A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwellstarted off the second portion of the month in a very middle of the road style. I sort of expected it. Most YA collections will have more misses than hits for me, and this one didn’t change that up much. However I did really like a few of the stories, and taking an average of the stories it came out to a 3 star read on Goodreads – so not bad! It just ended up feeling very similar to the structure of a lot of these anthologies I’ve tried
I got an intense craving for a friends to lovers trope romance after this and after checking out and DNFing several reads (I’m talking like almost a week’s worth of reading) I picked up Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. I hadn’t tried the writing duo before but have heard this is their weakest novel. If this was weak, I’m excited to see what they’ve got. This really scratched the itch for me and I really enjoyed the main characters in this one. This one has been around for a long time so I go on about it, but it was a solid and fun romance.
Over the course of the month my non-fiction read had been The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland. I graduated from college with an Art degree so it’s something I love, and I had a hankering to go back and review some Art History – so I did! I think this would be a great introductory text, but the author clearly had favorites and movements she wanted to give more coverage and attention. This is also very classically driven – you don’t see much on anything out of Europe and the Americas here.
I am always in the mood for more romance, especially queer so I picked up Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi. First off, I love this cover, it’s so captivating. Both girls are stunning and the layout on the cover is just perfect. But past that – this book made me feel things, a heady mix of things. I was genuinely super frustrated with one of the girls, Rachel, almost the whole time but I liked her all the same. And the other girl, Sana, I felt her so deeply. I adored her and her almost over the top femininity. This wasn’t perfect, and it felt a bit long but it was definitely one I’m not angry about reading. I really liked it.
I started I Capture The Castle by Dodi Smithand even though I read this over a long period of time I ended up really adoring this one. I understand this is a classic, especially on the other side of the ocean. I had never heard of it as a young kid and I wish I had. This is one I’ll likely recommend to my daughter as she grows up.
Finally I returned to my roots with a science-fiction novel The Dazzle of day by Molly Gloss.There is a lot to unpack about this. I might purchase this one in fact and reread it to unpack and do another thoughts post on. So I will tl;dr my feelings here as ‘I loved this’.