Thursday, February 26, 2015

*Top Reads* January 2015

After agonizing over a list of my favorite books of 2014 last year in November for #BookBlogWriMo, I decided it might be a better idea if I made monthly posts about my favorite books. That way the books would be more fresh in my mind and it would be easier to collate a yearly list towards the end of the year simply by looking back at previous posts (I'm kind of lazy like that.)

But I didn't want to exclude my fellow reviewers here at Just Another Girl and Her Books in these monthly posts, because this isn't just my blog. So even though I asked Kara and Courtney back at the end of January for their top books of January, here is January's list, almost an entire month later (remember that lazy thing I talked about).

Kara's Top book of January

Genre: Romance/NA
Published: January 7, 2015
Pages: 159
Ages: 18+ (I'm guessing)


Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. 
Complete strangers since this morning. 
He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget. 


At the time of this posting, Kara does not have a review for this book, but there are loads of them available on both Goodreads and Amazon (not surprisingly because Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are both quite popular authors). Kara did say that January was a bad month for her, I'm not sure if that means that the books she read just didn't really stick with her or if she just didn't have much time for reading. 

Katie's Top books of January

I couldn't choose just one favorite book in January, I had to choose a couple. Here they are in no particular order. 

Genre: Fantasy
Published: December 7, 2014
Pages: 352
Ages: 14+ (My estimate)


The Riven Wyrde Saga continues with Fae - The Realm of Twilight. 

The Wyrde is dead and gone, its protection passed into the ether. The fae have been loosed upon the world as they begin their wild hunt, a nightmare from fables and legend made flesh. 

At Hesk, in the heart of the Barren Isles Ylsriss must confront a reality she never could have imagined when her son is stolen from her by the fae. Her desperate attempts to reclaim him lead her far from this world and deep into the Realm of Twilight where a still darker truth awaits her. 

As the Bjornmen invaders drive their way deeper into Anlan, King Pieter refuses to act. Selena is forced to confront him directly even as Devin and Obair flee Widdengate and begin a search for answers, seeking help from a woman who may little be more than a memory.


It has been eight months since I read Fae: The Wild Hunt (the first book in this series) and normally for a series with this scope, re-reading the previous books is mandatory for me to feel up to speed with the storyline after a break that long. I didn't find that to be the case with Fae: The Realm of Twilight. I was thrown a little at first, until I realized that the character I was following wasn't one of the major players from the Wild Hunt (although he is a major player in Realm of Twilight). Once I had that realization, I was immediately back in the world that Graham Austin-King created in Wild Hunt. 

I was once again struck by how similar Austin-King's storytelling is to that of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. Austin-King weaves a story together, while following several different characters as their lives are affected by both the Fae and each other. I frequently found myself frustrated by the characters actions because as an outsider it's clear to me what they should be doing, and they're just not doing it. I have hope that they will see the error of their ways in the next installment of this series. 

I already knew most of the characters from Wild Hunt, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend more time with them, although I'm starting to question the role one of them has played. I am once again left with some unanswered questions, which just make me that much more anxious for the next book in the series. 

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, because it immediately pulled me in and transported me back into Austin-King's world and left me desperately wanting the next book. I would still recommend this series to fantasy fans and readers of The Song of Ice and Fire series.


This book earned it's place on this list immediately after I read it. I loved the first book in the series and this book easily kept that love and momentum going. If you are a fantasy fan looking for a good indie author to follow, I can't recommend Graham Austin-King enough. 

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Published: July 25, 2014
Pages: 434
Ages: 18+


“Those in power will do whatever they can to get away with everything they can.”

Every citizen in Atlas, the last city on the planet, is born with a unique, special ability, and no one sleeps past the age of two.

Except for Wick Lesser who, at seventeen, still sleeps. Hiding this rare ability from the world, his father, who can calculate futures, trains him in self-defense and combat while his healing-gifted mother works an unglamorous job in the muds and keeps his secret safe with the help of Wick’s older brothers. The Lesser family of the ninth ward slums manages to keep afloat, suffering under the corrupt, greed-driven Kingship of the Lifted City.

But not for long.

In the first installment of the Outlier series, Wick’s unassuming slumborn life soon explodes into a full-speed adventure of danger, betrayal, and self-discovery when he secretly joins an underground rebel movement working to take down the oppressive ruling power. But the task is far from easy, and there are more adversaries than Wick can count. Not to mention the complication of an intense, unplanned attraction ... to someone on the wrong side of the rebellion.

Powerful forces are gathering to put an end to the uprising, including the city’s elite crew of law-enforcers called Guardian, of which Wick’s own two eldest brothers are sworn members, and all corners of the slums grow ever restless: a lustful boy with blackened eyes leads a violent street gang, with Wick’s younger brother as his newest recruit. A cunning orphaned girl whose ability is to be unseen, sees everything. And high up in the Lifted City, a privileged and wealthy boy yearns for an exciting new life in the slums.

Their world is at a precipice of great change. No one is safe. The rebellion has begun.

*** Contains adult themes, M/F and M/M sexuality, and violence.


This book was like a combination between The Hunger Games and Twilight for me, without the blood sucking. The Lifted City is clearly the Capital from Hunger Games, and the various wards that make up the slums are similar to the districts in the Hunger Games. The special abilities, or Legacies, that everyone is born with, seemed a lot like the special abilities that some of the vampires in Twilight possess, like Edwards ability to read minds or the little blonde psycho Volturi guard's ability to cause great pain with just a thought. Also like the vampires, no one sleeps. 

I LOVED this book. I wanted to just sit and devour it without getting up, and yet I found myself having to put it down after every two to three chapters because I needed time to absorb what I had read. I can't think of a time when that has ever happened to me before; where I wanted to keep reading but just couldn't do it because I needed time to wrap my head around everything I had just taken in. I do not consider this a bad thing.

The story itself is told in limited omniscient third person, rotating between characters (although not with a particular pattern). It was a great way to get inside many of the characters heads, albeit briefly every time, allowing us to see the events of the story from several different angles. And while there was a fairly large cast of characters, I never felt lost as to who was who. Each character had a very distinct voice, and the legacies also kind of helped to keep them straight in my mind because I always immediately thought, "That's the one who..." 

I thought the descriptions were excellent. I had no problem picturing the filth of the slums and the shine of the Lifted City. I was able to imagine most of the Legacies, except Forgemon's math, but math stopped making sense to me when I got to Trig, and that was 14 years ago, so I don't expect to be able to picture a math Legacy very well. 

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It's a book that I would happily re-read and I imagine there are things I would pick up on in a second and third reading that I didn't notice in the first, you know, because I'd be starting with more knowledge. I would definitely recommend this to all dystopian fans because I cannot say enough good things about it.


I love a good dystopian book, and this was a great dystopian book. I really look forward to reading more from Daryl Banner. 

Sadly Courtney did not have a book to contribute to our favorite books of January list. 


  1. I still need to read outlier. Everybody I know who's read it likes it a lot.

    1. Go read it now Sofia!!! Like right this instant. I'll send Joood to boss you if you don't :) Seriously, there was no question about this book making it into my top books list. When I was like halfway through it, I knew it was going to be one of my top books. - Katie