February Wrap Up

It’s the end of the month which means it is time for another wrap up. I read A LOT this month, only slightly less than I did in January which is wild because I had university work and also it’s a shorter month but I’m proud of myself. Let’s go through all of the books I read this month and the few movies I watched.

Books:

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

This was obviously one of my most anticipated releases as soon as I finished all of the Grishaverse books in January and it did not disappoint. What a fun, action-packed novel. I loved getting more of Nikolai because he was definitely my favourite character in the Grisha trilogy. I also really enjoyed learning more about Zoya because she was such an underdeveloped character in the original trilogy. My only issue was with Nina’s point of view. I love Nina. I loved what was happening with her however as 2/3 of the book happens with Nikolai and Zoya who are together for the whole novel, Nina’s POV just felt like it was out of place because her plot was so different to the other plot. I feel like the integration didn’t fully work. Maybe if we had Adrik’s point of view as well, it might have worked better. However, I still obviously loved it and that ending! Can the conclusion to the duology come out now? – 5 out of 5 stars.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

This released on the same day as King of Scars and obviously it was the first book that I decided to pick up after I finished it. I thought it would be a nice contemporary cleanser after all of the fantasy I have been reading recently. This was an enjoyable romance but it really did let me down a bit. It was a fun book with a cute romance that I had a really great time reading however, it’s not memorable. I was expecting to love it as much as I loved the Hating Game which is probably the best romance I’ve read in recent years but it just wasn’t as good. If you ask me in two months, I won’t be able to tell you what this book is about but I still had a fun time reading it and it was definitely unputdownable. – 4 out of 5 stars

Fame, Fate and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Kasie West is an autobuy and auto read author for me. As soon as she has a new book release, I drop everything to read it and this release was no different. However, I didn’t really like this book which makes me so sad. It’s definitely my least favourite of all of her books. It was a fun quick read however, the main character really irritated me. I found her to be extremely irritating as she was really self centred. I hated how she treated her dad and that we never had the growth in their relationship. The love interest in this book was cute but very underdeveloped so overall, I was underwhelmed with this read. – 3 out of 5 stars.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Like the rest of the world, I was eagerly anticipating Angie Thomas’ second novel after her spectacular debut in 2017 and her second novel did not disappoint. It was another fantastic read focusing on the lives of the people in the same community in The Hate U Give. I really loved Bri as a character and I found her story to be so captivating, hence why I read the whole book in a day. The only thing about this book that wasn’t great personally for me was that I know nothing about rap. They would have these long conversations about all of these legendary rappers and I would have no clue what they were on about. But that is nothing bad against the book, it’s just I’m not in that scene. I definitely highly recommend this book, especially since the movie deal was announced this month! – 5 out of 5 stars

The Darkest Part of The Forest by Holly Black

This was an extremely disappointing read. I have tried to read Holly Black books in the past but I’ve never gotten into them. However, after falling in love with The Cruel Prince in January, I thought I would pick this one up as I’ve owned it for years and it is supposedly in the same world as The Cruel Prince. This book just did not work for me. It was written sort of like a fairy tale which is just not my type of thing. It also felt a lot like a middle grade novel. The characters constantly acted like they were 13 but then they would talk about drinking and sex and I would get very confused. If this book was a middle grade novel rather than YA, it would have worked better in my opinion. – 2 out of 5 stars.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

For some reason, I then had the urge to re-read The Hating Game which was one of my favourite books of last year. After being disappointed by 99 Percent Mine, I knew that I wanted to experience the romance of Josh and Lucy again. It was as wonderful as it was the first time. This is just one of the best love stories I’ve ever read mainly because Josh is just the softest book in romance history. – 5 out of 5 stars.

It’s Not About the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan

This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year as I love Mariam a lot and I’ve been following this book since it was first announced. I absolutely loved it but I won’t discuss more about my feelings as I did a whole review on it so go check that out. – 5 out of 5 stars.

Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

This was another one of my most anticipated novels of the year as I am Melinda Salisbury trash. This was such an amazing and thrilling conclusion to the Sorrow duology and I loved it so much. I have written a whole review of it which will be published in March so keep an eye out for that. – 5 out of 5 stars.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This was a random book that I kept seeing loads of people tweet about and as I soon as I saw what it was about, I knew that I needed to read it. It is a gay romance book between a Prince of England and a First Son of The United States. It releases in May but it was up on Netgalley so I decided to read it. I had a lot of fun reading this. I didn’t realise it was going to be very explicit which was a shock but it didn’t deter from my enjoyment of the book. It wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be though due to a few minor reasons. My first issue was that it was just so long. The length didn’t feel like it was justified as it did drag in many parts. Also, I didn’t realise how political this book was going to be. I thought it was just romance focused but half of the book is about a US election which I wasn’t very interested in. On top of that, as it is in the point of view of Alex, the son of the American president, the book had a lot of lines that were awkward to read as a British person. Alex had some very anti-Britain thoughts and it was very pro America and I wish the book had focused on the romance rather than the politics in America and between the two countries. – 4 out of 5 stars.

