping back into the series and learning more about his story.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air series #2) by Holly Black
I am still forming my thoughts on this complicated series that I wanted to love so much, but I will say that the books are short, fast-paced, and interesting enough. I felt like this book dragged a little in terms of plot, and left me wanting more at the end. Luckily there was one more book in the series…
The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air Series #3) by Holly Black
…and it fell flat! I plan on writing a full series review, but throughout the books, I always wanted more. I wanted more from the prose, the plot, the characters … it was disappointing! I read them and instantly forgot about them. Not much of an impression.
Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
But thank goodness for this one! One of my first 5-star reads in some time. I absolutely ADORED this book. It’s perfect. The characters, the politics, the romance, the steam. I loved every second of it. More to come, but I can see why this is a reread for so many folks!
December was a great reading month — I read everything on my December Hopefuls list … and then some! I am closing out my year with 54 books!
Here’s what I read this month:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
An annual reread … and one of the best Christmas ghost stories! Every year I get something different out of this book, and this year, I was actually spooked! I also made a resolution to read at least two Dickens novels this year! I admittedly have only read two … A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist. I read Oliver Twist in 9th grade, so I look forward to reading it again as an adult.
Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
It felt really special to read this out loud to my daughter this year. Ian and I took turns reading a letter throughout the season. If you love Tolkien or whimsy things (and let’s be honest, you love both when you love Tolkien), read this! It’s hilarious, fun, smart, and so beautiful.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
I go into more detail in my book review, but golly, Backman is one of my favorite authors ever. This book was Beartown meets A Man Called Ove meets Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in all the best ways. I absolutely adored it. I have one more novella and I will have completed all of Backman’s works!
King of Scars (King of Scars #1) by Leigh Bardugo
I am working my way through the Grishaverse! I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy this summer, giving them an average review. That didn’t stop me from reading the Six of Crows duology, which I have yet to review … but Six of Crows was one of my favorite books this year! Crooked Kingdom … not so much.
Anyways, I devoured this book in a week or so, and found it to be … mmm, well. Average. This 527-page book is a bit of a rollercoaster. I was feeling disconnected from the main characters and the pacing throughout. The story follows Nikolai (one of the only reasons I continued to read Shadow and Bone), Nina (one of my favorite characters in Six of Crows), and Zoya, who was a prevalent character in Shadow and Bone. All of the characters were watered down versions of themselves, especially Nikolai. I will give a longer review when I finish Rule of Wolves, which I have ordered. The way this story ends makes you want to pick up the last book, so don’t fret if you started this one and you’re unsure. We can finish this together!
The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang
Thank goodness I ordered this book. I finished it this week and wow. I am enthralled by this story and the main character. Rin is unlike any fantasy heroine I have ever encountered … and this book was unlike any fantasy book I have ever read. It is raw, dark, violent, honest. It packs a punch and is not for the sensitive or faint hearted. It was my first military fantasy and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
I finished The Cruel Prince the morning of Dec. 31. I was hoping to make this one my first completed read of 2022, but I flew through this one. This book was extremely interesting and though there are things I did not like about it … I certainly didn’t hate it. I look forward to completing The Folk of the Air trilogy in the next couple of months!
What about you? What did you read this month?
Another year in the books (heh). Check out all the books I read in 2021: