High Hopes, But Maybe Not Too High? | January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

Hello there! A draft of this post has been sitting here since January, and for some reason, I felt it call to me today and ask to be posted, albeit one month late.

Happy New Year! Or something? I entered 2021 with the highest of hopes – and I think I shot too high, both in my personal life and my reading life. We’ll talk about them both in this post, but before that.

Hello to another monthly wrap up!

It’s been a long while since the last one, and I promise we’ll make this a regular again on this site (once I remember that, yes, I am indeed a blogger.) Booktube took over my life a little bit, and perhaps, because a part of me enjoys talking to the camera. But, I want to work my way in managing all my bookish platforms — let’s see if I can actually do that.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into all the books I read in January!

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The Books I Read In January

In reference to my 2021 bookish resolutions, I targeted 104 books for the year. That translates to roughly 8 books in a month. Somehow, January was a little better to me as I managed to finish 15 titles! The rate of me liking them all, however, is a little all over the place.

Not only that, but as much as I wanted to have a review written for each of these books by now, I am waaaaay behind on book reviews. So, I’ll talk about each of them a little bit, for now — and add the review link once available.

5 Star Reads – Books I Loved

🌼 A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole

My romance-loving heart was ultimately satisfied with this fairytale romance. This book gave me a female lead who is a Women In STEM (!!!) and a modern-day African Prince. If you love a romance by an Author of Color, that does not only touch on the beauty of love, but also social, economic, and political issues, this is a perfect read! Check out my full review here.

🌼 The Roommate by Rosie Danan

I read one of 2020’s most talked about romance books! Who could have ever imagined we’ll be looking at a mainstream contemporary romance talking about the sex industry. This book was hyped in all the bookish communities and I truly saw why. Admittedly, there were a lot of rom-com clichés and I can see this being a movie. It was a quick and fun romance read.

🌼 The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

With the Bridgerton series taking Netflix audiences by storm, there is no surprise that like most romance loving readers, I will be picking this book up! TVWLM told the story of the eldest Bridgerton brother, Anthony, and let me just say, I loved this one more than the first book!

🌼 Layla by Colleen Hoover

As my first read of the year, I had high hopes for Layla, a book by my auto-buy author Colleen Hoover. This was, like her recent works, don’t stick to a genre formula. With a mix of paranormal, mystery, and romance, this book tells a story that will surprise you. Until now, I’m still a little confused if I liked the ending — but overall, this deserves the 5 stars. Check out my full review here.

🌼 Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

A fast-paced mystery with thrill after thrill, Good Girl, Bad Girl, almost took a 5/5 rating from my book rating criteria. There’s a mysterious girl with a very dark past, a forensic psychologist with secrets of his own, and a murder of a pretty and popular athlete. With all their stories unfolding at the same time, it would be impossible to put down this read.

🌼 You Have A Match by Emma Lord

Just say the name Emma Lord and I know I’ll have a good time. Emma Lord’s writing is exquisite –it feels like talking to a friend and I tend to forget that I am reading a book. Many times, reading can be a drag (sometimes it even feels like a chore) but with Emma Lord’s storytelling and writing style, you can expect the type of fun that will literally make you forget to put the book down!

4 Star Reads – Books I Really Liked

🌼 I Love You Since 1892 by Binibining Mia

This Wattpad sensation took Philippine publishing by storm. The strength and passion of their fanbase is what pushed me to try out reading this book. Despite many editing errors, and how childish the writing seems at times, I enjoyed the story as a whole and I want to wave the banner high in support of young Filipino authors.

🌼 Bola Bola by Anna Geronga

Another Filipino romance book that caught my eye is Bola Bola. It is a YA romance with the Older Brother’s Bestfriend trope, as well as a coming of age story about growing up, friendships, family, love, and embracing what lies ahead.

🌼 The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is my favorite author duo and this book reminded me why! It is so fun to explore a new story of theirs, especially with the premise of this one. Not only do we have the story between two coworkers, they work for an HGTV-celebrity type couple with a marriage on the rocks. Trust me, this book is a whole lot of fun, with scenes that will tug on your heartstrings as well.

