February and March Reads

library shelf near black wooden ladder

I read 14 (!) books in February and 10 in March. Since this is two months in one, we’ll just get right into it.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
A great book. A ton of mystery and dark corners to keep you reading and your skin crawling.
I loved how it went back and forth to tell all the girls’ stories and wove them together.
Several mysteries had to be unravelled and they were done so with great skill. All of the reveals were unexpected and I loved the ending.
I will definitely need to read more from this author.

Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey
I don’t know why it took me so long to get into this one because it was amazing.
So much darkness and questions with no answers. Every time you thought you’d figured it out, the rug would be yanked out again.
By the end of this book I was in tears. So much greatness in one book. So much character growth and so many emotions. I loved it.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
I really enjoyed this quick read. She’s hilarious and good with words. And all the behind the scenes info on Gilmore Girls was amazing and makes me want to go back and rewatch it for the umpeenth time. So many emotional moments and there may have been a few tears on my part.
But I feel like there could have been more to it. It felt a little rushed. Will have to check out her other books.

Talons by John Peel
Eh. I almost DNF’d this one. The teenagers all acted like adults and I hate that. 16 year olds are not intimidating. And they don’t usually make logical decisions in the heat of the moment. I just didn’t buy it. The bully cop acted more like a teen than the teens.
But there was a good premise to the story. And I wish it would have been fleshed out more. I was left with a lot of questions.

The Woods are always Watching by Stephanie Perkins
I don’t feel like I liked this one much either. The writing was fine, descriptions nice and creepy…
But I disliked both girls so fast. They’re supposed to be best friends, and yet they go at each others throats right away when things get tough. At first I thought it was like a mountain curse that turned them against each other (went in blind as usual) because it was that dramatic of a change. But no. They’re just super catty girls.
Gruesome story though. So, I stuck it out and ended pretty okay.

How to Write a Successful Series by Helen Scheurerer
An amazing resource packed full of great tips. I’ll be keeping it close for the next series I try to write.
It goes as far to help with the researching and finding comp authors/books. And there’s even a chapter on cutting an unsuccessful series short – because you”ll still want to finish it for those who do read it.
I’ll probably read it again and dig deeper when I’m ready to write my next series.

Clown in a Cornfield 2 by Adam Cesare
A fantastic followup to the first book. Not quite as slasher-y but very exciting and emotional nonetheless. Several creepy, nail biting bts that keep you reading and a very stressful climax. But a great resolution and satisfying ending.

The Whispering Dead by Darcy Coates
An interesting premise and great series opener.
The characters are rich and colorful and have great potential. The book itself was a complete story, but left plenty of threads and unanswered questions to follow through the series.
Creepy setting and very atmospheric writing. A nice read, and I can’t wait for my turn on the second book.

Queen Takes Rose by Katee Robert
Not really sure how this one got on my TBR, plus it’s book 6 in a series? Not sure how I missed that. But it read okay as a standalone.
It’s a reimagined world of fictional villains and this book was very lesbian. So, that was fun. A great relationship roller coaster and tons of spice. Felt a little long, but I liked the ending. Debating on going to book one and reading them all.

Autism for Adults by Daniel Jones
I’m self-diagnosed autistic and thought this book would help. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t bad.
Mostly just some relatable stories and some jokes. It did make me feel like I’m not so hard to understand if someone wanted to put in the effort.

Butcher and Blackbird by Brynne Weaver
This was a fantastic book. It filled me with so many emotions throughout the roller coaster of the character’s emotions.
It was also hilarious. I loved these characters and had a great time with their banter.
When it was close to the end, I stalled because I didn’t want it to be over. But it was so cute. Can’t wait for book two.

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
A refreshing book on all aspects of gayness. There were tons of historical facts that I’d never heard of and a great insight to the world I’m living in.
I feel like a book like this should be included in high school curriculum. If we can learn about straight sex in health class, we can learn about gay sex too. Period.

