We’re already done with January. Can you believe it? So overall I’d say I did pretty well for this month reading. I didn’t get through everything that I had pulled from my TBR box but I did read half of them as well as some audiobooks. I got wrapped up in the Red Queen series and wanted to finish it which is why I didn’t finish everything I planned so I’m going to try and read some of them for next month.
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Let’s get into what I read this month.
The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. This was such a sweet and fluffy read for the holiday. There isn’t really anything new or original about this story but I loved it anyway. Enemy to lover, fake dating, office romance, it was great.
Carmilla by J Sheridan Le Fanu. Wow. Just…wow. I listened to the audiobook of this and I am shocked at the fact that this was actually able to be published when it was. I only heard of this book last year but it was actually published before Dracula and I could see a couple sections that were inspiration to Stoker. Had I not known going into it that it was a vampire book, I would have been very surprised by the ending part. What had me so shocked with this was the sapphic undertones. I loved that aspect, but that was something that just wasn’t written about back in the Victorian Era and he was only able to get away with it because vampires are monsters who do what is needed to feed. If you listen to the audiobook, I suggest using headphones. There’s a few times I was listening in my car and immediately started putting the window up because of moaning. It sounded like they were on the verge of orgasm at times even though nothing sexual was happening. Amazing novella overall and highly suggest reading if you enjoy vampire books, especially Dracula, because it was the first of its kind to be published.
Inferno by Dante. I have wanted to read this for a long time because of both it being a classic as well as knowing that it was a description of different parts of Hell. I loved the illustrations in it which definitely positively added to the story to help get more into it. Dante himself did a great job with imagery and the poetry style layout was beautiful. However, I found it to be far too preachy and a bit annoying. Only reason I’ll be keeping my copy of this is because I enjoy looking at the illustrations. I may read the other two in the trilogy at some point, but I will just get those from the library instead of buying them.
Utopia by Thomas More. While I’m happy that I have finally read this classic, I did not like it. It’s probably because of when it was written, but his idea of Utopia just had me pissed off. Slavery, sexism, segregation, bits of communism and dictatorship mixed together for a government. Basically the only way this could be thought of as a Utopia to anyone today is if they’re a sexist, workaholic man. I also disliked how it was basically one person talking the entire time about the workings of the place instead of us actually getting to see it in action or know anyone in that environment.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. This was a great book. It really gets into what it’s like to be a teen suffering with stress and their mental health which isn’t always properly represented. I had a great time listening to the audiobook and frequently would be laughing at the silly things going on in the hospital with the other patients. The only thing I wish it went over was anxiety. He constantly mentions his depression which is important and the main part of the story, but many of the problems he deals with and the main source of his depression clearly comes from severe anxiety which isn’t really talked about much. I will definitely be reading the rest of Ned’s work though because it was amazing.
Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra. When I found out there was going to be a contemporary retelling of my favorite book of all time Little Women, I immediately pre-ordered this book. I literally hugged it when it came in the mail. Then I started reading it and I hugged it more. I loved this book so much. My favorite sisters in Little Women were always Meg and Jo with Jo being my all time favorite female character ever read. This book did not disappoint me at all. In fact, I found myself loving it even more than Little Women by the time I finished it. It did something that so few books have ever done to me before. I actually cried a little in a few sections of it. That’s how much it tugged at my heart. It also got me to like Amy who I’ve always hated and remember Beth who I frequently would completely forget about, including her name. When I got to the end and saw that there was an insert of Beth and Amy I almost screamed in excitement. Then I got upset because I can’t find anywhere when that is supposed to be released. I related so much with Jo again but even more so now because of it being set in current times and both of us cooking and writing a blog. I honestly don’t know if I can like a book more than this one. It was amazing and will definitely be reread in the future.
Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Roadtrip by Linda Oatman High. Pretty much the only good thing I can say about this book is that I appreciated the fat rep. Otherwise it felt like something a kid wrote thinking they were being smart and cool when in reality just looking like an idiot.
I read the Red Queen Series this month. I only own a physical copy of Red Queen and borrowed the rest through Hoopla to listen to the series. While I think the narrators did a great job in the audiobooks, after the first book, the rest were just meh with a few good moments in them. I did however, grow to love Eve in the last two books with her struggle with her parents and her being in love with a woman. Overall, the series gets
Kissed by Magic by Erica Ridley. This was an ok read. Not terrible, not great. I enjoyed the overall story and idea of it but it was a bit lackluster for me overall. I think I enjoyed the idea of it more than the actual execution.
So that’s my January wrap up. I’m thinking of stopping the monthly wrap ups and switching over to weekly ones because these are getting to take a long time to make with how many books I’ve been reading every month. What have all of you read recently? Let me know.