Monthly Wrap Up · Reviews

January Wrap Up & Reviews

Wrap Up

Hello bookworms!!

So, I am changing things up a little bit this year. Reviews are my least favorite posts to do because I feel like I am just not good at writing them. I was doing mini review posts last year and I would do multiple books in one post. For this year I’ve decided that I am going to include my little mini reviews in my wrap up posts instead of doing review posts. I want to try it this way and see how I like it. Who knows maybe I won’t like it and I will change the format again but for now at least from here on out this is going to be the format of my wrap up posts.

January 2022 didn’t go the way I hoped it would. I had a really slow start to the month because I got sick and ended up testing positive for COVID and that took a lot out of me. It took me a while to get my energy back. Also, throughout the month my family was being hit with one thing after the other. First my sister fell off her porch and broke her leg, then my mom tested positive for COVID and if that wasn’t enough toward the end of the month, I had to go to the ER because of really bad stomach pains. To keep this short basically I am going to have to get my gallbladder taken out and while they are doing that, they are going to put a camera down my throat to look at my stomach because my symptoms could be because of the gallbladder or my stomach. Yeah, so lots of medical stuff going on here and it’s not over yet unfortunately. As for the books I was an alpha reader for an author this month and while I count that book as a book I read I can’t actually share it yet which is why my final number will show one extra book than what y’all see in this post today. With all the health issues this month I am surprised I managed to read as much as I did. I’m not complaining though. Anyways let’s get to the books and what I thought about them. These are in the order that I read them.

The Burning WorldThe Burning World by Isaac Marion – 2.5 stars

This is the second book in the Warm Bodies series and unfortunately this one just added more to my already confused mind. I was really hoping that we would get some answers in this book to all of the questions we are left with from book 1 and while we do get a couple, they are pretty vague and then we are left with even more questions from this book which ultimately just left me even more confused, so I’ve decided I am giving up on this series.

Ronaldo: Scandal at The Reindeer Flying Academy

Ronaldo: Scandal at The Reindeer Flying Academy by Maxine Sylvester- 5 stars

This is the 5th book in the Ronaldo’s Flying Adventures series. Like the previous books we get another cute story with cute illustrations while at the same time teaching us (kids) some life lessons. This time there’s a bit of a mystery that of course Ronaldo helps to solve. You will also get some laughs out of this along the way. It’s a fun quick read that I think kids would really enjoy.

Billy Summers

Billy Summers by Stephen King – 4 stars

Billy is a gun for hire, but he will only kill bad guys. I guess you would call him an antihero but to me he is still a bad guy. King did a great job making me feel for Billy’s character and making me root for him to succeed. If you know me this is a huge feat because I am strictly a hero girl. In fact, I can name 3 books including this one where I was rooting for the villain. The beginning was a little slow going but once his latest job happens things finally started to pick up and that’s when I got more invested. I do have to point out 2 things that King included that could have been left out of the story and that was that at one point Billy pretends to act like a deaf mute and at another point he attempts to make himself tan enough to pass as a Mexican. Both of these could have easily been left out of the story and as King fans continue to say it’s King being King. He always has to include topics about race, sex and other sensitive topics and most if not all of the times it could have been left out of the story. It doesn’t add anything to the story. I can understand this in his older works but in this day in age when we expect more from authors King should also be held to those standards as well.

Indigo Ridge

Indigo Ridge by Devney Perry – 3.5 stars

This was January’s pick for the Lost in Romance Book Club that I host along with Michelle. You can read here review here. We picked this book because of the small-town romance trope. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of small-town romances. There are aspects I like, like how everyone knows everyone and has your back and there are aspects I don’t like, like the gossip and how they treat people who aren’t from the town. In the beginning of this book people are rude to Winslow solely because she wasn’t from there despite her grandfather being the mayor of the town. That bugged me but luckily it didn’t last too long. This is a romantic suspense, but the romance took over. Don’t get me wrong I liked the romance but considering Winslow was the chief of police there should have been more investigating happening. It was like something would happen randomly that would progress the investigation on, but it was seldom because of any actual investigating. This book deals with a family member having dementia. I’ve never had any personal experience with this so I can’t really comment on the accuracy of how it’s portrayed. I felt like it was done well but as my cohost says in her review it was glossed over and used to further the plot which I personally didn’t care for. Overall, it had some flaws, but I think this was a pretty good start to a series and I wouldn’t say no to reading the next book.

The Cove

The Cove by L.J. Ross – 4 stars

This book was a recommendation from Clare Janet Mason on Twitter. It’s part of the 12 Challenge that was making the rounds on Instagram at the end of December. I have to say I probably never would have picked this book up on my own if it wasn’t recommended to me so for that I am very grateful because I ended up really enjoying it. I listened to the audiobook of this and managed to finish it in 2 sittings. It was such a quick read, and it was kind of cute too. This is a romantic mystery, and this is one that was well balanced. As the synopsis mentions Gabrielle is a victim of the Underground Killer but she survived. After she is well enough, she decides to up and move to Cornwall to run a book shop. Due to her accident Gabrielle suffers from PTSD and is very cautious obviously and she has become a little OCD about things. I loved the talk about books and all of the things they could do for the book shop. You could just feel her love for all things books, and I loved that. Eventually Gabrielle witnesses something that she wasn’t meant to see and then things start happening from there. Basically, there are 2 whodunits in this book. The one who caused Gabrielle’s accident was wrapped up really fast in the end and also the one she witnessed. It was also wrapped up pretty fast as well especially considering it seemed like the people knew who it was without there being any evidence that they had any ideas. I had no clue who either of them was. I guessed wrong on both accounts. Like I said I loved all the book love and the romance. It’s so hard to explain my thoughts on this book but I did really enjoy it.

