dear february 2022 - month at a glance

by - 8:30 AM

Hello there! The second month of 2022 is over and I couldn't be more relieved. February has been a bit of a dumpster-fire mess when it comes to mental health and motivation and while my reading luckily didn't take a hit, my overall state of my mind crumbled just a bit. With that said, I'm very looking forward to March and hopefully warmer temperatures and this past week has been a positive turn so fingers crossed we're heading upwards from here!

I've kept up my reading streak into the second month of the year and finished a total of eight books this month! After realizing, to my surprise, that I've read a ton more contemporary than fantasy, I took some time to delve back into my favorite genre and pick up titles that have been on my radar (and netgalley shelf) for a while.

            

xoxo by axie oh
ebook - 
read my review here
Like I mentioned in my review, this book is the epitome of a kpop fan's dream because it's highly unlikely to happen but every fan wishes it could. This is a story that's full of sweet and swoony moments with a great friend group that explores the themes of self identity, new experiences, and taking on challenging decisions. It was a fun read to start off February and (as you can tell from the following titles) a good end to my contemporary binge.

little thieves by margaret owens
ebook - 

review to come
I knew this book would be morally grey with the influences of a darker YA fantasy and it did not disappoint. This is one of those stories that I flew through relatively quickly and it wasn't until finishing that I came to realize how much it had stayed with me. Vanja is snarky and tries to be incredibly unlikeable, but in the process of planning her escape, finds that there's more to love about her home than she initially realized.

tweet cute by emma lord
audio - 

This book fell off my radar and I almost missed it for this list. 😅 I've seen the cover floating around but never felt interested enough before but decided to give the audiobook a shot. Objectively, this was a really fun contemporary story with lots of witty banter, delicious food references, and cute butterfly moments. However, the parenting decisions irritated me to no end and after finishing, it's all I can think of when I see the cover which unfortunately left a rather sour final impression. 

into the midnight void by mara fitzgerald
ebook -  
I've been highly anticipating this sequel ever since the first book early last year and after many months of waiting I was finally able to dive back into the dark world that Mara Fitzgerald created. The stakes are even higher this time around as the characters are grappling with the chaos was left and it's every bit as dark and sinister as I remembered. While I did enjoy the world and plot expansion, this sequel ultimately fell a bit flat because I wanted to feel more invested in the characters' individual arcs as that was one of the most compelling aspects that made me love book one.

            

the girl who fell beneath the sea by axie oh
ebook - 
 
read my review here
This cover has been haunting me ever since it was released because of how stunning the artwork is and I'm finally able to conclude that the contents are just are magical. A story rich with Korean mythology and a girl's sense of duty to her family and her faith in the gods creates an immersive journey to the Spirit World as Mina tries to free the Sea God and end his plight to the land. 

edgewood by kristen ciccarelli 
ebook -
review to come
I wanted an atmospheric story about dark woods and a girl with a magical voice and left this book feeling...underwhelmed. This book is ultimately pitched as a YA fantasy for an older audience but the writing read very young to me and while I did appreciate the world and magic, I struggled to make a connection with the characters and care about what was happening with the plot.

when we were them by laura taylor namey
ebook - 
read my review here
This may have solidified Laura Taylor Namey as one of my favorite YA contemporary authors because this book was so simple in writing and storytelling but at the same time it was so incredibly impactful. I desperately wish that I had read this book when I was transitioning from high school because it would have helped my mental turmoil so much when preparing for college. Since finishing this, I've already gone out and purchased a physical copy so it just goes to show how much I adored this story.

empire of sand by tasha suri
physical - 

This is a prime example of why I cannot be trusted with TBRs because I had no intention of reading Empire of Sand until I found a copy at the library. I've been one a steady supply of ebook and audiobooks so far and had been missing the physical reading experience and Tasha Suri provided with this immersive and thought provoking fantasy. I'm still unsure if I have enough coherent thought to write a full review, but I loved the world and the insight we got about its religion, culture, and politics. However, I wish I had been more invested in the characters as it would have made the whole reading experience more personal and impactful.

February was comeback after comeback of some of my favorite 2nd generation groups and I was absolutely thriving so it's hard to narrow down my top music picks. In the end, I had Spotify help me out to highlight the five songs I listened to the most:

This month was a little rough on the mental health side of things so it took me a while to find the motivation to put together some highlights, but I'm glad I was still able to push through and focus on the small details when everything else felt like a downward spiral.

check out my monthly highlights here!

There are a lot of horrible things happening in the world at the moment and I hope that you are taking care of yourself mentally and physically while staying informed about global and domestic affairs as well as the best ways to use your voice to support those in need. There are a couple links under my record_024 if you're interested in learning more about what's happening in Ukraine as well as some organizations who are collecting financial support for those affected.

Here's to hoping for a brighter March as, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days will start to be longer and the temperatures warmer ☀️

I would love to hear how your February went - what were some things or experiences that made you happy this month?

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7 Comments

  1. I'm so happy to hear you enjoying When We Were Them! I've been enjoying Taeyeon's newest releases too, her discography is flawless!

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    1. when we were them has definitely solidified laura taylor namey as a favorite contemporary author! and invu/siren has been the soundtrack of my life 😂

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  2. I'm sorry you didn't have a great month mental-health wise, Riv. I hope you have a better March!

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    1. taking it one day at a time! hoping that your march goes well 💕

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  3. I'm sorry you had a rough time mental health wise, riv!

    I had a really different reading experience with Empire of Sand, I loved that book because I was so invested in the characters and their relationship. Still I'm glad you found some things you liked about it. I have to listen to Taeyeon, as a kpop newbie I need to listen to more solists.

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    1. i keep feeling like i missed something with empire of sands 😭 i'm definitely going to put it back on the tbr and try it again later on and hopefully it'll be a different reading experience - maybe the whole mental health funk got to me? i can be hopeful

      ahh i can't wait to hear your thoughts about taeyeon - she's hands down one of my top favorite kpop artists ever!!

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    2. that's a good idea! I definitely feel like there are books I have enjoyed less just becasue I was in a mental health funk when I read them. I hope you emjoy it more if you end up reading it again.

      Also, I have listened to siren a few times since yesterday, it's a really good song. I will definitely listen to more taeyeon in the future.

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