What I Read in January 2022

Happy Friday, everyone!

‘Tis I, Naemi, bringing you tidings of the first month of the year! Okay, yeah, I’ll admit that I couldn’t really think of a good way to begin this post… But overall, January was a very eventful month for me!

Some impressions of January, featuring: 1) lots of snow, 2) the aftermath of a great book shelf purge, and 3) Swan Lake struggles

Granted, it began in the absolute worst way imaginable. A sleepover at my best friend’s house in the next village over turned into us spending the night only a few hundred meters away from a double-murder so horrific it made national headlines, and to tell you the truth, I’m still absolutely shell-shocked. Even though I didn’t know the victims personally, the fact that this happened in my community, to a family of six just like mine, has me in this bizarre, numb state where I completely shut off all emotions whenever I try to come to terms with what happened. I’m just now beginning to be able to talk about it, and if it’s like this for me, I can’t even imagine what it must be like for the victims’ family and friends…

Everything else about my January, though, was thankfully much, much happier. For one thing, I got two very exciting things in the mail! ๐Ÿค— Very-Exciting-Thing #1 was one of my master’s diplomas. (I’m still waiting on the other one and hope that doesn’t mean the university administration botched something. It wouldn’t be the first time; the English version of my bachelor’s diploma has a blank space where my study program is supposed to be…) Even more excitingly, though, Very-Exciting-Thing #2 was my letter from the Ministry of Education, telling me where I will be moving to two weeks from now! The fact that I had never heard of this place despite it being only about an hour away from where I currently live should tell you everything about what kind of metropolis it is located in… But hey, at least the rent is cheap!

Anyway, as soon as I got that letter, I threw myself into apartment hunting, which was super stressful, but is now, thankfully, over. I’ve got a place at the top floor of this really cozy, old building, will be sharing it with another trainee teacher, and we’re allowed to use the garden, which all sounds pretty great!

Apart from the anxiety that comes with starting a real job, though, January was also filled with a lot of music-related chaos. Both my orchestra and my choir concert are next week, and to say I have had a TON of extra rehearsals lately is putting it mildly ๐Ÿ˜… I’ve been practicing every spare minute and feel like my nose might fall off soon from all the COVID tests I’ve been getting. People here really have a way of jamming that swab thing up your nostril in the most painful way possible…

In spite of all the hecticness in my life, though, I did actually still get a lot of reading time in. It’s amazing how much free time you suddenly have without university! Quite a few of the books I read were rereads, so it might not seem like I read a crazy amount more in January than I usually do, but I assure you, I did. It was awesome and I don’t even know how I’m going to get used to having responsibilities again! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So yeah, let’s get into the new-to-me books I read last month. On a scale from awesome to awful, I had absolutely everything, so I hope there’s enough review variety in here to keep at least some of you entertained!



Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship, and Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders #1-3) by Robin Hobb (5/5 Stars each)

Every future favorite-book-of-2022 candidate has its work cut out, because I don’t know how anything could come even close to topping The Liveship Traders. I love this trilogy so much it is almost impossible to put into words!!! ๐Ÿฅฐ I absolutely refuse to see that there might be anything wrong with it, have already read it twice, and am definitely not opposed to reading it a third time very, very soon…

As the second trilogy in Robin Hobb’s The Realm of the Elderlings series, The Liveship Traders takes us further south than the Six Duchies, to a semi-independent seaside town caught in a changing world’s web of political tension. At the center of it all stands the Vestrit family, whose magical liveship, the Vivacia, is about quicken to life through the third death of a family member on her decks.

Epic fantasy at its finest, The Liveship Traders is a tale of family, betrayal, magic, piracy, love, slavery, death, history, and politics. I absolutely fell in love its characters – though in some cases, that “love” consisted of a deep and passionate loathing ๐Ÿ˜Ž – and cannot recommend it enough!

If you haven’t read any of Robin Hobb’s books yet, what are you waiting for? And if you have read this trilogy and are interested in being bombarded with thoughts, what is probably the lengthiest spoiler-filled review of my entire blogging career is at your disposal…


The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (4/5 Stars)

This book was adorable! Many thanks to Anoushka @ Dipped in Ink for recommending it to me, because this was exactly what I needed while taking a break from Anna Karenina‘s rather long-winded bird hunting scenes ๐Ÿ˜…

(Anna Karenina isn’t in this wrap-up because I’m not done with it yet, all you judgy people out there. Stop asking. You’ll get a review eventually.)

