january wrap up | a strong start to the year

Welcome to my post! Today I’m sharing the first wrap up of 2023, and I can’t believe a whole month has gone by since the start of the year already. Still, here are my posts from January:

I’m happy with how consistent I’ve been posting even while studying. I faltered slightly this week as I’ve had presentations and language exams, so as the term starts to get more intense I’m planning to give myself a bit more flexibility in writing. Expect to see definitely 1 post a week but perhaps not 2 all the time. Now, onto media.


Sharing my winter playlist again. I haven’t added too much since December because I haven’t been listening to much new music, but I’ve been listening to Little Simz’s new album a lot.


For TV shows, I’m continuing a Doctor Who rewatch – I’m currently at the end of series 3. I started Kaleidoscope but haven’t gotten around to continuing it yet. I watched quite a few films at the start of the year. Some of my favourites were my Knives Out rewatch and the new Glass Onion sequel, and The Menu. 

Reading Stats

I read 6 books and 2574 pages with an average of 83 pages a day!

♡ my average rating was 4.25

3 physical books, 1 digital books, (1 ARC), 2 audiobooks

2 fantasy, 1 horror, 1 historical fiction, 1 contemporary, 1 thriller

♡ adult, 1 YA

Wow, a great reading month all round! I read the most pages I ever have in a month since the start of 2021, when it was still kind of the lockdown era. I’ve also got a very strong average rating and I read some amazing books. There’s also a mix of genres and formats which I’m really happy to see as that is one of my reading goals for the year.

The Books

Rating: 5 out of 5.

this thing between us

First five star of the year and it was a good one. I have a full review of This Thing Between Us which you can read here, but just know it’s a devastating exploration of grief which incorporates horror into a terrifying plot.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

So many 4.5 stars! These were all so close to being 4.5 stars, but were just held back by small things. Still, 2 of these are the first in a series so I can only hope for more of the same or better. The first of these is Strike the Zither, which I read as a late ARC from November. I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did but I really enjoyed following politics and strategies and the main character navigating the many problems that she faced. The only thing that I didn’t completely enjoy was how the big twist was handled, which just felt a bit sudden and didn’t allow for any reaction from characters. Still, I can’t wait for the sequel!

Next I listened to When No One is Watching via audiobook, which I really recommend with the dual perspective. Knowing it was quite a slow book made me appreciate the set up and all the unsettling events and history discovered. I enjoyed the main characters and their messiness in a sense which just made them feel real. The ending was a little rushed for me and I wanted a bit more from it, but overall it was a chilling read, especially with the very real racism and history it’s rooted in.

The final 4.5 star read was The Final Empire which was the last book I read this month. This is the only time when I wished I used quarter stars because this fits 4.25 better, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt because the plot was that good. It was so intricate as well as the magic system, and had some amazing twists at the end but enough intrigue for the sequel. I’m normally more drawn to character driven series and in some places it was a little lacking for me here, meaning some big events didn’t have quite the impact on me that I think they were supposed to. I’m so glad I finally picked it up though, it was not intimidating at all once I started it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


The other audiobook I listened to was If I Had Your Face, which I’ve had on my TBR for so long without knowing much about what it’s actually about. This would probably be 3.5 stars without the audiobook because it was a little slow but I did enjoy the big cast of characters and the different narrators for them. It was an interesting and at times upsetting exploration of daily life in Seoul as a woman, from a wide range of perspectives and outlooks on life which connect together.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Lastly we have The Shadow of the Wind, which I find in a charity shop for £2 and impulsively bought it since it’s been on my TBR forever. I didn’t know what to expect but it definitely wasn’t that. It was mysterious and there was just enough intrigue throughout the book to keep going, but there were a lot of parts that dragged and it wasn’t really until the last half that I cared much about it. On top of that there was a lot of misogyny with undeveloped female characters and humour that put me off. However, I did enjoy the historical setting of Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War.

Thanks for reading about my January! How was yours?


Goodreads ♦ Bookstagram

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s