January Wrap-Up: I Read 21 Books This Month + Updates From A College Freshman

Hello everyone!

Wow, I can’t believe I’m doing a wrap-up. The last one I did… was October of 2016. It’s been more than a year! I’m glad to be back though, because I feel like wrap-ups are great ways to kind of organize where you’re at, especially reading-wise. I’m trying to get better on this aspect of my blogging/reading life.

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I ended winter break around mid-January and started my second semester of my first year of university! Even though we had the first two days of classes off because of winter (thanks Atlanta weather), I’ve been feeling the stress accumulate since the moment I stepped back on campus. It’s been pretty tough balancing classes, extracurriculars, a new job, and reading/blogging now that I’m back, but hopefully my scheduled posts are enough for the next months! I read a LOT over the break (in case you couldn’t tell).

College is weird because the peer pressure is SO extreme. I recently applied to this club called Consult Your Community because my good sophomore friends were in it, even though the club is business-related and I’m a STEM major. (That interview was sooo nerve-wracking.) I also recently interviewed to become a Sophomore Advisor next year, which is basically like a Resident Advisor but they volunteer to do the work instead of having it as their job. I’m actually pretty excited about this, and helping future first-years!

I regret all my high school jokes about getting a sugar daddy instead of going to school. This past month I was hit on by SEVERAL older men (30’s+), and it was not a fun time. At frat parties, church meetings, YOU NAME IT. And the worst part? These people knew I was a first year undergrad! I was just so shocked and this is one of the reasons why I don’t trust easily. I’M JUST A NICE PERSON, OKAY. I don’t even know what flirting is. The good part of this is that I got really good at rejecting people. Or, well, ghosting them.

QOTD: Why does my chubby Asian face attract older men? Someone help.

My classes for this semester include an introductory class for philosophy (which is SO fun; it’s western philosophy but my professor is pretty well-known in his field), a beginning social dance class (yayy, PE credit), Gen Chem 2, Biocalculus, and a Women’s Gender Studies class about East Asian Women’s Body and Culture (which is super interesting so far!). It’s 18 credits, so quite a bit to keep up with, but I think I got this in the bag. 😀 Let’s see how it goes!

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I talked about how this one is a hit or miss for readers, and definitely a miss for me. I couldn’t empathize with the main character and wasn’t quite charmed by the story, although the writing and resolution is pretty good.

A quiet, stand-alone YA fantasy involving fae! I’ve become a fan of Rogerson from this story and am eagerly anticipating her next books.

The disappointing finale to a well-liked romantic fantasy trilogy. It’s a great ending, but the writing became repetitive and the deus ex machina was too much for me.

Another heartbreaking, yet touching contemporary from Adam Silvera! I read this one so quickly, the feels couldn’t stop coming. Definitely recommended for amazing #ownvoices rep and beautifully realistic characters.

(Also, I’m pretty proud of the review I wrote for this one!)

I believe this is #ownvoices (not 100% sure), but either way Down by Contact is a witty contemporary romance featuring a hate-to-love dynamic between two football players on opposite sides of the field. Who wouldn’t love that kind of premise?

This review was for an SST blog tour stop, and I mightily enjoyed this historical fantasy! It features a female Spartacus, and the beginnings of a rebellion. There’s a subtle slow burn romance (yeet) and constant fast-paced action. Definitely lots of fun.

SUCH an adorable contemporary romance featuring two strong main characters finding their way through life. It’s light-hearted and comical and will give you basically all the feels.

Books Read

Y’all, I read SO much books over winter break to prepare for this new semester. I’ve scheduled almost everything until around June on both blogs, which is nice! I won’t have to worry so much about them while I’m at school.

For Happy Indulgence

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(I DNF’d the last one, but still reviewed it… I don’t count it as a read book though, hehe.)

For One Way Or An Author

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(I like that one random romance book in the midst of all these YA… lol)

Look Out For Reviews of These Books Next Month!

How was your January? Send me your wrap-ups so I can check them out! Here’s to a great February

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Signature

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34 thoughts on “January Wrap-Up: I Read 21 Books This Month + Updates From A College Freshman

  1. thebookprophet says:

    Ahhh I can’t wait to read your reviews for Let’s Talk About a Thing Called Love, American Panda, and Warcross (all on my to-read list!) Since you’re a young asian woman I bet the middle-aged men think of you as ‘submissive’ *eye-roll* anyway, that’s good that you’re enjoying your classes so far!

