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.Β I started off my new year withΒ 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!Β 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.Β | πŸ“– 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.Β  [YARC]Β | πŸ“– 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. | πŸ“– Read my full ARC Review
  • 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.Β | πŸ“– 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 the 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 of 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:Β 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?Β 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!


spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

51 Comments

  1. ✩ Ashley ✩

    February 3, 2019 at 9:29 AM

    Ohmygosh I hope Feb gives you a 28-day reading binge!! Your Jan sounds like my Dec πŸ™ˆ

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:41 PM

      Thank you Ashley, but unfortunately I am still in slumpland. Womp womp womp. Happy reading, love!

      1. ✩ Ashley ✩

        February 5, 2019 at 7:22 PM

        Oh shoot! πŸ˜• Hoping it goes quickly 🀞🏼🀞🏼

  2. Diana @fortunatelythebook

    February 3, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    January seems always the longest month to me.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:41 PM

      It really is, and every year I feel like it gets longer!

  3. Paul's Picks

    February 3, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Great post!
    I need to give Don’t Starve another chance. Didn’t have the time to really invest in it when I got it.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:42 PM

      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.

      1. Paul's Picks

        February 5, 2019 at 7:02 PM

        Hahahaha!! To do your bidding! Nice!

  4. facingthestory

    February 3, 2019 at 1:57 PM

    Ah January does always seem to go on forever! I’m glad that you managed to read some great books despite your reading slump and hope that February is a better reading month for you!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:43 PM

      Thank you so much, and I hope that you have a great February Darina!

  5. confessionsofayareader

    February 3, 2019 at 2:13 PM

    I’m sorry you had such a long reading slump, but glad you liked most of the books you read.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:44 PM

      Yea I was fortunate that what I did read was mostly good, but that slump still won’t let me out of its evil grasp. UGH.

  6. Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)

    February 3, 2019 at 4:47 PM

    5 books aren’t bad, but hooray for most of the books being good reads! Bummer about the DNF, though. πŸ™ January oddly didn’t feel like a long month, but maybe it’s because I was on winter break and that always goes by quickly. 😭

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:45 PM

      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!

  7. Karlita

    February 3, 2019 at 5:53 PM

    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!πŸ˜­πŸ€—

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:49 PM

      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!

  8. Stephanie πŸ“– (@Chasm_of_Books)

    February 3, 2019 at 7:28 PM

    I’m on the waitlist at the library for the audiobook for Sadie! Can’t wait to read it! I finally read the synopsis a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:51 PM

      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!

  9. Rae

    February 3, 2019 at 7:35 PM

    So glad you loved Sadie! I loved that one too. Area you fully out of your slump now?

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:52 PM

      Sadie was so incredibly beautiful and sad and important, so glad I finally read it! And no, I am still pretty slumpy. 😭 I’m bouncing between like 5 books to try and get some reading done.

  10. devouringbooks2017

    February 3, 2019 at 11:26 PM

    Wow, what a reading slump!

    Also I always love the notable posts that you share!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 5:54 PM

      The worst reading slump that I’ve had to date, rude! Thanks for reading and I’m glad you like the community posts that I include!

  11. Asha Seth

    February 3, 2019 at 11:45 PM

    I love this summation of enthusiastic bookish reviews.

  12. waytoofantasy

    February 4, 2019 at 11:19 AM

    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!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 6:01 PM

      Thank you so much, Lisa! I am glad January didn’t drag for you, and I hope your February reading is amazing!

  13. Marie

    February 4, 2019 at 11:28 AM

    Oh there’s a new design here yay, seems like I missed that! Looking good πŸ˜€
    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 <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 6:02 PM

      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!

  14. theorangutanlibrarian

    February 4, 2019 at 3:54 PM

    I definitely really need to read Sadie- awesome wrap up!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 6:13 PM

      You do!!! Sadie is so beautiful and sad and important and I think everyone should read it!

  15. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall

    February 5, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    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. πŸ˜‚ 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

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 5, 2019 at 6:33 PM

      THAT IS SUPER SAD! I just finally figured out you can craft an ice chest to store food. I been stocking up meatballs for winter and I am quite excited for my prospects for once! Give it another try, love.

  16. Jennifer Pletcher

    February 5, 2019 at 10:13 PM

    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.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM

      It was such a good book! And yessss, do one or two! I did one of the free walking ghost tours and loved it a lot because the guides were characters, and it was a lot of fun. I also recommend the haunted vaults tour, spooky as it is.

  17. TheCaffeinatedReader

    February 6, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    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

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 9, 2019 at 7:48 AM

      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!

  18. northernplunder

    February 6, 2019 at 4:09 PM

    i couldve sworn i had already commented here lol
    but anyway i enjoyed stopping by the other bloggers posts u linked up πŸ™‚ and heres to an even better feb for readimng tbh πŸ™‚

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 9, 2019 at 7:58 AM

      better late than never, love, and honestly I appreciate you commenting when you have a broken wrist! YOU DA MVP!
      Happy reading!

  19. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    February 7, 2019 at 6:11 AM

    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!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 9, 2019 at 8:25 AM

      I honestly cannot recommend Sadie enough, it is so beautiful. It sat on my TBR and then my OWNED TBR for months. I wish I didn’t wait so long to read it. Happy reading and gaming, Gayathri!

  20. sammers65

    February 7, 2019 at 2:09 PM

    You may have had a slump but hot damn did you have some great 5 and 4 star reads! Much proud of you I am wonder twin!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 9, 2019 at 8:33 AM

      Thank you, wonder twin! As far as reading slumps go, I was definitely really fortunate with the quality of my reading!

  21. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

    February 7, 2019 at 4:14 PM

    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 πŸ’– it’s awesome that four of your five January reads were great ones, and that you got to spend some quality time gaming!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 9, 2019 at 8:35 AM

      I am the Queen of Silver Linings! All in all, I had a lovely month with some amazing reads and lots of time for gaming. I hope you have a fantastic February, love!

  22. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

    February 8, 2019 at 4:39 AM

    I’m sending the anti reading slump fairy your way in the hopes she will end your slumping situation! I hate a slump but all brains need a rest from time to time so that’s what I try and convince myself that a slump is!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 9, 2019 at 8:45 AM

      I like that way of looking at a slump – brain rest time sounds like the perfect self-care mentality! It’s my gaming time!!!! Huzzah! Honestly thank you so much, I am still slumpy this month but have gotten a couple of good reads finished.

      1. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

        February 9, 2019 at 9:37 AM

        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!

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          February 11, 2019 at 10:24 AM

          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.

  23. Callum McLaughlin

    February 11, 2019 at 12:33 PM

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about Sadie – I can’t wait to give it a go!

    I hope February is proving slump-free for you πŸ™‚

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      February 12, 2019 at 8:14 PM

      Sadie is absolutely INCREDIBLE! It is so sad, beautiful, and important. Just be known is it a heavy read so don’t pick it up if you feel like reading something fun or light.

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    February 13, 2019 at 5:04 AM

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