Books,  Reading

February Reading Wrap

Hello. ๐Ÿ™‚

#1 – (Wicked Saints) – ya fantasy that promised to be bloody and fairytale-like – I’m sure it is but the writing style wasn’t working for me; I felt like someone was rambling in my ear and I didn’t care
#2 – (A Discovery of Witches) – adult urban fantasy with witches and vampires – issues with the writing style again; it was super wordy and I was just bored

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the books I don’t finish (though there might be). It’s that reading a book isn’t just about the story. It’s also about the experience. I may very well have ended up liking both of the books I quit reading this month, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed the experience. And I want both: a story I enjoy AND a good experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

9: Sea Witch
Author: Sarah Henning
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
I left a review. Read it if you want. In short, I didn’t like this. Not reading the sequel. I didn’t like the ending. It made me sad. Not sad for the characters. Sad for myself. Like, how sad is my life that I kept reading this book when I have better options that will actually bring joy into my life? Maybe I just love The Little Mermaid stories too much and I don’t like people messing with them. I did like the main character. There were a couple of other things I liked, but mostly, I thought this was juvenile. Half regular YA book, half something for 10 year olds. The writing itself was half decent, half awkward. 99% of the story takes place on land. I only finished it because I knew it wouldn’t take me that long to read it.

10: I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry
Author: Halsey
Genre: Poetry
Rating: 4 stars
If you don’t know, Halsey is a singer/songwriter. I’m only vaguely familiar with her music but it appears to be similar in tone to her songs. It’s kind of chaotic and melodramatic, but I thought it was good poetry. Some of it was very good, though I did have a few instances of this >>>๐Ÿ˜. I think it’s mostly about the different faces she wears and the different experiences she’s had. There’s a lot of going on, some of it awful. It’s very personal. I couldn’t really relate to the desperate pining she talked often about when it came to what sounded like several terrible relationships, but she’s a good writer.

11: Death Note: Black Edition, Volume 4
Author: Tsugumi Ohba, Illustrated by: Takeshi Obata
Genre: Manga/Horror
Rating: 4 stars
I can’t even with this series anymore!! The suspense is unbearable. I want to read ahead so bad, but the twists are so good and so fun. I don’t want to spoil it for myself. ^_^ Light has the weight of the world on his shoulders by the end of this volume. They skip ahead 4 years. Light is out of college and heading the investigation against himself. So meta. Now new players have entered the pictured. We’re in the endgame now. I needed to warm up to said new people and the fact that we skipped ahead 4 years, plus Light is becoming unhinged, which is so fun, but I love him. Probably more like 4.5 stars for me, but yeah. This is still so much fun.

12: The Wives
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3 stars
Thursday is married to Seth. Seth has two other wives and they’re not allowed to contact each other. But one day Thursday can’t help herself, and she meets wife #3 – Monday – aka Hannah – and Hannah has bruises, and Seth may not be who Thursday thinks he is. You guys…this book is a hot mess. The first half was SO good. I was so into this. And then, right in the middle, it’s like the author was like, “Bored now, let’s throw a (metaphorical) piranha into the story.” And it just spiraled into some awful, convoluted crap. The twist didn’t come out of nowhere. It was broadcasted just the right amount. You notice it, so you’re not blindsided, but I guess I was just hoping for the story not to “go there” and then it goes “there” and off a cliff. And I still couldn’t put the stupid book down. So three stars for keeping my interest, even though I feel like I’m being too generous. I can’t deny I was entertained. And I would read this again. LOL!

13: I’ve Loved You Since Forever
Author: Hoda Kotb, Illustrated by: Suzie Mason
Genre: Picture Book
Rating: 4 stars
Super short, but super cute with super cozy artwork.

