Wrap Up: February 2016

February16wrapup

I had another pretty good reading month in February but I went through a tiny bit of a slump in the middle of the month when I wasn’t really enjoying what I was reading. I’ve been slowly overcoming that though and hopefully March will be a stellar reading month. I guess another reason why my reading month was a bit sluggish this month was because I was in the process of moving house and I was just too exhausted to read and enjoy my books (shelfie coming soon, I promise!).

february16

Reading summary header

1. The Weight of Feathers – Anna-Marie McLemore  5 stars

This book has one of my favourite things in the world: magical realism! It’s a beautiful retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with lots of diversity and a romance that you’ll be rooting for. I loved it so much and it was probably my favourite read of the month.

2. Ask the Passengers – A.S. King  45 stars

This was a really quick LGBTQ+ read, featuring a girl who is trying to figure out who she is. It was a fantastic coming out story that I think a lot of people could relate to. A review of this will be up on Happy Indulgence in a few weeks.

3. Stars Above – Marissa Meyer  5 stars

A short story/novella bind-up featuring the characters from The Lunar Chronicles. I would rate each individual story at least 4 stars and I highly enjoyed them all. My favourite was, of course, the epilogue/wedding, followed closely by the Little Mermaid retelling. It was so beautiful.

4. Anna and the Swallow Man – Gavriel Savit  4 stars

A WWII historical fiction YA novel, set in Poland. This book follows a young girl called Anna who becomes orphaned at the beginning of the book. She meets the Swallow Man who takes her under his wing and they wander around Poland trying to survive. This is definitely more of a literary YA novel that focuses on the personal journeys.

5. You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About – Daniel Herborn  25 stars

This is an Australian YA contemporary romance that has music as a theme. I didn’t really enjoy this book. It was a bit of a snooze-fest. The plot was boring. The characters were boring. The romance was boring. *falls asleep*

6. A Tangle of Gold – Jaclyn Moriarty  5 stars

The concluding novel to Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Colours of Madeleine trilogy, A Tangle of Gold was by far the best novel of the series. It had the perfect balance of fantasy, magic, humour and just everything you want to see in a novel. I had the honour of kicking off the blog tour and you can check out my review and Q&A with the author on Happy Indulgence!

7. YOLO Juliet – Brett Wright  3 stars

This book is Romeo and Juliet told in a series of text messages. It was definitely hilarious but I was slightly disappointed with the execution at times. You definitely don’t get the full impact of the story and there were some things that just didn’t make sense.

8. Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin  45 stars

I read this for the Diverse YA Book Club this month and I absolutely loved it. It’s an alternate history novel, set in a world where the Axis powers won WWII. We follow our main character as she competes in a cross-continent motocross race. It was thrilling and mysterious and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out!

9. How Not to Disappear – Clare Furniss  4 stars

This book is about a young girl, Hattie, who discovers she is pregnant with her best friend’s baby. She doesn’t quite know what to do, and when a distraction is presented in the form of a crazy great-aunt who she never knew existed, Hattie jumps at the chance to get to know her better. I thought the story was really heartwarming but I had a few problems with the writing and the execution of the book.

10. These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner  35 stars

This is a book that I hear nothing but good things about. Aila sent this to me for Christmas and I finally got around to reading it. I thought it was just okay. I wasn’t really into the first 150 pages of the book and when I finally started getting into the novel a little bit more, some really weird stuff started to happen. I thought there were a lot of things that were underdeveloped and I wasn’t a fan of the characters or the writing. If you’re looking for a similar survival story, I think The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is a much stronger book.

11. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson  45 stars

I didn’t love Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour as much as I did Second Chance Summer and Since You’ve Been Gone, but it was still a highly enjoyable read. Amy and Roger are given the task of driving Amy’s mother’s car from California to Connecticut and they decide to go on a big detour. There are lots of things that happen along the way and both characters grow in leaps and bounds. It was a heartwarming and adorable story that I could reread over and over.

12. Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine  4 stars

This was a fascinating book about books. In this world, the Great Library of Alexandria still exists and knowledge is more powerful than anything else, even human life. Our protagonist, Jess, comes from a family of book smugglers but he’s never really been interested in taking over the business. He’s entered into a contest to become a Scholar at the Library and the story begins from there.

13. Captive Prince – C.S. Pacat  35 stars

There is so much hype surrounding the Captive Prince trilogy right now and I wanted to see what it was all about. I was a little bit disappointed by it. The premise of the book is a bit weak and the plot is a little bit predictable. The characters were complex and interesting  though, so I’ll continue on with the rest of the series. Just a warning though, this book is pretty graphic.

14. Sweet Filthy Boy – Christina Lauren  25 stars

This is another book that’s been getting a lot of hype recently. It’s been a really long time since I’ve read a New Adult novel and I was hoping that this one was going to be amazing. Sadly, it was kinda underwhelming. The beginning and end were okay but the whole middle section had pretty much no plot. It was all just smut and I found myself skipping over a lot of it.

15. When We Collided – Emery Lord  4 stars

This is a book about mental illness that’s done right. When We Collided deals with bipolar disorder, and grief and depression. I thought it was an accurate representation of bipolar and depression and I highly enjoyed it. I’ll have a review of this up on Happy Indulgence in mid-April.

reading challenges header

I have a whole page dedicated to following my progress on my 2016 reading challenges but I thought I’d include some monthly updates anyway. I’m doing pretty well on my Goodreads 100 book challenge. I’ll probably increase it to 150 books in a few months because it looks like I’m going to reach 100 books pretty quickly. Another one of my goals for this year was to participate in Aentee @ Read at Midnight‘s #DiverseYABC chats and I did manage to read the February book, which was Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin.

I was a bit naughty this month and didn’t read the assigned pages from my Complete Sherlock Holmes book. But I’ve read The Sign of the Four before so I don’t feel as bad. There’s still one day of February left so maybe I’ll read it tonight? I also haven’t made any progress on the ‘read all the Youth Media Award YA titles challenge’. I don’t own any of the books that I need to read for that challenge so I’ll need to make a conscious effort to complete the challenges by either borrowing or buying the books in the following months.

I did make really good progress on the Aussie YA Bloggers Book Club Challenge. The rules are kind of complicated but you can find them on my Reading Challenges page. Here are the challenges I completed this month:

  • Read a book with diversity in race – The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Read a book with diversity in sexual orientation – Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
  • Read a book where a character has a disability – The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard
  • Read a book that is split into parts – A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Read a book with flashbacks – How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss
  • Read a book with two or more male points of view – Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
  • Read a book with no romance – Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
  • Read a book with a red or yellow cover – YOLO Juliet by Brett Wright
  • Read a book where something is burned – Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
  • Read a book that features a sun or star – These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
  • Read a book with an orange or brown cover – Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
  • Read a book with a white or grey cover – When We Collided by Emery Lord

Hidden Challenges:

  • Read a book with a name in the title – Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit*
  • Read an adult book – Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
  • Read an alternate history – Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  • Read a contemporary romance – You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn
  • Read a magical realism – The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore*

*Anna and the Swallow Man and The Weight of Feathers unlocked two of the hidden challenges so I don’t need to read extra books to complete those challenges.

T10T

I did four Top Ten Tuesday posts this month:


What was your favourite book of the month?

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29 thoughts on “Wrap Up: February 2016

  1. JAH says:

    It looks like you had a productive month! I haven’t heard of most of the books you read, so it looks like I’ve got to check those out!

