February Wrap Up // Is This the ‘Good Place?’ Because I’d Like to Stay Here!

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Greetings, booklings! 

I hope ye are fairing well and that February was a positive month for you! It took until about halfway through February for me to stop thinking it was January, and then it feels like I blinked and now somehow there are no days left?!? Like, whoa!

what-just-happened new girl gif

February was a very good month for me, I feel like I managed to squeeze a lot into a very small amount of time, including binge-watching a whole 3 seasons of a TV show, reading a LOT of books compared to my monthly average, and having some great personal experiences!

COOL THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY

  • I visited the Sky Garden in London, which is a building with a 360 view. The viewing space is also full of beautiful and bold plants and landscaped garden areas. I’d definitely recommend this if your heading to London, because it’s completely free – it’s not quite as high as the Shard, but it has a very good view of it!
  • I attended the London launch for Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree which was absolutely AMAZING (blog post to come)! It was also chaired by Alwyn Hamilton. SUCH GOOD BOOKISH VIBES. 😀
  • I did my first buddy read in 5 years with my interwebs friend and fellow blogger, Tony, and it was so much fun swapping plot theories and character insights! I definitely want to do more of these again in the future because you really think about what you’re reading in so much more detail!
  • I had my first ever Wagamama’s, and I liked it! YUM.
  • I started looking into the possibility of being a volunteer mental health listener for those who are struggling or are lonely, which I think could potentially be a very rewarding experience if it develops further!

What were your personal highlights this month?

Feb 2019 personal wrapup.png

 

books read

February 2019 books read.jpg

Total Books Read:  5| ARCs: 2 | Rory Gilmore Challenge: 1 | Backlist: 2


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black | ★| Comments: 
I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK. AT ALL. You can read my extremely ranting review over on Goodreads. This was my first foray into Holly Black’s work and I was not impressed. Can anyone advise me if I should give this author another go?!

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James |★★★★| Comments: I really enjoyed this novel that explored the idea of an infertility crisis. It had great characters and a plot that kept me guessing! You can read my full review here.

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman |★★★★| Comments: I wasn’t 100% sure this was going to be my sort of thing, but I REALLY enjoyed it. What do you do when water runs out? Chaos and social Psychology ensues! This was gripping, full of action and had interesting characters.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab |★★★★| Comments: I enjoyed this much more than the first book. Marcella and June were great new characters and I loved the Psychology of them. Schwab’s writing is clever, witty and easy to gobble up, but I still can’t shake the fact that I just don’t feel very emotionally connected to her characters??? That’s the main downside for me, but otherwise a solid read!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum |★★| Comments: Eh, this was okay. I would have enjoyed it much more if I were younger, and also if I didn’t know the film SO well. The film has more magic and fun for me, although it was cool every time I came across something new that didn’t make it to the big screen!

What did you read this month?

 

film and TV watched

Febuary 2019 film and TV wrap up.jpg

The Good Place (Seasons 1-3) |★★★★| Comments: I feel like this series has defined most of my February! BINGE WATCH ALERT. Protagonist Eleanor dies and gets into the ‘Good Place’ only to discover she’s supposed to be in the ‘Bad Place’. I really wasn’t sure about this at first, but its just so funny and easy to watch, and the twists keep on coming! Now I keep going “what the fork, man!” and “shirtballs!” on a regular basis (you can’t swear in the Good Place). Also, props to the girl who plays Janet, I feel like she deserves an Oscar for playing like 30+ people on a regular basis!

Deadpool 2 |★★★★| Comments: This was an excellent sequel with just as much humour as the first. I didn’t enjoy the story quite as much (the New Zealand kid was kinda annoying) but I loved all the XMen links!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society |★★★★| Comments: A wonderfully heartwarming tale about the impact on the island of Guernsey post WW2 when it was occupied by the Germans, and how a book club brought neighbors together. It will make you cheesy grin the whole way through!

