FEBRUARY WRAP UP: TAKING A STEP BACK

Mabuhay, friends!

February has been another month of big changes and taking a few steps back. It’s not something I feel badly about, to be honest. I find that taking those steps has helped me reassess quite a few things in my life. One of the things is the direction I want the future of my writing and blogging to go in. I also have to mention that February gave me a lot of ideas for future books! I won’t be able to commit to them until I finish Their Wicked Devotion, but I might start roughly outlining a few. Anyways, here are the books and posts I enjoyed in February.

I read four books, five manga novels and one audiobook in February. Ever since I read The Empress of Salt and Fortune, I’ve been really getting into novellas. Novellas are detailed enough that I can immerse myself in the world but also short enough that I don’t end up falling into a slump!

๐ŸŒธ THE EMPRESS OF SALT AND FORTUNE BY NGHI VO: A BEAUTIFUL NARRATIVE ON FIERCE FRIENDSHIPS AND THE ANGER OF WOMEN

FIREHEART TIGER BY ALIETTE DE BODARD

Fireheart Tiger is one of those fantasy novels that will melt your heart. No pun intended there. I adore how the author tackled abuse in queer relationships which is something we need to talk about more. It also covers themes of colonialism and isolation, feeling unwanted by your family and the confusion of trying to find love. This was a read that fills you strength because of how delicately it navigates relationship abuse in parallel with colonialism.

๐ŸŒธ EMOTIONALLY CHARGED AND SINCERE: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN BY TALIA HIBBERT

Talia Hibbert takes the crown for sexy and witty romance reads! I loved reading this book about a career driven academic and a security guard getting into a fake relationship to help boost his sports charity. Not to mention, this books plays with the sassy and grumpy trope so effing well! As a bisexual woman reading this book was so chaotic! Who am I in love with here? Can I have them both? But more than the romance, this book also talks about mental illness, working through grief and building trust.

BOOKS THAT WERE OKAY

A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW

This was an enjoyable read about a young girl who has just been through a series of losses so, because of her declining mental health, she was sent to England in hopes that it would help her recover. This YA contemporary read is filled with Cuban cuisine, heartbreak and finding home in yourself. The author portrayed a character who was conflicted between following her dreams and her family, coming to realize that it doesn’t have to be a one or the other type of choice. I also love how the author showed us that a friendship break up and a romantic break up can hurt just the same, sometimes even more.

THE PROMISED NEVERLAND (VOL. 16-20) BY KAIU SHIRAI & ART BY POSUKA DEMIZU

The concept of The Promised Neverland was very unique with an adventurous plotline. We explored a world where humans are bred to be consumed by demons. Once the children of Grace House finds this out, they hatch a plan to escape and save all the children in the house. It also explored the class inequality and the corruption that festers within the demon society. We find out that not all humans can be trusted and not all demons are cruel. Some only eat humans for sustenance. The children have to rely on their wits to remain out of the grasps of the demons. I love the psychological warfare the children waged against the demons. I enjoyed exploring the world of the manga, The first arc was definitely the best. However, I found the story was longer than it should have been. The ending human villain was too cartoonish for what it was building up to. The last chapter, though, was so heartwarming and satisfying.

THE SUICIDE HOUSE BY CHARLIE DONLEA

After being disappointed by The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley in January, I wasn’t confident when I picked up The Suicide House. I was pleasantly wrong! The Suicide House was a complex mystery with well-placed red herrings and it also was a character study on the protagonist – Rory Moore. I can’t speak for the autistic representation but I thought her character was well-written. I would like to pick up the first book, Some Choose Darkness, at some point.

