Well, February was just not my month. I struggled with reading big time, and after an entire week of reading literally nothing, I decided to binge the entire Heartstopper series, which is even worse since I’ve already read everything, so here I am, ignoring my problems in favor of gay boys. I feel like that’s pretty much just me in a nutshell? Anyway, there were also some exciting non-reading things that happened this month that made me feel less bad about the whole setting my TBR on fire and doing whatever the hell I wanted, so I guess it wasn’t all bad?
Mini Book Reviews
🌈 LGBTQPIA+ characters
🔥 BIPOC authors
🌑 BIPOC characters
Winterhouse | Ben Guterson 🌑
I think I’ve hit the jackpot. Out of the 7 books I’ve read so far this year, 6 of them have been five stars. I really, really hope this trend continues. This is probably going to end up being one of my favorite middle grades this year. I’m so hyped about reading the rest of the series that I bought the second one already, and I’m honestly probably going to read it really soon. This is just adorable. The characters were lovely, the writing was wonderful, and the story kept me interested and managed to throw a plot twist I totally did not expect at the end! Truly very cute.
Heartstopper, Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman 🌈
I had a bit of a thing in the middle of the month. I was just not feeling anything, and it’s the first time in a while that I’ve felt so down about everything, so I decided to just quietly slip into a story that makes me feel all the good things, and let me tell you, it was a good decision. Not only do I love the artwork & the characters in Heartstopper, but Nick & Charlie’s story just warms my heart and makes me feel so hopeful, and it was so nice to return to this.
Heartstopper, Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman 🌈
Obviously, since I reread the first one, I was definitely rereading the second one, too. I’m not sure I’ve ever read the first two in actual book form, either, or just online, so it was really nice to have this piece of the story in my hands and be able to physically move through it. I love that Oseman allows us to fall in love with these two, and then keeps going, that it’s not just the chase, but their whole story. They’re just so sweet and adorable, I can’t!
Heartstopper, Vol. 3 by Alice Oseman 🌈
I’ve only read a tiny bit of this one previously, so I was very excited to get to this one since it was new material for me! I’ve since stopped reading online because I love having the book to read, and gosh, my little heart was just pitter pattering the whole time, I was dead. I loved that we got to see more of a vulnerable side from both of these boys, too, and the different difficulties they’re facing together. This was just such a lovely installment, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Zenith | Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings 🌑
Here’s the thing. Do I understand why other people didn’t like this? Yes, definitely. Am I also 100% going to read the sequel? You betcha. I told my friend that I’d finished it, and she asked if she should read it, and I was like HELL NO but I also had a stellar time. Seriously, I loved this. It was the kind of mindless reading that I love about The Thousandth Floor series. It was just drama and angst, and it was all so ridiculous, but it was in space, and like? Those two things combined? Yes, please. It was like the Syfy show creating a soap opera, and it was so nice to just switch off my brain and watch this chaos unfold.
These Witches Don’t Burn | Isabel Sterling 🌈🌑
Ugh. I’m honestly fighting with myself over two or three stars. I didn’t hate this book, but there was a lot about it to dislike. I’m going to write a longer review, but it basically boils down to three things: (1) the whole argument that witches are better than normal people is racist and gross, (2) I literally cannot believe we’re still having the conversation about how Wicca does not equate ALL witchcraft, and (3) if you’re going to write in Salem, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, come here sometime other than Halloween. I was looking forward to this so much. Queer teenage witches set in Salem? YES. That’s basically my entire life. And yet, here we are, with the whitest, blandest, poorly researched book ever. Sigh. I bet the research was a quick Edain McCoy Google search and nothing else. Did I just convince myself into two stars?
Books read: 6
Pages read: 2,394
Preorders: 0/4 (wow and there are so many in March pray for me)
Backlist progress: 9/80
Next month is Women’s History Month! Thus, I have a separate post entirely for my TBR, which it seems like I’m going to be linking more than once in this post, but whatever, here it is!
I’ve also added a new piece to my monthly statistics: backlist progress. I started the year with 80 owned unread books that were purchased between 2017-2019, and my goal is to have all of them read by December 31st, 2020. Thus, I’m trying to keep myself honest, and if you want to hold me accountable, here is my Goodreads shelf!
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow tried to kill me last month, and very nearly succeeded, and Margaret @ Weird Zeal is here to tell us all why. As always, Margaret’s totally knocked it out of the park reviewing a book that successfully wedged itself into my soul. Also, ahem, OH HECK YEAH, Margaret’s running a Women’s History Month Readathon, and here I am, shamelessly plugging my TBR for it!
Emer @ A Little Haze Book Blog put something into words that I’ve been really struggling with lately–#ownvoices books being written by not-#ownvoices authors.
The Wolf & Books dropped a list of upcoming 2020 releases by black authors, and my Goodreads TBR has never been so excited.
Holly @ Nut Free Nerd made me laugh with her list of weird bookish things we bookish people do because y’all, every single one of them is true.
