January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

In January we had a whole month off to catch our breath after a super stressful semester! We read, we relaxed, we even blogged from time to time! February means the start of what will quite possibly be each of our respective hardest semesters, so that’s really fun for us! But you’ll hear how that goes in next month’s wrap up! For now, let’s talk about all the bookish stuff we read and acquired in January!

Books Read:

Malka:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

These 5 star reads honestly surprised me! Trespassers has a mystery element to it, which I don’t tend to like, but it was incorporated so cleverly into the story that I adored it! And The Deep and Dark Blue was a really unexpected graphic novel! It’s a fantasy that follows these twins as they have to run for their lives following a political coup, and you watch what happens in the place they take sanctuary. I think what I liked most about this book is how out of my comfort zone it was, yet how much I loved it and could easily follow. I’d definitely recommend both of these!


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Measuring Up ended up being my first read of the year! I was reading a book that I could tell I wasn’t going to rate highly, and not wanting to start the year off on that kind of note I quickly picked up a graphic novel I thought I’d enjoy, and I definitely stand by that decision! I really loved how the topic of having a different culture and how one embraces that was woven through the story!

Witches of Brooklyn is a cute middle grade that made me smile! Shirley & Jamila was another mystery graphic novel that I enjoyed! And The Magic Fish was a graphic novel that I had seen talked about quite a bit, and while I didn’t adore it, like so many others did, I’m definitely glad that I read it.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

While from what I’ve seen, most people find Mistletoe & Mr. Right to be the worst in the companion series of Moose Springs, Alaska, it was my favorite, by far! I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it thus the 3 star rating.

On the other hand, my emotions surrounding Naughty Brits are a lot more complex. It’s an anthology, and because of that, this was very difficult to rate. It had three stories that were varying levels of fine and got either 4 or 2 stars, one story I detested that got 1 star, and a story I ADORED that got 5 stars. I have a more detailed review on Goodreads breaking down my thoughts on each story, but honestly, despite my love for that one story, I wouldn’t recommend this anthology.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

Ah, the two stars. There were quite a few of them this month. First up we have The Tourist Attraction, with a love interest so immature and frustrating he ruined the entire book for me. Then we have Enjoy the View, which I have a whole review discussing my many issues with. And lastly we have a book that was just problematic in several ways, as well as becoming less enjoyable as I read it. I go into a bit more detail in the haul section, if you’re interested.


Chana:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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My first 5 star read of the year! Fires of Vengeance is the second book in The Burning series and it was SO GOOD! The character development was immaculate and I honestly just loved everything about it.


Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Special mentions from my 4 star ratings this month. A Memory Called Empire! It’s so well written and the worldbuilding is fantastic, I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the next one! The Obsidian Tower was also phenomenal! Demons, family secrets, locked towers! It has everything a girl could wish for!


Rating: 3 out of 5.
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I read 7 volumes of Jujutsu Kaisen, but I rated them all 3 stars so it felt a bit redundant to list all the covers here. Of my three star ratings this month I can’t really choose a favorite since I feel the same about all of them.

Books Acquired:

Malka:

Sooooo, ummmm, I may have acquired 10 new physical books this months. Ooops? Apparently my number one activity when on vacation is book buying. Who would have guessed?

Purchased:



Out of the 8 books I got myself in January, 3 were actually purchased in December. I say that so I feel a bit better about my spending this month. But I’m quite happy with the mix of genres that I got for myself! There’s a poetry collection, a classic, a fantasy or two, a romance or two, an anthology, and a graphic novel/comic. I have plans to read at least two of these next month, so hopefully these books don’t stay on my TBR for too long!


Gifted:

Chana and I did a book exchange, and this is the book she got me! It’s also the only book in this haul that I’ve already read. So yay for that! Unfortunately, I found this book extremely misogynistic, toxic, ableist, and factually incorrect, so I didn’t love it. I’m honestly considering giving this a full review on Goodreads, because there were many things that bothered me that I haven’t seen mentioned in other reviews. As you might have noted, I bought myself book 3 in the companion series, Ever After Always, and while I still am excited for it, I’ll definitely be reading it with a more critical eye after finishing this one!


NetGalley:

I honestly could cry over how happy I am to have received these ARCs. The Intimacy Experiment was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021, and I desperately wanted a chance to review it, which I thankfully now have!

As for Happy Endings, I’ve been excited for it ever since I saw the synopsis for it, and I was shocked but so happy to have received an ARC of this one! I’ll definitely be picking it up soon!


Giveaway:

Libby Hubscher has been hosting Instagram lives called “Meet Me in Pajamas” as a play on the title of her upcoming book “Meet Me in Paradise”. In these Insta lives she interviews authors who have upcoming releases. The first one she did was with Rachel Lynn Solomon, and I was lucky enough to win the giveaway that was hosted at the very end of the live! I cannot wait to read this one!


Chana:

Purchased:

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Gifted:

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Malka and I did a book exchange and she got me this wonderful book! It sounds so interesting and I can’t wait to read it!

Things We Did:

Malka:

I really didn’t do anything exciting this month, so I’ll be brief for once and just let you read about how Chana’s month went!

Chana:

I basically spent this whole month doing nothing! I played a bunch of video games and watched a bunch of animes! I thought I was going to be super productive over break but that apparently was not the case 😂 Of the animes I watched my favorite was probably A Silent Voice, it’s a movie and it’s on Netflix. If you have the time I highly recommend you watch it!

Jujutsu Kaisen (TV) - MyAnimeList.net
Haikyuu Season 4 Part 2: Return Date, ED & OP Revealed - The Geekiary
Attack on Titan (season 4) - Wikipedia
A Silent Voice: The Movie (2016) - IMDb
Great Pretender (TV series) - Wikipedia


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Wikipedia
Rogue Company
Assassin's Creed III - Wikipedia
Immortals Fenyx Rising - Wikipedia

And here are some of the video games I played this month! The only one I actually finished was LoZ: Breath of the Wild and it was amazing! It’s so pretty and I loved that it was open world because it gave so much freedom while playing. Rogue Company is also super fun (and takes up waaay too much of my time rn) if any of you guys play, hmu! I’d love to play with you 😄

What was your favorite book this month? Did you read any disappointing books? How many books did you haul? Are there any books you can’t wait to read in February?

35 thoughts on “January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

    1. Yesss, the world-building is so interesting!! I just got an ARC of A Desolation Called Peace and I can’t wait to read it because I absolutely fell in love with the characters in Memory 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, my brother told me about the Shounen Jump app and I’ve just been *addicted*. Like $2 a month for basically unlimited manga?? How can I say no 😂 I have so many that I want to read that I’ve sort of created this ominous pile, but hopefully I’ll get into reading more of them soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Glad to see you both had five star reads this month! And excited to see Malka’s purchase of The House in the Cerulean Sea! I love that book so much.
    I did actually read a very disappointing book this month – Competence by Gail Carriger. I ended up giving it one star, which is very sad for two reasons: 1) I don’t often give books 1 star, this is only the third and 2) I have loved all the other books I’ve read from the author.
    Hope you both have a fantastic February!

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    1. I was so happy that I started off the year with so many highly rated books! I’m hoping that the trend continues throughout the year! And I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about The House in the Cerulean Sea, so I can’t wait to read it in the next few months!

      Awwww, that’s so upsetting! I’m very stingy with my one star reads as well. What was it about the book that you disliked so much? Normally, I hear great things about Gail Carriger!

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      1. I hope for your sake that the trend continues too 😀 Hope you love it!!

        Yeah 😐 Well, almost the whole book was a look into internalised homophobia which was, in my opinion, not particularly good, realistic or nuanced… and on top of that (or perhaps because of that), it was very boring! I also didn’t think the transgender character was treated respectfully by the plot or main character :\ So, extra disappointing. Yeah, I don’t think I have rated any of her other books less than 4 so this came as a real shock, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. !! The ending of Rage is so good! (As is Vengeance but right now my lips are sealedddd 🤐) Breath of the Wild is gorgeous! My mom got it for me for the Holiday’s and I didn’t expect to love it so much, but I was pleasantly surprised. I hope you get the chance to play it soon!

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    1. Thank you! Oooh, I hope you enjoy A Memory Called Empire when you read it! I was pleasantly surprised by it and think it’s fantastic 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m glad you were still able to enjoy the magic fish, even if it wasn’t everything you expected, malka!! and AAHH chana i’ve heard only amazing things about a memory called empire, i’m so excited to read it. love to see the haikyuu watching, and i hope you enjoy a wish in the dark, malka! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessss, I can’t wait to see what you think of Memory!! Lowkey, sapphic space sci-fis are my favorite genre right now and I just want to see as many books as possible like them 😊 Aaah, I was so excited when I saw that Haikyuu finally continued s4, every few months my google search was just “haikyuu s4 ep 14??” 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, my winter break was super important to get me to recharge a bit. But now that I’ve started my next semester, even after only 2 weeks I’m ready for spring break!

      I can’t wait to read The House in the Cerulean Sea as well! I’ve heard only amazing things about it and it just sounds wonderful! I’m hoping to get to it in the next few months!

      Like

    1. Most of the time I’m the same way! With these books however, I was in a slump and these were the only things I was in the mood of reading, even if I wasn’t enjoying them as I read. If I had something else i was interested in to replace the book in question with, I would have!

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  3. January was a great book month for you both. I just received my copy of The Ex-Talk yesterday and it’s up next to read. Currently I’m reading They Went Left and I am blown away by the talent this writer has to make history come to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was! And I’m hoping to read The Ex-Talk soon as well! I’m just in the middle of so many other reads, and I want to be able to give The Ex-Talk my undivided attention! And while I haven’t heard of that book before, I’m so glad that it’s a well-written read!

      I hope you’re having a great February!

      Like

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