    P.S. I nominated you for the 3 quote challenge. If you’d like to participate here are the rules:
    1. 3 quotes in 3 days
    2. Thank the person who nominates you
    3. Nominate 3 blogs each day of the 3 days to participate in the challenge

    https://booksbeyondmeasure.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/3-days-3-quotes/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess I. says:

    Wow, you did so great this month! Sadly, I only read 4 books this month but I’m currently reading three, with one being for review, one for pleasure, and one for school! You loved all the books I’m looking forward to reading (Wolf by Wolf, Stars Above, and When We Collided). I feel like the YOLO Juliet would be a quick read but I don’t think I’d read it, despite it being hilarious as you said, haha. Here is to another productive reading month!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Yeah YOLO Juliet wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. I flicked through it before I bought it and I think I landed on the two most funny pages in the whole book, which led me to impulse buy it. Turns out the rest of the book wasn’t as funny… I’m glad you’re looking forward to Wolf by Wolf, Stars Above and When We Collided. I loved all 3 of them and I hope you can get to them soon, Jess!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashley says:

    Amazing reading month! You read so many books even when you were in a slump and moving!
    I definitely need to get to Amy and Roger’s, Wolf by Wolf, and Ink and Bone! They are all on my TBR. I also have copies, so I can’t make any excuses not to read them anymore! haha. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    I haven’t read any Jacklyn Moriarity forever, but Becoming Bindy Mackenzie was one of my favourite books when I was younger. You have me thinking that I should pick up one of her books again.

    I continue to be so impressed by how much you read. I’m glad you got out of your slump. I’m in a bit of one at the moment. I think I’ve just read too many contemporaries lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Ooh I haven’t read that one yet. I’ve only read Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Colours of Madeleine trilogy and Feeling Sorry for Celia. I’m really enjoyed them so I’m probably going to pick up her other Ashbury/Brookfield penpal books. I’m going to an event this weekend where Jaclyn Moriarty is the guest, so I’ll definitely be coming home with a handful of her other titles!

      Ugh I totally understand your slump. I can’t really read a lot of one genre either, though sometimes I only feel like reading one thing. Right now, all I want to read are short (300 pages or less) contemporaries.

      Like

  5. Lois says:

    I need to read Stars Above right now. I just need the wedding and all the shipping goodness. I’m sorry These Broken Stars didn’t live up to your expectations. If it helps some of the plot points that confused me are cleared up in the other two books. Amy & Roger just makes me want to go on a roadtrip. I loved the little scrapbook snippets we got. I felt that it made the story come alive. Overall it sounds like you’ve had a wonderful reading month. I hope the house moving is going well. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Yeah… I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing with the Starbound trilogy. I might pick them up one day if I’m in the mood for sci-fi but I wasn’t too impressed with These Broken Stars. People keep raving about the third book so I’m kind of intrigued, but not enough to continue with the books right now. But you should definitely pick up Stars Above straight away! It was all so nostalgic, even though it hasn’t even been that long since Winter was released. I don’t know how I’m going to survive now that the series is over. I’m excited about the graphic novels… but I’ve heard that they don’t feature the same characters T_T

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks says:

    OH MY GOD, JENNA. You’re a reading wizard, and I’m always awed by your ability to whizz through books. I’ve been meaning to get to Wolf by Wolf because I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things! Also, Stars Above. I’m usually not the biggest fan of novellas, but I might give this one a go. Especially if it involves more Wolf and Jacin (does it?) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      You won’t be disappointed with Stars Above! It has a story about each of the characters and I loved reading about their pasts so much. There’s a story about Wolf when he was first recruited to join Levana’s army. And there’s also a really long story about Winter and Jacin when they were younger. My favourite was definitely the wedding/epilogue but there’s also a fantastic Little Mermaid retelling that features a completely new character who wasn’t in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    Ahhh Jenna you totally smashed your reading this month! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed When we Collided, with my emotional state at the moment I don’t know if I could have handled that! I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the Captive Prince sequel, to see if it really does get better. I’m saving Stars Above for a rainy day but I can’t wait to read it soon! Awesome wrap up lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      When We Collided was great! You should definitely check it out when you’re in the mood for a mental illness book. It wasn’t a sad book, if that helps 😀 The Captive Prince trilogy was just okay. I don’t really understand all the hype because I thought the actual plot of the book was kind of lacking…

      Like

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