TENDER IS THE FLESH BY AGUSTINA BAZTERRICA (TRANSLATED BY SARAH MOSES)

I’m unsure how to rate this book. It wasn’t bad and I know some might say you even have to dispel your disbelief to get into this novel. This is a dystopian novel that takes place during a time where animals have been infected with a virus that has brought them to near extinction. Due to the lack of meat, society has begun cultivating, mass producing and slaughtering humans to sell as “special meat.” This new industry is even supported by the government and any dissenter are punished. Reading this book was disturbing but after a while, I found that my reading took on a feeling of resignation. Society’s ability to adapt to a gruesome system is nothing new as we have seen in the case of slavery, besides cannibalism is not a new phenomenon. But to read of it happening on a large scale certainly takes a strong stomach. This small book accomplished what it set out to do. At the end, it wasn’t the industry or what society had become that disgusted me but the barbaric behavior of the people who simply complied with this system, pursuing it even when they believed themselves to be better than an animal.

WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING BY ALYSSA COLE

When No One Is Watching was the pick for the Literally Dead Book Club hosted by Books and Lala. I’ve only known of Alyssa Cole when I was looking for romance books. I’ll admit I was quite surprised when I heard she was coming out with a thriller book! I listened to When No One is Watching on Scribd.

CURRENTLY READING

๐Ÿ“š THE PATH OF DAGGERS BY ROBERT JORDAN (BOOK EIGHT IN THE WHEEL OF TIME SERIES)

๐Ÿ“š MORE ORGASMS PLEASE: WHY FEMALE PLEASURE MATTERS BY THE HOTBED COLLECTIVE

I’m really proud of the review I wrote for Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard which I had been very keen on reading. Fireheart was such a wonderful. I was completely amazed by the author’s ability to tackle colonialism and abusive relationships within a hundred pages. The sequel to The Ninth Sorceress was also published and I got the opportunity to review book two! A Wind from the Rift by Bonnie Wynne was so good! It was fast-paced, explored loss of identity and introduced readers to a different side of the characters.

๐ŸŒธ THE NINTH SORCERESS BY BONNIE WYNNE: BLOOD MAGIC, NECROMANCY, AND ANGRY GODS

Were you surprised that I posted my review for The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan? Right now, I’m on book eight of the series ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I really hope I can finish the series within the year before the show comes out. If you’re a fan of the series, have you seen the latest teaser?

๐ŸŒธ IS THE EYE OF THE WORLD BY ROBERT JORDAN WORTH READING? || A BOOK REVIEW

I finally posted my review for The Tensorate series by Neon Yang on Youtube! I’ve been so excited to film the review for the entire series. I’ll admit, I’m not the most eloquent and was getting a wee bit emotional but I do hope you enjoy it!

My next post doesn’t have to be only for Valentine’s day because taking care of yourself should be a habit. If you’re out of ideas or want a book-related self-care act, check out these Six Bookish Self-Care you should try.

Have you had the chance to listen to my new podcast Totes and Tales? I’ve recorded and been working on the first episode of the podcast. You can listen to the trailer introduction as well. Keep an eye out for episode one!

๐Ÿ“š Mae from Mae the Dreamer reviews a bittersweet manga called Goodnight Punpun by Inio Asano

๐Ÿ“š Emmie from Em’s Bookish Musings has continued their series on The Black Experience which includes several discussions and interviews from Black content creators and authors. Their most recent post is Black Anger

๐Ÿ“š Tasya from The Literary Huntress shares their Five Star Predictions for 2021 Releases by Asian Authors

๐Ÿ“š Kate from Your Tita Kate and Shenwei from Reading Asiam collaborated on a post about what you need to know about White Authors Writing POC

๐Ÿ“š Kal from Reader Voracious reviewed a book that has been on my TBR – Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson, a futuristic sci-fi that sounds to be inspired from Snow White.

๐Ÿ“š As a horror movie buff, Northern Plunder bloggers’ – Lauren and Bec – recommendations for Horror Films from the Sapphic Gaze is a treasure!

๐Ÿ“š Take a trip through Bethel from The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson with your tour guide, Sprout from The Quiet Pond.

๐ŸŒธ How has February been for you? What are you looking forward to in March?

๐ŸŒธ Don’t forget to link your wrap up post in the comments!

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