January 2021 | Month in Review

Congratulations, we’ve made it through the first month of the year! I hope your January was good. Mine wasn’t very exciting, but you know what? We all could use some time like that.

I finally got back into writing my regular blog posts again this month (yay!)

I’m also trying something a little different with how I lay out my monthly wrap-up this time, so 1) hopefully it all goes okay, and 2) let me know what you think in the comments!

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Title: Fallen Mountains
Author: Kimi Cunningham Grant
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Paperback
Date Finished: January 4
Rating: 4/5

Kimi Cunningham Grant did a reading from this book at my alma mater a few years back, and I picked up this book then. It’s definitely outside of my usual genre, but I enjoyed reading it. The way the story slowly unwinds reminded me of the TV series Longmire, though this tale is set in my home state of Pennsylvania.

Title: Return of the Thief
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Date Finished: January 7
Rating: 5/5

So waaaaaay back in the fall of 2019 I read the first book in Turner’s series, The Thief and found it very boring. Then a bunch of people on the internet convinced me to continue the series anyway, so I binged the other 5 books in less than a month. Return of the Thief is the conclusion of the story, and an EXCELLENT one at that.

Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Chloe Gong
Genre: Historical fiction/Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Date Finished: January 11
Rating: 5/5

TVD gets the award for being my favorite book of the month! I’m so glad that there’s finally a Romeo and Juliet retelling that focuses less on star-crossed lovers and more on gangs and rivals and crime and monsters, which I think is what Shakespeare would’ve wanted. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s also a historical fantasy set in 1920s Shanghai.

Title: Tunnel of Bones
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Middle Grade/Paranormal Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Date Finished: January 16
Rating: 4/5

My thoughts can basically be summed up as “I miss France.” The second installment in the Cassidy Blake series sees our heroine travel to Paris, where she’s once again faced with restless ghosts. This was a light read for me, but still had a lot to offer.

Title: Code Girls
Author: Liza Mundy
Genre: Nonfiction/History
Format: Audiobook
Date Finished: January 17
Rating: 4/5

I’m just endlessly fascinated with how much of history simply doesn’t get told. I think my favorite thing I learned was that while many of these women code breakers had strong math skills, the government also recruited women with backgrounds in foreign languages, English/literature, history, and other liberal arts-type studies.

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Modern fantasy (??? I have no idea)
Format: Hardcover
Date Finished: January 21
Rating: 5/5

This was January’s “comfort read.” I listened to the entire Raven Cycle last January, but I decided I wanted to read the series again and take my time with it. I loved it even more this time around!

Title: Lore
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Myth/Fantasy (is that a thing?)
Format: Hardcover
Date Finished: January 31
Rating: 4/5

The best way to describe this book is Greek mythology + The Hunger Games. Bracken does an excellent job of writing a “modern myth” that I think reclaims a lot of mythology’s shortcomings while still staying true to the spirit of the original myths, if that makes sense.

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This month’s wrap-up is brought to by Disney+, apparently.

Title: Dash & Lily
Genre: Rom-Com (miniseries)
Rating: 4/5

I don’t typically care for romances or rom-coms, but I needed something light and fluffy to watch, and Dash & Lily was it. Even if it really wasn’t my “thing,” I still had a fun time watching it.

Title: Tangled
Genre: Fairy tale fantasy (Animated film)
Rating: 4/5

I watched this movie a million years ago and vaguely remembered liking it so I thought I’d give it another try. It’s still good! I could pass on the musical elements, but overall I found this to be just as enjoyable and fun as I remembered.

Title: The Mandalorian
Genre: Fantasy Adventure (Western? Anyway, Star Wars is not and never has been sci-fi, but that’s a debate for another day)

I was so overexposed to Baby Yoda memes for the last year and a half that I got kinda turned off to The Mandalorian, but I’ll admit now that I was wrong. This is exactly the kind of Star Wars story I enjoy, and I can’t wait to finish the second season this month.

Title: WandaVision
Genre: Superhero

I went into WandaVision with no expectations and was BLOWN AWAY. This is obviously geared more towards people who have been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a long time, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite shows. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the first season goes.

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The Songs of Supergiant Games is a music collection celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Supergiant Games, who has quickly become one of my favorite game developers over the past year and a half. The album features orchestrated versions of songs from all four of Supergiant’s games (Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and Hades). I can’t wait until my vinyl version arrives!

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I’m playing through Fire Emblem: Three Houses AGAIN already. For those unfamiliar, the game features three main story routes for each of the three “houses” that characters belong to: Black Eagles, Blue Lions, and Golden Deer. I played through the Golden Deer route first, and now I’m playing again with the Black Eagles. Each route has different characters and story elements, and I’m enjoying it just as much as I did the first time (except I don’t think anything can top Golden Deer, sorry not sorry).

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I really can’t think of much of anything that happened this month. I’m terribly sorry. I went back to work in the middle of January after a winter break (and a week of quarantine, but that’s another story — everyone is fine).

This month got SUPER cold, but I did go out for walks in the afternoon on some of the milder days so that I could get out of the house and get some exercise. We also got a pretty major snowstorm that lasted almost two days towards the end of January. It was nice to watch from the comfort of my warm and cozy apartment.

The one big thing that happened this month was that my mom came to visit me for a weekend! We had a good time checking out some of my favorite nearby places and spending time together (and also redecorating my apartment a little bit…)

How was the first month of the year for you? Did you get any extreme weather? Set any goals for yourself? Let’s chat in the comments!

Until next time!

3 thoughts on “January 2021 | Month in Review

  1. Haha Star Wars is 100% fantasy with mild sci-fi elements and nothing can change my mind about that. I’m so glad you started watching The Mandolorian though cause I need someone to analyze the marvelous storytelling and writing with!


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