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[CC] February Mid-Month Wrap Up (16 Books & Popular DNF’s)

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Hi guys, welcome back. In today’s video
I’m going to be talking about all of the books that I read in the first half of
February. So remember how I said that I know I
read a lot of books in January and I probably wouldn’t read nearly as many in
February? Well it turns out I was kind of wrong! I’ve been doing a ton of reading
in February. Now to be fair, the second half of February is much busier for me
than the first half, so this may all kind of even out, but in the first half of
February I finished 16 books. Well okay, sixteen things. I should say a couple of
these were novellas and a short story, so they’re not all super long, but still.
I’ve been reading a lot and there’s been kind of a mix of some great things, some
mediocre things, some not-so-great things. I also have had three DNFs this month.
this year I’m really trying to do a better job of reading things that I’m
enjoying and things that I’m excited about and DNF things that I’m not.
And so with that I have three books that I have dnf’d and there may be more. I’ve
got one that I’m reading right now that I’m on the fence about, but I’m gonna
give it a little bit longer before I decide. If you are new to my mid month
wrap ups, the way that these work is I will talk about all of the books that I
read in the order that I read them. I’ll give you my thoughts, give you my star
rating. In my end of month wrap-up I do my monthly stats and talk about all of
the books in order from lowest rated to highest rated, but for this video I’m
just gonna be talking about them in the order that I read them. However first
we’re gonna start by talking about my DNF’s. So the first book that i DNF’ed
was actually a buddy read with a group of people including Jade from Bedtime
Bookworm and Rachel from Shades of Orange, and two of us, of the four that
were reading it, decided to DNF this. This is Children of Time by Adrienne
Tchaikovsky I was really excited about This, it’s a kind of epic space opera
that has been really well loved. And it was interesting hearing the conversation,
because what happened was two people in the chat loved this and were really
into it, and then me and Rachel were like this is fine, but like we’re kind of
bored. We’re not really that into it and so both of us ended up deciding to DNF
it. However it’s been interesting continuing to listen to the discussion
between the two people who really have been loving this book because, number one,
it has reinforced to me my decision to DNF it because I really don’t think I
would have particularly enjoyed reading it. But also made me realize this is very
much gonna be a matter of taste. This book is not very character-driven.
It’s really driven by ideas and a significant portion of it is from the
perspective of these advanced spiders, like evolutionarily advanced spiders, and
the building of their society. And while I like get why that’s interesting
conceptually, I just I was kind of bored by it and didn’t care. I didn’t really
care much about the human characters either and what was happening and I
think this was a good choice for DNF, but your mileage is gonna vary. Like Jade
from Bedtime Bookworm is really into this and loved all of the biological
evolutionary spider piece of it. I just, it wasn’t my cup of tea. So I DNF’ed it and I’m not upset about that choice. This, you’re gonna see I think for this
month, is really a theme of all the books that I DNF’ed. None of them are books
that are terrible, they’re just books I was kind of bored by. Books that I
probably would have given like 3 stars. I can see why other people like them,
they’re just not really my cup of tea. The second book like that I was kind of
sad about this is Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle. I picked
this up on the recommendation of Julie over at Pages and Pens. I know she really
loves this and loves a lot of the books by this author, and on paper it sounded
like it should be something I would really enjoy. It’s a YA magical realism,
sort of coming-of-age story with some queer representation to it. It’s set in
Ireland, the writing itself is really pretty, and I totally see why other
people would enjoy this. I just found myself really bored. It jumps around a
lot from character to character and between different timelines, it’s kind of
a lot to keep track of. And also I was just like not finding myself connecting
with the story or with any of the characters. Around 35% of the way in I
decided to just go ahead and DNF. Maybe I will try something else from
this author in the future, but at least this one I think is just not my cup of
tea. But again your mileage on this is really gonna vary. And my final DNF of
the month is one where I really should’ve just gone with my instincts, but the
hype was real on this book you guys. This is Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor
Jenkins Reid. Okay so, so many people have been loving and hyping this book and
talking about the audiobook, which is how I consumed it. I downloaded it from my
library. Um and you know when I heard the premise of it I was like, I don’t think
I’m gonna be that interested in this. It’s a series of interviews from band
members of people who were a popular, part of a very popular band in the 70s
and then interviewing them later as to what happened and why they broke up. And
it’s got like sex and drugs and all that stuff in it and I was like, this sounds
uninteresting to me. But so many people were loving and I was like, okay let me
give it a try. And I was right. I just found it to be boring and I think this
is just like a mismatch of topic. I get why people love it. I do you think the
audiobook is very well done and if I was interested in the content, it would
be great. But I got, again, something like 30% of the way into it and I was like, I
just don’t care. Like I could care less if I find out what did or didn’t happen
with this band. So I DNF’ed it. I should’ve just gone with my gut on that
one. With that said, let’s talk about the books that I have finished reading this
month, in the first half of the month, because there were quite a lot of them.
