January wrap up, a month with a lot of pages but not a lot of books

At the start of January, I used a “wheel of TBR” to determine which books I should pick up during the month. The wheel wasn’t very kind to me as it chose some quite large books. I didn’t have all that much time to read last month, so I didn’t get to all of them (as expected). However, I did tackle one of my most intimidating reads at the start of the year which makes me feel very proud.

What was I supposed to read this month?

Little Women, How to Be Remy Cameron, De Vrouw Die Door Het Vuur Ging, Words of Radiance, and Silver in the Wood

What did I actually read?

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh – ★★★★★
This was a random purchase from the Amazon sale a month or two ago, and my pick for the “short book” prompt of the wheel. Although I had seen it mentioned on a few Best of 2019 lists, I didn’t expect much going into it. I find it hard to fall into a new world or atmosphere or get attached to characters with novellas because they’re so short. However, this novella was atmospheric and rich from the start. On page 3, I already knew it would end up a 5-star read.

Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★★
I can’t believe I managed to read one of my most intimidating books at the start of the year. Why is Words of Radiance so intimidating? First of all, it’s about 1300 pages long. Second, one of my favorite characters has the tendency to almost end up dead in every chapter. I was scared, okay? After gathering all my courage and picking this book up, I fell in love with it. It was even better than the first book in the series as we didn’t need as much worldbuilding or background this time around. I can’t wait to buy and read Oathbringer, the next book in the Stormlight Archive!


What did you read in January?

What I plan on reading in January

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m sure you neither noticed nor cared that I have been gone for a while, so I’ll keep the explanation short. In 2019, I lost my passion for blogging somewhat and started exploring other areas of my life, including workout classes, language learning, a buys full-time job and a lot of traveling. While I am still doing all those things, I caught myself making reading plans again lately.

Even though I haven’t blogged in a while, I’ve still been reading. Mood reading, that is. Now, I find myself wanting to try challenges, TBRs and more again. So here I am, in January of 2020, writing a blog post. I won’t promise that I’ll post regularly again.

Last year, I fell in love with the “Wheel of TBR” videos on Cody’s channel. They give her direction to read yet allow her to pick the books to fit the given prompt at the same time. I decided to try the same for the first month of 2020. As I’ve been reading less the past few months, and have a busy month ahead, I decided to spin the wheel 5 times.

1: read an #ownvoices book

how to be remy cameron

Spin 1 gave me the prompt to read an own voices novel. Since I recently bought How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters, I figured that’d be the perfect read to kick off the year. I adored the author’s previous novel, Running With Lions, and can’t wait to read more of his work.

Synopsis
Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron. He’s the out-and-gay, super-likable guy that people admire for his confidence. The only person who may not know Remy that well is Remy himself. So when he is assigned to write an essay describing himself, he goes on a journey to reconcile the labels that people have attached to him, and get to know the real Remy Cameron.

2: randomized read

de vrouw die door het vuur gingThe second spin of the wheel ended up on “randomized read” which means I have to go to my Goodreads TBR shelf and sort the books at random. The first one to pop up is the one I have to read.

The book selected was De Vrouw Die Door Het Vuur Ging by Manda Scott. This is a translated version, the original (English) title is Into the Fire.

I was a tad discouraged when I saw this pop up, because this book seems absolutely huge. I know Goodreads says it “only” has 500 pages but for some reason it seems like a lot more to me.

Synopsis
February 2014: Police Capitaine Inés Picaut is called out to investigate a blaze in the old town of Orléans. This is the fourth in a series of increasingly brutal arson attacks, and at the centre of the conflagration lies a body. 

September 1429: Joan of Arc is in the process of turning the tide of The Hundred Years’ War. English troops have Orléans under siege, and Tomas Rustbeard, the Duke of Bedford’s most accomplished agent, finally has her in his sights. But he knows that killing ‘The Maid’ – the apparently illiterate peasant girl who nonetheless has an unmatched sense of military strategy and can ride a warhorse in battle – is not enough. 

3: read your highest rated book

words of radianceWhen spin number 3 landed on “highest rated book”, I wanted to jump out the window. Why? Simply because I knew that the highest rated book on my shelf is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, the sequel to The Way of Kings.

Remember when I mentioned I had a busy month ahead a few paragraphs ago? Yeah. Apparently, now I have to find time to read a 1000+ page book too.

