We’re halfway into Pisces season, you guys! I hope you’re all embracing your creative, emotional sides and making the most of your passionate energy, even if you don’t believe in astrology.
February was a personally amazing month. The second month of the year is my birthday month, and this year was a little bit extra-special, because it was my golden birthday! Waiting 23 years for a birthday occasion most people celebrate in their teens was a heck of a build-up, but it was a surprisingly good day. I’ve been very wary of my birthday nowadays, because I’m an extra-sensitive Pisces, and now that we’re older, my friends are busier, and it isn’t always easy to feel the love. I hype my birthday up way too much, and I don’t deal especially well with the disappointment I ultimately lead myself into.
But all was well! My beloved boyfriend planned me a day of surprises, which including a trip to Barnes & Noble, an escape room (which we succeeded in), and a surprise party waiting for me in our apartment full of my best friends. I’ve never felt so loved, and my fragile heart was extraordinarily full.
So, in summation, February was full of a lot of happy surprises. I’m trying to keep this wave of positive energy going, which should be easier as we’re heading into a beautiful Chicago springtime!
Even though February was a short month, I read twelve books! A lot of my momentum was thank in part to the 25 in Five marathon I participated in, in which I knocked out five books. Check out the details of my recap below!
January Reading Recap:
Books Read: 12 / Pages Read: 3,771 / Average Rating: 3.9
Favorite Read: Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Similarly to last month, my favorite is a reread! But honestly, who could reread HP and NOT put it at the top of their list. I’ve started and stopped rereading the series so many times over the years, never really making it past the first chapter. Finally, I committed to sticking with it, and for the first time in a decade, I’m revisiting Hogwarts! It’s been a hot minute since I watched the movie version of The Chamber of Secrets, so rereading it was like catching up with a distant best friend.
Least Favorite Read: Gods of Howl Mountain:
⭐️⭐️⭐️ / You’ll momentarily discover that this book wasn’t my lowest rated, but ultimately, it was my least favorite. Taylor Brown’s ARC was full of southern gothic intrigue, which is usually my favorite. But endless pages of details and an extraordinarily masculine narrator just failed to captivate me, and finishing it was, regrettably, a bit of a chore.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / I only knew Carrie Brownstein from the cacao skit on Portlandia, but this book shed light on her very real level of coolness. The woman was birthed from the riot grrrl landscape of the Pacific Northwest, grew up professionally with the ilk of Kurt Cobain and Bikini Kill, and gave precedent to The Black Keys and The White Strips. Brownstein’s Memoir was punk rock and perfect.
We Were Strangers Once: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / This saga of a band of German refugees escaping the first tides of the Holocaust was gripping, emotional, and triumphant. I regret reading it during the 25 in Five, because I sped through it so quickly, and this might’ve been better samples slowly, but I knew instantly upon finishing it that it was an impenetrable five-star read.
Girl in a Band: A Memoir: ⭐️⭐️ / Kim Gordon, bassist of sonic youth, regales us with her prolific career through the era of the glam-punk art scene and noise rock music landscape. I love a good punk rock memoir, but Kim Gordon’s bitter reflection was not exactly what I predicted from a music biography.
My Only Wife: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Jac Jemc has contended herself as one of my favorite authors of the 21st century with The Grip of It, but this poetic novella has cemented it. Jemc tells a story of a man who’s enigmatic wife has disappeared and dissolved their marriage in one vanishing act. Originally intended to be a long poem, this book is a crucial example of how prose can create as much grace as momentum in a story.
A Different Bed Every a Time: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / If My Only Wife was an enigmatic woman, this short story collection is clearly from the heart of an enigmatic woman. Jemc’s stories are modern fables told in her signature musical and mysterious voice. I loved every allegory, every metaphor, and every urge to find meaning behind the cryptic pages.
The Woman in Cabin 10: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / I am propelled over the moon each and every time a thriller proves my assumptions and cynicism wrong, and Ruth Ware’s magnum opus is precisely that kind of thriller. The creepy and claustrophobic environment yields to a plot that actually twists and turns deeper into a mystery that my heart races to solve, so that this story remains utterly distinguished among its peers.
House of Night: Marked, Betrayed, & Chosen: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ / I will be reviewing this series as a whole once I am through the last of the books I currently own, so this reflection is tentative. I read this series as a youngster, and in the reread, I have enjoyed all the campiness and young adult edge that the Casts have to offer, but I have discovered more than a fair share of time-deaf, problematic character treatments that have since reversed some of my appreciation. The quick and easy reads keep me interested, but they are definitely not the perfect example of a dark young adult fantasy.