Let me pull up my notes app here. So the first book that I read this month was I
think book 4 in the Psy-Changeling series. This is Mine to Possess by
Nalini Singh. I had been told beforehand that I probably was not going to enjoy
this installment in the series, and people were right. I did not enjoy this installment of the series. I really did not like the hero. He is kind of a jerk. He’s hyper
alpha male, I felt like his interactions with the heroine were like borderline
abusive sometimes, I just couldn’t get behind it. The most interesting part of
this book to me was the pieces that carried on the bigger arc in the world,
which is fascinating because there is sort of a political mystery plot that’s
slowly unveiling itself and so that was really interesting. Which is
why I ended up giving this book two and a half stars. If it was just the romance,
this would have been more like one, one and half star .I just I didn’t like it. It
was definitely my least favorite in terms of the relationships that I’ve
read in the series so far, but I really liked the other piece of this with the
world-building, and so I will continue on in the series. I gave this one two and a
half stars. I knew going in that I probably wasn’t going to love the
romance. I didn’t but it’s okay, I will soon be listening to the next book. Then
I finally got around to reading one of my most anticipated books of the year.
This is a novella and this is Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire. I
think this is book 5 in the Wayward Children series? I just love this series.
I think they’re so fun and smart and whimsical ,with interesting characters
and often exploring interesting concepts. This returns to the world of Jack and
Jill and the Moores. You get further development of several other characters
we’ve seen in past books in the series. Um I enjoyed this. I thought it was a
really good time. I just loved Jack and her relationship with this girl, whose
name I cannot think of right now, but they are the cutest. And yeah there was a
lot that I really liked about it. I do think what this has made me realize,
which I think is the opposite from some of my other friends, like Mara from Books Like Whoa, I think we might be kind of opposites on this, is that my favorite
books in this series are books that explore a specific idea that I find
interesting, more than just books that explore specific characters. I enjoy that,
but it’s not the thing that makes me love the series. And so this had snippets
of interesting ideas in it and it did a lot of great character work and I
enjoyed it, but it’s not one of my favorites of the series. So I think
because of that, some of my favorite books in the series are Down Among the
Sticks and Bones because it explores gender roles and parental expectations
in really interesting ways, and In an Absent Dream which was the last book,
which explores a lot of interesting sort of philosophical political ideas. So
again I enjoyed this, I think it’s great. I love this,
I will continue to read the series. However this was not one of my favorite
installments. This one I gave four stars. Then I finally got around to reading a
book that lots of people were loving last fall and this is Frankly in Love
by David Yoon. I have a Book of the Month Club
edition of this and I actually listened to this on audio because I also had an
audio review copy downloaded through the Penguin Random House Volumes app so I
listened to this on audio. The audiobook was really great. I liked a lot about
this. I do think the marketing maybe was a little bit off on this. It was really
being marketed as kind of a romantic comedy, and it’s really not. It does have
funny moments in it and it does have some romance in it, but it’s not a
romance I think. It’s definitely not a romance. Ihis is really more a
coming-of-age story and a story that explores identity and family and the
ways that those things can be really complicated. So this is David Yoons debut
novel. It’s about a boy named Frank who is Korean-american. His parents are
immigrants from Korea and they’re kinda racist and basically disowned his older
sister when she started dating and then married a black guy, and so they really
want Frank to be with a Korean girl and follow their cultural norms. And he has a
secret white girlfriend and there’s a lot that happens here. Frank is very
imperfect and I think learns a lot as a character through this story, but often
makes very poor choices and hurts people in his life. But I do think there’s a lot
of richness here in the way that it handles cultural identity and the
difficulties of being a teenager and parental expectations. So I did really
like it. I didn’t love all of the choices that it made. I ended up landing on four
stars. The next book that I read this month is This Train is Being Held by Ismee Williams. You might have seen me talk about this in a couple of other videos.
