• obsessedwallflower

Recent Reads | January + February 2021

Even though I have been reading an average of one book per week, for some reason this year I constantly feel like I'm in a reading slump. But I did read some great books in the past couple of months and I can't wait to share my thoughts with all of you.

JANUARY


1) The Song Rising, Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #3)


This almost made it into my 2020 reads, as I finished it on January 1st. If you've been following me anywhere, you'll know that the Bone Season series has truly made its way into my heart and I don't see it leaving anytime soon. If you don't know, The Bone Season is a dystopian/fantasy series set in Scion, a republic known by its authority and its goal to rid the world of clairvoyants, deemed by them to be unnatural. We follow Paige Mahoney, a very rare type of clairvoyant working in the criminal underworld of Scion's London. In this third book, the stakes are much higher and my poor Paige goes through so much, I just wanted to hold her. This world is so beautifully crafter, I adore Samantha's writing, and this series has made its way into my favourite series of all time. Truly a page-turner and I always finish one book wanting to read the next one. Content warnings for torture, revolution, war, violence, being in captivity and drowning. 4.5/5 ⭐️


2) The Dawn Chorus, Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #3.5)


Because I've been obsessed with The Bone Season, I obviously also read every novella that exists in this series. And let me tell you, The Dawn Chorus is tiny but it's powerful. After all the horrible things that happen in book three, I was so pleased with how Samantha dealt with the trauma and the aftermath of such horrible things. I don't want to spoil book three, but I think Paige's PTSD was portrayed in such a true and real nature, it's definitely the highlight of this novella. Well, that and seeing one of my favourite relationships in a setting without any war or rebellion, just them both being with one another. Content warnings for recovering from trauma and torture, substance abuse and drowning. 4/5 ⭐️


3) Venna, J. J. Blacklocke (The Tradepoint Saga #0.5)


You might remember that last year I was sent an eARC of Refuge, by J. J. Blacklocke, in exchange for a review (that you can read right here). This series follows the Vennan delegation, invited to a trading station for the anniversary of when they first made the trip to Tradepoint. That is until Gredin, their translator receives a message from the Power that their homeworld has been destroyed. Because I was so fascinated by this world and the Vennans, I wanted to read the prequel novella (I wasn't asked to do so), especially since one of the things I wanted more of in book one was an expansion of their culture and their upbringing. This follows important moments from Gredin's childhood, up until she was invited to attend the event. Some of the scenes in this do appear in book two, Aftershock, so it's not that important to the story, but I did think it was a nice addition to this world. 3/5 ⭐️


4) Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give, #0.5)


Okay, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year (you can find the full but very tiny list right here) and it did not disappoint. This is a prequel to the very beloved The Hate U Give, one of my favourite books of 2020, and in it, we follow a teenage Maverick as he's navigating being a King Lord and becoming a parent. I loved being back in Garden Heights, seeing how Maverick became the dad he is in THUG and it was everything I hoped it would be. Thomas's writing is flawless and so immersive, and I definitely need to pick up On The Come Up as it's her only book I've yet to read. Content warnings for substance abuse and drug trafficking, systemic racism, incarceration and death of a loved one. 4.5/5 ⭐️


FEBRUARY


1) Aftershock, J. J. Blacklocke (The Tradepoint Saga #2)


As I said previously, I was asked to review book one in the Tradepoint Saga and, because I really enjoyed the world and the characters, I requested the ARCs for books two and three as well. Aftershock picks up right after Refuge leaves off, and it's just as intriguing. If you want more in-depth thoughts, you can read my review right here, but I'm still fascinated by the world. Because this is a very character-driven series, it feels repetitive at times and I wish it had expanded on some of the twists a bit more, but overall I really enjoyed this. The writing sucks you right in and I can't wait to read the third book in this series and follow the Vennan journey even further. Content warnings for recovering from trauma/the loss of loved ones. 3.25/5 ⭐️


2) With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo


Okay, I *think* this is my favourite book I've read so far this year. Maybe? *hides from The Mask Falling*. I read Acevedo's first book, The Poet X, last year, and I still catch myself thinking about how much I loved it. So I obviously picked up her second book and it did not disappoint. This one (unlike her other books) is not written in verse, but I still got the audiobook because it's narrated by the author and I could listen to Elizabeth Acevedo's voice all day long. This book is about Emoni, a 17-year old who's juggling being a mom and following her dream of becoming a chef. It is beautifully written, I loved the characters with all my heart, and I couldn't put it down. It's also got an extremely cute romance that had me grinning from ear to ear and I finished this with a very happy and very full heart. 5/5 ⭐️


3) The Mask Falling, Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #4)


I was expecting to pick this book up as soon as it came out, but I did wait a couple of weeks before diving in. I was in a bit of a reading slump and did not want to start this and wait weeks to finish because I knew it'd hinder my enjoyment however, I shouldn't even have worried about that. Like all the other books in this series, I simply couldn't put it down. I loved exploring Paris with Paige and following her on this journey through the French underworld, but my favourite thing was seeing how Samantha explored Paige's past trauma. If I'd already loved what she did in The Dawn Chorus, this managed to be even better. What I love about this series is that you can clearly picture every single thing as if it's real, and I felt like these characters were right here with me. It did end on one of the biggest cliffhangers and I have no idea how I'll manage to wait for book five (Samantha has yet to start writing it). This destroyed me, ripped me to shreds, and I loved every bit of it. Content warnings for recovering from torture and trauma, being in closed/small spaces, drowning, violence, revolution and war. 5/5 ⭐️


4) Get a Life, Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert (The Brown Sisters #1)


Maybe it was my suffering after The Mask Falling, maybe it was the hype, but I finally picked up one of the most loved romances at the moment, Get a Life, Chloe Brown. This is about Chloe, a young woman that suffers from chronic pain and, after a near-death experience, decides to create a "get a life" list because she realised she hadn't done that much in her 31 years of life. After some turn of events, she gets help from Red, her building's superintendent, and there starts a beautiful romance. I enjoyed this quite a lot and I do plan on reading the rest of the Brown Sisters series, but I maybe didn't love it as much as everyone says. It's a very fluffy and heartwarming romance, the depictions of chronic illness and insecurity were handled so well, as were the themes of past toxic relationships, and it was a good pick me up. I will say, I listened to this on audiobook, and although I really liked the narrator, I absolutely hated her voice for Red. He sounded like a middle-aged man and it'd always take me a while to get used to it. Overall I still really enjoyed this, I just think it takes a bit more for me to fall in love with a romance book. Content warnings for mention of abusive relationships. 4/5 ⭐️


I'm pretty pleased with all I read so far this year. As I said, I'm not reading as much as I would've liked but I feel like I'm through the reading slump now and in the mood to read all the things. Let me how many books you've read so far this year and which one was your favourite.


Love,

N.


Xx

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