February 2021 Wrap Up: a new favorite Black romance author and so much more

Hi everyone! I was in a bit of a reading slump during February, which is why I mostly read short books and especially romance books. This month a discovered a new favorite Black romance author, which was super exciting and that’s why I read 5 of her books in a row. Overall, february was a month of reading some amazing books by Blakc authors and I’m excited to share my thoughts aobut them with you.

Without further ado, here are the books I read in February:

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): I couldn’t stop reading this, it was SO GOOD! It was a very engaging read. I really liked the main characters, they were both very flawed but they put in the work and I really enjoyed the way they grew throughout the book. Their relationship starts really slow but I enjoyed the way it developed.

I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was a quick, entertaining novella. I particularly liked the main characters, they both had captivating and unique voices and great chemistry between them. I also liked the discussion about how someone’s past doesn’t have to define their entire lives. Lastly, there are some great side characters in this book and even a side romance which was a good addition.

I Think I Might Need You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): I really liked the main characters and the plot was very engaging. In the beginning, I was sure the chemistry was there between the two main characters, but they won me over and by the end, I was a huge fan of their relationship. The only issue I had was that the secret of who the baby’s dad was dragged a bit too long for such a short novella.

I Think I Might Want You by Christina C. Jones (3 stars): This was my least favorite book of the series. I liked Jemma, but I didn’t like Levi that much. The way he spoke didn’t feel natural at all and it was kind of pretentious. Also, it felt like Jemma spent the entire time going in circles, which wasn’t very entertaining to read about.

Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was such a fun book! A great hate to love romance, the main characters had so much chemistry and the banter between them was great. Also, I really enjoyed Jay’s relationship with his family as well as Reese’s relationship with her mom and Devin; including those relationships added a lot to the stories.

Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones (3.5 stars): This sounded like a book I would love, but sadly, it was only ok for me. I think mainly it had to do with the fact that I don’t like the “He acted like he hated her to hide that he liked her” trope, so in the beginning, I wasn’t that invested in the relationship. But also, there were some conflicts that were thrown in there but not really resolved, and something happens at the end that was unnecessary, didn’t work well, and made the ending feel abrupt.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore (3.5 stars): This was definitely not as good as the first book in the series. Mainly because the main characters were really unlikeable at times and because the connection and chemistry between them weren’t really there at the beginning. Nonetheless, the second half of the book is a lot stronger in terms of the romance. I enjoyed the subplot revolving around Lucie’s activism and the suffragette movement, and the discussions about how romantic love and feminist activism are not mutually exclusive.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (4 stars): This was a quick read, but it was very captivating and it accomplished a lot in terms of world-building and character development for such a short amount of pages. The concept is very interesting and the execution delivers on the promise of that concept.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (4 stars): This book has a great message about letting go of regrets and Matt Haig communicates that message through incredible writing. I’ll say that it never feels like the main character and her particular journey are the actual focus of the book, it feels like they a vehicle to deliver the message that Haig is trying to convey. But this doesn’t mean that the character and her journey are not an engaging part of the book, it’s simply that they are not the most important part.

In the beginning, Haig does a better job of making sure that reading about the different lives of the main character isn’t boring, but once the main character starts to stay longer in these lives, the book does drag a little. Especially, because the message of the book is so obvious that you know what the main character is going to discover and in which life she is going to end up

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo (5 stars): Ijeoma Oluo covers so many topics in a concise, clear and very smart way. I learned a lot, especially when it came to ways to reframe conversations and actions that can help in uncomfortable and hard situations when discussing race.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds (4,5 stars): This book was thoughtful, clear, and concise. It’s told in a tone and style that it’s easy to read and understand, the amount of skill that Jason Reynolds shows with the way he wrote this book is outstanding.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (4 stars): This is a powerful book that’s part essays and part memoir. It talks about the race issue in America in a way that it’s sobering and it does it through excellent writing. The way James Baldwin talks about different religions in this book and the link between religion, power, race and racism was very interesting.

Homie by Danez Smith (4 stars): This was a really good poetry collection about friendship, blackness, grief, politics, queerness, and community. As with every poetry collection, there are some poems that I liekd more than others but all of the poems in this collection are worth the read.

What is your favorite and least favorite book you read in February? Was February a good reading month for you?

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February TBR: books I want to read for Black History Month

Hi everyone! February is Black History Month and while I read books by Black authors all year (and you should too!), I wanted to put together a tbr that would help me make sure I don’t read only fantasy and romance books (which are my favorite genres). In 2021, I want to explore two genres a bit more and those genres are horror and non-fiction and I want to make sure I read diverse books within those genres, so I think this is a good way to start doing that. Which is why this tbr is fantasy, romance, horror and non-fiction.

Without further ado, here’s my tbr:

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin: I read the first book in the series for Black History Month 2020 and it’s finally time to read the sequel. This book is going to break my heart and I’m ready (I think).

A Phoenix First Must Burn: I have been meaning to read this for a while and this seemed like the perfect chance. I really wanted an anthology in this tbr as a way of discovering new authors, so I can pick up their other books later.

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole: I love Alyssa Cole’s romance books, so I’m excited to read her first attempt at a thriller/horror book. I have heard that the commentary this book makes on gentrification is on point, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson: This book sounds exactly like something I would enjoy, an atmospheric, quiet book about witches and it also involves a cult, which makes it sounds even more interesting.

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole: Another Alyssa Cole book on this list because I love her romance books, I haven’t read her lastest release and this seems like the perfect time to do it.

Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan: I have heard a lot of amazing things about this book and I’m looking forward to reading a book by a Black romance author that I have never read before.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi: I decided to read the shorter, more accesible version of this book first, because it’s very focused on the history of the United States and I’m not from the United States. But I may pick up the longer version later on.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: I have watched the documentary about James Baldwin, I have watched his speeches and commentary on youtube, and I have read some of his quotes, it’s finally time I read one of his books!

What are you planning to read for Black History Month? What are your favorite books by Black authors?

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February TBR: Black History Month + Latinx Book Club + Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! It’s time for my February tbr and I’m very excited to read the books I picked. Most of the books I’ll be reading in February are books by Black authors because February is Black History Month; I also included on my tbr the book pick of the Month for the Latinx Book Club, which is a book by an Afro-Latinx author; and lastly, I included 3 of my most anticipated releases of the year.

As I did in my January tbr, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. Next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

🔮⭐💫🌞 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This book has been on my tbr for so long, I have heard nothing but great things and I’m excited!

🌞⭐🦄 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor: I read the first two books in this series almost two years ago and I need to finally read the conclusion to the story.

🔥🌞⭐🦄 American Street by Ibi Zoboi: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads

🌞 ⭐A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: I have read and liked two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one, especially aince it seems to be the favorite of a lot of my friends

🔥🌞The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: one fo my most anticipated releases of the year since I love Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series. Release date: Fabruary 4th

🌞 ⭐🦄Queenie by Candice Carty Williams: This has been on my tbr for a year but the synopsis is resonating a lot with where I am in my life right now, so I can’t wait to read it.

🔮The King of Crows by Libba Bray: The Diviners Series is one of my all time favorite series and I can’t wait to read the final book. Release date: February 4th

🔮🔥 We Unleash The Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia: The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2019, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Release date: February 25th

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett: This is the sixth book in this series and I have really enjoyed the previous books, so I’m really excited for this one. Release date: February 18th

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

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