Ahhhhh! OMG, my friends, it feels so good to be doing a “What I Read” in a month post. I love hearing about the books that other people are reading – big into BookTube these days – and I love the opportunity to do the same for you all. Just a quick housekeeping note: for these posts, I plan to stick to the quick one or two lines about my thoughts on each book thing. I will do longer reviews for any newer release books (or ARCs because… yes! I get ARCs now!). Your time is precious, I’ll keep it short, sweet and organized. And so, that said, let’s get right into What I Read in January 2023.
Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun
Kiss Her Once For Me was a big, highly anticipated new book and I finally got my library copy at the perfect time (New Year’s Day is when I started reading it, in fact). It was a quick fun read, but maybe not my favourite? The main characters talk a lot about talking, but they never actually talk about things… maybe because this is one of those plots that would be easily resolved if the characters actually communicated about the issue? That said, the point of rom coms isn’t to have revolutionary plots. The book is cute, sapphic, and full of representation. Pick it up next holiday season.
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
This one I liked. And identified with. One to Watch is about Bea, a plus-size fashion blogger who becomes (essentially) The Bachelorette and learns and grows along the way. As you do. Look, sometimes we think we have it super together and we’re super confident, and then we find out that we have a little bit more work to do. Plus, there’s a fun use of media (chat logs, blog posts, twitter) to break up the sections of the book, which I appreciated.
Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
I think Icebreaker is about to pop off. It was on Kindle Unlimited when I read it and it’s now available at Indigo! (I think booktok happened, though I never saw it on there.) Look… don’t get me wrong. This book has about half a plot and lots of sex. It’s essentially the novel version of your favourite insanejournal-based rpg from the mid-2010s. I enjoyed it, I’ll probably read more books in the series when they come out, but it’s basically cotton candy.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
I’m very into fairytale retellings, because my brain likes familiar things even if they are problematic, and A Curse So Dark and Lonely is Beauty and the Beast. With a heroine from our world (not Fantasy!World) who has cerebral palsy. And a brother that she wants to get back to. And no talking furniture. I requested the second and third books in the series while I was still reading this one.
Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
I must be honest – I liked Hook, Line, and Sinker more than It Happened One Summer. Sure, it wasn’t quite as spicy, but I was super into the Fox and Hannah romance. Sure, it’s a tiny girl-big blue collar man romance and the plot could be solved by talking… but the reason they don’t talk is because they are both trying to figure things out about themselves. And I love that it ends with a compromise that uplifts both characters instead of one of them changing themselves for the other.
Book of Night by Holly Black
Oof. I have a confession to make. I enjoyed Book of Night while I was reading it (it’s urban fantasy with a messy heroine, right in my wheelhouse), but I can’t actually remember much about it right now. There are some books where I have super strong memories of where I was when I was reading them and with this one I’ve got nothing. That said, if you’re a fan of The Dresden Files or October Daye, you should go for this one.
Backpacking Through Bedlam by Seanan McGuire
Please. I’m a Seanan McGuire fan girl, you know I loved Backpacking Through Bedlam. I’ll do a full review closer to the release date. Because I got to read this early! Because it was an ARC! This book tackles Alice and Thomas’ return to the “real world” after her 50 year journey to return him. Of course, since these are the Prices, it can’t go smoothly. This is the book you expect it to be, haha.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Book Lovers is really cute. It’s a little bit predictable, a typical “big city folks in a small town” romance, but the characters are compelling. And I’ve read a loooot of rom-coms that were a lost less rom or com than this one, so it’s worth the read. Just don’t build it up too much in your head like I did.