For such a short month (even with an extra day tacked on), February was a whirlwind month! 

Aside from celebrating my 29th birthday, I had a great program that happened at work! I co-hosted the author talk with my dearest friend Manny and we interviewed Alexis Henderson on writing, her path to publishing, and about her upcoming novel, The Year of the Witching. This was the first time that I or Manny have ever done something like this, and it turned out really well! There were about 20 people that came out to the event despite the stormy weather that day. I know I learned a lot from talking with Alexis, and I think the audience did as well. Even though it was a little terrifying to sit in front of so many people, this is definitely something I would do something like this again. 

I was also preparing for my trip to San Antonio for the AWP conference! I won’t spoil anything here because I want to write a full blog post about the whole experience, so stay tuned!

Now onto the books! Like I said, this was a whirlwind month for me. I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped. In fact, my Goodreads Challenge says that I’m 3 books behind schedule. Oops… Yet I did manage to read 1,059 pages and listen to 1 audiobook that was 14 hours long.

 Perhaps the shortest book I’ve read so far this year, Gittel’s Journey was a beautifully illustrated immigration story. The picture book follows the story of Gittel and her mother, and their journey to America. However, when passing through the ship’s inspection Gittel’s mother is forced to stay behind and Gittel continues the journey. She travels to America all by herself at a young age (I think somewhere between 8-10?). As it turns out the author based this on two true stories of her grandmothers. I won’t spoil some of the other things that happen in the book, but I will say this is a must read.

Spin The Dawn was pitched as Fashion Runway meets Mulan, and I have to say it didn’t disappoint. I actually listened to the audiobook for this one, and for me I’m not sure if I was completely in love with the narration. Not to say that the audiobook wasn’t good, it just wasn’t for me. Which happens sometimes with audiobooks; not everyone will like the same audiobook. The book follows Maia as she tries to support her family, follow her dreams, and deal with blossoming feelings. For me, personally, I felt that the book could easily be divided into three sections. The first section would be Maia going through her family’s story, setting things up for the second part. Part two followed Maia as she disguised herself as a boy to participate in the challenge of becoming the emperor’s tailor. There are a series of challenges that she has to complete in order to be considered. This sets up for part three which I won’t describe because I don’t want to give away any potential spoilers.  I would recommend this one if you were a fan of Mulan as a child and love anything with magic!

I have a confession to make. I watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before without reading the book. I know, I know it’s practically blasphemous. With P.S. I Still Love You about to be released on Netflix in February. I made the decision to read all of the books beforehand. I partially met this goal by getting through all of book one and part of book two before I broke down and watched it. But don’t think I just abandoned the books. Oh no! I was curious to see how the movie compared to the second book. Overall I think Netflix did a good job of translating the pages to the screen. Of course there were a few differences, but nothing that takes away from the general story. For those of you that have never read the series, it follows Lara Jean as she tries to navigate high school and of course high school love. Since this is a series, I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t read the books. Instead I will say that you definitely should read the books! Especially if you were a fan of the movies.

Until next time! Happy Reading!