February 2018 Wrap Up

You all, I had such a good reading month, both in quantity and quality. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being the best reading month I’ll have all year. And I truly loved so many of the fourteen things I read. I hope I am able to keep this momentum going into March. Like, please, say a prayer for me, because this February was seriously such a blessing. 💖

Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★
This was utterly enchanting and completely mesmerizing. I loved The Star-Touched Queen when I read it last year, and this story was even better! Yet, this story also made me fall deeper in love with The Star-Touched Queen, because some of the crossovers just warmed my heart to no end. This was such a beautiful tale, and I completely recommend this to everyone, but especially story lovers, because A Crown of Wishes is a lover letter to story lovers everywhere.

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes – ★★
This is easily the worst thing I’ve read all month. Falling Kingdoms is a series I’ve been into for a very long time now. It has had its highs, and has had its lows, but overall I’ve always liked the series. Sadly, this series ended on a very big low. I got 100 cases of deus ex machina, unnecessary angst, forced relationships, abuse apologists, possible queer baiting, and a weak conclusion to a series I used love. I was originally so excited to just be back in this world, but the more I think about the contents of this book, the more disappointed I get.

The Queen’s Rising (Untitled Trilogy #1) by Rebecca Ross –  ★★★★
I feel like I keep reading YA SFF and just not feeling like there is anything new or unique. I went into The Queen’s Rising expecting to feel the same, especially amidst all the lower reviews I kept seeing on Goodreads, but this ended up being a treat to read. I really enjoyed this, and I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns. The only negative thing I can say is that the romance is a little on the skeezy side, and I’ll talk about that below, but if the romance wasn’t in this book, or started differently, this would have been an easy five star read for me.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – ★★★★★
In this book, the value of appearance is heavily touched upon. Youth and beauty seem to be everyone’s priority. It’s scary and sad how much this also mirrors 2018. There is also a huge discussion to be had about good versus evil and how we view that grey area in-between. Yet, these discussions are held in this seamlessly woven story. You guys, I have no words. In the 1880s people thought homosexuality was some disease, something to be cured, something not okay to simply just be. Something that was a criminal act. Something that Oscar Wilde was jailed and forced to do hard labor for. And once you start seeing the similarities between Wilde’s life and the events that take place in this book, you will realize that like The Picture of Dorian Gray is so much more important that the surface value of just reading this story.

Art of War: Anthology for Charity by Petros Triantafyllou – ★★★★★
I’m giving this collection five stars overall. From Greek Gods to newly summoned demons. From healers on the backlines to the warriors on the frontlines. From Spider Gods to Magpie Kings. Not only do I love some of these authors and their stories, I think this collection will make many fantasy readers very happy. Plus, the cause and charity for this anthology are both so damn important and for those two things alone this anthology deserves five stars.

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake – ★★★★
This world is gloriously feminist, and I loved each point of view from the different islands. And the writing? Beautiful, lyrical, genius. And I fell so very in love with each sister, easily, and happily. These characters are honestly a tier above almost every YA character I’ve ever read. And again, this was such an amazing journey and I hope more people give this book a shot, despite the mixed reviews.

American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy #1) by Sierra Simone – ★★★
Good Lord, this was a ride! But this is a super enjoyable erotic novel that surrounds a girl, that has grown up in politics, and is now walking down the aisle to marry the brand new, thirty-six-year-old, President of the United States of America! Yeah, you read it right. But what kind of erotic novel would this be without some angst? Also, her and the President are both sort of in love with, wait for it, the Vice President!

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L’Engle – ★★★★
Okay, I haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time since fifth grade, so I was kind of nervous going into this. Yet, I was very pleasantly surprised, and I’m even more excited to see the new movie adaptation in March! I mean, this reads a little “old” and “simple” but it was still such a delight to read. I will say that I didn’t remember any of the religious/spiritual aspects that were woven in, so apparently fifth grade Melanie, who went to a Catholic school and everything, just pushed those out of her mind throughout the years.

