February was a really bad reading month for me. I got duped and double-crossed left and right by booktubers and book covers — it was not a fun time. There was some good ones, but no 5 stars, that’s for sure! Here is the first half of what I read because I still read a lot even though I said I wouldn’t but I have clearly needed the escape so back off OKAY?? Everything sucks.
OK, I’m just going to say it: Leigh Bardugo’s writing is not great. This was book two in the Grishaverse series and while I moderately enjoyed the first one, now I’m wondering how much of that was actually my subconscious attempting to convince myself that I liked it because this series is SO HYPED in the book world and has recently been adapted into a Netflix series.
This was a fucking CHORE TO READ. Books should not be a chore to read! Not even the ones assigned to us in school! I realized that not only do I not give a shit about a single character (like, some of them die and I just continued reading, unfazed), but I also HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON. I only JUST read the first book last year and my memory is not THAT bad, but I was like, “Who dat? What now?”
One of my FAVORITE YouTubers, this American girl who lives in Korea, LOVES this series and I DON’T GET IT. Cari was the inspiration for me to get back into reading last year because she had a video of her favorite Korean authors, and she has never steered me wrong before, but SO MANY BOOKTUBERS were also in cahoots with this one because I was completely pulled down into their insidious hype.
Cari, I’ll stick with your Seoul cafe suggestions and skip the book recs from now on, I think, THANKYOUV.MUCH.
Uhhhhh. This was WEIRD. Fever Dream indeed. It’s translated from Spanish (the author is Argentinian, I believe) and we’re basically just reading someone’s novella-length novella. The whole book is told from the perspective of a woman in a hospital bed, talking to a young boy who is coaxing her to describe her interactions with who is presumably his mother. It’s one of those books that, even for its short length, is NOT an easy read. I felt really tense and uncomfortable and also confused, but it was definitely something that will stick with me. It was unique, to say the least, and a great example of environmental issues masked as horror.
Silence of the Lambs for kids. 100%. I have nothing else to say.
LOL, this was when I was trying to take actual pictures of the books I was reading so I wouldn’t have to copy/paste from Goodreads because that part of the process really irritates me for some reason. Anyway, I did this for two books then forgot to do it again oh well.
But this book was wonderful!!! The ambiance was CREEPY without anything overtly CREEPY even happening?! It gave me big Twin Peaks vibes, because this American couple is visiting some other country in the dead of winter in order to adopt a baby. I don’t think they ever specify the location, but I got a very Russian/Eastern European flavor from the details, and the locals they encounter are basically emitting SOMETIMES MY ARMS BEND BACK vibes – if you know, you know.
The names of the couple are never revealed, they are known only as “the man” and “the woman” and you get a sense of marital discord straight away. They’re staying in a super sus hotel, inhabited by a bartender who stares into space, an old woman who is fancy AF and all up in your biz, a bizarrely boisterous businessman….and the longer the couple stays in the hotel, the more estranged they become. I just can’t really explain it but I had goosebumps while reading it and whisper-laughed “wtf?” when I finished it. Recommended to me through my local library’s recommendation service and I’m starting to feel like these librarians know me too well.
David Lynch-meets-Wes Anderson, kind of?
I wanted to like this one so much more than I did. It was fun, but just didn’t really fulfill the wanderlust hole in my heart.
If you’re looking for a balls-to-the-wall haunted house book, this ain’t it, boo. But if you’re looking for gloriously sweeping writing that you can really immerse yourself in, pick this up. I was worried because this is set in postwar England and I’m just not usually interested in that, but it ended up not mattering at all because I was super swept up in the story of the Ayres family, and their crumbling estate obviously tugged at my heart and reminded me of my own grandparents’ house and the state it was in and how hard we tried to fix it. I felt a huge connection with this stupid house!!
Anyway, this book is pretty long but it’s not dry at all. I enjoyed every second of it, never felt bored, and actually became so engrossed in the relationships between the family and their doctor that anytime sometime creepy would happen, I would be totally caught off guard. There was one moment when I was sitting on the couch, broad daylight, reading it when an envelope slowly slid off the back of the couch and tapped my shoulder, nearly sending me into cardiac arrest.
Sarah Waters is a masterful writer!
After I finished it, I saw that there was a movie adaptation from several years ago, with Ruth Wilson who I like, so I put it on and lost interest pretty quickly. The book is better.
After The Little Stranger, I needed to cleanse my palate with something light and short, so I picked up this horror graphic novel. The illustrations were EVERYTHING and totally my style, and the stories were decent too. I think I will definitely continue this series, especially because I always say I want to read more graphic novels and then I never do.
I don’t feel like recapping the other 5 so I guess look forward to part 2? Lol. Lemme know what you’ve read recently that you really loved!
I got really caught up in watching Ginny&Georgia and I’m itching to get back into that so peace out, pee spout.