14: Map of Shadows
Author: J.F. Penn
Genre: Dark Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
This was fine. It’s about this girl who’s a Mapwalker – she can travel through maps – so she can literally move across town or into the Borderlands (like a shadow world) by concentrating on a map of where she wants to go. The story was interesting, but the shorter length – it’s just over 200 pages – made the pacing too fast. The main character, who had never mapwalked before was suddenly amazing at it, because the pacing didn’t allow any room for error or stumbling. There’s new character and POV introduced more than halfway into the story, and this new guy and the main character are suddenly super into each other. The worldbuilding was just enough to tell the story, which made everything feel kind of shallow and half-baked, and there were two or three points of view that only popped up once or twice, and I just couldn’t connect to the story or the characters. None of the characters seemed to react in a natural way to all of the blood and violence around them, but it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, so we’re happy about that.

15: Death Note: Black Edition, Volume 5
Author: Tsugumi Ohba, Illustrated by: Takeshi Obata
Genre: Manga/Horror
Rating: 5 stars
This is probably more like 4.5 stars, but I really enjoyed the plot in this. We’re in the final stretch, so all the new players are playing directly into that. The people investigators are unnaturally good at everything, in a completely unbelievable way, which is a little irritating, and the quirks they have are making me dislike them, but it’s still a lot of fun overall.

16: Death Note: Black Edition, Volume 6
Author: Tsugumi Ohba, Illustrated by: Takeshi Obata
Genre: Manga/Horror
Rating: 5 stars
This gets 5 stars just because it was a great reading experience. Also, after going through SO much with this series, it was great to have it end in a very contained way. It was super chaotic in the middle. I will say, there is WAY too much exposition. The two main players are both pontificating all over the place, but I had a great time. I wish it had ended differently, but people are basic so there was no way it was going to end any other way. At least it was satisfying, and I had a lot of fun.

17: Atomic Habits
Author: James Clear
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
This had a lot of good information in it. The main concept I took away from this though is how our identity shapes our habits. Like how it’s easy for me to read because I identify as someone who reads books. So if I want to get up early in the morning, I need to start identifying as a person who gets up early in the morning. LOL! But yes, easy to read, easy to understand, and contains a lot of information on how to motivate yourself and get started.

18: Seige and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Book two in a Russian-inspired fantasy series. I don’t think it was suffering from middle book syndrome, exactly. It was more that this is mostly political “intrigue” and war stuff and those just aren’t my things. Also, Alina and Mal (protagonist and the main love interest) were basically silently and not so silently arguing the entire time, and while I held up a lot longer than I thought I would, it finally got to me about 100 pages from the end, and then I just wanted the story to be over. But it did get really exciting again right at the end. Much fun. I really liked it overall. Nikolai – a new character in this book – was just the best to be around, and I still somehow love Alina and Mal as well.


  • Tonja Drecker

    The first one has a gorgeous cover! Too bad, it wasn’t an awesome read. It looks like you weren’t impressed from many of the reads this month…but wow, you read a lot! Lol…why am I not surprised those horror mangas were right down your line? Hope all’s well! Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Krystal Jane

      I had a lot of fun with the books I did like, but Iโ€™m still kind of surprised I read that much. I watched all the Simpsonโ€™s Treehouse of Horror episodes on DisneyPlus last month. Lol!

  • Jodi

    I read Sea Witch about a year ago. I had asked people for recommendations for a “YA mermaid book” as I see very little in this genre and was curious as to how it would be done; a story in which most of it takes place underwater, you know? I was recommended Sea Witch and it didn’t come close to what I actually wanted. I ended up disappointed too. I don’t need a happy ending per say, but the ending of this book was so bleak that it made the whole book feel draining. Plus all the other things you said. I ended up not reading the sequel.

    I’m totally going to read The Wives now. I know it’s a train wreck but it sounds so dang interesting, lol. And also, I have no interest in Siege and Storm, but man is that cover beautiful! Do you buy hardcopies of every book you post here or are you reading most on Kindle?

    • Krystal Jane

      I have a couple of other mermaid books on my immediate TBR, one takes place mostly on land, one on a ship. Lol! No one wants to stay in the water apparently!

      You know, The Wives ended up being my favorite read of the month. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I havenโ€™t been unable to put a book down like that in quite a while. And it was so interesting! Even when I was like, โ€œWhat is going on here?!โ€ SO entertaining.

      Iโ€™m reading mostly physical books lately. About one ebook a month, and an occasional audiobook since I have a few of those.

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