So it’s now March, and that means #fffebruaryreads is over. We had so much fun, and we’re really grateful to everyone that partcipated and made it such a success! (Also yes, this title is quite a mouthful, apologies! But there’s a lot of stuff in this blog post that I can’t all fit in.)
What I Discovered:
As I looked about trying to find my next reads, I noticed LGBTQ+ books have lower ratings on goodreads. Unfortunately, I also noticed it was because a bunch of donuts one-starred them because they contained strong LGBTQ+ themes.
Who hurt you, homophonic donuts? It just goes to show that LGBTQ+ literature still faces discrimination, which makes it even more important to bring queer aspects into literature of all forms so that it can be seen as a healthy, normal part of society. You can bet that we’ll be bringing back #fffebruaryreads in 2020 in a hope to make it even bigger and better than before.
What I Read:
My first read for F/F February was Carol by Patricia Highsmith. A beautiful sapphic classic, I enjoyed Highsmith’s beautiful writing, but I found the characters better-drawn in the film. Carol came off a little cold in the book. (4 stars)
After Carol, I moved onto That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston. I’d had the book for a while and I was glad to finally get it off my TBR – it proved a very interesting modern contemporary set in Canada, all the whilst featuring a alternate world where the British Empire survived. (4 stars)
Final Draft by Riley Redgate was up after that. I love Redgate’s books, and whilst I didn’t enjoy this as much as her prior book Noteworthy, Redgate is officially one of my favourite contemporary writers alongside Alice Oseman. She writes diverse casts, and I loved Laila, the pansexual Ecuadorian French-Canadian MC, and her best friend Hannah Park. (4 stars)
I had a tone shift from contemporary to historical again when I started The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin, which is set in late 1800s Victorian Era. It was very dramatically gay in a very Victorian way, with grand sweeping statements of love, and I really enjoyed the character of Rebekah Brock. Carlin creates an amazingly gritty Victorian London, but I thought the arrangement and development of the plot needed a little more work. (3.5 stars)
After that I had a small break reading a few standard books off my TBR, then moved on to Queen of Air and Darkness – which although isn’t centrally f/f, it does feature a f/f side relationship, so I’ve sneakily chose to include it. (It also includes a central trans character, and a poly relationship, if anyone is trying to decide whether to read the series). I love The Dark Artifices series and think it’s a marvel of characterisation, and Helen and Aline (the f/f relationship) are very much the two moms of the novel and work so hard at supporting the younger characters whilst also supporting each other. (4.5 stars)
A little after that was Savannah Brown’s UKYA debut The Truth About Keeping Secrets. Frankly, I was under the assumption it was a thriller, and once I came to realise it wasn’t (about 1/3 into the book), I really enjoyed it more. The presentation of Sydney’s grief, and how she learns to deal with it, it the driving force of the novel, and it is beautifully supplemented by considerations of abuse and male privilege. I also loved June, Sydney’s love interest, and the diversity within the novel. (4 stars)
Directly after that was Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy, which I buddy-read with my #fffebruaryreads co-host Imi and our dear friend Mel. It’s an sapphic Arthurian retelling in space, which is a very ambitious premise. It had amazing diversity (sapphic, gay, aro, enby) and for that reason alone it is wonderful, but I also really enjoyed the worldbuilding and the capitalist overlords. However, the plot was a little clunky and transitions could’ve been smoothed out. (3.5 stars)
Unfortunately, I did not get to the final two f/f books on my list, which were The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera and The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth. I’ll hopefully get to them this year, but if not . . . they’ll be top of the list for F/F February 2020.
I’m so glad I enjoyed so many of the f/f novels I picked, and a great number of them were marvellously written. There are so many f/f novels I can’t wait to pick up later in the year too, when they’re released (i.e. These Witches Don’t Burn).
As we said, there was a giveaway running for #fffebruaryreads, and I’ve been keeping an eye in the background and taking note of everyone participating using the hashtag and those who completed the bingo (or even the whole board, damn). I’ll be running those usernames through a generator and I’ll be in contact with the winner within the week to ask what book they’d like to receive, so best of luck to you all! ❤
And now, finally, a small announcement . . .
Announcing . . . Aro-Ace April!
I had been thinking about this for a little while (alongside a M/M March which isn’t happening this year but I definitely want to do next year) but when my amazing friend Kelsea came over and suggested it too, I was decided.
SO ARO-ACE APRIL IS HAPPENING GUYS.
This is happening because of the support of everyone during F/F February, and we couldn’t have done it without you! I’ll be taking the reins on this one, as the representation of aromantic/asexual characters is something close to my own heart but once again Imi will be my amazing cohost and I’m really glad to have her help (mostly because she has a better Twitter presence and makes online friends better than I do).
I’m currently organising an announcement post and a list of books to read, but it’s going to be pretty much very similar to how #fffebruaryreads worked – we’ll have a photo challenge for Instagram and potentially another bingo board, as that seemed to go down well. The hashtag will probably be #aroaceapril or even #aaaprilreads to keep in format, but stay tuned and we’ll give you all the official one once we decide.
Anyway, I’m really excited about it because I love championing diverse books, and it may lead on to even more things in future – depending on how many months we can alliterate diverse identities with.
An official announcement post will be up soon, and then there will be another big masterpost with suggestions of aro/ace books to read! (But whilst we’re here, let me just say that April will be a perfect month to read books such as Schwab’s Vengeful, Lee’s The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Soria’s Beneath the Citadel, Bowman’s Summer Bird Blue, Oseman’s Radio Silence, Legrand’s Sawkill Girls and many more).
I really hope you’ll enjoy this challenge as much as F/F February, and I can’t wait to tell you all more about it ❤