Another month, another completely unplanned hiatus. Whoops.
Okay, so here’s the thing: I actually had every intention of being super active this month. True story. I had a whole lot of reviews lined up, a post about my summer reading plans and some fresh new content. And then, life got in the way. You know, as it does.
Anyway, after a suffering through a post lockdown burn-out and an exhausting Christmas period in retail, January came at me fast and, if I’m being honest, I really struggled with staying motivated.
Here’s what I got up to this month…
With my parents visiting from interstate, I rang in the New Year with an intimate Gatsby themed party. It ended up being just the four of us [because, you know, COVID19 is still a thing] but that didn’t stop us from having an amazing night. There was plenty of French Champagne, some seriously questionable karaoke and mum ended up tripping over our Christmas lights and kissing the pavement at midnight.
January 3rd marked my twenty-fourth birthday and I had a quiet one at home, relaxing on the alfresco with wine, cheese and a roaring game of Cards Against Humanity [apologies to the neighbors]. Considering this year was a little more low key I was spoiled rotten and it actually ended up being one of the best birthdays ever. My work wife even surprised me with gourmet cupcakes. YUM!
After my parents left, I kept busy with movie days and an impromptu, very late game night with my friends. We played charades until the early hours of the morning – I have no idea who actually won.
The highlight of the month though was definitely a spontaneous day-trip to the rural spa town of Daylesford. With it’s natural mineral springs and rich, artistic culture, Daylesford is the wellness capital of Victoria. After a beautiful, winding drive through pastures and woodland we spent the morning wandering the boutiques and op-shops before heading to the Amazing Mill Markets.
The Mill Markets are basically this massive warehouse of stalls which specialize in selling vintage décor, retro collectibles and thousands of antiques. You can honestly just meander around for hours. There’s even a massive gorilla out the front [I call King Kong] because why not? We left with an armful of second-hand books and some Queen Anne bone china to add to our growing collections.
But the award for most anxiety inducing moment was having a spot removed from my back. This was actually the incident that threw a wet blanket on my motivation. Not only was it a super painful and confronting experience but I was pretty much a wreck while I waited for my results. Thankfully said results came back clear but I’m still wading through the influx of anxiety. On the bright side, I guess I have a badass scar?
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Adult > Historical Fiction | ★★★★½ |
Holy freaking shit – Ya’ll were right, okay? Daisy Jones & The Six was amazing. You can all say “I told you so” because, let’s face it, you told me so. Daisy Jones & The Six is a raw, emotional journey documenting the rise and fall of a fictional rock band. Told entirely in interview snippets and set during the heat of the 70’s music scene, this book will transport you to a bygone era of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren | Adult > Romance |★★★½☆ | The Unhoneymooners was recommended to me by my bookish bestie, Octavia [be sure to check out her reviews over at Mermaid Reads] and while I loved it, I didn’t love it as much as I did The Hating Game. #sorrynotsorry. I just felt that it lacked the steam Sally Thorne is known for. That being said, the whole idea of arch nemeses posing as newly-weds on a honeymoon is so much fun. Also, A+ for the family dynamics.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | YA > Urban Fantasy |★★★★☆| I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this series but Daughter of Smoke and Bone was definitely my favorite. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a modern, urban fantasy spanning cultures and worlds. Much like Strange the Dreamer, its complex and multilayered with a dream-like quality. The narrative is shrouded in a thick veil of mystery and the conflict reveals itself gradually.
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor | YA > Urban Fantasy |★★★☆☆| Honestly, I had to check to make sure I was reading the right book because Days of Blood and Starlight was completely different to Daughter of Smoke and Bone… And not in a good way. The whimsical, urban fantasy setting gave way to a very graphic depiction of war and genocide. The tone was bleak, the pacing choppy and the romance was completely pushed aside. Basically, Mik and Zuzana’s comic relief saved this book.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor | YA > Urban Fantasy |★★★½☆| Honestly, I was actually relieved to reach the end of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. This series was epic in scope and the world was just so beautifully crafted but I felt that the pacing throughout was constantly choppy. I would go days where I could barely force myself to turn the page and other’s where I couldn’t tear myself away. Basically, Daughter of Smoke and Bone isn’t as polished as Strange the Dreamer and that’s the tea.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale | Middle Grade > Fantasy |★★★★☆| Okay, yes The Goose Girl is technically middle grade but honestly, I still love this book. It’s a timeless and comforting retelling but what I love most is the fact that our heroine, Anidori is not your typical princess. Anidori does not command the room. She is very much intimidated by the crown and the weight of her duty as Crown Princess. But she has this quiet strength about her and it’s the journey that she takes that inspires.
A real solid effort, am I right?
Looking back, I’ve realized that it’s completely okay to have survived 2020 and have reached this point. It’s okay to not be productive right now. That being said, I’m trying to be a little better with posting in February.
As for my reading plans, I’m continuing with my summer reading list [even if I still haven’t posted said list yet]. I’m starting off the month with The Geography of Lost Things and Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe. I love a summery romance so I have high hopes for these contemporaries. I’m also planning on re-reading Journey to the River Sea because the lush Amazonian setting is just what I need right now. And of course, you can bet that I’ll be reading A Court of Silver Flames the minuet it drops in stores.
As for posting? I still have so much to catch up on from January. You can expect that summer reading list I keep teasing as well as the 2020 Reading by Starlight Awards [let’s not even talk about how overdue that one is]. I’ve also got a Daughter of Smoke and Bone review headed your way so be on the lookout for that.
I hope you all had a productive month – or at the very least, a little more productive than mine. Let me know what you got up to in the comments below – until next time my friends. x