The Post |★★★| Comments: An excellently acted film about how The Post newspaper came to fame through publishing classified documents in relation to the Vietnam war. It also follows the first female publisher of an American newspaper. A very interesting story but a little too dry for me to rate it higher!

Suicide Squad | ★★★★| Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed this DC supervillain romp. It’s fast-paced and funny with great music, and I loved the way they contrasted the dark streets with bright splashes of punk colours at every opportunity. The main villain was kinda ‘meh’ though!

For the People (Season 1) | ★★★★| Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed the latest new series offering from Shona Rhimes which follows the legal prosecution and defense teams in New York, pitted against each other on a daily basis in high profile and high stake cases. It has all Shona’s usual trademarks; characters that talk really fast and bond over food, romance drama, and some stunning speeches that make you go ‘whoa’!

What did you watch this month?

 

product of the month

Neverfades bookmarks.JPG

This month I’m loving my new magnetic bookmarks! I actually featured these on my Chrismas Bookish gift guide post back in December, but I decided to finally treat myself with my Christmas money!

I had been in the market for some new bookmarks for a while. Previously, I’ve always used boring ones with bland designs, but when I came across these I just couldn’t resist! They were purchased through Neverfades Bookmark Etsy shop and most are between £3.50-£4.05, but because they ship from Germany the costs did add up. BUT THEY WERE SERIOUSLY WORTH IT! These give me so much joy each time I open my current read, and when they’re not being used they sit on my bookshelves! 😀

What did you buy this month?

 

posts published

elantris by brandon sanderson review Review The Quiet at the End of the WorldThe Wonderstruck Book Tag

Blogs Posted: 3 | Book Reviews: 2

Most Popular: Discovering (and Loving) my First Brandon Sanderson Novel

 

elsewhere on the blogosphere

Untitled design

Let’s Chat!
How was the month of February for you? What have you been reading, watching and discovering? Did you read more books or less book than in January? Should I give Holly Black another go? Let me know in the comments! 

Becky the Bookaholic

45 thoughts on “February Wrap Up // Is This the ‘Good Place?’ Because I’d Like to Stay Here!

  1. February has been a bit cold, but then a bit warm which was nice. It looked like it was going to rain the other day, so I had rice and curry for lunch in the work’s canteen. I was a bit annoyed when it didn’t actually rain.

    I reckon you should bin off Holly Black. She clearly derailed your reading pleasures, so you are morally and intellectually entitled to cast her aside.

    I thought Deadpool 2 was piss funny.

    Cracking photos, as ever. The bottom right one looks like something from Centre Parcs.

    • Yes, it’s been a real treat to have a few sunny days at the end of Feb in the UK, I made sure to soak a bit up each day! Haha, I actually get you with the curry-work dilemma. I’ve also found that my hot meals have not been going down so well!
      You make a valid point there. She’s such a well-loved author in YA community though that I wonder if I just didn’t pick the best of her books. Hmmm….

      I did think Deadpool 2 was really funny! I just didn’t like it quite as much as the first.
      Thank you. 🙂 That one is the Sky Garden in London, it was very humid and tropical in there!

  2. Ah I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown! I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with Holly Black’s books too. I read The Cruel Prince in January and wasn’t a huge fan. Now I’m reading the sequel which is definitely better, but I just cannot seem to fully connect with her work. I’m glad I’m not alone in this since she’s such a popular author! Great wrap up & I hope you have a wonderful March 🙂

  3. I would have to say your February was perfection, especially since you got to meet Samantha Shannon!!! And so much reading. I can hear your sighs of contentment now. I’m so happy for you 😃. My February has been cold, snowy, and stormy, but on a positive note that meant a couple of snow days where I couldn’t get to work and therefore had to stay home and read. Darn that was rough LOL! Enjoy your weekend diving into the world of Priory. I’ll be there too.

