Monthly Wrap Up: February

I read 10 books this month!

🔺Diverse Books Read: 10/10 of them were diverse. I read 0 non diverse books this month. Wow!

-5 of them had black main characters and/or were written by black authors for Black History Month!

-3 of them were queer (and 2 of those were sapphic)

-4 of them had autistic main characters

-7 of them (that I know of) were Own Voices!

🔺New Adult/Adult Books Read: 2

🔺Middle Grade Books Read: 0

🔺Graphic Novels Read: 0

🔺Favorite reads of the month: The Bride Test, The Poet X, When My Heart Joins the Thousand, The Disasters, Dear Martin, Into the Drowning Deep!

🔺Least favorite read(s): What to Say Next

🔺Longest Book Read: Into the Drowning Deep (448 pages)

🔺Shortest Book Read: What to Say Next (301 pages)

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.

Diversity: Vietnamese heroine, Vietnamese & Autistic hero

Own Voices? Yes

Thoughts: Since Hoang’s debut novel The Kiss Quotient was one of my favorite (Adult) reads of 2018, I was beyond excited for the companion novel. Let me start by saying I DID love this book and the characters and the story and I still treasure it even If I didn’t love it as much as I did TKQ. My expectations were VERY high and that might’ve dampened my experience a bit. Maybe it’s cause TKQ had so much sex in it so I expected the same of TBT, which didn’t have near as much AND THAT’S TOTALLY OK….but it just felt like there was so much instant attraction (which is also ok!) only for the sex scenes to kinda ehh…fall flat when they finally happened? And the ending felt a little rushed. BUT I loved Kai and Esme’s stories and their voices and it was lovely to read about a heroine from another country adapting to life and culture in America, and the struggles that accompanied such a big change. I sympathized with Kai’s struggle to define his feelings and to accept the fact that he wasn’t a bad person just because he experienced and expressed his emotions differently. All in all, The Bride Test was a beautiful love story with great autistic rep but I feel like I need to…re-read this one with less expectations clouding my judgement. Kai and Esme are definitely a favorite book couple and I’m glad I was able to read an early edition of this beautiful book.

Rating: 4/5 stars (normally I don’t consider 4 star reads favorites but in this case I do cause it was only my expectations that made me a little disappointed, i don’t know why I expected it to be so similar to TKQ)

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Diversity: autistic hero, Indian American biracial heroine

Own Voices? No

Thoughts: The second book I read in February with an autistic main character, but this one was such a disappointment. It started out pretty good! I really liked David. I think he’s the only thing I liked about the book, actually. I was enjoying the drama and the growing friendship between Kit and David, at first. But then it just got worse and worse until I was left feeling terribly hurt at the ending. Not good autistic rep at all. I mean, I felt like his traits were realistic but the way his autism was treated as something embarrassing was just not ok. Read my full review here.

Rating: 2.5/stars

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Diversity: Afro Dominican heroine, black love interest

Own Voices? Yes

Thoughts: This is the first book written in verse that I’ve read for quite some time. And I loved it to pieces! It was also the first book I finished for Black History Month. It follows a 15 year old girl as she falls in love, both with poetry and with a boy, as she learns to pour her heart and her pain into her poetry, as she struggles to get along with her obscenely strict and religiously devout mother, as she deals with harassment and school and judgement. I loved the relationship between her and her twin brother. I loved how she stood up for herself. I cried so much. The Poet X is definitely a new favorite.

Rating: 5/5 stars

When my Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J Steiger

Diversity: autistic girl heroine with ptsd, hero with brittle bone disease and depression.

Own Voices? No that I know of

Thoughts: The third book with autistic rep that I read this month, but this one was fantastic and I loved the rep. It’s an adorable love story between an autistic girl and a physically disabled boy. It’s hilarious awkward, tragically heartbreaking and incredibly heartwarming. I loved every minute of it. Read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Diversity: black heroine, Korean hero

Own Voices? Yes

Thoughts: My second read for Black History Month! The Sun is Also a Star was a pretty quick read. I loved how it switched between Daniel and Natasha’s povs, as well as the POV’s of random people they encountered, their parents, etc. That made it soooo intriguing!! I loved the banter between Daniel and Natasha and their chemistry was undeniable, although Natasha’s cliche “I don’t believe in love/it’s just a chemical reaction” spiels got a bit annoying. The ending also wasn’t quite what I’d hoped and the book was slow at times but I enjoyed this unconventional love story a lot!

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Disasters by M.K England

Diversity: a bisexual, Muslim, Pakistani main character. Both male and female love interests, both of whom poc. A black gay guy. A kick ass trans girl. A hijabi hacker girl.

