We’ve reached the end of one month and the beginning of another. We’re already two months into the year, can you believe it? February, in its own way, felt immensely short for me. And we have about half a week less in this month than last month, so I suppose that makes sense. I didn’t read nearly as much as I read in January, but amazingly I’ve managed to give this blog a regular schedule which can’t help but be super proud of.
This blog has reached a thousand likes and had over 1500 views last month, which in retrospect doesn’t seem like much, but I find it pretty impressive considering the fact that it wasn’t anywhere close to that number last year. And I couldn’t have done it without you guys! You’re all amazing and thank you for finding something worth reading in the things I write.
February was smaller, the books read list was smaller, but it was still pretty amazing.
The February Read List:
I began the year by finishing This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. This is one of those books that was rather creative and interesting. I enjoyed the time I spent reading it, but at the end of the day the book wasn’t life changing or anything of that nature. The unfortunate thing about this book is that, even while it was good and I saw a lot of great things in it, the whole thing was easily forgettable. I didn’t feel an immense need to pick up the sequel. I do think that I’ll end up reading it at some point, but I genuinely forgot about doing so shortly after I read this book. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I put aside literally everything else the moment I got my copy of Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer. I finished reading it in one day and had an amazing time with it. I feel like a large part of the reason why I loved this book so much is due to the fact that I’m extremely attached to the characters. Ultimately, I wont say that the art is fantastic or that the plot is amazing because neither of those things would be true. But, it’s all very good and I genuinely loved it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is one of those books that has been on my to read list for a long time now. It’s a very character driven novel, which is it’s strongest feature. You get to know each and every one of those characters and you get to know them well. It’s immeasurably easy to start really feeling for them. The plot, in comparison, is very simple and boring. But that’s the thing about character driven novels that’s so amazing. They can have a plot that has been done before or a plot that’s simple and it works immeasurably well. I enjoyed Six of Crows and though it is another of those books that I didn’t immediately feel a need to pick up the sequel, I’d definitely recommend it to a lot of people. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I read L.I.F.E. in the 23rd Century by Jason R. Richter as part of my membership on OnlineBookClub.org and while many of the books I’d read prior had been immensely disappointing, I really enjoyed reading this one. The themes that this book discussed definitely grabbed my attention and the entire premise was just intriguing. I’ll admit, it didn’t always go the way I thought it would and sometimes that wasn’t the greatest choice, but the book at the end of the day was pretty brilliant. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Naturally Brave by Rose McGowan is on my list of read books for February. We’re all aware, by now, of the events that brought out the #MeToo movement. It’s a subject that needs talking about, that demands change, and McGowan’s book follows all of the horrors she’s been subjected to as a result of the way our culture has always let white men get away with horrible things. Her book is important and it discusses a subjec that we all need to constantly be aware of and in process of changing. While Rose herself has obviously made some very problematic statements and has some very problematic views, that doesn’t fully change the importance of the ones that aren’t. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I was so pleasantly surprised by Roomies, a romance novel by Christina Lauren. I don’t typically expect to enjoy romance novels since my experience with them has always been largely negative. I simply don’t read books that are solely or primarily focused on the romance of the plot. This novel has a lot of good things going for it and the sex never gets in the way of the story, which I appreciated immensely. The characters felt real and developed. There was also a degree of diversity, which is something that we unfortunately don’t see nearly often enough. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I finally managed to read Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau and ultimately finished The Testing Series. These books started off really well as the first one was thoroughly entertaining, but they quickly lost their appeal as I made my way through the series. I’m glad that I finished it, but I was ultimately rather disappointed. The series genuinely felt like a creep knock off of The Hunger Games. 🌟🌟
It’s been a long time that I’ve had Brideg to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson on my to read list, but I finally knocked it off. The book wasn’t really anything of a surprise to me due to the fact that I’d already seen the movie, but I did ultimately enjoy reading it. I think there are a lot of things about this book that make it worth reading, though at the end of the day I didn’t love it or anything like that. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I read End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose for the book club as well, and this one I enjoyed alright. The story wasn’t exceptional and there were a lot of holes in the writing and plot. But despite all of that, I had a good time reading it. I don’t think I would ever bother with any of his future novels in this series but I still definitely saw potential in a rewrite. 🌟🌟🌟
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell was good and it was real. I think, ultimately, I appreciated this book for what it offered, but the events of the story were ultimately very dull about 90% of the time. I can’t quite put my finger on it all. I know I thought the story was one worth telling and I definitely appreciated the two wonderful main characters. But there was something about it that just left me vaguely bored with the book as a whole. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas was this month’s readalong book and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I’d had this book on my to read list for some time, but never really gotten around to reading it, primarily due to the fact that I wasn’t in love with the first book I read by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve likely already talked about this book too much already, but I’m glad I read it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I received Under a Fairy Moon by T.M. Wallace from a Goodreads giveaway where I won both this and the sequel. I’ve thus far only finished the first one, but it was a decent read. There are a few complaints I had and I don’t see it as the sort of book I’d ever read again, but I definitely don’t regret reading it. 🌟🌟🌟
I DNFed Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, a fan fiction by Eliezer Yudkowsky, this month. I’ve been trying to finish this book for a long time and every few weeks I read a little more. I finally decided that this book isn’t worth the amount of time I’ve given it and therefore refused to give it any more. There are much better fan fictions out there and while this one had a brilliant idea, the execution was utterly horrendous. It’s honestly just an insult to intelligence, rationality, Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, and readers in general.