A sapphic YA romance novel featuring a Bangladeshi main character living in Ireland, The Henna Wars soon had me invested in a secondary school battle over who could create the more successful business – our protagonist Nishat, or Flรกvia, the charismatic new girl trying to appropriate Nishat’s culture together with her horrible cousin and Nishat’s arch-nemesis, Chyna.

Apart from food descriptions that left me drooling, this book had so many other things I appreciate in a story! Nishat is a flawed but extremely relatable main character, and seeing her struggle with her shyness, her cultural identity, her sexuality, and her relationship with her family made my heart go out to her all the more. And the sibling relationship!!! All three of my younger siblings and I are extremely close to one another, so seeing that bond reflected in Nishat and Priti’s relationship was wonderful ๐Ÿฅฐ

Yes, The Henna Wars does have a rather formulaic YA romance plotline, it features those woke Harry Potter pop-culture references I am not a fan of, and it could have gone into a bit more detail regarding a storyline involving Priti’s best friend. But still, it was so much fun! Would recommend!


Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn (3/5 Stars)

[This book was translated from Spanish to English by Lucia Graves.]

I adored Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn’s The Shadow of the Wind when I read it a couple of years ago, so when Maria @ The Character Study recommended Marina to me, I was instantly intrigued! And, just like The Shadow of the Wind, Marina immediately drew me in with its absolutely captivating writing style.

A historical fiction / gothic mystery / horror novel that takes place in late 20th-century Barcelona, the book follows a teenage boy named Oscar, who meets the titular character when he inadvertently steals her father’s pocket watch. The two of them soon become friends, but when Marina takes Oscar to observe a strange ritual she has seen at the old cemetery, they find themselves in more danger than they ever could have bargained for.

Overall, I definitely loved the eerie atmosphere this book had! I was engrossed in trying to piece things together, and even when I had, I had way too much fun seeing all the gruesomeness unfold ๐Ÿ˜ Also, there were so many subtle Frankenstein references in here that I, as a massive Frankenstein fan who will defend that poor, precious monster to the death, absolutely adored! Don’t think I didn’t notice the significance behind the name Marรญa Shelley, Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn ๐Ÿ˜

That being said, though, I never felt very connected to the characters themselves. Oscar didn’t really evolve past the curious-boy-besotted-by-an-alluring-girl stereotype, Marina was little more than said mysterious alluring-girl, and her father always the worried-parent-in-the-background. And whenever the characters found out about something, it was because random other characters told them everything! They didn’t even have to work for this information; we simply got perfectly pre-packaged flashback scenes!

That’s why, ultimately, as much as its writing style kept me spellbound while I was reading it, Marina was a book that just wasn’t all that memorable for me. Even though I enjoyed it a lot the first time around, neither the characters nor the plot were captivating enough that I think I would read it again.


The Shamer’s Signet (2.5/5 Stars), The Serpent Gift (4/5 Stars), and The Shamer’s War (3.5/5 Stars) (The Shamer Chronicles #2-4) by Lene Kaaberbรธl

[The original Danish titles are: Skammertegnet, Slangens gave, and Skammerkrigen. The books were translated into English by the author herself.]

Reading this Danish middle-grade fantasy series was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions! I fell in love with the first book, The Shamer’s Daughter, after Line @ First Line Reader recommended it to me last year, but then came to the infuriating realization that Germany had simply stopped translating the books mid-series! ๐Ÿ˜ค After my anger at having to switch languages partway had somewhat subsided, though, I finally decided to give the rest of the books a try in English. And my thoughts on each of the remaining installments couldn’t be more different:

After the epicness of book one, I’m afraid The Shamer’s Signet did not blow me away whatsoever ๐Ÿ˜… Dina became the boringest of wallflowers ever, Nico disappeared completely, the adults were beyond stupid to not see how they were being manipulated, and the plot was extremely straight-forward. Plus, I just did not like the English translation as much as the German one. I’m sure Lene Kaaberbรธl did her best, but I felt like the style of the German translation was so much more atmospheric! (Maybe because the language is more closely related to Danish than English is? ๐Ÿค”) However, what I did really like about book two was the additional point of view of Dina’s brother, Davin. His stubborn teenage idiocy more than made up for Dina’s wallflowerness, and getting to explore their sibling bond more was so interesting! Also, the Highlands setting was pretty neat, too.

The Serpent Gift, though, I positively adored! ๐Ÿฅฐ I’m still docking a star for consistency issues within the series – You honestly expect me to believe that Drakan would just leave Dina alone when his cousin knew where she lived? Or that I’d be okay with Rover never being mentioned again, when that tramp was so interesting?! – but everything else was awesome! We had a reluctant friendship develop between Davin and Nico, a city with totalitarian government vibes, horrifying torture and brainwashing techniques… What’s not to love? Plus, this book had Sezuan ๐Ÿฅฐ I am willing to die on the hill that he is by far the best character in this entire series and that the serpent gift is so freaking cool!

