February 2022 Wrap-Up

Despite February having been a lot and me choosing to repress some stuff that is happening in reality (I know, it’s a kind of privilege), it was actually a pretty decent reading month for me. I got to everything I had set my eyes on and even a little more. So, at least in that department, I genuinely can’t complain much right now, even if most of the books wer only mediocre. Here’s what I read:

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Prosper's Demon by K.J. Parker

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As I’ve now said a lot, I’m using Storygraph really regularly now and it’s growing on me. I’m also low-key crushing my reading challenges and it’s making me happy. For a while there, I thought I had aimed too high with 15K words for this year, but it’s looking good. I’m now reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January (about 6% into the story) and even though it had mixed reviews, I’m enjoying it. I’m not even going to attempt to start a new reading experiment in March, I will try to alternate those.

I think it’s fairly understandable to say that I’m on edge right now. The Ukrainian border is closer to where I live than the other side of my own (very tiny) country. Geographically, this is probably one of the closest wars I have had to witness and I feel like I live in a 24/7 news cycle. At the same time, I’m confused and angered by some of the rhetoric used in media and by politicians alike, especially when it comes to refugees in comparison to coverage about previous countries that needed aid. I wish I could share some good resources here, but the ones I trust are all in German so … please, just be aware that there’s a lot of misinformation going around and be careful. Take care of yourselves!

Other than that, there’s things going on in my private life I want to talk about even less, BUT the weather is getting better. Yes, this is what it has come to. I’m talking about the weather … I can really feel it lift my spirits though and I’m hoping to get out more. I miss having places to go to, especially since I’ve been working from home in my one room apartment since mid-November now. So, this is honestly a good sign!

It also sort of started me imagining going on vacation for the first time in forever this year. I refuse to go on a plane or anywhere that is difficult to reach, but maybe a Berlin visit is due! I miss my second (or third or fourth) home. If I go, I want to go by train, because it’s such a nice deceleration to life and without the stress of how much luggage you can take in a carry on for a flight and such. I’m not sure when I’ll go, but I’m making all the plans for 2022.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

When I’m on other platforms and judging by my stats page, blogging has changed a lot over the years. I feel like it’s more of a second platform for many, next to video or image content on socials. Still, I’m dedicating this year to showing how valuable and kind of long term blogging as a medium is by sharing my top performing posts each month. (Hint: they are rarely ever the new ones!)

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Do I know why this is the most popular book review I’ve ever written? Heck no. I wish I did, but I’m glad it’s doing so well and finding an audience. Even if I wasn’t 100% convinced by the book …
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This game, I wish more people would play it so that I could talk about it with them. And also, that they’ll finally release the final chapter.
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    Look, with Pam & Tommy releasing, I just think a lot of people are rediscovering Sebastian Stan.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for Chris always remains in waves.
  5. Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted June 2021)
    He almost got beat by Pedro Pascal for 5th place. It as SO close. But the reading experiments are just a huge draw to the blog.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Speaking of reading experiments, while I love doing them, I love publishing them even more! There’s just something so very satisfying about getting all the necessary reading done, comparing tastes and trying to find common ground with strangers based on nothing other than books. One of my favorite parts is also trying to find the thing that connects all the books, to dive into the psyche of the celebs a little and see what draws them to the material. It’s such a joy! I know I posted the latest installment with Lupita Nyong’o at an inopportune time, but I hope it doesn’t flop.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I love this community, so please share that love by also checking out the posts of fellow bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


Hope February was kind to you and that March will treat you well! Let’s chat in the comments!

Underrated Books I Love (aka books with less than 5,000 ratings on GR)

I’ve recently seen this post over @Kristin Kraves Books, where she highlighted some books that had less than 5,000 ratings on Goodreads, but which she enjoyed a whole lot. I loved that idea so much and was surprised by how few ratings there were on some of my favorite reads from the past months, which is why I compiled my own list of seriously underrated books! I hope you enjoy it and maybe feel compelled to pick one of them up!

Any Place But Here – 28 ratings

Any Place But Here

To be fair, this book released less than two weeks ago, but I haven’t really heard of anyone who wanted to pick it up yet. Despite me finding some flaws in the story here and there, I really enjoyed it and want to give you a mini-insight on what to expect from this read:

  • photography nerds
  • strained family dynamic
  • changing relationships/friendships
  • exploration of sexuality
  • growing up and growing apart

Read my full review here!

The Summer of Broken Rules – 121 ratings

The Summer of Broken Rules

I have the absolute warmest memory of The Summer of Broken Rules and almost wish I could read it anew all over again. Like the previous pick, it’s also only been out in the world for about two weeks, so I expect the ratings to go up, but I still wanted to showcase it early on. I’m going to keep the bullet-point format going for what these books are about, so here are some short teasers:

  • big warm family vibes
  • feeling like you’re on a vacation
  • loss of a loved one
  • grief vs. joy
  • instant adorably hilarious love connection

Read my full review here!

Soulswift – 627 ratings

Soulswift

This book took my heart by storm and I cannot fathom how there aren’t more people out there who have read it. A lot of the time, due to Fantasy worlds being quite complex, stories like Soulswift tend to be part of a series, but it’s actually a wonderful standalone.

  • enemies to lovers
  • period talk in Fantasy world
  • exploration of faith
  • universe in balance
  • ending WILL make you cry
  • I’m still in pain

Read my full review here!