Next up I finally read The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, which I admittedly put off so long because I thought it was another Alice in Wonderland spin off and I’ve never particularly loved Alice in Wonderland to begin with. I’m glad I was wrong and annoyed with myself for not having read the description earlier. This was on my to read list because a few friends had recommended it without really telling me what it was about and I added it with the intention of taking a look at some point. I’m happy to say that I wish I’d read it sooner. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Holes by Louis Sachar is the second book on this list that I read because I’d seen and enjoyed the movie. This book is one of those rare cases where the movie and the book are so close and it was wonderful. I often have a hard time when filmmakers cut, add, or change things when they adapt a book into a film. In the case of Holes, these changes were so minimal (and well done) that it was pretty impressive. I can’t think of a single thing in the book that I was upset about it not getting into the movie. Everyone involved did a wonderful job. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Spelled by Betsy Schow was disappointing, and one of the last books on my list. I just…expected more. The main character was deeply frustrating, the writing was merely okay, the love interest made me uncomfortable due to his behavior in the beginning, and the romance made no sense. These are just a few complaints in which I have many more. A review will be coming to detail those further. 🌟🌟
Queen Song by Victoria Aveyard is a novella in the same realm as The Red Queen featuring the deceased mother of the eldest Prince in the first novel. This story was dark and brilliant. Frankly, I think it was much better than the first book and I was immensely more fond of the characters here than I ever was of the ones in The Red Queen. Honestly, I was blown away. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
And the award for the best book of February goes to:
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton!
It should really come as no surprise considering how amazing his book was, for a great number of reasons. I think it’s important to note here that there are a lot of things set into this book that a lot of people will not be able to fully recognize or understand. This relates to anyone who does not have a concept of the experiences that others have gone through and primarily we see that when it comes to racial cultures. Even I, who loved and adored the book and saw something deep and painful about it, missed some things.
I’m doing my best to rectify that. To understand a little more on this particular subject matter, I suggest you read this post and further read Dhonielle Clayton’s thread on the subject, a link you can find in the post I’ve included here.
As for the Belles, it takes a hard look at the expectations of beauty and rips away the confectionery that hides the disgusting infection beneath. It attacks selfishness head on and forces readers to see the very truth behind the disturbing nature of the entitlement that comes with privilege. The Belles are used repeatedly, forced to destroy themselves for the sake of beautifying the people in charge in one of he most disturbing and disgusting ways possible, by being fed the belief that it is the sole reason they exist and the sole purpose of their life. A religion puports the idea, building a faith of brainwashing in order to keep them complicit and in line.
There are so many deep and thought provoking commentaries beneath the prose of The Belles that this book requires a thorough reading to fully comprehend. I can say, unquestionably, that even I have missed quite a lot. And yes, the most recognized commentary attacks society’s perception of beauty, but there is so much more to this book and it shouldn’t be ignored.
Reviews I Wrote in February:
(Book Review #34) The Rebirth of Francesca [by Yoleen Valai]
Wires and Nerve Volume 2: Gone Rogue [by Marissa Meyer] (Book Review #35)
Roomies [by Christina Lauren] (Book Review #36)
L.I.F.E. in the 23rd Century [by Jason R. Richter] (Book Review #37)
By Your Side [by Kasie West] (Book Review #38)
The Infinite Sea [by Rick Yancey] (Book Review #39)
The Belles [by Dhonielle Clayton] (Book Review #40)
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality [by Eliezer Yudkowsky] (Book Review #41)
Roseblood [by A. G. Howard] (Book Review #42)
Crystal Storm [by Morgan Rhodes] (Book Review #43)
We’ve all done a bunch of reading this year and this month, here’s hoping to add more to that list. Good luck on all of your reading challenges! Here’s my currently reading list, several of which I started in February and hope to finish soon.
Thanks for dropping by, and happy reading everyone!
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