There aren’t enough days in February. There really aren’t. That being said, it was a great reading month. I read a total of eight books, which is the most I’ve ever read in a month. Technically, I’m still reading the eighth one which ties back into what I said about there being not enough days. I could have finished A Gathering Of Shadows before the end of the month if I had at least two more days to read it.
It’s also been a great blogging month. I published more posts, doubled my stats and changed my theme to one that I’m finally happy with. I’m trying to be more active on here; I’d like to post at least one discussion a month (since they’re pretty fun to write) and also participate in Diversity Spotlight Thursday soon (which you can read about here.) I’m not sure how successful I’ll be since I have so many deadlines to meet in March, but at least I’ll have a new Ed Sheeran album to drown in my sorrows.
Compared to the previous month, deciding on the following three books didn’t require much thought. The first, I have been anticipating ever since it was announced. I don’t read much non-fiction but I adore Lily Collins so this was definitely making my list. The second, I’ve been looking forward to since discovering that the protagonist and I are of similar ethnic background. Even though it’s middle grade, which I also don’t usually read, this is the only book I know of where a character reflects my cultural identity. The third is mostly on this list because it wins all the awards for the most beautiful book ever. In terms of the narrative itself, I’ve read very mixed reviews. I think it’s one of those marmite books (You either love it or you hate it?)
UNFILTERED BY LILY COLLINS
March 7th 2017
In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, actress Lily Collins is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.
For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.
THE GAUNTLET BY KARUNA RIAZI
March 28th 2017
A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.
When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.
Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?
STRANGE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR
March 28th 2017
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around — and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?