February Wrap-Up

What a whirlwind month! The first half was more of the same craziness as the end of January, and I was pretty much nonstop until my body went “haha syke now you’re sick.” And, for once, I actually got a lot of reading done while sick. I normally have no desire to read at all while sick, but I was vibing it this time, and I managed to get an entire book read. It was a pretty good month for reading in general, actually.

Mini Book Reviews

🌈 LGBTQPIA+ characters
πŸ”₯ BIPOC authors
πŸŒ‘ BIPOC characters

The Weeping Tide | Amanda Foody πŸŒ‘
(2/1-2/4) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I had the most wonderful time reading this, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to the third one pretty quickly because I am so curious to see more of this world. Admittedly, I did have a rough time with this being set in the ocean, and I haven’t had a visceral reaction to a book like I did reading about them diving into a trench in a long time. It was kind of like reading a nature book as a child and desperately not wanting to touch the bugs on the pages, which really just means that Foody did an excellent job describing the horrific nature of the deep ocean. I did not see the plot twist in this coming until it was happening, and, as always, the writing overall was just fantastic. I can’t remember if this is meant to be just a trilogy or longer, but I hope it’s longer so we can continue to see the different Wilderlands.

The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy | SA Chakraborty πŸŒˆπŸŒ‘
(2/6-2/12) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was such a delight to read. I have been a long fan of additional content for already beloved series–catch me shouting eternally about the seventeen endings of Tolkien & Katy Rose Pool–and I will always be of the mindset that more content is never a bad thing. The purist attitude that what happens inside the books is the only thing that matters and that anything said outside of the books should absolutely not be considered canon is exhausting, and I love Chakraborty so much for giving us something that both she and her readers wanted. It was wonderful to revisit these characters that took over my life for so long, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend more time with them.

Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other | Sam Heughan, Graham McTavish (audiobook)
(1/31-2/15) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was such a hilarious and fun read. I didn’t quite realize how much Scottish history I was going to get through this, and I was so pleasantly surprised to hear that history in Graham’s slow, rumbling voice and Sam’s quick wit. I am definitely going to be watching Men in Kilts because I need to see all of these moments play out on the screen. I do think I’m glad I listened to this before watching the show, as they’ll make scenes like the biking in tweed even funnier. I can’t wait to listen to the other book Heughan & McTavish have together.

The Ever Storms | Amanda Foody πŸŒˆπŸŒ‘
(2/20-2/22) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I’m so glad I read this so close to The Weeping Tide. After finishing the second book, I couldn’t stop thinking about this one until I finally just had to give in and read it rather than what I had scheduled, and it was fantastic. Foody really is a master of her craft, and I love the way she’s built this middle grade world. I would honestly read endless books set in the Wilderlore world, and I really hope that this at least goes through all of the other Wilderlands. Barclay continues to be a wonderful protagonist, and the side characters that Foody is slowly building around him have so much depth and history, and it’s just such a nice change of pace. I’m sad that the next book isn’t out yet because I’d definitely dive right into it, but it’ll be well worth the wait when it does eventually arrive.

Captive Prince | CS Pacat πŸŒˆπŸŒ‘
(2/4-2/5) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Damn. I’m so glad one of my friends told me to look at trigger warnings before I started this because that would have been A Lot to jump into with no idea, so please also do the same if you see this review before you read this book. I’m not going to list them here because they’re readily available if you Google, but they are the reason why this is four stars instead of five. I can understand why this is such a beloved book, but it’s also problematic as heck, and while I did enjoy reading it, I think I’m going to side with my friend when I say I wouldn’t actually recommend it. Yes, I’ll be reading the rest of the series, and I’ll probably enjoy the others, too, but this calls back to the early days of fanfiction when literally anything was game, and no one got looked down upon for anything, and you were actually kind of a martyr for writing dark stories like this. I will say that it reminded me a lot of Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series, though, in both its content and writing, so if you’re okay with what happens to Eugenides in that, you’ll probably be okay reading this. (I want to say this is worse, but they’ve got the same kind of love thy abuser bullshit happening.)

Witches of Ash and Ruin | E. Latimer 🌈
(2/13-2/20) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I felt weirdly disconnected from the characters in this. I think it was probably because they vacillate wildly between different emotions without pausing to actually address those emotions, and while a lot of that was definitely intentional, it just felt like whiplash. The actual content of this story was really interesting, and I was hooked on the writing itself. I wanted to know what was going to happen, and how, and though the Callighan women often blended together, I loved getting to see a whole family of witches. I enjoyed this a lot, and I’ll certainly recommend it. It just felt very standard.

