January Wrap-Up + February Wrap-Up – (Hush I totally didn’t just fall of the face of the earth)

Hi hello what are you talking about I totally didn’t forget to blog. Okay fine. Maybe possibly I might have forgotten to blog. But never fear! I am back! (Okay maybe this is a very valid reason to fear…) And today, as you probably guessed from the title, I’m writing my wrap ups for January and February. (Why did I even say that?? That was really obvious. I’m just going to go hide in a hole now.)

We’re just going to pretend this is by design, and not because I forgot to write the January one on time.

This is going to be a long enough post already, so let’s get right to it!

I read 14 books in January, and 13 in February which is… something. I admit, I would have liked to read more, and probably would have if I hadn’t been slumping, but oh well. And quality wise I had a pretty great few months.

(Covers link to goodreads pages, and ratings link to my reviews.)

January

The Disasters by M.K. England – I LOVED this!! If you like witty banter, fast paced adventures (in space!), diverse casts of misfits, and wonderful character development, this is the book for you! I cannot get over how much I freaking adored this book.  5 stars

This is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow – This book was emotional and gorgeous and made me feel all sorts of feelings, but it ultimately wasn’t actually all that memorable. 4 stars

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – Wow. Wow wow wow. This book was absolutely stunning. It’s not an easy read, but my god was it good. – 5 stars!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Honestly I just like this book. It’s not necessarily high quality, but it’s sorta nostalgic in a way. – 3.5 stars

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – The best in the series because Nikolai comes in and Nikolai is my fave. – 4 stars

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – I know a lot of people hate this one, but I actually really like it, and will defend that ending to the end of time. – 4 stars

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – This was a reread (for book club), and OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. And it holds up soooo well a second time around. The foreshadowing is great, and wow the characters have developed so much since this book. They acted so young and naive and innocent. Oh my precious babies. – 5 stars

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Did I need to reread this before King of Scars? No not at all. Was it completely 100% worth it anyways? YES. – 5 stars!

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi – This book was stunning. Wow. I loved everything about this book. It was raw and emotional and beautiful and blew me away. – 5 stars

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I’m still in pain from this. Why did I decide rereading this was a good idea?? (Just kidding, I loved every minute of it.) (Except for a few incredibly painful minutes at the end there.)5 stars!

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno – This book was deeply weird. In the very best way. I adored it! But also what the hell did I just read?? It was majorly weird. I mean okay magical realism in general is just weird, but I feel like this was a whole other level of weird. – 4.5 stars

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – I read this a month ago, and I honestly still don’t know how I feel about it. The beginning was boring, the middle and end were…good? I think? But also weird… – 3.5 stars?

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta – Ahgfdgfhgjgfg I loved this so much!! The pacing was a bit off, but other than that it was perfection! Wonderful characters, wonderful world building, not to mention the fact that the love interest was genderfluid(!!), and the main character was… not cis. (I’m not sure on exact identity…) – 4.5 stars

Mirage by Somaiya Daud – This was good. Not super memorable, but good. – 3.5 stars

February

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – I think I spent this entire book sobbing. Okay fine, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration. I probably only spend like 50% of it full on sobbing, and another 30% tearing up/just crying a little. Okay that really isn’t much different… THIS BOOK HURT. (And I loved it.) – 4.5 stars?

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria – This book:
1) – Was dark and creepy and funny and diverse and wonderful and absolutely worth a read.
and 2) – Made me realize that I did not, in fact, actually know what exactly a citadel was. Until I remembered to google it about thirty seconds ago, all I could have told you was “I dunno it’s some sort of building or something.” I feel a little bit dumb. (Although technically I was correct. Just… not very specific.) – 4 stars

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake – This book! Oh my gosh! 😍😍😍 It was so sweet and beautiful and heartwarming, but also I spent half the book crying because it was REALLY FREAKING EMOTIONAL. – 5 stars

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer – This was fun. It wasn’t spectacular, and my reading tastes have definitely shifted a lot since I read Renegades, but it was fun. I enjoyed it. I want to know what happens next. I like the characters. – 3.5 stars

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Okay. Be coherent, Iris. This book. Oh my god this book. NINA! HANNE! NIKOLAI! ZOYA! GENYA! AHHHHHHHHH!!! I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. But then that ending happened and I am annoyed. BUT AHHHHHH OTHER THAN THAT I LOVED THIS BOOK WITH MY WHOLE ENTIRE HEART!!! – 5 stars

