Tuesday 8 March 2022

February 2022 Reading Wrap Up

Oh hi, looks like I'm back with a monthly wrap up after 4 months. Life is crazy and therefore I have next to no time to draft blog posts even though I am still reading. Blog posts may be sporadic but I'm excited to talk about all the books I read this month, all - of them. 


The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue

I'm back borrowing books from the library and I kicked off my month with this dark mystery told in alternating timelines - a girls boarding school in the 90's and the modern timeline of a journalist investigating the disappearance of one of the girls and a teacher. This definitely had a gripping quality too it, it focuses heavily on female friendships, jealousy and obsession in teenage girls, themes that I find fascinating. The writing style is quite literary with lots of references to religion, literature and art. I found it quite slow at times but overall I really enjoyed the semi-gothic, suspenseful feel of it. 

I originally got this as an ARC on Netgalley but time got away from me and I fell massively behind with reading/reviewing all of the books on there. This has had massive praise since it's release and been included on many essential YA reading lists and rightly so. Another book set in the 90's, this time in California during the LA riots. We follow a black teenage girl attending a prestigious, mainly white high school and how she now sees herself, her friends and her family during the violence that breaks out. This was an emotional, eye-opening story that I gained a lot from. It's difficult to read at times with the stark look at racism and police brutality but it was really well told and it's a book I think everyone should pick up. 

The Mystwick School of Musicraft (Mystwick #1) by Jessica Khoury      

My main audiobook listen of the month was this incredibly fun and magical middle grade about a young girl who finds herself attending a school for kids who can create magic with musical instruments and her attempts to prove that she belongs there. I really enjoyed this one; it had such a warm, enchanting vibe that made this an easy listen. I loved the premise, the characters were sweet and the mischief that occurs had me highly entertained. I will say that the audiobook narrator does do a questionable British and Australian accent though...

Camp Cacophony (Mystwick #0.5) by Jessica Khoury   

I then went ahead and listened to the prequel novella that was also available on Audible. Just over an hour long, this is set before Amelia sets off for Mystwick. Her grandmother has sent her to a sports camp to try and persuade her to try other hobbies but when bizarre disasters start happening only Amelia's magic can help. This was still really cute but it just didn't hold my attention as much as the first full book did but still a nice entry to the series and a fun introduction to our main character. 

The Closed Door and Other Stories by Dorothy Whipple    

A short story collection that I grabbed at random from the library having not read anything from this author before but I noticed it was published by Persephone Books who are a champion in bringing back forgotten female authors. Having been originally published between the 1930's to the 1960's, these stories mainly focus on how daughters and wives of that era didn't have the freedom that we experience now. So many of the women in these stories feel confined and limited to what they can do and where they can go due to being a woman and automatically needing the permission of their parents/husbands. Some of the stories were more interesting then others, I particularly liked The Handbag and Family Crisis.          

Boy Parts by Eliza Clark     

This was a seriously fucked up book that shocked and had me completely in awe of this author's willingness to completely turn things on it's head. Irina is a photographer that takes photos that are explicit and often exploitative of young men she finds on the street. Over 200 pages we experience Irina's lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, casual sex and her cold manipulation towards her family and friends. No one in this book is particularly nice but I was still fascinated by these destructive characters. It definitely went to a place I wasn't expecting (my mouth was hanging open!!) and was completely horrifying at times with it's graphic descriptions. Don't go into this one blind if you're really squeamish!  

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton   

If you want a gay love story set in the middle of a zombie apocalypse then look no further then Wranglestone. Set in an isolated island community that fends off the undead in the middle of winter, it was the perfect amount of chilling action mixed with a romance that gave me all the feels. I adored the main character Peter, he's such a cinnamon roll, and how he grew from a quiet, na├»ve boy into someone determined to protect the ones he loves at any cost. The stakes here are high, the characters felt truthful and I never felt my interest wane. Overall, a really solid YA horror that gripped me from the start. 

What did you read in February? Leave a comment below. Happy Reading!

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