Hi everyone! I can’t believe we’re at the end of January already! Time flies!! Last month I had a super ambitious TBR and, to no one’s surprise, I didn’t manage to read all of the books on it, but I’ll save the details of that for tomorrow’s post! For February I have an almost equally as ambitious TBR, but I have more confidence in myself this time round, as it looks like I’m finally out of the reading slump that took over halfway through January! Without any further ado, here’s the TBR!
So, February is really going to be taken over by ARCs that I need to read, and I’m okay with that because I’m so excited to read all of them! As I mentioned in my January TBR post, I want to read at least one non fiction book a month, and for this month I’m going to be reading Randa Jarrar’s Love is an Ex-Country – a memoir of Jarrar’s life as a fat, queer, muslim Arab-American woman about finding joy in an increasingly hostile America. It sounds like it’s going to be super impactful and I can’t wait to dive into it! Next up are two queer middle grade novels that, despite the fact I don’t read a lot of middle grade, I’m so ready for because I know that they’re both going to be super heartwarming! Proud of Me is about ‘almost twins’, Becky and Josh, who have two lesbian mums and the same anonymous donor dad. Josh is counting down the days until he turns 18 so that he can contact his father, meanwhile, Becky is starting to have feelings for one of her best friends, Carli. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the second book, Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow! It follows Archie whose parents have recently split up and who desperately wants life to return to how it used to be. However, when Archie’s dad comes out as gay, Archie is determined to figure out how to fix his family, and that includes making a trip to a local Pride parade with his best friends!
The next book is one I really can’t wait for – not only does the synopsis sound so unbelievably good, but I’ve been dying to pick up a book by Renée Watson for the longest time! Love is a Revolution follows Nala who agrees to attend an open-mic night for her close friend Imani’s birthday. While she’s there, Nala ends up falling for the MC, Tye, an activist who’s spending his summer organising community events, which is really not up Nala’s street. So, she tells a few white lies to get closer to him, but as things start going awry, she begins to realise the importance of self love over all else. What really sold me about this book was the tagline “In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys, the popular girl clique is not shallow but has strong convictions and substance, and the ultimate love story is not only about romance but about how to show radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself“, because doesn’t that sound amazing!!!
Finally (for this lot of ARCs at least!), I have a couple from Bold Strokes Books! The first is a book I have been patiently waiting for months to be released, ever since I heard the author first tease the book on a BSB webinar a few months ago, and it’s Masquerade by Anne Shade. Masquerade is set in 1920s Harlem and follows Dinah who came to the city for a better life for her family, but is stuck working as a nightclub chorus girl just to make ends meet. But Dinah finds love in the strangest place, when Celine Montre shows up in Harlem, fleeing from a family scandal in New Orleans, and the two start hitting it off. However, a notorious gangster has his heart set on Celine, and the two women are forced to risk their lives for love. As soon as I heard 1920s Harlem and masquerade drag balls, I knew that this book was gonna be just what I was looking for, so fingers crossed it’s a hit! The second of the two is Share the Moon by Toni Logan which is, admittedly, not something I’d normally go for. All I know about this one is that it’s a sapphic paranormal romance, there’s a family vineyard and a romance with a ghost, but I’m willing to give it a go!
I told you all there were a lot of ARCs on this TBR!! Next up is another one I’ve been anticipating for a while now and it’s Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought. This is pretty much what it says on the tin – a collection of short stories, essays and poems by Black lesbian writers and theorists, which talk about anti-Blackness, misogynoir, and coming out and romance. Then, we have one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 that, of course, I’ve already preordered (I’m as shocked as you are that I got approved for the ARC!). A Dark and Hollow Star is another one I don’t want to know all that much about before going in. It’s a chunky YA high fantasy featuring queer fae found family and it has an f/f and an m/m couple at its centre – yes please!!!
The last three ARCs are ones that I didn’t quite manage to get round to reading last year. First up is Georgia Beers’ 16 Steps to Forever. Since it’s Valentine’s month, I thought that it’s the perfect time to be reading some romance, and Georgia Beers’ writing is perfect for that! This one is a sapphic romance featuring the grumpy/sunshine trope and has an adorable meet cute and if anything’s going to get me over not being able to see my girlfriend this Valentine’s Day, it’s this! Not This Time by M.A. Binfield is the sapphic book I’ve been hunting for for years! It follows Sofia and Madison who used to be bandmates before Sofia decided to go solo, but when the band were still together, the two of them were secretly in love. When the two of them are suddenly flung together again, they’re forced to confront the hurt that they caused each other and start to patch up their broken relationship! Finally, Witch, Cat and Cobb is a super short sapphic fantasy novella with trans main characters which follows the princess Breanwynne who decides to run away with her cat to escape an arranged marriage. As she ventures into the Swamp Witch’s lair new secrets are revealed and Breanwynne might end up with her happy ever after after all…that is if she survives!