And finally, the finale. I enjoyed the The Shamer’s War and it wrapped up most things quite nicely. But even though a substantial part of it took place on a ship, it just didn’t ensnare me as much as The Shamer’s Daughter and The Serpent Gift... I was hoping for just a bit more! Also, what on Earth were those sudden romance plotlines for???? They were the dumbest addition ever, and I really didn’t see why we needed them ๐Ÿ™„

Overall, though, I would recommend this series despite its flaws! It’s fun, has a very unique concept, and I think kids in particular would really enjoy it!


A Star Shall Fall (The Onyx Court #3) by Marie Brennan (3/5 Stars)

Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court quartet is an extremely political and super unique historical fantasy series following a hidden court of faeries beneath London over the span of several centuries. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two installments, Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie, so despite being somewhat traumatized by the boringness that was the novella Deeds of Men, I was pumped to continue on!

Set in the mid-18th century, this third book follows a familiar threat. An enemy once thought vanquished is threatening to return, and as a result, political tensions within the Onyx Court are running high. Add to that a new and inexperienced Prince of the Stone who is so besotted with his queen that he can barely formulate coherent thoughts in her presence, and things aren’t exactly looking good…

My favorite aspect about this book by far, though, was how much science was in it! ๐Ÿค— In true Age of Reason fashion, we get to see the Royal Society at work, experiments and philosophical discussions, and, best of all, explanations as to how faerie magic works! Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of my favorite characters again, and also getting to know and fall in love with new ones! Especially Irrith and Philadelphia wormed their way into my heart ๐Ÿฅฐ

That being said, I also had a really hard time connecting to this book compared to the previous two. I’m not completely sure as to why, but I think it was mostly due to a combination of two things. First, in my opinion, the plot itself just wasn’t that engaging. Second and more importantly, I felt as though we barely got to see the different characters interact with one another. Almost all of the plans they made with one another, they made off page. Important discoveries were made by others, when the protagonists themselves weren’t present. Which meant that most of the time, we got to see our main characters traipsing through London on their own, which, if you ask me, just wasn’t all that interesting ๐Ÿ˜…

And finally, since I’m a very petty person, can we just talk about the German in this book?!? I normally love unexplained snippets from other languages in books, but in this case, THEY WERE TERRIBLE!!!

[For my fellow language nerds who are actually interested in this: A Star Shall Fall features a pair of German dwarf siblings who love nothing more than to converse with one another in their native language. Unfortunately, however, all these snippets were so grammatically mangled that I had a very hard time believing these dwarves spoke anything but google translate ๐Ÿ˜… Seriously, Marie Brennan, I would rethink thanking this Sherwood Smith for the translations in your acknowledgments because he didn’t even get one single phrase right!

Like, what sort of sentence is “Dieser verdammten Federantrieb brechen andauernd!” supposed to be, huh? Aside from the fact that I find it decidedly strange to keep working with a part that is already broken, you can’t combine a singular subject with a plural verb, or a nominative case noun with an accusative case adjective! Grammatically correctly, this sentence would have to be “Dieser verdammte Federantrieb bricht andauernd!

And the response “Aber natรผrlich! Ich sage dir doch, dass er soviel Zugkraft nicht aushalten werden.” is at least as bad! Again, we have verbs and nouns that are incongruent, the tenses and aspects are wrong (“sage” needs to be past tense and the second verb either needs to be in present tense or subjunctive II), “soviel” should not be spelled as one word here, and the “Aber natรผrlich!” is way too formal and polite for an angry context. Take my advice, Marie Brennan, and change this sentence to “Was dachtest du denn? Ich habe dir doch gesagt, dass er so viel Zugkraft nicht aushรคlt!

And finally, WTF is these dwarves’ last name??? It gave me quite the laughing fit, because “von das Ticken” is possibly the most ridiculous attempt at creating a German sounding last name that I have ever seen ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ I assume you wanted this to be a clever pun and mean “of the ticking noise”, Marie Brennan, but it simply does not work. “Von” can never be followed by “das”; that preposition requires a dative object. If anything, it would have to be “von dem Ticken” or “vom Ticken”. But that still doesn’t sound like any last name I’ve ever heard in my life… ]

So yeah, my overall verdict? I’m still very much enjoying this series, but this particular installment is not my favorite.


