Seeming as we’re well into the second week of February, I thought it was time to wrap up my reading for last month. January is typically one of the months of the year where I read less than I do the rest of the year. I dunno if it’s my recovery month after trying to cram in as much as possible in December or if it’s because I’m so busy in other areas of my life that I don’t read as much. That’s just usually how it is.
So imagine my surprise that I managed to read 11 books last month! To be fair, a couple of those were part of a Amazon Original short story collection and others were fairly short, but I’m still surprised! I even had two five star reads in the first month of 2023, so I feel like my reading year is off to a great start.
Now, let me share all the books I read in January.
- Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert: My first read of the year and it was this fun, sweet, Black romance that I ended up giving five stars! What a way to kick off 2023. I read this book for a tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours and I loved every second of it. The main characters were both wonderful and had me rooting for their love from page one. There’s also OCD rep that I thought was handled well, though I’m not a part of that community, so I can’t say for sure! Still, this was a great YA romance and has cemented Talia Hibbert as a new favorite author. You can read my full review here! ★★★★★
- The Garden by Tomi Champion-Adeyemi: This short story is part of one of the Amazon Original Stories series that caught my eye. It surrounds characters that delve deeper than others and peek behind the curtain. Who aren’t afraid to look into the darker side of things. This story in particular was about a young woman searching for a mysterious garden that drew her mother away from her years ago. It alternates between prose and poetry, which I enjoyed. The overall story, however, was just… okay? I think the concept would have made for an incredible novel. As a short story, it felt like a read a couple of chapters in a book that was never finished. Interesting story, but I would have loved more. ★★★
- Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren: I buddy read this book with a bunch of bookish friends. I was excited because I liked The Unhoneymooners. This, however, was not it. The ending was trash, the male love interest was low-key a stalker, and there was a sexual assault (not on page) that was just not discussed at all. I spent most of the book annoyed with one (or both) of the main characters and that’s not what you want when you’re reading a romance! If I don’t like the characters, I can’t get behind the romance, so there’s really no point, is there? I will say, I loved how bookish both the main characters were, but that was pretty much the only thing. I can recognize why people enjoy this one, but it was definitely not for me. ★★
- Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney: I’ve been wanting to read an Alice Feeney novel for awhile, now, and I’m so glad this was the first one I picked up! This was a perfect homage to one of the most prolific mystery writers, Agatha Christie, specifically her novel And Then There Were None. The atmosphere was spot on, the characters were intriguing, and I thought the twist was executed so well! I guessed it about halfway through the book but the way the author crafted her story had me second guessing myself up until the reveal. I love that in a mystery! You can read my full review here. ★★★★