Going into Feb, I knew it would be a difficult reading month. On top of my job, I had to fit in 40 extra hours of continuing education and also study for a certification exam that’s still a few days away (I can’t wait for it to be over!). Because of all of this, my reading time took a significant hit. It also wasn’t a super successful month in terms of reading enjoyment, although it’s hard to say how much my overall mood could have played into this. I did still find some books I really enjoyed, however.
Total books read: 5
2023 releases: 2
Out of Character by Jenna Miller (4 stars) – This is one of the best YA contemporary books I’ve read in recent memory. I found the characters to be so authentic and embodied; they felt genuinely like teens in a way that not all YA authors are able to portray. I loved the emphasis on friendships and the fact that the main character constantly struggles with genuine issues. I also found that the story never went in a predictable direction; there were several times that I worried we were headed into a cliche, but the author handled the plot so much more deftly and maturely than that. Highly recommend, even for readers like me who don’t often pick up YA.
The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (4 stars) – This was a nonfiction book that I was shocked I hadn’t heard of sooner, and that I’m also shocked isn’t talked about more among the book community. It’s definitely written in an academic style, which might dissuade some readers, but it involves very in-depth analysis of the handling of race and racism in several high profile media franchises like The Hunger Games and The Vampire Diaries through the lens of their most prominent Black female characters. Definitely recommend!
Radiant Sin by Katee Robert (3.5 stars) – This may have been my least favorite installment in the Dark Olympus series so far, but I still enjoyed the read. I’ll continue to pick up all of the loosely Greek mythology-inspired books in this series.
The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk (3.5 stars) – This historical fantasy was ultimately a bit of a disappointment for me. I was hoping to absolutely love it, but I found it far too long and repetitive, which overrode the great feminist themes and premise.
The Fine Print by Lauren Asher (3 stars) – I’ve been seeing this book, and this trilogy as a whole, on BookTok quite a bit and figured I’d give it a shot. The premise involves three brothers who are the grandchildren of the founder of a DisneyWorld-esque theme park and company, and who need to each perform a certain task in order to receive their inheritance. I liked the theme park setting and the female main character; parts of this are definitely very silly, and it was too long for what it was, but it was a fun read. I’ll probably read the next book at some point, which involves a marriage of convenience.