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February and January Wrap-Up

Hello, readers! We are officially in March so I thought that I would wrap-up everything I’ve read so far this year since I didn’t do one for January because I only read two books.

So far, I’ve had a pretty great reading year quality-wise. I’ve read ten books so far; two in January and eight in February. I have only given one book three stars and the rest have been either four or five stars. I feel very weird that I’ve been reading so many good books, but in my defense, I feel like they all are relatively hyped that the chances were that I’d like them in the first place.

Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan Maguire

This is the second book in the Wayward Children series. I liked the first book, Every Heart A Doorway, but I found that it didn’t stick with me as much as I thought/hoped that it would. I really like how this series focuses around queer characters and each are something different. I did really like Nancy as ace rep so I would recommend to my fellow aces and just anyone looking for ace rep. That is not the book we’re talking about. I liked this one better than the first one. I loved the social commentary and the way that the author discusses femininity and growing up.

Rating: 4 stars

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is a book I’ve been wanting to get to every year. I wanted to make it my first read, but I was feeling slumpy and knew it would not be a good idea to read a chunky classic so I waited until later in the month. This was everything I thought it would be. I have a deep connection to this book because I was obsessed with reading books inspired by the March sisters and even read a children’s abridged version when I was ten and watched the 1990s version multiple times so I was well aware of the plotline. My mom is also named after one of the March sisters. I felt like this story had been with me forever, and I thoroughly loved watching the March sisters grow up.

Also, Jo is queer. Argue with the wall. I don’t care what you have to say about it. I didn’t really like the love story she got, but I also know that the author didn’t want her to end up with someone and really only did it because her editors forced her to so I am not going to blame that on the author and more the field that she was in at that time.

Rating: 5 stars

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

This was one of the strangest books–nay, the strangest book I have ever read, and I enjoyed every second of it. I understand why people don’t like it because it is very uncouth, but I found that I like gothic horror and queer horror. I don’t really know how to describe this book except for corn and tense maternal relationships. I have a review so if you want to read me gushing more about it, here you go.

Rating: 5 stars

A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow

I think that if you don’t like this book, you truly do not understand the genre. This is about a siren girl in modern Portland and everybody is aware of the magical creatures that exist. This book discusses racism and intersectionalism. I will say that a lot happened and the pacing felt a little off to me. The ending also lost me a little. I do think it’s a great story about found family, activism, and intersectionalism so I would highly recommend that people read it for that. I love the dynamic between Tavia and Effie and think it was super well done.

Rating: 3.75 (round up to 4 on Goodreads)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I can’t explain what it is about this book that didn’t work for me, but it just didn’t. I love Gothic novels and I love social commentary, and this had both. There were moments where the writing really lost me. I would have to read pages and pages over because I had missed what was going on. I liked the plot twist although I did kinda predict it based on a certain comparison I had made to it.

Rating: 3 stars

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

This is one of those books that I believe everyone should read if they can handle it. This was such a poignant, touching story about crime and murder and the domino effect that it has. I listened to this on audiobook as I read the author narrate it because it is a novel-in-verse, and I wanted to see the way the story was constructed. I could not stop crying as I read it. I was in my living room, too, in front of my mom and youngest brother. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea, but that’s what I did.

Rating: 5 stars

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Yes, this is as cute as everyone says it is. Believe it or not, after reading all those sad books, I felt like I needed a little dose of serotonin in my system so I decided to pick this up because I heard people talk about how this is the happiest book they’ve read last year and/or ever, and I realized that I don’t have many happy books on my shelves. I really want to hug all the characters. I love how kind Arthur and Linus were to the children and how they never shamed the children for being who they were.

Rating: 5 stars

The Weight of the Stars by K Ancrum

I read The Wicker King by this same author back in December and liked it a lot, and this really confirms that she will most likely be an autobuy author. I would recommend reading The Wicker King first because there are references to it, and it makes the books a little bit sweeter once you get them. I was still looking for serotonin books, which this book is not. I don’t know how I missed all the reviews about people crying over this book, but that is almost all the reviews. I really adored the romance in this book. It was also really thought-provoking because it is a story about leaving everything you know and love.

Rating: 4 stars

The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill

I felt a little empty having no happy books and only one graphic novel so I bought some, and immediately read this because it was short and calling my name. This was such a sweet book, and I now would like to acquire a tea dragon. If I ever have children, I will read this book with them.

Rating: 4 stars

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I read this book because my friend and I were doing a buddy read. This is one of her favorite books, and she’s been telling me to read it since she did last year. She takes so many of my book suggestions and likes them so I felt like I owed her this one, and I really liked. I love how mature Anne Elliot is compared to some of her other characters (although I do love Emma dearly). I also feel like you could write a queer study on Anne, but I feel that way about many of Jane Austen’s protagonist (looking at you once again, Emma).

Rating: 4 stars

Those are all the books I read in February and January. I am really happy with the books I’ve read so far. A lot of them are books that I’ve been meaning to get to so I’m feeling really productive.

What was your favorite book you read this month? I’d love to chat with you down below!

Published by alyssathebookvagabond

A 22-year-old college student with a restless heart and equally restless brain

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