Monday, February 27, 2017

January Book Tree

Hello devoted fans! And people who accidentally clicked on this post. ;) I'm sharing my first ever monthly book tree. We'll see how faithfully I stick to it, cause we know how I can be, or at least I know how I can be.

It'll be a short and sweet post that shares my best reads of the month and a thought on them. I absolutely LOVE reading. Like, stick me in a tower for a year and as long as there's a never-ending supply of books I'll be happy. So this is another way for me to share my love for reading and maybe even help you discover your next book.

Now for the grand unveiling! *tugs on sheet hanging over large frame* Oh come on! RIIIIPPPP. Meant to do that! *tosses sheet aside*

Yes, this is what you get when I write blog posts in the middle of the night.


Please, please, hold your applause. I know, my skills at creating pictures stacked on pictures is impressive.

Okay, okay, down to business. So why a tree? Kristen, that looks NOTHING like a tree! You're right, it doesn't. But see, my beautiful mind picture imagined them tiered like a gorgeous pine tree shape. I then realized that I better only read six books if I ever want that to be feasible. That or find some freaking huge picture. Vision didn't become a reality, but I'm still calling it a tree because I'm stubborn!!! Pretend I'm a three year old showing off their picture of a dragon eating the sun while mommy is making dinner.

The top row would be the five star books and then the second row is the four star ones. (my ratings) Due to space reasons, I decided not to include my 1-3 stars, but I may in the future find a way to better illustrate my reading that'll include all the monthly books.

Top Row
(five stars)
  • Katya's War - The second in the series, Katya's war is a futuristic sci-fi novel that revolves around the planet of Russalka. Colonists from Russia settled the planet long ago and after a long silence between Russalka and Earth, the planet governs itself. But things are not as they seem and there's lots of danger to be had on the ocean-covered planet.

    I love Katya and her story. It's great to see a YA story with a strong female lead who doesn't fall into all of the cliche traps of trying to prove she's a stronge female character. There's also ZERO romance in this series. How many YA novels starring a FMC have zero romance nowadays? I recommend both books in this series as they're really undiscovered gems.
  • From the Stories of Old - An anthology of fairytale retellings that recently debuted. There's a good mix of everything in here. Urban, medieval, and even a futuristic setting. Some romances, some not. Happily ever afters and bittersweet endings. A fresh spin on a variety of favorite fairy tales, and a couple from some lesser known tales as well.

  • Slave - No sun. No moon. Hannah's world is a perpetual hopeless grey as clouds mask all light every day. The Workers work, and then return to their dreary homes. And somewhere, someone is profiting.

    A dystopian read that's like a breath of fresh air. Easily one of the best dystopians I've read in a long time.

  • Prince of Malorn - Korram's a young prince whose regent wants to kill him in order to snatch permanent power. In a desperate attempt to gather allies from the mountain people in his kingdom, Korram's simple quest to find fighters turns into a far different journey.

    A wonderful story that had so much vibrance and happenings that I felt like I'd been granted three books instead of one. The realness to this story, the depth of characters, and the plot had me fighting to put this one down.

  • The Midsummer Captives - Princess Gwen's given up on love for herself, but she's determined to help her sister to their happily ever afters. But when a journey to a neighboring kingdom goes awry(can you say stone dragon?) and the party scatters inside a mysterious forest, Gwen finds herself in a dilapidated old castle that's been partially enchanted. The two residents are equally strange.

    This book is a stand alone in a series that starts off with what was my #1 read for last year. Another great addition that makes me anxious for the nest!

Bottom Row
(4 stars)
  • Queen's Lady - A fun romp through the Elizabethan era that breaks some norms for what we expect with characters. Romance, prejudice, redemption, and people who aren't always as they seem.

  • Firebird - A futuristic sci-fi/fantasy based around the idea of what if three thousand years in the future the Messiah still hadn't been born yet. Firebird's planet has isolated itself from the galaxy and has developed some rather disturbing traditions. Firebird is one of the "extra" children that nobility have just in case, but who will be ordered to commit suicide once she's bumped down to a certain place in line for the title.

    Takes a bit to get into because of the huge amount of information I had to absorb on the culture, planet, galaxy, people, etc.

  • Charming Academy - In a fantasy world there exist two academies. One for princesses and one for princes. They're evaluated and assigned a princess/prince from the other school. Until they turn 18, the students are given classes that relate to the quest they'll be put on after they graduate. First in the series, Charming Academy sets ups all the characters for their quests which the rest of the novels explore.

  • The Orphan Queen - Wilhemina is a princess without a kingdom. Long after the one night war that saw her parents and the rest of the nobility slaughtered, Wil and the other noble children are now hiding in the enemy kingdom. They're planning, and plotting, and doing everything they can to not only stay alive and hidden, but also to regain what they lost.

  • Prince of Alasia - Jaymin is the young prince of Alasia who finds himself rushed into hiding when his kingdom is invaded. Somehow he must find a way to free his kingdom from the clutches of the neighboring kingdom and regain the throne. A companion novel to Prince of Malorn that takes place near the same time, with different main characters in different kingdoms. This is a MG novel while Prince of  Malorn was YA.

  • Ender's Game - A somewhat disturbing, and absorbing tale of a sci-fi world where children are recruited to be trained for a battle that may or may not happen. After two invasions, the people of Earth aren't taking any chances. Ender may be a kid, but he's like no kid you've ever met. A bit scary in its idea, graphic at times, but overall well-written and engaging. You may not like what's happening or the characters, but it made me think.

  • Finding Prince Charming (not pictured) - Hey, I ran out of room on my tree! This is the second book in the Charming Academy series and follows Adrian(who's been cursed!) and Allegra. There roles have been swapped and now it's Allegra who must find Adrian, break his curse, and rescue him. Adrian's got problems of his own. Add in a purple-haired mermaid, a witch with a vendetta, and a hopeless romantic frog, he's hoping Allegra hurries before he ends up trapped forever.

Overall, I had a great January! There were three books that fell into the okay category and two that made me want to slaughter pinatas. But I had an overwhelming number of AWESOME READS! That's what I call a good month in reading.

What was some of your favorite reads for January?


  1. I love this idea! My favorite read for January was definitely The Girl Who Swallowed the Moon, hands down. So. Amazing.

    1. I admit I got the idea from your monthly map posts. :)

  2. Eek! Not one but two of my books? I feel so blessed! Thanks Kristen! My favorite read from January was Leandra's Enchanted Flute which I'm now reading a second time aloud to my older kiddos.

    1. Oh cool! I read that one last year. :D It's great that your kids are old enough to enjoy it as well.