After four years of blogging, this is my first time doing a monthly wrap-up, so if I get it wrong- bear with me. I swear I will learn given enough time.
After the actually awful past two years that I’d had when it comes to reading, I really wanted to take this whole “coming back” thing with a little chill because I did not want to spook myself off of reading for another two years, heavens forbid. And looking back at the way this month has gone so far, I don’t think I needed to worry much about that. Initially I’d set 23 books as my yearly Goodreads goal, but I flew right past in the first three weeks of January, and then promptly extended it to the 123 books that I’d usually kept until last year. I’ve read two debut novels this month that were just too good, and I’ve engorged myself on TJ Klune because he is my unicorn author and there’s only so much longer that I could go without reading him. Also because I had to play catch up.
You can read my reviews by clicking on the covers of the subsequent books.
—Green Creek series by TJ Klune—
Let me just confess now—I am a re-reading aficionado. And a shameless one to boot at that. The number of times I’ve read and re-read the Green Creek series is no joke. I mean in this month alone, because honestly I have lost count of how many times I have read Wolfsong in total, and I have no intentions of keeping track. But pack pack pack was calling, and Klune says I will never stop hearing their howls—yes I asked him. I’ve just come to accept that this is just how I am going to be.
Heartsong was much much better than I expected, if I’m honest. And Brothersong was just so gritty. I have to write the review for it, but I want to get a few more reads under my belt before I do.
What can I say about this book that I haven’t already in the review? It hit me like a freight truck, and I am still reeling in the aftermath. I think I will be reeling until the sequel comes out, after which I can just peacefully pass away. I received an ARC of this, and I think I kind of got swept away into requesting it on NetGalley in the aftermath of the craze surrounding this on Twitter. It was all over my timeline, so obviously I had to give it a try, and somehow the stars aligned and yours truly got the copy from Pan-Macmillan, and spent the whole of the last week of January reading it. And brooding over it. Obviously.
Folklorn was another brilliant debut novel that I had the pleasure of reading months before the release, aka: I received the ARC. I was especially excited for this book because the protagonist was a particle physicist, and that always fascinates me because it is also a career path that I hope to follow. But I won’t lie to you, this book is so complex and deals with so many themes at the same time, I was seriously impressed at how masterfully Hur managed to make this saga seem seamless. I love love love this book, and no matter how much I praise it, it just isn’t enough.
I had really high hopes for this one. That cover is so gorgeous, and the publisher had gone out of her way to tell me that Ringle was her unicorn author, and so I was totally pumped for Lava Red Feather Blue. You can probably guess where I am going with all of this. I ended up being kind of annoyed with this book. It began really well, but as the story progressed, it felt more and more juvenile, until I was left an irritated mess. But I won’t get into things I have already complained about in the review.
Much to my surprise, I’d actually read a lot less manga/manhua/manhwa this month than I usually did in the last two years, when all I’d really done was burn through them like a starving man exercising in the fucking desert. I mean sure, I did manage about 26 books, but honestly that is a low low for me. I am appalled, and disappointed that I am appalled, because obviously I’d read less manga—all the time I dedicated to it then has now been diverted to novels and blogging and twitter surfing, but my brain is still confused. It’s an idiot. Le sigh.
This was the second manhua that I’ve read by DJun, the first being his serialized danmei manhua: Here U Are, which I loved. The art style is much different in this one though, all soft blue-washed pastels that complements the tragic tone of this story so beautifully. I haven’t really cried over manhuas much, but this one had this one teeny-tiny tear rolling out of my eyes. Although it is categorized as Yaoi on GR, it really is a coming of tale story of found family, and the bonds that are formed between two orphan boys. Their bond is more brotherly than lover-like if I’m to be honest, but maybe that could change in the next season. I don’t know.
When this year started, and I’d determined to make kind of a fresh start, I went and added a bunch of different books that I really wanted to read, and although I did manage to actually read some of them this month, I ran out of time during all my re-reading sprints, but I think I will try and squeeze them into the next coming months.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
There are no reasons that I need to give about why I wanted to read this book, after I have so loudly proclaimed my undying love for Klune. I’ve been eying it since last October, and I really wanted to read it before the month ended, but time just got away from me while I was stuck on She Who Became the Sun. I will however be reading this before February ends. I swear.
The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn
Okay look, that cover is fucking gorgeous alright? And now that I am on my South-Asian literature kick, there is no way I am missing reading The Mermaid from Jeju.
I was actually hoping to find someone to buddy read this with, so if you’re interested, let me know ヽ(o^ ^o)ﾉ
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
This book was recommended to me by Sophie @ Beware Of the Reader in my life update post, and although I knew I had no time this month, I was, I think, still hoping to somehow fit it because I don’t get recommended books a lot, and so I try to always read the ones that I do, and I was genuinely interested in the synopsis as well because of the content. Here’s to hoping to next month.
—Before the year ends I will read—
I’ve been thinking on how I went so wrong with my reading habits that I fell into the cursed slump, and I’ve come to quite a painful realization, that my whole gray-asexuality aside (I have explored that hot-potato in my life update detailing my journey), another reason why I think I fell so deep was because I’d just never bothered to find myself a community that I could turn to for help when I really needed it. There are a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which being that I was simply too young when I went into the whole Romance Readers community, and people were a lot more mature than I was, and that just makes for bad gelling. I am not for a second insinuating that I did not love the community, because I did. I found many fantastic bloggers and authors who have helped me out a lot in the last few years. But it was just very hard for my to enjoy the social activities they did, and neither of us were at fault.
I have made a lot of changes thus, and am actively trying to find communities that would accept a mess, but it’s so hard? How do people do it?
I have also felt disconnected from my user-name that I have been using everywhere since the inception of this blog: @darktalesjunkie, because I no longer think that that fits what I am anymore. And so, I have changed my user-name to @faeorphysicist on twitter, and that feels a lot more like who I am today than the other one does.
- Integrate myself into more book-blogging communities.
- Focus on reading books outside of my established genre.
- Try to cuss less. (I feel like I am setting myself up for failure with this one lol)
—Question for you—
Help out a fellow blogger, will ya: How exactly does one become a part of a community?