I am really excited about this book though. I adored the first novel in the series and I can’t wait to find out more about the world and get to know the characters better. I’m already way too attached to everyone we met in book 1 (especially Kaladin). I’m also secretly happy this TBR made me pick this up because I don’t want to wait 5 years before continuing the series.

4: pick a short read

silver in the woodThank you, wheel, for blessing me with a short read after putting Words of Radiance on my list for the month! I’m so grateful.

In the same order in which I purchased How to Be Remy Cameron, I bought  Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh. The perfect choice for this prompt, as it’s only 112 pages long. I was already quite excited to read this, and then I saw it on Destiny (Howling Libraries) favorite reads of 2019 list…

Synopsis
There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.

When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.

5: read a classic

little womenAnother prompt that terrifies me… To be honest, that’s the point of using the wheel: encouraging me to pick up the books I’ve been putting off for a while or might not pick from my shelf on my own.

I actually only have two unread classics so my choices were limited. After hearing so many people rave about the new movie, I decided to go for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

I have never read this book nor have I watched an adaptation of the story. I’m excited to find out what this book is actually about!

Synopsis
Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.


That’s it! Those are the books I’m hoping to read this month. I think the wheel was a tad unkind to me, leaving me with these long books to finish, but I’m genuinely excited about all these reads. I hope I’ll have a good reading month with these picks.

Have you read any of these books? What are you planning to read in January?

January in the life | personal wrap up

January has come and gone, which means it’s time for the wrap ups to start. I always create a wrap up where I talk about the books I read during the month prior to the post, as well as a wrap up where I discuss the movies and TV shows I watched, the music I listened to, and the things I did.

what i watched black

 

 

 

Burning – ★★★★
I saw some people mention Burning as one of their favorite movies of last year, or as one of the most underrated ones. When I discovered a cinema in Brussels was playing it for two days in January, I knew I wanted to go. I ended up really enjoying it! It’s not a movie for those who love to have every question answered by the end, but I think that’s part of its charm. Go into this movie not knowing anything, and message me with your theories when you’ve done so!

Searching – ★★★★.₅
Searching was actually the first movie I watched in 2019! Once again, inspired by people’s list of favorite and most surprising movies of the year. I would have never watched it without seeing it mentioned so often. The movie is described as following a father whose daughter goes missing. Nothing new, right? However, this story is only told through tech – FaceTime, security cameras, desktop screengrabs, etc. It’s a very interesting way to tell a mystery because it makes the audience feel like they’re investigating the disappearance alongside the main character.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo – ★★★★
I have a full review of this show coming up, so I won’t say too much here. Suffice it to say I absolutely loved it. Marie Kondo seems like the most adorable and respectful person on the entire planet, and I would protect her with my life.

What’s wrong with Secretary Kim? – ★★★★★
This has to be one of my favorite Asian dramas so far. I’ll definitely write a ‘thoughts on TV’ post on it soon, but I want you all to go watch it now. It follows a young Vice Chairman/CEO who has been at the top of his game for years. Partly thanks to his secretary, Secretary Kim, who has been by his side for 9 years. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, she tells him she’ll be resigning soon. The CEO, who is the biggest narcissist ever, just can’t seem to understand why someone would willingly quit working for him and decides to investigate.

Because this is my first life – ★★★.₅
I only watched a few episodes of Because this is my first life, since I watched the majority of it in 2018. I thought it was okay but nothing special. I didn’t understand the main female character, to be honest. Her actions became completely ridiculous to me by the end. However, it was an enjoyable show overall!

what i did black

January always feels like such a long month, doesn’t it? It seems absolutely endless… However, I’m happy to report some pretty great things happened to me in January!

Obviously, I celebrated New Year’s with my family at the start of the year. It was nice to see everyone together again, and I ate some incredible food. Actually, I ate a lot of incredible food…

I made plans with some of my best friends as well. Here’s some of what I did with my friends: had lunch, went shopping, went to see a movie, had coffee, had dinner at some of my favorite places, went to the gym… Even the gym was fun because it gave me some time to spend with a precious friend!

I also hosted a Korean dinner party for some wonderful people I’ve known all my life. We cooked several dishes (japchae, tteokbokki, jjajangmyeon and tangsuyuk) so everyone could try some of the most popular foods! I think they liked it well enough!

