I can’t be the only one shocked that the first month of 2021 is almost over. My first few days of January started out fairly relaxing, having stayed home for New Years and reading a few books & watching tons of Kara & Nate before I jumped into my full time clinical internship for my master’s program. Aside from diving into full time work life this month, I also have a mini life update – I’m living at my grad school! Being on a college campus during a pandemic is a very different experience – picture masks everywhere a and really only going into the building you live in and the campus mailroom – but it feels surprisingly more normal than expected.
Between being back at school – which means binge-watching all the shows & movies with my roommate- and having a full time academic schedule, I expected my reading life to suffer a tiny bit this month, but I still managed to read 9 books. I’m hoping to continue to carry on this reading energy throughout the rest of the semester. What’s slightly helping my reading is that since I’m on a laptop all day for my clinical and grad classes, I enjoy taking my eyes away from any screen at night and turning to a book.
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli (ARC) | 4/5 Stars
I decided to start off my New Year with one of my most anticipated releases that I was fortunate enough to read early for review (coming in April!), Becky Albertalli’s Kate in Waiting. I loved the emphasis on self-growth, friendship, relationships, growing up, & so much more. After enjoying it so much, I may make my reread book of February as Becky’s The Upside of Unrequited, aka my favorite book of her’s!
We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop | 4.5/5
Although I am content with the books I chose in January, none of them screamed FAVORITE books of 2021 — but if I had to choose a favorite, it’d be Andrea Dunlop’s We Came Here to Forget. I loved the plot, following a former Olympic skier who relocates to Buenos Aires after a family tragedy.
Lucky Caller by Emma Mills | 4/5
I was craving a YA contemporary and decided to finally pick up the only Emma Mills book I hadn’t yet read, Lucky Caller. I ended up enjoying it more than expected – the school radio premise was done well and like Emma Mills’ other books, I liked its quiet feel and emphasis on friendship.
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza | 4/5
Books about politics, let alone one about an election, might not be everyone’s cup of tea right now, but Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win was a really enjoyable read. I liked how much it explored what it’s like for a woman to run for government vs. a man. I’m still not sure how I feel abut the ending though.
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman | 4.5/5
If there’s one fluffy read I would recommend this month, it’s hand down The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. I loved the plot, the setting in Italy, and the themes surrounding family and love. If you’re a fan of Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana and want something a little more lighter, I definitely recommend picking this one up.
Where We Belong by Emily Giffin | 3.5/5
Emily Giffin is a women’s fiction staple, know I needed to read one of her books at some point. One of my friends who knows I love both adult fiction & YA gifted me Where We Belong for my graduation a few months ago. Following a woman who meets the daughter she gave up for adoption 18 years later, this was a fluffier read my mind needed during a stressful week. I liked the plot, but I would’ve enjoyed a deeper dive into the characters and their emotions.
shine your icy crown (you are your own fairy tale #2) by amanda lovelace | 4/5
As always, I really appreciated amanda lovelace’s poems focused on female empowerment and growth in her latest collection, shine your icy crown.
Black Canary: Breaking Silence (DC Icons #5) by Alexandra Monir | 3.5/5
I jumped back into the DC Icons series with Black Canary, set in a Gotham City where women have so many less rights than men do, including the ability to sing, much to the dismay of teenage Dinah Lance. The book had many relevant themes surrounding female rights and empowerment. I liked the plot, but I felt like it was missing something – maybe the world-building or even relationship development?
Always & Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han (reread) | 5/5
It took the trailer drop for the Netflix adaptation of Always & Forever, Lara Jean, for me to FINALLY reread my favorite book in the TATBILB series. The book still just puts the biggest smile on my face. I plan on doing a reread review & film review in February, and I’m currently brainstorming more content for the last film adaptation in one of my all-time favorite book series.
WandaVision (Disney+) – I love Elizabeth Olsen & while I haven’t watched every Marvel movie, I couldn’t wait to get into WandaVision, a spinoff show following Wanda/the Scarlett Witch & Vision. I had 0 expectations going in, but I absolutely LOVE it. WandaVision is for sure one of the most unique shows I’ve ever watched. There’s a romantic sitcom feel to the plot and cinematography, but the underlying superpower/Marvel plot-line is showing up more & more.
The Wilds S1 (Amazon Prime) – My roommate and I are currently watching The Wilds together. This show follows a group of girls who are sent on a female empowerment treat, but a plane crash leaves them abandoned on a deserted island…without knowing that they’re part of a social experiment. We’re on the seventh episode so far, and I’m so looking forward (but also scared) to uncovering the girls’ fate.
The Bachelor S25 (ABC/Hulu) – This is my second season of watching The Bachelor – yes, I unfortunately started the franchise last year during Pilot Pete’s season – and I’m convinced that this show is ten times better when you have someone to watch it with. I had been skimming this season so far on my own, but now it’s me and my roommate’s Tuesday night ritual to watch once the episode hits Hulu. I’m just waiting for so much of the drama and honestly mean nature of the some of the women this season to end.
Wonder Woman: 1984 (HBO Max) – My family has a free trial of HBO Max for a month, so I’m trying to watch as many HBO movies and shows as I can (which might honestly lead to rewatching Friends and Sex & the City instead of taking new content in). As someone who LOVED Wonder Woman, I was beyond excited to watch the sequel… despite some really mixed (okay, bad) reviews. I definitely understand the criticism – the plot in this one was at the end of the day, just so bizarre – but I still enjoyed Gal Godot’s performance.
The Undoing (HBO Max) – I have three episodes left of The Undoing. I really like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant’s performances in this murder mystery. I do plan on finishing it up over the next few days, but I’m not as invested in it as I thought I would be.
Nostalgic rewatches: Since going out & hanging out with friends still looks at lot different right now, my two friends & I are on a quest to rewatch as many Disney/Disney Channel original movies on Disney Plus throughout the semester. So far, we’ve watched Camp Rock 2, Lemonade Mouth, & The Greatest Showman. I personally can’t wait to get to The Hannah Montana Movie , High School Musical the series (blame it on “driver’s license”), and two of my all-time faves, The Princess Diaries & The Parent Trap.
Bookish & Fangirl Fun
What did you read & watch this month? Have you read any the books I read or watched any of the shows & movies I mentioned? Share in the comments!