I’m still in a fantasy reading slump (when will it end!!!) but there are a couple I’m gonna try my best to read this month! First up is the Sapphic Stories Bookclub pick for the month which is Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron! I preordered this one last year but never got round to picking it up so this is the perfect pick! It follows Sophia who knows the story of Cinderella off by heart, even though she died 200 years ago. Every girl in the kingdom must go to the royal ball to be ‘chosen’ by a man, and those who aren’t chosen are forfeit. But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen because she’s in love with her best friend Erin, so when the ball goes horribly wrong, Sophia ends up hiding in Cinderella’s tomb where she meets someone who could help her change the world! Next up is actually a book that I kept seeing Bertie recommend over and over so I decided to pick it up! The reason why I’m picking it up this month specifically is because I got an ARC of the sequel, which I’ll be reading next month, and I’m so excited to finally dive in! A Memory Called Empire is a sapphic adult sci-fi/fantasy novel with a tonne of political intrigue which is exactly what I love in my fantasy books! Finally, another fantasy novella that I’ll be picking up is my preorder of The Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard. This has been compared to Howl’s Moving Castle and is set in a pre-colonial Vietnamese inspired world…and it’s queer and that’s really all I need to know!
We’re almost done!! These final two lots of books are what I’ll probably mostly be reading aside from my ARCs because I’m (unsurprisingly) really in the mood for some contemporary and romance novels right now! First up is one I’ve been planning to read in February for months now because I just think it’ll be perfect – Meet Cute Club! This is an m/m enemies to lovers romance featuring a romance book club and it just sounds adorable! Over the last year I realised that I don’t read many Achillean books, and I really want to change that, so fingers crossed that this one is a hit! Next up is my most anticipated book of 2021 full stop! I mean the most anticipated book for me (aka, it hurt to see everyone else receive ARCs of it!). Honey Girl is coming at the perfect time in my life – it follows Grace who has just finished her PhD and ends up drunkenly getting married while on a celebratory girls’ trip. Grace is struggling with her parents’ expectations, burnout and struggling to get a job, all the while with a new wife! As someone who graduated into the pandemic, this is a book that I think will really resonate with my current situation and I’m ready for the cathartic tears that I know it will bring!
The next book I mentioned in my January TBR but my preorder arrived really late so I wasn’t able to pick it up during the month of January. So as not to bore you to tears with another summary of the synopsis, The Girls I’ve Been is a sapphic contemporary-slash-thriller featuring a girl whose parents were con artists and who finds herself caught up one day in a bank robbery! This will be my first book by Tess Sharpe and I can’t wait to read it! Finally, 2021 preorder that I’ll be reading this month is Love is for Losers – a cute sapphic YA contemporary novel about fifteen year old Phoebe who doesn’t believe in love until she meets Emma at her local thrift shop and falls head over heels!
We’re finally at the last three books! First up is one I’ll be reading throughout the month, possibly one short story each day or every two days – Black Enough, edited by Ibi Zoboi. I know that it’s Black History Month in the US right now, so this would be the perfect addition to your TBR for that, bet here in the UK our Black History Month is in October, which is when I’ll be predominantly reading books by Black authors. However, I’ve had this on my physical TBR for a wee while now and, although I’m not the biggest fan of short stories, there are some really great authors featured in here, such as Dhonielle Clayton and Tochi Onyebuchi! Next up is another book that’s been on my physical TBR for a while and that’s Her Name in the Sky. This will be my first read by Kelly Quindlen and I can’t wait! I know that this book means a lot to so many sapphics and that it’s a tear jerker so I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s gonna be a good one! The final book I’m hoping to read this month is Cantoras, which is another friend recommendation! I keep seeing how much Gabriella and Hsinju love this book and, although I’m not the biggest reader of literary fiction, this one is sapphic and I trust their reading tastes so I’m really excited to give it a go!
If you’ve read any of these books I’d love to know what you thought of them! And let me know what you’ll be reading during February! Stay safe!