Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing my January wrap up! I actually read a LOT in January so I’m hoping that the yearlong reading slump I had is finally over. I finished 7 books in January, and they were all pretty highly rated, mostly 4-5 star reads which is great!
Know My Name by Chanel Miller – ★★★★★
I didn’t read ANY non-fiction in 2021, which I wanted to change this year. I usually listen to non-fiction on audio, so it was nice to finally get back into that this year. This particular book is written by the woman who was known as Emily Doe during the Stanford sexual assault case. It goes into her struggles with isolation both during and after the trial, and how the criminal justice system treats those who are the most vulnerable. It was incredibly eye opening and at times tough to read, but Chanel is such a fantastic writer and honestly, EVERYONE needs to read this to learn why women are often afraid to tell their story and why the it’s important to support victims instead of blaming them. Obviously there are trigger warnings for sexual assault, but if you can, I highly recommend audiobook as it’s read by Chanel herself.
No Exit by Taylor Adams – ★★★★☆.5
2022 is definitely off to a different start for me, as my second book was a thriller, not a fantasy book! Who am I? This one I read because it was on so many people’s best of lists for the last few years. This follows Darby who is on her way to see her dying mother, but gets caught at a rest stop during a blizzard. When she walks off to try to find a phone signal to call her mom, she finds a little girl locked in a crate in the back of a van. Darby is sure that one of the people trapped with her is a kidnapper, so she tries to figure out who it is and is determined to save the girl. This was so fast paced and INTENSE, I still think about it weeks after I finished it! The ending was incredible, both intense, violent, and twisted which is exactly what I want in a thriller.
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen – ★★★★★
I got this book in one of my Illumicrate boxes, and let me just say, I’m SOOOO happy that I subscribed because this book was absolutely beautiful! Illumicrate is doing the most with their books, honestly. This is a retelling of the Goose Girl, and I loved every second of it. The characters were amazing, especially Vanja and Emeric. I did actually cry a few times because Vanja’s story and her feelings really just got to me. I also loved the found family aspect and how they all interacted with each other. The atmosphere was great for a January read, it was so wintery!
Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian – ★★★★☆
This was one of the ARCs I read in January, and followed triplets Daphne, Beatrix, and Sophronia as they are married off to neighboring kingdoms to bring down their monarchies, all so that their mother can one day be Empress of the entire continent. What I liked most about this book was the way that you never knew what was going to happen next, and how their mother’s scheming would impact their lives because she never told them the full story of what her plan was. I did want some better world building and more of the girls abilities rather than just being told they were good at subterfuge. The ending though was what really sold me on this one, I didn’t see it coming and I still don’t quite believe what happened!
Related: Castles in Their Bones Review
They Never Learn by Layne Fargo – ★★★☆☆.5
Scarlett is a college English professor during the day, but when she isn’t teaching classes she’s getting away with murder – literally. Her targets are men who get away with sexual assault and harrassment, but when her newest kill prompts an investigation, she decides to become involved to help keep her identity as the killer a secret. This follows two different characters, and the way that they finally link up was a lot of fun to try to figure out! I listened to this on audio, and it was a really quick read that way. I see why this has a lot of fans, but it was just okay for me, I felt like there should’ve been more consequences for the whole serial killer thing, and the decisions from one of the side characters Mina just didn’t seem in character for her at the end.
The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan – ★★★★☆
This book tells the story of Justice Vonvault, as told from the point of view of his clerk Helena. Based on the synopsis, I was fully expecting this to be told from Vonvault’s point of view so I was pleasantly surprised to see it told from the point of view of his clerk! his is definitely more of a character focused story, and at times I found that I wanted to skip ahead to some of the more action heavy portions of the book. There was a lot of focus on morality and how the law and religion of this world work both with and against each other, and I’m curious to see where the second book goes since it seems like that one will maybe have more going on.
Related: The Justice of Kings Review
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes – ★★★★☆.5
I’m pretty sure this gave me a book hangover, and now I just really want another sci-fi horror book to read! This was pitched as Titanic meets The Shining, and honestly that’s a pretty accurate description! There were moments where I had to stop reading at night, because I ended up getting myself all creeped out because the descriptions were so eerie! I would love to see this as a movie, it would be great! This is one of those books that just makes you feel off while you’re reading it, but in a good way. I highly recommend this one, it’s definitely worth the read!
Related: Dead Silence Review
What books did you read in January? I’d love to chat in the comments!