This Is Not A Ghost Story – 742 ratings

This Is Not a Ghost Story

As you all know, I went on a bit of ghost-centric reading binge last year, where almost all books I dealt with had some shape or form of ghosts in them for months. I still don’t think this was intentional, but here we are.

  • unique narrator
  • slightly creepy
  • controversial ending

Read my full review here!

Hana Khan Carries On – 904 ratings

Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On has been in the world for a month now and I just want to more people to enjoy it. I had such a great time while reading, because Hana is just a fantastic narrator, even when I disagreed on certain things the characters did.

  • South East Asian Muslim MC
  • Toronto based
  • podcast and radio love
  • enemies to lovers
  • “You’ve Got Mail” vibes
  • finding your voice!!
  • importance of community

Read my full review here!

Lock & Mori – 2,746 ratings

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)

Lock & Mori is the first book in a trilogy, which showcases a teen version of Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty (a female incarnation in this version) and how they met and became “enemies”. All of it is told from Mori’s POV, which was what originally enticed me to pick it up.

  • AU Sherlock/Moriarty
  • meet the genius while he was still an awkward teen
  • nurture vs. nature
  • abusive homelife
  • could be a CW TV show

Read my full review here!

Charming as a Verb – 2,965 ratings

Charming as a Verb

I just love Ben Philippe’s books. And I want him to succeed so bad, because that means I get more books! It’s really simple math right here, but he became an auto-buy-author for me the second I first read one of his books.

  • Black Haitian own voices rep
  • realistic struggle with college applications and senior year
  • meet cute that starts with blackmail
  • great NYC setting and Montreal mention
  • funny banter

Read my full review here!

The Light Between Worlds – 3,140 ratings

The Light Between Worlds

When I first read The Light Between Worlds, it destroyed me! It’s not the first book dealing with children who go into a magical land and then have to deal with reality as grown ups, but it hit me really hard. I’m sure I cried through 100 pages straight.

  • mental health issues/suicidal ideation
  • leaving part of yourself in another place/world
  • bond between siblings
  • formidable love interests

Read my full review here!

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo – 3,220 ratings

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1)

Back in the day I saw everyone talk about The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, but the ratings now do not reflect that at all. I really thought it would have much more, but here we are with it deserving double, triple and whatnot in reality.

  • action, romance, comedy
  • HILARIOUS
  • Chinese folktales and mythology
  • balancing school and superpowers

Read my full review here!

Echo North – 3,539 ratings

Echo North (Echo North, #1)

Echo North is one of those quietly beautiful magical books. It won’t destroy you, but it will leave you whimsical for mirrors that can take you to other worlds and wolves to fall in love with. It borrowed quite a bit from existing fairy tales, but made it completely its own thing.

  • lush setting
  • fairy tale vibes
  • fated love
  • just-roll-with-it magic

Read my full review here!


Have you read any of the books I mentioned or do you plan to? What are some actually underrated books you love? Let’s talk about it!

The Goodreads Book Tag

We shall not speak of when I was actually tagged for this Goodreads Book Tag! (Seriously peoples, I don’t understand how there are drafts from 2015 to now? I apparently never check my drafts …) Anyway, the lovely Flo @flowlessbooks tagged me and I want to thank her for her patience and consideration when she wrote the tag over a year ago …

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Die Wunderübung

The last book I marked as “read” was Die Wunderübung by Austrian author Daniel Glattauer. I went to the signing for this book and it was really fun. One of my former teachers is the director of the movie adaptation of this book and he was there as well … and didn’t recognise me. Somehow I wasn’t surprised.

 

What are you currently reading?

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African ChildhoodBorn a Crime by Trevor Noah! (Finally – as Cristina has wanted me to read this for the longest time)

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)Apparently that was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black because EVERYONE just seems to scream about how amazing and fun this book is, so I want to know if the hype was justified. But also, I am not actually going to read it anytime soon until the hype has died down. If that makes sense?

What book do you plan to read next?

I think it will be Everything, Everything, but I refuse to actually be tied down to one book. I am way too much of a mood reader for that and there’s so much out there that I could chose from, you know?

Do you use the star rating system?

Yep, I do. I have this theory that all the books I read start out as a 3-star-book and then either improve or get worse from there on out. I would love to have half-stars as well though, then I wouldn’t always have to decide if I should round up or down.

Are you doing a 2018 Reading Challenge?

Again, this is also a yes. I decided to go with 60 books as a goal and so far so good.

Do you have a wishlist?

Actually, I do have a wishlist but not on Goodreads? It’s just some place I can keep track of what I want, because I don’t use the “Want to Read” option all too regularly. Most of the time I forget to even check on there unless someone directly prompts me to.

(Should you want to see my Amazon wishlist for whatever reason, you can do so here)

What book do you plan to buy next?

Something from my wishlist????

Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few.

I just randomly made screenshots from two quotes I someday in the past liked on Goodreads!

Who are your favorite authors?

SO MANY!!!

  • Pierce Brown
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Victoria Schwab
  • Becky Albertalli
  • Nina LaCour
  • Jeff Zentner
  • Morgan Matson

Have you joined any groups?

I think I did at some point, but I can’t even remember at this point because I never visit them. So, I am just going with a simple no instead.

I TAG THEE

Do you use Goodreads to keep your books in order? Did you relate to my answers? Let’s chat!