Everything happened in February: work stuff, I moved my desk, moved my apartment, got sick, a polar vortex! February 2019 had everything, except for a well enough me to read the normal volume I am used to. But now that the books are put away and the furniture has been arranged, I wanted to share with you the delights and learnings from this second month.
Read Cover-to-Cover in February
What I Learned: Compelling Protagonists
Read the eARC I received from the author. Came out in February 2019. Vi was such a delight. She is a princess sent away from her family to maintain a tenuous peace between nations. With her day of return soon to come, she discovers she has more power than she originally thought. Kova really nailed Vi’s responses to learning that the world beyond her country is not what she had been thought. She’s angry, she’s skeptical, and it really makes me want to continue with her on that journey of multiple levels of discovery.
What I Learned: Balancing Heartfelt and Filthy
In this age-gap romance, a tattoo artist falls in love with a younger man who is too into graffiti. The way their relationship unfolds was very sweet, but the sex was hot, complete with so much tension and a Daddy kink. When I’m in duress, I need reliable reads, and the happy ending here does not disappoint.
We Set the Dark on Fire
What I Learned: Smart Dystopia
Read my Edelweiss eARC. Came out in February 2019. The way Mejia balances the familiar trappings of YA dystopia and very pointed political commentary around immigration is masterful. I can’t remember the last time I read this kind of story with this level of thoughtful parallelism to our world today.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years Of Pilgrimage
What I Learned: Not Bringing in an Unnecessary Element
I thought Tsukuru’s narrative had been strong. A man kind of lost after his friends abandoned him as children, he’s trying to regain a sense of purpose and goes off to seek closure. The reveal of his friends’ betrayal comes from a very uncomfortable place and I’m sure the book would have been much stronger without it.
What I Learned: Too Much World-building, Not Enough Context
World-building is a tricky art. You want something that presents itself to the reader organically, while at the same time introducing entirely new concepts. In the opening to The Witchlands, the grounding in the world felt very sudden and confusing. I will continue with the series and hope some things crystallize.
The Queen of Attolia
What I Learned: Less Thieving, More Intrigue
While heists and stealing things was definitely a major element in this follow-up to The Queen’s Thief, what really caught my interest was the political intrigue. Moving to third person gave the reader so much insight into how the world works and that there are things happening beyond Eugenides.
In March, I’ll be doing some traveling (going to Seattle), so that transit time gives me so much reading time.