Hey all, Dani here.
Hello everyone, and welcome to a very early post for me. Clearly as this post goes live I’m in bed, but I wanted to make sure this post was up for all of my fellow Calendar Girls, so here we are. It’s been a pretty decent January so far on the reading front. Actually I spent most of my weekend reading, so stay tuned for a nice wrap-up on Wednesday. It should be fun, and I have a bunch of other stuff to talk about as well. Plus, I’m looking forward to this weekend, seeing as Damian and I will be teaming up with Colorworld Books to work at Ohayocon. So if you’re in the Columbus, Ohio, area and going to the con, stop by and say hello.
Anyway, it is the first Monday of the Month and that means it is once again time for a Calendar Girls post.
Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was started by Flavia and Melanie, but is now being hosted by Katie and Adrienne. They are all wonderful ladies, and you should check out their lovely blogs.
Oh, and if you go to either Katie or Adrienne‘s Calendar Girls post each month, they will have links to all the other wonderful book bloggers participating in this event. Okay, so Katie and Adrienne needed to take a brief hiatus for a few months, so for right now Flavia and myself are temporarily hosting Calendar Girls until our fearless leaders are ready to step back in.
Honestly Calendar Girls is a group effort and I feel like we have become a pretty good group of friends, so it makes sense that we can share in the responsibilities and pick up any slack should it happen. I’m happy to do my part to help keep this tradition going. So if you link back to Flavia and me, we can keep track of all the book picks and posts each month. Thanks, everyone!
First, more about the Calendar Girls. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and both Katie and Adrienne will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!
Oh, and you don’t have to identify as female to join the Calendar Girls. We welcome readers of all types. So if this sounds like fun for you, join us in all of the fun bookish conversations.
Finally, the January theme is…
Favorite First Book in a New Series (No Sequels Published Yet)
Oh boy…well, this is a difficult decision. Honestly for the most part that means we’re all looking for either a first book that came out last year, or one coming out in the very near future that we lucked into getting an early copy of. But hey, I’m excited to talk about some of my favorite books with sequels I’m super excited about.
But before I get into my pick for this month, I need to talk about a couple honorable mentions. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about both Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan, and The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen quite a bit on this blog. The reason why I can’t pick Wicked Saints for this prompt is probably silly…I’ve been granted the galley for the sequel, so to me it feels like it’s out already, even though the release date is in April. Plus, you know, I’ve read it already. I know it isn’t cheating, but it feels that way to me. And I believe I had The Merciful Crow as my choice for another theme in a previous Calendar Girls post, so I feel like perhaps I should spread the love for a different book today. Just know that both of these first in a series books are two of my new absolute favorites, and if you haven’t read them yet, then I definitely recommend them.
So many options. These are all great first books that I’ve read in the last year, and that I’m super excited to read the sequels of in the coming year or so. Obviously you can see by all of my honorable mentions and most of my contenders, I read a whole lot of fantasy books, though there are a couple sci-fi and contemporary.
Here, I’ll include all my reviews to my honorable mentions and contenders, because they are all worth a read: Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan, The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen, Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey, Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith, The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool, Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy, A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett, Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh, Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala, Well Met by Jen DeLuca, Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee, The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee, and I still need to write reviews for We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal and Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger.
Are you ready to see which book I’ve selected for my winner this time around? I completely admit that it was a really difficult decision for me, because I really want the sequels to all of these books (and hey, the Brigid Kemmerer sequel is out tomorrow so yay!).
Okay here we go.
My winner for Favorite First Book in a New Series is…
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Like I said this was a really difficult decision, but ultimately I ended up picking a contemporary romance over my preferred genre of fantasy. Why? Well, maybe it’s because I love going to Ren Faires. Maybe it’s because Damian and I are having a Ren Faire themed wedding this fall. Perhaps it’s because I can’t stop thinking about this book (though that’s true of many of the books on my contenders list).
Honestly I think it’s because I’m starting to see this surge of great romance books with characters who are geeky and nerdy and they don’t hide what they love. So whether it’s Waiting for Tom Hanks, where the main character is very passionate about rom-com movies while her uncle is very into D&D, or Well Met where several characters are very passionate about holding this Renaissance Festival, or having characters who love comic books, or cosplay, or going to conventions, or playing board games or video games, I just am so happy to see so many characters who I can see myself in.
Finding out that Well Met was the start in a series of Ren Faire romance stories made me so happy. The main couple is going to change with each book, but I’m sure considering they’re all set in the same place we’ll still see plenty of the rest of the characters we’ve come to care about.
Plus, I found out about this YA Renaissance Faire book coming out in 2020 (The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, and a couple years ago I read a MG Renaissance Faire graphic novel (All’s Faire in Middle School), so it’s a setting or theme that works for all ages.
Basically I’m really excited to read Well Played later this year, and then Well Matched in 2021. Honestly I’m okay if more books end up being announced for this series, because I will gladly fangirl over all the cute and geeky romance books.
Okay, well that is all from me for now. I have another post coming later today, and after that I’ll be back soon with more bookish content. I’ll add the other Calendar Girls participant picks here as they come in. If you’d like to join us in this monthly book chat, then feel free to write up your own post. While we try and all get our posts up on the first Monday of the month, late posts are still accepted. We just like talking about books together.
Calendar Girls Picks
Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile – Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Dani (that’s me) @ MousaiBooks – Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Deanna @ Deanna Writes About – Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Ashley @ Inside My Minds – The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander
Katie @ Never Not Reading – Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
More added soon.