Hello readers! Today we are going over all the books I read in February. I had a really amazing reading month in that way where I wanted to read everything in sight. As far as ratings go, I was all over the place. On another good note, I managed to read three books for the Buzzwordathon, one the week of, and two later in the month. If you don’t know or forgot, the Buzzwordathon theme for February was color titles.
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The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman ⭐️⭐️
I actually DNF’d this book, but I was probably 3/4ths of the way through. I don’t know what it was, but I just was not into it. I was confused about the world from the very beginning and I couldn’t get myself to care about the characters. I have been wanting to read this series for so long, and I am sad I didn’t like it. Honestly, I might try it again down the line, but we will see.
Trigger Warnings: Absent parents, child abuse, death, emotional abuse, violence
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I loved this book. This series really reminds me of why I loved reading as a teenager. I love books that can twist my emotions and get me in the moment. I am usually not into romance, but I did love paranormal and fantasy romance as a teen, and I would love to get back into the genre in 2021, just because of this series.
Trigger Warnings: blood, death, emotionally abusive relationship, references to rape, violence, war, torture
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I finally started reading this series. I did like it a lot, but I don’t know when I will continue. I have started way too many series lately, and I need to prioritize those I have, like this one. I wanted to binge the whole trilogy, but quickly gave up on that. My reading mood changes from day to day, especially when I am reading everything in sight.
Trigger Warnings: animal cruelty and death, child abandonment, parental abuse, poisoning, assisted and attempted suicide
The City Born Great by N. K. Jemisin ⭐️⭐️⭐️
So, this was a weird one. This is a short story that I decided to read because I wanted to pick up The City We Became. I saw on Goodreads this was a prequel story, so I went ahead and listened to the audiobook. The audio is less than an hour, so I thought, why not? I don’t generally like short stories, but I don’t think that had anything to do with this for me. It starts out with this homeless gay teen. He has been kicked out of his house, we don’t know why. He is into art and spray painting. I thought it was good, and the writing is amazing, then it took a turn and I couldn’t tell what was happening. The story is told very poetically, I and the writing is beautiful. Was the second half figurative or literal? I’m not sure. I didn’t read The City We Became, because I assumed I wouldn’t get it, like I didn’t get this. Please let me know in the comments if you have read both, and if The City We Became is less confusing! If it is, I would still love to read it. I actually saw someone I follow on Twitter express the same thoughts as me on this story, so I don’t feel like it is just me.
Once Upon an Eid by S.K. Ali, Aisha Saeed, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Huda Al-Marashi, Sara Alfageeh, Ashley Franklin, Asmaa Hussein, Hena Khan, Rukhsana Khan, Ayesha Mattu, Candice Montgomery, N.H. Senzai, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and G Willow Wilson ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I did enjoy this book. Of course, as a person who doesn’t like short stories, I wish the stories were longer. However, out of all the stories, my favorites were Kareem Means “Generous” and Just Like Chest Armor. If you are a person who likes to learn about other cultures, this is a good way of doing so. I don’t know anything about being Muslim or Ramadan and Eid, and I found this very easy to understand. I hope to spend the next year or so exploring the authors within this book! The overarching story here, in my opinion, is to appreciate what and who you have around you and to be very generous and giving when you can.
This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I went into this one knowing nothing. Sometimes I just scroll through Libby and read things at random. I did like this book, a lot, BUT I didn’t like the last 1/3rd of it. This is about a woman named Tallie, who is a therapist, and she finds a man standing on a bridge about to jump off. She stops him and takes him home. He wont tell her his name, so she calls him Bridge. It also goes back and forth between perspectives, but is mostly Tallie. They both are keeping secrets and grieving their significant others in different ways. Tallie was divorced recently, and you find out what has happened with ‘Bridge’ through the book. Once secrets are revealed between them, they all have emotions about it for like five pages, and then move on. There was so much to unpack, and it felt like one of those books that abruptly ends without resolving any issues. I liked the story, I just dropped it one star due to the ending. I hope to read more by the author in the future, because I genuinely liked this book, a lot.