Something small but incredibly wonderful is that I put some money aside to get my nails done. Getting my nails done is such a small thing, but it immediately makes me feel put together! I hate doing them myself, so I went to my favorite salon in my neighborhood instead. I go once every two to three weeks now to choose a different color.

Last, but most certainly not least, I went to Amsterdam for two days with a friend! We mainly went to see DAY6 in concert, but stayed the next day so we could sleep in and have some food together before we both went home. It was such a nice time, and I was so happy to spend time with her again! DAY6 was absolutely fantastic. I think it might have been the best concert I’ve ever been to. I also bought a DAY6 hoodie!

While I was in Amsterdam, I got an ear piercing as well! I’ve been wanting one for ages but never actually went through with it. It was one of my 3-monthly goals for 2019 and I’m glad I finally did it. Even though it hurts at times right now.

what i listened to black

Ariana Grande – 7 rings
Even though I find the tattoo story absolutely hilarious, I do quite like the song. It’s one of those songs I had to get used to. I didn’t like it the first time I listened to it, but it grew on me after a while.

Whoever said money can’t solve your problems
Must not have had enough money to solve ’em

WayV – Regular
This might be my favorite version of Regular. This song marked the debut of WayV (NCT China), and I couldn’t be more excited.

ATEEZ – Say My Name
I’m really impressed with this group. They’re so new, yet they’ve created a few songs I’ve absolutely loved already.


That’s it, my month of January! Although it was a long one, I’m quite happy with everything that happened. How was your month? Did you do anything fun? Watch any great movies or shows? Listen to some fantastic music?

January wrap up | everything I read during the first month of 2019

The first month of 2019 has come and gone, which means I’m ready to talk to you all about the books I managed to finish. I had such a good reading month! I honestly can’t remember the last time I read this much and ended up loving what I read as well. So let’s get into it!

 

Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama – ★★★★
My first read of the year was manga, which I’m really happy about. I’ve been meaning to read more manga and watch more anime so this was certainly a step in the right direction. I ended up really enjoying this first volume! It didn’t take me long to get into the story at all, and I felt immediately at home in the world. This is definitely a series I want to continue. Should I wait and buy the next volumes first before watching the anime? I don’t know…

Naoko by Keigo Higashino – ★★★★
My second read of the year was also written by a Japanese author! I had never heard of this book before but spotted it in my local library during a recent visit. On the cover, it mentioned that this book (and author) won the Japanese Mystery Writers Award, which I figured was a good start. I ended up really enjoying the book, but am wholly confused as to why this is categorized as a mystery novel. It really isn’t! I would personally put it under general fiction. It made me question what I would do if I were in the characters’ place, and made me feel so sorry for them.

Naoko follows Heisuke, who learns that his wife and 11-year-old daughter have been in a car accident when he comes home from work one day. Their bus drove off a cliff, and both have been transferred to the hospital. His wife passes away, but his daughter opens her eyes soon after arriving. Only she claims to be Naoko, his wife, instead and knows certain details about their life together she shouldn’t know.

 

Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor – ★★★★★
I listened to Binti while cleaning, and I absolutely loved the experience. I’d highly recommend the audiobook of this science fiction novella because Robin Miles is a fantastic narrator who really adds to the story. At first, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get into the story because it’s so short. Short science fiction (or fantasy) stories make me hesitate to pick them up, because there’s only so much world-building that can be done. However, Nnedi Okorafor created a world that’s easy to grasp and fall into in only 100 pages. I absolutely loved this, and will definitely continue the trilogy.

Binti is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place in Oomza University. However, her people don’t look to kindly on those who decide to leave Earth and travel through space. If she wants a spot in the most prestigious university in the galaxy, she’ll have to leave her family behind.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah – ★★★★★
I’ve had this Kristin Hannah novel on my Kindle for ages, but have been too afraid to start reading it. Why, you ask? Well, the last Kristin Hannah book I read reduced me to tears. While Winter Garden didn’t have the same emotional impact as The Nightingale did, I thought it was an incredibly moving story. I’ll definitely read more books by this author, because I’ve rated both books I’ve read of her 5 stars.

Winter Garden is the story of two sisters (and their mother) who come together to tell the fairy tale from their childhood one more time, after their father passes away. 

