Books I Read in January

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This post is sponsored by Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz, authors of Of Wicked Blood – thanks, both!

Title: Of Wicked Blood

Authors: Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz

Age range/Genre: YA/adult crossover paranormal romance

Release Date: Out Now

Goodreads

Buy on Amazon (Currently $2.99 reduced price until Feb 10th

NO REST FOR THE WICKED . . . OR THE CURSED.

SLATE

I didn’t mean to steal the Bloodstone from the De Morel’s crypt.

Scratch that, I did mean to steal it.

Until I realized it was a curse-magnet that only comes off if I, along with a jolly trio, successfully defeat four curses.

If any of us fail, I’m dead.

I’ve never been a glass half-empty sort of person, but my glass looks in dire need of a refill right about now.

The only highlight of this wicked treasure hunt: feisty, entitled Cadence de Morel.

CADENCE

I was raised on tales of magic, in a small town reputed to be the birthplace of French witchcraft.

Did I believe all the stories I heard?

Absolutely not. I mean, if magic existed, Maman wouldn’t have died, and Papa wouldn’t be stuck in a wheelchair, right?

Wrong.

The night Slate Ardoin waltzes into my life, wearing a ring he stole from my mother’s grave, I call him a monster.

But then I meet real ones, and Slate, well . . . he becomes something else to me.

Something frustrating to live with but impossible to live without.

Something I will fight for, no matter the cost.

*Warning: profuse cursing (and not just the magical kind).

*Intended for readers 16 and up.

Okay, I’m planning on doing a monthly recap. I’m not going to repeat myself too much. So, I’ll link to posts where I’ve talked about books already in some cases. However, I wanted to make sure I shared my thoughts on some books that haven’t been mentioned yet!
Full list below. Also, most of these were library books, with a couple I bought. Big thanks, though, to Erewhon Books and Oni Press for Netgalley approvals. (For Rise of the Red Hand, and Quincredible v1, respectively.)

 

List of all books read

Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler, Spencer Hill (my only reread)
The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke, Erewhon Books
Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma, Amulet
Quincredible v1 by Rodney Barnes, Oni Press
Gloves Off by Louisa Reid, Guppy Books
Rise of the Red Hand by Olivia Chadha, Erewhon Books
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, illustrated by Rovina Cai, Levine Querido
It Came From The Sky by Chelsea Sedoti, Sourcebooks Fire
Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran, O’Brien Press
Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz, Page Street Kids

As mentioned above, a lot of these were covered in earlier posts on the blog. Queen of Coin and Whispers and Under The Lights are both in my logo illustration. To see what I thought of them, check out this postSimilarly, I talked about Gloves Off towards the end of this post in my Best of the Decade feature. The Scapegracers, Elatsoe and Blazewrath Games are all included in my list of potential Lodestar nominees. Finally, Rise of the Red Hand was included in my February 2021 North American publishers preview.

So, that leaves three books – thoughts on them below!

Against her parents’ orders never to visit Beijing, Chinese-American actress Gemma Huang heads over there to film a lead role in an M Butterfly update. She’s expecting China to be very different from what she’s used to. However the culture shock is nothing compared to the surprise of realising she’s virtually identical to a famous socialite. As the two connect, they find out there’s a secret in their past which they didn’t know about.

This was a fun read which brought Beijing vividly to life. The growing relationships between Gemma and the friends she makes were well done, as was her struggle to push for script changes in the film. Tonally, I struggled a tiny bit with some of the reveals seeming slightly out of place for what’s generally a pretty light book. Despite this, I enjoyed it a lot and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Gorgeously illustrated superhero story with lots of heart and a great storyline about the tensions rising in New Orleans as a manipulative villain tries to take advantage of people’s frustrations with the government response to tragedy. I really liked this; it juggles superheroics with community organisation and social commentary and does an excellent job of it. Looking forward to more of Quin’s adventures.

Gideon and his prank-loving older brother try to fool their town into thinking aliens have visited them. Things go hilariously wrong, with many people having their own reasons for getting involved in the hoax.

A super-fun read, with a hilarious cast. Gideon is a wonderful narrator despite being pretty insufferable. Add in a ‘secret’ boyfriend who Gideon isn’t ready to reveal to his family, parents who are misguided in their attempts to get their kids to take responsibility for their actions, and a range of people either fooled or playing along for their own interests, and you have a fabulous variety of great characters. In addition, the way Sedoti uses a variety of documents – text messages, blog posts, interview transcripts and others – to drive the narrative really enhanced the story for me.

Favourite book of the month was really hard to choose. Scapegracers just edges it, though. It’s SO incredibly atmospheric and the central coven are all such fabulous characters! What did you read in January? What was your favourite book? If you’re a blogger, bookstagrammer or booktuber and have done your own round-up, leave me a comment with a link!

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