Hullo, bookdragons!

January passed by in the blink of an eye which further proves that time is fake. Or you can also say that I feel this way because my life is the poster child for monotony and it feels like I’m living the same day every day (okay we will not be talking about this any further because I don’t want to cry two minutes into this post). For me, January was a month of relaxation and endless lounging on the couch while reading books and watching anime. Yes, I am aware that I need to find new hobbies. Give me 100 more years to get my life together.

Despite my negative ramblings, January wasn’t exactly uneventful. In fact, quite a lot of good things happened last month. I discovered new things to scream about and read a considerable number of books. By considerable, I mean I surpassed my Goodreads challenge of 50 books. No biggie.

Let’s start the wrap up, shall we?


✨ Reading
πŸ“Ž Backlist Books
πŸ“Ž Audiobooks
πŸ“Ž Graphic Novel, Webcomics, and Manga

✨ Blogging
πŸ“Ž January Posts
πŸ“Ž Blog Hopping

✨ More January Highlights

✨ February Goals

I read a total of 69 books in January. As much as I want to say that I achieved this because I struck a deal with a particularly conniving demon, that’s not what happened. I just got myself into a massive Haikyu!! brainrot and read all 45 manga volumes in less than a week. Is that normal? Heck if I know. I also read a lot of webcomics. Like, A LOT. My two brain cells just have no chill.

Let’s break down my January reads! Buckle up because there are a lot of them πŸ™ˆ


πŸ“š The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

It’s my third time reading The Poppy War but I still loved this experience like it was my first. In fact, I loved it even more because I was hit by trucks of nostalgia and rereading this after knowing what happened in the third book was both painful and gratifying. I also buddy read this with May and discussing my favorite scenes and characters with her made the reading experience more special. I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK OKAY. It’s a masterpiece that reminded me why I love reading in the first place. This series will always have a special place in my heart.

πŸ“š An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I picked this up on a whim because I wanted to cut back on my screen time (I’ve been having migraines from too much screen exposure) and this was the first book on my shelf that caught my attention. I ended up enjoying it because of the pining and the pretty writing. It also offers an interesting take on the fair folk. This is an immersive standalone that you can read in one sitting.


I read 5 ARCs in January which is quite the satisfying number. I’m actually prioritizing ARCs right now which is why I hardly pick up backlist books unless they’re in audiobook format. I’m hoping to keep this energy up for the rest of the year.

πŸ“š Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

This is a very entertaining and magical middle grade! I highly recommend this to bookdragons who love reading about magic schools and adventure with a sprinkle of mystery. Amari also highlights the importance of family and the harrowing but brave act of fighting against all odds.

πŸ“š The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

I have to be honest here. I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would. It hardly has any plot (which is quite understandable considering that it’s a Great Gatsby retelling) and I was mostly bored while reading it. However, I still commend Nghi Vo’s versatility as a writer because this book really reads like a classic and has a lot of hard-hitting lines. You’ll either love this or hate this.

πŸ“š Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Now, this is one book that I enjoyed reading very much. The writing is beautiful, the world-building is immaculate, and the yearning can be felt across nine dimensions. I’d also like to point out that this story is an example of enemies-to-lovers done right. I buddy read this with Lauren and our entire conversation was filled with barely coherent screaming. This may go down as one of my most favorite reads of the year. READ THIS BOOK WHEN IT COMES OUT ON MARCH 2.

πŸ“š The Project by Courtney Summers

Reading this book was an experience. Courtney Summers was able to write a deeply unsettling book about the terrifying pull of cults through The Project. Its pacing is on the slow side but the payoff was worth it.

πŸ“š Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

I adore this book with every fiber of my being. Sarah Hogle hit the mark once again. My heart was full to the brim with love and adoration while reading Twice Shy. This book will make you laugh out loud, cry, and fall in love. I can’t recommend it enough.


Audiobooks keep me alive. Thanks to them for keeping my brain occupied to the point where I can’t hear my own thoughts any longer 😌

πŸ“š The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

This was a bit confusing to follow on audiobook but I definitely loved its whimsical vibe. I enjoyed mulling over the little snippets of stories scattered across the book and was fascinated by the fact that they play an integral role in the main storyline. I need to reread this someday to appreciate it more.

