I read a total of 7 books this month. 4/7 were diverse and 3/7 were queer. In February I hope to read some f/f books since the queer books I read in January were m/m or m/f. I also hope to read some books by black authors and/or with black characters this month because February is Black History Month!
Books read: 7
Diverse books read: 4
New Adult/Adult books read: 1
Unreleased ARCS read: 2
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
The Wicker King is a very uniquely written book. Each page has a ‘title’ and I noticed that the pages gets progressively darker as the story itself does. Like, literally darker. The pages start off pale gray and get darker and blacker the further you read. It takes place in the 90’s, making it 1 of like 3 total books I’ve read (I think) that take place during that time. It perfectly captures the unhealthy nature of a codependent relationship. It’s the story of two boys who are best friends, maybe something more. Who can’t see that they rely entirely too much on each other, to the point that their relationship is at times more harmful than healthy. It’s filled with beautiful artwork and pictures that further immerse you in August and Jack’s story, as one of them descends deeper into madness and the other watches on helplessly, unable to find the willpower to do what’s needed to help them. I was captivated by Ancrum’s storytelling and caught up in a thousand different emotions from frustration to hope to relief. I have an ARC of Ancrum’s upcoming YA scifi and I’m excited to see how her sophomore novel compares to her brilliant debut!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Meet Me In Outer Space by Melinda Grace
Meet me in Outer Space is the first book I’ve ever read with a main character that has sensory processing disorder. The main character is a sophomore in college too, which I loved cause it’s nice to see more college aged characters in YA. It’s written so that teens of all ages can enjoy it despite the main character being no longer in high school though, so no worries. If you have learning disability or a disability that impacts your learning, you’ll be able to relate to Edie’s struggles to focus, to pass her classes, and get the accommodations she needs. The romance between Edie and the T.A Hudson was sweet yet complicated and Hudson was very supportive of Edie and determined to see her succeed. Meet me in Outer Space is a short and sweet read that shines a light on what it’s like being to have a disability that strongly impacts daily life and the college experience.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
If you know me, you know I can’t get enough of westerns, or books inspired by the Wild West. It’s one of my favorite time periods to read about, especially if there are fantasy elements mixed in. Berserker follows a family on the run, traveling from Norway to America, whilst also trying to tame the ancestral viking magic that runs in their veins. The story was brutal, violent at times, a journey both mental and physical. I love sibling books, and Berserker is very much a book about the love and loyalty between siblings. There’s some romance too, of course, between the main character Hanne and a cute cowboy named Owen. I can’t wait to read book two and see what happens next.
Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale
I’m always eager for books with bisexual characters and m/f romance, as a bisexual myself with a strong preference for guys. Small Town Hearts had me feeling a wide range of emotions from nostalgia to utter frustration. I loved the quaint small town atmosphere and I loved the fact that the main character Babe was perfectly happy living there forever, working as a Barista at a local cafe she loved, with no pressure or desire to attend college. That’s a rare thing to find in books about older teens. There was a lot of friendship drama between Babe and her childhood friends, as well as her ex girlfriend, which had me very frustrated, but in a way that kept me entertained and made me more sympathetic to Babe. I was rooting for her to find peace dammit! Levi was the perfect love interest for Babe; sweet, patient, understanding, non judgmental, smart, laid back, funny, kind…you get the picture-a bunch of great qualities, but still flawed and realistic and likable. The ending was believable and satisfying. If you love small town summer romance, baking, the beach, friendship drama and older teen YA, you’ll love Small Town Hearts.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
The Wicked King by Holly Black
I started TWK as soon I was able to get my hands on it. After finishing The Cruel Prince back in 2017, I immediately wanted the sequel, and it was incredibly painful waiting over a year. And after all that time, it definitely didn’t disappoint. The romance was 10 times steamier and the stakes twice as high. I was delighted at the direction the romance went, and pleasantly surprised at how much both Jude and Cardan changed from book 1. Especially Cardan. I mean, wow. Talk about character development. Talk about a solidly written enemies-to-lovers romance arc. Waiting yet another year for the conclusion to the series will be the worst kind of torture. That twist ending killed me.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
As much as I love and always will love YA, I equally love reading books with characters my own age. There simply aren’t enough (diverse) books about characters in their 20’s. So, to read a contemporary romance with a bisexual 22 year old character was very refreshing. I absolutely loved this super sweet romance about the first son of the united states and the prince of Wales. It was both hilarious and heartbreaking. I laughed out loud at some parts and cried at others. I loved the banter between Alex and Henry and the way their relationship progressed from rivalry to friendship to love. Great bisexual rep, beautiful writing, compelling story telling. I loved the brother/sister relationship between Alex and June as well. I’ll never get enough of books with siblings who are best friends. I definitely encourage anyone who loves diverse New Adult romance to pre order this book if you can. I loved every minute of it!
Rating: 5/5 stars
Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck
Beware the Night had a very unique story-line I loved, a headstrong and determined female main character and a love triangle that had me torn between both love interests. Those are the best kind of love interest, the ones where you’d be happy with whoever the main character chooses. Dorian and Nico were as different as can be and both represented completely different aspects of Veda’s life. I love books about revolution and the oppressed rising up against their oppressors, which is the ultimate theme of Beware the Night. I was drawn me into the suspense and mystery of the story of a girl whose world is turned upside down when she learns that everything she’s been taught is a lie. The ending is intense and I am praying that there will be a sequel.
Rating: 4/5 stars