2020 · Wrap ups

February Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2021

Is that you spring?

This month was great! I read 10 books. I feel February is always a good reading month for me. January is always a bit meh. So when February comes around things gets better.

Anyway, 10 books isn’t bad. I’m officially 9 book ahead of my GoodReads challenge, but with Camp NaNo next month I need to keep this up.

Let’s just dive in 🙂

As a reminder: To me, 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.

All the Tides of Fate (All the Stars and Teeth #2) by Adalyn Grace

ARC – NetGalley

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.

No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.

This was an ending but I could have been without it. I don’t think I should have picked it up. The character annoyed me and it contained a YA trope I very much dislike.

Full review here.

Witherward (Witherward #1) by Hannah Mathews

ARC – NetGalley

Welcome to the Witherward, and to a London that is not quite like our own. Here, it’s summertime in February, the Underground is a cavern of wonders and magic fills the streets. But this London is a city divided, split between six rival magical factions, each with their own extraordinary talents – and the alpha of the Changelings, Gedeon Ravenswood, has gone rogue, threatening the fragile accords that have held London together for decades.

Ilsa is a shapeshifting Changeling who has spent the first 17 years of her life marooned in the wrong London, where real magic is reviled as the devil’s work. Abandoned at birth, she has scratched out a living first as a pickpocket and then as a stage magician’s assistant, dazzling audiences by secretly using her Changeling talents to perform impossible illusions. When she’s dragged through a portal into the Witherward, Ilsa finally feels like she belongs.

But her new home is on the brink of civil war, and Ilsa is pulled into the fray. The only way to save London is to track down Gedeon, and he just so happens to be Ilsa’s long-lost brother, one of the last surviving members of the family who stranded her in the wrong world. Beset by enemies on all sides, surrounded by supposed Changeling allies wearing faces that may not be their own, Ilsa must use all the tricks up her sleeve simply to stay alive.

I loved this! I loved the setting and the characters and everything else. Its like My Fair Lady in a magical world trying to solve a mystery.

Full review here.

The Prince and The Troll (Faraway #1) by Rainbow Rowell

e-book – Kindle

A charming everyman and a mysterious something-under-the-bridge cross paths in a short fairy tale by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and the Simon Snow series.

It’s fate when a man accidentally drops his phone off the bridge. It’s fortune when it’s retrieved by a friendly shape sloshing in the muck underneath. From that day forward, as they share a coffee every morning, an unlikely friendship blooms. Considering the reality for the man above, where life seems perfect, and that of the sharp-witted creature below, how forever after can a happy ending be? 

Sweet but slightly pointless though the climate change angle was interesting. I do plan to get through all the Faraway stories and this is the first one.

Interview with The Vampire (Vampire Chronicle #1) by Anne Rice

E-book – Owned

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

Having never read anything by Anne Rice, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t the most action packed story but the character were interesting and I enjoyed the read. I will definitely check out other stuff by her at some point.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

e-book – Library

Adam Nevill’s The Ritual meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in this atmospheric gothic literary horror.

Ten years ago, four young men shot some elk then went on with their lives. It happens every year; it’s been happening forever; it’s the way it’s always been. But this time it’s different.

Ten years after that fateful hunt, these men are being stalked themselves. Soaked with a powerful gothic atmosphere, the endless expanses of the landscape press down on these men – and their children – as the ferocious spirit comes for them one at a time.

The Only Good Indians, charts Nature’s revenge on a lost generation that maybe never had a chance. Cleaved to their heritage, these parents, husbands, sons and Indians, men live on the fringes of a society that has rejected them, refusing to challenge their exile to limbo.

This was creepy lol but it was also interesting and a cool insight to modern Native American living, attitude and thinking. And I even had empathy for them even though they killed the elk. I wasn’t entirely sure about the writing style but maybe that was just this book or just me. I’m interested to see what this author does next.

Disfigured by Amanda Leduc

e-book – Library

In fairy tales, happy endings are the norm—as long as you’re beautiful and walk on two legs. After all, the ogre never gets the princess. And since fairy tales are the foundational myths of our culture, how can a girl with a disability ever think she’ll have a happy ending?

