Remember when I said that I wouldn’t read a lot in February because it’s the shortest month? I was very wrong!
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Say hello to my new favourite book, or at least one of my new favourites, because Call Me By Your Name was absolutely stunning. For the most part this takes place over one summer where Elio’s family has a guest and… well, that all you really need to know. Aciman’s prose has this wonderfully magical quality that transports you summer in Italy, and bears a stunningly immortal transience woven throughout. This is writing, real writing, beautiful writing, that reflects the pleasure and pain of one summer, and life beyond. All I want is to read this book for the rest of my life.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I don’t often re-read books so soon and, while I do not regret it, I’m not sure there is much more for me to add to my original thoughts, and to my full review. I will say that reading it a little slower this time, I actually understood some of the more complex plot aspects, and relished the political implications. Also, I liked Jude, out MC a lot more. The thing is with The Cruel Prince, is that it is a slow burn, both in terms of plot and character development, but if you go into it with that in mind, then you should be okay. I am dying to find out just how Jude is going to deal with the aftermath of some of her decisions, and can’t wait for the sequel!
Batman: Year One by Miller/ Mazzuccelli 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This was another re-read for me this month, and just something that I picked up on a whim after watching Batman Begins. This was my very first superhero graphic novel, and it really is a great stepping off point for anyone who (like myself) is anxious or confused about where to start in this genre. As Year One tracks what is essentially Batman’s origin story, you don’t need any prior knowledge of the DC Universe, you don’t even need to know who Batman is, because that is what this book is. The artwork is simple enough to follow, but lovely in it’s own right, and a adore the colour scheme which really works in tandem with the narrative. This is definitely more toward the Nolan end of the spectrum than the Burton end, in terms of films, as it adopts a much darker tone, however, Batman is a darker story, and that is why I love this character.
Clockwork Prince (TID #2) by Cassie Clare 🌟🌟🌟🌟
You know I love the Shadowhunter chronicles, and you know I love The Infernal Devices, so I can only gush about this book. Since way back when I first read this trilogy, I was always a Jem girl, and I still am, though I do not actively dislike Will, as I once did. Regardless of who I ship, or don’t ship, Clockwork Prince is an excellent middle book because Cassie doesn’t just let sleeping plots lie. Of course there is a considerable amount of time spent sans the antagonist, but you always feel that treat looming weather travelling to Yorkshire, or eating dinner in the institute. And then there’s a love triangle to die for. What more does a girl need?
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is another book that it’s pretty much common knowledge I love, and while I will admit that it took me a while to get back into the swing of things, I still love this book. Red Queen is the first book in a YA fantasy quartet about a would in which there are two classes of people. The ruling class, the silvers have certain abilities, such as controlling fire or manipulating metal, while the reds, who have no such talents, are forced into serving roles and the army. It’s not the most unique world, and our MC is not the most unique, however the plot twist are what make this book great, and turn a certain someone ito one of my favourite characters. For more on this series you an check out my Series-So-Far review which I wrote around this time last year.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K Rowling 🌟🌟🌟
It’s Harry’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but all is is well as muggle born students find themselves under attack, and the mysterious Chamber of Secrets is open once more. My favourite part of Chamber of Secrets, without a doubt, is Professor Gildreoy Lockhart because he gives us some much needed comic relief during the surprisingly dark goings on at Hogwarts. I can’t wait for his cameo in Order of the Phoenix. I don’t know what else I can say, without coming off as repetitive, but Chamber still has that nostalgic feel to it, with everything more or less tied up with a bow by the final page.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler 🌟🌟
Oh, dear. Let’s start with pointing out that this is part of a series of book by different authors that retell various Shakespearean plays. Vinegar Girl is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, which I happened to read during my first year of my undergrad. It’s a very problematic play for various reasons, particularly the way in which women are treated, and is one of the reasons it’s rarely taught in a classroom setting. Given that Vinegar Girl is a contemporary take on the story, I was expecting Katherine to come across as strong and empowering, but was so disappointed. I thought she was treated horribly, both by her father and by her husband, and nothing seems to have been changed from the original. Such a disappointment, when 10 Things I Hate About You (an alternative retelling) did it so well.
The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Edgington and I.N.J Culbard 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I had so much fun with this graphic novel! As you can probably tell this is an adaptation of the famous Sherlock Holmes story, involving a family curse, and a demon hound from hell. There was a real fact paced vibe going for the story, which you rarely get in Victorian fiction, which was helped by keeping clear chapters, which I assume are taken from the original. I also, loved the art style that gave me of 1950s, pulp fiction vibes. However, I will admit that I haven’t read the original (yet) so I cannot speak for accuracy.
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is the second book off my 2017 ManBooker TBR, and I was very nervous considering how much I loved Lincoln in the Bardo. I really had nothing to worry about because History of Wolves was an astonishing debut novel. The narrative follows Mattie, and focuses on her involvement as a baby-sitter for a family that have recently moved to this isolated community in Minnesota. Fridlund does an astonishing job of keeping the narrative balances between the fragmented narrative of Mattie’s childhood, and her current situation, and is without a doubt an author to watch. If the other books are like these two, then it was a very right competition!
A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
While I may claim that I am re-reading in anticipation for ACOFAS, it’s just an excuse to re-read one of my favourite trilogies. This is another books, where I feel like I have reviewed it a million and one times, but I’m not bored of it yet! In case you’ve been under a rock since 2015 ACOTAR is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, that follow Feyre, a huntress who is forced to live in an enchanted faerie mansion. Since this books is so tiny, compared to the other, two I do see it as a long prologue, because I am more excited for the Night Court action than I ever am to spend time in the Spring Court.
Clockwork Princess (TID #3) by Cassie Clare 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I feel like I have been re-reading a lot recently, and Clockwork Princess is no exception, but I really cannot believe how much I cried reading this book. You would have thought after three previous reads I would have it together by now. Apparently not. While you could argue that the previous book is a little slow, this monkey makes up for it and then some. I adore the way that this story calls back to other Victorian fiction, while still feeling modern and fresh. It’s this trilogy, not TMI, that made me fall in love with this world, and that is because they are so much better than the TMI series, and I will always be grateful to have read them.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This book is every Shakespeare nerd’s dream, and, unsurprisingly I adored it. M.L. Rio has an MA in Shakespearean studies (what goals!) and it shows, with a book that is as complex and clever as any one of the Bard’s plays. Filled with references, quotes, and dramatic conventions, If We Were Villains is the story of seven friends, all acting students at an elite arts school. I did have one little qualm, and that was that the characterisation is not as strong as it could be, and, at times, I couldn’t tell the character she apart. If that characterisation had been on point, then it really could have pushed the novel to another level, however I did enjoy it, and want to read it again, as well as future novels of Rio’s.
And there we are, all of the twelve books I managed to get through the February. I can’t believe I read so much, in such a short month. Go, me! My favourite was Call Me BY Your Name, by a long, long way, and I think it will be a from favourite for a long, long time.
Have you read any of these books and what did you think of them? If not what was your favourite book you read this month? Leave your answers down in the comments section!
Thanks for reading