Hello readers! Another month has come and gone, so it’s time for another wrap-up. I read 13 books this month. As I did last month, I will be doing a separate romance wrap-up to talk about the historical romance novels I read in February, so stay on the lookout for that.
As for the other books, I started the month off by reading the sequel to Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. This book is called The Vanishing Stair and was one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. I have been a huge Maureen Johnson fan for close to 10 years and her new series does not disappoint. I absolutely loved Truly Devious when I read it last year, and the sequel is possibly even better. I am eagerly anticipating book #3.
I’m trying to try genres that I haven’t tried much in the past, so next I picked up a graphic novel, Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson. I was excited to experience a modern version of Nancy Drew as she is one of my favorite characters, but sadly, the portrayal of the classic detective in this graphic novel was very disappointing. Nancy acted nothing like the original Nancy Drew. She treated her friends poorly, kept information to herself when it could have helped keep people she cared about safe, and was overall a little too careless. I probably would have liked this story much more if it had been marketed as anything other than Nancy Drew.
Then I read what was another highly anticipated release for this year, 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. I was (and still am) kind of obsessed with The Hating Game, so I was really excited to read something new from this author. Again, unfortunately, I was disappointed. I liked the book in general, but when we got to the part of the story that happens in basically every romance where it was clear to literally everyone that our two main characters like each other, but there is an obstacle keeping them from being together, well, I was super unclear on what that obstacle was. I feel like a good 100 or so pages of angst could have been removed because the characters were being stubborn for no reason.
I’m only now seeing that there’s no wonder I fell into a bit of a reading slump mid-month, because my next read was also disappointing. I read Caraval by Stephanie Garber last year, and I thought it was okay. The characters kind of annoyed me, and the world-building was unclear at times, but the ending set up the sequel in a way that had me really excited to read it. So this month, I read Legendary expecting a much better story. Much like with the first book, I found this book only okay. I didn’t have a good enough understanding of the world and the magic system to really understand the stakes. I think I would have liked this book a lot better if we could have gotten some of Dante’s point of view. That said, I really like the ending and feel a bit like I’ve been tricked into reading the third and final book in this trilogy. *Sigh*
Finally, after picking up and putting down a whole slew of different books, I checked out Cress by Marissa Meyer from the library. I have been loving this series. These books are quickly becoming some of my favorite fairytale retellings ever. Each main character is so unique but also so completely loveable. It should come as no surprise that immediately after finishing Cress, I picked up the final book of the series, Winter. Both were amazing, and I am working on collecting my own copies of this series so I can re-read it in part or in whole whenever I what.
Then, I finally got off the waitlist for The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas, which is the third book in her Lady Sherlock series. I talk about this series all the time, and I will probably keep talking about it, because this was probably my favorite book so far. This series re-imagines Sherlock Holmes as a fallen woman named Charlotte Holmes, who has a knack for solving puzzles and mysteries, and will do anything she can to take care of her beloved sisters and her handful of close friends. She also has a huge sweet-tooth, so be prepared for enticing descriptions of french pastry.
After finishing all that currently exists of the Lady Sherlock series, I found I was still in the mood for mysteries. I still am, in fact, as you might have gathered from my post on some of my favorite mystery stories. Based on a recommendation from SarawithoutanH, I picked up the first book in the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourne. I was annoyed with this book at first. It took the two main characters, Veronica and Stoker, until halfway through the book to even try to start solving the mystery. However, by the end of the book, I had grown to enjoy the banter between Veronica and Stoker, and the ending set up the rest of the series really nicely. I know first books in a mystery series can sometimes be rough, much like the first season of a TV show is often shaky, so I was willing to give it another chance. By the end of the second book, I was sold. Veronica is spunky, hilarious, and also such a good friend. Stoker is my favorite kind of grump – the kind that even though the world has chewed him up and spit him out and he can’t help but be cynical about everything, he still loves his friends and his dogs, and is really just a fluff-ball on the inside. Together, they make the perfect team. It also helps that they are both biologists, so they frequently say things that have me going “OMG SO TRUE!” I have now finished the third book and I just want more. Luckily the fourth book comes out in March.
The last book I read this month was The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. This was a super cute middle-grade novel about a wizard boy named Xar who is selfish and arrogant and honestly reminds me a lot of Peter Pan, and a warrior girl named Wish who is clumsy and weird and has a pet spoon. Wizards and warriors are sworn enemies, and our two main characters are each the children of the leaders of each side. They meet, hijinks ensue, David Tennant narrates the audiobook, so it would be hard not to enjoy. Xar annoyed the heck out of me, and I sympathized with his raven guardian a lot. I loved Wish, she is my favorite.
That’s it for my February reading wrap-up. March is likely to be a fun reading month, so stay tuned, and happy reading!
Monthly Goals Check-in
Read at least one classic: I kind of forgot I was doing this. Oops.
Read at least one adult novel: The Hollow of Fear, 99 Percent Mine, and all three Veronica Speedwell books
Read at least two already owned books: I started like three different ones and haven’t finished any of them.