I feel like the new year just started yesterday, but somehow, we’re already in February! Which means it’s time to share what I’ve read in January.
I had a ridiculously good reading month in January, by which I mean I’ve read a whopping 58 books, which is about twice as much as I normally read in a month. I don’t really know how I pulled this off, except that I’ve just been spending a lot of time reading and haven’t been doing much else. Honestly, I’m happy with this start of my reading year, especially since I’ve gotten to read a lot of new favourites, but I don’t want to pressure myself to keep reading this much for the rest of the year.
In this post, I’ll share my Goodreads reviews of my 4 and 5 star reads of December. Want to keep track of my reading in more detail? Feel free to add me on Goodreads!
Morgan Rogers – Honey Girl
I kicked off the year with an immediate new favourite and this also ended up being my favourite read of the month. You can read my full review here!
Aida Salazar – Land of the Cranes
I don’t know how I could ever do this book justice in a review. But I can urge you to read it. It’s a beautifully written verse novel, and such a hard hitting story that needs to be told and needs to be heard.
CWs: detention, deportation, ICE, separating of family members, violence, sexual assault, blood
Laura Lam & Elizabeth May – Seven Devils
I’m so here for what’s basically sapphic Star Wars. This was very solid fun, had a really good time reading this.
Benjamin Dean – Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow
You can read my full review of this delightful middlegrade here!
Julia Kaye – My Life in Transition: A Super Late Bloomer Collection
I haven’t read Super Late Bloomer, so this was my first time reading Julia Kaye’s comics. But this book can be easily read as a standalone, and I really enjoyed it.
One of my favourite comics in this collection was the one where a little kid completely accepts and validates Julia as a woman. It just radiated joy. Overall, I liked how balanced this collection was – there’s so much trans joy, but also difficult issues, like the comic about her grandmother who she’s not out to. As someone who’s not out to their grandparents either, that one really hit home. Another comic that really spoke to me was about how after coming out as trans, you start to change as a person because you can finally be honest about who you are.
Overall, I think it’s so impressive how Julia Kaye was able to convey so many of the joys and complexities of being trans in three-panel comics.
CWs: sexual assault (groping in a club), gender dysphoria, mentions of misgendering, estrangement from parents/family
Nina LaCour – Watch Over Me
While I’ve loved Nina Lacour’s other books, I still didn’t have very high expectations for this. And I want to shake myself now, because what was I thinking?? Nina Lacour’s writing has never disappointed me before, and it certainly hasn’t this time around.
I don’t want to give too much away about this book, but it’s such an introspective, quiet, beautiful read. The writing is stunning and the plot is just… wow. Just so you know though, this book is about ghosts, but not in a way that’s meant to scare you.
Malinda Lo – Last Night at the Telegraph Club
I think I forgot to write a review for this – at least, I can’t find it on Goodreads. But this was a great YA historical fiction!
Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore – Miss Meteor
I had high hopes for this one as it was written by two of my favourite authors, and this book really lived up to my expectations. It was beautiful! The authors’ writing styles matched really well and made Lita and Chicky into these very distinctive characters, and it was impossible not to love them.
Ray Stoeve – Between Perfect and Real
You can read my full review in my post about 3 trans books to preorder!
Becky Chambers – The Galaxy, and the Ground Within
This was an amazing end to an amazing series, but let’s be honest: I would have happily read many more installments.
This was such an interesting slice-of-life story about people of different species who all end up together stuck in the same place by circumstance and they have to make the most of it. This turned into such a heartwarming, friendly book that fits perfectly in the most comforting sci-fi series I’ve ever read.
Roan Parrish – Best Laid Plans
I already loved the first installment in this series, Better Than People, but with this sequel the series is really cementing itself as one of my favourite romance series by one of my favourite romance authors.
This book just has everything I could ever want from a romance: a fun premisse, banter, yearning, domestic fluff, a hint of angst, a lot of emotional growth. CATS. Blend it all together and you get a perfect romance if you’re looking for comfort.
Corinne Duyvis – Otherbound
Disability was really woven throughout the entire story here, and it was so interesting! A book unlike anything I’ve read before.
Emery Lee – Meet Cute Diary
You can also read my full review of this book in my recent post about 3 trans books to preorder!
Philippe Besson – Lie With Me
This was truly beautiful.
Olivia Waite – The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics
I didn’t review this book, but it’s one of the first historical romances I’ve read and I really enjoyed it.
Dhonielle Clayton, ed. – A Universe of Wishes
I love to read anthologies, but at the same time I find them hard to review because a lot of them don’t tend to really stick with me. This one is different, though. There were so many amazing stories that it felt like an incredible treat to read one every day. There’s a continuation of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, a Cinderella retelling where the prince is a trans guy (seriously, Anna-Marie McLemore doesn’t just write beautifully, they also write beautiful trans rep that just rings so true), and so much more. I don’t think I read a single story I didn’t enjoy.
H.E. Edgmon – The Witch King
My full review of this book will be up on my blog soon, but for now, let me tell you: this book is AMAZING and it deserves all the hype The Cruel Prince got.
Tillie Walden – On a Sunbeam
No thoughts, head empty, just vibing with this stunning piece of art
Everina Maxwell – Winter’s Orbit
This book was a 5 star prediction for me, and I’m so glad I was right!
I took my time reading this so that I could really savour it, and I loved the slow build-up of Kiem and Jainan’s relationship. I was hesitant to put much faith in the comp to Red, White & Royal Blue, as this is a sci-fi novel, but honestly, I could really see the comparison from the start. Of course it’s a very different book, but it does have a similar feel to it. And it’s for sure a new favourite for me.
Reading this book was a frustrating experience at times, because I wanted Kiem and Jainan to JUST FUCKING TALK TO EACH OTHER. But it made a lot of sense to me why they didn’t – especially from Jainan’s point of view it’s clear to see why he doesn’t easily trust Kiem. And seeing them learn to trust each other was really amazing to see, and I love how this was spun out – I kept wanting them to talk to each other, but at the same time, every time I got JUST enough to keep me happy for a while.
CW: past domestic abuse
Mae Respicio – Any Day With You
This is a book that changed my life – it will always be special to me. I read it in one sitting while taking a bath, and it gave me the strength I needed to come out to my grandparents – I literally visited them immediately after. I had been wanting to tell them I’m non-binary, but I was scared, but after reading this, I was just filled with wanting them to really know them because we’ve always been close. I’m very happy about this, because it went really well!!
Of course this isn’t really a review but more my personal story with the book – the story itself is so heartwarming and it’s exactly why I genuinely think middlegrade tends to have the most genuine and profound and important books. It taught me a lot about kindness and about how important family can be.
Niki Smith – The Deep and Dark Blue
This was such a wholesome middlegrade graphic novel!
Seanan McGuire – Across the Green Grass Fields
I absolutely loved the MC, but I have to admit I wasn’t really pulled in by the world or the actual plot
Rep: intersex MC
Angie Manfredi, ed. – The (Other) F Word
This was super empowering and super intersectional, and while not every contribution worked as well for me, I know I’ll be revisiting this when I need it and overall it was a really great anthology.