What I Read: February 2024

What I Read: February 2024

I can’t believe how quickly February came and went. It’s like I blinked and now we are multiple days into March! I’m definitely in one of those phases where the days seem long, but the weeks go quickly.

Despite a lot going on, I was able to fit in quite a bit of reading, finishing up 8 books in February:

  • Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross
  • Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
  • A Friend in the Dark by Samantha Bailey
  • The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
  • One Person, Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher

As you can see the choices are a bit all over the place. Let’s get into the reviews!

Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross

This is the second book in the Letters of Enchantment series, so it may contain spoilers from Divine Rivals. Proceed carefully.

This book picks up right where Divine Rivals left off. Roman Kitt has lost his memory and is being forced to write propaganda for the god, Dacre. Iris is thrilled to learn he’s alive, but horrified when she realizes he doesn’t remember anything and the danger that he is in. Iris begins to communicate with Roman again through the magical typewriters, much like how they first fell for each other.

But they have to be careful, Dacre is always suspicious and not afraid to inflict his wrath on others in his quest to take down the goddess, Enva. Can Iris help Roman remember? And what does the war between the gods mean for everyone?

I’m not sure anything can compare to the first book, but this was a good read!

Rating: 8/10

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

This is the third book in The Murderbot Diaries series, so it may contain spoilers from the first book, All Systems Red, and second book, Artificial Conditions. Read with caution!

I liked this better than the second book, but it still hasn’t quite matched the magic of the first book for me.

Murderbot has returned to the scene of the first book where it and its clients were attacked. Murderbot is hoping to find evidence of illegal activity that will prove what happened there and also hopefully draw attention away from the fact that a SecUnit has gone missing. To do this, Murderbot poses as hired security and rides with a research team to the planet. Chaos quickly ensues.

Rating: 7/10

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

I liked the big idea of this book!

Carol Dweck dives into the psychology of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset in all aspects of life, pareneting, and work. Basically, with a fixed mindset, you think your qualities are set in stone and out of your control. For example, if you lose a competition, you think you’re terrible at that task, rather than thinking you should practice more. But with a growth mindset, you know you can change and you actively seek out hard things to challenge yourself and grow.

It could get a bit repetitive at times, but it was also helpful to see how these different mindsets look in different arenas of life.

Rating: 8/10

The Wicked King by Holly Black

This is the second book in The Folk of the Air series, so expect spoilers ahead! (Check out my review of the first book, The Cruel Prince, here.)

This book drew me in immediately!

For once in her life, Jude finally has power. As a mortal in a world of faeries, she has always felt under threat. But her new power comes with big responsibility and with enemies, including some in her own family. By putting Cardan on the throne as High King, she tricked nearly everyone. Cardan is seemingly disgusted with her and Jude is doing everything she can to hold it all together. But when someone close to her, betrays her, everything falls apart.

The ending to this one shocked me! It’s one of very few books where I was genuinely thrown by a twist. Like Jude, I felt like I should have seen it coming.

Rating: 9/10

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

This is the third book in The Folk of the Air series, so expect spoilers ahead!

After the way book #2 ended (review above), I was absolutely dying to get my hands on this book. Despite trying to live a mostly normal life in the mortal world, Jude can’t seem to leave Elfhame behind. When the opportunity to trade places with her twin sister (Taryn) arises, Jude immediately jumps at the chance despite the dangers. She quickly finds herself back in the battle for the throne. Can Jude and Cardan finally learn to trust each other or will everything unravel?

I’m hesitant to say too much, but I felt this was a satisfying ending to the original trilogy! But, I’ll be honest, I’m still really mad at Taryn for how she acted the two previous books…

Rating: 8/10

A Friend in the Dark by Samantha Bailey

Don’t contact your ex. I feel like that describes the theme of this book in a nutshell.

Eden’s husband abruptly decides they should separate after dropping off their only child at college. Eden is absolutely blindsided by the news and is unable to understand what went wrong. When she sees a former college crush on social media, she decides to extend a friend request. They immediately begin messaging and Eden is enjoying the attention. But things are off- she finds a random package on her doorstep, her window is randomly left open, and so on. Could this crush from her past be dangerous?

I love a thriller, and this meets a lot of what I expected in terms of twists and turns, but I think I struggled with the whole husband storyline. His reason for abruptly leaving didn’t really add up for me.

Rating: 7/10

The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

This was so different than what I expected, though not necessarily in a bad way.

I expected a typical self-help book focused on building self-confidence. Instead, it’s a conversation (oftentimes, a debate) between two people over the theories of psychologist, Alfred Adler. For me, parts were a bit dry, but other parts presented new ways of thinking about things. I personally really enjoyed the sections toward the end.

I’m still thinking over parts of the book, including the suggestion that all problems are interpersonal relationship problems.

Rating: 8/10

(Note: If you do choose to read this, I’d recommend the audiobook. I found having two different voices for the conversation helps it soak in.)

One Person, Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher

If you’re someone with a lot of interests and don’t enjoy being defined by any one thing, I think you’ll enjoy reading this book. It highlights different people who have “slashes”. Think writer/speaker/filmmaker. Or, to use an example from the book, lawyer/minister.

I wouldn’t say there was a ton of actionable advice from this book (though, there was some), but it was interesting to read about people’s careers and career trajectories. I also loved the inclusion of people’s actual resumes. With split interests and backgrounds, it’s interesting to see how people tie it all together or choose to keep it separate.

Rating: 7/10

Want more reviews? Check out what I read in January 2024.

I want to hear from you! What are you reading these days? Leave some of your favorite recent reads in the comments below.

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