This was on my most anticipated romances of the year list and I do think this was
really good. It’s a YA contemporary romance that’s kind of a reimagining of
West Side Story set in modern-day New York City. And it follows two teenagers
who meet on the New York subway and they’re sort of star-crossed lovers. The
girl is a white passing Cuban American and the boy is Dominican, and I think
this is really great. I think if you like kind of angsty teen romance, you’re
really gonna dig this. The characters, again, are very much not perfect, but I
did enjoy the development of their romance. This also is really really rich
in its representation of Latinx culture and there’s a lot of Spanish
used in the book. It is own voices for the Cuban American representation and
the other thing that’s really cool here is it deals a lot with mental health. The
heroine has a mother and an older brother who both have bipolar disorder
and so we see the ways that that impacts her life and her relationships with
other people. It’s also really interesting because there’s class
difference here. The girl is from a more well-to-do family and the boy is from a
poorer family. He is a really talented baseball player
and she is a talented ballet dancer and so both of them are also very committed
to their extracurricular activities and don’t have as much time as they might
like to be together. Yeah I think this is really well handled. It’s really rich, it
has a lot happening in here. I will say that for my personal taste, the romance
was sometimes a little bit angsty and I got a little bit frustrated with the
lack of communication between the two of them. But overall I did still really
enjoy this one I gave it four stars. The next book that I read was an audiobook
that I got from my library and this one was a recommendation from somebody who
commented on one of my videos. And I cannot remember who it is, but I remember
reading it and thinking that sounds interesting, and so I added it to my list
of things to read. This is One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah McLean.
This is a historical romance with a nerdy heroine, which i think is why
somebody had recommended it for me. And I really enjoyed this. It was a lot of fun,
the concept was interesting. The heroine is supposed to get married to a guy that
she, you know, thinks is fine but doesn’t
necessarily love, but she feels the sense that before she commits to marriage vows,
she needs to have a better understanding of what marriage actually entails, what
the marriage bed involves. And so she goes to sort of a infamous rake asking
him to basically give her lectures on sex and marriage and all of these things
that she’s wondering about. Things kind of go from there. It’s funny and a
lot of fun. I do think I always have mixed feelings about books by Sarah
MacLean. They’re always books that on paper I should really love, but then in
practice there’s something about it that just doesn’t quite click or connect for
me. This is my second book by her and while I did really enjoy most of it, I
wasn’t quite as fully invested as I wanted to be. But I liked it. I will
probably read more from her. I think she’s never gonna be an all-time
favorite romance author for me, but I do like some of what she does and so I
think for her if the tropes that she’s playing with, or types of characters that
she’s writing are ones that interest me maybe I’ll pick up more of her books.
For this book, I ended up giving it three-and-a-half stars. Which is not a
bad rating. I did enjoy it. It just wasn’t like a new favorite. Then I read another
historical romance. This was a novella that I had as an e arc from netgalley.
It’s Once a Fallen Lady by Eve Pendel. I really enjoyed this. It’s an indie
published historical and it was just really kind of sweet. It’s about a single
mom raising a daughter in a small town pretending to be a widow when in reality
she’s a fallen woman. Which, you know, like back in the day was a thing. And it’s
about this romance that she develops with the schoolmaster of the town school
when her daughter falls very very ill. And they have this very sweet romance
where he sort of courts her and brings her books and chocolate, and it’s just
really lovely. I really enjoyed it. I liked the power of dynamics, I liked
the relationship. It wasn’t like an all-time favorite perfect book, but it
was really enjoyable and I would definitely read more from this author. I
thought it was good this one I ended up giving four stars. The next book that I
read this month was one I had much more mixed feelings on,
which is unfortunate. This is an arc that I received quite a while ago of a
translated book that’s being published in English for the first time. This is
Real Life by Adeline Dieudonné. This was kindly sent to me by World Editions for
review, but since I don’t have the cover on this I’m just going to put this down
and put up the lovely finished cover here so you can see that. So what to say
about this book? Real Life is kind of a dark coming-of-age story following a
girl who grows up in a household with a lot of domestic abuse and violence and
misogyny. And from a very early age her and her younger brother are both exposed
to some pretty horrific things, and this is kind of about her coping with that
and growing up in that and trying to carve out space for herself. And it can
be very difficult to read. It’s very graphic, there’s a lot of graphic on the
page violence and abuse. Quite a number of instances of these sort of gruesome
things. There’s also animal cruelty and yeah, just a lot of like really dark
things. That said the writing itself is very well executed and I definitely
couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing in one day, but I did also have
some issues with it and I think there was a mismatch between the way that this
was being marketed and what it actually was. The description calls it “sensual” and
“funny” and I did not find either of those descriptors to be remotely accurate. And
the the the sensual piece, we will talk about. This I think is one thing that
really lowered my rating and my enjoyment of the book, but your mileage
on this is going to vary depending on how your feelings about it.
