Wrap-Up: February & March 2021

This month I’ll be writing about the books I read in February and March. I don’t usually combine months but I was unable to read anything in February until the tail end of the month and, before I knew it, it was way past time to make an appropriate wrap-up post. I wasn’t able to read as much as I wanted to in March since my sibling and I took a spontaneous (but safe!) road trip for her Spring break but I’ll be including some pictures from the trip to make up for it! So without further ado, let’s get into the recap of my past few weeks.

Books I Read in February:

The first book I wanted to jump into when I was able to read again was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. One of my best friends has raved about this series for as long as I’ve known her and I was super eager to read them. So I binge read the entire series during the last week of the month. Unfortunately, I didn’t love them as much as she does but I think that may be due to the fact that I read Maas’s writing first and subconsciously compared the series to ACOTAR (which I enjoyed much more than these). I have a post detailing 5 things I liked about the series and 5 things I didn’t like which you can read here but overall I sit in the unusual camp of feeling that the series became better as it went on rather than being disappointed like other readers. It’s a young adult fantasy series featuring a human who has been brought to the faerie world to live out her life after her parents are murdered.

  • The Cruel Prince: 3 feathers
  • The Wicked King: 4 feathers
  • The Queen of Nothing: 4 feathers
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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“the problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”

leigh bardugo

Series: Shadow and Bone #1

Release Date: June 5th 2012

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

Genre: Young Adult Fiction | High Fantasy | Romance | Adventure

Page Count: 358

Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary: Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destroy the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two.

Rating:

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Top 5 Tuesday: Middle Grade Books

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly series created by Bionic Book Worm and is now hosted by Meeghan Reads. This week’s topic: Top 5 Middle Grade Books.

One of my favorite things about middle grade books is that they often hit relatable issues in a simple, accessible way, especially in the case of contemporary books. I’m usually floored by the amount of development within the plot and the characters in such a short amount of time due to their typical shorter page length. I definitely sit in the camp that middle grade can be enjoyed by all ages and have reread some of my favorites as an adult. Without further ado, let’s jump in to my top 5 middle grade recommendations.

1. Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Crash is a favorite from my childhood and has remained a favorite into my adult life–I even reread it a couple of years ago and possibly enjoyed it even more as an adult than as a child. It hits so many important issues in its pages from peer expectations to bullying to the effects of watching people you love grow old and feeble. The main character goes through so much character development as he moves from popular jock preoccupied by what others think of him to learning what’s actually important in life and making new decisions as he matures. Spinelli’s books often have some major life lessons hidden beneath their various façades which is one of my favorite things about his books.

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Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

“choices are never easy. there are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.”

brigid kemmerer

Series: Cursebreakers #2

Release Date: January 7th, 2020

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: Young Adult Fiction | High Fantasy | Romance

Page Count: 450

Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary: Find the heir, win the crown. The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers. Win the crown, save the kingdom. Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

Rating:

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Top 5 Tuesday: Books That Got Me Into Reading

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly series created by Bionic Book Worm and is now hosted by Meeghan Reads. This week’s topic: Top 5 Books That Got You Into Reading.

Since I fell in love with reading as soon as I learned how to read, I’m afraid my list would just be filled with children’s books such as Madeleine, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, etc.–probably not very exciting or engaging to read in my case. So instead I’m going to put a little bit of a spin on this week’s topic and choose the top 5 books that helped get me out of a reading slump at different times in my life.

1. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I went through several reading slumps as a teen, mostly because of time constraints due to harsh coursework in school. I’ve always been the type to fall into routine pretty easily (probably thanks to my Virgo moon) so once I’d subconsciously decided I wasn’t allowed to read for pleasure and instead should only read my coursework, it was difficult for me to let go a little. Discovering this series filled with Greek mythology and demigods through my sibling helped revive my love for reading circa 2008.

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Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

“not all scars can be seen, my lady.”

brigid kemmerer

Series: Cursebreakers #1

Release Date: January 29th, 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: Young Adult Fiction | High Fantasy | Romance | Fairy-Tale Retelling

Page Count: 484

Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary: Fall in love, break the curse. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world. Break the curse, save the kingdom. Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Rating:

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Top 5 Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Read When I Was Younger

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly series created by Bionic Book Worm and is now hosted by Meeghan Reads. This week’s topic: Top 5 Books You Wish You Had Read When You Were Younger.

All of my books are ones I read a few years after their release (a few decades in the case of another) and are ones I wished I’d pushed myself to read earlier so I could’ve enjoyed them at the height of their fame. It’s still fun to read books that were once popular but have since fallen, but nothing compares to being able to read a book that everyone is talking about and loving it too. Here are a few of mine:

1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I didn’t read this book until 3 years after its release. Scarlet, its sequel, had already been published in fact. At the time, I had recently gotten my first e-reader ever and the publisher had released the first five chapters of this book for free to entice readers to purchase the full book. Well, it definitely worked on me and I flew through its pages. I was fascinated by its blend of dystopian and sci-fi. I was shocked that retellings could actually do the original story justice and make me love them too. I’m glad I was able to be there for the hype of Cress‘s release but I still wish I’d picked this book up sooner.

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