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  • Holly J

my favorite reads of February

Maybe someday I will be writing these and putting them up faster, but it is not this day! (I really wanted to gif that, but I couldn't find one that was done well). February was, again, a slow reading month for me. It feels like I'm still just trying to keep my head above water, and when I'm in that place, it's hard to stay focused unless I'm super into the story. But I still read a couple really good books that I wanted to talk about. :)

I have become a big fan of Karen McManus! Her books are tightly-plotted, compulsively readable, and filled with flawed yet lovable characters. Although I didn't quite enjoy this one as much as the first, I was still happy to be back in Bayview and with a lot of these same characters again! NATE AND BROWYN! UGH, they kill me. Phoebe's family situation and past hit unexpectedly close to home, so that made the story more relatable and feelsy. It was definitely a solid sequel, and she's an auto-read author for me now.

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, so I was stoked when my library hold finally came through. And omg I adored this! It was just so much fun, and had a lot of emotional moments as well. It was chock-full of fascinating characters: angels and demons, librarians and muses, lost souls and fictional characters come to life. A hero named Hero, a fallen angel with a soft spot for mortals, a boy in pain who finds himself. It was low-stakes but with a high-stakes quest, a love story to stories and libraries and readers, and there were many discussions centering death and the afterlife and redemption. I can't wait for the sequel! And now I'm just going to leave you with some of my favorite lines in the book (though there were many more I highlighted!)

We think stories are contained things, but they’re not. Ask the muses. Humans, stories, tragedies, and wishes—everything leaves ripples in the world. Nothing we do is not felt; that’s a comfort. Nothing we do is not felt; that’s a curse.
“Stories are, at the most basic level, how we make sense of the world. It doesn’t do to forget that sometimes heroes fail you when you need them the most. Sometimes you throw your lot in with villains."
And here’s how you make a story: Soak a life in mortality. Scrape the soul.
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