February was more productive than January by exactly one book! And of course of the four I read three were Sequels (okay one is a companion novel). I actually thought I was slacking a little bit but I guess finally finishing Furiously Happy (first of five non-fiction books for me this year!) boosted me up a bit.
I started with Windwitch by Susan Dennard which is a sequel to the mindblowing TruthWitch. WindWitch was a great follow up to a fast paced, gripping, and revolutionary book. I’ve been reading a few books where people are disappointed they didn’t get the exact same thing in book two but honestly I preffered this. Yes the pace was a LOT slower and this was more focused on individual character development than retreading the stuff we loved in the last book and I definitely think it was a smart move. If you’re into magic, adventure, and intriguing BloodWitches (ummm attractive “bad” guy obsession? Darkling part two!?) then first pick up TruthWitch and THEN WindWitch.
I finished Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson in February even though technically i’d been reading it since school started. We’re doing a non-fiction focus in my College Prep class and we do a lot of in class reading time, so I picked my own non-fiction book and read along with students. This book was a revelation. Seriously. Lawson is a freaking amazing human who so clearly understands so many of the struggles that I relate to myself. Like Hyperbole and a Half, Lawson is able to turn the most depressing and darkest moments of our lives into a freaking hilarious adventure. The hilarity was punctuated by really sincere moments that honestly made me cry more often than I usually do reading books. I’m also thankful that I was able to share so many pieces of this book with my students. I even started my English classes with excerpts and it opened so many doors for my kids. The frank, open, and honest discussions that followed are an actual blessing and i’m so happy to see that so many of my kids were encouraged to share their own stories. So thanks Jenny Lawson, i’ll work on being furiously happy. Everyone needs to read this. EVERYONE.
Continuing on in my sequels binge: Now I Rise by Kiersten White!!! I was freaking STOKED when I got my arc approval for this. I absolutely adored And I Darken and i’m obsessed with this gender bent retelling of Vlad Dracul’s origins. I can’t tell you all how much this book adds to an already amazing start! White jumps in a few months after the last book and the alternating viewpoints gave me everything I wanted. Not to mention I got SO MUCH MORE of Radu which is all i’ve ever wanted. In fact I ended up naming our new cat Radu after I read this book because his character is just too amazing. Lada continues to be the badass boss of all of our dreams and she continues to take what is hers, racking up casualties and weaving a very tangled web along what she thought was a very straightforward path. I can’t wait to see the carnage and turmoil in book three. Get this asap!
And finally I read Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi which I also received as an ARC from Netgalley. This is the follow up/companion novel to The Star Touched Queen which came out last year. I’m pleased to say that I liked this book even more than Star Touched Queen. I love STQ but it sometimes flew too far away from me and I couldn’t ground the story enough to make sense of it and really attach myself. CoW kept the ethereal nature of it’s predecessor but was much more straightforward, grounded, and had weight to it that really made me get invested in the lives of Gauri and Vikram and the journey they were one. It was less about the world and more about them. This book at several points made me put it down so I could close my eyes and think because it was just so vivid and beautiful. It made me remember what good original writing looked like and challenged me to question several things that i’ve been thinking of including in my own book (that I swear i’ll write someday). Good books make you want to write because they’re inspiring and this one REALLY got that job done. Highly recommend it.
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