A Dance with the Fae Prince | Elise Kova
(2/20-2/28) β˜…β˜…β˜…

I was about to say that this was nowhere near as good as A Deal with the Elf King, but now I’m seeing I also gave that three stars, and though I didn’t review it (the Before Times), I do remember being very meh about it, but I feel like I’m definitely more meh about this one. The last 150 pages was a struggle for me to get through, and though I’m all on board with the next one in the series because it’s vampires, I’m unlikely to pick up the fourth one once it releases. The writing in this is getting worse, I think? There were a lot of spelling errors or just wrong words entirely, which is fine if there’s one or two, but it was pretty much every chapter. It also read like it hadn’t ever really been edited more than a quick glance, so that didn’t give me much faith for the contrary. Overall, the Fae lore was interesting, but the characters were one dimensional, the writing was lackluster, and the plot was not intriguing enough to carry the rest of it.

Film/Television Reviews

Oh, we are kicking things off to a phenomenal start. We watched The Invitation, and I truly cannot recommend it enough. Normally, I wouldn’t summarize the plot, but I feel like that’s the only way to truly appreciate this movie. The MC takes a DNA test and discovers that she has family she never knew about that lives in the English countryside. She attends one of their family reunions, where they’re all almost overwhelmingly welcoming, and she falls in love with the lord of the manor. Unfortunately, as it turns out, he’s wooing her because she’s the last remaining heir to the bloodline that will complete the three brides of Dracula, and she must be sacrificed so that Vlad the Impaler can return to the throne of Wallachia. If this sounds like a Hallmark movie, but with surprise vampires, it is, and it’s fantastic.

Erin was texting me all night Friday about a gay movie about nuns she’d found that was anti-religion, and that sounded right up my alley, so we watched Novitiate, and I am 100% not convinced that it was actually anti-religion. I’m looking into the crew around the movie, too, and the director has close ties with George Bush. That, combined with the text that precedes & follows the movie, detailing how the Catholic church tried to install reforms that then led to the mass exodus of 90k nuns, well. The content of the movie really paints the reforms of the church as something horrific that caused a huge dismantling of the faith of nuns around the world. And though it is queer, there is a lot of shame and disgust surrounding the lesbian “relationship” in the movie that ultimately leads in one of the girls begging God for forgiveness and the other leaving the church, so. The scene that stands out the most to me was when the Mother Reverend finally informs her fellow nuns of the reforms of the church, and they’re all weeping and devastated, and there’s this grand, sorrowful music playing over it, and we’re meant to feel sympathy for them, I think, that these reforms of acceptance and wider understanding are so troubling to them, but like? They literally leave the convent because the Pope has declared that they should love everyone regardless of their religion. Honestly, just fuck the Catholics, and don’t come at me with this movie being accepting of queer people of any kind of faith.

This Month

In continuing with the theme for January, I was busy almost constantly this month. I had YTT the first weekend, went up to Maine to visit Erin the second weekend, and then spent almost six hours cooking the third weekend until my body just went nope, and I ended up with a head cold. I think I may have some kind of long term COVID effect because my lungs were not pleased about being sick. I did test negative for COVID several times, but it was definitely harder to breathe with a head cold than it normally is.

It felt like I did more yoga than normal, but I think it was just because I was so busy with so many other things that it felt like more yoga even though it was the same amount. However, I did teach a lot of really excellent flows this month, so I’m proud of that. I’m also really proud of the absolutely kickass way I’ve been climbing lately. I said to my climbing buddy that I was going to take it easy after I was sick because I was still congested for a couple weeks, and instead I went hard on three 5.10s and a 5.9+ in one session, and then did the same exact thing in another. I’ve almost conquered my third 5.10, and I’m hyped as hell.

(Peep that super cute outfit for Harry’s birthday!) We went out for a Galentine’s lunch, which was so much fun, and we walked past a Spanish tapas bar in downtown on our way that we’re gonna go to for a girl’s night out on International Women’s Day! We also went ice skating, and I know I sound like a broken record because I keep just saying the same thing every time, but my goodness do I love those boys so damn much. And I know I haven’t done this in a while, but I made truly the best tomato risotto, my favorite mushroom barley soup, black bean burgers that were freaking fantastic, and BBQ tempeh sandwiches with homemade coleslaw, in which I added rice vinegar, and holy, but that leveled up the coleslaw a hell of a lot.

I’m very much looking forward to March. Although I won’t be traveling–YET! BUT WE’RE SO CLOSE!–for my birthday, I do have a lot going on, and I’m excited to see what the month will bring.

One response to “February Wrap-Up”

  1. mphtheatregirl Avatar

    February- well, couldn’t finish any book. But working on two books (Something Wonderful- physical and Under the Whispering Door-kindle)


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