Hello and welcome! So I’m here writing my second wrap up for the year and I’m wondering how we got here so quickly. I read four novels and one novella this month, and DNF’d two other novels. I also watched three Korean dramas, and did a ton of bullet journaling/digital planning, so watch out for related posts in March if you’re interested.
Books I Read
Stain by A. G. Howard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in early March)
Retelling of The Princess and the Pea with little mermaid and other fairytale vibes. Lush descriptions. Retains fairytale atmosphere. All about found family and embracing your scars. Bawled my eyes out because I loved Crony so much.
CW: Violence, child abuse
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There was positive disability representation, which I really appreciated. As a person with disabilities it is quite uplifting to read about characters who are more than their disabilities, while still acknowledging the difficulties and limitations they face. I loved the side characters. I loved the main characters. I liked Kemmerer’s interpretation of the curse. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the ‘twist’ that continues the story into the sequel. I thought it could have been a standalone.
Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in March)
Retelling of The Snow Queen set in an Asian coded land. Had huge gender diversity. Nuawa is a gladiator, Lussadh is general, and they’re both quite serious, brooding characters. Dark and enthralling magic system where ghosts provide energy to power cities.
Alcestis by Katherine Beutner DNF 65%
The pace was quite slow. When Alcestis finally made her sacrifice for her husband, she ends up being some sort of sex slave for a creepy goddess. Wasn’t a fan of the direction it was going so I quit.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in March)
This is more like a 3.5 stars. I wish I could have rated this much higher than I did, but my expectations were ridiculously high, so I thought there would be a lot more to love. That being said, this is a good book. The writing is easy to read. I liked the exploration of themes surrounding family and identity. Magic system was simple but interesting. The worldbuilding was good. Has LGBT rep. I understood both main characters, but I found that I wasn’t really that connected to them emotionally.
The Silver Handled Knife by Frances Thomas DNF 16%
YA Historical Fiction
Retelling of the Oresteia from Electra’s point of view. Writing seemed to be for a younger YA audience than I usually read (I’m not saying it’s too YA, I’m saying it’s closer to Middle Grade and I just don’t enjoy that personally). The plot was like reading a superficial summary of the original myth, and it jumped around a bit at the start. I felt no connection to the main character, so I wasn’t invested in what she was narrating.
Crimson Bound by Rosalind Hodge ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in March)
Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in a French inspired world. I liked the mythology, it had a mixture of Christian inspired beliefs mixed with pagan ones. Easy to read. The characters were well crafted and I enjoyed the relationships between them. The themes revolved around regret and salvation, and were explored thoughtfully.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
I DNF’d this books last year, but have decided to give it a second chance because the worldbuilding was interesting and the second book is apparently much better. It’s about a necromancy, monsters, and magical geisha (called asha).
This non-fiction book, written by academic Dorothy Ko, charts the lives of artisans, scholars and other workers connected with the production of inkstones during the Qing dynasty. In doing so, she explores not only the material culture of the period, but also the political, artistic, social and economic influences.
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
This is a retelling of both Swan Lake and Snow White & Rose Red. Blanca and Roja are from a family cursed by swans. Every generation one sister is turned into a swan. There’s LGBTQI and Latinx representation.
My Love From the Star/ You Who Came From the Stars (rewatch) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Fantasy/Romantic Comedy starring Gianna Jun & Kim Soo-Hyun
Gianna Jun plays a top actress (haha) who ends up getting involved in a scandal, and she develops a relationships with her neighbour, who is a serious straight laced alien from the stars. Their romance is adorable, Gianna Jun is hilarious, and Kim Soo-Hyun is phenomenal.
Moonlight Drawn by Clouds/ Love in the Moonlight ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Historical Romance starring Park Bo-Gum & Kim Yoo-Jung
This is a pretty standard story of a girl dressing as a boy to make money in the Joseon period, who catches the attention of a rich boy (who happens to be the crown prince). She ends up pretending to be a eunuch at the palace, and hilarious hijinks ensue. The romance was cute, and I liked the friendships among the main characters. Also Park Bo-Gum has such a gorgeous face.
Oh my Venus (rewatch) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Romantic Comedy starring Shin Min-Ah & So Ji-Sub
This features a romance between a lawyer with hypothyroidism, and a personal trainer/chaebol. It is seriously the cutest thing ever. The supporting characters are hilarious, and the message about weight/beauty was well executed. I liked that the emphasis was on being healthy, rather than thin.
She Was Pretty (Korean drama)
The Empress Ki (Korean drama)
Catch up on my blog posts
Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes
YouTube videos I liked
Bookish Names You May Be Mispronouncing by Kazzie Athena
Cocoa Daisy March Unboxing by Rachel Blundell
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James In-Depth Book Review (non-spoiler) by Beautifully Bookish Bethany
10 Worst SFF Tropes by Elliot Brooks
Reacting to your assumptions by Piera Forde
Blog posts I liked
The Cold is in her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale by Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads
Review: We Set the Dark on Fire by Kaitlyn @ Kaitlyn Gosiaco
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco by Beatrice @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson Review by Chloe @ The Elven Warrior
We Are More Than Our Marginalisations by Fadwa @ Word Wonders
Reviewing bad LGBT Books: A Conflict by Hollie @ Hollieblog
Top 10 Bookish Things That Drive Me Nuts by Amanda @ Metalphantasmreads
Writing pet peeves | things I hate to encounter in books by Jolien @ The Fictional Reader
50 book recommendations for Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019 by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books
Binding of Bindings: Ball Gowns & Royals by Jenaca @ jenacidebybibliophile
Book Recs: 10 Quietly Magical Books by Charlotte @ Reads Rainbow
Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like To Visit by Chloe @ The Elven Warrior
T10T: Fictional Places I’d Like To See by Acqua @ Acquadimore Books
Top Ten Tuesday// Bookish places I’d like to visit by Kate @ Reading Through Infinity
I Font It That Way// How To Choose The Right Font For Your Blog by Kat @ Novels and Waffles
How in the World I Make My Graphics // A Step- By- Step Tutorial by Kat @ Novels and Waffles
My Rebranding Journey + Four Things To Ask Yourself While Rebranding by Kat @ Novels and Waffles
Most Anticipated March Releases
The Fever King by Victoria Lee
Set in a future America where a magical viral plague threatens humanity, our hero Naom is changed by the magic. Now, as a technopath, he becomes involved with the elite of the nation Carolinia.
The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale
I am obsessed with Greek mythology retellings, and this looks like a really interesting and unique take on the Medusa myth.
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
YA Historical Fantasy
Sherwood is based on the premise that Robin of Locksley is dead, and his fiancé, Maid Marian, has to step into his shoes to help the people of Nottingham. How? By becoming Robin Hood!
What did you read this month? What new releases are you looking forward to reading? Do you like Korean dramas? Let me know in the comments below!