If you’re reading this, it means you’ve officially made it through the most depressing month of the year, GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK (and maybe a cookie…or 5???)
Actual image of me being a cookie monster.
There’s something about January that feels a little like limping over a finish line, am I right? It bleak, it’s rainy, it gets dark so early and it feels like you shouldn’t have to go out into the world and DO THINGS.
I’m summarising both December and January in this post because in December I did my end of year wrap up instead.
December was actually a really positive month for me despite not looking forward to it for once. There were lots of positive family festivities, quizzes and laughs.
January, however, started off promising and I had all these great blogging intentions… andddddd then came down with a throat infection that knocked me for six, which is why it’s been very quiet on here! I’m still suffering in bed as we speak, so if there are awkward typos in this, YOU’LL KNOW WHY. Also, I haven’t been as active at viewing your posts because I have been so out of it, so if I’ve missed an interesting post you want me to check out, please do put it in the comments! 😀
SOME GREAT THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY:
- Christmas and New Years (obs). New Year’s day was spent binge watching You by candlelight with the boyfriend, which was a perfect start to 2019!
- I went to see the British Ballet perform The Nutcracker. It was so wonderfully Christmassy and it was the first time I’d ever been to a ballet, so a totally new experience (and I would highly recommend it!) I also visited the British library while I was there!
- I actually went sales shopping for once and treated myself quite a bit, especially in the beauty section which was great fun!
- A friend got a Bengal kitten and I went round to give the adorbz little thing belly rubs!
- I met up with my best friend who I do not get to see as much as I would like. We walked around the January London Winter Lights interactive art installations in Canary Wharf which were absolutely stunning and incredibly inventive. Art reusing plastics, ghost whales made out of lights with eerie music, words made of water, and most impressive of all was the immersive light experience which had thousands of orbs on dangling cords that changed colour and pulsed!
Total Books Read December: 5 | Total Books Read January: 5| Backlist Books: 4 | Classics: 1
Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #3) | ★★★| Comments: This was a decent ending to the trilogy. It could have been much better… it could have been much worse as well! Ultimately, I was happy with the way Lena’s story was wrapped up.
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (Diviners #3) | ★★★| Comments: I love this series and will rave about it until the ends of the earth, but I did feel like this installment was missing… something? It’s a long book, it was quite slow paced and not an awful lot happened, despite the fact that we actually get quite a lot of reveals in the plot we have long been waiting for. You can read my Goodreads review here.
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean | ★★★| Comments: I was SO CONFLICTED about this book. On paper? Yaaaaassss! But on actual paper that I read??? Poorly executed. Here’s my review if you missed it!
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James | ★★★★| Comments: I really enjoyed this UKYA novel set in space and it was so relatable! Check out my review here if you missed it!
Anges Grey by Anne Bronte | ★★| Comments: Hmm, this wasn’t exactly what I was anticipating. I’ve read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (adoring both), and Agnes Grey completely lacked the same plot complexity or depth. Fingers crossed The Tenant of Wildfell Hall can redeem Anne Bronte and make the sisters a perfect literary trio!
Vicious by V.E. Schwab | ★★★| Comments: I’M SORRY INTERNET, BUT THIS JUST DIDN’T DO A WHOLE LOT FOR ME?!? I KNOW, I feel like I should go crouch in a corner in shame??? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it enough but I just expected…more? I guess the hype monster strikes again.
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | ★★★★| Comments: This was SO GOOD. It was my first ever Brandon Sanderson novel and I was really impressed! Great characters and worldbuilding. Good to finally read it after 6 years on my shelves, too! Look out for my review coming soon!
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia | ★★| Comments: I really DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS ONE. It’s taken me ages to ponder the star rating. It’s basically about a character with Schizophrenia, but the plot and rep seemed very problematic to me? But then, I also have 0 experience with Schizophrenia other than a short Psychology module at ALevel so IS IT RIGHT FOR ME TO JUDGE?!?
Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherwold 11)| ★★★| Comments: This is one of my fave series but this installment didn’t inspire me because I wasn’t a fan of the POV character.
Nineteen Minutes | ★★★| Comments: I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult. This book (which is based around a school shooting) didn’t do a whole lot for me, I’m afraid! Goodreads review here!
What did you read this month?
