My January Reads

A little late, but I wanted to talk a bit about the books I read last month. I’ll only mention the books I finished this month, since there are two which I started but haven’t finished yet before the start of February.

There was much to love in my January reads. I will start with the books I enjoyed but which didn’t make it to my top 3.

An image of a woman reading a book on a sofa in front of a bookcase, with below a black bar with text saying: “Elisa Winther’s Reading List. All my reading goals, favourite tropes, and best books of the year.”

As I was trying to write an enemies to lovers romance myself, I figured I’d do some research and read some of the popular works with the trope. Scribd has a great assortment in books and I love how many audiobooks are available there. It’s like the Netflix for books. You pay a monthly fee to read everything they have available. They have ebooks, audiobooks, documents, music sheets and magazines. If you’re interested, you can sign up here.

Serpent & Dove

by Shelby Mahurin 

This dark fantasy was promoted as YA, but this is one of those books which made more sense as a NA. It was a gritty book with a feisty heroine and an enemies to lovers romance. I didn’t really like how the pacing as handled in this though, and the romance progressed a little haphazardly for me, but it had some really nice moments. I liked how the witchcraft was handled and the worldbuilding reminded me a bit for the mages and Templars situation in Dragon Age, though the magic was different.

I’d recommend this one to lovers of the enemies to lovers trope and fantasy readers who like the styles of YA but with a mature story.

Audiobook available on Scribd.

Gideon the ninth

by Tamsyn Muir

Another enemies to lovers book in a mix of horror, fantasy and science fiction. This one felt as YA as it was promoted despite the darker parts of it. It’s the “gays in space” book with necromancy and swordfights. It painted some really cool pictures while read. I’d have liked some more worldbuilding in this though. It felt neglected in that area. I liked the idea more than the execution, but I get the appeal.

I’d recommend this to those looking for dark Sapphic SSF books who like strong and sassy character voices.

Audiobook available on Scribd.

A knight to remember

by Ceillie Simkiss

This was such a nice and fluffy book. It’s plot really meandered a lot, but if you’re a character-focused reader and lover of slow/quiet books, you’ll love it. It’s deliciously queer and it’s a short book.

I do wish the cover hadn’t been a whitewashed version of one of the MCs though. So many descriptions of them being brown-skinned while they’re white on the cover.

I’d recommend this to people who love slow and quiet books and people looking for (gender)queer characters.

Indie pubbed!

Now for my top 3 for January!

#3: Boku No Hero Academia

by Kohei Horikoshi

This is one of my favourite shounen mangas/animes. Deku’s a great protagonist and a step away from the usual same protagonist we get shoved down our throat. Definitely a fave together with Kimetsu No Yaiba’s Tanjiro. The fights, the drama, there’s much to love here.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves superheroes and shounen manga/anime.

#2: Being hospitable

by Meka James

This was adorable. A short read with friends to lovers trope with black girls finding love. I loved these characters, especially the main character. It was really nice to see black Sapphic romance handled so well and ownvoices to boot.

I’d recommend this to lovers of steamy romance who don’t mind a little kink.

#1: A muse of fire

by Heidi Heilig

The book I enjoyed the most last January. The worldbuilding was great, I loved the magic system and the story was engaging. The characters were well handled and I loved that this had a biracial LI. This book was so artful and gorgeous. Great fantasy YA.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves YA fantasy and who doesn’t mind the romantic element.

Audiobook available on Scribd.

What about you? What books did you love reading last January? Bonus points for indie books!

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