The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz – ★★★★
I really enjoyed this book. Tiffany Reisz is one of my favorite erotic writers of all time. Seriously, The Siren (The Original Sinners #1) was a huge part of my sexual awakening, I swear. I also read The Red by her last year, and really enjoyed. All of her books are so sex positive, and I just love the woman in general. But The Lucky ones is a book unlike anything else she has ever created. The Lucky Ones is a dark, mystery, thriller that stars a girl trying to discover what truly happened to her thirteen-years-ago. I couldn’t put this down. And I loved being a part of Allison’s journey of discovery. I loved the perfect scenery, the forbidden love on a million different accounts and levels, the lyrical and beautiful writing, the unique plot, these morally grey characters, and all the different secrets. This was such a different and enjoyable read for me, and I can’t wait to see what Tiffany Reisz does next.

Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai – ★★★★
This was a damn treat to read. One of my favorite second chance romances of all time. Never have I ever read such a sexy book, that constantly emphasizes the importance (and sexiness) of consent! On top of the fact that this book has some amazing diversity from most of the cast of characters, but it also showcases an Asian main character who is living with her depression and who loves her soft body completely and unapologetically. I loved this. Absolutely loved this. And I completely recommend this to every romance reader.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – ★★★★★
You all, I buddy read this with FOUR of my closest book friends, and we all five starred this amazing story. Please, go treat yourself and preorder this book. Please. Do you like killer sirens? Angsty romance? A+ witty banter? Vivid fighting scenes with mind-blowing imagery? One of the best and strongest protagonists I’ve read about in a long while? And all these things in a standalone? From a debut author? Seriously, we’ve been blessed.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – ★★★
You all, I just don’t know what to say. This series just doesn’t do for me what it does for everyone else. I don’t dislike these books at all, they just aren’t even close to being one of my all time favorites either. Please, take this review with a grain of salt, because literally all of my friends five star this series. And even though I really like and appreciate the unique formatting, witty banter, and twists and turns, I really hated to plot twist towards the end of this one. *dodges tomatoes*

Inkmistress (Of Fire and Stars 0.5) by Audrey Coulthurst – ★★★★★
I haven’t done my review of this yet, but I should have it scheduled for the fourth or fifth of March. This was the best thing I read the entire month. This story had everything I like in my Fantasy: Queer girl with hidden blood magic powers, traveling with a companion to save the world, staying in inns and with secret societies, dethroning a tyrant king, beautiful romance, lyrical writing, and dragons. Like, this book had it all. I loved this with the sum of my body. And please, give me all the books about bisexuals being with the opposite sex and still being valid bisexuals. Perfection. Preorder before the March 6th release date!

Use Me by Kimberly Knight – ★★★★
This is a sexy time contemporary written by an author I was blessed to meet last October at the Goodreads Power User Summit in San Francisco, and she was honestly one of the sweetest and kindest authors I’ve ever met in my entire life. So, I couldn’t resist accepting an ARC of her newest book, and I can’t wait to finally read something by her! My review will go up on March 3rd, and I’m so happy that I was able to be a part of this blog tour!

Code Geass – ★★★★★
And the other story that I consumed and LOVED was an anime that I watched with three people who mean a lot to me: Nick (my little brother), Alexis (my favorite booktuber), and Cory (my long time friend and raid leader)! I loved this story so much that I couldn’t resist talking briefly about it in this wrap up! It was such an amazing experience, and I loved it so much.  Code Geass is set in an alternate timeline of our world, and heavily talks about genocide. But it’s a really powerful story about love, and friendship, and mechs, and superpowers! I completely recommend. This anime has such a heavy emphasis on sibling love and what a sibling is willing to sacrifice for another sibling, and I was a damn hot mess after this, especially watching with my little brother. One of my favorite animes to date, and for sure the best anime ending I’ve ever seen. ALL THE STARS!

