This month I’m taking part in two reading challenges, giving myself a lot of work, but also lining up some very exciting books.
The challenge is to read as many sapphic books in February as possible. I took part in the challenge last year and loved it, so I’m looking forward to taking part again this year.
The second challenge I’m doing is one I’ve created.
February 4th is Hollie’s birthday. We met at YALC in 2016 and since then she’s become one of my absolute best pals. We’ve been on holiday together, gone to book events together, and we have such a similar taste in books that if she loves a book, I know I probably will too (and vice versa).
So, as well as getting her birthday presents (and a surprise that I can’t wait to reveal to her), I’ve decided to read her favourite books in February, as an ode to her birthday month.
I’ll be reading favourites of hers that I haven’t picked up yet, rather than books I’ve already read, and I’m pretty darn excited.
Since I’m doing two challenges, my TBR for this month is split into two halves.
F/F February Reads
Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.
Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.
Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.
But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.
We Used to Be Friends
Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties.
At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends.
James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open.
Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.
Daisy Grace Webber’s life hasn’t exactly turned out how she thought. She didn’t think she’d drop out of college and come back to the small town she grew up in. To be fair, she didn’t think her love of baking would turn into a job at the Violet Hill Cafe either, but it did.
Something else she didn’t expect was for Molly Madison to walk back into her life, eight years after she moved away. They’d been best friends forever, or so she’d thought. But Molly is back in town and she’s looking… really good, actually. And that reminds Daisy of that one time at a sleepover when they’d kissed during a game of Spin the Bottle. That one kiss has been on her mind since then, but it’s irrelevant. Molly isn’t into girls.
But as Daisy and Molly spend more time together, feelings start to grow, and Daisy is wondering just how “straight” Molly really is…
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics
As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go.
Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.
Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled.
She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.
While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?
Moonstruck volume 1
Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet.
Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.
Everything Leads to You
A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava.
Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.
This is my pick from my TBR jar for February! In January, I created a TBR jar to get to some of my backlist books and this was what I pulled out for Feb. Spookily, it fits my F/F challenge and prompts.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
My books for each bingo card prompts are:
- An F/F contemporary, historical or romance novel – We Used to be Friends
- A book from a new-to-you author – The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics
- A rec from a friend – Second Kiss (recommended by Fadwa)
- A book from an author you love – Evelyn Hugo
- A backlist F/F book – Everything Leads to You
- A re-read of a book you loved – Moonstruck vol 1
- A book already on your TBR – Evelyn Hugo
- An F/F sci-fi or fantasy – Belle Revolte
Hollie’s Fave Books TBR
As I’m doing two challenges, I don’t think I’ll be able to read all of Hollie’s faves, but I’m going to read as many as I can. Starting with…
As I mentioned in my F/F TBR, Hollie has been urging me to read this for ages because she loved it when she read it.
It sounds brilliant, too, so I’m finally hoping to get to it in February.
As, you may have noticed, it also doubles up for F/F February, which is handy. 😉
Hollie ADORES this series. It’s not an exaggeration to say this is probably her favourite fantasy series of all time.
And I, like the terrible friend I am, haven’t read it yet.
But that change this month, because I’m planning to read it on audio. I have a feeling it’s going to be right up my street.
*If I have time, I’ll also be reading Godsgrave and Darkdawn.
I literally got this signed for Hollie at YALC last year when she couldn’t attend, and yet I still haven’t read my own copy, despite how much I know she loved it.
But I just borrowed it from my library last week, so I’m ready to roll.
Heartstopper vol 3
Heartstopper is one of my pal’s favourite graphic novel series.
So because I’ve already read volumes 1 and 2, I’m going to read the new volume as soon as it releases, as a tribute to her love for it.
We Hunt the Flame
Hollie enjoys middle-eastern fantasy with a bit of enemies-to-lovers thrown in, so it’s no surprise that she loves this book.
I have an ARC that I’ve literally been trying to get to since last May, so I’m really keen to read this one and finally hop on the hype train.
Which books will you be reading in February? Are you taking part in F/F Feb or any challenges?