By examining the ways that fairy tales have shaped our expectations of disability, Disfigured will point the way toward a new world where disability is no longer a punishment or impediment but operates, instead, as a way of centering a protagonist and helping them to cement their own place in a story, and from there, the world. Through the book, Leduc ruminates on the connections we make between fairy tale archetypes—the beautiful princess, the glass slipper, the maiden with long hair lost in the tower—and tries to make sense of them through a twenty-first-century disablist lens. From examinations of disability in tales from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen through to modern interpretations ranging from Disney to Angela Carter, and the fight for disabled representation in today’s media, Leduc connects the fight for disability justice to the growth of modern, magical stories, and argues for increased awareness and acceptance of that which is other—helping us to see and celebrate the magic inherent in different bodies.

I might have been partly aware of the disabled issue in stories, but this book opened that up wide and I know see it everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! and it’s annoying. It’s annoying its there not that I see it. Another camp to fight for 🙂

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J Maas

Book – Owned

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms. 

I read this 768 page book in 3 days. And no I’m not bragging. I wanted to read it quickly so I didn’t get spoiled by accident so I flew through it and then went online and discovered the two additional chapters!

Anyway, this wasn’t the best book. It had issues and felt short in certain areas (timeframe wise not page wise) but I was so glad to be back “amongst friends” that I didn’t really care. I love Cassian and will forever love Cassian. I’m so happy about his “ending” and I think its perfect.

For the next book I have a feeling we will be following Azriel. Then at some point maybe book 3 in the “trilogy” I hope we’ll get Mor’s point of view. There was not enough Mor in this story.

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Physical book – Owned

J. M. Barrie’s classic children’s story is reimagined in this delightful full-color deluxe edition filled with all-new illustrations and ten removable features specially designed by MinaLima, the award-winning design studio behind the graphics for the Harry Potter films.

For more than a century, the adventures of Peter Pan—the boy who can fly and never grows up—and Wendy Darling have captured the hearts of generations of readers. In this enchanting illustrated volume, the fantastical world of Neverland and its magical inhabitants, including the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, Tiger Lily, and the beloved Tinker Bell, are brought to life like never before.

Peter Pan is packed with a lush array of colorful illustrations and interactive removable features, including a detailed map of Neverland, a croc o’clock with hands you can rotate to tell time, Peter’s shadow, and more. Beautiful and captivating, filled with breathtaking artwork, this stunning book is sure to become a treasured keepsake for fans of all ages.

Wow this was surprisingly offensive… but its a historic children’s story so I shouldn’t be surprised or should it? I’m not sure. Anyway. I prefer the movie I think. I’m glad I read it though.

Also I did read the special edition designed by a design company and that whole experience made the book better. The story is more of a 3 star but this book was 4 star. It was gorgeous and interactive.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Audiobook – Library

He doesn’t believe in happy endings. She’s lost her faith that they exist. But could they find one together?

January is a hopeless romantic who likes narrating her life as if she’s the heroine in a blockbuster movie. Augustus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale. January and Augustus are not going to get on. But they actually have more in common than you’d think:

  • They’re both broke.
  • They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
  • They need to write best sellers before the end of the summer.

The result? A bet to see who can get their book published first.

The catch? They have to swap genres.

The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely….

I loved the author characters and the writers block subplot. I loved the setting and the slow sweet romance. It kept me entertained and preoccupied during a sick day.

It was exactly what I needed!

Ruin and Rising (Grishaverse #3) Leigh Bardugo

Audiobook – Owned

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

A worthy ending to the series. I actually liked it and I found it sweet. It probably my favourite part of the whole series.

I’m ready now. Bring on the Netflix show!!

Reading Challenge check:

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month:
    • The House of Spirits by Isabel Allande

Available credit from last month; 0

Credit transferring over to next month: 1

  • Only request two ARC’s: 
    • Black Water Sister (17th)

Available credits from last month; -2

Credit transferring over to next month: -1

TBR Shelf Reads

I also had a goal of reading one book form my physical shelf and one books from my e-book shelf per month. None of these can involve 2020 or 2021 acquired books. Based on all the books I read this month these are the once from my shelves:

  • Physical shelf
    • Peter Pan
  • E-book shelf
    • Interview with the Vampire

That’s it!

Have you read any of these?

Of all of them, I think Beach Read or Witherward might be my favourite reads of February. What was your favourite read this month?

Until next time; happy reading!

2 thoughts on “February Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2021

    1. Thank you! February seem to always be a good month. Maybe it’s something to do with the days getting lighter and I feel spring is on it’s way that gives me more energy to read or something. Don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

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