Happy New Year and Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Tiger and a year of dropping all of the reading challenges. Maybe when I’m no longer working full-time, I can try them again, but until then, I’ll read with no goals in mind.


Book one in the Red Queen series

One Book Lane truly summarizes this series best, “Hunger Games meets X-Men“. And for my winter break, it was exactly what I needed — fantasy, engrossing, not too dark or depressing as dystopian has a tendency to go, and familiar but different enough to keep reading.

The truth doesn’t matter. It only matters what the people believe.
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen


Book two delivers

At one point, years back, I remember folks were giving adults a hard time for reading YA, so I’ve decided to find out what makes this genre so appealing to not only myself, but others like me.

According to The Atlantic:

  1. These books are about coming of age, and we’re still coming of age. (In other words, it’s a shared universal experience and even though we are adults, we continue to change.)
  2. The intensity of the first time. (The first kiss, the first of everything as a teen is so searing, and that innocence is a lovely emotion.)
  3. It’s not about the escape. (It does seem like you’re just sinking into another world, but what I love about YA is it’s filled with life lessons and truths that help us grapple with our own reality.)
  4. They’re good, and they’re being recognized. (I’m continuously impressed with the quality of YA writing and the diversity found here.)
  5. It all goes back to Harry Potter… (This series was popular with every kind of reader, and did you know there are different book covers for adults and kids?)

Book three of four -ish…

The series is set in an us versus them world, a place in which you are born either a Silver or a Red. And those colors refer to your blood type. Silvers rule because they have special abilities (see X-Men), but the story centers around a Red (ala Hunger Games), Mare Barrow, who discovers by accident that she has powers like a Silver.

I’m on the fourth book, War Storm, but there are plenty of other novellas sprinkled throughout, but I decided to stick with the books since it was easier that way. If my obsession continues, I might try to find the other stories.

And yes, these popular books with this much of a fan base has finally found a home with NBC’s Peacock and will be a TV series directed by Elizabeth Banks. I hope it’s as good as what Netflix did to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse!


Are you participating in any reading challenges in 2022? Do you read YA? How was your January?

27 replies on “January 2022 Reading Roundup

    1. Right? πŸ™‚ The stats it listed said 55% of YA readers are adults. I wonder if that has changed much since the article was published in 2017.

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  1. I’m not doing any reading challenges. Maybe that would help me keep track of when I read a book so I could make a January list. Here are the books I’ve read recently, probably in January.

    Later by Stephen King. A little scary, but I really enjoyed it. The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff. So-so but interesting. Intimacies by Katie Kitamura, about an interpreter at The Hague. And now I’m reading Unthinkable by Jamie Raskin and The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

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  2. I haven’t read much YA (does Harry Potter count? I read it all a couple of years ago) but not because I don’t think I’d like it, just because… dunno. Too many books, too little time haha.

    In January I read a crime story about a serial killer in Shanghai (couldn’t put it down!) and now I’m in the middle of yet another Chinese classic from the 16th century! But this one’s different because it has SEX in it, and not just a little bit, haha (it even has explicit drawings!). And I only remark this because of how much it contrasts with the usual Chinese stories haha. It’s called Jin Ping Mei (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Ping_Mei) and it’s the story of a rich man with several wives . It’s super long, like 3200 pages in total, and I’m just at 900. I’m enjoying it a lot, not only because of the story itself but also because of the superb Spanish translation (made by one of my former Uni professors, it must have taken her ages to translate all this…)

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    1. Yes, Harry Potter counts. I think it’s like considered the ‘beginning’ of the YA obsession for adults for the general public.

      Oooo. Jin Ping Mei sounds racy. And my goodness, you do manage to get into really long reads. Good for you. It will give you something to do while you eat all of your son’s candy. πŸ˜›

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  3. We limit ourselves so much in how books are classified, I think. Who cares what audience it is aimed for – a good book is a good book. And books often straddled these imposed classifications anyway. I’m not into reading challenges. I read as much as I have time for. And always before falling asleep. I recently read Maggie O’Farrell’s “I am, I am, I am”. What an incredible book and writer. It is a memoir of sorts written in 17 chapters dealing with brushes with death. An unusual structure and subject matter in which to conjure up a life, but it works really well. Have you read her novel ‘Hamnet’? Highly recommend both these books.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I’m intrigued. And yes, agree with you on the classifications. Unfortunately, the YA label puts the books in a ‘for kids’ field which can be a disservice to some great stories! Good point!

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      1. So strange that they do that, because YA is closer to adults than kids. Like you say, it is a real disservice, but also highlights our obsession with classifying everything. Goodness, it is like we cannot function if we fail to but something in a neat little box. *Sigh.

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      2. We must think of other book sections — like “books you may like” “scary stories” “more books you may like” – hahahahaha

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  4. YA has some great booksΒ β€”Β I’m happy to read in the genre generally though I’ll keep a distance from that ‘what’s this strange new feeling, first kiss’ sub-genre.
    Read The fault in our stars this year, have you tried that? A little too clever in places but it packs an emotional punch and is kind of a masterpiece.
    Just finished Feist’s The magician, which could be YA fantasy, or maybe just fantasy.
    You’re giving Victoria Aveyard I fair go! You must be enjoying her titles? I quite like moving through books of the same author…no gear changes required!

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    1. I know John Green has really done good work in the YA genre, but I haven’t quite managed to get to Fault, but have heard great things.

      Will remember Feist, too, as you have good taste! Yes, it’s fun to read from the same author — I find myself doing that a lot these days. Cheers.

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  5. Read for pleasure …. woohoo!
    Challenges can be motivating, inspiring …. until they are not. Hope you enjoy reading for the pure joy this year, Lani!

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  6. I didn’t know there a different book covers for adults and kids-makes sense! Those covers for the series you read are amazing. I haven’t read much YA, yet. I’m sure it’s coming soon, as my guys are graduating out of middle grade novels, some of which are just amazing. Total literary masterpieces. Always love your posts. Glad to be able to get in any reading at all, right!?

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    1. Absolutely. Speaking of different covers, I was blown away when I discovered that there were different jackets for different countries! Such interesting marketing, and often I don’t understand why. πŸ˜› Thanks, Rebecca. xo

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  7. I’m also guilty of reading a lot of YA. πŸ˜€ And I never cared about what other people were thinking about that, there are some damn good YA books out there, and if they think they’re too “grown up” to read them it’s their loss! Ha!
    can’t wait for 2nd season of Grishaverse on Netflix! Oh, and just finished listening to Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House – did you read it??

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    1. YESSSSSSS! Ninth House is not something I’d normally pick up, but Bardugo’s my girl. And it was sooo good. I think there’s supposed to be a part two? Am I remembering wrong? Probably.

      Oh, yeah, I don’t care if people think I’m weird for reading YA either. It’s good for my skin. Hahahahaha. Keeps me young xo

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      1. Hehe! I was also hesitant at first but then I thought, what the heck? I’m going to give it a try and she absolutely rocked it again. πŸ˜€ Yes, I do think there’s going to be a 2nd part, at least it would make sense, as I want to know what happened to Darlington (demon?!)!!
        Hahahaha! That’s a perfect explanation – I read YA because it keeps my skin looking fresh and young! Awesome!!! πŸ˜€ xoxo

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