Reading Roundup: February 2022

Another month, another batch of books read. I read a lot of graphic novels, using my hoopla account to the max (if you don’t have hoopla, I highly recommend it—it’s connected to the library so everything is free and legal!) But also one of my most anticipated books came out and I fully hyperfocused on that for a good chunk of the month. Plus it was massive so it took some time to get through (yes, I am a Sarah J. Maas stan).

So let’s take a look at the list. Click on any of the titles to be taken to Bookshop where you can find a copy of your own.

  • The Avant-Guards Vol. 3: Down to the Wire by Carly Usdin and Noah Hayes – For the same reasons that I love the comic Fence, I love The Avant-Guards. I absolutely adore this genre of beautifully gay sports comics that are out in the world! Fence, this, Cheer Up, and Check Please have all become insta-classics for a reason…and that reason is that they’re all a delight. They combine heart and humour with relatability and the queerness that has long been missing from more mainstream comics. While I didn’t love this volume as much as I loved the first, this series as a whole is outstanding and fun. Totally worth a read.
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – What a beautiful book! Everything from the story, characters, culture, and more just captivated me from the start. It’s such a heartfelt story and you can’t help but be right there with Yadriel as he experiences all of his ups and downs on his journey. Sure, this book is a beautiful urban fantasy but it’s so much more as it explores themes of family, acceptance, and growth, all through the lens of a protagonist that you’re rooting for from start to finish.
  • Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin by Emilie Plateau – An insightful and educational graphic novel shedding light on a figure from history that has mostly been brushed aside. Claudette Colvin had an almost identical experience to the one Rosa Parks had…and before Rosa too. But due to finding herself pregnant as a young teen, the desegregation movement chose Rosa to be the face of what they were doing. Rosa Parks remains brave and iconic and helped to change the world for the better. But this sheds the light on the other women who stood alongside her and whose part was deeply understated, including Claudette. Absolutely worth reading and learning more about.
  • The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs by Celine Loup – I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this one! I was thinking it would be like one of Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods short horror stories and while it definitely evokes some of those vibes, this is a lot darker in a lot of ways as it dabbles in fiction, horror, and mental illness. I LOVED the art and the concept was really interesting but I don’t know if it came together for me. Still ultimately really amazing for the art, at the very least!
  • Daredevil Vol. 1: Know Fear by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto – I haven’t read Daredevil in a while and wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy it but this really surprised me! A layered and interesting look at the character with excellent writing and incredible art.
  • Hex Vet: Witches in Training by Sam Davies – A quick and cute day in the life of the employees of a magical animal hospital! Fun and fantastical!
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh – Absolutely adored this book. As I read, I found myself groaning as we approached tropes of enemies to lovers, one person being angry and punishing the other in some childish way, and not embracing shared feelings, etc. But this story surprised me as it told a beautiful love story (still enemies to lovers) while subverting all of those character decisions that sometimes have you screaming at the book. The characters were rich and wonderful and I flew through this.
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo – Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo have done such a great job of establishing these characters in their individual books and bringing them together here. It’s a sweet, fun story that you don’t need any knowledge of the Teen Titans for. But for fans of TT, there are lots of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout as well as the groundwork to continue on the series, eventually culminating in the Teen Titans. Thoroughly enjoyable and delightful!
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell and David Lasky – El Deafo is a really special story that does such a fantastic job tackling big topics and themes and weaving them into a narrative that’s captivating to all audiences, especially kids. While not all young people can understand what having a hearing impairment is like, there are so many other relatable moments surrounding friendship, school, and the general kid experience that shine through. It brought me back to trying to make friends and how daunting that can be! As we get older, we sometimes forget how hard it can be to be a young person. We get caught up in seeing their lives as easy and carefree and stories like this capture not only happy times, but some of the struggles that young people go through and the anxiety that it can cause them. Cece Bell perfectly taps into her youth to deliver a deeply personal story but one that many people can still see themselves in in many ways. It’s absolutely wonderful.
  • March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell – What can it say about this graphic novel that hasn’t already been said? It’s vital and important and should be mandatory reading for everyone.
  • House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas – All I have to say about this one (since it’s so new) is this: AHHHHHHHHhhhhhhHhhhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! That ENDING…how am I supposed to wait for the next book?! I am of the SJM cult and I can’t wait for more.

And I read three additional things that I was waiting to form thoughts on and just didn’t manage to think up anything to say. They’re all very good but I didn’t know how to really summarize. They’re all very different though, so feel free to check these out too:

What did you read in February? Are there any books from my list that you’ve been meaning to check out?