Desperate Measures by Katee Robert
Book one of that series I jumped into. Very interesting twist on the disney characters. Very spicy and dark.
The characters are more complex than the cartoons I remember and I’m enjoying this dark side of the story.

Learn my Lesson by Katee Robert
Book two. Wow. This one had my heart in a vice. More than just spice in this one. It packed a gut punch of emotions. Very well done.
“She takes up all the space in the room simply by breathing.”

In Defense of the Second Amendment by Larry Correia
A fascinating and well-worded book. I think I learned a lot and gained a better perspective on an ideal I already believed in.
Will be recommending this one around.

A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert
Book three. This one wasn’t as good, but still enjoyable. A ton more action/danger going on but the spicy scenes didn’t always seem to fit in the timeline. Not sure I can relate to the “my life in danger, let’s have sex about it,” idea. Haha. Still a good story though.
“We’re all God’s children.” He snorts. “Even the assholes.”
“She’s so sweet, sometimes she makes my teeth ache.”

Innocent by Renee Snow
Should have DNF’d, but I pushed through on some strange hope that it was going to get better. Spoiler, it didn’t.
The storyline could have been fine, but the characters were the worst. Boring, flat, no spark… nothing. And the pack of boys/wolves for each witch? What a dumb way to force a why-choose storyline.
The action scenes could have been the saving grace, but they were glossed over. And yet we had to know, “walked to the cabinet, unlocked the drawer, replaced the key, brought out another key, and then closed the cabinet…” Yawn.
Will not be continuing this series.

Yoga Therapy by Staffan Elgelid, Kristen Buttera et. al.
I knew a lot of this already, but it was a refreshing to brush up on it. There were a lot of helpful examples that I’ll be working through as I get back into a daily yoga practice. Very knowledgable and interesting.

A Place for Everything by Judith Flanders
This was a very fascinating history about the alphabet and the slow acceptance of ABC order over time. There were a lot of names and dates I probably won’t remember, but I found it very interesting. It scratched an itch in my brain to know all this. Plus, I now have more random facts in my brain to share with people.

The Life of an Unknown Author by Leslee Stewart, Rachal Mitchell, et. al.
An interesting collection of stories about the life and lead up to being an author by several people that I’ve never heard of. They were well-worded and painted some interesting pictures of author life.
Can’t say I’m sure why it was included in an author stack for learning, but it was a good and quick read.

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
I feel like I was supposed to learn something from this, but I’m not sure if I did. Maybe I read it at the wrong time because all I feel is guilt over always trying to get all the things done all the time. Even when I know it’s not possible, I can’t help but be an overachiever.
I’ll probably give it another read when I’m not filled with so much angst.

The Emotion Code by Bradley Nelson
I expected woo. I expected power of belief and mindset. I didn’t expect to be preached to about god or to have a client refer to god as “daddy.” That was too far for me.
And the entire book is just people talking about how the emotion clearing method worked for them. And then there’s a small little piece of a chapter about how to actually clear the emotional wound.
This was “could have been an email,” in book form.

Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
This one was great all the way until the ending. I feel like she left it open to write a third book, but then never did. Or hasn’t. Or something.
It was dark and gritty and there were great descriptions and pacing. The characters were amazing and dynamic. The interactions were colorful.
But then just kind of meh. I need more answers!

The Beast by Katee Robert
Eh. Kind of lost interest halfway through. Felt like this one lacked the plot the other books in the series have had. Maybe it’s set up for the next book. But I didn’t feel like this one had as much depth. I’ll still keep reading the series though.

February was good, but March kind of felt like I was forcing myself to read. I was kind of in a bad mood all month and didn’t feel like picking anything up. Hopefully my mood will improve this month and so will my reading choices.

Next week, I’ll be doing a deep dive on my favorite book of February (nothing in March really stuck out to me as a favorite) Quarry Girls.