I don’t know about you but I’m not feeling ’22 (just kidding)
Stepping into the new year changed nothing for my routine but only made me fall back into the same comfort zone. I was prepared to challenge and try new stuff in Jan but I fell sick and lost all the enthusiasm I carried into the year. It took me two weeks and The Poppy War to get me out of that state.
I’m hoping this month is better and goes smoothly but with covid back in the picture, we can’t be sure about how things are gonna go. I’ll try to be optimistic and work on one thing at a time in February. Wishing you all have a healthy and productive month ahead!
My main goal this month is to post less and interact more. I’ve decided to post once a week so that I can interact more, write quality posts, do some research and work on my booksta.
Quickly, let’s begin this wrap-up.
Reading Stats for January 2022
- Total Books: 7
- Pages: 2162
On top of these 7 books, I also reread and read a few NA romances. So I might have read 15 books in total but I don’t want to add more books to my to-be-reviewed pile which is already getting messier. I’m planning to write something different this month which has been on my mind since December but was busy with the yearly wrap-ups and setting goals. Now that I have the time to work on those posts, I’ll probably post them this month.
Books Read in January 2022
➼As if on Cue ★★ | [Rep: Jewish mc; Bi sc; Nigerian American, Indian American sc]
The main characters in this book were rocking the hate and enmity in the enemies-to-lovers trope. I waited for their hate to transition into love, which escalated quickly in the second half. The story was going in a good direction until the main character did something juvenile and wasn’t called for, which made me dislike this book.
➼How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe ★★★★.5 | [ Rep: Plus size Columbian American mc, Disability; check out the triggers before reading this book]
A 17-year-old girl, made to live in the shadow of her twin sister and is a very talented artist, tries to be unapologetically herself in How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe.
This book was a fusion between YA Contemporary and NA Romance. I have gone back to this book more than I’d like to admit. The writing was lyrical and I was hooked to the story from the beginning. Moon was put through a lot by her mother and sister but never let that dim her light. She was sarcastic, spontaneous, and charming. If you’re wondering why there’s a Tarot deck in my moldboard, that’s all because of Moon. She was a tarot reader and designed her own deck. There’s more to this book than the romance. Speaking of the which, it was a bit explicit for a YA book but the hate-to-love part was pure perfection *chef kiss* The transition from hate to friendship and love was smooth. And for some reason, the mention of muscles (which happened a lot) only reminded me of The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. In short, This is my new favorite Romance that I’m recommending to everyone (above 17) looking for a new hate-to-love story.
➼ Sorceline (ARC) ★★★.5 | Middle-grade academia with mythical creatures, anyone? After two books, I was exhausted to read a full-length novel and chose this MG graphic novel to relax. The artwork in this book was top-tier; the colors and the sketches were bright, florescent, and vivid in a way I hadn’t seen before. The illustrator definitely did a great job in this book.
Now to the story, imagine an island where you have no clue how you reach there but you’re there to study cryptids (basically to learn about legendary creatures) and can converse in a new language, and then add mysterious disappearances to this mix. You have these kids playing detectives in this book and solving mysteries in the most creative way they can.
This book has a good premise but sometimes it was just leading to more clues without making sense. It felt like a guessing game for me besides that it left me with a cliffhanger that has me wanting to read the next book in this series ASAP.
➼ Portrait of a Thief ★★★.5 | I liked the idea behind The Portrait of a Thief. It made me think more about colonialism and postcolonialism, and after reading this book and The Poppy War, it cemented my need to read more postcolonial fiction and non-fiction. I couldn’t hold back from taking a few stars in my rating because some passages in the book were too repetitive. I personally didn’t like Will and Irene. They were controlling most of the things in the team. The team was a group of misfits who worked well together and contributed their part to the heists, so I didn’t like how the Chen sibling disregarded a few things in the book. Nevertheless, it’s a good debut.