    • You know, I think you might be right! 😉 And I can’t believe I somehow averaged 5 books this month instead of my usual 3, especially as it was a shorter month! I don’t know how it happened, but I’m thanking the book gods. 🤣
      Ohh no, book buddy that sounds horrible, especially as I know how much drama the snow can cause you. What a contrast to the UK. It’s been cold, but last week we had a few rare sunny days too. But, not work and reading instead is a serious plus. 😁
      Thank you! I think we’re both about to go on an awesome ride!

  4. Am adding that Sky Garden to my list of things to do when I finally visit London.
    The biggest highlight of the month for me is attending an event where one of my fav authors – Marlon James – discussed his new book – Black Leopard, Red Wolf – and getting said book signed by him. 🙂

    • Oooh, yay, this makes me happy! What else is on your London list? I really hope you get to London one day, and if you do plan a trip let me know, I may be able to give you extra tips. 🙂
      Yay for author events!! I’m so glad you got to go to one too. It’s so amazing meeting a favourite author. They’re definitely my rock stars. 🙂

      • I’d appreciate the tips 🙂
        Not much is on it so far, actually, and it’s more of a UK list, I guess, now that I think of it. I have on it: visit Harry Potter studio & Platform 9 and 3/4; buy stuff at Waterstones; visit Stonehenge and Oxford and go on an architecture tour. That’s about it so far.

      • I would highly recommend Camden Lock and Borough Market for food-related antics. Plus Camden has lots of cool shops and fandom T-shirts! I would also second the two Harry Potter spots, they are amazing. 😀 To be completely honest, I’ve always found Stonehenge very underwhelming but Oxford is a must, and you can do great day trips from London, so you could still be based there and visit!

  5. February was a great month for me too! Nothing really happened, but for some reason I’m really content with how things were 🙂 Sky Garden sounds amazing, and Coldest Girls is Holly Black’s backlist titles… maybe you can try her recent releases such as The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Cruel Prince? Maybe you’ll like them better 🙂

    • I’m so glad February was a positive month for you to, Tasya! Sometimes it’s not just the content, but an overall positive vibe. 🙂 The Sky Garden was really cool, I still can’t believe it was free! We were so lucky because we had a nice clear day for the view as well.

      I’ve certainly see a lot of love around for The Cruel Prince, so maybe it would be worth me giving that one a go, thank you! 😁

  6. Spendy month for me: Half of the things on the car broke all at the same time… 😦

    Still, I did get to do my first buddy read with my one of my bestest-buds, and she mentioned me in her monthly wrap up, so that was nice. 😉
    (I’m looking forward to Shadows of the Wind when we get to it!)

    The Sky Garden is now officially on our list of London things to do. Free is always good!
    That picture of you bottom left on your collage is lovely! Was that your friend with the photo skills again?

    • Ack, that is NOT fun. That money should have been spent on books. 😉
      Yes, that was so much fun! Looking forward to doing another one!

      Ah cool, I think you will really like it. 🙂 In my photos you can’t see much of the greenery but it’s very tropical! Yes that was my friends phone camera again, it has this weird portrait mode that blurs background while keeping the person clear, something about it always looks very professional!

  7. “It took until about halfway through February for me to stop thinking it was January” lol –> this is a constant #mood in 2019 right now; time is running and running indeed. I love the use of the Jess GIF because her quotes are always super duper relatable and I feel them on a deeper level since I’m in college lol! I completely adore the concept of buddy-reads so much and I definitely want to do them this year. You considerung being a volunteer is so nice to read! I think it would definitely have a positive impact on someones life! I would love to help in that same way but I think I’m too much like a sponge for that when it comes to my emotions. I hope you have a nice March!

    • Haha, I get EXACTLY what you mean! I love Jess gifs in general, I feel like there’s one that fits every mood, I agree that she is super relatable. 😁
      I think I’ve always been worried to do buddy reads in the past because what if you can’t read fast enough, or if you read too fast and get past the official stopping points – you don’t want it to hold back your reading! The one I did was super relaxed though and I think that’s why it worked so well. 🙂 I would definitely recommend it!
      Thank you so much! That’s the same worry I had but they give you lots of training which I think helps. 🙂
      Thanks so much for visiting and reading!