 

Solve for i by A.E. Dooland – ★★★★
When I first started reading Solve for i I thought it would end up as a 3-star read for me. We follow Gemma and her best friend, Sarah, as Gemma struggles with her sexuality and how she feels about Sarah. During the first half of the book, I thought these two were way too dependent on one another – especially since they’re both 29. I had some minor issues with the book at first. However, during the second half of the book the author cleared up a lot of those issues, and you can witness Gemma’s character growth easily. I flew through the second half, and will definitely read more of the author’s works. I loved Min in this book, so seeing there’s a book focused on her is really exciting.

Solve for i follows 29-year-old Gemma, who is realizing her feelings for her best friend aren’t just a ‘girl crush’. In fact, she’s in love with her. The only problem? Sarah is straight, in a happy relationship, and pregnant. 

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke – ★★★★.₅
I picked up A Shiver of Snow and Sky from a secondhand bookstore last year, and put it on my ‘winter 2018-2019 to-read list‘. It’s a polar fantasy novel, perfect for this time of year (in Belgium). I loved this. The only reason this doesn’t get 5 stars from me is because I wanted more time with the characters before the big event at the start of the novel. On this island, Skane, the Goddess communicates through lights that appear in the sky during clear nights. Green means that everything is okay, while blue is a warning for an approaching snow storm. When the lights turn red, it’s time to panic.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky follows Ósa and Ivar, who witness the sky turn red for the first time in 17 years. The last time that happened, a plague was unleashed that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including that of Ósa’s mother. What will happen this time?

 

The City of Brass (Daevabad #1) by S.A. Chakraborty – ★★★★★
I finally read The City of Brass, and am kicking myself for not doing so earlier. I could have fallen in love with this book months ago! I could’ve been raving about it for ages! I’ll make up for lost time in the months to come. The City of Brass is a fantasy novel set in 18th century Cairo. It’s atmospheric, full of magic, sarcasm and intriguing characters. I flew through this book because I just didn’t want to put it down. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. 

A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood #1) by Talia Hibbert – ★★★★★
I bought A Girl Like Her because Destiny @ Howling Libraries recommended it, and I trust her opinion. I hadn’t been excited to read a romance novel in ages, because they often have problematic aspects I just don’t want to deal with. A Girl Like Her is one of the best romance books I have read in a long time, maybe ever. It follows a black, autistic woman and a metalsmith who recently moved to her small town. It’s an #ownvoices novel AND IT IS SO FANTASTIC! If you only pick up 1 romance book this year, please go for this one. There’s also a trigger warning included in the Goodreads description, if you need that!

After years of military service, Evan Miller wants a quiet life. The small town of Ravenswood seems perfect—until he stumbles upon a vicious web of lies with his new neighbour at its centre. Ruth Kabbah is rude, awkward, and, according to everyone in town, bad news. Thing is, no-one will tell Evan why. Does she perform ritual sacrifices? Howl at the moon? Pour the milk before the tea? He has no clue. But he desperately wants to find out. Because Ruth doesn’t seem evil to him; she seems lonely. And funny, and clumsy, and secretly quite sweet, and really f*%king beautiful…

 

American Street by Ibi Zoboi – ★★★★.₅
I saw this book at the library, and knew I had to borrow it. This is a YA contemporary novel that follows Fabiola, a girl from Haiti who immigrates to Detroit. It’s an #ownvoices story, and I can’t recommend it enough. Honestly, I’m sad I haven’t seen that many people talk about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen it on some of my favorite blogs and YouTube channels! I’d like for it to get even more attention though.

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – ★★★★
The Tattooist of Auschwitz was such an interesting read. At first, I wasn’t sure whether it was categorized as historical fiction or as non-fiction. I quickly learned that it is seen as historical fiction. While the author spent so much time with Mr. Sokolov (Lale) to record his story, she did adapt small parts – like putting Lale and his girlfriend together in the camp at a time when they were apart in reality. I would highly recommend this novel. It follows Lale, who became the tattooist of Auschwitz and Birkenau – and thus tattooed the numbers on the prisoners in the camp. I gave it 4 stars because it reads more like a biography or screenplay at times than a novel. That would be fine if it were categorized as such, but it isn’t.

Based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—a love story in the midst of atrocity. In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.


That’s everything I read in January! Like I said, I’m really happy with my reading month. I managed to read a lot, and ended up loving so many of the books as well. I hope that trend continues throughout the rest of the year. I found that the monthly prompts I started doing really pushed me to read more, and allowed me to focus on books I might have pushed back otherwise. Have you read any of these books? What did you read in January?

