Every January, I try to set myself resolutions on how to make my life and myself better. And that always includes reading more. Sure, the popular belief is you don’t have to wait for the new year. That you can change your life right now. But I’m not one of those people.
I like how the new year represents a new start, an empty page, turning over a new leaf. And a month later, shockingly, I am still sticking to my resolutions. I set a reading goal of 30 books for 2018. And even though my January has been crazy in every department of my life, I have somehow managed to read seven of them. This might be my all-time record. And because that’s quite a number, I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet.
The first book of 2018 was The Language of Thorns by my favourite, Leigh Bardugo. It is a collection of six magical folktales from the world of the Grisha. All of them are filled with dark bargains struck by moonlight, haunted towns and hungry woods, talking beasts and gingerbread golems. These are stories in which a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price. Wrapped in a beautiful cover and filled with breath-taking illustrations, long story short, I loved it. If you, however, want to know more, you can read my review here.
There was a day in January when I was in a mood for reading. But I wasn’t ready for new worlds and terrifying quests just yet. So I picked up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I wanted to read it before the movie came out and it seemed like just the relaxing read I was looking for. It is about a sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier who prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.
It was funny, sweet, romantic and it made me miss the days when I was a teenager experiencing my first love. I love how many LGBTQ novels are being published in recent years and I read this one in one sitting.
The Last Namsara 5/5*
I have had such a lucky hand choosing my books last month because the next one I picked was The Last Namsara. Someone at FairyLoot HQ has an amazing taste in books because I fell in love with this world in the first chapter. Legends of the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went and the Iskari, child of blood and moonlight, the destroyer, the death-bringer. These are the stories that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Rich mythology, realistic romance, dragons and gripping action are all some of the things which make this book unputdownable. I will write a review soon to speak more about the others.
The Raven Cycle 5/5* (more like 11/5)
After three stand-alones and a reasonable amount of time to heal my heart from the end of The Crooked Kingdom, I felt I was ready for a new series. One that would grab me and I could completely lose myself in. So it was time for the main event of the month – The Raven Boys. I read somewhere on the internet, that some books you read, some books you enjoy and some books just swallow you up, heart and soul. That is what this series is to me. There is no good way a blurb could accurately summarize the unbelievably magical story of love, friendship and finding-oneself that is the entirety of The Raven Cycle, so I’ll just put here the one sentence that lured me in:
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love…or you killed him.”
I read the whole series and I must admit I became a woman obsessed. That statement might seem a bit melodramatic but I actually had to take days off work to finish The Raven King and deal with my feelings. I spent an entire week completely distracted, thinking about Ronan Lynch, stalking The Raven Cycle tag on Pinterest, listening to The Raven Cycle playlist on Spotify and I made edits for the first time in my life because none of the ones I found were satisfying enough (you can check them out here). Maggie Stiefvater is a genius with words and I just want to be her friend and talk to her about magical forests.
I already started reading The Cruel Prince that came to me in the January FairyLoot box. Also on my February TBR is A Darker Shade of Magic series. This series is up there with The Raven Cycle in terms of the hype that surrounds it. I just hope it will be easier on my poor heart (probably not).
I now realise that this didn’t end up short or sweet but, oh well. Let’s hope February turns out to be just as great in terms of good books and kept resolutions. Time to read some romance maybe?