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!
Sled racing, a frozen planet, and wolves? I don’t believe there’s another book out there as perfectly tailored to my wants and needs as Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves. I’ve made it very clear in the past that if the title says “wolves” or “wolf” there is a one hundred percent chance of me reading it and this was no exception. I was so excited for a story about the bond between a wolf and girl, especially one that features sled racing (I mean, I named my husky Balto for crying out loud).
The worldbuilding is definitely the book’s strong point. The author did an amazing job creating a setting that was both believable and imaginative. The vivid descriptions easily bring to mind images of an inhospitable frozen planet and the feel of the sharp sting of cold winds on your face. It was so easy to feel transported into the story while reading. The entirety of the setting of Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves was detailed, well thought out, and excellently written.
I was truly expecting to love everything and anything about this book, but the pacing of the story needed some work. The actual sled race doesn’t happen until well past the halfway mark. The beginning half of the story spent way too long setting up for the events of the second half and I was getting frustrated. I felt like the same plot line was reused multiple times: Sena angers her boss, Sena runs away from her boss, Sena has to go back because she needs something–rinse and repeat until the race begins. My expectations of the story were hoping for a book that spent a majority of time following Sena and Iska during the sled race as they fought for survival in the deadly elements of their world.
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves is a debut that I still highly recommend, despite my personal shortcomings. The worldbuilding and atmosphere of the novel is phenomenally written and who can resist a book about the bond between a wolf and girl and a deadly sled race?
ARC provided by Henry Holt and Co. through NetGalley.
Lakesedge is the latest release in this year’s trend of dark, gothic fantasy stories featuring monster boys and magic. There was a lot to like about this book: the atmospheric setting, the vivid writing, the sibling relationship and found family.
The story follows Violeta, who is fiercely protective of her brother, Arien. Arien is plagued by a dark, dangerous magic that brings nightmares to life and Leta does whatever she can to keep him safe. The bond between them was one of the best parts of the book. The sibling love between them was beautifully written and fit in perfectly with the book’s theme of family–both blood and found. I also really loved the bonds that formed between Leta, Arien, Rowan, Clover, and Florence at Lakesedge. Each of them have their own insecurities and feelings of not belonging, and yet they all fit together.
The writing was strong and did a great job invoking the gothic vibes and atmospheric setting. The magical elements were both intriguing and eerie. I did feel a sense of disconnection with the story, however, which is why I didn’t rate it higher. I wanted to absolutely love this, but it just felt like there was a spark missing.
For a book marketed as a bloodier The Hunger Games, it was really lacking in the maiming and killing.
The premise of All of Us Villains is good. I was captivated by the synopsis and the magical tournament aspect and all that it entails was really intriguing. I kept seeing reviews calling this dark and bloody, but I think we read different books? None of the characters acted ruthless or unapologetically maniacal enough to be considered villains like the title suggests. I also struggled with the multiple POVs, most likely because I wasn’t invested in any of the characters other than Alistair.
The pacing felt off as well. It started out pretty slow and the action doesn’t really pick up until the tournament actually begins…which is almost halfway through the book. Then once the action started, it felt like the pacing and plot were moving too fast.
All in all, I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t this. I love both these authors so I was really disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this.
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.