This month was really good reading-wise for me. What about you guys? Did you read anything good this month? I hope you all had a fun Valentine’s Day too! I got to go up to Miami during the Valentine’s Day weekend to go to a boat show and we got absolutely soaked because it rained the whole time. But it was still fun because I got to hang out with some friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I hope you all had a fun (and dryer) February, now onto the books!
The first book that I really enjoyed in February was The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This story is about Clara who loves to play pranks. After one of her signature pranks goes to far at prom, she is sentenced to work all summer on her dad’s food truck, KoBra with her arch rival Rose Carver. This isn’t really the summer that Clara had planned on having. She was supposed to go to Tulum, Mexico with her influenster mom but now that’s all ruined thanks to Rose Carver. Stuck-up, goody-two-shoes, Rose Carver (who Clara can’t stand in case you couldn’t tell). She’s ruined Clara’s summer and now the two have to work together. Can they survive it? Will they end up as friends in the end or will they shout and scream at each other all summer?
This is a really cute book. It’s your typical enemies to friends trope but I really love those so I very much enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a YA book about friendship and learning to take responsibility for your actions (as well as a little dose of romance) then this one will be right up your alley. I’m planning on reading more of Maurene Goo’s books so next month I’ll have another review for you guys about one of her books!
This next book is called Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola. Masha wants nothing more than to escape her life. She sees an ad in the newspaper for an assistant for the witch Baba Yaga. This isn’t your usual job but Masha is desperate and decides to go for it. After locating Baba Yaga’s house in the haunted woods she then has to figure out how to actually get inside. Since the house is up in the air on chicken legs, this is a challenge. Can she pass all the tests that Baba Yaga has in store for her? Or will she run away at the first sign of trouble?
This was a really great graphic novel. I liked the main character Masha quite a bit. She was resourceful, smart, and kind even in the face of a witch and her challenges. But my favorite part of this graphic novel was the artwork and illustrations. If you’ve ever read Through the Woods or Speak: The Graphic Novel, then you are already familiar with Emily Carroll and her amazing artwork. I absolutely adored the artwork and coloring in this graphic novel. If you are a fan of any of her other work then you will definitely enjoy this one as well.
Next up we have By Night volumes 1 & 2 by John Allison. John Allison is the same author who also wrote Giant Days. This series is about estranged high school friends Jane and Heather. In volume one we see them slowly start to hang out some more and get to know each other again. One of the nights that they are hanging out, Heather steals her dad’s keys to the old abandoned Charleswood Estate where he used to work until very recently. Once they are inside they discover a portal to another dimension and decide to explore it. In volume two they end up going back into the alternate dimension and try to film something as proof that they were there. But they end up getting stuck. Can they get out of the alternate dimension? Or will they be stuck there forever?
Having read Giant Days and loved it, I was really looking forward to reading another series by the same author. I’m just gonna be real honest here, it was boring. You would think with a premise like finding a portal to a new dimension that it would be exciting but it just really wasn’t. I’m not sure where the disconnect was but man were these characters obnoxious and dull. They felt flat and forced. Especially the two main characters. They didn’t seem like they should have ever been friends in the first place and they don’t seem like they even want to rekindle their friendship. There’s literally no background in the first two volumes on why they were friends/why they stopped being friends. And honestly, I didn’t care anyway. I didn’t care about any of the characters by the time I was done reading these first two volumes. The artwork was pretty good through and I did like some of the side characters such as Heather’s dad. Overall though, I wouldn’t recommend this series. I was expecting much more and I was disappointed in what I read. Go read Giant Days instead and don’t waste your time on By Night.
Next up we have a graphic novel called Sabrina the Teenage Witch by Kelly Thompson. This graphic novel revolves around Sabrina as she tries to balance school and her magical abilities. Having just moved to Greendale, Sabrina is having to deal with being the new girl and trying to survive high school like a normal teenager. As well as trying to save her new high school (and possibly the whole city) in the meantime. Can she figure out which boy she likes and make new friends while surviving all the magical hi-jinks? You’ll have to read this and find out!
