After January being a ridiculously good reading month for me, I read a little less in February but still a huge amount compared to what I read on average. I read 47 books in total.
Like I said in my February TBR post, I’ve been participating in Blackathon for Black History Month, so I exclusively read books by Black authors. I didn’t read all of the books on my TBR, but I did get around to reading most of them! I’m still reading two of them as well, since it usually takes me a little longer to get through audiobooks.
In this post, I’ll share my Goodreads reviews of my 4 and 5 star reads of February. Want to keep track of my reading in more detail? Feel free to add me on Goodreads!
Alyssa Cole – A Duke By Default
I’m really enjoying this series so far! I like the romance, but it’s also so much more substantial – this dealt with family relationships, with the main character figuring out she has ADHD, and so on. I think Alyssa Cole might just become a new favourite romance author for me!
Alyssa Cole – Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
Everyone told me I was gonna love this, and everyone was right
Alyssa Cole – Can’t Escape Love
This was my favourite installment in the series so far! I loved how nerdy it was and I especially loved seeing a romance between two disabled characters: one physically disabled and one autistic.
That said, the autism rep wasn’t my favourite – it felt like a pretty stereotypical view of how people think of autistic men, and I felt like it stayed rather on the surface: it was mostly about how the character seemed autistic to other people by being blunt and struggling with social stuff, when autism is in fact so much more than that. The character also had this savant-like talent for solving puzzles. I would have liked to see more nuance in the rep and more eye for how the character experiences his autism versus how the outside world experiences it.
N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season
This book just left me speechless. Wow. What a masterpiece. I was drawn in immediately by the amazing writing, and it ended up being amazing on all levels. I kept waiting for the different storylines to combine and then there was this twist and just… Damn. So good!
Alyssa Cole – A Prince on Paper
The characters took longer to grow on me than in the previous installment, but I still did end up really enjoying this!
Ashley Woodfolk – The Beauty That Remains
This has been on my TBR for way too long and I’m glad I finally read it – I loved the way it dealt with grief.
Talia Hibbert – The Princess Trap
Give me a Talia Hibbert book and I will love it
Talia Hibbert – Wanna Bet?
Friends to lovers is one of my favourite tropes, and I loved how it was executed here!
Candice Iloh – Every Body Looking
I didn’t review this book, but if you enjoy verse novels, I would highly recommend this!
Talia Hibbert – Guarding Temptation
I didn’t review this either, but like I said: I still have to find a Talia Hibbert book I don’t like.
N.K. Jemisin – The Obelisk Gate
This sequel to The Fifth Season was again AMAZING.
Tiffany D. Jackson – Monday’s Not Coming
I tend to not enjoy thrillers very much – they often bore me. But this one was so good! I found it impossible to put down.
CWs: murder, child abuse, domestic abuse
N.K. Jemisin – The Stone Sky
This was an amazing end to the trilogy.
Angie Thomas – Concrete Rose
I think this is my favourite Angie Thomas book
Nic Stone – Dear Justyce
I didn’t review this book, but it was very good.
Natasha Diaz – Color Me In
This was beautifully complex, nuanced, and real
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and a 5 star prediction that ended up being correct. This book was tense and unsettling from the get-go, but things especially got intense in the second half, and I could not put it down. This is what dark academia should be – challenging systemic oppression and the white supremacy embedded in academia.
CWs: racism, murder, car accident, homophobia, public outing, stalking (invasions of privacy), violence, death of a parent
Jazz Taylor – Meow or Never
This cover is… unfortunate, but sometimes it reaaally pays off to look beyond that. This was an amazing sapphic middlegrade with a Black girl as a main character who struggles with social anxiety and has panic attacks because of it. It’s about making friends for the first time, and about what you can overcome and what you actually can’t overcome, and how that’s okay and you deserve to be accomodated. Highly recommend!
B.B. Alston – Amari and the Night Brothers
This was one of my most anticipated middlegrade releases of the year, and I loved it so incredibly much. I really took my time reading this because I was transported into the world, with the intricate world building and detailed writing. This story really jumped off the page, so much so that I feel like I’ve watched a movie, and it has everything I could ever want from middlegrade SFF.
Yaa Gyasi – Transcendent Kingdom
I loved Homegoing when I read it, and this was again a very good novel.
Nicola Yoon – Instructions for Dancing
If you loved The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, you’re in for a treat, because I’m positive you’re going to love this too.
It’s a beautiful YA romance that delves into the question of if love is worth it if you know it will end – does the happiness outweigh the pain when it’s over? I think this is a question a lot of people struggle with, and it’s one that’s raised for the main character when her dad cheats on her mum and they get divorced. Then she starts seeing the course of people’s relationships, including the ending, when she sees them kiss, which leads to a journey of character development that I think was so well crafted. In the end, this is a melancholical but uplifting story.
Kim Johnson – This Is My America
This was a really strong and really necessary exploration of systemic racism in the US criminal justice system and how deeply white supremacy is rooted into it. The story is told in a very realistic style, which makes it a heavy, emotional read at times, but it had me crying from happiness towards the end – it’s ultimately hopeful as well.
Jordan Ifueko – Redemptor
Read my full review here! Spoiler alert: this is now my favourite duology of all time!
Talia Hibbert – Mating the Huntress
Talia Hibbert never disappoints. This was everything I could want from a paranormal romance.
Johan Ferrier – Het grote Anansiboek
I read this because my friend told me she grew up with these stories, and it was such a valuable experience reading them.
Ibi Zoboi, ed. – Black Enough
This was my anthology for the month (I try to pick an anthology to read every month), and it was so good!!
Marga Altena – Franklin
This was a Dutch graphic novel I read about African-American soldiers in the Second World War. It was really insightful.
Elise Bryant – Happily Ever Afters
I had an amazing time listening to the audiobook, and I want this book to be translated immediately. It gave me all the To All the Boys vibes, with a main character who wants to be a romance author, and a boy who’s an amazing baker, baking stuff that I could practically smell, it sounded so good.
I loved how much this book let its main character be messy. She has flaws, she fucks up, she struggles to make the right decisions, and it was so good to see her get that space to grow and learn what she really wants and needs in life.
Additionally, I really liked the disability rep. The main character’s brother is disabled, and it was amazing to see such a respectful, loving portrayal, without shying away from how difficult it can be. It was very clear how much Tessa loves her brother and wouldn’t change him for the world, and that did things to my heart.