So…let’s just say that this wrap up is late because I forgot that there are only 28 days in February and not because I was distracted binge watching Hell’s Kitchen.
Anyways, my goal in February was to read 5 books, and I didn’t do too bad. I read four books, but I only read two off of my TBR list. I ended up picking up two books – Spellbook of the Lost and Found and An Enchantment of Ravens because they’ve been in the back of my mind to read for a really long time and at one point in the month I just decided to pick them up. But because I’ve been straying from my TBR lists lately, I’m going to try and create a better structure for my TBR list – but more on that later.
For now let’s talk about some books I read in February. Like always, The titles of the books are links to the Goodreads pages!
People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
Read as an audiobook
I found this book through the Audible app; they have channels for prime that all have different themes and there’s one all about true crime audiobooks – that they say they update weekly but I don’t think they do anymore, which is sad because I like true crime audiobooks but they’re expensive sometimes – and I saw the synopsis of this book on that list and I was intrigued.
A lot of the books on the list were familiar cases – the Manson Murders, the Zodiac Killer, and the Frank Abagnale book Catch me If You Can were on the list – but this one caught my eye because I had never heard about it before, so I downloaded it. Overall, it was a really interesting read. Written by a journalist who covered the search for Lucie and then the trial later on when they caught the suspect, Parry frames the true information in a way that you’d expect from a murder mystery fictional thriller.
There were some points where Parry spent more time talking about Lucie Blackman’s job as a hostess in Japan and what exactly being a hostess meant, and while interesting I feel like those sections definitely could’ve been condensed. I was way more interested in learning about Lucie, the trial and her family and how they dealt with her going missing and then the trial against her murderer.
My Rating: 3/5 ★
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Read as an e-book
I decided to read this book in February because I wanted a cute contemporary to balance out my true crime non fiction kick lately, and what better time than Valentine’s Day, right? (Right). And oh wow, was this book a good choice.
The plot was adorable, following three friends as they go to their first “comic-con”esque event and deal with coming to terms with their identities and relationships. By far, the characters in this book were my favorite part. Overall well rounded, well thought out and beautifully written the three main characters – Jamie, Taylor and Charlie – were a friend group I desperately wanted to be a part of. Queens of Geek is an own voices novel for the anxiety, Asperger’s and bisexuality representation, and the novel overall has so much diversity it was a pleasure to read about all these amazing characters.
The way Jen Wilde writes descriptions is seriously gorgeous, however I found that the dialogue in the book was a little too perfect. Almost like the characters were reading from scripts at some points, not having natural conversations, and I guessed the twist about halfway through. Overall though, I really enjoyed the book, it was cute and everything I wanted to read so I’m glad I finally picked it up!
My Rating: 3/5 ★
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book about just faeries. I’ve read plenty of books that include the fae folk along with many other magical creatures, but a book that’s only about faeries and human interaction hasn’t always been something on my radar. Honestly, this book was a cover buy for me. The gorgeous cover caught my eye and after hearing so many people hype the book up on Booktube and Twitter, I decided I needed to read the book for myself.
I did enjoy this book, but I found myself skimming the first half. Because this book is written in first person from Isobel’s point of view, the beginning was a lot of her taking in her surroundings and reacting to what’s going on. The way Rogerson writes these descriptions and sets scenes is gorgeous, however after awhile, I started skimming because it felt like nothing was happening and I wanted to get into the action of the novel. But once I hit the second half, the book really started to take off. That’s when I feel the actual plot of the book flourished and the action got really intense. I ended up staying up until past midnight to find out how the book ended.
This book – in my eyes – lacked a lot of world building. There were some things that weren’t fully explained, which just generally left me confused. The biggest moment of confusion was the actual world. Isobel lives in a place called Whimsy, where the fae go to visit humans to use their Craft – cooking, tailoring, painting – and there’s a place called The World Beyond. We get a description of Whimsy because it’s where Isobel lives, but we don’t get anything about the World Beyond besides the fact that it’s a far and dangerous trip to get there.
A few other side themes that were confusing to me might actually just be because I don’t know much about faeries. But the idea of Craft and that fae can’t do things like cook, paint or write was never explained beyond the fact that it could hurt them. The other part of this book that was mentioned a few times but never completely explained is the “Good Law”. It’s mentioned about a handful of times and is the plot device that gets the second half of the book moving, but we’re never actually told what it is besides it’s name and everyone is scared to break it.
Character wise, I liked Isobel, and enjoyed reading from her perspective, and I absolutely adored Rook. Sometimes the side characters were hard to keep track of – especially when it came to the fae and all their different abilities – but March and May, Isobel’s sisters, were lighthearted and hilarious to read about. Overall, I think the book was interesting to read, but there were parts that needed to be developed more.
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5★
My Actual Rating: 2.5/5★
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley Doyle
Read as an audiobook
It took me awhile to get into this book when I started it. I picked it up as an audiobook on a whim after hearing good things about both the author and the story, and honestly I think that the audiobook route might’ve been a mistake. Usually, my audiobook complaint is the narrator, but this time I loved each of the narrators picked for the different points of view, but I had a hard time getting all the characters straight, and being able to read the words physically on a page would’ve helped that.
Each main character is named after a type of tree or another plant found in nature (there’s Ivy, Hazel, Rowan, Olive, Rose, Ash, Laurel and Holly), and these main characters are split into two groups of four, who have different plots. While listening to the audiobook they all kind of got jumbled together and I’d have to pause and regroup to figure out who was connected to who.
But there’s this plot twist about 3/4 of the way through and it rocked my world, I didn’t see the twist coming, and after being on the fence about the book, I walked away thoroughly enjoying it. I really enjoy magical realism and Moira Fowley-Doyle did extremely well in this book, showing magical aspects and just casually integrating it. Throughout the book, after the group uses the spell book, they thought it was just for show because of how the real world works and that was really cool. The cast of characters is diverse and fun to read about and overall I really enjoyed this story, and I do recommend it, just maybe not the audiobook.
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5★
So overall, February was an okay reading month. But that’s okay, because March is going to be an excellent reading month – more on that in my next post!
Don’t forget to add me on Goodreads to get a more everyday update on my reading!