Trigger Warnings: attempted suicide, suicide ideation, suicide, death of a child, anxiety, grief, racism, infertility
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Aisha Saeed was one of the authors in Once Upon an Eid. I really enjoyed this book much more than that one. I am just mad that Libby doesn’t have more of her books! I need to buy them ASAP. This one follows Amal, who is a young girl living in Pakistan. She really loves to go to school and reading. Her mother has a baby and she has to stay home from school for a a few weeks to help her with the new baby and the house chores. Her mom suffers from a sort of post-partum depression, so she doesn’t leave her bedroom after the birth. Later on, Amal has to become a servant for a very rich family that her father owes money to. This was an amazing book about slavery and perfect for kids. It isn’t too dark or violent, so kids can understand it without being traumatized.
Trigger Warnigs: Childbirth, slavery, child abuse, mentions of murder
Fortuna Sworn by K.J. Sutton ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was hoping to find another good fantasy romance series after finishing ACOWAR. This is an independently published fantasy romance series following Fortuna. She is a Nightmare, which means she can make people see their worst fears. Most of the time it will drive them crazy and kill them. A few years before the book starts, her brother went missing and she has been looking for him ever since. She meets with a faerie named Collith and he tells her he will take her to her brother at that moment if she will marry him. If you like the forced togetherness trope, you may enjoy this book. I think the first book in this series is pretty good. A lot happens despite it being 314 pages. I am hoping to get to the next one VERY soon. There isn’t much smut in this book, if you are wondering about that. I don’t think the first book in fantasy or paranormal romance series is ever the best one, so I am optimistic about the rest of the series!
Trigger Warnings: forced marriage, slavery, violence, torture, car accident, loss of parents, kidnapping, confinement
Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Mother May I comes out on April 6th.
This is the second book I have read by this author and I think I loved this one more than the first. The synopsis makes you thing there is a paranormal element, there is not. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, just stating facts.
Mother May I follows a woman named Bree, who has had her baby kidnapped by a mysterious old lady. She has to do something in order to get her child back and she finds out the reasons along the way for the kidnapping.
It is VERY fast paced and so much happens. I kept thinking I was close to the end when I wasn’t. There is twist after twist in this book. I can’t wait to read more from the author. The only thing, for me, that I didn’t like was that I don’t think that it is realistic that so much of the book happened in around 24-hours, BUT that is always a feeling with books like this. Additionally, the audiobook is really well done and read by the author herself!
I mentioned the trigger warnings below, but I want to make it clear here there is murder and attempted murder of different babies in this book. She does describe in detail how she killed the babies including drugging and drowning them. If anything surrounding the murder of babies would trigger you, please DO NOT read this book.
Here is a link to my review on Goodreads, if you want to see a small spoiler section of the book –> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55004063-mother-may-i
Trigger Warnings: kidnapping, descriptions of murder of babies, threats (in detail) to murder a baby, violence, poisoning, rape, nonconsensual pornography, humiliation, drug addiction, overdose, blackmail, incest, drugging of babies, attempted murder of a baby, drowning of a baby, bombs, guns
Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanna Fluke ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is my favorite book in the series, however I still haven’t given one five stars. I am crossing my fingers for the next one! This is another that did fulfill the Buzzwordathon, even though I read it late in the month. I am just happy I did better than January on that one.
Trigger Warnings: murder, attempted murder, violence
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Zoe is a 12-year-old girl, who is interning at a local bakery over the summer while trying to convince her Mom to let her compete on a baking show for kids. It is basically the Kids Baking Championship, which is a show I love. She also has been contacted by her father, who has been in jail her entire life, and she has never met him. He tells her he is innocent, and she is investigating if he is telling the truth. I just wish we got to see her go on the baking show! I LOVED this book and I listened to the whole audiobook in one sitting. This is the kind of book that reminds me why I love middle grade so much and I just wish it were longer. I’m so excited to read the next book by this author that comes out later this year.
Trigger Warnings: racism, racial slurs
The Gatekeeper of Pericael by Hayley Reese Chow ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received an ARC of this book on a website called Booksirens.
This is a middle grade book that comes out on April 6th. I just noticed that is the exact release date of the previous ARC I mentioned. It follows a boy named Porter who has a portal to another world in his house. He is training to be a gatekeeper for this world, which is a sort of protector. Himself and his cousin Ames have to go into the portal world during an emergency, when no adult is home to do it instead. It was so fast paced that I almost read it all in one sitting. I loved all the characters in this book and I hope the author writes more books in this world in the future. As of now, it is a stand alone and that makes me sad.
