January 2018 Recap

I’m going to try something new for my monthly recaps; instead of talking about the books I reviewed each month I’m going to feature the books I read, there will be an update on how my WIP is going, and some snapshots of my life in general.

I feel like I start most of my recaps this way, and I know a few other people have for this past month, but January is now finished so I have to put in this post my usual ‘how is January already over’ question. Seriously though, where did the last month go, does anyone know? Overall January was a great month for me, but more about that a little later in my recap.

Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Read

January Recap (1)

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Four stars
Check out my review here.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr – Two stars
Check out my review here.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr – Two stars
Check out my review here.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven – Four stars

Furyborn by Claire Legrand – Four stars

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman – Four stars

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – Three stars

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown – Five stars

The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman – Four stars

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman – Five stars

January This Month

So far I’m on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 125 by the end of the year. I’m hoping I manage to keep my current reading pace going, because I feel like at one point this year I am going to fall behind a little.

January GR 2018 Reading Challenge

The best book I picked up in January was, no surprise, Iron Gold. It was my first five star reading of the year and while it wasn’t as good as Morning Star it was a brilliant addition to my favourite series. I’m very excited that we’re getting the next book in the Red Rising Saga later this year because I can’t wait to see where things go for Darrow next.

Iron Gold

The worst book I picked up in January was The Truth and Lies of Ella Black. There were so many plot points in the story that made no sense, I hated the main character, and the relationship in this book was the worst case of insta-love I’ve ever read. The only thing I can say I enjoyed about The Truth and Lies of Ella Black was the setting.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black


So I fell a little behind when it comes to my WIP in January. I had planned to focus on research and re-planning everything, but I started off with naming my characters (all of my characters, because I have a tendency to call some of them UMC or UFC (Unnamed Male/Female Character)) and that turned out to be a big mistake.

I’m still hoping to start writing in March, it just means I need to get a lot more planning done in February. I’ve put the naming of my characters asides for one moment to focus on world building which is much more fun.

Life in General

At the end of last month (you may have noticed I went on a mini unplanned and unannounced hiatus) I went to Romania with my friend. We travelled through Bucharest, Brasov and all the way up to Bâlea Lake. We saw Bran Castle, Peles Castle, and froze most of our toes off staying overnight in the Ice Hotel. All in all a great way to start off the year.

January Recap (2)

I went to launch party for the release of Alwyn Hamilton’s Hero at the Fall. I haven’t managed to get around to reading the book yet (I was flying to Romania the very next day) but it’s high on my to-read list for February.

January Recap (3)

I got promoted at work! I mentioned in my end of year recap that I’d gone for a new job and I found out at the end of the month (the same day as the Hero at the Fall launch party) that I was successful and I was being promoted.

Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

Christmas money from December means I brought a lot of books this month, I just couldn’t resist.

January Recap (4)


January Recap (5)

Meraki Candles

  • Antari

January Recap (6)

Fairy Loot

Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There’s not a lot being released this month; so my reading goals are going to be on getting around to some of the books I brought last month but haven’t picked up yet before my highly anticipated March releases are out. High on my list are Hero at the Fall and The Bear and the Nightingale, I also need to finish my reread of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

January Next Month

I want to try and end February being on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge, and as well as blogging I need to research my WIP like I’ve never researched anything before and I want to start baking again.

I hope everyone else had a good January, and I hope you all have an even better February as well.

Let me know what books you’ve read during the first month of the year, and if you’ve been anywhere on holiday yet? Does anyone have any big plans, reading or otherwise, for February? And if anyone has advise on naming characters in their WIPs please share it with me.

Happy reading!

54 thoughts on “January 2018 Recap

  1. You had such a great month and congratulations on your promotion, Beth 🌸

    I felt the exact same way about The One Memory of Flora Banks; I expected and wanted so more from the that book. I’m still busy reading The Hazel Wood and I can definitely see why you gave it four stars 😊

    I started The Bear and The Nightingale earlier last month but I don’t think I was in the right mood for it and it felt a bit confusing, but I do hope you enjoy it and I am definitely planning on giving it a second chance.

    Hope you have a lovely February 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Michelle, yeah pretty good month and the promotion just made it even better! 😀
      I can’t say after Flora Banks and Ella Black I’ll be picking up any more of Emily Barr’s books, just not for me I guess, and The Hazel Wood was a good read overall, I just expected more.
      Oh that’s a shame, but maybe when you are in the right mood for it you’ll be able to read and finish it. I’m hoping to get to it this month but actually now I’m not sure how likely that is.
      Thanks so much Michelle, I hope you have a great February too. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much 🌸