πŸ“š Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Drawing inspiration from Filipino folklore, Lalani of the Distant Sea is an inspiring story that readers of all ages will appreciate. Reading this was both entertaining and informative. It’s always a pleasure to learn more things about Filipino folklore. Highly recommended for fans of middle grade.

πŸ“š The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

Well, this was short but still worth the read. It’s been a while since I consumed something related to the Grishaverse and it felt good to delve back into this world once again.

πŸ“š On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas is a master at crafting realistic characters and clever dialogue. On the Come Up is a story of family, hope, dreams, and frustration. It discusses racial injustice and highlights the importance of using one’s voice to make a difference. This is a raw and insightful page-turner that will take your breath away.

πŸ“š Lovely War by Julie Berry

This book lived up to its god tier premise which pleases my soul immensely. Lovely War spectacularly weaves two love stories set in World War I. What makes this book very interesting is that its chapters are narrated by Greek gods, adding more dimension to an already compelling story. If you’re looking for a book that is equal parts beautiful and tragic, pick this one up. You will not be disappointed.

πŸ“š The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes

This is a poignant novella starring mermaids descended from African slaves who were tossed overboard by slave owners. The Deep packs a punch in less than 200 pages. I was very impressed by the atmospheric writing and I appreciate the discussion of intergenerational trauma in such an imaginative way. Definitely worth the read.


Lo and behold, the keys to my Goodreads challenge success! I definitely owe the bulk of my achievement to Haikyu!! but I also read quite a lot of webcomics and manhwa in January. In fact, there’s a lot of manhwa that I’m not planning to add to my Goodreads because of….reasons (inconsistent updates, obscure translations, and some don’t have Goodreads pages). So yeah, those are just between me and God now. Also, if I added them I’d probably be at 100 books next week and that’s kind of scary. We’ll stick with this list for now.

πŸ“š The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

With its breathtaking art and masterful storytelling, The Magic Fish easily climbed the ranks and became one of my most favorite books of all time. This graphic novel offers tenderness and comfort while discussing important themes. It also subverts a lot of fairytale tropes in a very satisfying way.

πŸ“š Your Letter by Yeon A Cho // Devil Number 4 by Jangjing and Woombeee

Your Letter is a short webtoon that features a scavenger hunt, friendship, and a little bit of magic. Devil Number 4 is a story about mortals, angels, devils, and the fate that binds them together. I talked about these webtoons in my previous post so if you want to know more of my thoughts about them, feel free to check it out!

πŸ“š The Girl and the Geek by DAGAB & HurYunhwa // The Lady with a Mask by Merin, Park Hanna, and Min // The Office Blind Date by Narak

I read a lot of romance webtoons in January just because I wanted to feel something. These three are all very cute and yes they’re quite on the clichΓ© side but I don’t really care. I ate up all the clichΓ© tropes with a golden spoon and I still won in the end. I read them for the feels okay 😭

πŸ“š Star Children by Ro-taniah

I fell in love with this webtoon at first sight. Not only is the art beautiful but the story is also engaging with its fantasy elements and high stakes. This is a story that begins when a star (who is also a boy) crash-landed on Earth and was rescued by a mortal. Star Children is still ongoing but I’m always on the lookout for its weekly updates. It deserves to be an Original. I hope that happens someday.

πŸ“š To Love Your Enemy by Jeongyun

This is yet another webtoon that I picked up for the feels. It has the “im irritated with you but why an i slowly liking you” trope and it also has fake dating. The protagonists have great chemistry too! I’m still waiting for the story to pick up though.

πŸ“š Bungou Stray Dogs Vol. 20 by Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa

This current arc is going to be the death of me. My favorite characters and I are not going to survive this. I am scared 😭 (atsushi and akutagawa sure are looking good on that cover though)

πŸ“š Horimiya Vol. 1-2 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara

Thanks a million to the shoujo manga industry for carrying my whole life on its back. Horimiya is an adorable story that reminded me of a high school life I never had (my hs life was relatively uneventful romance-wise πŸ™‚). I’m sad that the anime adaptation left out a lot of scenes from the manga but the visuals and the OP are top tier so I can live with it. I’m excited to read more chapters and watch more episodes so I can compare the manga and anime accordingly.

πŸ“š Haikyu!! Vol. 1-45 by Haruichi Furudate

Look, my love for Haikyuu is overflowing I need about 100 hearts to fit all of my feelings in. I can write a 4k-word essay detailing why Haikyuu is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece but that’s not what we’re here for today so I’ll hold back a bit. Of course, I’ve heard about Haikyuu since my high school years but I only got into it this month. I watched the anime on a whim, not knowing that it will consume my life to the point of no return. I loved the anime so much that I binged all 4 seasons in less than 72 hours and binged all 45 volumes of the manga in less than a week. This, my friends, is what we call an extreme brainrot. I don’t exactly recommend it. My two brain cells are definitely spent right now. I HIGHLY recommend the manga and the anime, though.

I wanted to read the manga more slowly because I didn’t want to let go of the characters so quickly but I couldn’t find it in myself to slow down my pace. I was just that invested in the story. You see, Haikyuu is more than just volleyball (im aware that i sound so dramatic right now please look away). It’s a layered story of friendship, teamwork, success, failure, and improvement. Every character you meet is three-dimensional and each story arc is shot with action and tension. By the end of the manga, I was a sobbing mess. It shouldn’t make sense that I feel as if I’ve known these characters forever but I truly do. My brainrot is here to stay. I miss everyone already πŸ˜”

I’m incredibly thrilled to say that I have rediscovered my love for blogging in January. I found myself enjoying the process of writing posts so much. Sure, formatting is still exhausting but it can be strangely comforting at times. Case in point: I am actually at the point in my blogging life where I’m excited to create content and share it with the world. I hardly care about stats now. It feels good to be validated but mostly I’m just here to ramble and vibe. I enjoy what I’m doing and that’s precious enough.

With that said, here are my posts for January:

I also got back to blog hopping in January so I’ll be sharing some favorite posts below. A lot of my friends also rebranded their blogs last month so please support them as well!

✨ Kate’s blog is finally self-hosted and she published a lot of great posts last month. You need to read her series review of The Poppy War trilogy and find out why it’s such a masterful fantasy series.

✨ Fadwa went self-hosted as well and even blessed us with a 2021 reading spreadsheet. I’m currently using this spreadsheet and it’s an incredible blessing to my unorganized ass. Check out the spreadsheet here!

✨ Lauren and Orianna relaunched their blog, loveyoshelf, and posted a fun Q & A to celebrate the occasion. Visit their blog here.

✨ Ace also relaunched her blog and posted insightful reviews, including her review of The Project by Courtney Summers.

✨ Cande rebranded their blog and I enjoyed reading their 2020 wrap up post where they also shared their 2021 resolutions.

✨ Charvi also rebranded her blog. I loved reading her webtoon recommendations post. It’s always great to discover new webtoons to scream about.

✨ May’s blog turned 4 last week and she posted a Q & A that was very fun to read! Show her some love by visiting her blog here.

✨ All of Shealea’s posts are gold but I especially appreciate her post where she listed some free alternatives to pirated books. It’s a treasure trove for bookdragons who are wondering where they can read books for free and legally.


✨ I finally turned 20 in January! I don’t celebrate a lot during my birthdays but my friends surprised me by visiting my lair so my day became more special than what I initially perceived. Also, I’m not thrilled to be in my 20s in the middle of a global pandemic. I just want to dissolve now.

✨ I buddy watched True Beauty with my friends Lily and Breana and it was so fun discussing the episodes with them while fangirling over all the beautiful people in the show. True Beauty isn’t the greatest drama out there but it sure is entertaining.

✨ I finally got a decent break from uni and I was happy when I found out that my grades turned out fine despite suffering for the majority of the semester. My second semester won’t begin until March so I still have a lot of time to relax. I have to face my thesis sooner or later though.

✨ I watched a lot of anime for emotional support. I caught up to new anime episodes of Black Clover and The Great Pretender. I binged Fairy Tail with my sister. I watched Jujutsu Kaisen, Fugou Keiji Balance Unlimited, Horimiya, and fell hard for Haikyuu.

✨ Have I already mentioned Haikyuu?


I am once again setting myself up for failure by listing these goals but here you go:

✨ Read at least 3 ARCs

✨ Publish at least 3 blog posts

✨Organize my Notion pages for second semester of uni

✨ Take bookstagram pictures before my account gets lost in proverbial cobwebs (this goal is quite unattainable)

✨Start planning out my thesis (this is the most impossible goal in this list lmao)

That’s about it! I hope your first month of the year also went well. Don’t despair if you weren’t able to read much in January. There are 11 more months in the year. I recommend reading manga or webcomics if you’re in a slump. Don’t forget to add them to your Goodreads challenge too! May February bless all of us with more excellent reads. See yall soon ❀️

What’s your favorite read of January? Tell me your highlights of the month too! What are some of your goals for February?