It’s really only sensual if you consider it sensual for a young teenage girl to
have a sexual awakening through an affair with the father of the children
that she babysits. I did not. I did not like that and I think even if that had been
in there and then by the end of the book it was being framed as another element
of sort of the trauma that she’s been exposed to. But it’s not. It’s portrayed
as like a positive thing, and I’m like, no That’s… it’s, you know, rape basically. Uh
anyway I talk more about it in my review. I just, that was frustrating to me.
I also didn’t think it was at all funny. I thought it was really tragic and the
only thing is I can imagine that somebody might think are darkly funny,
although I didn’t think that they were, were some of the ways she uses
imagination as a coping mechanism for trauma that she experiences. But I didn’t
find that funny. It was tragic and traumatic, and there was so much trauma
in this book, so definitely read trigger warnings/content warnings if you need
those. Yeah so I struggled with how to rate this. I ended up landing on two
stars, but I can also see why some people would love elements of this, and I do
think the writing itself is executed well. I don’t know, this one was a
struggle though guys. So yeah two stars for me for Real Life. The next book that
I read was also quite dark but one that I really liked a lot this. is The Last
Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate. This is coming out in
February, or maybe just came out. It was sent to me for review by PenguinTeen, so
thank you to them. I really liked this a lot. It’s a very character-driven YA
mystery/thriller that is really about sexual assault and gas-lighting. Those
are kind of the main topics that it follows, and it’s a dual perspective narrative
that follows two sisters. The younger sister Ivy is kind of nerdy and has her
group of friends who are into like D&D and Star Wars and stuff like that. She is
a band geek and she’s kind of scared of her older sister a little bit. Ivy also
self identifies as fat, and I think we got some pretty good fat representation
in her character. I liked the way that was handled in this book. And then we
have the older sister Autumn. Autumn is traditionally pretty, but she’s also a
little bit scary. She kind of bullies people because she
deals drugs on the side as a way of saving money to pay for college,
and her younger sister’s a little bit scared of her. But when Autumn goes
missing, Ivy is the one to go and try to search for her and figure out where she
is and why she disappeared and save her. One thing that’s kind of a slightly
paranormal aspect to the way that the story is told is that after whatever
happens happens, Autumn still has a perspective in the
story as almost like a ghost sort of in between life and death. She’s not dead,
but like she’s got this like ghostly presence, and so some people might not
enjoy that. I didn’t mind it. I thought it was interesting, and we slowly get this
uncovering of what happened and why and how the two sisters became who they are
today and what’s happened in the past. And it’s got a lot of triggers again, but
I thought this was just so well handled and just does a really great job of
tackling the issues that it’s tackling. So this one was five stars for me. But
after those two very dark and intense books, I needed something that was a lot
lighter and more fun and I found the perfect thing. I ended up listening to
this as an audiobook from my library and oh my gosh, this is just the most fun
I’ve had with a book in awhile. This is Spellslinger by Sebastian
de Castell. l I loved this so much you guys. It was so much fun.