  2. Marie says:

    EMERGENCY CONTACT! I can’t wait to read that book, it sounds fantastic and exactly the kind of book I could love! I hope that you enjoyed it 🙂 I will be looking forward to your reviews of Warcross and American Panda – loved the first one and can’t wait to read the second 🙂
    Happy to hear you are enjoying your classes so far! I hope you will have a lovely February ❤

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Emergency Contact was such an interesting read! I didn’t fall in love with it, but it as enjoyable and very realistic. And YESS WARCROSS AND AMERICAN PANDA (*clenches fist at all the Asian rep*)

      Hope you have a lovely February as well! ❤

  3. Raven @ Dreamy Addictions says:

    Great wrap up! You’ve read so many amazing books! I quite enjoyed Mortal Coil and I loved the DNA concept in it. I haven’t read Renegades, Cruel Prince, and Warcross yet but I will soon. OMG, you were hit on by the older men at the church meetings too. LOL! XD
    Anyways, I hope you have a wonderful month! 🙂

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      The Mortal Coil was so cool! The concepts were really detailed and intricate. Warcross was the best for me out of the three you mentioned but the other two were great too!

      Ugh, I can’t believe it was at church! I was SO shocked and uncomfortable.

      Hope you have a wonderful month as well Raven!

  4. Book Swoon says:

    It sounds like everything is going well for you in college – just be careful of people who want to take advantage of you – it’s an awesome place to learn and experience but is also a hotbed for yuck too! When my daughter starts next year I’m going to be so nervous, most likely I’ll turn into protective mama mode 🙂

    You read a ton of books that I’m slowly wading through – I was so sad Heart on Fire be a disappointment. Happy FriYay, Aila!

  5. Lais says:

    Seems like college has been a good experience so far, but I’m sorry about those weird men hitting on you. It was probably disturbing, hahah.
    Next year, I’ll be going to college, and even though school has started been only two weeks for me, I feel the senior-year pressure already. I feel super nervous just thinking about re-starting in a new place. I’ve been in the same school for years, and it’s crazy that in less than a year, I’ll be in a new place, away from my long-time friends. I think it’s nice you’re volunteering to help freshmans, because if I was in their position, I’d be extremely thankful to have someone to guide me through the first months.
    Hope you have a fantastic February!

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Thanks so much Lais for your thoughtful comment! ❤

      For real though, I've never been exposed to people flirting before, much less older men (omg).

      You got less than a year, you can get through this! I stayed with the same friends throughout all four years of my high school, so going to college was really difficult because I left the state to go to a school where I knew no one. It's been an interesting transition, but also exciting! Best of luck with your last step in senior year, and your upcoming college journey! Let me know if you need any help/advice 😉

  6. Aimee (Aimee, Always) says:

    AHHHH I AM SO NOT READY FOR UNIVERSITY. I CAN ALREADY FEEL THE PRESSURE AND I’M NOT EVEN THERE YET!?!?!?! But so cool that you can help future freshies out… Please come to my country and be my campus buddy. D:

    We had philosophy last semester–the lessons were interesting, but our professor got on my nerves so much because of useless papers and weird-ass activities that didn’t make any sense and were pretty much a waste of time. Way to ruin the subject for me. .-.

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      AIMEE YOU GOT THIS.
      YOU CAN DO IT, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF (*whispers* and I’m always hear to listen or give advice! 😉 )

      I wish your professor didn’t give such a bad rep for philosophy! I also had that kind of class in hs but thankfully the awesome classes in university made up for that one.

  7. L says:

    I was disappointed by Heart on Fire, too. I got really frustrated with Cat and her inability to come to terms with who she was. DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON KATO. I really enjoyed the first two books, but like you said…repetitive. I didn’t want to stop reading, but I also wanted and expected a lot more.

    You have posts scheduled through JUNE? ARE YOU A ROBOT? No?

    I stumbled across your blog, and I will now be following them both! Love!

    Do You Dog-ear?

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Ahh thank you so much for your support and for stopping by! ❤

      And yess posts through June but they're mostly weekly, haha. Not that much when you think about it!

      Heart on Fire was an anticipated read, so that made me even more disappointed! I'm not sure if I want to follow the author's next stories in that same world at this point. :')

  8. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    Aila I’m so happy to see you doing wrap ups again, I really enjoy reading them! I’m so glad you’re enjoying college life but it definitely sounds stressful especially with all those old guys *shudders*. Looking forward to reading your reviews!

  9. Lisa M says:

    Ughhhh can creepy old men just…NOT. I’m so sorry this happened to you, it sounds terrible.

    Also 18 credits made me sweat during my undergrads but your subjects all sound fun (NAY on the biocalculus tho, what even is a biocalculus?????) (ok I googled and BIOLOGY? AND MATH? TOGETHER? NOOOO???) (thank god we didn’t have it here—I majored in Biotech Engineering and the 5 math courses were more than enough lol) (ok so many parentheses)

    All the best in your studies!

  10. Michelle says:

    You had such an amazing reading month, Aila 🌸
    I’m sad to see you didn’t like The Hazel Wood; I’ve only recently started it so I’m not that far in yet, but so far I do like it, maybe I also change my mind when I’ve finished it! I’m so happy you enjoyed They Both Die At The End, it was one of my favourite reads of 2017 😊

    Looking forward to your reviews for American Panda and Warcross as I have both books on my TBR. Good luck with all your things in February 🌸

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