Thursday, February 1, 2018

January 2018 Wrap-Up

I said I was going to do this quarterly, but I realized I also wanted to talk about the books I took IN, not just what I read. Plus, the biggest deterrent from blogging for me is formatting - I hate it so much and already do so much of it for work - but...this is my blog and I don't have to do loads of formatting!

Without further ado, let's talk about books.

Books I Acquired

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle
Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan
Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan
Girl Up by Laura Bates
These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shaker and Kelly Zekas
Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead
In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero
The Season by Sarah MacLean
What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener
Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things by Betsy Aldredge and Carrie DuBois-Shaw
Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? by Meg Frampton
The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville

Book Depository/Amazon/Book Boxes
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Books of Wonder/Strand
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kacyznski
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
Chainbreaker by Tara Sim
Puddin' by Julie Murphy
Royals by Rachel Hawkins

For Work/Projects
Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt
MunMun by Jesse Andrews
Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman
The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann (ARC) resolution to get rid of more books than I acquire is...not going great so far. BUT I'm doing a huge clean out this week. Maybe it'll start to balance more when I'm done? I think February is going to be a MUCH slower book month for me. Maybe.

Books I Read

I had a really good reading month, honestly. I was kinda surprised by it!

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh - This was SO good and such a fantastic dark fantasy. I wanted to read it because I knew it was going to be in Shelf Love Crate (and it was coming out this month) and I wanted to be sure I wanted the box. It took me a while to get into it because I was in a reading slump, but it's unlike any YA book I've read before and I'm so glad to add it to my shelf.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - This was another one that had a slow start for me, but I had to power through because I was going to their NYC signing with a friend and I had to know if I was into it...and I really was. Some aspects of it were predictable, but there are also things that totally threw me. There was also a fantastic relationship arc that I really loved.

Turn It Up by Jen Calonita - After struggling with books, I just wanted something quick and fun, so I picked up this book. It's really cute, but it's also a little young for me and VERY predictable. The girl friendships were cute and the a cappella bits were fun, but this is pretty forgettable for me. I think it's better for younger YA.

The Lady of Royale Street by Thea de Salle - I finally caved and gave up on YA to read a romance novel. This is the third in a series and it was just as fun and silly and sexy as the other two. I loved the main plot - best man and maid of honor step in to help a couple when their wedding planner suddenly dies a week before the wedding - and the characters involved. I loved this book loads.

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris - We got to the Unearthed signing early, so my friend and I camped out at a table and read picture books. This was the first one and it was educational and moving and such a good read for elementary school kids.

Love by Matt de la Pena and Loren Long - I had to see what the hype was about and it is a really cute, sweet, touching picture book that'll work for younger audiences than Her Right Foot.

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones - This was SO fun. It's mostly historical with a touch of magic and all about a girl who wants to be a spy so she can find out what happened to her father. There's really minimal romance and I think this is perfect for fans of The Season.

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann - I'm doing a fuller review for this one on another website, but this is a fantastic, voice-y book featuring a biromantic asexual main character figuring out her sexuality and what to do with her life in the summer before her third year of college. It straddles the line between YA and NA since Alice is still figuring out what she wants in love and growing up, but she's also making serious plans for her future. There's friendship and family dynamics and a sweet romance.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oekle - This was a DNF for me. It's an incredible voice and Jane Sinner is so snarky, it's fantastic. But I just wasn't inspired to pick it back up and I'm trying to be more honest with myself in 2018 about what books I really care about finishing.

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare - I picked this up when I still wanted to give Nice Try, Jane Sinner a chance, but thought I just needed a break from it. And I DEVOURED this book in two sittings. It was just a really delightful historical romance with some nods to the resistance and the next one is a governess/rake match up and YES PLEASE GET IT IN MY FACE.

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund - This is a sci-fi that's been on my shelf for AGES because I loved Anne's debut (which I also...never got to the sequel of). I picked it up on a whim and again, just wasn't excited to pick it up, so I DNFed it. I think it's a book a lot of people would love - there's two POV, a guy and a girl going to an elite school and space and such. Just wasn't digging it.

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross - This fantasy YA comes out on February 6 and I kind of thought it'd be a generic fantasy YA and I'd DNF it, but I ended up totally falling in love. It was a slower paced fantasy, but it had a fantastic, really unique plot and I loved all of the main characters, the romance was more subtle and other relationships were more at the forefront - parent relationships, sibling relationships, friendships. I just...ended up loving this a lot. 

I also officially DNFed, All I Know Now, which I started reading in fall 2015 and...I just gotta accept that's not happening. I also read a manuscript for work, so my technical number of books read in January is 14. 

February TBR

I don't like keeping a strict TBR because I'm a mood reader, but some books I'm hoping to get to/finish are:

Among the Red Stars by Gwen Katz
What Girls Are Made Of by Elana Arnold
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine
The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
Honor Among Thieves by Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves