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January 2022 Monthly Reading Wrap Up

Updated: Feb 10


Last month was the month of not really reading anything I set out to read. Mood reading (or in this case, mood listening) completely took over my TBR. I just couldn't bring myself to focus very well on physical reading in January. That being said, I still finished five books.


A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham


I won't focus on this book very much in this wrap up, because I've already covered it in this blog post, but I really enjoyed this serial-killer thriller. This was a four-star read for me.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir


I actually started Project Hail Mary back in December as a buddy read with one of my oldest friends. I was immediately drawn in by the mystery of the opening.


Unfortunately, I can't really talk about this book too much without going into major spoilers. All I can really say is that this book is...


Fantastic.


Like, really and truly wonderful.


The characters are amazing, the plot is intriguing and thrilling. I laughed. I cried. There was the whole gamut of emotions.


If you haven't read this book already, you need to. This was definitely a strong five-star read.


Darkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles

Tristan Kendrick is the heir to a throne he couldn't care less about. Through the course of the book, he will come to find that he is the only one who will be able to rally the forces needs to fight against the darkness spreading over the land like a plague.


Darkwalker on Moonshae was the first book published in the Forgotten Realms series back in 1987.


Considering that, I was really pleasantly surprised by the character of Robin: the main female protagonist. She is really sweet, not overly sexualized, and becomes a very powerful lady by the end.


Overall, I found the protagonists to be very likeable and there are plenty of fun side characters introduced.


However...


The story suffers from too much focus on the opposing forces. The book itself would have been a lot stronger if it had stayed in the POV of Tristan and the other protagonists.


Every time the story switched to the enemy's perspective, I got bored. I also found that it killed the tension in the story because I would always know what was going to happen before the reader did.


This book was a very low three stars for me.


The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Catalina's sister is getting married to her ex's brother. When Catalina finds out that her ex is bringing his new fiancé to the wedding, she finds herself lying to her family about bringing her American boyfriend back to Spain for the ceremony.


Enter Aaron, her work nemesis, who for some reason offers to be her date.


After all the action of the previous three books, I was ready for something fun and light, so The Spanish Love Deception seemed like the perfect choice when MissKat's Reading Corner over on Instagram was looking for someone to buddy read the book with her.


Enemies to lovers. Fake dating. This book had all the ingredients to be a book that I absolutely loved.


And I did.


Mostly.


I had two issues that kept me from absolutely adoring this book. The first is that Catalina comes off as very immature. The fights she picks with Aaron in the beginning are just plain...stupid and pointless.


Not that I don't understand why she didn't like Aaron at the beginning. As a professional woman, if Aaron had done to me what he did to Lina, I would definitely not think kindly of him either.


The fights at the beginning of the book just feel very contrived and forced.


My other issue is completely just related to my personal preferences, and it has to do with a very particular word: baby.


I realize it's one of the most common pet names out there, but I absolutely hate it. Babe is fine, sweetheart is swoon (and has absolutely nothing to do with Han Solo...nothing), but there's just something about baby that gets my hackles up.


Because of these two things, I have this four out of five stars.


Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

Arcana Rising is the fourth book (fifth if you count the short story collection Day Zero) in the Arcana Chronicles.


The series follows Evie Greene, who finds out she is destined to play a part in an epic battle of good and evil when an apocalyptic event destroys her hometown.


I have been reading this series for years and with the final book being tentatively released this year, it was finally time to pick it back up again.


Immediately, I was drawn back into the world of magic, zombies, and post-apocalyptic goodness. This series can be quite dark, even for YA, so it's not for the faint of heart.


While I did really enjoy the book as part of the series, my main issue with it is that it felt like a bridge book. Not a whole lot happened as far as furthering the overall plot. Other than some romance payoff, which I'm definitely NOT complaining about, the second half of the book was very stagnant.


The book ends right when the plot is starting to get good, and that was a bit frustrating for me, even if it definitely had me wanting to pick up the next book.


This was a four-star read for me.


What did you read in January? What was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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