➼ Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad ★★★★ | This book is packed with humor, wit, and exaggeration. Tuna’s story was a good break from all that was going in my head. The writing made me feel like I knew the characters in real life because I felt their loss and joy. It was so contagious and that’s why I’d recommend this YA Contemporary to anyone who needs a serotonin boost.
➼ Heart Takes the Stage (ARC) ★★★★ | This graphic novel started very fast. As I kept reading, it became easier to get used to the flow of the story. Our main character, Heart, put the h in the word hyperbolic. To quote her, “she was a part-time student and full-time entertainer.” She was so creative and her comebacks were ready and quick; no one could argue with her and come out unscathed. She and her friends were on a roll to work for whatever they set their minds to.
This book felt episodic, with breaks or skips in the timeline after each chapter. In MG books and graphic novels, we hardly see diverse reps but this book has many colored characters with a queer rep, so definitely recommend it.
➼ Swan Song of my Era ★★.75 | It took me long enough to get used to the writing of this book. I had to pause and reread the dialogues to understand what was told between the characters because they were lengthy and felt like they were returning to the same topic, over and over. Other than that, Swan Song of my Era had something fresh to offer us.
Books Reviewed in January 2022
Books to be Reviewed
- The Green Bone Saga
- The Poppy War
Book of the Month
Other Posts on the Blog
- Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan [ARC]
- A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
- Ophelia After All [ALC]
- The Dragon Republic by R F Kuang
- Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
Things I liked in January
- I had to set up my 2022 bullet journal in Jan and took my time for it. Last year, I worked with an orange palette. I added a few more colors to it this year and am pleased with the outcome.
- Though it was hard, I made up my mind not to force myself to blog when I wasn’t feeling like it and I stuck to it till the end.
- My main aim in Jan was to read ARCs and I managed to finish 50%.
To-Do List for Febrauary
As mentioned in my Dec wrapup, I met 70% of my Jan goals. I kept my word and made progress with the BBN project. There’ll be an interview going live in the next week. I also read The Poppy War (started in Jan but finished in Feb). I tried my best to stay on track with my BuJo in Jan but except for my habit tracker, I couldn’t fill the other pages. This month I want to
- Create at least two new bookish post
- Review The Green Bone Saga
- Interact as much as I can
Songs of February
- Shang-Chi OST
- Ganggangsullae by Gyeongju and Andong ft. Sogumm
- Wild is Life by Daniel Deuschle
- Rosario by Epik High, CL, Zico
- Kazino by Bibi
- Only One King by Tommee Profitt, Jung Youth.
Posts To Check Out
- Cherry @ LettersToTheLost talks about book tropes
- I came across this interesting article from NY Times- Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? which could be read a s a companion piece to The Portrait of a Thief.
- Fanna @ FannaForBooks complied a list of 40 best books hitting the shelves in Feb 2022
- DiversifyYourShelves shared a collective list of diverse books releasing in 2022
- A collab between Saima @ StorieswithSaima and Maddie @ InkingandThinking to discuss if these books are overhyped on social media
- Lia posted an interview with C L Clark, the author of the unbroken
- I found this short motivating article called “Do You Need to Get Up Again” that helped me write again.
SHow(s) Watched in january
I had my doubts when I started watching Snowdrop but after the first two episodes, I was sold to the show. I was mostly watching it for the dorm life. The first 8 episodes went quickly and I was on edge the whole time. But after that, it was dragging the obvious and left me with conflicting thoughts about the political atmosphere. I still have another 3 episodes to finish and want to see how things tie up.
I was watching Now We’re Breaking Up along with Snowdrop. It has a fantastic friendship trope and deals with a forbidden relationship that is not easily acceptable by the (Korean) society. I’m done with 9 episodes and have another 7 to go. I can guess where the story is headed, but I’m willing to see it through till the end.
This will be all for my January wrap-up. Let me know how was your reading month and what are you planning to read in February?