February Wrap-Up

While my hauls have been low, I’ve been doing a LOT of reading (with the help of audio books), which is refreshing after my slump at the end of 2019. Reviewing is a whole different story… whoops. And for some reason I had a ton of rereads this month? Which was kind of fun!

Here are the books I read in February:

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  1. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (reread, audio): 
  2. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher (BOTM): ★.5
  3. The Wicked King by Holly Black (reread, audio): ★★
  4. Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin (ARC): 
  5. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (reread, audio): 
  6. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Dragons and Tea Book Club Pick): ★.5
  7. Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (2019 backlist): ★★
  8. Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (reread, audio): ★★
  9. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (buddy read with Amy, audio): 
  10. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: 
  11. Recursion by Black Crouch (BOTM, 2020 backlist):

How many books did you read this month?

xoxo

Jen

February Haul

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of the month already! I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping my hauls low, which makes my bank account suuuuper happy. We’ll just forget that I went a little wild with my BOTM selections this month…

Here are the books I hauled in February:

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  1. Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
  2. Anna K by Jenny Lee – BOTM
  3. The Holdout by Graham Moore – BOTM
  4. You Are Not Alone by Hendricks & Pekkanen – BOTM

How many books did you haul in February?

xoxo

Jen

ARC Review: Foul Is Fair

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Title: Foul Is Fair

Author: Hannah Capin

Release Date: Feb 18, 2020

Publisher: St Martin’s Press – Wednesday Books

Pages: 336

Rating: ★★★★

Review:

 ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 “Fair is foul and foul is fair”

I know I’m late on this review. This book was released on February 18th, and I finished it a few days before that. But I couldn’t write this review. Don’t get me wrong – I sat down more times than I can count to start it, and ended up staring at a blank page. I’m struggling now, and it’s been well over a week since I’ve finished it. But that’s the way this story left me: speechless.

Foul Is Fair follows Elle and her three best friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer beginning with the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen. Elle and her coven are glittering, powerful, and ruthless – the rule their LA world with an iron fist and no regrets. Boys hate to love them and girls want to be them. Until. Until the night of Elle’s birthday, and they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. And the golden boys choose the wrong girl for a night of “fun”.

Determined to wreck her own vengeance, Elle forms a plan with her coven: she’ll transfer to St Andrews and destroy them from within, taking them down one by one. And the girls will spare no mercy while they do it.

Before I go any further, I would like to applaud the author for providing an entire list of content warnings HERE and honestly, if there was ever a book that’s needed a list, THIS IS IT. I mean this with my whole heart: if any of these triggers are challenging for you, read this book with caution. It does not pull any punches.

This book gripped me from the very first page. Elle and her coven have such a feeling of magic about them, for a world that isn’t in a fantasy book. They create their own power, and control their own fate. They are there for each other through thick and thin, no matter the cost. Their loyalty flirts with insanity, and I was absolutely living for it.

“They are mine and I am theirs.”

Beyond the characters, the writing was gorgeous. This story was full of so many emotions, and they came through so perfectly on the page. I felt what Elle was feeling, and I rooted for her, no matter how brutal her plans were. The writing is gripping and dark and twisted, but so full of power.

“We’re magic. I can feel it right now in the dark. We’re invisible when we need to be and then so firework-bright no one can look away. We’re patience and brilliance. We never forget.We never forgive.”

I don’t know what I expected going into this book, but whatever it was, that isn’t what I got. What I got was a novel so full of vengeance and rage and power and destruction that I could feel it inside my chest. This is not a novel of forgiveness or redemption or healing and moving on. This is a book about revenge, and taking back what’s yours by whatever means necessary. This is a story of brutality, of ruthlessness, of getting even, even if that means burning it all down in your wake. And I loved every single second of it.

Foul Is Fair released on February 18, 2020.

*All quotations are taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication.

February Pick: BOTM

I know I’ve been terrible about posting anything on here lately, so these Feburary picks are coming a bit late in the month. Hopefully we’ll get back on track in March? Hope springs eternal.

Anyway, I went a little wild with my February picks, and I was pretty impressed with the choices this month! These are the ones I went with:

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The Holdout by Graham Moore

Goodreads Synopsis

Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee

Goodreads Synopsis

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Goodreads Synopsis

Why I Picked Them:

Honestly, the hard part of this month was narrowing down to which books I wanted to pick. The Hendricks and Pekkanen book was a given for me – I read An Anonymous Girl and was sold on this duo forever and for always. And as soon as the synopsis of The Holdout mentioned Serial, I knew I was doomed. Anna K almost didn’t make the cut, but I’ve heard such great things that I couldn’t resist. Someone help me and put me in time-out…I need to stop ordering three books. Whoops.

What’d you pick this month?

If you haven’t tried BOTM yet but have been thinking about it, here’s a link that I believe gets you a free book with your first try!

xoxo

Jen

Down the TBR #41

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Down the TBR Hole was created by Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to help narrow down your TBR list on Goodreads by selecting 5 titles each week and deciding if you want to keep it on your TBR or get rid of it! I was inspired by Melanie @ Meltotheany and Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills to start this series. If you haven’t checked out any of these lovely blogs, do it NOW!

