The last couple weeks have been super busy with work, and I have been tired so I apologize that this post has been a bit late. I am so happy that I can finally sit down and write my first wrap-up of 2020! As you all know, at the end of 2019, I was in a reading slump. I still read but it was tedious and it would take me so much longer that it usually would to go through one book.
When 2020 started, I wanted to be done with this reading slump. I wanted to read again, the way I used to. I can’t say I’m completely back to reading as often as I did before, but it is so much better after one month, I’m genuinely so happy about it.
On January 1st I, of course, set my Goodreads reading challenge goal for the year. Some of you might know, I started with a goal of 40 books last year, and changed that number a few times until it was at 70 books. In the end, I read 75 books in 2019, so I thought I might as well set myself a goal of 70 books for 2020 right from the start. I’m really hopeful I will be able to achieve this goal, and I’m definitely curious to see if I manage to read at least as many books as I did in 2019.
Books I read this month:
As many of you know, I’ve never been one to read many contemporary books. It simply wasn’t a genre I gravitated towards; but during my reading slump, I slowly realized that fantasy books really did not help. It would take me forever to finish reading one, and while I still loved them so much, I thought that maybe, another genre would be a better idea while trying to get over that stubborn reading slump. And there has never been that many contemporary books in one of my wrap-ups before, so as you can imagine, it worked (and yes, I read all those books in a row, I really was in a contemporary novel mood).
- Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon, ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I genuinely could not stop reading this book. It was so nice and wholesome; I loved both main characters so much and overall, it was a lovely read. The only thing was that the story was a bit too fast for me, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this novel a lot.
- A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tahereh Mafi’s beautifully raw writing made A Very Large Expanse of Sea a novel full of emotions, and I cried many times while reading this novel. It truly touched my heart.
- Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey, ⭐⭐⭐
I went into this book expecting one thing and I should not have. It was a good book, but it lacked a little something. While I loved Bailey with my whole heart, I had a difficult time with Matt. He’s not a bad person, but his character development was not great in my opinion, and I didn’t enjoy how the end was handled. I was disappointed, but I will definitely read other books by R.S. Grey in the future.
- Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My first and only five stars read of the month. I loved Jordan, the main character, with my whole heart; and the character development was incredible. I find it difficult to explain, but the atmosphere of the novel, the emotions dealt with and Penelope Douglas’ writing made this novel work for me. I felt so much while reading it.
The other books I read this month are a mix of fantasy and science-fiction, as well as a mix of ratings. When I rated two novels in a row 2-stars, I was confused. I thought I did not know my own reading taste anymore, because 2-star ratings are a very rare thing for me. It made picking another book to read difficult, because I wanted a book I enjoyed. Thankfully, my luck changed after a while.
- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I started reading this novel in December, but it was the first novel I finished in 2020. It was an absolutely stunning fantasy novel, with incredible world-building and characters. It explored so many themes and it really was an emotional novel. Why 4 stars then? At one point, the novel got a bit slow and seemed to run around a little in my opinion. Otherwise, it was a truly great novel. Will I read the companion novel, Realm of Ash? Absolutely.
- The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, ⭐⭐⭐
After reading mixed reviews, I waited a little bit to pick up this book. I read it in one sitting during an afternoon, and my general feeling is mixed. While I enjoyed some parts of the novel a lot, other parts did not quite work for me. It seemed rushed in some moments of the story when I would have liked more backstory and more development. I am still glad I read it, but the conclusion was not as great as I thought it could be.
- Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, ⭐⭐
I don’t have much to say here; I’m simply disappointed. The idea for this story was great, but the novel did not live up to it. It lacked character development, relationship development and the plot itself was nothing extraordinary. I will not be continuing with this series.
- Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde, ⭐⭐
I got this book as an ARC on Netgalley, and I was so excited to read it. I obviously requested it because I was intrigued by the synopsis. The novel had a couple okay elements, but overall I did not enjoy it. The plot was kind of all over the place, the characters lacked development, the banter wasn’t amazing … What bothered me at the start of the story did not get better as the story progressed, and I was disappointed.
- The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, ⭐⭐⭐
I played The Witcher 3 a couple years ago, and this year I also watched the Netflix show. I knew then I wanted to read the novels, and I started this month; it was a good short stories collection, with interesting backstory for Geralt, but some moments were a bit boring. I will definitely read the next book however!
In December, I decided to join the #StartonYourShelfathon hosted by CW @ The Quiet Pond. You can read my signing up post right here; and I wanted to update you on my progress monthly. I’m happy to say I have to read four books from my TBR so far! I’ve definitely made a conscious effort to sometimes pick books from the ones I put in my TBR, and I’m hoping I’ll continue to do so during the rest of the year.
Here is my wrap-up for the month! Again, I’m sorry this post is late, but I hope you enjoyed reading it and that you had a lovely month of January 💖
Are you planning to join any readathons this year? How was your reading in January? What is a genre you want to try and read more of? I hope you have a good month of February!
Until next time,