I didn’t make a resolution to be on time with my blog posts. Though I suppose I should have… 

Although I feel like February was the real start to the new year because January was entirely too long. I mean seriously, we are almost done with February and it feels like it just started. Meanwhile, I felt like I was dragging through the month of January and it would never end. 

How did everyone’s new year go? Was it all glitz and glamour because we are in the roaring ’20s again? Or perhaps you stayed at home in comfy pajamas and watched the ball drop from the comfort of your couch? Either way, I hope it was well spent and you welcomed the new year with a lot of love and light and hope for the future. 

Last year I was super confident with my reading goal and yet at the end of 2019, I just managed to reach it before the ball dropped. There were periods of last year where I lost interest in anything at all and that included reading. I was going through a lot of stress, particularly at work and I let that get to me. Not this year though! One of my resolutions for 2020 is to reduce stress and enjoy life more. Going out into the world and just doing simple things. Allowing myself to have mental health days where I stay within the comfort of my house, and not feeling guilty about it. Reading books because that is how I escape the craziness of the world we are living in. 

So, with all of that being said. I set my reading goal at 80 books again for this year and I started off strong by getting through a total of 6 books in January. Which means I read a total of 1,570 pages and listened to a 14 hour audiobook.

The Wrath of Mulgarath by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi 

Within the first few days of January, I finished the last book in the Spiderwick Chronicles. I really did enjoy this series and it was a quick read for me. If anyone is looking for a great starter series for a young reader, then this would be perfect! The combination of text and illustration help the story move along well. This book was a great ending to the series and everything was tied up neatly. There were a few other books that DiTerlizzi and Black wrote. I’m not sure of the storyline but I would be interested to see what they did. There are also a ton of companion books with this series as well, so make sure to check them out!

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III

I run a kid’s book club at my job and each month we read a different genre. January was the month for historical fiction and I chose In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse. This book follows a young man who’s having a tough time at school. He’s being teased because he doesn’t look like he’s half Lakota. Over the summer his grandfather takes him on a road trip, going to different sites that Lakota leader Crazy Horse went to. At each stop Jimmy’s grandfather explains why the site is important, telling the history of this great leader. This book is a great blend of contemporary and historical fiction and I think it’s a great middle-grade book. 

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds 

I’ve loved every Jason Reynolds book I’ve picked up and this one did not disappoint. Reynolds is able to weave such intricate stories with everyday life. This novel follows routes through ten different blocks, telling ten different stories. Each of the stories are connected to each other in some small or even major way. All of them, of course, ending with a bus falling from the sky.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

YOU GUYS. This book was so deliciously good! The premise, of course, intrigued me to pick it up, but the storyline is what kept me pulled in. Mahurin weaved a unique view of witches that I’ve never seen before, including the witch hunters. I mean obviously I’ve heard of witch hunters before, but this was the first time I’ve read a book where the history of the witches and their hunters were entwined together. Also, the witches in this book have to give something back to the magic that they use. Which is something I’ve always thought about! I mean you can’t just have access to unlimited power without some checks and balances, right? The author also makes mention of different types of witches, which made me want to know more about the world. This book ended with a pleasant solution but also intrigue for the second book.

Ashes to Fire and Creatures of Light

by Emily B. Martin

Over the summer of 2019, I read Woodwalker and I loved it! But I wasn’t able to get to the rest of the books in the series until January. I regret not reading them earlier! These were such great stories in addition to Mae’s. Ashes to Fire follows Mona as she tries to rebuild her country after taking it back. However, things don’t go as planned and Mona finds herself in the hands of a resistance. Against the same people that took over Lumen Lake. She finds herself outside of her element, but of course, the headstrong queen is able to adjust. And perhaps even fall in love? 🙂 Creatures of Light picks up right after Ashes to Fire ends, so I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But I will say that it follows Queen Gemma of Alcoro. Creatures was a great ending to the series and honestly, I cried a little at the end. If you’ve never had a warm fuzzy feeling from a book then you haven’t been reading the right books! The best thing? Emily B. Martin is writing another series set in the same land and with faces that might be a little familiar. The new series comes out at the end of May, so make sure you catch up on the Creatures of Light series before picking up Sunshield!

That’s all until next time! Hopefully, I will have the post about February’s book up in a decent amount of time! 

Best Always, 

Alyssa