Kickin' It: February 2022 Wrap Up

Friday, February 25, 2022


Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you reviews you may have missed, other awesome bookish things, and even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books. February was an alright month. After my grandmother passing in January, I found it quite a success to be able to go out and not have the urge to burst into tears. Despite still grieving and burying myself in books, I did begin making Youtube videos again (something I haven’t done since high school) and it has been such a nostalgic experience for me. Overall, I was able to dive into a total of 23 books this month, some amazing and some not so great. Here’s what I read in February:

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner (3.5 stars): I went into this expecting a travel memoir, but this turned out to be more experiment on the happiest places of the world than one man’s journey. It was interesting.

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (4 stars): Though I dislike the cover of this, As You Wish was such a surprise. It follows a protagonist, who summons a genie to grant her three wishes. It was an unexpected delight and super fun.

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (4 stars): I enjoyed the first book in this series, The Madman’s Daughter, and have been waiting on this one for a long time. I had wanted to read the classic, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which is what Her Dark Curiosity is reimagined from) before devouring this one, but it wasn’t necessary. I thought the first book was dark, but as we went deeper into the story, it got darker still. And that ending; amazing! 

The Wolf by J. R. Ward (2.5 stars): I have never read anything by Ward before. While I am willing to read more from her in the future, this read was prompted after receiving it in a “Blind Date with a Book” at my local library. It was quite instalove-y and I probably would have enjoyed it more and understood a bit more if it wasn’t a sequel.

Radiance by Grace Draven (5 stars): I have been sleeping on this. Radiance has been sitting on my Kindle for a long time and I decided this month was the time to read it. It was exactly what I needed! The friends to lovers trope is magnificent in this. I read this entirely in one sitting and I immediately purchased the sequel. I can’t wait to read that one.

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (4 stars): It’s so sad to know that this is the conclusion to the Simon Snow series. I was ready for Rowell to write several more in this series—I always love catching up with Simon and Baz. Since this was the end, I really wanted a bit more with the ending, but it felt too rushed to be satisfactory.

The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe (3 stars): I’ve been wanting to pick this up for a while. I was a big fan of Dirty Jobs growing up, so I was expecting to love Rowe’s memoir. Yet, it turned out to be a series of essays that Rowe wrote on various topics, ranging from Agatha Christie to his father. I suppose I wanted a more insider’s look at Dirty Jobs than a collection of informational essays.

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper (3.5 stars): While I have read books by Maureen Johnson before, I’ve definitely never read anything like this from her before. This funny travel guide, complete with illustrations, was a short read that, while strange and ridiculous, was actually quite fun.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (3 stars): I know I’ve mentioned it before: my dislike for talking animals in books. And I went into this knowing that there was talking animals! I’m glad I finally read it since The Golden Compass is such a classic. However, I do not think I will be continuing in the series.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (4 stars): I wanted to read Atomic Habits by James Clear, but that book has a several weeks-long hold at the library so I decided to read this one instead. While it didn’t serve as a how-to on habits, I enjoyed Duhigg’s marketing stories on how businesses entrap consumers into habitual practices with their products. 

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (5 stars): I adored this one! I was so hesitant to begin, because I didn’t like Thorne’s last book, 99% Mine, that much. However, I don’t know if it was the setting of the senior care community or the dynamic of the bad boy, good girl relationship—I just really loved every second of this book.

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey (3.5 stars): I was a huge fan of Fantaskey in high school and picked up almost everything by her. I had this book sitting on my shelves since that time and finally read it! It was very Nancy Drew-esque which I thought was entertaining. 

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (4 stars): I am so happy I finally picked this one up. I finished reading Percy Jackson awhile ago and have been meaning to pick up more books by Riordan. I decided to start with The Kane Chronicles, because I adore Egyptian mythology. Riordan definitely delivered; I can’t wait to continue in this series!

Namesake by Adrienne Young (4 stars): I’m glad this is only a duology, because I didn’t like this one as much as Fable. In Fable, I felt the stakes were higher. However, there were some scenes in Namesake that made my heart stop. Young is such a superb author and I’m excited to see what she writes next.

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein (2.5 stars): I went into this expecting a cute romance, and that’s not what I got. While Orenstein brings relevant and important discussions center stage, I was hoping for a bit more.

Heartstopper: Volume 4 by Alice Oseman (4 stars): The Heartstopper books are always adorable. This volume is no exception. I’m eagerly anticipating the fifth volume!

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair (5 stars): It’s no secret that I adore retellings of Hades and Persephone. In this highly readable retelling, the writing, the narrative, everything really captured me and refused to let go until the very last page. It was fantastic! 

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price (4 stars): This one is a lovely retelling of Pride and Prejudice, if Elizabeth was an aspiring detective. Price truly took Austen’s tale and gave it a fresh new spin. It was loads of fun!

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise (3 stars): I probably would have liked this book much more if I had read this years ago. I appreciated the representation of girls programming and web coding. However, the ending was too abrupt.

A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (2 stars): I didn’t like this one at all. It was fine in the beginning, setting up the ingredients for a good romance. However, somewhere in the middle, it lost me with the strange fantastical elements and the fact that the love interest refused to take no as an answer. Ugh, this one was most definitely not for me.

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (3.5 stars): I enjoyed the first and second Rosie books, which both involved their romance. However, this third novel focused on the son and father relationship, which I didn’t love as much. It was a fine conclusion to the series though.

Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin (4.5 stars): I was obsessed with Serpent and Dove! And I wanted to give this sequel the same praise. Yet, I couldn’t give it the full 5-stars because a lot of this book was just setting up for the third. Plus, I didn’t like the darkness that Lou was facing and the ending was a bit pointless. Overall, though, I found Blood and Honey to be wildly riveting; I couldn’t put it down. Yet, I will most definitely continue in the series!

My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen (4 stars): I adored Cohen’s debut, Dangerous Alliance, and went in to this expecting a lovely historical romance. While historical, the romance took a back seat in this one. Still, it was a gorgeous, historical narrative that endlessly made me want to bake all the food (there’s even some recipes listed in the back of the book that I want to try!).

Gallant by V. E. Schwab: A standalone novel from V. E. Schwab that is marketed as The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak? Yes, please.

From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos (3/8): I’ve never read anything by Podos, but I’m excited to dive into this one! The book follows Hannah, when she wakes up one morning completely mutated from the girl she once knew. That event sparks Hannah’s determination to break the curse.

Kiss and Tell by Adib Khorram (3/22): While I didn’t think the sequel of Darius the Great is Not Okay was as amazing as the first, I have been eagerly awaiting Khorram’s next release. This one is another lovely coming-of-age story, this time following a boy in a band. Swoon, it’s going to be fantastic!

How was your February? Did you read any amazing books?

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