I had originally heard about this from Holly Heart’s books and Melanie from Metotheany and so I was interested and I am so into it. I’m already planning on
reading book two and moving on in it. This is just such a blast. It made me
laugh out loud. It’s a really light and fun fantasy story about a boy who’s
about to turn 16 and he comes from a family of very powerful mages that have
intense expectations for him. Unfortunately he has yet to have real
magic and is trying to find ways to sort of con his way around it, but things go
very wrong and a lot of stuff happens. It’s just fun and entertaining and I
kind of loved everything about it. It’s like a new favorite for me and I kind of
want to binge the series now, so I ended up giving this one six stars. Which for me
is a favorite of the year or favorite of all time. And this was exactly what I
needed after those like super dark and heavy books. This was perfect, it was a
really good time. And then immediately after that, I went and was looking
for other things that are in the series, and found out that there are some short
stories as add-ons that you can get and one of them you get if you sign up for
the author’s mailing list. So I went and did that and then read this short story that
is kind of almost like a deleted scene that takes place during the events of
book one, Spellslinger. This is The Dowager Magus and this was also really
fun. I enjoyed this a lot. It was interesting and added a little bit more
context and builds out a couple of the side characters a bit more. I found it to
be really fun and enjoyable and I gave this one
four stars. Going on from there, I read another really great, really fun book and
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. This is Scammed by
Kristen Simmons. This is the sequel to The Deceivers I read The Deceivers as an
arc last year and really enjoyed it. I think I gave it four stars. It wasn’t
perfect, it had some pacing issues and was a little bit muddy, but I really
liked the concept. It’s about a girl who goes to a school for con artists and
there’s a lot of like twisty stuff that happens. This book was even better. I
really really loved it. She solves a lot of her pacing issues here, there’s a lot
of really like juicy drama with sort of a love triangle, but at this school for
con artists you don’t know for sure who you can trust or what people’s motives
are, and it’s just really great. I loved the way that this all wrapped up. It’s
also an example of a really strong middle book in a series. It feels like
you’re getting a complete story arc for the book, but there’s some things left at
the end and that are left loose, definitely setting this up for a book
three. So this is definitely the way to do a middle book in the series.
Oftentimes middle books have this thing where it doesn’t feel like a complete
story. It feels like kind of filler of just filling the gap to get you to book
three. This was not that at all. I really loved it. I ended up giving this one five
stars. Then I read something that I thought was a novella, but I would
probably actually call this more of a short story. That
is Agnes Moore’s Wild Lnight by Alyssa Cole. This is one of the picks for my
Patreon book club. This month we’re reading romance by black women authors.
Alyssa Cole is one of my all-time favorites. In the second half of the
month I’m also gonna be reading Rafe by Rebecca Weatherspoon, which is our
full-length novel. This was the novella but honestly it’s very short. This is
like 55 pages long. I would really call this more of a short story. With that
said, I’m glad that I read this. I love the project of this. I think it’s really
interesting. It’s a medieval historical romance set during the rule of James IV and centers a black woman who was one of the exotics in his courts, and
during the story there is a tournament being held in her honor, and this
mysterious Knight who is fighting for the favor of her kiss, which is the prize
that you win. And it’s this really great little Highlander medieval romance, but
centering the black character. And I love that because I think there tends to be
erasure of people of color in this era of history, in many areas of history, and
so I love the project of what she’s doing here and it was very quick and fun
and easy to read. I will say though I wish it was longer.
I felt like often the perspective that we got from our heroine felt like a lot
of information more than really building her as a character. I wanted to connect
more with her as a character and I feel like if this was longer we could have
gotten more of that development. That said I did still enjoy the story. I
really loved the hero, I loved the way that this handled the difference between
love and interracial romance versus people who just want a taste of the
exotic and the problems with that. So yeah I’m glad that I read it, but it
wasn’t perfect I wish it had been longer. I ended up giving this one 3 stars. The
next book that I read was an audiobook that I downloaded from Libro.FM as one
of their influencers, so thank you so much to them for access to that. Libro.FM
is this really great website and app where you can purchase audiobooks and
use that to support indie bookstores, and every month they have a few options of
things that I can download if I’m interested as one of their influencers.
One of the things that I had listened to this month from them is Black Girl
Unlimited by Echo Brown. I actually think this was a pic
from last month but I finally got around to reading it. So I really like this a
lot. This is another one that is more intense. It’s got some magical realism
elements to it, but really it’s this fairly autobiographical coming-of-age
story following a young black girl living in the poor side of Cleveland and
kind of the trauma that she experiences and sees around her. And one of the
complaints that I’ve seen in some of the reviews is that the magic doesn’t feel
realistic or believable, and I agree. I think that it doesn’t, but I also don’t
know that it really matters. I think in this case the magic is really being used
as a metaphor for trauma and coping with trauma, and I don’t necessarily have a
problem with that. If you guys have seen these you know that I struggle to read
hard-hitting contemporaries because it’s just so much to take in.