🌼 Cover Story Girl by Chris Mariano

Here’s my third Filipino-authored book for the month, and this one delivered a K-drama style romance. A Filipino local museum employee meets a mysterious Korean tourist in the famous island of Boracay. This book read like the usual Korean romances we love swooning for. I got what I expected: something sweet, something light, and something fun!

3 Star Reads – Books That Were ✨ Okay ✨

🌼 The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

This book is a pretty cute YA novel. Of course, it is about Emma (as it is a retelling), a math genius coding club president This story was a fun venture to Emma’s life, her family, her friends, and (unknowingly) *crushing* on someone. It is a good pick for days when you’re looking for something light and sweet. Check out my full review

🌼 Forgiven by Garrett Leigh

Forgiven is a second-chance romance between two high school lovers who met again in their small town. This book had a lot of potential and it can be a great book for some readers. It was not the perfect pick for me, however, but I still think that I can give the author a thousand more chances and I would love to read the rest of their work.

🌼 I Am Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

This YA contemporary features a girl who is good in math who tries to change her and her friends’ social status through a mathematical formula. This book is quite ridiculous and the characters were such stereotypes despite attempting to smash the concept of stereotypes. My high hopes were a little shattered here.

2 & 1 Star Reads – Books That Disappointed Me

🌼 Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher

This book is about best friends Poppy, Belladonana, and Lily and their relationship with their bestfriend, Raven. Raven is abused by his mom and so they deviced a recipe for the perfect murder. One day, the murder does happen, and the recipe was found in evidence. The question is, who did the killing? The atmosphere was interestng but the book is filled with unnecessary drama and weird plot holes. If I was listening on audio, I would have DNFd this one.

🌼 The Gamer’s Guide To Getting The Girl by Kristine Scarrow

When you give me a book with a premise of a cute nerdy romance, I swear I’ll go crazy. It sounds so cute and fluffy and exactly what I would adore. So, I was so excited to jump into getting this book. This book is not a romance. This is a story about people getting stuck inside the mall and all the adventures they encountered just to get out. Then, the little romance part is so misogynist, sexist, insta-lovey and is written so badly.

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January Reading Stats

One of the things I realized is that I love seeing the numbers at the end of each month. Though reading is not really a contest, seeing these pie charts allow me to analyze my reading behaviors and tweak them to be a little more balanced.

Out of 15 books, I was able to read 4,456 pages – which is quite a big number to start with for the year, and is a cause for celebration!

The month was filled with variations of the Romance genre, with only 2 Mystery/Thrillers breaking the trend. In terms of format, it was an equal spread between ebook, audiobook, and physical book with 5 books each!

I’m trying to color my shelves better, but it is still quite a work in progress. This month was predominantly white, but I’m working to better in future months.

I was super happy to discover 8 new authors this year as well as being able to read 3 books by Filipino authors! I tried to spread out books based on year published, but, I was heavy on 2019 to 2020 picks.

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January Content Creation

If we’re basing it on numerical goals, I was not able to hit my goals of 12 posts both for Booktube and the blog. But, I’m still happy that I got stuff out there. Here are my top 5 picks for both platforms. Feel free to check them out if you are free!

On The Blog

🌼 My 2021 Bookish Resolutions (11 days late but well~)

🌼 Spooking My Way To The New Year: Layla by Colleen Hoover [ spoiler-free book review ]

🌼 Coding, Contests, and Clueless Crushes | The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor [ spoiler-free book review ]

🌼 Lost Royals, Love, and Laughs | A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole [ spoiler-free book review ]

🌼 Forgiven by Garrett Leigh [ blog tour | excerpt ]

On The Booktube Channel

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Let’s talk!

🌼 What is your favorite read for January? I’d love some recommendations!

🌼 What do you think about my picks? Which book would you be interested in trying out?

🌼 What’s your favorite bookish content in January? Would love to check out your posts!

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♡ , Yna the Mood Reader

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3 thoughts on “High Hopes, But Maybe Not Too High? | January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

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