January was *knocks on wood* a kickass month for me, book-wise. Outside of books was not so hot. At all. But books were so good. Here are some review snippets of what I read in January, listed in chronological order. If I have a review on the blog, the title will link to it if you would like to read my extended thoughts.
A Geisha’s Journey by Komomo – 5/5 stars
This was difficult for me to get ahold of due to its limited print run – I had to wait several weeks for an interlibrary loan to arrive, and it came from the next state over since no library in my state carried it. It was definitely worth the wait! If you are interested in learning about modern geisha, I highly recommend it! The photographs are stunning. According to Mylokoville, which is where I get all of my geisha book recommendations to try and make sure they aren’t problematic (looking at you, Memoirs of a Geisha), it’s a “must read” and I agree! I don’t have a full review and likely won’t since I don’t have too much more to say on the matter.
A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess – 2/5 stars
Not a big fan of obnoxious love triangles (you know, I-love-my-best-friend-from-childhood-but-only-after-another-boy-loves-me flavor, very Gale/Peeta/Katniss in its annoying factor). I had a lot of issues with this (my review is linked above) and it just wasn’t for me, unfortunately.
Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch, Stjepan Šejić , Ed Brisson – 4/5 stars
I don’t tend to have much to say about graphic novels, really. My Goodreads review is basically just “I’m in love with Hannah and Dee,” which is true. If you like kickass girls, a bit of grit, and a lot of sex-positivity with your LGBTQIA+ and POC rep, check Rat Queens out.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – 4/5 stars
My review for this isn’t out yet and it won’t be for a month. However, I will tell you I loved this. There is very little romance, though it is hinted at in the future. It’s a bit of a slow build, but there are some really interesting parallels between asha (or witches) and geisha that I found really interesting.
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala – 2/5 stars
My second and final nonfiction read of the month, an autobiography about the author’s experience during the 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami and the aftermath. I listened to the audiobook of this and really didn’t care for the narration. Even at 1.5x speed it was very slow and kept dragging me out of the story. I might pick this up at a later date in paper form because the audiobook was dreadful.
Gilded Cage by Vic James – 4.5/5 stars
My review for this isn’t out either! However, it is out tomorrow, so stay tuned for that. 😉
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins – 2/5 stars
I was spitting mad at this one. I don’t want to talk about it.
George by Alex Gino – 4/5 stars
Some more ownvoices! George was so sweet. Definitely recommended if you like middle grade.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – 4/5 stars
This is the first sci-fi book and the first novella I’ve touched in a long time. And 100% romance free. Yay! Binti is a complex, peaceful heroine and pretty cool to boot.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – 5/5 stars
The hype is real. I’m telling you. I am not one to buy into hype due to the number of times I’ve been disappointed, but hot damn did this live up to its promise. I’m counting down the days until my finished copy is here.
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor – 4/5 stars
Expands on the first Binti novella and gives her story a lot more context. So, so beautiful. It’s a bit longer than the first and really dives into the worldbuilding more. Definitely recommended if you enjoyed the first.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – 5/5 stars
I am in love with Roshani’s brain. My review is live on the blog on Friday, but my Goodreads review is just this: “Holy shit.” There was kissing. I liked it. I know, I’m shocked too. Plus it’s a standalone, which is even better!
The Backstagers #1 by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh – 2.5/5 stars
I just didn’t connect with this and I don’t know why. I had the same problem with Lumberjanes. Still trying to puzzle out my thoughts before I put up a review, but expect it soonish.
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly – 3/5 stars
Another book I didn’t really connect with, though I did eventually get sucked in at about the two-thirds mark. Just finished this one this morning so my review isn’t quite finished yet, but do expect one!
On my immediate TBR for February:
- Adaptation by Malinda Lo (it’s due back at the library soon with no renewals left!)
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang (also due soon but I need more Korean lit in my life)
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (Feb’s read for #DSFFBookClub on Twitter)
- The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie (I’m just hype on this series, it’s not out until March)
- Gilded Cage by Vic James (live on February 1)
- The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (live on February 3)
- The Backstagers #1 by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh (live ???, within the next fortnight)
- The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly (also ???, probably within the fortnight as well)