Hello lovelies! How are you? How was your February? I was honestly surprised when I saw how much I’ve read this month, cause I felt like I was reading so slowly and not making reading time enough of a priority. But I actually read 14 books this month, which is great. But I’m even more happy that I genuinely enjoyed every single book I picked up this month so much. I gave 8 books 5 stars, and sure half of those were rereads – but it’s still wonderful. I think February might have been my best reading month yet?
The Looking Glass by Janet McNally ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I fell in love with this book after just a few lines. It’s got that perfect combination of beautiful writing and a compelling narrative, which makes me not want to put a book down. It follows a girl who receives a book of fairytales in the mail from her older sister, who disappeared a year ago, and decided to look for her. I loved the atmosphere of this story, it wraps you up in a magical world of ballet and fairytales, road trips and a Fleetwood Mac, romance and mystery…
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Emily of New Moon is a delightful coming of age story about an orphaned girl who goes to love with her aunts at New Moon, a beautiful farm on Prince Edward Island. This is the kind of warm and cozy read that makes me want to come back to it again and again, which is why I re-read it this month. I love Emily, she’s a wonderful heroine. With her overactive imagination, love of writing and stubborn streak – I find her very relatable
Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Night of Cake & Puppets is a companion novella to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, It’s centered around my favorite side character, Karou’s best friend Zuzana, and takes place one snowy day in Prague. I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t read the series, but this is a lovely story about finding your person and making your own magic. And there’s cake!
Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo by Ntozake Shange ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo follows three black sisters, a dancer, a weaver and the youngest – a girl with too much South in her, as they come of age in Charleston with their single mother and as they move on to L.A and New York to pursue their art and romantic relationships. I fell in love with it’s opening paragraphs and just had to read it, and I’m glad I did, cause this is one of the most poetic books I’ve ever read. What a beautiful little hidden gem.
The Girl in The Tower by Katherine Arden ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I decided to re-read the first two books before picking up The Winter of the Witch, partly to remind myself what happened, but mostly cause I’m sad my favorite series is ending and I wanted to make it last longer. I enjoyed this one more the second time, I think going in knowing how different it is from The Bear and the Nightingale helped. The first book’s still my favorite though, at least for now. I’m currently reading the third one and it might be even better.
Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This novel follows a young woman’s descent (and yes that is the word I want to use) into an affair with an older, married man who’s her superior at work. It explores the physical and emotional toll this relationship takes on the protagonist and really digs into why women enter into these kind of relationships, what they gain from them and if it’s worth the price This wasn’t an easy read. It made me so angry and frustrated at times, but I couldn’t put it down. I think I’m still high off the feminist rage seething under it’s surface.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
White Oleander is a poetic, hauntingly beautiful and chilling coming of age story about a girl who grows up in foster care after her mother kills her lover. I mentioned this book in my Pisces recommendations post, realized it’s been 6 years since I read it and knew I had to re-read it. I didn’t think it’d be possible, but I loved it even more the second time. Books this beautifully written are few and far between, which I didn’t fully appreciate before.
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Say Yes to the Marquess is a fun and sexy historical rom-com, that’s not too concerned with historical accuracy (but that just makes it more fun). When the heroine inherits a castle, she sees it as her chance at independence and tries to break off her 8 year long engagement. But her fiance’s prize fighter brother insist on planning their wedding. The romance in this mad me swoony, I love their funny banter, the ridiculous situations, and grand gestures (All I’m gonna say is: A ROOM FULL OF WEDDING CAKES)
“Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers.” – Sassafrass, Cyypress & Indig
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Dud Avocado is 1. A modern classic and 2. responsible for me finally learning to spell av-o-cado. It’s also a wonderful coming of age story set in 1950’s Paris about a young American woman who parties, dances, flirts and drinks herself into all kind of trouble and, mostly, charms her way out of it. I love the opening scene where she’s wandering around Paris in the morning dressed in an evening gown, with freshly dyed pink hair. If this had been filmed, she’d be as iconic as Holly Golightly.
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Duke by Default is an adult contemporary romance about a New York socialite who moves to Scotland to become an apprentice swordmaker. She discovers that her gruff Scottish boss is a duke and offers to help him navigate the posh world of the aristocracy. This was such a fun, sexy and charming romance novel, with a wonderful cast of diverse characters. I really enjoyed it and will definitley be reading more books by Alyssa Cole!
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Far from the Tree is a YA contemporary about three biological siblings who find each other after one of them becomes a mom, and chooses to give her own daughter up for adoption. This was a very emotional read, which explored a lot of heavy topics beautifully. Each character had a really distinct voice, which made it easy to connect with them all. Though I personally felt most invested in Grace’s storyline.
“Once upon a time I believed Julia even when she told me a girl could sleep a hundred years and wake up happy, or be cut, still alive, right out of a wolf’s belly.” – The Looking Glass
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray ⭐⭐⭐
This is the sequel to The Diviners and for me, it didn’t quite live up to the first book. I loved the new characters it introduced. Especially Ling, a Chinese-American girl who’s disabled after childhood Polio. But Bray didn’t balance the cast as well as I’d liked and I felt like the narrative lacked focus. Side note: I’m living for the love triangle between Evie, Sam and Jericho. Well written love triangles reveal how fickle I really am. Who are you guys rooting for?
Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward ⭐⭐⭐
This book is the perfect example of my ambivalent relationship with poetry. I loved some of these poems with all my heart and was mostly indifferent to the rest. I still don’t know how to talk about poetry in a way that will be meaningful to anyone else, but if poems about difficult love, broken families, religion, mental health and self image sound interesting to you. This might be your cup of tea.
New People by Danzy Senna ⭐⭐⭐
New People is a short, literary fiction novel about a mixed-raced woman who’s engaged to a mixed-race man, and develops an intense crush on a poet. It’s very much a book about race and race in America in particular, I’m sure there’s a lot of nuances I missed out on as a non-American reader. There was something strange and hypnotic about this narrative, I was very immersed in Maria’s story while reading. But the ending was too abrupt and I think it let the novel down.