        I’ll give Ella Black a chance and then decide whether I’ll be reading more of Barr’s books in the future. I’ll send positive vibes that you get to read all the books!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you had such a great month! And planning world building is fun 😉 That’s so cool you went to Romania- it looks lovely!! and congrats on getting promoted- that’s amazing!! Well done!! 😀 Wonderful haul and looks like a really good tbr 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I seriously feel like I’m always late to the party but I’m here! lOL & Beth I’m going to need some of your EPIC reading skillzzzz cause your GR challenge is on point! I’m already behind by 3 so my only plan for February is to read like my life depends on it haha! Those March releases aren’t going to wait for me to catch up LOL! OMYGOSH you’ve read Furyborn! I hope to get to it soon…but first the behemoth that is Children of Blood and Bone 😉 I am SUPER stoked for you to read The Bear and the Nightingale, my ❤ skipped a beat when I saw it listed in this post lol. I'm terrible with names though, If I weren't so bad I'd help you out. Congrats on the promotion!!! & Please Bake & post 🙂 Happy reading in February Beth, wonderful end of the month post! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha that’s all right. I was pretty late posting my recap this month because of my end of January holiday so I feel a little behind too! 😀 I’m actually one book behind on my GR Reading Challenge as of this moment and it’s making me feel nervous, but we still have a lot of time to catch up Lilly. 🙂
      Those March releases definitely aren’t going to wait. Furyborn was great and oh I really hope you enjoy Children of Blood and Bone. I requested an ARC of that one from NetGalley so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The Bear and the Nightingale isn’t next on my to-read list but it’s next next, s I will be getting around to it soon.
      Thanks so much, don’t worry there will be baking pictures in my next monthly recap (promise) and thanks again. I hope you have a brilliant February! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We definitely have plenty of time to catch up & I’m on a reading roll sort of so it should help me get back on track. I’m so glad you enjoyed Furyborn & will have my fingers crossed you get that Children of Blood and Bone arc ASAP! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼😃& well I’ll keep an eye out for whatever you’re reading as usual Sonoma here I won’t kiss when you get to The 🐻😂…this bear emoji has to be New & I couldn’t resist using it when it auto-populated so yea 😂 can’t wait to read next month’s recap then, I’ll be sure to read with a piece of cake nearby ☺️💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think my reading will suffer a little this month, simply because I’m behind on my blogging so I need to catch up on that side of things, but after this month is over I’ll still have another 10 of 2018 to catch up. 😀
        Thanks I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed, and oh that’s a really cute emoji. I don’t blame you for using it, makes me want to try and fit it in somewhere when I write my review!
        Thanks so much Lilly! 😀 ❤


  4. Oohhh what a great post, Beth! First of all, congrats on the promotion!!! 🎉🎉🎉 That’s so awesome and very well deserving because you are one hard working girl (yes I can tell by your posts alone, hush)
    I’m glad you had fun traveling with your friend! I’ve never been to Romania but it sounds amazing ❤️
    I hope you have a wonderful February, Beth, and enjoy your bookish acquisitions 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sophie! 😀 Yeah I was beyond thrilled, and now I can’t wait to get my start date and get started on my new job! 🙂 ❤ Thanks again.
      Oh Romania was amazing, really cold but it was a great holiday and definitely a much needed break as well.
      Thanks so much, I hope you have a brilliant February as well Sophie. 🙂 ❤


  5. Ooooh another travel adventure? To Romania? I would love to read a post about your adventure in Romania if you choose to write about it 😋 And I literally spent all my Christmas gift cards on books… the number is too embarrassingly large to write down 😅 All the books you got look interesting, tho — I hope you get around to reading them all soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yep first month of the year and I’ve already been away somewhere! 🙂 I will be writing a post about my holiday in Romania, it should be posted this weekend (if I don’t procrastinate like I tend to sometimes)
      It’s part of Christmas right? Spending all the money and vouchers you get on books. Thanks Zoie, I hope you manage to get around to reading all the books you brought as well! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh, I’m so happy you enjoyed Furyborn so much, Beth! I got an ARC in January and I’m super excited to read it (especially since I found out there was a bi MC??). It looks really good! Tho its size is intimidating, I have to admit. 🙈

    Ahaha I relate to falling behind on your WIP! I feel like December & January are the hardest months because they’re after NaNo. I actually ended up getting a new WIP idea that I switched to?? (What can I say, I can never commit. 😂) I’m confident that you’ll be able to catch up, tho! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Furyborn was brilliant, I’m definitely excited for the next book in the series and I can’t wait to see what you think of it as well May! 😀 The size was definitely intimidating for me as well, but once I started I didn’t want to put it down.
      I’m definitely feeling that writing slump, but I feel like I’m more motivated now it’s February (for some reason the second month of this year is where I’m finding my inspiration again.) Thanks May! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So many books!!
    I really need to read La Belle Sauvage!!! It’s on my shelf… but I just have no motivation???

    OMG you went to Romania?? That’s so cool!! *flails* and img I have no idea whether or not I’m going to carry on with the Rebel of the Sands trilogy?? Idk 🤷🏼‍♀️.

