Hello, friends, it’s me, Lila, and I’m back with another monthly wrap-up! Cliché as it is, I can’t believe we’re already a whole month into 2018! Time’s a-flyin’, isn’t it? January was a month during which I mostly relaxed and rested. It was a great start to the new year in terms of my bookish life, though, because I sped through four books! I know that for most people in the bookish community that’s not a lot, but consider the fact that for the majority of 2017, I didn’t read more than two books per month. And not only did I read four whole books in January, but I also liked every single one of them! So I’d say that 2018 is shaping up to be one epic bookish year! (fingers crossed) But anyhoo, I don’t want to keep y’all stuck in the intro, let’s get to the good stuff…
Not much went on in January here on Hardcover Haven, at least in terms of blog changes. A few features were reintroduced, but aside from that, there’s not really any business to report.
- Lila celebrated the grand [re]opening of The Book Theme Meme
- Lila reviewed Everless by Sara Holland
- The Book Theme Meme: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao [Lila]
- Lila reflected on some life lessons she’s learned from blogging
- Lila reviewed The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
- Lila made her first ever bookish podcast!
- Around The World in 80 Pages: Daevabad (The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty) [Lila]
- Lila accepted The Unique Blogger Award
Reading Wrap-Up + Mini Reviews
Everless by Sara Holland ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Admittedly, Everless had some technical bumps in the road but it was also really fun and for that reason I really enjoyed it! The world of Everless was really unique and well-built, but the plot lacked originality. That being said, with the way the ending left off, I think there’s a lot of room for growth and development of the plot in book two. I definitely want to see what happens next, so here’s hoping I won’t be disappointed.
The Bird And The Sword by Amy Harmon ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
I absolutely fell completely in love with this magical story! It was full of romance and magic and mystery and it was just so wonderful! I loved everything about The Bird And The Sword and I enjoyed it so much that I immediately began the companion/sequel the day after I finished the first book. If you’re a fan of high fantasy, romance, and lyrical writing, then definitely consider picking up this one.
The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon ⭐⭐⭐.5
I enjoyed this book, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed The Bird and the Sword. I didn’t connect well with Kjell and Sasha and the plot wasn’t really too gripping. There wasn’t much more to this one than the romance, which felt kinda mediocre, in my opinion. I mean, I liked the book, I just feel like it did’t really stand out from the crowd. The other thing is that the way that Kjell thought about and treated Sasha kinda bugged me. He had a habit of being “protective” to the point of being overbearing, possessive, and demanding and it just really rubbed me the wrong way. All in all, I enjoyed The Queen and the Cure, but also left it feeling slightly disappointed with it.
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This action-packed, intrigue-filled dystopian western was one heck of a massively fun wild ride! I loved Gunslinger Girl so much–it might even be a new fave! Now, I will say that I had to knock off a star for the fact that I felt like the climax employed coincidence/deus ex machina way too much, but other than that? Perfection. If you’re looking for a fun read to fill your time, this one’s a sure bet!
RECEIVED FOR REVIEW
Publishers were basically like my fairy godmothers in January because I was granted DRCs of so many titles that I’ve really been anticipating!
OF WONDERLAND BOOK CLUB PICK
(THEME: ADVENTURES & JOURNEYS)
In January I started watching Black Lightning (which premiered on the CW in January of 2018) and wow. I immediately fell in love with the series. Black Lightning follows a Black man who is a high school principal and family man by day and a superhero by night and his two daughters, who seem to be developing powers of their own. I love how this show stars an almost exclusively Black cast and also takes on issues of race in America in a head on way, not shying away from discussing anything flat out in the open. As a Black woman myself, it makes me so proud to see people like me celebrated and to see my culture represented in a positive light. Plus, the show has your typical fun superhero shenanigans that I adore! Absolutely everything about Black Lightning is superb and I highly recommend it!
Friends. I have made a glorious discovery. I have discovered…NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade “Budapest.” I loved my old lipgloss, but this one (or rather, this “lip cream”) is basically a dream come true! It’s the perfect shade for both day and night, it’s light, it’s super soft and doesn’t dry out my lips, and it lasts all day without coming off! Plus, I love that NYX has a variety of shades, many of which work for women of color! If you’re looking for some color for your lips, I 100% recommend this one!
Around The Booknet
- Mish tackled how she struggles to find her place in the changing dynamics of the book blogging community
- Krysta discussed six blogging “failures” that have happened on Pages Unbound
- Stephanie gave us 10 reasons to read whatever you want
- Melanie explored the importance of reading
- Shanah wondered if we need to apologize for not liking a book
- Savannah talked about why promoting diverse books is important
- Analee pondered feeling like the pressure to produce “quality” content and also showed us several bullet journal spreads for book bloggers
- Marie took on blog hopping and how you can do it, as well as why you should
- Ali examined the pros and cons of the Goodreads Challenge
- Briana told us four ways to show love to book bloggers and also hypothesized what book blogging trends we’ll see in 2018
- Ali looked at ways to know you’re not loving your current read
- Sarah J. Maas revealed the cover of A Court of Frost And Starlight
- Kerri Maniscalco’s Escaping Houdini, the fourth and final book in the Stalking Jack The Ripper series, also had a cover reveal
- It was announced that Balzar + Bray has bought Black Enough: Stories of Black Teenhood, a YA anthology edited by Ibi Zoboi
My life was pretty relaxed in January. There’s not much to report. I did go to the launch party of Sarah Glenn Marsh’s Reign of the Fallen with my best friend and I had a great time there! Other than that, though, nothing too exciting happened.