Better Together by Christine Riccio ⭐️
I received an ARC of this book on NetGalley. Better Together comes out June 1st.
I have not given a book 1 star in 3 years. If you want to hear about that or see how I rate books CLICK HERE.
I am a person who did like Again, But Better by Riccio. I thought this would be even better than that one, and I was so disappointed. This book follows two siblings named Jamie and Siri. Siri lives with their mother and doesn’t know Jamie exists and Jamie lives with the Dad. This book crossed the parent trap with the freaky Friday trope, and it didn’t need to. She should have done one or the other. The first 25% of this book was the two of them dramatically screaming for no reason instead of communicating. People would vomit throughout the book when a conversation got uncomfortable.
I really didn’t like the cursing thing either. I am not against cursing, just the way it was done in this book. Jamie would over curse, for example she says, “HOLY FUCKING BUCKET SHITBALLS JESUS CHRIST MARY JOSEPH.” Then, Siri would do this sort of opposite cursing. Instead of saying fucking, she would say intercoursing, or instead of shit, she would say excrement. Why couldn’t she just say crap or shoot instead of shit like a normal person?
Also, Siri is told her entire life that Jamie was her imaginary friend as a toddler. This is the definition of gaslighting. It is never addressed, which is not a good thing.
Then, we got to the point where they wanted to switch places, and do the parent trap thing, even though they are not twins. They were together for a week before this and didn’t even communicate and get to know one another at all. They threw themselves into each other’s lives in such a chaotic way and it didn’t make sense. After all the switching, she added in the freaky Friday trope, and it wasn’t needed. Just because you CAN combine two things doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
After all that, there is a joke about bombing a plane and a scene with a phone vibrating that is compared to a seizure. These things are not okay. If this were not an ARC, I would have DNFd it long before.
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I really enjoyed Warbreaker. It will most likely be my favorite Sanderson book, but I might be wrong. This one is about two kingdoms. There are others, but we are focused on two. They made this treaty 20 years ago that a king from one of them would send his daughter when she turned 22 to marry the God King. The eldest daughter is trained her entire life to be the God King’s wife. When she makes it to the right age, he sends a different daughter instead. We follow both daughters and another perspective. I loved the magic system in this world. It had to do with colors and breaths, which are kind of like souls. There is a talking sword. I always enjoy Sanderson’s characters, especially the female ones. I am just so upset knowing I don’t know if or when there will be another book.
Trigger Warnings: Forced marriage, violence, death, starvation, slut shaming, sexism, mutilation, torture
Red at the Bone by Jacuqeline Woodson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In this book we are following a bunch of different perspectives in different time periods. Melody is the product of a teen pregnancy. We follow her when she is a teenager. Then, we get to see her Mom Iris and her Dad Aubrey, as well as both of Iris’s parents perspectives. It shows us the current time and back before and during the pregnancy. It really shows how teen pregnancy affects a whole family and just how parenthood can alter your life. I am not doing this book justice with this description, trust me.
Trigger Warnings: death, racism, drug use, teen pregnancy, 9/11 twin tower attacks
Maus by Art Spiegelman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Maus is an nonfiction graphic novel. It is about Art Spiegelman’s parents during WWII in Poland. The Jewish people are mice, the Germans are Cats, and the Polish are pigs. We are following his Dad telling him the story and also seeing the story he is telling. I really think Spiegelman made the characters into animals to show how you can’t tell the difference of someone just by looking at them. You can’t just tell someone is Jewish, Polish, or German from sight, but that is kind of the logic the Germans used. There is a part where the characters are pretending not to be Jewish and they are the accused of being Jewish because they have a gold watch. The German’s logic made no sense, but that is how they were. I really wish I would have bought the second book as well, because I can tell this is only half of a story. I think anyone of any age could read this book and learn something new.
Trigger Warnings: murder, violence, antisemitism, starvation, a bit of gore
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is the last book I managed to squeeze in February. If you like the ACOTAR series and are interested in character building, or even seeing what the world is like following ACOWAR, this might be the book for you. There is even a part where the MC tells us how Fae periods works, which is something none of us wanted to know, but now we do.
If you are a person who is driven by plot, I don’t think you would enjoy it. The book is very slow paced and there isn’t really a plot, but it was okay.
Books Read: 17
Pages Read: 5511
Average Rating: 3.8
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