Okay, I think that’s everything! Yeah, I had a super busy story consuming month in February! And again, I hope this momentum keeps up for me in March! I also hope you all enjoyed seeing everything I read this month! Happy reading, lovelies! 💖

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34 thoughts on “February 2018 Wrap Up

  1. I’ve been hearing mixed things about The Queen’s Rising. I’m extremely hesitant when I pick up a YA SFF as well because so many ideas end up being average at best, but if you say that it’s original and not your typical SFF I’m keeping it on my 2018 TBR! The cover is SO pretty. The one thing I keep hearing is that in the first half, the MC is in her world of education/learning and then midway she suddenly decided to on a mission without much explanation. Is that true? Or is it something that I can overlook?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahhh, this is a hard question. See, I keep seeing people complain about “info dumps” but I thought everything was explained really well. Like, the mission is completely explained in my opinion, but to each their own. Different reading styles and everything. I really enjoyed The Queen’s Rising. The only thing I didn’t like was the romance. I think that maybe it is not the most original YA Fantasy out there, but it was unique enough for me that I think I’ll remember it from some time to come. I honestly would recommend it, but I’m just hesitant because you already sound hesitant, and I don’t want to make anyone read something. You know? Haha. But happy reading regardless, love! 💘xx

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      1. I understand. If anything else, I’m very curious. I tend to be more forgiving of debuts, especially after weighing the pros and cons of reviewers. Based on your review, the pros seem to outweigh the cons, which is fine by me. Thank you for your honesty.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl, I’m in the minority, for real. Wait until you see my reviews. It’s pretty much a hot mess of me being like “STILL PICK THIS UP, I’M WEIRD FOR NOT LIKING IT!” hahah! But thank you for your kind words! Happy reading, love! 💘xx

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  2. Wow, you’ve had an amazing reading month and it’s the shortest month of the year too! I really want to read Three Dark Crowns in March, so I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it so much, and that it’s so beautifully written. I love seeing A Crown of Wishes get some love – it’s so underrated.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awh, thank you, beautiful! Yeah… I couldn’t believe the amount (or lack therefor) reviews for A Crown of Wishes! Like.. it was amazing! And I hope you love Three Dark Crowns if you get to it in March! Happy reading, love! 💘xx

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  3. Oh my god, you read so many books! So happy you enjoyed most of them. 💖 Ugh I’m so happy that the bi rep was well done in Inkmistress, I want to read it even more now! And aahh I feel so torn about Gemina?? It was good, but the more I think about it, the less sure I am that I liked it (besides my love Ella Malikova, of course 😍). Hope you have a great March, Mel!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ELLA IS…. EVERYTHING! And Yeah, Inkmistress was… honestly a little masterpiece. The more I think about it, the more I love it. And thank you so much, love! I am wishing you the happiest of reading this March and always! 💘xx

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  4. i’m so glad you had such a good month!!!! you deserve it! i’m also thrilled that a) i’m not the only one who liked three dark crowns and b) i’m not the only one who three-starred gemina??? plus the picture of dorian gray is on my tbr so extra exciting. i hope your march is just as good!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, just like that, you make me feel so valid. I honestly do not understand the hype with Gemina or Illuminae. I mean, they are fun and different… but so far away from the masterpieces everyone yells them to be! Maybe Obsidio will be better? Or maybe I just never learn? Haha!

      And Three Dark Crowns was so much fun. I hope I can squeeze in One Dark Throne this March!

      Happy reading, Emma love! 💕xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I swear everyone keeps getting in my way at the office from commenting on this post lol! ahhhh you had such a great quality reading month & I’m so happy for you! hope that streak continues into March but given our schedules I’m sure that it will lol. Melanie, I’m going to need you to recommend me your most favorite NA romance books cause my Kindle could use a re-up 🙂 & I’m gently kicking myself for giving into less than favorable reviews of Ink Mistress…I WANT! lol Happy reading <3! 🙂

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