And so while I saw some people say “I wish this had just been written
straight up as like a straight up hard-hitting contemporary” if it was that,
personally I probably would have DNF’ed it. I don’t think that I could
have read the content that’s in this without the slight distance that comes
with the use of magic as a metaphor, so I really appreciated that, but your mileage
on this is gonna vary. There is a lot of really intense stuff that she deals with
and comes face-to-face with. There is domestic violence, there is rape, and
pedophilia, and molestation. There’s drug abuse and incarceration and there’s…
there’s just a lot. Tt also deals with racism and race relations and class
differences, and all of these complexities that come together in it.
Personally I thought it was beautifully done. I thought it was really powerful
and it has this really powerful message of hope as well as a thread through it,
even with all of the trauma and the challenges. Again one of the other
critiques that I’d seen of it is that it has so much happening in it, and they
were like “oh this should have been simplified” but I think the fact that
it’s so autobiographical is probably part of where that comes from. Because
you know real life is not simple and real life does integrate all of these
different themes. So I think this one is well worth reading if you’re able to
deal with the content that comes in it. I ended up giving this one four and a half
stars. We are closing in on the last few books
to talk about. The next book that I read was an arc that I was sent from Fierce
Feads. This is How to Speak boy by Tiana Smith this is a YA contemporary romance
that came out in January and it was cute. It’s kind of a rivals to lovers story
following two teenagers who are rivals on a speech and debate team. What’s
interesting is once I got a little ways into this, I realized that this is also
kind of a retelling of You’ve Got Mail which I love. I love that as the concept
and I think it’s really fun. The problem is I think this book suffers a bit as a
retelling from only including the girls perspective. I think if I had the boys
perspective as well it would have been better. As it is the second half of this
book really really dragged for me and I think a lot of it is because I was like
“oh I see what this is. This is a You’ve Got Mail retelling!” And it’s trying to act as
if it’s a mystery of who’s writing these letters and I’m like, anyone who has seen
You’ve Got Mail or knows this plotline is clearly gonna know who it is, like so
don’t try to make it a mystery. So I think it suffered a little bit from that,
but it was still a good time. I enjoyed seeing the speech in debate
representation. I was on speech in debate in high school and I thought that was
really fun to read. So if that appeals to you, I do you think it’s worth picking up.
Another recommendation I will make though is if you want a really fantastic
retelling of You’ve Got Mail that I think does everything that I mentioned
really right, I would recommend checking out Tweet Cute by Emma Lord. It’s also a
You’ve Got mail Retelling but it has that double perspective with the boy and
the girl and it’s really really funny. Again I did like this, but I thought it
suffered a little bit from the issues that I mentioned. I ended up giving this
one three stars. The next book that I read
was a audio novella that I really enjoyed.
So audible it has this romance Escape package that normally is like an
additional six dollars a month or something like that if you already have
audible, but they’re doing a special thing with Valentine’s Day where you
could get a two-month free trial. So I went ahead and joined that and this came
with the package. This is a book that I had heard about from Bree over at Bree Hill
and Steph from Steph’s Romance Book Talk and I’m so glad that I listened to the
recommendation. This is The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz.
This was so much fun. It’s a kind of romantic mystery with some gothic
elements to it. It follows a woman in her 20s who’s a teacher who recently lost
her job lost her boyfriend and is traveling to maybe stay with friend and
try to find a new job, when she stumbles across this prestigious private school
for boys that needs a new literature and English teacher and she takes that job.
There also happens to be a very attractive headmaster of the school and
then some weird things start happening. And I don’t want to say anything else
about it because I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s really interesting and
really fun and twisty and didn’t go quite where I expected. It also, without
spoiling anything, has really great but subtle commentary on things like racism,
misogyny, and homophobia, and I thought that that was just done so well.
