January Reads

Recent Reads: What I Read in January 2022

I set myself a GoodReads Reading Challenge of fifty books again this year. So, I started January, aiming to read every night to complete my challenge. The books I read in January seemed to heavily feature Indian food. So I have spent the month craving bhindi or ladoo!

I have included a review for Keisha the Sket which, I read in December. As I loved the book and thought it deserved a quick review! Also, Saga Volume Nine, which is a re-read. But I re-read it in the excitement of issue 55 release in January.

Keisha The Sket

Jade LB

Keisha the Sket is a coming-of-age story set in the inner city. A raw account of British youth culture. Originally an ongoing series published online. Shared by fans over phones and email for decades. For the first time in print, these are both the original chapters. Written in text speech with an open ending. And a re-written non-SMS version that concludes Keisha’s story.

The book also includes essays by writers Candice Carty-Williams and Caleb Femi. They describe their experiences of the book and its cultural significance.

Keisha the Sket

Rating: ☕☕☕☕/5

Back in the 00s, I didn’t read Keisha the Sket. I think I was too old or uncool to discover the viral story. The first I heard about the story was the uncovering of the mysterious author. Intrigued, I wanted to read this story and see what all the fuss was about.

At first, I struggled with the text-speech. In places, it was hard to read. Or follow along, especially during some of the violent scenes. But, I soon got used to the writing style. As all the memories of reading SMS texts came back. The re-written version is a lot easier to read. But is a little repetitive. It is worth reading to get a better understanding of Keisha and read the conclusion to her story.

The addition of the essays in the book is genius. They help to explain why this book is a cultural phenomenon. The effect it had on young Londoners in the 2000s. And how the story has shaped the lives of Black British writers today.

The Ivory Key

Akshaya Raman

In Ashoka, Magic is the prized resource. It is the only thing keeping the neighbouring forces from invading the country. Fearful that the magic will run out. The four royal siblings must work together to find a new source of magic and save their home.

When the siblings discover the secret society and mystery of The Ivory Key. They leave the safety of the palace to search for the Key, each with their own hidden agenda. Vira, the newly crowned maharani wants to find the Key to save her people. Ronak plans to sell the Key in exchange for an escape from his impending marriage. Kaleb was falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani. He wants the Key to help clear his name. And Riya, the runaway, who wants the Key to prove her loyalty to her new family, the rebels.

The Ivory Key

Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕/5

The Ivory Key is an epic adventure, the gripping first part of a duology. Raman does an excellent job of world-building. Creating a wonderful filled with Indian mythology. Whether she is transporting you to the luxurious rooms within the palace. Or the forest outside the palace walls. Raman describes the colours, smells, and even tastes that make you want to visit Ashoka!

Saga Volume 9

Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Artist)

Saga is the ongoing tale of a young family trying to find their place in the worlds. In the middle of a galactic war between the planets of Wreath and Landfall. Two soldiers from opposite sides fall in love. On the run, they risk everything. Trying to keep themselves and their daughter safe in the dangerous universe.

Continuing the ongoing story, the volume deals with fake news and genuine terror. In the most shocking and impactful volume of Saga.
Volume Nine collects issues #49-#54

Saga Vol. 9

Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕/5

The Saga comic always impresses me! I love Vaughan’s storytelling and Staples artwork.
This was a collection of the last issues before the hiatus, which does have an open ending. As the newest issues are going to be published this year, it was time to reconnect with my favourite fugitives.

The Reading List

Sara Nisha Adams

After losing his wife, Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, North-West London. He has his routines. He goes shopping every Wednesday, visits the Temple each week and enjoys spending time with his daughters. He is also trying to connect to his granddaughter Priya, who spends all her time hiding in her room reading.

Aleisha’s brother recommends that she works in her local library over the summer. She has no interest in fiction, until Aleisha discovers a crumpled note between the pages of a library book. The note contains a list of novels, which Aleisha slowly beings to read.

Mukesh discovers the library whilst looking for that connection to his granddaughter. Looking for book recommendations, Aleisha shares the books from the notes. The two lost souls connect as fiction helps them escape their everyday troubles.

The Reading List

Rating: ☕☕☕☕/5

The Reading List is a love letter to libraries! A heart-warming tale about a list of library books. And the unlikely friendship between a lonely widower and a troubled teenager. This book will make you want to read more books! Personally, I hadn’t read all the books featured on the Reading List, so it did spoil some of them from me. But that didn’t in any way affect my enjoyment of the book.

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I received some of the books featured in the post from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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