The Quiet At The End of the World by Lauren James

This was another one of my most anticipated releases of the year that I absolutely adored however, I also won’t go into detail about it here as I wrote a whole review on it so go check that out to see my full thoughts on this book. – 5 out of 5 stars.

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This was my audiobook for this month and I had a lot of fun listening to it. It is an extremely short audiobook which meant that I flew through it(when I was actually in the mood to listen to an audiobook). This was a very interesting story and I found myself wanting to learn more. I did feel like it was a bit too short though so I’m intrigued by the sequels to delve further into this world. I did also predict the big mystery which was slightly annoying but it was still an enjoyable read. – 4 out of 5 stars.

This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

This is a review book that I received from the publisher that I really enjoyed but I won’t go further into it as I have a full review coming out in June around the publication date so watch out for that in June. – 4 out of 5 stars.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

After not loving some of the other works I’ve read by Christina Lauren, I thought I was done with their works. However, I had heard a lot of people saying that this is up there with The Hating Game as one of the best romances so I decided to give it a try. Whilst I didn’t love it as much as I loved The Hating Game, I still had a lot of fun and I thought it was super cute. I loved that it wasn’t problematic and I loved how cute the relationship was. Hazel was a bit out there for my liking but she reminded me a lot of Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I would definitely recommend this book to any romance fan. – 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

This is another book that I had no intention of ever reading. After being disappointed by a lot of Muslim YA novels, I had given up all hope of ever liking one so I just stopped reading them. However, after getting a copy of this book at the Scholastic book blogger event, I thought I would give it a try and boy was I happily surprised. I was fully prepared to hate this book as I thought it would come across as very anti-Muslim from its summary but I loved the representation in this novel. I loved that we got to see Bangladeshis with all sorts of values and ideas. I also loved how th fact that she was a lesbian didn’t turn her off of her culture altogether like I thought it might. I loved Nani as a character and I wish we got to see more of her and her diary. Whilst it wasn’t a perfect book and it definitely had flaws, I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed this. – 4 out of 5 stars. 

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

I had heard absolutely nothing about this book until I went to the Stripes YA blogger event at the end of January where they told us about their upcoming releases. This book immediately caught my fancy so I picked up a proof copy to read. I flew through this book in one sitting which is something I never expected to do. I know nothing about the Phillipines and about drug wars in general so I was hooked from the start to find out more about the situation. I’m annoyed at myself for not learning about this matter before hand. I also loved Jay’s experiences as a Fillipino American and his internal struggle about the fact that neither place truly feels like home. The pacing of this book was extremely fast which at the start was quite jarring but as I got further into the plot, I start to appreciate the pacing. Overall, I really loved this book and I definitely think it will be a book that people should look out for when it releases on the 27th June. – 5 out of 5 stars.

The Last Beginning by Lauren James

After devouring The Quiet at the End of the World in one night, I decided that it was time for me to finally read the only Lauren James book that I haven’t read. I had been putting it off as it is a companion novel to The Next Together which I loved but don’t remember much about at all. I decided to just take the plunge and read The Last Beginning anyway. Whilst I was slightly confused at the start for a while, I quickly remembered everything. This was a great, fast paced read that I also devoured in a night. I had a lot of fun reading it even though the science did sometimes just go straight over my head. Time travel just never really usually works for me but it was okay in this book. My main issue was with Clove as a main character. I found her to be quite irritating which slightly ruined my experience but I still really loved the book overall. – 4 out of 5 stars.

Movies:

About Time

This is a rom-com that my friend has been begging me to read for ages so on Valentines day, we sat down and watched it. I thought it was okay. It was a fun watch but it wasn’t anything special in my opinion. It was less romance heavy than I thought it would be and also the time travel aspect had too many loop holes for me to get behind it but I still had a fun time watching it. – 3 out of 5 stars.

Gully Boy

This film was one of my anticipated Bollywood releases of the year and it definitely lived up to the hype. I saw it a few days after release and everyone had been telling me how amazing it was so I was prepared to have my mind blown. I thought it might slightly let me down due to my high expectations but it really did not. As I mentioned earlier for On The Come Up, I know nothing about rap and hip hop music. It’s not my kind of genre but I really got into the songs in this film. It’s so far out from what I normally listen to so I really enjoyed experiencing something different. Ranveer Singh did such an amazing job in this film and I’m not even surprised because he is such a phenomenal actor. The only part that I didn’t fully like was Alia’s character. She just didn’t sit right for me but I don’t know why. I can already tell you, though, that this film will be on my list of favourite films of the year and I am definitely going to rewatch it as soon as it becomes available on Amazon prime. – 5 out of 5 stars.

Similarly to January, I read a lot of books this month and hardly watched any films. I really need to get back into watching films because I miss my Bollywood. Maybe March will be the time.

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