  8. I’m am so glad February was good for you!! The sky garden sounds amazing and so does the priory of the orange tree book launch *excited dance*
    I have never read anything by Holly Black– it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy it !!
    I am glad you enjoyed vengeful more than the first one– it has given me an incentive to try it out!!
    From what I have seen of the good place– it’s definitely unique but you always want to see the next episode!! Who’s your favourite character??? 😊
    I completely agree about your comments on deadpool 2!! 😂
    Those bookmarks are so cute!!! 😍
    I hope you have a fabulous March!! 💛

    • Thank you! Both were amazing, I kind of felt like I was in heaven. 😀
      Oh wow, really? I FELT LIKE I WAS THE ONLY ONE. Seriously, that author gets everywhere and now I am questioning myself because everyone loves her and I somehow didn’t?!??
      Yeah, I must admit I felt a bit ‘meh’ about Vicious and the hype monster didn’t help, but I loved the additional backstory Vengeful gave and the new characters.
      I would definitely recommend The Good Place, and I’d have to be boring and go with the main protagonist Eleanor for being my fave character. 🙂 She just makes me chuckle!
      I hope you have a wonderful March too!

      • Aww… yay amazing!!
        I know I hear everyone talking about her books all the time! And definitely get the feeling of everyone loves it so should I but not everything is for you!!
        I know the ‘hype’ monster can be very dangerous!! I am interested about the new characters in it though– I might check it out eventually!!
        Yes I need to get to– my favourite shows are usually the ones that made me laugh!! Yes from what I saw Eleanor was great!!
        Thank you!!

  9. Ahhh I love the Sky Garden so much, I visited the last time I was in London and I loved it so much, such great views!
    The Good Place is such a good show, I love it SO much and can’t wait to see the next season. That ending was so sad.
    I’m so happy you enjoyed Lauren James’ latest book! I read it last month as well and loved it, it surprised me a lot (I didn’t see the twist coming at all!) and it was such a good read 🙂
    I hope you’ll have an amazing March and thank you so, so much for sharing my post! ❤ ❤

    • Ah, I’m so glad you got to visit the Sky Garden as well!
      The ending ruined me, it was such a mean place to leave it. I need to distract myself with a new TV obsession while I wait for the next season.
      I’m glad the twists in Quiet caught you off guard as well, it’s so much more fun that way. 😀

      Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful March as well, and no problem. 🙂

  10. Becky, I also don’t know where February went! I read the challenging Christian non-fiction The Story of Reality by Gregory Koukl and then the super fun Origin by Dan Brown, the latest Robert Langdon book. Whilst I watched the BBC’s sumptuous Les Misérables miniseries and the fascinating new documentary American History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley. Happy reading and watching in March! 🙂

    • Oooh, I watched the BBCs adaptation of Les Miserables recently as well – I actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would! I felt that the first half was much better than the second, but I liked all the extra character bits that you don’t get to see in the musical (the actual book is still on my wishlist).

      I’ve yet to read a Dan Brown book but I have a few on my shelf!

      Thank you, I hope you have a lovely March also. 🙂

      • Thank you 🙂 I also enjoyed Les Miserables mores than I thought I would, but it has put me off the book because I don’t think I could read anything that long and depressing 😉 As for Dan Brown, my favourites are Angels & Demons or Inferno, if you have either of them on your shelf, read them! 😀

      • Aha! That is very true. It’s a beast of a book and spending so much time with a sad story could be tough. I imagine there are also quite a lot of waffley chapters about the mechanics of the revolution and politics that don’t follow the characters.
        Oooh, I think I have Angels & Demons. 🙂

  11. THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE LOOKS SO SO SO SOOOO AMAZING!!! Honestly y’all on Instagram made me want to read it so much more??? I had no interest because it’s a small brick of 800 pages colour me skeptical but then BOOKSTAGRAM HAPPENED and I saw all the stories now I NEED IT 😂!! And yes February si wayyyy too short the Universe should do something about this and fix it!

