This new year started off rough. But luckily my reading didn’t.
First month of 2021 complete!
While it was a rocky start in general, my reading year started off strong. I even had a couple 5 stars this month!
I’m reformatting these wrap-ups just slightly!
Since I review almost every book I read, it feels redundant to do it again here. So I’m just sharing some quick highlights.
*Referral Codes to Book of the Month and Libro.fm are linked*
First let’s start with some stats –
Books Read: 15
Pages Read: 5,611
YA Contemporary: 1
Contemporary Romance: 3
Paranormal Romance: 3
Historical Romance: 3
Historical Fiction: 2
Owned TBR (Owned physically prior to reading): 7
Now here’s what I actually read this month! (In the order I read them) If I have a review, it is linked in the title. I also made sure to include the Goodreads page for all of these in case you want to add them to your own TBR!
Highlights: Sapphic romance, Pride & Prejudice retelling, Enemies to lovers, Fake dating, Set in Seattle during the holidays, Astrology, Women in STEM (Actuary)
Pros: Steamy romance, Amazing chemistry, Peak fake dating tension
Cons: This wasn’t exactly anything unique or life changing, The twists, conflicts, and conclusion are pretty straightforward obvious
Highlights: Mystery/Domestic Thriller, Secret Identities, Jane Eyre retelling
Pros: Page turner, Tons of secrets, Great audiobook narration, Captivating writing
Cons: Lacking a shocking twist/reveal
3. The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Highlights: YA Paranormal Romance series (NOT a trilogy…), Spinoff of Lux series (I highly recommend reading that one first), Sexy aliens
Pros: Great banter, Snarky hero, Lots of secrets, Always fun to return to a world and characters you already love
Cons: This will be the same for the other 2 books I read in this series – this is exactly like every other YA book JLA has written but will different names and hobbies.
4. Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young
Audiobook (Scribd), Physical TBR
Highlights: YA Fantasy duology, Pirates, Thieves, Set at sea, Diving, Found family, Secret identities, Swoony romance
Pros: Found family at sea, Swoony slow burn romance, Tons of action
Cons: The characters are definitely a little basic and trope-y (but personally, I love that sometimes)
Highlights: YA Contemporary, Seattle summer camp, DNA testing, Secret sibling, Adoption, Sister relationships, Friends to lovers, Slow burn romance
Pros: Emma Lord’s signature humor, Amazing exploration of sisterly bonds, Great friendships, really slow burn romance, fun summer camp setting
Cons: Absent parents, Teens keeping massive secrets from their parents and putting their families in potentially harmful situations
6. If It’s Only Love (The Boys of Jackson Harbor #6) by Lexi Ryan
Audiobook (Audible), Physical TBR
Highlights: Contemporary Romance series following siblings, Last book in series, Second chance romance, Brother’s best friend, Friends to lovers, Unexpected pregnancy, Athlete
Pros: Character had great chemistry and history, Solid friends to lovers build up, Loved being back in this world and with these characters
Cons: UNEXPECTED PREGNANCY IS THE WORST TROPE. UGH.
7. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
ARC (Netgalley), ALC (Netgalley)
Highlights: Historical Fiction, Dual timelines, Feminist themes, London setting, Women seeking revenge, Divorce
Pros: Both timelines were equally intriguing and engaging, Well developed characters, Amazing themes, Beautiful and captivating writing, Unique story
Cons: This story is very straightforward/linear in how it’s told – it’s a “mystery” but there are no real twists or reveals
8. Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Highlights: Magical, haunted forest, Evil tree sirens, Enemies to lovers, Star-crossed lovers, Epic battle, Grey morality
Pros: Insanely unique premise, Beautifully prose and story format, Magical, Explores what it means to be human, Epic love story
Cons: None, this book is perfection
9. The Rogue of Fifth Avenue (Uptown Girls #1) by Joanna Shupe
Highlights: Historical romance set in New York City, Different classes, Forbidden romance, Fiercely independent Robin Hood-like heroine
Pros: Amazing, story heroine, Super steamy slow burn romance, All the banter
Cons: None – this is my new favorite historical romance!
10. The Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas
Highlights: Part of the Ravenels series but could stand on it’s own, Wallflower, Marriage of convenience, Independent heroine, Rake turned romantic
Pros: Super swoony hero, Unique wallflower heroine with funny quirks, Feminist themes and discussions, Witty & charming banter
Cons: Pandora is a little too naive and quirky at times, Hero falls really fast
11. A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (A Lady’s Guide #1) by Manda Collins
Highlights: Historical mystery romance, London serial killer (not Ripper), Enemies to Lovers, Widowed heroine, Heroine owns a newspaper
Pros: Amazing female friendship, Strong independent heroine, Great chemistry and banter between the main characters, Engaging and twisty mystery
Cons: Romance progressed very quickly
12. Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler
Highlights: Part of a series but can stand on it’s own, Mountain climbing, Opposites attract
Pros: Easton (That’s it he’s amazing), Fun mountain climbing plot, Same goofy humor as the rest of the series
Cons: Heroine makes a lot of frustrating and terrible decisions, The romance is a little lacking since so much time is spent on the climbing plot
13-14. The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) & The Brightest Night (Origin #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Highlights: Spinoff of Lux, Amnesia, Sexy aliens, Evil government entities, Hidden abilities, Epic battles
Pros: Luc is still one of the best characters in the Lux world, Great chemistry between the characters, Lots of twists and turns, MAJOR CLIFFHANGERS
Cons: Book 3 has no plot (just Luc and Evie confessing their undying love for each other and making terrible decisions), MAJOR CLIFFHANGERS (yes it belongs here too 😅), THIS IS NOT A TRILOGY (this is on me… but I totally thought this was the final book. It’s most definitely not.)
15. In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce
Highlights: Serial Killer, True Crime, Revenge plot, Dual POV, Historical (set in late 1800-early 1900s), Creepy AF
Pros: Dual POV plot really highlights some of the creepy things happening, Being in the mind of a serial killer is so unsettling, epic revenge arcs
Cons: Not sure yet, I haven’t finished 😅
*** Favorite Book of the Month ***
*** Least Favorite Book of the Month ***
Phew… that was LONG.
What was your favorite book of January??