How to Get Away With Murder (Season 4) | ★★★★★| Comments: A professor and her law students find ways to twist the law while bodies drop left right and centre. Shonda Rhimes strikes again with a totally unrealistic but addictive story. Season 4 certainly kept me hooked!
Outlander (Season 4) | ★★★★★| Comments: This series just totally possesses me each time a new season is released! It’s based on the famous books of the same name where a lady travels back in time to 18th century Scotland and falls in love. Each series explores a new country’s history – in this one, it was America and it made me feel ALL THE THINGS!
You | ★★★★| Comments: A Netflix original series about a creepy sociopathic stalker who will do anything and everything it takes to get and keep the girl he loves, bleugh! This was way too realistic, and I DIDN’T LIKE THAT THE GUY WORKED IN A BOOKSHOP. I think they stretched the story over a few too many episodes, but ultimately this was good!
Good Girls | ★★★★| Comments: Three housewives with money problems decide to rob a bank. Events spiral and they find themselves doing more and more illegal things. This show isn’t kind I normally watch, but I’m a huge Mae Whitman fan so I decided to give it a go and it was GOOD. I really couldn’t decide at the end whether I was rooting for these girls as total badasses or if I wanted them to go to jail because they deserved it!
The Dark Tower | ★★★★| Comments: I didn’t expect a lot from this Stephen King film but it was actually so much fun! It gave me Percy Jackson/His Dark Materials vibes with a side of country and western.
Red Sparrow | ★★★★| Comments: A gritty spy thriller about a Russian ballerina turned spy. It was a bit too visceral for me in places but it was totally gripping and you just can’t deny Jennifer Lawrence’s acting skills!
The Shape of Water | ★★★| Comments: This one was fantastically weird. It kept me interested but I’m still not sure how I feel about it?!? I wouldn’t watch it again though which I think says something!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before | ★★★★★| Comments: THIS WAS SO CUTE I COULDN’T EVEN HANDLE IT. I haven’t read the books because it’s not the kind of novel I usually enjoy, but as a rom-com when I was ill? Perfect! Perfect balance of fluff and substance.
What did you watch this month?
At the end of December, I treated myself to the above ADORABLE Harry Potter Funko Pop keyring that I spotted up for grabs on ebay. I’ve needed a new keyring for the longest time. I used to have a timeturner one but because of all its moving parts it kept breaking and I had to retire it to my bookshelf instead. Since then, I’d been using an interim one that was very uninspiring and I decided enough was enough! I’m really kind of in love with this little guy, he makes me so happy each time I get out my keys, and I show him off to everyone. 😀
My second product is one of my treats from the January sales, a set of 5 Nyx soft matte lip creams which are normally £6 each but were reduced to £15 total. I’ve wanted to try some Nyx products for the longest time because I’ve seen quite a few beauty bloggers rave about them, so I decided to give them a whirl. I really like them because the colours are very natural and they don’t make my lips dry out (which is a constant problem for me). I’d definitely recommend!
Alas, a measly one. DAMN YOU ILLNESS *SHAKES FIST.*
But, I think it was a really good one??? I enjoyed writing it so much and I even learned a bit of HTML so I could make the blurbs appear and disappear, I HAZ A PROUD. It seemed like you guys really like this post too and I loved chatting to you in the comments!
I was about halfway through writing a review of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson when I came down with the flu, so hopefully, that will wing its way to you soon!
- Sprinkles of Dreams introduces us to The Year or the Asian Reading Challenge, which she’s co-hosting with several amazing bloggers! I think this is such a cool challenge to encourage people to read diversely and the badges are so cute!
- Brienna at Brienna the Bookworm discusses the backlist books she’s determined to read in 2019, and I feel you girl! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. I’d like to do one of these posts as well, seeing as tackling my backlist is one of my 2019 resolutions!
- Olivia at Purely Olivia creates a super cool Taylor Swift book tag, and I want to try it!
- Kat from Novels and Waffles gives us 20 NA books that read like YA and this list is so needed!!! I’ve been on the search for NA stories lately and I’m definitely joining the NA revolution because this category should have a place on shelves for a multitude of reasons!
How was the month of January for you? What have you been reading, watching and discovering? What did you rate your first read of 2019? Have you managed to dodge all the germs?
Let me know in the comments!