    • RIGHT?!? It has the most beautiful cover I’ve seen for a long time!!!

      I completely get what you mean about Instagram, this book seems to have had an Instagram campaign as opposed to a reviewing campaign, and advanced reader copies seemed to go to instagrammers as opposed to bloggers, but I think they did the right thing because this book has been SO successful already and it has really built the excitement around the book! I hope you get yourself a copy soon. 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading! 😁

  12. It’s so nice that you were able to attend the book launch for The Priory of the Orange Tree! I don’t know much about Samantha Shannon if I’m honest, but I do adore Alwyn Hamilton! I got the chance to meet her when she came for a book tour in my country and she was the sweetest. She’s the author of one of my favorite fantasy trilogies of all times – The Rebel of the Sands trilogy – and I highly recommend it you haven’t picked it up.
    February has been a bit of a mess personally, and I’m excited that there’s a huge holiday coming up and I’ll just be able to chill and sort things out, hahah.
    Hope you have an amazing March! 💛

    • I felt so lucky to get a ticket as well, because it did sell out. I have to say, I was SO IMPRESSED with Alwyn as chair, she was hilarious and so bright and full of energy, so now I’m really tempted to give her books to know. Thank you for seconding that I should do so!
      I’m sorry to hear that February hasn’t been the greatest month for you and I hope March is much better! Wishing you an amazing holiday and lots of great books!

  13. ahh your little moodboard is so cuuuuute. that’s so awesome that you got to attend the book launch for Priory, i’ve been hearing so much hype about the book i’m super excited for it (even though its HUGE and v intimidating lol)!! that’s amazing that you’re looking into volunteering to be a mental health listener, that’s sounds so great ❤ ❤ i'm so glad you enjoyed vengeful, it was one of the best adult fiction novels i read last year, so good.

    i want to watch geurnsey soooo bad!! it sounds so sad and hopeful and sweet (and BOOKS!!!) i'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! those magnetic bookmarks are TOO adorable, i love them! hope youre having an amazing march ❤

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂 Priory has certainly got a lot of hype and I’m *hoping* it’s for good reason. I did love the authors other books so fingers crossed! Priory is HUGE, I dropped it on my foot the other day and lemmie tell ya, it was PAINFUL. 🤣
      Thank you, I’m looking forward to learning more and seeing how it progresses. 🙂
      That’s EXACTLY how I felt about wanting to watch Guernsey and I got so excited when it can onto my film/tv subscription platform!
      The bookmarks are the joy of my life right now, LOL, I’m currently using Rom and he is JUST TOO ADORABLE. 😁
      Wishing you a fabulous and book filled March!

  14. Thank you for the shout out!! ❤ You are adorable in your picture with PRIORY! I picked up a copy at ALA and it's so pretty (I think the ARC has a slightly different cover than the finished copy but it's still stunning) but am very intimidated by it lol. ALSO I had a similar experience with Holly Black- I did NOT like my first read by her (THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST) but I readlly enjoyed THE CRUEL PRINCE and THE WICKED KING. I would recommend giving those a shot next!

    • No problem! Ahaa, thank you so much, that is my overexcited book face. 😀 The arc does have a different cover (which I also really like)! I think we have spoken before about your hesitation to read bigger fantasy books when it came to Game of Thrones (gosh, must have been a while back now) and I completely get it. Books like that are a BIG commitment. My tip would be that it definitely works best picking up a large fantasy book when you can get a good run at it, like on a by-the-pool holiday or when you have some annual leave. 🙂
      VERY interesting to hear that you had a similar Holly Black experience. Based on your thoughts, maybe I’ll try The Cruel Prince and then if I’m still not sold I’ll call it quits!

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