Simone @ Simone and Her Books discussions a question that gets me riled up no matter what day of the week it is: audio/e-books vs printed books. It’s literally the worst question ever, y’all! And Simone agrees! As she said, “So if you’re in that elite group of literary folks who snub their nose on a Kindle or purse your lips at someone who chooses to listen to their books than use their eyes, then all I can say is this; your snobbery is not welcome.” THIS THIS THIS.
Kat @ Novels & Waffles hits it on the head with five reasons why you should read Sorcery of Thorns, and I’d like to second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth all of those reasons because yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes some more. Wow, all of that was complete nonsense, which was pretty much how I felt coming out of this book.
Brianna @ Pages Unbound had me sitting back and really thinking for a moment about how almost all “classics” that people claim to “hate” and “turn people off of reading” are by men. Are we not being taught about classics by women?
Well, I finished editing what I have currently written for sister witches 2. I sent out the first one, currently under a working title of monsters included to all of my readers at the end of the month, and it’s time to stop sitting on my hands and actually finish up the sequel since one of my 2020 goals is to edit the sequel into a final draft and write the third (and final) book in the trilogy, and I kind of can’t do that while I’m just hanging out.
I probably wrote that ^^^ at the beginning of the month, or maybe even toward the middle, because GUESS WHAT Y’ALL!
SISTER WITCHES 2 IS DONE!
I was right, I had about 30k left to write, and I did it in probably a week and a half. Erin came to visit, and we went to Jaho one night to just chill and write, and it kick started everything. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole weekend she was here, so when she left on Monday, I was ready to power through to the end. And I did! I’m so excited it’s done, and I’m really trying to take a second to sit back and relax because it ended on a cliffhanger, and all I want to do is immediately dive into the third one, but I really need to figure out what the hell happens in the third one first, so we’re gonna read for a bit and then maybe consider outlining.
What I’ve Been Watching!
You know when you’re in another room, and, all of a sudden, you hear the familiar sound of Captain America striking a punching bag, and you have to stop everything and go watch The Avengers? Hi, it’s me! This happens with both Marvel and LOTR. I can’t be in the same room and do anything productive if either is on the TV, so I randomly ended up watching The Avengers, and wow. They really started at the top and just went downhill because this is such a perfect movie.
ICYMI, here is my glowing review for Locke & Key. I absolutely adored everything about it. I don’t normally binge-watch anything these days, but I’ve been hyping this up for so long that I just had to power right through it. I watched the first six episodes on Saturday and the last four on Sunday, and I regret nothing. It was truly an outstanding adaptation.
Erin visited for the long weekend in the middle of the month, and she decided our weekend was going to be all about women being wronged and then rising up above that together. It was kind of fitting, considering I’m diving back into writing sister witches 2, and it kicked off with this horrifyingly true story. Magdalene Sisters was about three girls who were sent to the nuns for literally no reason (ie: too pretty, child out of wedlock, and raped by cousin), and oh boy, this is a rough one. Erin always makes me watch movies that make me want to stand on things and shout at the world, and this was no exception.
Wow, Midsommar was good for so many different reasons. Definitely a movie I want to watch several more times to see what I missed the first few times, but damn, what a story. It was so unsettling, and also so different than what I was expecting. There were twists and turns that I thought were going to go an entirely different way, but I was very happy with the way they actually went. Florence Pugh was absolutely stunning, and she’s definitely an actress I’m going to slowly work my way through her filmography now.
Not only was The Sisterhood of Night basically the aesthetic of The Craft crashed with Mean Girls, which is a combo I didn’t even know I needed, it’s also stupidly intense and so, so good. Like, this movie is probably terrible, but I love it something hardcore. It’s the Salem witch trials all over again, but in modern times, and it made me feel some damn things. I love Georgie Henley, and I love the totally cliche dress in all black and stomp down the hallway scenes of this, and there is just literally nothing I don’t love about this chaotic movie.
Okay, what did I do this month? I always stupidly leave this section until the end of the month to write instead of doing it throughout the month like I do literally every other section on here, but I guess we can’t have it all.
February was a tough month. I didn’t read a lot, and while I am starting to get back to fitness, I was also just feeling run down in my body the whole month, so all in all, not great. I did a lot of emotional work this month, both via physical heart openers in yoga and in writing a character that has a lot of painful history built into it.
But, I’m here and I’m trying, so I guess that counts for something.
Erin came down to visit, though, and we had a super fun Valentine’s weekend!
We went to high tea at Jolie, and it was decadent and delightful and just YUM. I’ve been at Jolie a lot this month, actually, and I’m super excited for a tea we’re creating together for one of my yoga workshops next month. I also went to one of my friend’s going away parties as she gets ready to embark on a trip to Korea, and though I’m so sad to see her go, I’m so proud of her for following her dreams! I made her a little spell to take with her for safe travels, and I’m sending out all of the good vibes that everything goes amazingly!
I continued to do more work with heart openers in yoga, started prepping a ton of workshops that I have coming up, and taught my first Disney class in over six months! I don’t know why it’s been so long, but it was so much fun to get back to it.
I keep trying to remind myself that I finished a damn book this month, and that counts for a lot, so even though everything else felt kind of miserable, it’s all going to be okay.