Monthly Review! January

January Totals

This month was really good for reading for me. What about you guys? Did you read anything good this month? I mostly read a bunch of manga because we got a ton of new stuff in at the library! I was really excited to check out some new series that I had never heard of before and a few other volumes as well. Now onto the books!

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Beastars volume 1

First up we have Beastars volume one by Paru Itagaki. I had heard a little bit about this series before I started reading it but I only really knew a rough idea of the plot. In this manga, high schoolers are divided into predator and prey. After a gruesome murder of one of the Herbivore students, tensions are high. Can the fragile friendships that they students have established survive such a horrendous crime?

This is a really interesting concept for a high school hierarchy type book and I very much enjoyed the first volume. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and I’m also looking forward to finding out who killed the Herbivore student. One of the things that I thought was very interesting for this book was the artwork. I’m very used to a certain type of art style when I read manga and this one had a much different style. I wasn’t sure by the cover if I was going to like the style or not but I really liked the description of the book so I decided to give it a shot. I actually really ended up loving the art style though. I loved how there was a lot of use of negative space, especially in certain scenes where the MC is struggling with his instincts. It really makes you focus on his struggle and nothing else.

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Magus of the Library

The next manga that I really enjoyed was Magus of the Library vol. 1 by Mitsu Izumi. As someone who works at a library I really enjoyed reading this manga. I can’t wait to read more volumes of this and see where the story goes! Some of the quotes from this book are just so good! My favorite is, “Books have the ability to completely change your life. To change anyone’s life. It’s an incredible power.” There are a bunch more peppered throughout the book and they are equally as good.

This series is about a boy who lives in the slums of a little backwater type town who loves to read. His sister works from sun up to sun down to provide enough money so that her little brother can go to school. He loves to read and learn but because he lives in the slums he isn’t allowed to use the town library. That all changes when a few librarians from the Great Library come to his town on the search for a book.

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The Language of Thorns

The last book that I read I actually started back in December but I just finally finished it up. It is The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Sara Kipin. This book is a collect of six short stories that range from creepy to down right sad. Personally my favorites were The Witch of Duva (the third story) and When Water Sang Fire (the last story). But all of the stories were very good. If you are a fan of Grimm’s Fairytales or similar stories then I think this one will be perfect for you.

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The Midwinter Witch

One of my favorite graphic novel series released the conclusion to it’s already wonderful collection. I’m of course talking about The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag which is the third and final book in the Witch Boy trilogy by the same author. This last book is about Aster, Ariel, and a big family reunion where they have a competition to become the Midwinter Witch. Can Ariel overcome her mistrust of Aster and his family or will she end up running away from everything that she knows? You’ll have to read it and find out!

I really loved this last book in the trilogy. I’m so sad that this is the conclusion to the series. I honestly thought after I read this that there would be more books because it just seemed like there was so much more that they could expand on in this universe. But I really enjoyed this volume and it was a very good conclusion to the trilogy.

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Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Another manga that I read this month and really enjoyed was Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San by Honda. This manga is about Honda, who focuses on selling comics at a Japanese bookstore. This was a really great first volume. I loved learning about how Japanese book stores manage all the manga and comic books that they stock and how all the extras and inserts work. Also, as someone who was in retail for over ten years (and then customer service) I 100% get some of the situations in this manga. I have definitely been yelled at for something out of my control such as being sold out of a specific product and I have had to deal with the dreaded customer service training before as well (that part was hilarious to me). If you’ve ever had a job where you have to deal with the public then I think you will really enjoy the stories in this manga.

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Fake It Till You Break Up

The next book that I read and actually really, really enjoyed is called Fake It, Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen. Now this YA book had everything that I love: enemies to lovers, fake dating, friendship that turns into something more ect. If you are a fan of any of these tropes then you will absolutely love this book. This one is about Jake and Mia. Two lifelong neighbors who’s moms have been trying to get them together for almost all of their lives. Mia and Jake hate each other though. They can’t stand always being forced together at every turn. so they decide to trick their moms into thinking that they’re dating to get them off of their backs once and for all. They figure, they can date for a few weeks, have an epic break up, and then never have to worry about being forced together again. They didn’t count on actually maybe falling for each other though. Can they put all their bickering behind them and be happy together or will all of their history make that impossible?

I really, really liked this book you guys! It is SO flippin cute and I love Mia. I identify with her sarcastic and meddling ways. I loved the relationship between Mia and Jake. It actually seemed like a real relationship between two real people. It wasn’t super sappy or anything like that. They bickered and had fights but they talked it out and got past it. If you are a fan (like me) of the enemies to lover trope then I think this one would be right up your alley. It is definitely a romance so keep that in mind as well. I really hope you guys check this one out!

That is it for this month! I hope you all had a great January and I really am looking forward to talking to you in the comments! Please leave me some recommendations if there is anything that you really enjoyed reading lately, I would love to hear your book recs!

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4 thoughts on “Monthly Review! January

  1. I have had to work so much this week, I have read very little, except posts from bloggers on WordPress and medical training booklets.
    I am looking forward to my schedule settling down a bit.

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    1. I went through a pretty bad reading slump a few years ago and the thing that really got me out of it was just finding things that I wanted to read about and not caring what other people said about it. I actually met and befriended my local children’s librarian and she really turned me onto manga, comic books, and graphic novels. Another thing that I finally learned to accept is to not finish a book if I’m not enjoying it. It’s really hard for me to put down a put once I’ve started it but if you’re not enjoying it then don’t waste your time! There are so many great books out there. As for the distractions: I like to read with music going. My brain can’t handle the silence so I need something in the background for noise. But if you need silence I would recommend some noise cancelling headphones! There’s some pretty good ones out there that aren’t that expensive. Or you can get earplugs from CVS/Walgreens for like five bucks! Those work great too. Happy reading!!

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