If you’d like to watch my Booktube video about some of the books I read in February, please click here. However, you can read on for a full list of my Feb reads.
I read six books in February and re-read two. Generally the month didn’t stand out for me in terms of reading, especially compared to January when I found a few new favourites. However, I did find my favourite book of the year so far (although it was originally published in 2012…)
1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Premise: Mare Barrow lives in a world ruled by Silvers – people with magical powers and silver blood. However, the Silvers discover that Mare is red-blooded but has her own magical ability. They hide her in plain sight as a forgotten Silver princess in their palace, while a Red rebellion wages around them.
My Rating: 3/5
This got off to a great start, with good characters and world-building and an exciting writing style, but fizzled out in the middle and didn’t really pick up again. The plot grew predictable and Mare lost her spark, more interesting in her love triangle rather than helping her family and friends.
I’m not going to give up with this series because the writing itself is good and there’s potential for an interesting story, but Glass Sword is not a priority for me right now. (I also resent buying it because I have the paperback version of Red Queen and the Glass Sword paperback is massive compared to it!)
2. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (re-read)
Premise: Jason Grace turns up at high school with no memory at all. He discovers he is a demigod, and goes to Camp Half-Blood with new friends Piper and Leo – although they think they have known him for weeks. Soon they embark on a quest to stop a giant from rising to power and to rescue Hera, queen of the gods.
My Rating: 4/5
I enjoyed this so much more on the second read. The first time, I had just finished the Percy Jackson series and was looking for anything to quench my thirst for moooorrrreeeee.
I assumed Heroes of Olympus would be perfect for this, but the Roman mythology didn’t interest me as much and I was disappointed at the lack of appearances from the bigger characters from the previous five books.
I went into the re-read with a completely different frame of mind, and so paid more attention to the story and found the new characters to be really interesting in their own right. (But Jason Grace is still not a patch on Percy Jackson.)
3. The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn
Premise: Lady Jane Grey has been forced on to the throne and then forced off it, and is being held in the Tower of London to await her trial. The story is told through the eyes of her attendant, Elizabeth.
My Rating: 4/5
I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction but haven’t picked any up for a while as I’ve been more into YA lately. However, my sister encouraged me to read up on Lady Jane Grey as she was disgusted to hear I didn’t know much about her!
I loved the main character, who is Lady Jane’s attendant while she is imprisoned in the Tower. She has quite a modern tone, which some people might criticise for inaccuracy but I liked this fresher take. She was a little flawed and selfish but that made her feel more real. This has encouraged me to get back into my historical fiction and I’ve bought another book by Dunn (this time about Jane Seymour) since I liked her writing style so much.
4. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Premise: August Pullman was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder that caused severe facial deformities. Because of all the surgeries he’s had to have, he has always been home-schooled, but now his parents have decided to send him to a proper high school, and Auggie must learn to cope with the stares, all day, every day.
My Rating: 5/5
I’ve already made it quite clear how much I loved this book in my somewhat gushing review, so I’ll make this brief: it’s amazing, go read it if you haven’t already. The story will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading – I had to read it again almost straight away because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. (This is my favourite book of the year so far, by the way!)
5. There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Premise: Bradley has severe behavioural problems and has to go and see his school counsellor. She is the only person in his life who sees past Bradley’s bad behaviour and encourages him to be his better self.
My Rating: 2/5
This was a bit of a disappointment. I can see what it was trying to do but it missed the mark for me. I found Bradley’s mood swings and behaviour frustrating, but his switch to ‘good boy’ didn’t feel believable to me either. I did enjoy the book in places, but I wouldn’t ever reach for it again.
6. Splintered by A. G. Howard
Premise: Alyssa is descended from the little girl whom Alice in Wonderland was inspired by. All the women in their family have suffered from Wonderland delusions, and Alyssa’s mother is due to start electrotherapy as her condition worsens. Then Alyssa begins to realise that there may be more truth to Wonderland than everyone thinks, and she sets her sights on proving everyone wrong and getting Alison out of the asylum.
My Rating: 3.5/5
I am planning on doing a full review of this book so I won’t go into too much detail here. What I will say is that, like Red Queen, this book had a very good start but then it petered out in the middle and focused too much on the romance. However, most of it was a very exciting read.
7. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
Premise: Elena is a huge Star Wars fan and wants to wait in line for The Force Awakens to ensure that she is one of the first in the cinema when the film comes out. However, when she arrives, there are only two other people camped outside. She has four days in which to conserve her phone battery, find new and ingenious ways to empty her bladder, and maybe find a boyfriend.
My Rating: 5/5
Review – This short story is similar to Fangirl in that it will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling if you’ve ever been into Harry Potter, Star Wars or any other franchise with a huge, devoted community of fans. This was a light-hearted, uplifting read that was perfect while I was trying to work out which novel to read next.
8. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (re-read)
Premise: Percy Jackson has woken up with no memories, except that he has been trained by a talking wolf and that he must reach Camp Jupiter, where he meets Frank, son of Mars, and Hazel, daughter of Pluto. Soon they embark on a quest to stop the giant Alcyoneus from destroying the world.
My Rating: 4/5
After finishing my re-read of The Lost Hero, I went straight on to the second book in the series convinced that I’d really enjoy it. Weirdly, though, I had to force myself through a few parts of this book – so I enjoyed The Lost Hero more on the second read and The Son of Neptune less.
I’m not sure what it was that didn’t hold my attention, because I really like all three main characters. Maybe the format of the books in the Percy Jackson universe are just starting to feel a little tired now. (I will definitely be buying The Trials of Apollo when it comes out, though!)
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