Time to look back on everything I read in January! I’ve already talked about most of these books in previous posts, but total I read 20 books. My count will go way down now that the semester is back in full swing, but I plan on keeping up a decent pace. Here are the ones I haven’t discussed yet:
- Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard. 2/5 stars. This book was exciting and fun, but the further you get into it the more you realize how much Aveyard has ripped off from other books. My Goodreads review has some of the spoilery details of all the ways that this book is ripping off The Hunger Games, even if the plots are not that similar. It’s more that Aveyard took a bunch of the details and put them on a new plot. I’ve read that it is also very similar to Red Rising, which I haven’t read, but doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence regarding her ability to be original.
- Baba Yaga’s Assistant – Marika McCool. A graphic novel based on the myth
- Mistborn (aka The Final Empire) & The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson. I am really enjoying this series. I am taking breaks in between each book because I don’t want it to end!
- The Night Circus – Emily Morgenstern. You know how sometimes you read a book and you know that normally you would really enjoy it, but you aren’t in that head space at the moment? That was me with this book. I did like it but some of the narrative things bothered me. But, I think a reread would put it solidly in the 5/5 category.
- Gold Fame Citrus – Claire Vaye Watkins. Post-apocalyptic story about people who choose to stay in drought-ridden California with others who are basically not good people. Just think about the kind of people who would chose to stay behind in a environmental crisis and why they might chose to separate themselves from society despite the circumstances. Parts were well-written and lovely, but there were also parts were I was just wondering, “wtf did I just read?” I’m all for literary fiction and experimental writing, but I just didn’t enjoy parts of this book. 3/5 stars.
- The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins. I don’t think I need to say much except that I guessed the end by about half way through the book, and it wasn’t as good as Gone Girl. Just sayin’. 3/5 stars.
- These Vicious Masks – Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas. This comes out next week and is a historical fiction/fantasy YA. There are some people who have powers, and it takes place in and around London in 1882. Evelyn’s sister Rose gets kidnapped and so the search is on to find her. (Does this lackluster summary give any indication of my feelings?) I really lost interest in this book about half way through. Evelyn was really sarcastic and funny, but the writing in this book lost me. One minute it would sound like the authors were reading/watching Jane Austen, and the next the characters sounded like smart-ass 21st century teenagers. I could feel the authors working too hard in this book, and it really turned me off. 2/5 stars.
So those are the last of the books I read in January.
I thought that maybe it would be a good idea, in addition to a general wrap-up and here’s what I’m going to read in the near future (maybe, kind-of, out of the 100 books I really really want to read now), to also hold myself accountable to my resolutions that I’ve decided on for this year. I’ve finished reading four books since the semester began and none of them were even graphic novels. So I’m pretty proud of myself right now. Resolutions? Well, um… I bought 27 books this weekend, online or in local bookshops, so… maybe not so great. But that’s maybe an unexpected consequence of being more aware of books that have been published recently.
- Stick to my TBR list. I think I’ve done ok on this. Maybe I should have specified and said: stick to reading books that have been on my TBR for more than a month, or something like that.
- Start trading in or giving away books that I will never read or will never read again. I have been doing this, I’ve taken two boxes to my local store this month!
- Wait a month before buying a book that I am interested in reading. Um, nope. This weekend I bought 4 books on a whim, including And Again, by Jessica Chiarella (sci-fi), All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (sci-fi/fantasy), Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín (historical fiction?), and Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee (historical fiction). The other books I bought I had been considering for a while.
- Stop buying an entire series before I know whether I like it or not. Yep! At least I think so. Technically I bought the other three books in the Mistborn series, but it’s not like a completely separate series, right?
- Get my TBR under 200 books. So far, not good. It keeps growing, and right now it’s at 303.
- Read more classics. Meh. I read The Heart of the Matter, which is some progress. The main reason for this resolution was to help me read books I already own, not because I haven’t read a lot of classics. So, it’s not as pressing as my other resolutions.
- Read more graphic novels. Yep. I have read 4 so far this year, which is more than I read all of last year.
- Write more about what I read. Sort-of. Even if I’m not writing posts I’m trying to do blurbs on Goodreads, at least.
- Finish reading Harry Potter. I’ve still got all year for this.
- Use the library more for fiction. Yep, I’ve read two library books so far.
- Read more! Yep. I think January of last year I had only read 2 or 3 books.
I think reflecting back on my habits, as well as what I’ve actually read, will help keep me on track and honest with my resolutions. Also, it reminded me of what they are! Which is good when you’re trying to actually do them.
I hope everyone else’s reading has gotten off to a good start!