January 2021 Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! Welcome to my first wrap-up post of the year!

While the first month of 2021 has certainly been very eventful world-wide, not much has happened in my personal life. All the weeks just blur together, making every month feel the same. It makes it really difficult to write these monthly updates, since I honestly have nothing to talk about? My life these days is just a constant, never-ending cycle: Wake up. Zoom. Sleep. Repeat. And I’m sure a lot of you can relate!

Since I don’t really have any life updates to share with you all, why don’t I just skip ahead and tell you what books I read in January? I picked up SO many great ones. Spoiler Alert: I had quite a few five star reads!

TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ: 10

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The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen: The Bridge Kingdom was my very first read of 2021, and as expected… I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! After loving Jensen’s debut series, the Malediction trilogy, I had high expectations for The Bridge Kingdom… and I was completely blown away! The intricate fantasy world Jensen has crafted is truly breathtaking, and I wish I could just live there! Who wouldn’t want to be transported to a tropical island kingdom full of beautiful beaches and lush jungles? The characters in this novel were incredible as well. Lara is clever, brave, and fierce, and Aren is selfless, compassionate, and courageous. Both of these characters were so complex, as was their relationship with one another. The enemies to lovers trope PLUS the arranged marriage trope is the perfect set up for a swoonworthy, fiery romance! Overall, The Bridge Kingdom was a fabulous read, and a PERFECT book to start off my reading year with! Rating: ★★★★★

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Sweet & Bitter Magic

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley: I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of this lovely novel, and it ended up being my second five star read of January! The two main characters, Tamsin and Wren, completely stole my heart with their unique, wonderfully developed personalities, and I loved reading the story through their perspectives. I ALSO really loved getting to see their beautiful romance develop… it was so so sweet and wholesome! Sweet & Bitter Magic is marketed as a YA novel, but having read it, I think that it’d be a great book for middle grade readers as well, since it’s fairly tame. I highly encourage adding this upcoming release to your TBR, or even pre-ordering it! Trust me, it’s wonderful! Rating: ★★★★★

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: I picked this book up on a whim, and it totally took me by surprise! I hadn’t had it on my TBR before reading it, and I only decided to read it because I had heard that it was a loose retelling of Lord of the Flies, which I had just read and thoroughly enjoyed. Well, I’m happy to tell you that I liked Beauty Queens even MORE than Lord of the Flies. This story is full of SO MANY wonderful female characters who I loved so much… They each had different struggles, emotions, and desires, making them all so fun to get to know. The friendships between the girls were equally amazing and empowering, which is probably why I liked Beauty Queens more than Lord of the Flies (let’s be real here… friendship isn’t a very prevalent theme in LotF). Beauty Queens is also a very funny book, and it made me laugh out loud many times! I listened to it as an audiobook, and Libba Bray, the author AND narrator of the story, made it all the more hilarious! Her vivid voice impersonations were incredible, and she delivered the book’s witty dialogue so well! Overall, Beauty Queens is such an underrated gem, and I wish more people would read it! Rating: ★★★★★

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Court of Bitter Thorn (The Fae of Bitter Thorn Book 1) by [Kay L Moody]

Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody: I had a lot of fun reading this book! I always love venturing to whimsical new fae worlds, and the one in Court of Bitter Thorn was full of so much magic, intrigue, and mystery! The book contains a quick witted female protagonist and numerous interesting side characters who I hope to see more from in future books (since I’ll definitely be reading the sequel)! Book One ended on a MASSIVE cliffhanger, so I’m beyond excited to see where the story goes next! All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to fans of The Cruel Prince and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Rating: ★★★★☆

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ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace (Re-read): I first read All the Stars and Teeth less than a year ago, but since I managed to get my greedy little paws on an ARC of the sequel, All the Tides of Fate, I figured it was time for a reread! It was so wonderful getting to revisit the world and characters of one of my favorite books last month. All the Stars and Teeth is such a fun, swashbuckling adventure, and re-reading it made me more excited to dive into the sequel than ever! If you haven’t read this book yet, I really think you should! It contains mermaids, pirates, princesses, magic, enchanted islands, sea monsters… Basically, there’s something for everyone! Rating: ★★★★★

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All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace: This book was a phenomenal conclusion to an absolutely stunning duology! I’m still reeling from that ending! Even though it broke my heart, it was beautifully written and incredibly hopeful. While I’m very sad to say good-bye to these characters, they’ll always hold a special spot in my heart. Adalyn Grace is such a talented author, and I’m so excited to see what she write next. Truthfully, I think a certain character in this series still has a lot of unfinished business, so I am hoping, praying, and BEGGING for a spin-off novel. I desperately want to return to the gorgeous world of Visidia in the future! Rating:★★★★★