January Prompts – a new way of tackling my TBR

I am notoriously bad at reading TBRs. I think making them is so much fun, but I never actually stick to them. I’m such a mood reader, and sticking to a rigid to-read list sucks the fun out of reading for me. However, I have noticed that I tend to read more when I’m challenged, or guided by prompts like I am during readathons. That’s why I decided to do ‘monthly prompts‘.

How does it work?

Simple. Every month, I choose around 3 or 4 prompts from the 2019 Popsugar reading list through a random number generator. I let it generate a number, look at the corresponding challenge, and go through my TBR (both physical and e-books). Then, I make a list op possible reads to fulfill the challenge. It doesn’t create a TBR that’s set in stone, but does challenge me to read certain books.

Let’s take a look at the 4 prompts for January.

Read a book with a two-word title

I have quite a few possibilities for this prompt on my existing TBR, and I haven’t even listed them all. I’ll probably choose one of these 4 for this challenge!

Train Man by Hitori Nakano
I’ve mentioned this quite a few times already since buying it in the fall of 2018, but I want to read it soon. This isn’t a book I want to have on my to-read shelf for years. I want to read a book from an author from every country in the world, and this is a Japanese novel. It sounds so adorable as well, even if it’s a bit ‘older’.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey
I found this book in a secondhand bookstore, and was so pleased with myself! I actually have no idea what this is about. All I know is that it’s a science fiction novel/series.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
I’ve never watched nor read Jurassic Park. Cue horrified gasps… I know! I’m going to remedy that, however, by reading the book and watching the adaptation in 2019. Maybe in January, maybe later on. Who knows?

Down Station by Simon Morden
I bought this book at YALC 2018, mostly because of the cover. Relax, I’m kidding. The cover is the reason I picked it up off the table, but the synopsis is what sold me. This is about a group of people who are in a subway when the apocalypse starts, and escape through a service tunnel that leads to a different world.

Read a book about a family

It appears that I, once again, have multiple books on my to-read shelf that fit this prompt! That’s the upside of having quite a lot of books you haven’t read yet, I guess. I’ll pick one of these for this challenge!

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers #3) by Rachel Aaron
Not a very traditional family, but a family nonetheless. The Heartstrikers series follows Julius and his family, the Heartstriker clan. They are Dragons, and Julius has always been an outcast because he is too nice. All he wants is to be left alone to do his own thing. Unfortunately, that’s not an acceptable path for a dragon.

The Dinner by Herman Koch
If I’m not mistaken, The Dinner follows two couples who are having dinner together at a restaurant. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son, and the guys have committed a horrifying act. That’s all I want to know before starting this one.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
It’s been a while since I’ve read a Kristin Hannah book – the last one destroyed me. In this story, we follow two sisters and their mother who come together to tell a certain story one more time. It was their father’s dying wish for them to do so. I’m intrigued, and can’t wait to find out more.

read a book with an LGBTQ+ main character

Another prompt for which I have a few possibilities. This time, I don’t own any of these as a physical copy, but an ebook instead. Which ones will I choose from?

That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James
I’m not entirely sure what this is about, I do know it’s has an m/m romance. I think I prefer going into contemporaries not knowing much so I can discover the story by myself.

Chasing Nirvana by Ellyn Oaksmith
This novel is set in the 1990s, and centers around a f/f romance! I really need to read more books with women loving women, as there are sadly far too little of those books. It follows Fran, who is just trying to make it through high school. Her comfortable (and invisible) life ends when she is suddenly nominated for prom queen, and needs to convince Nirvana to perform at her prom. Which means? ROAD TRIP!

Solve for i by A.E. Dooland
Solve for i follows 28-year-old Gemma, who has just discovered she isn’t actually straight. How? By realizing she has fallen in love with her best friend, Sarah. That sounds so adorable, and probably super angsty, but I really want to read this! I think I’ll probably end up picking this one.

a book based on a true story

the tattooist of AuschwitzSurprisingly, I think I only have one book on my current TBR that fits this prompt. I have a lot of historical fiction, but I didn’t think those were specific enough to count as ‘based on a true story’. They are based on true events instead. This one, however, is based on an actual person’s life and experiences in Auschwitz!

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
As this is the only book on my TBR that fits this challenge, I guess I’ll have to read it in January! This follows a man who is a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and can speak multiple languages. Because of this, he is put in charge of marking his fellow prisoners forever by tattooing their number into their arms.