Der Nebelkรถnig by Susanne Gerdom (1/5 Stars)

[To my great sadness, this book has not been translated into any other languages. The German title means “The Fog King”.]

Well, my plans to support local authors by reading more German books in 2022 are off to a great start. I absolutely hated Der Nebelkรถnig and am now single-handedly responsible for its lowest Goodreads rating to date ๐Ÿ™ˆ

(I’M SORRY!!! Maybe books about characters wandering around in mysterious otherworldly houses and trying to piece together what they can no longer remember just aren’t for me… I also happen to be just about the only person in the world not overly in love with Piranesi, after all ๐Ÿ˜…)

Anyway, in this fantasy standalone, we follow a 14-year-old kitchen maid named Sallie, who lives in a sprawling mansion so vast she has never seen the entirety of it. On one of her many ventures to the library, Sallie stumbles across the tale of an evil young man who, in pursuit of more power, cold-bloodedly murdered the dragon who raised him. Sallie soon becomes fascinated by this story and the variations of it that she encounters, knowing, somehow, that it has an intricate connection to her own past, present, and future…

There are actually several reasons this book fell horribly flat for me. The biggest one, though, was Sallie herself. Never, in my entire life, have I come across a main character who is as much of a Mary Sue as this girl is!! Seriously, despite having read an entire book about her, I can tell you nothing about her likes and dislikes, her hobbies, her fears, or her friends – that last one being due to the fact that Sallie doesn’t actually have any friends. Which made things even more boring, because instead of getting even the slightest hints at meaningful interactions, all we got to read about was perfect Sallie!! ๐Ÿ˜ค

Then, The Nebelkรถnig was predictable as hell. It pretty much took me the first chapter to guess the big “twist”, so the fact that Sallie was way too obtuse to see it was beyond infuriating! Especially since all the stupid idiot had to do was read this book that had all the answers – which everybody around her had been telling her to do from the very beginning, but Sallie somehow always conveniently ignored…

And then, the ending ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„ Since the writing style and the premise of Der Nebelkรถnig actually weren’t bad, I thought this would be a two-star read for the longest time. But the ending was so fucking stupid that I was like, Nah, there’s no way this book is getting ANY extra stars from me!!!! Nothing was properly resolved, everything was thrown at us without any nuance or backstory, and Sallie literally only did what everybody had been telling her to do from page one. Without even questioning it, may I add, even though she had been questioning things was kind of Sallie’s thing throughout the whole book.

Overall, I hated Der Nebelkรถnig. I would not recommend you read it.



I’ve been debating on whether to include a section like this in my wrap-up for what has literally been years…

THE CONS:

  1. I don’t want to turn blog hopping into a chore where I will have to view every post I read through the lens of whether I liked it enough to be featured here. Similarly, I am much too lazy to write down my favorite posts immediately after reading them. Which means I will have to rely on memory. And that means I will inevitably forget people.
  2. My people-pleasing self feels horrible for including some people on the list and not others. If I liked or commented on your post, that means I really enjoyed it, but unfortunately, there’s just no way every one of those posts will fit here! ๐Ÿ˜ญ
  3. When I like a blog a lot, I tend to stick around and annoy its owners over and over again. Which means you probably won’t be getting very varied content or lots of new recommendations…
  4. My wrap-ups have always only included the books I read, and I like consistency.
  5. I don’t want people to feel obligated to like my wrap-up just because I linked to their post. (Don’t you dare to like this only because I linked to your post, people!! ๐Ÿ˜ )
  6. My wrap-ups are already so long that I have a feeling everyone secretly hates them… (Don’t lie! You secretly hate them, don’t you? ๐Ÿ˜ข)
  7. Barely anyone comes to read my posts when other people link them in their wrap-ups. So is this really a helpful way to promote bloggers? ๐Ÿค”

THE PROS:

  1. Even if it’s only a few of you at a time and even if it only minusculely helps make others aware of your existence, I get to help promote some utterly amazing bloggers! I don’t take you guys for granted at all, and I want to show my appreciation!

Yup, that was literally the only pro ๐Ÿ˜… But it’s a very weighty one, so I have come to the conclusion that it might outweigh the cons after all…

Which means that we’re going to try this.

So, without subjecting you to any more of my terrible overthinking skills, here are some posts I absolutely loved this past month! (Other than everybody’s 2021 wrap-ups, that is. I loved all of those, particularly the ones with graphs, so we’d be here forever if I included them!)

