Hello everyone and welcome to another review of my reading habits this year! Last year was the first year I looked at all my reading stats at the end of the year and I really enjoyed do that, so I decided to do it again. My only and biggest gripe this year was that I was totally on track to reach my goal–I only needed to read THREE books in the entire month of December–but my brain decided to once again have another huge reading slump and I couldn’t even manage that.
I also wanted to break down my reading habits between the first half of the year vs. the second, because I felt like they were totally different. I read way less in the first half, and it felt like I was reading more adult titles and hardly any fantasy books (definitely no fantasy that I liked, at least).
TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ: 97 / 100
PAGES READ: 38,168
LONGEST BOOK: 645 pages
SHORTEST BOOK: 154 pages
AVERAGE RATING: 3.7 stars
MOST READ GENRE: This year it’s a tie between fantasy and contemporary romance, and while I’m not too surprised by those results, I am surprised fantasy was that high of a percentage. I was surprised by the big chunk of erotica, although that can be blamed on #smutok 😂
MOST READ AGE GROUP: A complete difference from years in the past! This is the first year I’ve ever read more adult titles than young adult, and it’s not by a small margin either. In recent years I could feel myself growing away from young adult and now I have the stats to back it up. I still enjoy reading YA books, but I’m honestly much more pickier about which ones I want to read and tend to stick to well beloved authors and series that I’ve already started.
MOST READ FORMATS: Unsurprisingly, I once again read mostly e-books on my Kindle. I got a library card after I moved into my apartment and I’ve been borrowing a lot more books from the library this year. My goal was to read at least 25% of my books with a physical copy but I did not reach that at all…I actually think I read less physical books 🙈
Another huge change in my reading habits from previous years was the number of ARCs I read. My number decreased by half this year! This was because not only was I not requesting as many titles on NetGalley, but in-person book events are really the only way for me to get physical ARCs and since those have been cancelled for the last two years….💁🏻♀️
I’m looking forward to another year of reading some wonderful books and I can’t wait to see how my stats compare at the end of 2022!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a freebie. I’ve always been drawn to covers with bursts of flowers on the cover. I think they’re so pretty. For today’s post, I decided to round up some of my favorite covers with flowers and foliage!
There are so many exciting elements to Iron Widow which made me really excited to read this. First of all, the tag line is Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale loosely based on the first and only female Chinese Emperor. That alone made me immediately add this to my TBR. But also, it features mech pilots, fighting the patriarchy, and a polyamorous relationship.
“My body is mine and mine alone. I have chosen to use it for murder and vengeance. And I will succeed by any means necessary.”
Iron Widow started out strong and quickly hooked me into its story. Zetian can only be described as a badass. She’s hellbent on vengeance and is willing to do whatever she needs to to achieve those goals. She’s unapologetic and incredibly well-written. In fact, the strength of Iron Widow lies in the characters. Xiran Jay Zhao not only did a great job with writing her heroine, but the side characters as well are extremely fleshed out. 10/10 I would lay down my life for Li Shimin.
The plot throughout the book was very fast paced. It worked well for the first half of the story, but by the second half it only caused confusion. My biggest issue was that not much of the worldbuilding and science was not fully explained. Coupled with the fast pace, it felt like a whole lot was happening in the plot, but at the same time I couldn’t follow along.
“Female. That label has never done anything for me except dictate what I can or cannot do.”
I really loved the overall themes of feminism and the protogonist, Zetian. However, my brain started to get fatigued by the end of the book trying to figure out everything that was going on.
I’ve been looking forward to reading Quan’s story for a long time, and while I really enjoyed reading it, there was just something missing that kept it from being a winner. The Heart Principle was more of an emotional read than the previous two, but it still contained the light-hearted, romantic charm of the rest of the series.
Portrait of a Scotsman was not my favorite book in the series, but it was still as fun a read as its predecessors. Evie Dunmore continues to weave a story full of plucky heroines, slow-burn romance, and themes of feminism.
My favorite aspect of this book was the romance (duh). Lucian and Hattie do not start out on good footing, and it really only gets worse before it begins to get better. I’m a sucker for the angst that arrives along with slow-burn and hostility-to-love romances and I was served a wonderful helping of it in Portrait of a Scotsman. I really loved following Lucian and Hattie’s journey together as they begun to understand one another better and deeper feelings developed.