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here’s what’s on the chopping block this week:

ONE: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

I originally had added this to my TBR to support the author, and that’s still true – if this book crossed my path, I would read it for no other reason than to support them. BUT the reviews are definitely wishy-washy, and the synopsis isn’t jumping at me enough to make run and get it right this second.

VERDICT: DELETE – for now

TWO: Wayward Witch by Zoraida Cordova

I loved the first two books in this series, and definitely will be reading the third installment!

VERDICT: KEEP

THREE: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This sounds super cute and has gotten a LOT of great reviews. I’ll probably get to it eventually!

VERDICT: KEEP

FOUR: My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand

Loved the other ‘Jane’ book I’ve read, and definitely want to read all of the rest!

VERDICT: KEEP

FIVE: Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

This book sounds cute, but again, wasn’t jumping out at me when I reread the synopsis. I think it’s going to get cut from the lineup…for now.

VERDICT: DELETE

Have you read any of these? Let me know if I made any mistakes!

xoxo

Jen

Review: The Wives

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Title: The Wives

Author: Tarryn Fisher

Pages: 320

Rating: ★★★.5

[Goodreads Synopsis]

Review:

Secrets: I’m good at having them and keeping them.

It’s no surprise that Thursday is good at keeping secrets. She has to be – her husband has two other wives.

Thursday’s husband is a polygamist, but not in the traditional sense. Yes, Seth has three wives, but instead of living with all of them, he splits his time between them equally. Thursday has never met the other women, and doesn’t even know their names. But one day, she finds a piece of information – a name on a bill. Hannah. And thus begins her obsession.

Once she has this scrap of knowledge, Thursday can’t let it go. She HAS to know more about Seth’s mysterious other wives. Her investigation is obsessive and borderline stalking. Using a fake name, she manipulates her way into Hannah’s life and strikes up a friendship. But what’s that old saying? Curiosity killed the cat? Thursday may have bit off more than she can chew, and as she gets closer to Hannah, she realizes there may be a lot more that she doesn’t know about her husband than his other wives’ names.

This was such a highly anticipated read for me, and I really am hovering between 3.5 and 4 stars. The rest of this review may be a little spoiler-y, so if that isn’t for you, scroll away now!I’m going to try and be as vague as possible, but this book was a wild wild ride, and there may be some MILD spoilers below.

Let’s start with what I did like. This book was so incredibly fast-paced. I really had a hard time putting it down, and easily could have read it in one sitting. The whole premise was unique and captivating and hade my attention from page one. And talk about a ROLLERCOASTER. This book had me reeling from about the 50% mark. I stilldon’t truly know how I feel about it – which means this review is probably complete word vomit. Plus, every character as so flawed and morally grey, which you know is so on-brand for me.

We busy ourselves trying not to be lonely, trying to find purpose in careers, and lovers, and children, but at any moment, those things we work so hard to possess could be taken from us.

Ok, now for the big reason why I’m so conflicted on this book: I HATE the ‘unreliable narrator’ trend that seems to have seized mystery/thriller books in the past several years. It doesn’t help that that narrator is almost ALWAYS a woman. And when this book started to paint Thursday in that light, I was screaming “NO PLEASE NO” inside my head.

Now, I will say that despite the unreliable narrator aspect, it still ended in a way I did not expect, and there were still a few good twists and turns toward the end of the plot. And I do have to applaud the way the book approached mental illness and the effects emotional trauma can have on a person. However, proceed with caution: if miscarriages are triggering for you, look elsewhere for your reading material.

People treat being sick in the body as fine, normal, empathy-worthy; they’ll bring you soup and medicine, and press the back of their hand to your forehead. But if they think you’re sick in the mind, it’s different.

All right basically this review is just a big cluster because that’s how my mind felt after finishing this book. It was a bit far-fetched but wild enough that it left me mind-blown at the end. Obviously I’m still having difficulty figuring out if I even likedthis book, but if you’re in the mood for a fast-paced, unique psychological thriller, this one may be for you!

February TBR

Another month, another TBR that I probably won’t follow. WHOOPS. But it never hurts to try, try, try again, right??

Here are the ARCs that I’m really hoping to get to this month:

  • Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton (Jan 7)
  • Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin (Feb 18)
  • Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco (March 3)

Beyond that, here are the books that I’m HOPING to get to. Will it happen? Probably not, but I’m feeling optimistic.

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  • Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (a backlist 2019 read that I didn’t get to)
  • Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno (a backlist 2020 pick)
  • Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Dragons and Tea Bookclub pick for February)
  • A BOTM pick – but I haven’t decided which one yet. I’m eyeing Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. ANY SUGGESTIONS??

And that’s it, ya’ll! Have you read any of these? Which do I NEED to get to?

xoxo

Jen