Kickin' It: January 2022 Wrap Up

Friday, January 28, 2022

Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you reviews you may have missed, other awesome bookish things, and even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books. January was rough. I went into the new year with such high hopes and I feel like I’m already disappointed. A few days into January, my grandmother passed away. Her and I were quite close, so it’s been a difficult and upsetting time and to be honest, I’ve been drowning out that reality with books. One good thing came from this month: I read tons of amazing books! By the end of the month, I was able to finish a total of 27 books. Here’s what I read in January:

Shipped by Angie Hockman (4 stars): What a great start to the year! This follows two marketing employees that compete to design the best marketing campaign for a cruise. There’s a bit of travel and the perfect amount of romance; it was an adorable read.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2.5 stars): I don’t tend to read literary fiction but I was expecting a bit more whimsy in this as it primarily takes place at the circus. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by this tale.

Tempest by Julie Cross (2 stars): I have a bunch of older YA that is just sitting on my shelves. This month, I wanted to give Tempest a try and it wasn’t great. Coupled with time travel that didn’t make sense and a misogynistic male narrative, this one was rough to slog through.

Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce (3.5 stars): While I was hoping to like this more, this YA contemporary romance was still able to surprise me with an unexpected turn. The romance was super cute and I’m looking forward to reading more from Boyce.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (4.5 stars): Acevedo is the master of verse, absolutely moving and gorgeous. I adored listening to the audiobook as Acevedo narrates it and is able to take the book to a different level.

The Giver by Lois Lowry (3 stars): I missed the memo where everyone read this in elementary school. I probably would have liked it more if I had picked it up at a younger age. Now, it was okay and I am happy that I finally read this classic children’s book.

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe (4 stars): Wow, I went into this one expecting a cute middle grade comic of Persephone and Hades. No, this is an adult comic most definitely. It was dark and gritty, and I loved where the story was going. I can’t wait to read the second volume!

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase (4 stars): I love reading romances between royalty and common people. In this fun, steamy romance, the book follows a bake shop owner and a prince. The rest of the series follows other royals and I will most definitely be checking those books out.

The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs (3.5 stars): This is the sixth and final book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. While I thought the original three were great, the following books have become quite repetitive. Despite not loving the final book, I am keeping my eyes out for Riggs’ next work.

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron (3 stars): I went into this one thinking it was a dystopian and was shocked to find a science fiction set on another planet. The concept of all the townspeople forgetting everything every twelve years was interesting, but I wasn’t invested in the story enough to enjoy the execution.

Endangered by Lamar Giles (4 stars): It’s been years since I read a book where a character is being stalked and with their sleuthing abilities, they must find out who their stalker is. I used to adore that plotline. And I suppose I still do because this one was good and action-packed.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean (4 stars): After finishing the finale of the series, I went back and re-experienced the first book via graphic novel. As a graphic novel, I thought there was way too many words on each page. However, I loved the art and the story!

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (4.5 stars): This one was amazing! In this sequel to The Inheritance Games, readers get even deeper into the mystery of who and why Avery was left with such a large inheritance from a stranger. There were puzzles and riddles which were all so much fun!

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal (4 stars): This was such a remarkable conclusion to an underrated duology. Its masterful writing and immersive world is sure to envelope readers.

A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert (4 stars): I’ve been making my way through the Wicked Villains series by Robert. This one is the third book, which follows Captain Hook and Tinkerbell. I enjoyed this one and will most definitely continuing in the series.

Hollow City: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean (4 stars): After finishing the finale of the series, I went back and re-experienced this book via its graphic novel. I didn’t remember a lot of what happened in this sequel. I hope they release a third graphic novel.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (3 stars): With the premise of The Hunger Games with magic, my expectations may have been too high. However, every character (out of all 4 perspectives that alternated chapters) sounded exactly the same. The ending was shocking, but not enough to make me want to continue reading the series.

Gilded by Marissa Meyer (4.5 stars): To be honest, I went into this one with low expectations. I didn’t like Heartless, a retelling of the Queen of Hearts, so I expected not to like this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Yet, I loved it so much with its whimsical writing and haunting world. The sequel is going to be amazing; I can feel it! 

Sixteen Scandals by Sophie Jordan (4 stars): My only complaint about this book was that it was too short. I would read another 100-pages of this historical romance that was both a little ridiculous but a whole lot of adorable.

By the Book by Amanda Sellet (2.5 stars): I am kind of disappointed in this one. I suppose I went into it with high expectations, because it’s a coming-of-age story of a reader and it just sounded like it was written for me. It was not the book for me.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater (3 stars): I loved Adam and Ronan and I went into this expecting more. Compared to The Raven Cycle series, this first book in the spin-off series fell flat for me.

9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno (2.5 stars): While I didn’t love 99 Days, this sequel promised traveling abroad and romance (two of my favorite things). While it was set abroad, the book could have been set anywhere for how little the plot and setting mixed. However, this was the ending that 99 Days should have had and I’m glad Cotugno wrapped the series up nicely.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (3 stars): When I heard about this Peter Pan retelling, I wasn’t expecting something like a mix of a mystery with very few fantastical elements. The writing didn’t capture me like I thought it would. It was not my favorite.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White (4 stars): I am so happy that I enjoyed this one. I was hesitant because And I Darken was not for me. However, White truly surprised me with this imaginative retelling of Guinevere’s tale. I am looking forward to reading the sequel!

Empire of Night by Justin Somper (4 stars): My goal for the new year is to finish more series, so I decided to devour the fifth book in the Vampirates series. This follows twins, Grace and Conner, as they venture into the world of vampire pirates. It was a fun read and can’t wait to see how Somper concludes the series in the next book.

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall (4 stars): I really wanted to read Boyfriend Material last year but didn’t get around to it. Instead, I decided to pick up this one which includes some of my favorite things: romance and baking. Who doesn’t love a good baking competition? I can’t wait to read more from Hall.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (3 stars): Ever since I was young, I wanted to read this one. I am so happy that I choose this month to read it. It was a perfect book to read in the winter.

Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie (2/8/22): A lovely contemporary debut that follows Ophelia as she navigates the end of high school, figuring out who she is. This one sounds super cute!

Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space edited by Zoraida Córdova (2/15/22): A fantasy and science fiction anthology takes the Latin American diaspora to places out of this world. From the voices of Sara Faring, Anna-Marie McLemore, Nina Moreno, Daniel José Older, and more will surely immerse readers in worlds they won’t forget. I can’t wait for this release!

From Dust, a Flame by Rebecca Podos (2/22/22): I feel like I’ve been waiting for this forever. This book was supposed to release in 2021, but got pushed back to 2022. The book follows Hannah, when she wakes up one morning completely mutated from the girl she once knew. That event sparks Hannah’s determination to break the curse.

How was your January? Did you read any amazing books?

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