  • Pauline @ Pow’s Book Nook ranked Jane Austen’s six major novels. Blows over Emma and Northanger Abbey ‘s placement were narrowly avoided, since at least we agree that Mansfield Park deserves to be dead last! ๐Ÿ˜‡
  • Rachel @ A Bookworm’s Paradise recommended books based on Disney movies. As a massive Disney fan who is currently singing Surface Pressure non-stop, I obviously loved this! ๐ŸŽถ
  • Riddhi @ Whispering Stories celebrated hitting 1,000 followers this January, but her Types of … We All Know posts might actually be the bigger achievement. They’re hilarious, and I can’t get enough of them! ๐Ÿค—
  • Nehal @ Quirky Pages wrote a post titled “25 Harry Potter Facts About Me”. I saw the words “Harry Potter”, clicked immediately, and (despite encountering some rather questionable opinions) was not disappointed! ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • Nefeli @ BiblioNebula graced us with a post on ten things she’s tired of seeing in books, and I must say that she is pretty spot on about all of them! Especially the “sexy” uwu vampires ๐Ÿคฃ
  • Maria @ The Character Study wrote a fascinating discussion post about what makes a favorite book! It made me realize that other people apparently have way more difficulties with this concept than constantly rereading me ๐Ÿคฏ
  • Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books wrote a really interesting discussion on what bloggers owed their readers and vice versa. This overthinking book owl was obviously a fan! ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Line @ First Line Reader could probably never post anything I wouldn’t love, but her GIF reactions to new-to-her-authors she read in 2021 had me positively cackling! And of course, I also absolutely adored all of her Liveship Traders reviews! ๐Ÿ˜ (Even though your opinion on the quality of the ending is WRONG, Line ๐Ÿ˜‡)
  • Lesserleaf @ Lesser Leaves wrote a gushing review of The Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a middle-grade fantasy series about owls that has a secure spot among my favorite books of all time. Since I am the one who recommended it, I am very proud the series was so well received! ๐Ÿ˜‡

And that, my friends, was it for today! Let me know down below if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned; I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with my thoughts on them!

Other than that, I hope you all had a great start into 2022! What was something good that happened to you in January?

49 thoughts on “What I Read in January 2022

  1. Nehal Jain says:

    *likes the post only because she linked back to me*

    Jkkkk.
    But thanks for linking my blog!! And yes, the opinions might’ve been questionable but good to know you enjoyed the post ๐Ÿ˜‚. When it’s me, you just know that some questionable weirdly unpopular opinions are coming up.
    Also nooooo, why would we hate your wrap ups? Tbh I don’t read wrap ups of most bloggers simply because they all come around at exactly the same time and it gets super overwhelming but yours are good! People go around giving every little minuscule update of their life and it kinda annoys me ๐Ÿ˜…, but yours are pretty to the point!
    Also you had a good reading month! I still haven’t checked how many books i managed to read this month but it must be around five only ๐Ÿ˜ข.
    And that last point in the cons really gets me thinking ๐Ÿคฏ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      *glares at her evil soul in return*

      Also, I may have come to expect questionable opinions where you are concerned, but hating on Peeves and liking Cursed Child is stooping low, even for you ๐Ÿ˜‚ I was seriously concerned for your mental well-being when I read that!!

      Hmmm, do I detect traces of sarcasm there? ๐Ÿง After all, updating you on every miniscule life development in my wrap-ups is kind of my thing, and I’m definitely never to the point ๐Ÿ˜… *starts sweating profusely, but very much appreciates all these commentators’ attempts to defend my wrap-ups all the same *

      And didn’t you read The Final Empire in January, though? ๐Ÿค” That book is so fat that it should count as multiple reads, so I’d say you’re doing awesome! ๐Ÿฅณ

      (And lol, if no one reads your post even though I linked it, just blame it on all of my followers having read it already because they already know of thy amazing excellence ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜‡)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nehal Jain says:

        Okay, i never said i hate peeves so correction, your highness. I just said i found him a little annoying and wasn’t all that sad to see him excluded.
        I also didn’t necessarily “like” the cursed child, i just don’t think it’s the most horrific thing out there ๐Ÿ˜‚.
        And no sarcasm there. You should see the amount of stuff people put in their wrap ups! In comparison to those i think yours are good.
        And yes well, the final empire should account for my less reads in any of the following months of this year because that was one heck of a book and just thiiiiinking about it exhausts me.
        And thank you, thank you! If it helps, i checked out one of the bloggers you out in your list ๐Ÿ˜‰.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Well, your other highness, I also never said you hated Peeves, I said you “hated ON” him. Pay attention to the exact wording! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’d say that not being upset about him being excluded from the movies definitely qualifies as hating on Peeves, so there ๐Ÿ˜› Also, Cursed Child is definitely the most horrific thing out there ๐Ÿ˜ก Except, perhaps, for Heart of Darkness…