  1. when i tell you my jaw DROPPED when I saw this post title. which reminds me that I definitely need to finish reading Jujutsu Kaisen and Haikyuu. my cousin recently introduced me to the promised neverland and now I feel like I’m being swamped with manga and anime adaptations. I’ve been hearing good things about Down Comes the Night, I’ll definitely be watching out for that one.


    1. i read the promised neverland last year and i enjoyed it very much!! it’s definitely worth the read so i hope you get to it soon. im also planning to read jujutsu kaisen!


  2. I can’t believe you’ve already read The Chosen and the Beautiful. I am DYING to read it! Also, please stop making me scared about BSD. I only read 6 volumes of BSD manga this month because your warnings keep reminding me that bad things will happen 😭
    Can’t get over the fact that you straight up binge FORTY-FIVE volumes of Haikyuu!!


  3. I actually second Gargee up there. I NEED The Chosen and the Beautiful yesterday πŸ˜‚ I think I spent most of this month just preparing for my exams so I took it a little chill and just read a shit ton of manga in the first half and caught up with my ARCs in the secondπŸ™ˆ


    1. im really looking forward to seeing more thoughts on the chosen and the beautiful because i have mixed feelings for it. i wish you end up loving it, though. also hooray to reading a lot of manga that’s just me right now 😌


  4. Omg you certainly made a dent in your tbr this month! I swear I just found out while blog hopping that The Project releases tomorrow and I’ve made no plans to read my arc. Whoops. And omg thanks so much for including my post and mentioning my rebrand ❀ Good luck with your February goals!


  5. OK RAIN,,,, SO SUE ME I WAS HALF EXPECTING THE TITLE OF THIS POST TO BE ~CLICKBAIT~ but no. you decide to continue to be an inspiration for all of us πŸ₯ΊπŸ’– also YES i loved on the come up too!! personally, i thought it was better than the hate you give, and though i didn’t try the audiobook, i loved the book so much!! congratulations on getting good grades in uni!! that is so amazing, and good luck for everything that’s coming up!! i’m so happy you’ve re-discovered your love for blogging, and i can’t wait to see more posts from you soon!! i hope february treats you well ❀️❀️


  6. i’ve heard so much about haikyuu but never actually read it?? i’m hoping to soon and i’m glad you enjoyed it! i binged your letter after reading your webtoon recs post and it was so good!! πŸ’– but ten episodes is too short and the ending ahhh πŸ₯Ί i’m glad you had a great month and i hope february treats you well too πŸ’ž


    1. omg im so happy you loved your letter! it’s being adapted into a show soon im really excited about that. i highly recommend watching the haikyuu anime and then binging the manga afterwards. I CAN’T GET OVER IT 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Omg you’ve read so much already! This is so impressive ❀️ The Starless Sea can be a bit confusing at times, but it ended up being a new favorite. I’ll have to try the audiobook when I reread it.


  8. Happy belated birthday!! AND OH MY GOSH I FELL TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH HAIKYUU IN DECEMBER. I literally have to stop myself from rewatching the anime CONSTANTLY. I haven’t decided if I want to go and pick up the manga yet haha! Who’s your favorite character? And sorry, I think I’m way too obsessedπŸ˜‚πŸ˜… Anyways, it looks like January was a great month for you as far as reading goes, congrats on finishing your Goodreads goal! Hope February goes well for youπŸ’œ


    1. thank you!! and you don’t need to apologize at all. haikyuu love is very welcome on this blog. i can’t choose just one favorite character but here’s my top five:
      1. hinata
      2. kageyama
      3. nishinoya
      4. kenma
      5. bokuto
      i love all the characters actually ahh i miss them so much i want to read the manga again or rewatch the anime 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy belated birthday! And congrats on reading 64 books!!!
    OMG I just watched Haiku too and got completely obsessed with it. Now I’m reading the manga but I just started. TBH, the biggest scam is the fact that Hinata is taller than me 😭
    I really really need some Haiku merch now.
    All the best for your February goals! Hope you have a good month!


