“February was a light reading month,” I thought to myself. Then I finished three books in the last day of the month, checked my Goodreads and realized I actually read more this month than last! Although I did read lighter, shorter books. I think perhaps I just wasn’t in as much of a groove with reading this month. With that said, let me jump into what I read in February! (These are sorted in order of when I read them.)
The Fate of the Tearling: I thought this series got better with every book. I didn’t care for the first, thought the second had promising ideas, and thought the third tied everything together impressively. That said, while I ended up thinking this story was interesting, I didn’t actually like it. It explores some intriguing things for sure. 3.5/5 stars. Full review here.
The Rose & the Dagger: I thought this one was a good follow-up to The Wrath & the Dawn. I did want more from the story though, since there’s so much happening that so many plots and characters just get sort of dropped. I really enjoyed the characters and the writing in this series, and wish the story had been a little more thought out. 4/5 stars. Full review here.
Starflight: I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I was expecting to for it to be an alright read, and the beginning of the story made me worry about it’s direction (as I’m not super into the whole “rich guy is terrible to a poor girl who has to rely on him, will they fall in love?” idea). But the shift in plot early on opened up an interesting world full of enjoyable characters. And space pirates! 4/5 stars. Full review here.
Siege and Storm: This series… I wanted to like it and kept hoping I’d change my mind or the characters would change. I enjoyed this book more than the first–if you have a swashbuckling pirate character, I’m going to be at least a little happy. It’s a really interesting world but I had a hard time getting past my annoyance and boredom with Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. 3/5 stars. Full review here.
Outrun the Moon: I really enjoyed this one a lot! Mercy Wong is a fantastic character and Stacey Lee’s writing transports you so perfectly to San Francisco in 1906. It’s always sort of a switch jumping from intense fantasy where the stakes for everything are so grand and huge to a historical fiction story with a more personal focus (although to be fair, it also has some life or death stakes). 4/5 stars. Full review here.
Scrappy Little Nobody: This one was a fun, quick read. If you like Anna Kendrick then you’re sure to like this. It’s not a deep sort of memoir, or a collection of comedic essays but just a breezy journey through different parts of her life. Her voice is conversational and funny, and her stories are relatable and interesting. 4/5 stars.
Ruin and Rising: I felt this series redeemed itself a little by the end of this book but it was too little too late for me. There were so many elements that frustrated me that this one took me a week to finish, which is a pretty long time for me (I took a break to read Scrappy Little Nobody). I don’t mind characters that have flaws (as often that’s what makes them interesting) but I want to see those flaws explored not brushed off. While I really liked the world and the writing, I had the same problems with every book in this trilogy. 3/5 stars. Full review here.
Saving Hamlet: I had wanted to read this one for a while because it looked sweet and fun, and I love Shakespeare and time travel. I was a little let down by the whole time-travel-trapdoor plot, since the Elizabethan era hardly gets any time to shine. The story is much more about the present-day school theater antics. It was still sweet, and a quick read (and this one is definitely meant for a younger teen audience). 3/5 stars. Full review here.
Roller Girl: A middle grade graphic novel about friendship and roller derby, this is one I know I would’ve loved when I was young–Astrid is so much like young me. I loved it now too. The art is expressive and the story mixes the broadly relatable arc of growing up and how friendships change with the delightful specificity of the world of roller derby. 4/5 stars.
The Last of August: I loved A Study in Charlotte and was really looking forward to the continuation of Holmes and Watson’s story. This second book delivered on one account–continuing to build a detailed and nuanced relationship between the main characters–but somewhat underperformed on another–the plot was a little all over the place. I really liked this book, but I hope the next book can have a tighter mystery to support it. 4/5 stars. Full review here.
Rebel of the Sands: This one was just ok for me. It was a pretty typical story, and the pacing of the plot skipped over any elements that would have shown who these characters really were and how their relationships grow. I enjoyed reading it but it didn’t leave much of an impression. 3/5 stars. Full review here.
This One Summer: Sometimes I struggle with graphic novels. It can be a very different type of storytelling that requires a different reading lens. There isn’t much of a plot to this one, but it’s more of a slice of life portrait with an authentic glow. The art is absolutely stunning. 4/5 stars.