January 2021 Wrap Up – Starting and Ending the Month with Disappointments!

Oh hello, hello! I’m quite a few days late in posting this wrap up for January, but better late than never, right? That’s what I tell myself and until there’s something else that I come across that will assuage my guilt for being absent here, that’s how it’s going to be. XD

I read 10 books in January – far fewer than what I wanted to. What’s more, I started and ended the month with disappointments. Not a big fan of constantly doing this but all the other books, I loved, so I guess I can’t really complain. 😀

The video for my January 2021 wrap up went up on my BookTube channel a while ago. If you’d like to go watch it, here’s the link: Books I Read in January 2021. (Please do subscribe while you’re at it? :D)

So without any further ado, let’s dive right into the books I read in January 2021!

1. Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

Book cover for Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

I was so disappointed in this book! No, wait, let me put it out there: I HATED the concept with a vengeance. Because I don’t care for infidelity and I don’t care that the main characters fell in “true love” or something. When the MCs are the ones being unfaithful, they can’t go and blame each other’s spouses for existing. And I don’t care for the “deeper understanding of humanity” in such stories. They’re a**holes and so they will be for the entirety of the story, no matter what they do or how they TRY to redeem themselves. Changing and becoming better just because one is caught doesn’t make the change good. It’s just manipulative on so many levels.

Phew! I went off there, didn’t I? Never mind. 2 stars.

2. Hidden in Plain Sight (William Warwick #2) by Jeffrey Archer

Book cover for Hidden in Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer is one of my favorite authors of all time, and every book that he writes is a delight to read because of the number of plot twists, little and huge, he inserts into these stories. Hidden in Plain Sight is one such book. The second in the William Warwick series, it follows William Warwick as a Detective Sergeant (that’s all I’m going to give out) and the dilemmas he faces while working to catch a big criminal. It’s fast-paced, it’s witty, it’s snappy, it’s typical Jeffrey Archer, and it ends – YET AGAIN – on a cliffhanger. Oh, Mr. Archer!

Gave this boy 4.25 stars!

3. Khaki in Dust Storm (Police Diaries #1) by Amod K Kanth

Book cover for Khaki in Dust Storm by Amod K Kanth

Amod K. Kanth, a prolific ex-police officer, talks about his experience with handling India’s tumultuous history of the 80s and 90s. From the Sikh riots to the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and politicians like Lalit Maken, to the multiple bomb blasts that dot India’s history – he sheds light on what went on in the behind the scenes as the police tried to bring the situations under control. Told in an interview format where fictional journalist Aradhna Hurpikar asks the author questions and he answers them, this book is a great source of information and insight into the events that it talks about. I only ask that if you plan to read this book, have a basic knowledge about the incidents and then go in. You will appreciate this book that much better.

4 stars to this book!

4. An Exaltation of Larks (Venery #1) by Suanne Laqueur

I thought starting a book series with a book that’s not the first was behind me, but apparently not. I started the Venery series in 2018 with the second book, A Charm of Finches, a book that I LOVED. And this year, I finally got to the first book because I had the third book to read. How AWESOME am I? XD

Book cover for An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

An Exaltation of Larks is the story of Alejandro Penda who escapes Chile after dictator Augusto Pinochet takes over the reins. His parents are captured and imprisoned and they somehow make sure that Alejandro goes to live with his uncle, Felipe, in the USA. There, he becomes friends with the Larks, who soon become his foster family. His relations with the Larks evolve and change, and when Javier comes into their lives and becomes entwined with them, things build up to a whole new crescendo.

I love Suanne Laqueur’s writing so much, especially because of the way she handles human emotions and weaves and moulds them in a way that will burrow deep into your heart. These characters have come to mean way too much to me and all I want to do is hug and squish them. They make questionable decisions and I want to smack them at times. But they still are my favorite characters and I’m never going to be over them. Ever.

Gave this beauty 4.25 stars!

5. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Chris Priestley

What a phenomenal book this is!

Book cover for Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Chris Priestley

Will’s older brother Shawn has taught him to get revenge without crying in the event that one’s loved ones are killed. So when Shawn is shot, killed, murdered, Will sets out for revenge, thinking he knows who killed his brother. He follows the Rules his brother has set. But on the Long Way Down from their 8th floor apartment, his encounters with his past make him question his own motivations. Does he know what he’s doing and what the repercussions might be?

Listen, I loved this book way before I even listened to the author’s afterword, okay? He talks about gun violence and how it personally affected him, and to see the pain translated into words on paper and reflected in his voice as he narrates the book, the nuances of which only he can know, it sort of broke me a little. He propagates so much kindness, so much empathy throughout this book! I’m now a huge fan of Jason Reynolds. Hands down!

Please do listen to the audiobook if possible. It brings out every emotion that Jason Reynolds intended to bring out in this book!

4.5 stars!

6. A Scarcity of Condors (Venery #3) by Suanne Laqueur

Book cover for A Scarcity of Condors by Suanne Laqueur

AAAAAAHHH! The book that broke me with a twist at 3 in the AM. The way the author has connected the events of the series – LOVE!

I did a full book review / book gush a while ago. If you’d like to go check that out, please follow this link: A Scarcity of Condors.

7. An Ember in the Ashes (Ember Quartet #1) by Sabaa Tahir

Book cover for An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Okay, I am so late to the Ember reading party but I’m finally here and this book SHOOK me. I’m not lying, okay? I did a full reading vlog for this one as well as the second in this series where I absolutely lost it. That’s all I can say. Also, GO READ THIS BOOK! GO READ THIS SERIES! It’s truly an EPIC one!

A full 5 stars to this one. Take more. Take them all!

8. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

Book cover for Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

Heart Bones is the story of Beyah. With a drug addict mother and an absent father, Beyah needs to find her own way in the world. She is on the path to securing her future when an unexpected death turns her life upside down and she has to now go live with her father for the 2 months before college starts. There, she meets Samson, and they are quickly attracted to the sadness within each other, although it seems like they don’t really have anything in common otherwise. But this summer fling is about to fling them into the far reaches of a tornado and there’s nothing either can do about it.

Colleen Hoover is an author who knows how to make me feel things. And even though Heart Bones isn’t her best work in my opinion, it still does. That’s how much I expect from her books. This book still made sure to touch the innermost, warm recesses of my heart.

4 stars to this book.

9. A Torch Against the Night (Ember Quartet #2) by Sabaa Tahir

The second in the most recent series to wreck my heart, A Torch Against the Night gave me a few shockers that I still haven’t recovered from.

As mentioned for the first book, I’ve done a reading vlog for this series. If you’d like to go watch it, here’s the link: Reading the Ember Quartet for the first time.

5 stars all around!

10. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

This book won the 2020 Booker Prize and I was very curious about it, especially since it was said to be super sad. So I read it in January and reviewed it for Writers Melon.

Book cover for Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Did I find it sad? Yes. Did I like it? No. Why, you ask? This was supposed to be about Shuggie Bain and how his mother’s alcoholism affected him. But it was all about Agnes Bain. Given, an insight into her life is necessary to show why she affected the people around her so. But COME ON! Plus, it’s super repetitive as well, going in loops. Alcoholism can do that, I know, but polish the book better no?

Gave this book 2.5 stars. Disappointed, man.

What are some books you read in January? Which was your favorite? Whichyou’re your least favorite? Have you read any of these books? Which did you like? Which didn’t you like? What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

I have a new blog post idea that I really want to work on but I don’t have the motivation as of now. But I’ll see you in the next blog post, hopefully Friday.

Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😀

All book covers sourced from Goodreads.

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