Nothing but Blackened Teeth

Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw 4.5 stars

I buddy read this book with Luna. I mentioned in one of my week in books posts that I had no interest in reading this book until I saw Jonnys review a couple months ago talking about how much he disliked it. Yes, sometimes negative reviews make me really want to read a book. This was a pretty short book, so it was a quick read. Jonny makes valid points in his review, but I ended up really enjoying it. Maybe it’s because I don’t read a lot of this genre or maybe it’s because I love romance and therefore enjoyed all the drama in this book I don’t know. I knew nothing about the Japanese folklore this book is based on going into it and while I didn’t know what some of the things were that were mentioned it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it. I felt like the ending was a little rushed and I wanted more. I definitely think this could have made for a great full-length novel because I was left wanting to know what happened after.

How to Love Your Neighbor

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan 4 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s for providing me with an ecopy in exchange for an honest review.

Grace inherits a little beach house from her grandparents that she never knew because in a nutshell her mom is horrible. Noah lives next door to said house and decides since it has been sitting empty for a while, he wants to buy it to increase his property value and have the chance at getting a magazine spread. Grace refuses to sale and Noah refuses to take no for an answer. This is an enemies to lovers opposites attract romance. Both have parental issues that we are continuously reminded of throughout the entire book, so they are both stubborn and want to prove themselves. I loved the romance in this book. I felt like the transition from them being enemies to friends to lovers was done really well and it made sense. It was obvious they had a connection and for me personally I wish they would have gotten together sooner. I think the characters were really good at communicating with each other albeit it would usually happen after one of them screwed up. I liked the home improvement/design aspect but because I am not a creative person it was kind of hard for me to picture all of the details in my head. It would have been nice to have some pictures. Yes, I know books don’t usually come with pictures but still I would have liked to see all of the things that they created because the way it was described and the reactions the characters had made it seem amazing. This book also had me laughing all throughout it. Apparently, it’s the companion novel to ten Rules for Faking it which I had no clue about but now I need to go read that one. The only negative I have to say about this book is how repetitive it was with how Grace wasn’t her mom and Noah wasn’t his dad and they didn’t want to end up like them etc. That was literally beat into my head the entire time while I was reading this, and it only needed to be mentioned once maybe twice and I would have gotten it. Overall, I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more by this author.

What Wendy Wants

What Wendy Wants by Nikki Sex 3 stars

I ended up picking this book up because I wanted a short quick read, and this definitely delivered in that respect. This might be kind of spoilery so if you plan to read it you might want to skip my review until after you have read it. I loved the premise of this book. Frank and Wendy have been married for 13 years. Frank thinks their sex life is great, but Wendy has grown bored. Wendy reads steamy romance novels, and she would like to try some of the things she has read about but she is too scared to come out and ask for it, so she tries to drop little hints, but Frank doesn’t get it. One day he accidently takes her kindle to work with him instead of his. He ends up seeing all of the things she’s reading. Everything she has highlighted or marked as her favorites and he comes to the conclusion that Wendy is bored and he’s going to do something about it. This is where things kind of bothered me for a minute. Frank is some kind of an accountant, and he takes on this like he would one of his jobs. He does his research and makes lists and has percentages of what she would like to try etc. That part was all just a little weird to me. I mean by all means read the books and look up things but the way he did it just rubbed me the wrong way. After that starts the seduction. Frank is constantly saying he isn’t sure if he can do all of these things but boy when the time comes, he doesn’t hesitate whatsoever which I guess is a good thing because he was taking control but at the same time, I would have liked to see him not seem so comfortable with everything because it was all very new to him. Another thing that bothered me about this book is how when Frank was doing his research and reading other books the author referenced her other books several times. We even get little quotes. I tend to not like books within books already so only getting little snippets of a book is even more annoying. All of that aside it was very hot. I loved that we get a well-established couple who have to work to get the spark back and the positive communication while at times a little awkward was refreshing.

Second Chance

Second Chance by Natasha Preston – 4 stars

This was my first book by this author. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book. Yes, I read the synopsis, but it didn’t give anything away. This book was very angsty and the whole back and forth of will they want they drove me crazy because it was obvious that they should be together. This book is so hard to review because there are things you just need to find out while reading it. There was a twist about halfway through that I never saw coming and honestly when it happened, I literally put phone down because I wasn’t happy, but it just added to all of the angst. There were times when it would jump ahead abruptly that I had to go back because I thought I had missed something. I don’t typically mention editing mistakes but when they happen so frequently throughout the book that it takes me out of the story, I have to mention it. This book definitely needed to be edited better. There is so much more I could say about this book, but it would spoil it, so I am just going to leave it at this.

Stats:

  • Number of books read in January – 10
  • Number of books read this year – 10
  • Number of pages read in January – 2,781
  • Number of pages read this year – 2,781

Health wise 2022 has been a bitch to me and my family but reading wise I feel like I am off to a great start. How has the start of 2022 treated you? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What did you read in January? I would love to chat about it in the comments. 

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18 thoughts on “January Wrap Up & Reviews

  1. Haven’t read any of the books in your list but the reviews look good🙂 Jan was a mix bag for me too. The start was awful because of covid but I managed to turn it around in the second half.. so happy in the end☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear you had a difficult January and that you’ve been poorly. I hope you and your family all feel better soon and that things look up for you in February! You’ve still managed to read an impressive variety of books 📚❤️ X x x

    Liked by 1 person

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