  10. RAINNN I LOVE YOU!! i’m so proud of you and your reading power (and also very scared… the hq brainrot is strong). but also i’m SO sorry about dropping the ball on the chosen and the beautiful lmao, i will finish it this month hopefully so we can continue our tpw reread 😭 happy belated birthday and i’m so glad you got a bit of a break from uni + congrats on your good grades!!


    1. it’s really okay! i understand why you found it hard to get through the book. im excited for our tdr reread though. also, can’t wait to talk more about hq with you let’s thrive in this brainrot 😌🀟

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Not sure if I’m the first to say this, but can we take a moment to appreciate the IMMACULATE VIBE that your post headers give??? I’m ashamed that I’m only noticing them now.

    Also, I’m glad that you had a great reading month! It’s smart of you to get your GR goal out of the way so you can spend the rest of 2021, focusing on the enjoyment aspect of reading. Good for you!


    1. thank you very much!! it’s all thanks to vinny because she made the template for my headers. im excited to read more amazing books this month! i hope your january went well too πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

    1. i still can’t believe i read so much in a month 😭 LOVELY WAR was so good!! i especially love the chapter endings. they always ended with punch, what with gods and goddesses narrating them too

      Liked by 1 person

  12. happy birthday, rain! i hope you had a great day despite the circumstances!

    reading your thoughts on twice shy makes me so excited! i didn’t find the premise that interesting, not like you deserve each other at least, when i was hooked by the summary. but reading you enjoyed it so much makes me hopeful and wanting to pick it up as well.

    wishing you all the luck on your february goals & an amazing month!


    1. the twice shy synopsis doesn’t do it justice. it’s good in so many levels! please give it a shot. you’ll know what i mean once you get to read it. good luck on your february too! hope you get to read more great books ✨

      Liked by 1 person

  13. SO ICONIC! your power? unparalleled. I’m so happy you found the love for blogging again, I feel like so many of us were feeling a little bit tired? dispassionate? and it’s so good to see my favorite bloggers coming back strong ❀ thank you so much for the shout out. hope your February is full of wonderful reads!


    1. ah yes! it’s good to rediscover my love for blogging and seeing my friends have fun with creating once again definitely motivated me a lot as well. sending you good vibes for february πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I second wanting to dissolve because now we’re in our 20s in the midst of a pandemic and it’s a no from me, the last teen year felt stolen from us. Oooo OK so I did see Haikyuu but I never realised it was the one with volleyball in and apparently I’m trash for things which include sports… despite not being particularly sporty myself. I’ll have to add Haikyuu to my read and watch list now. I need to finish Fairy Tail but I just don’t want to say goodbye to the characters. I did start the Tower of God anime and started the True Beauty webtoon and I finished The Bone Witch last month! 😭😭😭 Sis I’m still trying gain the courage to start book 2 cause book 1 hurt me in the softest and subtlest of ways. But I did adore it so much 😍

    Sending you love and good vibes for your February sis πŸ’œβœ¨


    1. SIS PLEASE WATCH HAIKYUU AND CRY WITH ME. im sending you courage to read heart forger. the story is only going to get better i swear. hope you’re having a good february so far πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll end up watching it soon I think, be prepared for me to sobbing in your DMs. You’ve seen all 4 seasons which are out right? (don’t want to accidentally spoil you) and I knowwww it’s gonna get better but that means it’s also going to hurt more right? xD


  15. my life is the poster child for monotony and it feels like I’m living the same day every day

    ME IT’S ME AND I AM SAD! Time has no meaning. What is reality. But I am in awe of your two braincells focusing enough to read all that! AMAZED! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Project and The Deep as I really enjoyed them myself.

    I hope February is just as fruitful for you!


  16. ma’am I feel even more terrible now because I should’ve been here a month ago to scream about how amazing this is. But alas, I’m way behind on blog posts (even you even see this)(also expect some spam oops)



  17. Audiobooks are kind of a hit or miss for me. I tend to get easily distracted and lose focus. Using them as an ambient noise keeps me sane but it doesn’t do much for how I enjoy the book itself.


    1. aww im sorry to hear that audiobooks don’t quite work for you. tbh it took me a while to get used to them too. i hope you enjoy them better someday!


      1. I enjoyed it extremely when I read What If It’s Us but when I read The Night Circus… it was an utter failure. I guess it isn’t much for fantastic books. Maybe I should stick to contemporary audiobooks. :thinkingemoji:


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