          I am also very honored you think my wrap-ups are good in comparison to other people’s terrible ones. That might be the most flattering compliment I’ve ever gotten! ๐Ÿ™ƒ

          I’m very thrilled to see The Final Empire still has you thinking and that my list wasn’t in vain, though! ๐Ÿค—

          Liked by 1 person

          • Nehal Jain says:

            No, i don’t hate ON or IN or AGAINST or whatever other prepositions there are peeves either. Besides, the purpose of peeves as per the author was to be annoying so yeah, i think my opinion is valid hehe.
            And okay, I’m not gonna bother arguing about cursed child, I’m really scared of the haters of that book, they’re very aggressive ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ณ.

            And no, that’s not what I meant! ๐Ÿคฃ I generally don’t like the wrap ups of anybody, no matter how well designed the post is. So the fact that I enjoy yours is indeed a comment even though you fail to see that.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Riddhi B. says:

    Congratulations Naemi, on your master’s degree and the Ministry of Education thing!

    And wow, you’ve had a great reading month- I read like 4 books in Jan, and haven’t read a single page in February (I feel that reading slump coming to hit me)

    And thank you so so so much for mentioning my post, I am so glad you liked it!

    And wrap-ups are one of my favourite kinds of posts, you are one of my favourite bloggers, put them together and you’ll realise I love your wrap ups! That being said, great wrap up!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rachel says:

    I solemnly swear that I did not like your post simply because you linked back to me (but THANK YOU) so that con is taken care of!
    whoa though i haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, i loved your ramblings on all of them (i was surprised to see that “von das” too, even I as a non-native German speaker know that von is a dative preposition!)
    ohno that murder incident sounds horrifying (i would have has nightmares for MONTHS had i been in your place) hopefully you’re okay.
    …and i’m gonna go check out those other bloggers posts now (yet another con crossed off!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Do I spy a Marauders reference there? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค—๐Ÿคฉ Either way, you’re very welcome for the share because those Disney recs were EPIC! I really hope you rightfully crossed that last con off the list because other people need to see it!

      Also, it makes me feel very validated to hear that even non-Germans out there can relate to my outrage over those grammar mistakes ๐Ÿ˜‡ Take a leaf out of Rachel’s book, Sherwood Smith!! ๐Ÿ™„

      But yeah, the murder thing was definitely a huge shock ๐Ÿ˜ฅ You just don’t expect that sort of stuff to happen in your neighborhood, you know? I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to lose someone you love that way, and it makes me so much more thankful for my own family and friends!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jan @ thedoodlecrafter says:

    Congratulations on your diploma!! I’m glad you liked the henna wars (the sister dynamic were the best I agree, and the food descriptions ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜) haha every contemporary book published around that time must’ve had harry potter references, though I’m glad that’s going away now because sometimes reading them makes me cringe.
    I love your wrapups, and I don’t mind at all how long they are! Actually, I do read some of the posts people link in wrap ups, and I’m sure others do too, I find it helpful to find other blogs!
    Hope you have a good month ahead ๐Ÿ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you, Jan, and a great month to you as well! ๐Ÿ’™

      I’m thrilled to hear you also enjoyed The Henna Wars! ๐Ÿฅฐ (Seriously, though, those food descriptions were beyond cruel. It’s already bad enough that my brother is currently studying abroad in India and sending me continuous streams of food pictures without the Henna Wars contributing! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ) But yeah, the HP references do get a bit overkill after a while… It seems kind of like all these authors are trying to prove to one another that they’re the wokest fan ever! ๐Ÿ™„

      And awww, thank you! ๐Ÿฅฐ I personally love long wrap-ups with more indepth reviews, but often feel as though I’m in the minority… ๐Ÿ˜… And it’s certainly good to know this new section is not completely useless! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maria @ The Character Study says:

    Naemi, I’m really sorry you had such a horrible start to the year, I hope you can overcome this. And I’m glad the rest of the month went progressively better! ๐Ÿ’•

    I’ve not read any Adiba Jaigirdar book yer, but her upcoming novel sounds tailored specifically for me, so I’m really excited about it, especially seeing that you enjoyed her work!

    And you read Marina! I have to admit I don’t remember much about it seing as I read it about 10 years ago (omg…) but I know the atmosphere was also my favourite aspect!