    OMG and good luck with your WIP next month! I hope that you’re able to get more planning done and be more satisfied with your progress this time next month ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I managed to get through a fair few this month, and buy loads too! 😀 Oh I hope you manage to pick it up soon, it is a good read so I hope you enjoy it as well.
      Romania is amazing, cold but a brilliant holiday, and the Rebel of the Sands trilogy is one of my all-time favourites so I’d highly recommend it! 😀
      Thanks so much. I definitely feel more motivated this month so here’s hoping right. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg, so much snow! I feel cold just looking at that pic!
    I went to Bran Castle during summer and it was super cool 🙂

    I’m seeing a lot of good stuff about Iron Gold and i’m glad, because i want to continue with the series (only got red rising) and it’s nice that most readers actually loved them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah it was definitely cold out there, but it was so beautiful as well that after a while I kind of forgot about the cold. Oh it must have been beautiful in the summer.
      Iron Gold is amazing, in fact the whole series is amazing, It’s gets a lot better after Red Rising so you really do have the best to come still. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this type of post, with a wrap up of your whole month instead of just reading! 🙂 Romania looks cold, but awesome and gorgeous. And congrats on your work promotion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh I am so happy you loved The Exact Opposite of Okay! I so want to read that book, it sounds so great, I can’t wait. I also can’t wait to read your review for it 🙂
    I hope you will be able to get back to your WIP soon, but it’s great to take a little bit of a break, to leave yourself some time to think about your characters, what to plan and where to go next. Best of luck, Beth! x
    Also, it sounds like you had tons of fun on your trip, all of this snow, wow, haha. I can’t wait to be able to go on holidays again as well, I’m in such a life slump lately, ahah.
    I bought Wires and Nerves, I can’t wait to get it and read it, I loved the first graphic novel so much ❤
    I hope you'll have a fantastic month, Beth! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s a great book Marie. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll love it, possibly even more than I did, and my review is all drafted and ready to go. I’m just waiting for it to get to a little closer to the release date before publishing it. I’m definitely ready to dive back into my WIP, I’m just a little behind on blogging at the moment so I need to catch up on that side first. Lot to get done this month. 🙂
      It was amazing, and I definitely needed a holiday as well. When are you next going away Marie?
      Ohh, you’ll have to let me know what you think when you’ve finished it, and thanks Marie, I hope you have an incredible month too. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t wait, you are making me even more eager to read it 🙂
        I don’t know and it is DRIVING ME CRAZY, can you tell? haha. I’m thinking maybe a couple days in April, hopefully. Fingers crossed. I need some holidays too.
        You’re welcome! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yay, because I can’t wait for you to read it Marie! 😀
        Ohh you need a holiday to look forwards to. I don’t think there’s anything that gets me through work as much as knowing and looking forwards to my next holiday. I’m sure you’ll have something booked before too long! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I definitely LOLed about your opening comment about how fast January went because I started my wrap up the same way 😂

    I’ve definitely been wanting to read The Hazel Wood so I’m glad to see you enjoyed that one

    Your trip to Romania looks like it was awesome – so cool that you got to attend a release party!

    Congratulations to you on your promotion! I hope your February proves just as awesome! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah we’re only one month into 2018 so far and already I have no idea where the time has gone. Doesn’t really say much for me remembering the rest of the year does it?
      Oh I really hope you enjoy The Hazel Wood, it was a good book just not quite as good as I’d hoped.
      Romania was amazing, and so was the release party so I’m glad I went.
      Thanks so much, and I hope your February is an amazing one too! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I hope you manage to catch up quickly then Ellie. At least we still have another 11 months of the year to catch up right? 🙂
      Thanks so much, and oh I’ve heard of The Secret History, I think I actually have it on my to-read list as well so hopefully I’ll get around to it soon. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much Paige. 🙂 Yeah I’m definitely pleased with everything I managed to achieve this month, so here’s hoping for a February that’s just as successful.
      I actually would, I think La Belle Sauvage is more of a prequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy so it can be enjoyed without having finished the original trilogy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I have a really long commute to and from work each day, and it gives me a lot of time to read each month which I love. Five books is still great, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed you manage to get through more this month.
      Thanks so much! 🙂


  12. You definitely had a bit of a mixed month with what you read. I’m so excited to pick up The Hazel Wood and Furyborn (which I also have the fairyloot arc for), so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed them! It’s a shame you didn’t like Ella black and flora banks – I have both of those on my tbr as well.
    Hero at the Fall! Yet another book on my tbr and I am so excited to see how she has ended this series! And I am totally not jealous that you got to go to the release 😭😭😂😂

    I hope you and your friend still have all you toes! Great month and I hope you have an awesome February! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I definitely did, I think there were more books I enjoyed than didn’t though, even if it took me a while to get to my first five star read of the year. 🙂 I really hope you enjoy The Hazel Wood and Furyborn, and I even hope you enjoy Ella Black and Flora Banks. You may end up loving them where I didn’t you never know.
      I can’t wait to get around to Hero at the Fall, it’s high on my to-read list once I finish the book I’m currently reading! 😀
      Yep, all ten toes still accounted for, thanks Lauren! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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