I loved this. I would read more from the author. However ,I went and looked at some
of her books than like quite a lot of what she’s written is not really my cup
of tea. It’s more of like dark kind of BDSM erotica, which is not really my
thing. But if she has other stuff like this I would for sure a read from her
again cuz I just think it’s really well-crafted. I ended up giving the
headmaster four and a half stars. And the final book that I finished in the first
half of February is The Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. So I really really
love Silvia Moreno Garcia as an author and I want to talk a little bit about
who she is and what she does before I talk about the book, because I think it
matters. I think her writing is beautiful and I
love the project of what she does. She’s written in a variety of different genres,
but in each of them what she does is she centers Latinx characters and culture
and heritage and history in genres where usually they have been predominantly
white. And I think that that is a really cool project and a great project. And
I’ve read other things from her which I’ve loved. Like you know
Gods of Jade and Shadow is her take on Mayan mythology and 1920s Mexican
history and I really enjoyed it, plus like kind of a fairy tale retelling. The
Beautiful Ones is kind of her take on a courtship of manners with a little bit
of a magical realism element to it. Think like Jane Austen meets the Bronte
sisters, but set in Belle Epoch maybe Mexico. She’s also written other books
that I haven’t read that center Mexican characters in a vampire story, in
an 80’s sci-fi story. She’s coming out with Mexican Gothic which is what it
says: a Mexican gothic novel later this year. So I love what she does this is
kind of her thing. So the Untamed Shore, the reason that I
requested it is not so much because it’s a genre that I love, but because it’s an
author that I love. So I just want to preface my review with saying that. The
Untamed Shore is her take on a noir thriller and I think for what it is, she
does it really well. Her writing is, as always, really beautiful. She does some
interesting things in terms of themes, she’s got really rich character
development. This is set in Baja California in a small coastal town in
Mexico, and it’s also partly a coming-of-age story at follows a girl
who is 18 years old and has grown up in this small town, has never left it. She has
bigger dreams for herself but her mother wants her to settle down with her very
uninteresting ex-boyfriend and work at a stationery shop. That’s not really what
she wants to do and so she takes a job opportunity over the summer to work for
some Americans. There’s a wealthy American man who’s spending the summer
in Mexico wanting to write a book and he needs an assistant.
He is also traveling there with his much younger, beautiful wife and her very
attractive brother. And things happen and things get complicated and
dark. I really loved the ending of this book. In the last part of it I loved the
way that she wrapped everything up. I thought it was very smart and very well
done and I see a lot of what she’s doing here in the way that she’s tackling
racism and colonialism. And the vibe of this book felt like it could have been
like a classic black and white movie, which the
classic black-and-white movies are referenced quite often in the book, and
this definitely has that kind of a noir thriller vibe to it. It’s very slow-paced,
it’s very character-driven. That said, noir thrillers are really not
so much my cup of tea and the main reason I picked this up is because I
love the author so much. So I’m not upset that I read it but honestly I was kind
of bored for the first like two thirds of the book, just because it’s not really
my genre of choice, even though I think it was done pretty well. But I did really
love the last part of the book and the ending, so I ended up giving this book
three stars. But I think that readers who are more into that genre would probably
really enjoy it. Whoo, okay! So there you have it. Those are
these 16 things that I read in the first half of February. It’s been a really
strong reading month for me, at least in terms of number of things read. I feel
like in practice I haven’t loved a lot of what I’m reading, but there’s been a
lot of really solid things and some kind of disappointing things, and I’m really
happy with the choices I’ve made about DNFing. That said talk to me in the
comments down below, let me know any of your thoughts or feelings on any of the
books that I talked about today. And for your question of the day, let me know
what your reading has been like in February. Has it been more than what you
expected? Less than what you expected? So far I’ve actually been getting through
more than I had anticipated, but I suspect the second half of the
month, which is gonna be much busier with traveling, my husband traveling, family
traveling, just a lot more going on. My kids are out of school for a week,
probably I will get to less. So we’ll see how that goes.
If you guys liked this video give it a thumbs up, subscribe if you want to see
more. Thank you so much for watching and I will see you next time.

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4 thoughts on “[CC] February Mid-Month Wrap Up (16 Books & Popular DNF’s)”

  1. Jay G says:

    The Daisy Jones audio is so great

  2. Kate Dingemans says:

    I really really did not like Daisy Jones and the six. It was extremely boring.

  3. Reads with Rachel says:

    Spellslinger sounds so fun, you definitely sold me on it. I’m gonna see if my library has it.

  4. The Bookish Mom says:

    I debated picking up Daisy Jones and the Six, I thought about the Audio book and the premise sounds interesting but it is very outside of my normal genre. I still need to pick up the Wayward Children series though, that sounds right up my alley.

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