    I love seeing that I’m not the only overthinker here hehe… Gotta love how you made a whole list of cons and pros only to kinda throw it out the window ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thanks for mentioning my post, rest assured that I’m not liking your wrap-up only because of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Maria! ๐Ÿ’™ Yeah, the start to my year certainly wasn’t pretty, but seeing how my community has come together in wake of what happened is also kind of uplifting. I just hope those directly affected can eventually get past this! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

      On a happier note, I’m definitely not opposed to checking out more of Adiba Jaigirdar’s work, either! Especially when the next book apparently involves fake-dating (trashy Netflix comedies have made me a fan ๐Ÿ˜) and an overthinking academic overachiever (I sense a lot of relatability coming my way ๐Ÿ˜‚)…

      Also, yes, Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn definitely has atmosphere down! I can’t even imagine what his writing must be like in Spanish, when the translations are already this good ๐Ÿ˜ I need him to teach me his skills!

      (Also, I’m glad someone appreciated my utterly useless pros and cons list. And that you think this wrap-up is like-worthy regardless of your amazing discussion being linked in it ๐Ÿ˜Š)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maria @ The Character Study says:

        That’s good, I’m glad!

        Damn trashy Netflix shows, I’m hooked on any and every one of them that’s based on a high school, college, anything having to do with education ๐Ÿ˜‚

        He was totally a master of that, I feel like I should reread The Shadow of the Wind someday now that I’m older.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Strawberrys Corner says:

    I haven’t read any of these books ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I do really want to read The Henna Wars, and a few more that’s one very high up on the want to get to list, great post!

    I also loved the pro and con list, pro and con lists are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      The Henna Wars is definitely a fun book! Just don’t go into it hungry, because I assure you, those first few chapters are going to give you insane food cravings, Meena! ๐Ÿคค

      I’m also glad the utterly irrelevant pros and cons list is being appreciated ๐Ÿ˜ I always love reading them, too, so you’re not alone! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      (Also, sorry for the late response to your comment! I read it yesterday right before dinner and thought I’d already answered, but I guess I never clicked on send ๐Ÿ˜… Whoops…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Strawberrys Corner says:

        Okay, thank you for that warning! Will be eating before reading ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Haha yes, they’re such great and helpful lists, not enough people give them the love they deserve!

        An absolutely unforgivable offence, how dare you ๐Ÿ˜ฎ but of course it’s fine and I hope you had a good meal ๐Ÿ˜

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Line @First Line Reader says:

    I don’t care that you didn’t love The Shamer’s Signet because you loved The Serpent Gift!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ It’s my favorite one and that’s because of all the things you mention, but especially all the interactions between Davin and Nico. I understand your love for Sezuan but Nico is my favorite character so I can’t die on that hill with you ๐Ÿ˜… But what do you mean about Valdracu leaving them alone? The guy who died? Do you want him to haunt them? ๐Ÿ˜„
    And also your rant about The Shamer’s Signet wasn’t that bad but I’m surprised by the things you didn’t love about it. Most people hate it because of Davin because he’s so god damn annoying! And I agree despite really loving him when I was younger. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason a movie was never made is that Nico is completely absent (and maybe the plot isn’t that important). But they had cast a big-deal actor to play him so they probably couldn’t make a movie without him.

    I’m sorry though, that you didn’t like A Star Shall Fall more ๐Ÿ˜ข I figured you would like the science stuff, but I probably liked Galen more than you did because I had no problem just following him. I couldn’t get enough of him pinning after Lune while also being 100% aware of the fact that it was impossible so he had to make a life of his own somehow. I did notice that the plot was very slow but since I loved him so much, I really didn’t mind. And then the ending happened and I was in love with that book! ๐Ÿ˜

    And thank you for mentioning my post despite still being confused about the ending to Ship of Destiny ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I hope the length of this comment proves that I’m not only liking your post because you mentioned me ๐Ÿ˜‚ Of course, the lengthy comment also proves how much I hate your wrap-ups ๐Ÿ˜œ

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Whoops ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ I suppose this is what happens when you edit your wrap-up while simultaneously trying to write very long buddy-read-planning emails and an intro for the second-coolest collab of all time – I have brought Valdracu back from the dead! ๐Ÿคฃ To explain how this came about, I suppose I have to confess that my Shamer’s Signet rant was originally much worse and several paragraphs longer – there was one paragraph about how everyone was totally stupid to not see that someone was obviously pitting the different clans against each other, one paragraph on how strange it was that everybody just disappeared (next to Nico, this also meant all the missing kids’ parents, who apparently had no problem at all sitting around at home while they knew their children were in danger), and one paragraph all about how this book didn’t affect the plot of the other books whatsoever… I found it extremely unrealistic that Drakan would not find out about a close relative and ally of his dying in a battle that Dina (whom everybody in Dracana knew about) was involved in, which is the idea that sentence was supposed to get across: Drakan left Dina alone, even though Valdracu knew where she lived. Drakan just apparently got lost in the editing when I decided that review would get way too long and confusing if I didn’t find some way to limit myself to one paragraph per book ๐Ÿ˜… (I do have retrospective editing privileges here on this blog, though, so I might just go and fix that… ๐Ÿ˜)

