First wrap-up of 2021! It was a good month (reading wise, the world is still awful) but so was January of 2020 and did that mean anything? Absolutely not. I am sorry my wrap-ups are happening so late all the time, but I am nothing if not consistent in being useless. So let’s talk books!
This was a great read to start the year with! This is a sharp and funny critique of the societal norms and expectations. Our heroine, Keiko, pushes against the pressures to get a proper job, or get married and is perfectly content working in a convenience store. And I say, let her work! This was weird and dry and somewhat unrealistic, but in that, it was perfectly human, and I really enjoyed it and highly recommend you check it out.
It’s been a string of really mediocre romance reads for me, but this one broke the curse!! I loved the characters, their dynamic was top notch, it was angsty and I liked how the different power dynamics were resolved in here. This is definitely shaping up to be one of my favorite romance series and I could not recommend it more.
I have not shut up about this one since I read it, but it’s such an amazing debut collection. These stories are so insightful, and so good at exploring different types of relationships, but especially really tense relationships between mothers and daughters. The stories are dark, but offer a resolution that is not hopeful and not perfect but satisfying nonetheless. The writing is so evocative and manages to create this atmosphere of stifling heat that fits the stories really well. Cannot recommend this one more, and if you want to know more about it, you can read my review HERE.
This one was sadly disappointing for me. It is now clear that me and YA Fantasy just don’t mesh well, which is fine because I am not even the target audience for it. But YA Fantasy in general does not deliver on stuff I am looking for in Fantasy – a lot of character work and development and really complex world building. The same was true for this one, there was no world-building and I found a lot of this book to be nonsensical. The characters’ powers were fickle, people appeared in places where they could not be and overall, I found this to be really inconsistent. I will say that this book is inspired by West-African mythology, and it has a wonderful focus on sisterhood and found family, so I think it would be a great introduction to YA Fantasy. More of my thoughts can be found in my review HERE.
Another one of my most anticipated releases that was sadly disappointing. I found the stories in here to be unfocused, and I think that the author tried to make them two things, both a critique of the government but also a character study and then I felt like both of those things were done in a lukewarm way. These stories felt like they were written by an outsider and I just did not click with any of them. If you want to know more of my thoughts, you can find them HERE.
Finally, I read Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler and I really liked it. It’s a metanovel on online culture and personas we create and how they mesh or do not mesh with our everyday lives. It’s a very bold and scathing book, but I loved the discussions around feminism and internet and politics. It’s going to be a real marmite book, so I cannot wait to see how everyone likes it. But I really enjoyed it. You can read more coherent thoughts HERE.
I would love to hear from you! Tell me your favorite January read, I would LOVE to know.
In the meantime, happy reading
*If you want to buy any of the books I talked about, you can use my Bookshop affiliate link if you’re in the USA! You buy a book and support local bookstores, and I get a small commission! Even if you do not want to use my own affiliate link, I would still recommend using Bookshop.org since a lot of independent bookstores are struggling and this is a nice way to help them out. You can even find your favorite local bookstore and support them directly!
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