January in Review

January is always a month that feels like it goes on forever, am I right? The past few days at work my colleague has been saying some iteration of “how is it still January,” and I am reminded how last January felt like 84 years.

This has been a good month for me overall, I am always fueled with positive energy into the New Year, and it doesn’t hurt that my birthday is in January. I have been actively working on bettering my mental health and splitting my time better between my hobbies and friends, and it’s been lovely getting out with my friends now and again!

FANGIRL SCREAMING
Excuse me while I die because one of my favorite authors now follows me on Twitter.

Reading

January brought me a twenty-one (21!!!) day reading slump. I started off my new year with Sadie, and I think a combination of a book hangover and an anticipated ARC not being my cup of tea brought it on. I only read five books in January (and one DNF), but that’s okay by me because it was nice to just succumb to the slump without guilt for once! ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted above by an asterisk *

Five Stars

  • Sadie by Courtney Summers – this book was beautiful and heart-rending and so incredibly important. I loved this book more than I ever could have expected and I still think of it quite often. Hand’s down my favorite read of the month. | 📖 Read my full review
  • Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen – this debut was such an enjoyable and sad read for me! I love time travel stories but was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this one, especially because it felt like more of a contemporary with sci-fi elements more than anything.  [YARC] | 📖 Read my full review

Four Stars

  • If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser – This is such an important story about friendships fading and how social media can make that harder, but it is also about love and never giving up on people. I went from being on pins and needles (I honestly stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish this book *yawn*) to laughing out loud; Loutzenhiser does a great job of cutting the tension with the character’s dialog and sarcastic humor. Also I just need to say that Logan’s little sister Bee is an icon. | 📖 Full Review to Come February 12
  • The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish – What a fantastically atmospheric ghost story! I love tales of the supernatural even though I am a total skeptic about it. Interestingly enough, my one unexplained ghost experience happened on a ghost tour in the Underground Vaults in Edinburgh, so I was extra excited for this one! While the character’s backstories and initial conversations felt disjointed at first, the story definitely shines with building tension and crafting a truly spooky read. | 📖 Read my full review

Three Stars

  • None

Two Stars

  • None

One Star

  • None

DNF – Did Not Finish

  • * Savage Species by Jonathan Janz – believe me, no one is more surprised than I am that I DNF’d a Janz novel considering I loved the four previous books of his that I’ve read. This one just wasn’t for me. The horror genre is not only about fear but also delving into the depths of depravity, addressing that uncomfortable feeling head-on. One of the things that I like about Janz’s work is his juxtaposition between supernatural and human monsters and making you question who the real monsters are. Unfortunately, all of the characters are kind of horrible & I didn’t like them, which made it tough for me to care about what was happening to them. From the abusive, cheating, and controlling husband to the porno-addicted Native American that lives in the park and just so happens to have knowledge on the creatures, I was honestly just wasn’t enjoying myself.

Total Books Read in January: 5

 

Total Books Read in 2019: 5
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52


Gaming

Since I didn’t read for 21 days of the month, I spent a good amount of my free time playing video games in January.

  • Don’t Starve Together: had a few more sessions with my friend Eva, but we kind of haven’t played since lightning struck and lit our entire farm on fire.
  • Don’t Starve: I’ve been playing the base game a LOT this past month, though! It’s a lot of fun and my current game I am currently at like 26 days and have been afraid to play it for a week.
  • Sunless Skies: I’m a Kickstarter Backer and got early access to the full build of the game (released on January 31!), and my goodness is this game fun! It’s the spiritual successor to Sunless Sea, which I talked about last month, and just incredibly atmospheric. I love the changes they made to legacy and gameplay, and they way the worldbuilding develops here is just awesome. 12/10 would recommend.
  • Coloring Pixels: I picked up this game in a recent HumbleBundle, and have been playing it when I have insomnia, which honestly is so soothing and helpful for me!

Are you on Steam? Feel free to add me as a friend, I am kalventure on Steam! I am always down for a game of Town of Salem, DST, or Uno, so hit me up!


Awesome Community Posts

Here are some amazing posts that you have missed from the blogosphere this month!


Thank you

Thank you everyone so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me in January! I absolutely love being a part of the book blogging community and am so incredibly thankful.

I hope that you had a fantastic January, let me know how your month went in the comments below!