I’m intrigued to see whether this type of TBR actually works for me. It’s not set in stone, which makes it easier for this mood reader. But it does challenge me and give me some guidance! I guess you’ll find out at the end of the month.
Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I pick?

January Wrap Up | What I Read, Watched & Listened to

It’s been a while since I’ve done a true wrap up post on my blog… But I’m back, and talking to you about everything I read, watched and listened to this month! Well, not everything I listened to, but the highlights. You understand, right? Let’s get into it. 

what i read 80c8b0

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp // ★★ // This was quite a disappointing read for me. I loved her debut novel This Is Where It Ends, but this one just wasn’t for me. I’ve written a review on this one and why it didn’t appeal to me which you can read here, if you’re interested in my thoughts on this book. 

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence // ★★★★.5 // I’m so glad I finally read this one! It was my first Mark Lawrence book, and I will definitely be reading more of his works. I loved this story about Nona, a girl who joins the Convent of Sweet Mercy (ASSASSIN NUNS! POISONER/SPY NUNS!!!). Again, I’ve written a full review on it, which you can find here

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio // ★★★★.5 // This was a completely random pick at the library. The cover and title intrigued me, so I decided to take it with me. This book was such a pleasant surprise. I can see why they’d recommend it to fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. I’ve written a full review one this one too which you can find here. I’m trying to write reviews on all the books I’ve read this year. Last year, I read so many books that I never reviewed, which makes me sad. I’m trying my best this year. 

Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown // ★★★★★ // Will I ever be the same again? NO. This book was such a wild ride, and I can’t believe it ended where it ended. I’ll never be the same. What’s going to happen? I’m frantic, people. I need to read Morning Star soon.

what i watched 80c8b0

 

I finally watched the last episodes of Lucifer season 2. Now I just have to catch up on season three! 

I also managed to watch the entire K-Drama I Am Not a Robot. This was so adorable and so much fun to watch! It’s about this guy who is the director of KM Financial, a big company that buys and sells other companies. For the past 15 years, he’s had a severe allergy to human contact which means he’s been alone for an incredibly long time. Then a team of researchers comes to him with a new invention: a robot that looks human – successful and operating Artificial Intelligence. Some things happen and instead of getting the robot, he ends up with the girl the robot was based on without knowing it. SO MUCH FUN!

what i listened to 80c8b0

Baby Driver by Simon & Garfunkel has been stuck in my head ever since I saw the Baby Driver movie back in December. It’s just such a fun song, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. It’s very different than the music I would usually listen to, which makes me appreciate it even more. 

DAY6 – I Like You. I feel like DAY6 is such an underappreciated group in the K-pop industry. They’re so so so good! I actually came across them because Jae, one of the members, has his own YouTube channel (it’s called JaeSix) that I stumbled across. He seemed really charismatic and fun, so of course I had to check out their music. Promptly fell in love with this song and bought two of their albums – Sunrise and Moonrise. 

EXO – Electric KissThe album (and thus the song) were only released on January 31st, but the dance practice has been live since the middle of January. I’ve watched this countless times, not only because I adore to watch (EXO) dance practices, but also because I happen to adore this song. 


That’s it, the highlights of the month!
Have you read any of these books? Watched any of these shows? Listened to any of the songs? Let me know, because I’d love to talk about them with you! 

What were your January highlights?

January 2015 Releases (I’m Excited For)

I’m back with another new releases post and today I’ll be showing the books that I want to read, published in January 2015. So let’s get into it!

never never fairest falling away I was here the darkest part of the forest

Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher – January 31st
Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer – January 27th
Falling Away (Fall Away #3) by Penelope Douglas – January 6th
I Was Here by Gayle Forman – January 27th
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – January 13th

all fall down all the bright places playlist for the dead the preythe boy next door

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter – January 27th
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – January 6th
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff – January 27th
The Prey (The Hatchery #1) by Tom Isbell – January 20th
The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark – January 6th

inked gone too far waiting for unicorns woven the last leaves falling

Inked by Eric Smith – January 20th
Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards – January 6th
Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala – January 22nd
Woven by Michael Jensen & David Powers King – January 27th
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell – January 29th

So those are the books that are being published in January 2015 that look interesting to me. Are you anticipating a book in January? You can always let me know in the comments!