Book Recommendations

January & February Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

This week, I will be talking about all the books I read during January & February and what I rated them. So far, 2021 has been a great reading year for me and I am excited for the books I am planning to read next!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I actually have written an in-depth review of this book that you can find here if you want to know more about my thoughts! While it was enjoyable, there were some parts that just fell flat for me. I read this book with a few friends including Kayla at Musings of a Middle Child and discussed it in our little book club over FaceTime! It was definitely worth it for the fun discussions we were able to have.

Parachutes

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To be honest, half of why I picked up this book was for the pretty cover catching my eye at the library and I was pleasantly blown away by the story! It follows two girls, Claire, a parachute – a student sent to study in America from China by her wealthy parents – and Dani, her host sister whose financial situation is a lot different. In the beginning, the book reminded me a little of Crazy Rich Asians, but while the story is quite different, it is still an interesting look at privilege, family, and power. The synopsis also relates it to Gossip Girl, and I could definitely see fans of the show loving this.

This book surprised me with how fast-paced it was despite being almost 500 pages, and I found myself flipping through it eager to learn what would happen. The book takes place in alternating POVS which I am a sucker for, especially when their stories coincide! If anything, I would have liked to see more of the relationship growth between Claire and Dani, but it was still really interesting to see how their separate stories and situations intersect.

TW: This book touches on sexual assault and rape so that is important to be aware of before reading (there is a trigger warning at the start of the book). I really admired the strength of the author who wrote a lot of the book using parts of her own experience which she outlines in the author’s note.

This was truly an incredible read and I would recommend older readers who are aware of the trigger warnings to pick it up!

The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I mentioned this book in my dark academia post! This was the second book I read with my book club. The Secret History is richly detailed, which made it a bit of a longer and more difficult book to discuss, but it was really beneficial to be able to discuss some of the more complex concepts in the book!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a super quick and easy read which was needed after finishing The Secret History! Read my thoughts on this book in my review here!

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m always a little hesitant to pick up classics, but I am glad I gave this one a chance! It was fairly easy to read and understand, plus the intro in this edition of the book gave a lot of context for the novel. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a really interesting look at vanity and narcissism. I also just loved the supernatural elements of the painting. As soon as I can, I will be watching the movie with Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray. I’ve seen so many Marauders fan edits on Tik Tok with clips from the movie as a young Sirius and I’m dying to actually watch it!

Julie and the Phantoms: The Edge of Great

Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1 Novelization by Micol Ostow

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I think I’ve mentioned my love for the show Julie and the Phantoms on here a few times already… So obviously when there was a novelization of the show announced, I needed to buy it. I was super excited when it arrived and it was still a fun read (basically like rewatching the show but reading), but there were too many good parts left out that it ended up being a disappointment. (I can’t believe they called it “The Edge of Great” then only alluded to that scene!)

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Black Flamingo follows Michael a mixed-race gay teen who finds his place in his university drag society. This novel is unlike any that I’ve read before as it is told in verse. As I am taking a poetry class at the moment, it made me more conscious of the pauses and spaces in the text and the additional meanings this brought to the story. Michael being a poet himself in the book made it feel like a natural choice for the novel, it couldn’t have been told in a better way. While romance is an element in this coming-of-age novel, I personally really liked how it didn’t take away from the focus of the book which is identity and the importance of a sense of self.

Here is a Book Tok video in which I rate all these books with the help of Hannah Montana’s singing:

How has your reading gone so far this year? Have you read any of the same books as I did?

Share your thoughts

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