January Recap | 2019

One month down! For blog posts written! And 15 books read! I started out the year by trying to get myself to read more in general. Having no set goal or TBR definitely helped, and even the books that I was interested in trying to get to this month I didn’t worry about finishing or stressing myself out.

I read nine graphic novels, and six standard books. My ratings ranged from three to five stars this month, which was a very promising way to start off of the year.

Saga Volume 1 by Bryan K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – January 7th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 2 – January 10th
★★★★☆

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire – January 9th – 10th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 3 – January 11th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 4 – January 11th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 5 – January 12th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 6 – January 12th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 7 – January 13th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 8 – January 14th
★★★★☆

Saga Volume 9 – January 14th
★★★★★

Final Girls by Riley Sager – January 18th – 19th
★★★☆☆

Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink – January 25th – 27th
★★★★☆

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – January 27th – 28th
★★★★☆

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – January 28th – 29th
★★★★☆

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton- January 30th – 31st
★★★★★

I also wanted to include a few books that I’m eying for next month, so we’ll see if any of these make it to my final list for February.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Circe by Madeline Miller

As always, you can follow my progress outside of my weekly blog posts on Goodreads directly, the link for which is always at the bottom of the page.

-Siobhan

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire | Book Review

★★★★☆
January 9th – 10th, 2019

I read the first three installments in the Wayward Children series towards the beginning of last year. This fourth book is tiny, just as the first three are, and sometimes leaves you wanting more from the stories, just as the first three do. I read the book in the span of a night, since the book is only about 200 pages.

This installment tells the story of Lundy, a small girl who’s often overlooked, and who sometimes likes it that way. In the novella she travels to the Goblin Market, a world based upon logic and rules, with disastrous consequences. Of the four books that have come out in this series, this is probably my second favorite, behind Down Among the Sticks and Bones.

As always, McGuire’s writing is lyrical and absolutely dreamy. I found that I related to this book a lot more than the previous ones, as this character loved logic and reading, which are my two favorite things in life.

My problem with this book was the ending. The whole book had me until the very end, when Lundy makes a choice that breaks the rules, trying to have the best of both of her worlds.

I wasn’t a fan of how rushed this ending was. As with all of McGuire’s books that I’ve read, I was left wanting more. The book is so good at painting a backdrop of worlds and characters, but it lacks the depth of a full length novel, because it isn’t a full length novel.

That being said, I liked this one a lot better than the third book, and will definitely continue on in the series to see what other stories this world has to offer.

-Siobhan

Saga, Vol 5-9 | Series Review

This is actually the second time I’ve written this review. Always save your work, kids.

I didn’t expect myself to get invested in Saga. Three days after finishing volume four, I finished volume nine. And now I have to wait over a year before there are new issues released, let alone a combined volume to read.

The first thing that I have to say about this story is that I’m in it for the characters 100%. I want to know what happens to Hazel. I care about Marko and Alana’s relationship. I like Prince Robot, even though he can be a jerk a lot of the time. I love Hazel’s grandmother. The reporters are two of my favorite characters. Everyone in this story is flawed, and feel real.

The second thing that I have to say is that while the entire story is full of metaphors, they don’t feel over the top to me. It might be because of the format, but it doesn’t feel like I’m constantly being reminded that it’s referencing real life directly.

The end of the latest volume was heartbreaking in more than one way. I agree with other reviews and reactions I’ve seen online to the latest installment. I’m sad that I have to wait so long for a continuation, but it gives me a chance to check out more of both Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples other works.

-Siobhan

Saga, Vol 1-4 | Series Review

To be completely honest, I didn’t think that I’d have anything to talk about this early into the year, but one week in and I’ve read 5 books? Who even am I?

I’ll start this off by saying that I still feel like I’m new to graphic novels. I’ve read some, and the ones that I’ve read I’ve really enjoyed, but it’s not a medium I frequent. I haven’t read Watchmen or a lot of graphic novels that people point to and say “No you have to read that one if you’re going to read any.”

Maybe someday I’ll get to those, but this year I did start out my reading with Saga.

How do I even describe it? I guess at its absolute base it’s a Romeo & Juliet-esque story that takes place in space. Two people from opposite sides of a war fall in love and have a baby. That’s just the basis. There’s a whole slew of characters, each more complex than the last, who are fantastic. They’re really the reason that I keep reading.

To quote a friend of mine, “Saga puts the graphic in graphic novel.” This isn’t for the squeamish or the easily offended. The volumes are violent, sexual, and heartbreaking all at the same time. But you read it for the characters. At least, I do. The development and changes that these people go through are enough to keep me going through the explicit content.

The first four volumes of this epic tale have brought me deep into this world of war, love, drugs, parenting, ghosts, and romance novels. I’m excited and scared to continue the series. I don’t want to be caught up, because then I’ll have to wait for more to come out. At the same time, I need to know what happens. I need to know if The Will is going to be okay. I need to know more about Sophie. I want to see what happens to Marko. These characters have totally hooked me, and the story is just getting started.

New Year, New Reading Goals

It’s here! What we’ve all been waiting for! We weren’t sure that it would ever arrive, but it did, and it’s here! It’s 2019!

It was going to happen anyway, I know, but after the tail end of this year was just as emotionally fun as the first 9 months, I’m glad to be erasing an 8 every time I write the year for the next three months.

Reading wise, I did… okay-ish. I got 42 books read last year, with 11,415 pages. I’ve talked previously about some of my favorites, and I won’t hash all of those out again. For the most part, I loved everything that I read last year. I discovered a lot more non-fiction that I enjoyed, and really settled into the Adult genre as a cozy new home.

I set myself some lofty goals for last year, and I really want to take a look at those quickly to see how I did. My three main goals were:
-Read 50 Books
-Read more adult books
-Unhaul a lot of books

I was 8 books short of that goal, I unhauled over 120 books, and I did read more adult books, so I’d say that mission was accomplished! As for my individual TBR goals, let’s see how I did:
-Outlander (the first one) – Diana Gabaldon (Nope)
-The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson (Nope)
-The Name of the Wind -Patrick Rothfuss (Yes!)
-Eliza and her Monsters -Francesca Zappia (Yes!)
-Meddling Kids – Edgar Cantero (Nope)
-The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (Nope)

2/6 isn’t… great. But it’s also not terrible. The other books that I mentioned in that post last January were Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel, and The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty. I read and loved the former, and the latter actually got pushed back to come out this month, so it’s really more of a 3/7 deal.

But enough about last year, let’s talk about what my goals are for 2019.
-Read 52 books
-Read more non-fiction
-Only purchase books that you know you’ll love

That last one is definitely going to be tricky, but I’m really good at giving myself lofty challenges that I’ll never complete. As for individual books, I’ve taken the ones from last year off the list so I don’t feel pressured. I’m starting with books I’m (hopefully) going to love to start the new year off strong.
-Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
-Shades of Magic (Series) by V.E. Schwab
-Dry by Neal Shusterman
-Circe by Madeline Miller

I’m going to keep the list short and sweet this year, with the goal of (hopefully) completing it. I’m sure more and more will get added to this as the year goes on, and I’m excited to see what the year brings.

Until next time,
-Siobhan