January 2023 Wrap Up: A Tough Start To The Year

Hey honeybees! I’ve been absent since the beginning of the year because of seasonal depression, the beginning of winter quarter, and health issues that have made blogging, reading, and plain ol’ living just very difficult.

I’m surprised I read so much–all things considered–but I’m not surprised that most of my reads were pretty meh. Maybe it was my mood but I really wasn’t picking up great books, I think. I thought I was going with my gut but maybe my gut was off due to my poor mood and mental state.

Books Read


They’re Watching You by Chelsea Ichaso

This was my first read of the year and one of my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2023 and while it was certainly entertaining, I found myself wanting more from it. The plot was complex and fast paced but it was a bit juvenile for me in the end. I wanted to connect to the characters and the story more, but it felt a little watered down at times.


Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

I listened to this on audio and the narrator was absolutely phenomenal. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the story half as much if it didn’t feel like a British gran was sitting by my bed reading me a long and intricate tale as I fall asleep. But there was so much to this story. I did get a bit lost in it all and while I really wanted to hit that resolution, I wish we got there sooner and with less distractions from the plot. A really solid fantasy on audio, though.

The Famoux by Kassandra Tate

Disappointment doesn’t even cover it. If you want a good laugh, read the Goodreads reviews for this. The story, characters, and writing were so underdeveloped that I don’t know if you would even call this a novel. It needs an editor and an actual ending.


Garlic and the Witch (Garlic, #2) by Bree Paulsen

I’m so glad I finally got my hands on the second Garlic book but I unfortunately will not be reviewing this book. Garlic is a Harper Collins title and the Union is still on strike as I’m writing this, I will be withholding all reviews of their titles until Harper Collins employees get a fair contract.


The Cloisters by Katy Hays

I cannot describe this better than saying this was written for white women that follow Reese’s Book Club. The dark academia aspect was the best part, but overall, the characters were flat and predictable and it was so dry. The little twists and turns were not the exciting plot twists the author thought they were. (This review is a little harsh but I saw this book on display literally everywhere but it’s so mid??? The industry has so many quality books at their disposal but they market the worst ones).


Gilded (Gilded, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Like Stepsister, this was a solid fantasy. I bought this last year at YallWest because the cover was pretty and it ended up being a Rumpelstiltskin retelling! I love the story of Rumpelstiltskin and really enjoyed this unique reimagining of the story. Marissa Meyer has such a talent for beautiful and immersive writing, but (I know, I’m a broken record) I wish it were shorter. This story dragged in so many places and there were so many issues that never got resolved. There’s a sequel that I would assume answers more questions, but I honestly don’t care enough to continue after dragging my feet through the last half of this book. I would say that I wish I read this on audio, but the physical book was gorgeous. Everything from the cover to the title pages was just *chef’s kiss*. Shoutout to the book design team.

That was my month in reading! I tried not to DNF too much and I ended up reading a bunch of meh books. I’m feeling a bit better going into February so I think my reading will be a lot better.

How was your reading month? Did you find any books you loved? Has 2023 been kind to you so far?

*This post is super late but let’s just ignore that.*

Thank you for reading! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads for more bookish content and chats. See you soon!


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