What I Read January 2024

by - February 25, 2024

January was a sparse month for new reads, but it was mostly intentional.

I'm officially in the home stretch for my teacher certification program, and I've been spending a lot of time on the final project that will determine if I pass or fail. That has left significantly less time for reading, and when I did have extra time, I found myself reaching for familiar things. That's why I also spent a good chunk of the month rereading some of my old favorites - particularly Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington's "The Curse of the Gods" series.

Author: Barbara Davis

We'll start with my first book club pick of 2024. I really enjoyed Barbara Davis's style of writing. Writing a dual-timeline story takes talent, and this story was well-crafted. The story starts in the 1980s when Ashlyn Greer finds a pair of unpublished books that read like corresponding letters. Her quest to discover the identities of the authors, known only as Hemi and Belle, leads Ashlyn to Ethan, the nephew of one of the writers. The two of them read the books together, piecing together parts of the mystery surrounding Hemi and Belle.

I enjoyed this story so much. It was a little slower paced, but I think that can be somewhat attributed to the lack of technology in the storyline. I enjoyed watching Ashlyn and Ethan's relationship develop as they uncovered the truths of Hemi and Belle's. And the ending...well, I guess you'll have to read it for yourself.

Author: Louisa Morgan

I'm embarrassed to say how long it took me to read this book. I started it around Thanksgiving, then got sidetracked, picked it up again around Christmas, got sidetracked again, and finally made myself finish it in late January...but don't let that trick you into thinking it's not a good story because it really is!

This book is technically a historical romance, but there's not a lot of history in it. It's about the descendants of Bridget Bishop, the woman hanged as a witch in Salem in 1692. According to this story, her family split into what was essentially good and evil with those who practice what's called the maleficia always losing their minds. That brings us to the Gilded Age and the next generation of Bishop witches, Annis Allington. Annis finds herself in the crosshairs of her stepmother, Frances, a descendant of Bridget Bishop who practices the dark arts to advance herself in society. Thankfully, Harriet, who hails from the good descendants, steps in to help Annis, but it's not enough to stop all the harm Frances seeks to benefit from.

Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
It's been a long time since I read this book, but we chose this for a novel study to supplement one of our units so I needed a refresher. I had forgotten how funny the first chapter is. It's very engaging for I would say 5th to 8th graders, and although it's set during the Civil Rights Movement, it's very relatable for students.

For those of you who have not read it before, this is the story of the Watson family. It's told from the perspective of 10-year-old Kenny, but the book mostly focuses on his older brother, Byron (13), who is described as being on the brink of juvenile delinquency. At their wits end, Momma and Dad decide that their eldest needs a reality check and pack the family up to deliver Byron to Grandma Sands in Birmingham, Alabama. You get to watch Byron find his footing as an African-American pre-teen in a tumultuous time through the eyes of his younger brother.

Author: Elizabeth Knight

I'll be honest: I don't remember much of this book, which explains why I'm not continuing the series. What I can tell you is that Two Tricks is the head of a very small crime organization that has caught the attention of multiple MC gangs, but Two Tricks does not work with MCs. In fact, it's their only rule, and one that Dax is happy to enforce. Then, Dax is kidnapped by the Phantom Saints MC and everything changes.

Author: Jaymin Eve

I am usually a fan of Jaymin Eve's work, but this one just didn't do it for me. I think it's because this series is tied to her Supernatural Prison series, and that's a trope I'm just not into at all, and that's what this entire world is centered around. That said, the characters are nicely developed and the humor that I expect from Jaymin's writing is in there, so if it is your trope, give it a try.

After learning that supernaturals exist and that she is one, Madison is taken to the Supernatural Academy to learn how to control her gift...whatever it is. No one seems to know what exactly she is, and something is blocking her abilities. Enter Asher, the guy who basically runs the school. Every time they're thrown together, sparks fly, and he's determined to figure out what's going on with Madison's powers.

Author: J.R. Thorne

I really enjoyed this story, even without doing the recommended pre-reading. It might clarify a few things, but I honestly didn't have any questions.

Evelyn is a low-level witch in the Amethyst Coven, only taken in because of a powerful prophecy. When she accidentally releases four warlocks-turned-vampires, things get a little dicey and the prophecy begins.

Author: KC Kean

When their parents are killed, Luella's brother whisks her away in the middle of the night, leaving behind her four best friends. Now, years later, Luella gets the opportunity to attend Emerson University. There's just one problem: her new roommates are the boys she left behind, and they're not exactly happy to see her.

This is where my problem with this book lies. Luella is dropped off at their house, and they're total jerks to her. She was a child when her brother forced her to move away. She literally had no choice and no way of getting back to them. They treat her like absolute dirt, even though they're the ones who insisted she live with them. It literally makes no sense. All that needs to happen to fix things is a conversation. So it's a series that is built on something that seems implausible to me. But you don't have to take my word for it. It's got tons of great reviews...just not from me.

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