      Davin, however, was not awful! His annoyingness was one of the best parts of the book! ๐Ÿค— I liked that he was a bit less perfect, and, to be honest, that’s probably why I love Sezuan so much, too. Though I do also love Nico a lot ๐Ÿ˜‰ And of course, I wholeheartedly agree that The Serpent Gift is the best book in the series! ๐Ÿฅฐ

      And, I’m sorry, Galen pining after Lune all the time just didn’t do it for me. He didn’t even like HER, he was just starstruck from having seen her in the sky that one time ๐Ÿ™„ It was pathetic, and when he didn’t even stay properly dead after playing the martyr, it was so annoying! I would much rather have had more development of his friendship with Delphia (and maybe deeper feelings for Lune that would have made the pining sad rather than pitiful)!

      Also, I already had a feeling your long comments on my posts might be payback for the amount of text I always make you read, so it’s nice to get confirmation that you do, in fact, hate them ๐Ÿ˜œ

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        The stuff we’re doing is simply so cool it can bring characters back from the dead ๐Ÿ˜‚ But then it makes sense. During my reread I do remember thinking that it was a bit odd to introduce such a good villain as Drakan and then he’s completely absent for the next two books. Because, yes, the events in The Shamer’s Signet had no effect on the overall plot.

        And we agree on something, Naemi! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ The Serpent Gift is the best book in the series, but I was a bit worried you wouldn’t think so. I think it feels more “adult” than the rest which could be why I still love it.

        But YES, that was what so amazing about Galen and his feelings for Lune: They were pathetic and pitiful! That’s way more complicated than the sad pinning that every other book tries to do. And well, being a ghost still means you’re properly dead ๐Ÿ˜‚ I thought it was a really sweet ending for him.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Wow, yes, we’re basically necromancers! ๐Ÿ˜‚ But since I’ve always wanted magical powers, I guess I’ll take it. And yeah, I definitely agree that The Serpent Gifts darker and more mature themes are what make it the best – so I guess there’s hope for us ๐Ÿ˜

          I don’t know about that last point, though — Galen being a ghost now is giving me the gnawing suspicion that he might be back again in the next book, following Lune with an adoring ghostly gaze ๐Ÿ˜… I don’t need any more of that, thank you very much! As long as he is still able to talk and look pitiful, I am not counting him as fully dead.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Suhani says:

    Oh god taking covid tests are the worst ! They really like torturing us poor innocent souls huh?
    Andd ahhh the henna wars seems FANTASTIC, *hurriedly adds to TBR* I mainly want to read it now for those mouthwatering food descriptions you mentioned hahahaha ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    And Iโ€™ve never actually added a โ€˜posts I lovedโ€™ to any of my wrap ups, but I mean Iโ€™ve seen a lot of people do it so Iโ€™m adding one to the wrap up iโ€™m currently writing! I mainly donโ€™t include them because there are way way too many posts Iโ€™ve enjoyed reading, and Iโ€™m too lazy to link all of them ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ™Š
    Going to check out all the posts youโ€™ve linked right now!!
    Adored reading this wrap up, hoping your February goes well!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I know! It’s like they want to tickle your brain and maul your nose at the same time! ๐Ÿ˜…

      And ahhh, yes, Suhani, check out The Henna Wars! ๐Ÿค— Just make sure you’re not all that hungry while reading because I assure you that I’m not kidding about those food descriptions. The first few chapters especially are torturously full of delicious things! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค

      And same! I never included those sections before because it’s so hard to narrow those lists down (I decided to pick ten as my cut-off point and it nearly killed me ๐Ÿ˜ญ), I don’t want to disappoint people, and I’m also extremely lazy ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ But it’s also a nice way to appreciate the community, so I think I’m liking it so far! I’m definitely excited to see which posts you’ve linked in yours and to hopefully discover some new favorites!!!

      Like

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Robyn! ๐Ÿฅฐ I’m always happy to hear someone actually likes my lengthy ramblings ๐Ÿ˜‚ And all of the bloggers in that list are amazing, so I really hope you find someone whose posts you enjoy reading just as much as I do!

      Liked by 1 person

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