Reading Recap: January 2018

It’s time for my first reading recap of the year!

As part of a project to better track my reading habits, at the end of each month, I’m sharing some statistics from what books I covered. Being a graduate student on top of working full time, I really don’t have the mental capacity to review each book I read.  So this is a way to share what I’m reading.  These posts will also be handy summaries that I can use later for personal purposes.

I do share some brief thoughts about each book and I do my best to phrase things in a way that don’t have spoilers.  These aren’t reviews, just scattered thoughts that I put in my notebook to help me remember my impression of the book.  If you have any questions or want to talk further about anything you see on this list, I’d be happy to do that with you in the comments!  Or, feel free to add me on Goodreads!

If you want more information about each book, follow the links embedded in the titles.  That will bring you to the book’s Goodreads page.

So here we go!


Overall Statistics: Number of books read: 16

  • Number of pages read: 6,239
  • Number of audiobooks listened to: 4
  • Number of rereads: 1
  • Longest book: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
  • Shortest book: Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill
  • Highest rating: 5 stars
    • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
    • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Lowest rating: 2.5 stars
    • The Young Queens by Kendare Blake
    • Love and Other Trainwrecks by Leah Konen

Some notes on my stats:

  • Audiobooks are included in total page count.  It takes me longer to listen to a book than read it, so I count them.
  • My ratings are on a 5-star system


Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill

  • Pages: 53
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Cute, sweet, love the art

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

  • Pages: 391
  • Rating: 4.3 stars
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Thoughts:
    • Fantastic character development
    • Kept me on my toes
    • Audiobook narrator is absolutely fantastic
    • I LOVE the supernatural, fantasy, modern vibes
    • Ugh… Piper is the worst
    • Gansey is my new book boyfriend

Artifice by Alex Woolfson, art by Winona Nelson

  • Pages: 112
  • Rating 3 stars
  • Format: Physical
  • No thoughts recorded

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

  • Pages: 1,243
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Format: e-book
  • Thoughts:
    • MASTERFUL world-building
    • Great character development all-around.
    • Dalinar isn’t my favorite character, but I can’t deny that his journey and growth is one of the best-written I’ve seen in a long time
    • Plot execution is absolutely brilliant.  For such a massive book, it’s amazing that the story didn’t drag.
    • I LOVED that we got to see more of Roshar in this book
    • The climax was SO satisfying and epic
    • I’m firmly convinced that Sanderson can do no wrong

The Young Queens by Kendare Blake

  • Pages: 112
  • Rating: 2.5 stars
  • Format: e-book
  • Thoughts:
    • Fills in pieces of the story that takes place before the first book.  But… what was the point?  The novella is a series of patched together scenes, but we didn’t actually learn anything new or insightful

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  • Pages: 432
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Reread
  • Thoughts:
    • My love for this book is endless and reinforced by this reread
    • Fantastic, diverse cast
    • Flawless character development
    • Seamless transitions between backstories and main plot
    • Top-notch world building
    • SUCH TIGHT WRITING!!!  How does Bardugo pack that many convoluted plans, character arcs, and plot lines together and still pull it off?!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  • Pages: 599
  • Rating: 4.25 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Fast paced and fun, I couldn’t put it down!
    • Such creative storytelling!  The format is a top-secret dossier–a collection of chat logs, transcripts, surveillance footage.
    • Characters were really well developed considering the challenges of this method of storytelling
    • There were so many tense moments that had me totally creeped out
    • Reading this before bed gave me SO many weird dreams

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

  • Pages: 337
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Typical Kasie West novel… Predictable, but sweet
    • The plot was very similar to Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

The Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory A Boyd

  • Pages: 219
  • Rating: 4.25 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Boyd gives deep insight into issues of nationalism and American Christianity
    • This is one of those books I wish every Christian would read… weather they agree with all Boyd’s thoughts or not, it’s worth considering
    • It’s is repetitive at times.
    • The book was written in in the early 2000s, during the Bush administration, but the message still rings true

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

  • Pages: 439
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Thoughts:
    • For the most part, this was a satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series
    • Wonderful characters, great development across the series
    • The last stretch of the book left me wanting… there were some big plot devices that were red herrings that I was frustrated about.  The epilogue also felt very rushed.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  • Pages: 659
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Fast-paced and enjoyable
    • Again, the dossier format is really well done
    • Memorable characters
    • Great installment in what’s becoming a new favorite series

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

  • Pages: 163
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Brene Brown at her finest
    • Timely, challenging, and insightful

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

  • Pages: 452
  • Rating: 2.8 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Almost quit partway through, but persisted because of my love for British things
    • Basically Will and Kate fanfiction… but enjoyable for that reason
    • The beginning of the book–first 150 pages or so–were the best
    • The biggest downfall of this book was that the plot dragged.  It would have been a stronger book with 200 less pages.

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

  • Pages: 356
  • Rating: 2.5 stars
  • Format: Print
  • Thoughts:
    • Predictable, almost sweet
    • I have mixed feelings… I wanted to have warm fuzzies, but the way the relationships play out left me uncomfortable.  I don’t know if Konen meant for that, if she was trying to be subversive, but it didn’t do much for me
    • I read it during a snowstorm, which was perfect
    • The cover is sooooo pretty

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  • Pages: 370
  • Rating: 4.25 stars
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Thoughts:
    • Lush, dark, and thrilling
    • There was so much intrigue!
    • I loved all the ambiguity–I never knew what was real and what was false, who was playing who, where the story would go
    • Black brilliantly explores the lure and corrupting influence of power
    • Jude was sometimes annoying… but the things that irritated me made sense in the context of the story
    • I can’t wait for book two!

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

  • Pages: 272
  • Rating: 2.75 stars
  • Format: e-book
  • Thoughts:
    • I really wanted to like this book… it was fast paced, enjoyable, and easy to read
    • There was just something lacking, though… the characters were too simple, the plot too predictable

See you next month for another recap!

For more of my reading adventures, add me on Goodreads

I’m on Bookstagram!  Follow me at @librarianamelia

2 thoughts on “Reading Recap: January 2018

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