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The Project by Courtney Summers: The Project was by no means a bad book, but it was, unfortunately, a bit of a let-down for me. I went into it with high hopes after reading and loving Sadie, my favorite Courtney Summers novel, but it was a big mistake to expect The Project to be just as good. There wasn’t a big mystery to unravel (the book is about cults, but we already know that cults are… bad), so naturally, there weren’t any surprising plot twists or revelations either. The plot just dragged on and on since it had no mystery or suspense to fuel it. The characters and their relationships with one another were interesting enough, but they didn’t really make up for the lackluster plot. I know that some people will absolutely love this book, but sadly, it just wasn’t my cup of tea! Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (Re-read): Red Queen was one of the first books that got me hooked on the YA genre, so you can imagine how much fun I had re-reading it last month! Red Queen is in no way a “perfect” novel, but if we’re judging it solely on entertainment value, it deserves infinite stars! It’s one of those rare books that literally makes your heart POUND while reading it! It’s simply impossible to put down! Rating:★★★★★

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Re-read): Unfortunately, Glass Sword isn’t nearly as good as Red Queen. In fact, it’s probably the weakest novel in the whole series. The first half of the book is tediously slow… The first 250 pages could easily be condensed into 100 pages. That’s how uneventful they were. But thankfully, the second half of the book is FAR better than the first! And don’t even get me started on the ending… Victoria Aveyard never fails to leave us with a juicy, devastating cliffhanger! I don’t know if I should love her or hate her for it! Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare: The Duchess Deal was my very first “historical” romance novel (it was also my first Tessa Dare book), and I enjoyed it quite a lot! It was light, fluffy, and very fun! It’s a story that’s super easy to get sucked into, since reading it doesn’t require much effort! Emma and Ash are both very complicated and flawed, but still so lovable! The only big complaint I have about The Duchess Deal is that it contained too many overly graphic steamy scenes for my liking. They didn’t really add anything to the story, and they were extremely repetitive. A few are fine, but one every other chapter? Well, that’s a bit much! Rating: ★★★.5☆

I didn’t have much time to blog last month (same goes for this month, that’s why this wrap up is being posted so late!), but I still managed to get a few posts published:

December 2020 Wrap-Up

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Bookish Resolutions

My Favorite Reads of 2020

ARC Review: All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

ARC Review: Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

The month is already half over, but I’m hoping to spend the remainder of it reading some amazing books! I’m a big mood reader, so I don’t typically set of monthly TBR, but a few of the books I’m hoping to get to this month are The Traitor Queen, A Court of Silver Flames, and The Duke and I!

I am also going to try to get a few more blog posts written and published before the month is over. I’m SO behind on my blogging, you guys! Spring Break is somewhat close, so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up then.

I hope everyone had a great January, and if you didn’t, just know that your negative feelings are completely valid. We’re living through very difficult circumstances, so remember to be kind to yourself. ❤

That’s it for now, everyone! I’ll be back with another post soon!

Until then,

17 thoughts on “January 2021 Wrap-Up

  1. Jamie @BubblyBooks says:

    That ending in bridge kingdom tho!!!! I’m still not over it and need the second book ASAP! Also love tessa dare! Here books are so light and funny – A Duchess Deal is a fav of mine from her. All the Stars and Teeth is also on my TBR so glad you liked it 🙂 Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Octavia @ Mermaid Reads says:

      YESSSSS! Trust me, the second book is even better! Danielle L. Jensen writes such amazing books!

      I had a lot of fun reading The Duchess Deal and I’m looking forward to picking up more Tessa Dare books in the future!

      You should definitely pick up All the Stars and Teeth! It’s an incredible book!

      Happy reading to you too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kyla @ Kyla's Library says:

    It looks like you had a great reading month! The Bridge Kingdom is on my tbr and I really want to read it soon, it sounds so good. I read Beauty Queens last year and loved it, it completely surprised me too and I loved the way it was written! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alexandra says:

    Considering you said you didn’t have that much time to blog over the past two months you actually crushed it with your posts. #winning. And I’m sorry that January was so uneventful… Keeping my fingers crossed that February’s treating you a little better! 😉

    I’m so freaking HAPPY that you loved All the Tides of Fate. Due to lockdowns and lack of extra shifts I haven’t actually gotten my copy yet but I plan to order it when I get my paycheck and binge the duology in March. [I’ve kinda got a bit of a high seas TBR planned…]. I’m so excited to finally be able to rave about it with you! Here’s hoping my ships sail and everybody lives! 💙💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • Octavia @ Mermaid Reads says:

      Thank you so much, Alexandra! I really loved All the Tides of Fate, mostly because it was so driven by character development! It’s a lot different from All the Stars and Teeth, but in my opinion, still amazing! Plus, both books contain swashbuckling, high seas adventures! So… what’s not to love?!

      Like

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