For many of us it still feels as if March 2020 is still going. That is when the COVID lockdowns began, social distancing measures were put into place, and the common person began looking at the weekly food shop wondering if it was safe. I for one embraced curbside pickup for everything from bread and milk, cat food from the pet store, and arts and crafts projects from the craft store to keep my child entertained. Maybe once this big pause on our lives lifts we can all mentally move on from March 2020 because as of right now I think that month that turned into year will be burned into our brains forever.
Despite how it feels, I promise you that January – March of 2021 has occurred and with it came a lot of wonderful new books, fun reads, and general joy in the bookish world. I personally have read more books in the first few months of this year than any other months in my reading life and most of them have been good! Let’s take a look back at the 1st quarter of 2021 at my reading here at Literary Weaponry.
This is actually the first time I have done a quarterly wrap up so with time the format will likely change but lets give it a go and see what happens.
You’ve read how many books?!
When I tell you I’ve read more books per month so far this year than any other time in my life I’m not lying. Up until 2021 I would average around 4-5 books a month and that is a respectable number. 4-5 a month is enough to get me to my consistent yearly reading goal of 52 books. I don’t know what has happened in 2021 but…here we are.
At 35 books total in January – March I consider my reading so far this year to be an absolute success.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and yammer at you about all 35 of those books. Instead I have picked out a few of my favorites to highlight.
The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon – The Bone Season is one of my favorite series and The Mask Falling may be the strongest book in the series yet. Shannon really focused on Paige in this installment. Her growth, her pain, and her goals were in focus while the ending absolutely ripped my heart out and ground it into the dirt. I cannot fault the decisions that lead to that point even though it sure hurt. This book is well written, has a good flow, and does a lot of subtle set up for the continuation of the series. I can’t wait to read more but I feel like it will likely be a while.
Malice by Heather Walter – I read this as an ARC and, folks, it blew me away. From page one I was completely invested in the story and the characters. Now, this is a retelling/origin story for the character Maleficent or, as she is named in this book, Alyce. Of course we know how Maleficent’s story ends and the villain she becomes but how does she get there? By breaking our hearts, that’s how. Obviously while reading this I knew where the character ultimately ends up but her path to getting there was engrossing and I could not look away.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – So, like many other people, with the upcoming Shadow and Bone show I decided to read (or reread) some of Bardugo’s Grishaverse books. Now, I had read Six of Crows back in 2017 and, honestly, I didn’t like it. However, I decided to reread it so I would have a good grasp on the characters and ended up adoring it this time around! I flew through both books and thoroughly enjoyed myself with both.
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – This book was nothing like what I expected but everything that I needed. Heres the thing, if I just read the synopsis for Ernshaw’s books they really don’t sound like my cup of tea but I have read both of her books so far and absolutely adored them both. Winterwood is a such a beautiful story of a young woman coming to accept who she is and embrace her family’s past and her future all set within a ghost story. If you go into this read expecting a ghost story and some big mystery I think you’d be disappointed but if you look at it as a type of coming of age book that happens to be set within a ghost story you’ll be just as blown away as I was.
Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles – I feel like I can start all four of these with “what even was this shit?” Sigh. Anyway, Where Dreams Descend was released in 2020 to much hype and fanfare. In the lead up to release you couldn’t open bookish social media or sites without it smacking you in the face. So, when I read it back in January, I assumed I would at least enjoy it a little bit. Oh how wrong I was. The “big bad” was a…mirror? I’m still not sure about that. The supposed romance was a joke, the main character is a selfish and single minded, childish, shallow idiot, and don’t even get me started on what was supposed to be the magical competition in this book. It was all a joke and I can’t believe I wasted my time.
A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas – I…I just…I was so let down. I was PUMPED to read this book. I loved the first three ACOTAR books and was excited to see more of Nesta’s story. But this book was a massive let down. Apparently you can only be a strong female in a girl power gang if you have been physically and emotionally damaged. Oh, also Rhys has become a domineering prick who needs a good old southern come to Jesus moment from an angry grandma. This has been my biggest disappointment so far this year and I honestly don’t think that will change by the end of the year.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – Oh, hello yet another book beloved by the community in general. Since its release in 2019, January has had a solid and enthusiastic fan base and one of my goals for 2021 was to read this book. Well, I did and I kind of wish I hadn’t. This story was an absolutely chore to read and I had to force myself to pick it up and keep reading. This family centered book was about as interesting as stale bread. It could have been about 100 pages shorter, made into more of a novella, and maybe it could have been more interesting but as is it is just a bore.
Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) by Amanda Foody – After reading the second book in this trilogy, King of Fools, I was itching for more! When my hold for Queen of Volts finally came into the library I jumped right in…and promptly wanted to jump back out. This book is just a bunch of children with grudges pretending they are powerful and important when really they just need a stern talking to and perhaps a good meal and a nap. So much unnecessary drama, juvenile vendettas, and so much dialogue it became hard to read. Massive disappointment and what a terrible end to what could have been a great trilogy.
Overall, I’m fairly pleased with how my reading has gone so far in 2021. I’m very much aware that I cannot keep up with the 10+ books a month I have been reading but it was fun while it lasted. Every year I hit a summer time reading slump and I don’t see why this year will be any different.
I hope you all are having a fantastic year. Happy reading!