Beginning of ContemporaryAThon!

It has been an intense week. Thursday evening my wife and I began traveling to my hometown for a funeral and we got back early Monday morning. It was both a really quick and painfully long trip. It also meant that it was time to read ALL THE FLUFF! And slowly start reading some books for review. ^_^

The template I’m using for these updates is WWW Wednesday, hosted by Taking on a World of Words and recommended to me by Destiny at Howling Libraries.

What am I currently reading?

I’m technically still in the middle of City of Bones but I haven’t touched it in over a week so am I really currently reading it? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I was also sent two books for review by their authors: Soft on Soft by Em Ali and

*drumroll please!*

Empire of Light by Alex Harrow!! If you’ve been following me for any length of time at all you probably already know about this queer magic Firefly-ish universe with cinnamon rolls and sinnamon rolls and everything in between. If not, you can read the first chapter here. And preorder it here. It comes out February 25th, but if you preorder the ebook you get it on the 22nd! Also you can choose your favorite bb. Personally, I’m very #TeamAris.

I’m in the middle of both of these and hope to have reviews out for them by the end of February.

What have I finished reading since my last update?

First, the book I finished before the ContemporaryAThon began: A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars. This is the second Reluctant Royals book and I thought I loved the first one, but honestly it has nothing on the second one. There were a few squicky trust violations in the first book that pulled me out of the story; the second book has all the phenomenal writing and chemistry without any of the personal squick. I don’t think I can do it justice in a mini-review, and honestly I don’t think I could express all my happy feelings in a full review either. I loved both main characters with everything in me. I loved seeing the characters I loved from the first book. I loved all the character development. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the silver fox aspect, but damned if I didn’t love that too. There’s amazing representation of therapy being useful in practical, day to day life. If anyone wants to squee about this book with me or needs any further convincing, let me know. I could spend days talking about this book. REP: Portia is black and has ADHD. Tav is Chilean-Scottish and has a Jamaican adopted dad. CW: internalized shame, slut shaming, general devaluing of a woman, there’s also one small warning that’s also a bit of a spoiler, so message me if you want more info.

Aaand then I finished nothing over the weekend. And then it was ContemporaryAThon!

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars. For me, this completes the ContemporaryAThon challenges of a book I meant to read in 2018, an emotional/hard hitting book, and a non-traditional format. This is a contemporary YA about a fat high school girl butting heads with her weight-obsessed mother and dealing with her sister/best friend moving to college. The end felt a little easy and rushed, and I feel like some plot lines got dropped, but overall this was a wonderful book that 17-18 year-old-me could have really used and, honestly, that 26-year-old me has benefited from reading. REP: MC is fat and has anxiety, her mom has an eating disorder, her sister is queer, and her love interest is Columbian American. There’s also a little bit of discussion about how he’s not as dark as his cousins and how that can be invalidating. CW: panic attacks, eating disorder/disordered thoughts and behaviors regarding food, self image issues, fat shaming and other crappy behavior from a parent.

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars. You may be asking yourself, didn’t you just read this book, Owl? In fact, I read exactly a month ago today. Maybe I could plan to read it on the thirteenth of every month. It’s an amazing book and I love it to pieces. Also FYI, if you own the Kindle version the Audible version is just two dollars. So if you’re a heavily audio person like me I really enthusiastically recommend going for that. My one critique of the audiobook is that, unlike the ebook, it does not list the content warnings before the prologue. For ContemporaryAThon this satisfied the challenges of most recent acquisition, diverse cast, and non-traditional format. REP: Ruth is black, fat, nerdy, and autistic. Evan is secretly Steve Rogers and now I want to read all the fanfiction. CW: slut shaming, internalized shame and blame, past partner abuse.

What do I plan to read between now and my next update?

Destiny, my goddess of book recs, has suggested I check out some Cole McCade. A few of his books are on Kindle Unlimited and one of his audiobooks is on Scribd, so I’m probably going to keep riding this happy romance train for a while longer. I’ve also got a hold on the audio of Once Ghosted Twice Shy, which is a Reluctant Royals novella, but I don’t think I’ll be lucky enough to get it this week.


That’s my update! Have you read any of these? Any thoughts on what I should read soon? Are you participating in ContemporaryAThon? Let me know in the comments.

Author: SeeOwlRead

They/She. I’m a queer reviewer and librarian.

One thought on “Beginning of ContemporaryAThon!”

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