Own Voices: I know the author is queer, I just don’t know their exact identity(ies)

Thoughts: Queers in space!!! A bisexual, Muslim Pakistani main character!! The Disasters was a hilarious and heartwarming read. I literally laughed out loud multiple times, swooned at others, almost cried a few times. Although it hinges on a pretty heavy plot point, this book is very lighthearted. There’s lots of action, lots of awkward moments, and wonderful new friendships among a group of space academy rejects. And every single one of those rejects is diverse in some way! I think The Disasters is a stand-alone but I would loooove a sequel or companion! It’s hilarious and so much fun.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Diversity: black female main character, black love interest

Own Voices? Yes

Thoughts: Pride was a cute, diverse re-telling of Pride and Prejudice (which I’ve personally never read). I loved the main character Zuri’s snark and self confidence buuuuut she could also be very rude, self centered, dismissive and judgmental at times….which I guess is the point of the book and the classic it’s based off, but I couldn’t help it, I didn’t like Zuri for the most part. I did love her relationship with her family, especially her sisters. I thought her romance with the new rich boy in town, Darius, was cute. But it didn’t seem like she’d changed much at the end. And I wasn’t completed invested in her story overall. It was still a fun read though!

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Diversity: black hero, based on real life issues of police brutality and racism

Own Voices? Yes

Thoughts: My fourth read for Black History Month. I flew through this one cause I could not stop reading! It was intense, full of very real issues and devastating at times. But it also had hopeful moments, and I was rooting for Jus the whole way through. I loved his resilience and his strength and his big heart. I was so angry over all the shittiness he had to deal with and I was happy he had supportive friends and an open minded, strong willed love interest. His letters to MLK really gave us a glimpse into his mind and helped to understand his character better. I did feel like certain events in the book happened a bit abruptly and therefore didn’t evoke as much of an emotional reaction as they normally would have (this coming from someone who cries very easily). So that kinda took me out of the story a bit. Regardless, I would still recommend this book to everyone and am so glad I read it!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Diversity: an autistic lesbian news reporter, a bisexual female scientist, two deaf female scientists, a physically disabled scientist

Own Voices? Not that I know of

Thoughts: By far the scariest book I have ever read. It’s full of science, killer mermaids, diverse characters and lots of horribly suspenseful, terrifying moments. It takes place on a ship venturing into the mostly unexplored Mariana Trench. Read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

Diveristy: bisexual butch female main character, biracial(?) queer female love interest. Also queer and poc side characters, and one of the mc’s (main characters) best friends has 2 dads and a mom. Like, 3 parents in an actual polyamorous relationship!! The mc’s brother is mute and doesn’t talk, due to trauma.

Own Voices? K. Ancrum is black, but I don’t know whether she’s queer

Thoughts: I loved Ancrum’s first book The Wicker King, a m/m contemporary about a toxic codependent friendship turned something more. She did an excellent job portraying an unhealthy relationship and the ways it needed to change for them to have a healthy relationship. I really loved The Weight of Our Stars (with a f/f romance this time) too! I enjoyed the hate-to-love, slow burn relationship between Ryann (a girl) and Alexandria. I loved all the unlikely friendships in Ryann’s strange little group of friends. I loved how supportive they all were of each other and I loved how determined Ryann was to help Alexandria listen to the messages her mom was sending her from space. I loved that there were so many diverse characters and that there was an actual character with 3 parents in m/m/f polyamorous relationship. I loved Ryann’s relationship with her brother and the way they looked out for each other and weren’t afraid to show affection. All of that was amazing. The ending made me cry, in a good way. My only issue is that it could be a little slow at times and I needed a little more excitement, and I also expected it to have way more scifi elements. It’s more a story about relationships than a story about space. But I still enjoyed it and the wonderful ending mostly made up for that! Overall I’d definitely recommend this book.

ALSO: I JUST REALIZED THAT THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE AUTHORS FIRST BOOK ‘THE WICKER KING’ ARE THE POLYAM TRIO PARENTS OF THE MC’S BEST FRIEND IN ‘THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS’!!!?HOW DID I MISS THIS. LITERALLY JACK/AUGUST/RINA FROM THE WICKER KING ARE AHMED’S PARENTS HOLY SHIT I AM ACTUALLY CRYING

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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One thought on “Monthly Wrap Up: February

  1. This is great. Added some to my list! I loved The Kiss Quotient as well, even though m/f sex is not my thing. It was a great story. I’ll try to go into the Bride Test with as few expectations as possible. 🙂

    Like

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