March 2020 Reading Recap

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Here we are friends, in a time of social distancing where staying at home is the most productive thing you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe. Which for me, includes working my dayjob from 9 to 5 and then spending time with audiobooks while playing video games (currently playing Animal Crossing). This is what I read in March. I should really consider augmenting my reading goal, I’m 17 books ahead already.

This month, I also interviewed K.M. Szpara to celebrate the release of his debut novel, Docile.

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ARC Review: WHEN WE WERE MAGIC by Sarah Gailey (2020)

Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Year Release: March 2020
Source: Edelweiss ARC

Read an ARC acquired via Edelweiss

Sarah Gailey has such a knack for capturing the feeling of hopeless effort. In this young adult novel, Alexis accidentally kills a boy at prom and it is up to her and five magic friends to figure out what to do with the body. Strange things start happening around them, all while senior year winds down to a close and the feelings Alexis has for one of her friends stir stronger than ever.

I don’t think I’ve seen such accurate representation of the petulance, uncertainty, and stress that comes with being a teenager. Adding stresses like keeping your magic secret from those outside your circle and concealing that terrible thing you did definitely heightens the ante. What also really stood out to me was the fantastic balance between Alexis’s found family and true family. Because I read a lot of fantasy young adult, parents tend to be absent, either dead or evil. Here, Dad and Pop are so supportive and definitely are trying their best in terms of being parents.

This book is very light on the world-building, but that’s because it is so character-driven. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where the magic came from or how it shifts as the coven tries to solve its big problem. The story is tightly woven in its emotional arcs that ultimately, the real magic was also the friends we had along the way.

We have been blessed in these last twelve months of works by Sarah Gailey. While I hope they get some rest, I cannot wait to see what they come up with next.

 

March 2020 TBR

In March, I have an almost-literal mountain of library books to read, not counting audiobooks.

Hard Copies

  • The Age of Ice by J.M. Sidorova (Library Borrow)
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (Library Borrow)
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)

Kindle

  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst (ARC)
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore
  • When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb
  • The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
  • Ruse (Want #2) by Cindy Pon
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

One book to beta read this month, and my own to steadily write throughout the month.

February 2020 Reading Recap

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I am so ahead on reads and somehow feel behind. These last few months have been rough for me, but I am so glad that 2020 continues to deliver incredible reads which provide some kind of escape.

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ARC Review: UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED by Sarah Gailey (2020)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Alternate History/Future (Speculative Fiction)
Year Release: February 4, 2020
Source: The Publisher, Tor.com

Received an ARC from the publisher, Tor.com

The Wild West seems to be a having a very small moment. If you enjoyed Gailey’s first novella, River of TeethUpright Women Wanted will tickle those cowboy needs, albeit with fewer swamps and hippos.

The femmes in this novel are all so complex. Queer librarians actually spying for the resistance on horseback? A tough cinnamon roll who followed all the rules only to run away from there? A non-binary who code-switches when going into towns to protect the mission at large? Casual polyamory? Betrayals? This novel has so many trappings of a great desert adventure on horseback and so much more. The world-building is great and gives context to the work these librarians do without actually having to spell it out for the reader. In addition, it doesn’t flinch away from the mundane nastiness of life on the road, and I found that magical.

It bears repeating: if you liked Gailey’s first two novellas, you’re going to be enamored with this one.

 

February 2020 TBR

Here are my intended reads for February.

Hard Copies

  • Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow #2) by Lila Bowen (Library Borrow)
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)
  • Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (ARC)

Kindle

  • Finna by Nino Cipri (ARC)
  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst (ARC)
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore
  • Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal (ARC)
  • Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith
  • The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Plus two books I offered to beta read. Wow, this month is busy.

My 2019 in Reading

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I read 118 books this year, mostly thanks to an aggressive ARC schedule and audiobooks. The list here are 19 books which I read this year that I loved, but weren’t necessarily published in 2019.

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Reading Recap: June 2019

June2019RR.pngI guess I did all the reading due to all the flying I did this month. It’s been a wide swath of genres. As we near the halfway point of the year, the reads have been on point. Continue reading

Reading Recap: September 2017

RRSeptember2017September was a weird month again. Finished a writing project, fully settled into my apartment, and started classes for the last time. The reads this month were some catch-up reads, but also a few anticipated books.

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