Monthly Wrap Up | January 2022 + Reading List | February 2022

I feel like I’m off to a strong start for the year! It feels good to just be focusing on the simple question: What do I want to read next? Rather than worrying about if this or that book will complete a reading challenge prompt. While I am doing reading challenges this year, most of them are all focused on reading from my owned unread books or from 2021 and earlier.

This month’s books all count towards reading challenges.

The Books Read

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This was an ARC that I was really excited to get approved for and then got distracted by other reads (mostly all my library holds coming in). You can read my full ARC review here. As expected, Silva Moreno-Garcia’s writing was excellent!

While my expectation of her writing being excellent was met, I still found myself with mixed feelings. I didn’t find either of our main characters Maite or Elvis to be likable or even easy to connect with. Their similar music interests connection ultimately felt too weak.

While I found the plot to be fairly interesting and just engaging enough for me to finish the book, I think I would have preferred slightly different main characters. Or just a different angle on the whole story. In the end, I didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Since reading one of their other books, I got curious. And since I’ve seen this title everywhere, I decided to give it a shot. Ultimately, this book fell quite flat for me. The whole time reading this book, and by the time I got to the ending, I kept wanting more. It felt like nothing was fully and truly fleshed out. Or maybe there were some missed opportunities that I wish the author(s) took. Also, the whole catfishing thing just didn’t work for me and the main obstacle with Millie not being with Reid started to get frustrating because any growth happened too close to the end in my opinion. I think it would have been more fun it was more of a traditional best friends to lovers trope.

Homecoming King (Three Kings #1) by Penny Reid

So far, after reading this series starter, there is only one series that I didn’t absolutely love from Penny Reid. Luckily, I really enjoyed this one! I will say though that the blurb doesn’t really give you the whole truth about what Rex is feeling about so many of his ex-girlfriends getting married to the next person right after him. When it comes to romances, I like to just go with the flow and enjoy the story. I was definitely able to do that with this one though both of our MC’s behavior was slightly confusing at times. Overall, an enjoyable read as expected!

Beyond a Reasonable Donut (Deputy Donut Mystery #5) by Ginger Bolton

Cozy mysteries have become palate cleanser books for me, like romances. While it sometimes won’t be the most amazing writing, it’ll still be an enjoyable read. Kind of like watching a Hallmark movie. This is a series I started (honestly, mostly because it was centered around a donut shop) last year and just kind of got sucked into it. While the writing is a little bland, it’s an easy read and I enjoy trying to figure out what happened and who did it. I’ve been keeping my eye out for other cozy mystery series.

The Fastest Way To Fall by Denise Williams

While I really enjoyed her first novel set in this world, I was still a little hesitant about reading this one though I’m not sure why. I’m glad that I did because I love the body positivity and the perseverance messages that came through our MC Britta. I did love that they started more like friends that seemed to naturally progress towards more. I will say that there seemed to be slightly too many obstacles/ drama that got in the way. While not an amazing read for me, it was still a good read with good writing.

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

Poetry is subjective .. every reader is going to feel and think something different when reading it. And some poems will stand out more than others. What I can say is that the power of Gorman’s words that were heard in her poem for the US Presidential Inauguration is felt through every poem in this collection. Her words are raw. And emotional. And beautiful. I loved reading this collection.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I’m still thinking about this one. I had a dream about it after I finished reading it. I know there are mixed reviews for this one and I totally get it. For me, though, I really really enjoyed this one. It was beautifully layered and full of love for stories. I will say that the start was really slow for me .. to the point where I wasn’t sure I was going to continue. However, I knew the turning point was close so I stuck with it and I’m really glad I did! I liked the characters, the adventure, the magical realism, and the love stories. I also loved trying to figure out how the inner fairy tales connected with the main story. I think this one is heavily dependent on the reader’s mood and their like of stories within stories.

Reading Challenges Met:

  • Beat the Backlist: 7
  • Mount TBR: 2
  • Goodreads Random Number: 0

Books I Hope to Read in February

I’m currently reading The Starless Crown by James Rollins. After I finish that, I hope to read some or all of the below.

Blog Post Appreciation

Reader Voracious | Celebrate the 2021 Bookish Jazz Award Winners!

Sprinkled With Words | 7 Ways to Organise Your Bookshelves!

The Alliterates | How I Research Anticipated Book Releases

Nut Free Nerd | THE BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2021

The Orangutan Librarian | Let’s Do Something New for 2022- Why I’m Done With Resolutions…

Not Just Fiction | 8 Books To Read If You Like These Board Games

Eustea Reads | Discussion Post: How Important is the Bookish Community to You?

Bookish News

NPR | TikTok is driving book sales. Here are some titles #BookTok recommends

Nature | Origins of consciousness, and sustainable cities: Books in brief

BuzzFeed News | 26 Books To Get Excited About This Year

Cosmopolitan | The 10 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2022 You Should Add to Your Reading List ASAP

Bustle | 12 Books By British Women Of Colour To Look Out For In 2022



9 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap Up | January 2022 + Reading List | February 2022

  1. Thank you so much for mentioning my post! It made my day!

    I felt the same way about The Starless Sea–totally understand why there are mixed reviews, but I loved it and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

    Happy reading!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you’ve found a joy in reading based on what you want rather than challenges. That’s why I don’t do TBRs these days — I swear as soon as I set an intention or expectation, it is the last thing I want to do!

    Thanks so much for sharing my post and happy reading to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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