Sometime After Midnight by L. Phillips – This was so fun and sweet! Definitely not the most memorable book I’ve ever read, but after being put through emotional hell by King of Scars and The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali (which should have come before this one, but I messed up so it’s coming next) this was exactly what I needed. – 4 stars

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan – This book was spectacular. Such a powerful, important read about homophobia and religion. I admit, the more I think about it, the more I find a few things bothered me, but damn this book was good. – 4 stars

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig – This was an intensely stressful murder mystery/thriller, soooo… not usually quite my thing, but I liked the characters, and the twists were shocking, and I enjoyed myself immensely. – 3.5 stars

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold – Look this book was good. Objectively speaking, this book was unique and well written and tackled some important issues. And I can definitely appreciate that. But my god this book was SO BORING. Also I literally predicted the twist before page 40. The twist was in the last ten pages of the book. Please tell me this was intentionally obvious, and not actually meant to be surprising?? – 2.5 stars

Black Wings Beating by Alex London – I picked this book up solely because Mackenzi Lee and Adam Silvera had blurbed it, and I have to say, I had basically zero expectations, and even less motivation to pick it up. Wow am I glad I did though! This book was FANTASTIC! Kylee was badass and protective and I loved her, and Brysen was soft and sad I loved him too! They were precious. And the world building! And everything! AHHHHHHH!!!! – 5 stars?

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro – This book was amazing. Absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking and incredibly hard to read, but amazing. Wow. I can still barely form the words I need to yell about this book, but wow. 100% recommend. – 5 stars

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – This is another book I had fairly low expectations for. I liked And I Darken (And Radu owns my heart!!), but it was also somewhat tedious at times. And after a few pages of this book, I was quickly reminded that Kiersten White’s writing style was… not my favourite. But I kept reading and OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK! It took some getting used to, but her writing style worked so well for this story, and the characters were amazing, and it was so dark and twisted and terrifying and I adored it!! – 4.5 stars

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake – I am swiftly falling completely in love with Ashley Herring Blake. I picked this book up on a whim in December because it was cheap and I had ten bucks left on my gift card. I mean sure, I also picked it because I read and adored Girl Made of Stars over the summer, but quite honestly? It was also the only paperback in the entire store that was anywhere near the top of my tbr. So I figured why not. And wow am I glad I did. Because this book was freaking amazing. I AM IN LOVE. – 5 stars

January and February have honestly been pretty uneventful, so this’ll probably be short, but I always enjoy writing this section so we’re doing it anyways.

January

  • We spent the first two days of January driving home from visiting relatives. Visiting relatives was amazing. Being cooped up in the car for this long was less fun.
  • We were home for maybe 24 hours before leaving again to spend the night with some friends. This would have been great, aside from the fact that my body decided this was the perfect time to get a bad cold.
  • Sooooo… the first few hours of that visit were fun, before the cold hit in full force… And then I spent the rest of the time curled up on the couch sucking on throat lozenges and reading Girls of Paper and Fire. And I mean, it was a great book, so I’m not complaining about that, but… actually socializing would have been nice too :\
  • Oh yay I spent the next two weeks feeling gross and moving as little as was humanly possible. Fun.
  • At the end of the month I started a weekly drama class in the city, which means loooooong days. I do get some reading done, but I also am exhausted by the end of it, and tbh I don’t love the class.
  • I cut myself with the cheese grater because I am very graceful and elegant.
  • That’s literally all I did in January that was notable.
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February

  • More drama class…
  • More reading…
  • What on earth did I do in February???
  • I binged One Day at a Time and now I am complete and utter trash for this show!! Also all of you need to watch it. Trust me on this. You need this show in your life.
  • One day my dad and I went into the city for my class, and then on the way home we ended up stranded at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere in -2 weather because the busses got cancelled. That was fun. Luckily someone went onto the site to check when the bus was supposed to come and saw that it had been cancelled, and the group of us were able to call a few taxis to share, but for some reason being stranded at the bus in below freezing weather is very unpleasant.
  • I turned sixteen! How did I almost forget this??? I meant to do a birthday post, but I forgot oops.
  • One of my friends slept over the weekend before my birthday, which was a lot of fun.
  • On my actual birthday I mostly just read, watched some TV, and went out for sushi with my family.
  • My public speaking class did our ‘public presentation’ (aka, we did our speeches in front of all our parents and a few friends). It was a lot of fun, and I’m pretty proud of my speech, soooo… that was cool. (But also I think this was my ninth time dong this, so it’s lost it’s novelty.)
  • Speaking of which, I am a failure at baking. I baked cookies for presentation night and I… dropped one of the pans… into the oven… I burnt a few cookies, and smushed some others… (The other pan survived though!) And THEN, a few days later I tried to make some granola bars, which is a recipe I’ve been successfully making for years now, but this time I just failed (partly because I was missing some ingredients… but also partly because I failed at coming up with good substitutes…), and they tasted gross.
  • I went to see the musical the school district put on. It was a weird experience for me, because I was in the program last year and had some… mixed feelings. So I sort of missed it a lot, but also I’m ultimately glad I didn’t do it again. But being back there, and seeing all those people I know from last year was sort of strange.

