What I Read January 2021

by - February 02, 2021

Let's chat about reading! These are reviews of the books I read last month.

If January is any indication, this will be a good year for reading. In total, not counting the handful of books I reread, I finished sixteen books. In case you were wondering, there were many way too late nights, but I regret nothing.

I started things off with a book I picked up on a whim for $2 at the store near my neighborhood, dived back into the Guild Codex world, explored a new-to-me fantasy concept, traveled back in time with a pair of giraffes, and discovered a series that firmly cemented itself into my list of favorites.

Author: Rebecca Harrington

I kicked off 2021 with this satirical novel about an aspiring female journalist trying to find her way in a BuzzFeed world. Elinor is pretty much adrift in the world after her semi-successful reporter boyfriend breaks up with her, but then she gets hired at an up-and-coming online news company is trying to merge virality and news.

This was not the best book I've ever read. I found Elinor to be downright annoying if I'm being honest - she had zero self-confidence and relied way too much on other people's opinions, but the book was ridiculously relatable from a lot of different aspects. I've witnessed and experienced every situation portrayed in this book.

Author: Emilia Finn

And then I fell in love with another Roller... Book ten of the Stacked Deck series focused one half of the so-called devil twins, Luke, and Ally. She is training to be a therapist, interning with her grandmother for the summer. Luke and Ally fall easily into a relationship, despite her fighting against it. But, of course, there's something else going on - a man who seems just a little too interested in Ally.

The Afflicted Zodiac series
Author: M.J. Marstens

When Zahra gets a job as a resort astrologist, she has no idea she's been hired by the actual members of the Zodiac...or that she's cosmically tied to each of them.

I haven't laughed this hard because of a book series in a long time. I'm talking have-to-put-the-book-down-I'm-laughing-so-hard laughter. The main character, Zahra, has the most amusing, silliest inner dialogue while still managing to be serious and insightful. Now, this is not the best series I've ever read, but it was just what I needed at the time I read it.

Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors
Author: Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen

This is the first book in a spinoff series that's set in the same world as The Guild Codex: Spellbound and Demonized (I talked about them here). Agent Kit Morris has a small, albeit important, role in Spellbound. This spinoff series focuses on him, starting with how he came to be an agent with the MPD in the first place. This book didn't end in a cliff-hanger and so far there's no clear big objective, like in Spellbound or Demonized. But the style stays true to this world, and Kit is a fun character.

Author: Kat Quinn

This is the first book in the Disaster Zone Jones series. Dizzy is cursed, literally. Her entire life anytime anyone has cast a curse, her body absorbs it. As a result, she's become adept at breaking them, but disaster follows her everywhere she goes. Then she becomes magically tied to a group of guys and they vow to help her get to the bottom of it all.

This is told from a ton of POVs, and the characters are wonderfully unique. It doesn't end on a cliff hanger, but there are a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, the series isn't complete and the second book ends on a cliffhanger (per the Kindle blurb).

And I saved the best of the month for last...

West with Giraffes
Author: Lynda Rutledge

I got this through the Prime First Reads program on my Kindle, but I enjoyed it so much I ordered a hard copy for my bookcase. It's told in such a unique way. I can't even explain it. Seventeen-year-old Woodrow Wilson Nickel, or Woody, has just survived the great 1938 hurricane in NYC when he manages to get himself hired to drive a pair of giraffes across the country to the San Diego Zoo. There's a lot of history packed into their 12-day journey, and I love how everything come full circle. Plus, it's giraffes. I mean, come on. I couldn't not read this.

Gamer Girls series
Author: Auryn Hadley & Kitty Cox

Whoa. This series was amazing. It's about a hate group that's targeting women in gaming, and they go to extreme lengths to accomplish their goal. The women in this series are so damn strong. They've each been through hell and come out the other side still swinging. And then there are the guys - all alpha types who don't try to dull their girls' sparkle.

Now that I've sung this series praises, some warnings. The first book is really hard. I almost put it down because it's so heavy, but I am so glad that I didn't. There is a lot of trauma throughout the entire series. You'll be exposed to PTSD, a transgender woman who's just begun her transition, a lot of sexism, some unconventional relationships, and domestic violence. In other words, there are a lot of potential triggers in this series. But it is so worth it.

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