If you grew up watching the 90’s television show then I think you will really like this version of Sabrina. It’s not super dark and gritty like the new Netflix series but it’s also not bubblegum pink and roses. Sabrina is dealing with a lot of normal teenage things in this book such as dating, crushes, making friends, and dealing with schoolwork. As well as trying to balance her new magical powers and dealing with that side of herself. I very much appreciated the version of Sabrina that was in this book. She’s at times unsure of herself and her abilities but then other times she knows exactly what to do and how to take care of business. I also loved that Salem, her cat familiar, was in this version! He was snarky and great as usual. Overall, this was a really good graphic novel and I loved all of it.
The next book that I really enjoyed last month is Our Wonderful Days volume 1 by Kei Hamura. This manga is about Koharu and Mafuyu who were childhood friends until Mafuyu moved to Tokyo and they drifted apart. But now that Mafuyu has moved to the same small time as Koharu they rekindle their friendship. Will it develop into something more as they get to know each other again? Or will they remain just friends?
This was such a cute little slice of life yuri manga. I really enjoyed the pacing as it was nice and slow. I can tell that it’s going to be a very slow build up until we see what happens with these two characters. If you are a fan of slow burn romances then you will definitely enjoy this manga. It reminds me a lot of Bloom Into You in the terms of pacing and story progression so if you like that series then I think you’ll really enjoy this one as well. I’m really excited to see where it goes from here!
Next up we have the sequel to When Dimple Met Rishi, There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon. This book pretty much picks up right after When Dimple Met Rishi ends with Rishi’s brother Ashish Patel breaking up with his girlfriend, Celia. If you’ve read the first book then you will recognize these characters as they were in the first book as well. Once Celia cheats on and breaks up with Ash, he pretty much thinks that his life is over. He can’t stop moping around and seems to have lost his ~mojo~ with the ladies. He hasn’t gone a date in months and he’s even starting to suck at basketball – his one true passion in life. So he decides to do something that he never thought that he would do in a million years – ask his parents to set him up with a girl. If it worked for his brother Rishi, why not him?
Sweetie Nair is a track star. She also has a great group of friends and loves to sing in the shower. However, to her parents dismay, she is also fat. Her mother is constantly nagging her to diet, watch what she’s eating, and exercise more. Sweetie is perfectly fine with how she looks. She knows that her body is strong and does exactly what she needs it to do. She secretly starts the Sassy Sweetie Project where she tries to assert herself more and stand up to her mom. Will she be able to show her that her body is perfect the way that it is? You’ll have to read it and find out!
I absolutely loved this book! I cannot recommend it enough. Even if you haven’t read the first book, you can easily pick this one up and not be lost. The first book is referenced but not that much and you don’t really need to know the characters to understand what’s going on in this book. If you are looking for a cute YA romance then I think you should give this one a try!
The next manga that I liked is a one-shot called Our Dining Table by Mita Ori. This book is about Yutaka, who has always struggled eating around other people even though he is a great cook and likes cooking as well. That suddenly changes when he meets Minoru and Tane – two brothers that ask him to teach them how to cook! They’re tired of eating ramen or take out every night! In no time at all Yutaka is having fun cooking with them and may be falling in love at the same time!
I really enjoyed this manga. It was super sweet and adorable and I’m so sad that it’s only a one-shot. The story was very cute and reminded me a lot of Sweetness and Lightning. If you are a fan of slice of life manga or cooking manga then this one will be right up your alley.
Lastly, I read a really cute one-shot manga called The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms by Nagabe. This manga is about a school that is deep in the forest where beastmen of all shapes and sizes go to school to learn all about magic. This is a collection of short stories and all of them are BL so if that is not your thing then you may not enjoy this volume. I really thought all of the stories were really cute and I absolutely adored the artwork. This book really has all kinds of different of stories in it too so there’s something for everything. If you are a fan of Beastars or other manga in that same vein then I think you would really like this one as well.
That is it for this month! I hope you all enjoyed all of my book reviews and I look forward to talking to you in the comments! If you read anything good please let me know! I’m always on the look out for another good book to read. And come say hi on Twitter or Insta!