Look! I actually did things in February!!

Okay this post is over 2000 words long, so I’m going to shut up now. Next month I’ll go back to actually setting goals, and you can maybe expect a Christmas book haul sometime in the near future.

Byeeeee!

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How has 2019 been for you so far?? What have you been up to? Read any great books? Would you be interested in seeing a Christmas book haul?? (And do you have any silly baking/cooking stories to make me feel less dumb about my own? 😜 )

13 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Briannareply
March 1, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Firstly, I’m loving your new blog picture/spacer thingys!! not sure what the actual name is…πŸ˜› it sounds like you read some good books!! And ouch. cheese graters are tricky things… 😳

Iris @ Hoard of Booksreply
March 1, 2019 at 6:53 pm
– In reply to: Brianna

Aw thanks! I think they’re called dividers??? But now that I say that I’m second guessing myself… Lol I know what you mean anyways.
And yeah cheese graters are tricky little buggers.

Maren@Ponies and Potterreply
March 1, 2019 at 9:17 pm

Need. King. Of scars.😍 I so badly need to read it!!!

Do you remember the cookie recipe you gave me? For the chocolate/raspberry jam ones? That came out of the oven looking like big burnt blobs?? I have lootttsssss of bad baking stories… do not feel bad!! (Also remember the β€œLemon pudding” I made without lemons?) πŸ˜‚ ah good times…

Iris @ Hoard of Booksreply
March 1, 2019 at 11:23 pm
– In reply to: Maren@Ponies and Potter

YES. YOU. DO.
And hahahahahaha yes I remember that recipe! Guess which cookies I dropped… AND OH MY GOD YOUR LEMON PUDDING. πŸ˜‚ Also remember those brownies we made together?? And you were missing like half the ingredients??? LOL.

Grannyreply
March 1, 2019 at 11:41 pm

Dear Iris, I once was making butter tarts for a bake sale, and had them in the oven baking, then discovered the melted butter in the microwave. One good thing they must have been less fattening without the butter. Maybe we can do some baking together in May when I visit??? Love Granny

Iris @ Hoard of Booksreply
March 2, 2019 at 12:25 am
– In reply to: Granny

Hehehehe oops! And yeah, that would be fun πŸ™‚

Briannareply
March 2, 2019 at 9:56 pm

I REMEMBER THOSE BROWNIES. (Unfortunately 😐)

Iris @ Hoard of Booksreply
March 2, 2019 at 10:01 pm
– In reply to: Brianna

They were… really something πŸ˜‚

Briannareply
March 2, 2019 at 9:57 pm

Oh… whoops… meant to reply to your comment about the brownies… lol

Marenreply
March 2, 2019 at 10:00 pm
– In reply to: Brianna

I also unfortunately remember the brownies. They were not thaaat bad though? I ate them? (possibly all of them…)

Iris @ Hoard of Booksreply
March 2, 2019 at 10:02 pm
– In reply to: Maren

I ate a few too… they weren’t horrible, but they weren’t our best baking ever either πŸ˜‚

Luupireply
March 3, 2019 at 6:31 am

Omg how did I never read a blog post from you Iris? I’ve been really missing out, you’re so funny! πŸ˜‚
You were slumping and still you managed to read more than 10 books these two months?? That’s so amazing πŸ˜‚ And you had a lot of 5 stars, I’m so happy for youπŸ’• I definitely need to check ou Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World and Black Wings Beating now that I know you liked them. Also, I’m so so happy you had fun on your birthday and that your speech went well! 😍 Hopefully, this month you won’t be as sick tho lol.

Iris @ Hoard of Booksreply
March 3, 2019 at 11:52 am
– In reply to: Luupi

Ahhhh thank you! <3
And lol yeah I guess I did read a lot, it's just that I... literally did almost nothing else during the months except for watching Netflix...
Yessss!! You need to read them!! I adored them both so much!!!

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