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Hi! I’m Kaleena: book lover, runner, wanderer, and philanthropist. Life is an adventurous gift: through the outdoors and books. I run Reader Voracious Blog, where I post spoiler-free book reviews of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and mystery & thriller.

51 thoughts on “January in Review

    1. Thanks Paul, and you should! The fun thing about it is you can easily play for a bit and then go about other things, but it is easy to get sucked in for hours without realizing it. Like today when I spent 4 hours building my farm and trying to get beefalo to kill some spiders for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 5 books is a slow month for me, but considering I spent most of the month not reading at all I should be impressed! I am really sad about the DNF, I love everything else I’ve read by Janz but that was just not the book for me. Winter break certainly would make January fly by!

      Like

  1. Kaleena! You are the sweetest! Thank you so much for including my post on your wrap up. I never ever did one before but you and Shealea makes want to do one at least a bi-monthly wrap up. I really appreciate you for being so amazing!😭🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome, that post is amazing and everyone could benefit from it! I would love to see your wrap ups if you ever decide to do one, I love having a place to just sum up all my reading for the month since not all of my reviews make it onto the blog. Love you!

      Like

    1. I hope you enjoy Sadie as much as I did, the audiobook was incredible! I swear I didn’t even look at the synopsis for months because it just looked like a contemporary romance, which isn’t my preferred genre, but I am so glad I finally did take a peek because WOW!

      Like

  2. Fantastic wrap up, Kaleena! For me I feel like the month flew by but if I’d been in a slump it probably would have felt like it dragged too. Hope you got your reading vibes back and February is a good one for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh there’s a new design here yay, seems like I missed that! Looking good 😀
    I’m sorry you were in a slump for most of the month, but YAY it seems like you’ve read some GREAT books when you weren’t in a slump so YaY that’s amazing! I hope that February will be better and brighter, sending you tons of love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I am glad you like the facelift! I am still tinkering but I am overall quite pleased with the new theme!
      While I didn’t read as much as I normally do, they were all mostly amazing so I was really lucky! I hope you have a wonderful reading month, Marie!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely wrap up!! Okay, so sad story time. I used be pretty decent at Don’t Starve, and developed a foolproof strategy for surviving winter. It involved storing LOTS of rabbits in chests. 😂 But, with one of the new updates, it made this (ingenious, if I might add) strategy impossible. I haven’t played the game since. The end. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Haunting of Henderson Close sounds good! We are actually going to Edinburgh in April, and my daughter loves ghost tours…..we might have to check one out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing such awesome posts, and also for putting your reviews in star categories, shame about the DNF but sometimes people forget to just stick to the horror and not go overboard with other things. Have you read any James Hebert? I’ve heard good things but the one book by him that I read was just seeped with soppy romance paragraphs like ….really cheesy insta-love the kind you don’t even see in romance novels X’D

    I may have to check out Here and Now and Then

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read any James Herbert, but that doesn’t sound like the kinds of stories I like to read, either. Horror is such a wide genre with different “levels” so to speak. I am not normally bothered by gore in my stories being a lover of slasher films, but this one just wasn’t for me and I think it was more about my not liking the characters than the story itself. I have a few friends that LOVED IT though, so it was just a personal thing.

      I hope you like Here and Now and Then, I really enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sadie has been on my TBR for ages now and I have to get to it soon, maybe before a reading slump hits me. I am looking for games to play constantly, thanks for adding this section to your wrap up. I hope Feb is a lot better for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. oops I thought I’d already commented on this post! but I love that you can look back past the very rude slump and call it a good month 💖 it’s awesome that four of your five January reads were great ones, and that you got to spend some quality time gaming!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s temporary time off. Even if someone loves reading you can’t do it all the time or the brain starts to have a temper tantrum. I equate it to cake, I love cake but I couldn’t eat it all the time. Ok, I *could* but I shouldn’t.

        I go through gaming stages but oddly the only game I play is The Sims but when I do, it’s ridiculous. I can’t just create one family I have to create a town with multiple families and I create backgrounds and personalities that either clash or match and have to start creating a legacy. There’s no middle ground.

        I’m glad those reads were good, fingers crossed for more!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love the idea of temporary time off, such a positive way to look at it! Too much of a good thing, even cake, gets tiring!

        I go through phases of playing The Sims incessantly, maybe 2 times a year. But unlike you I just like to come up with clever ways to kill them. Because I am terrible.

        Liked by 1 person

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