Love, Like, and Not For Me Challenge: February 2023

love like not for me reading challenge february 2023

This year I’m working to be more personal and honest in my opinions about the books I read. I’ve spent my entire time reviewing books here trying my hardest to balance the good and the bad and offer a similarly balanced rating no matter my personal feelings about the book. Last year I finally decided I was done just giving 4 cups of tea to books I personally would have give 3 or even 2 cups to, so I decided, while I do like staying balanced in my reviews, I needed a way to indicate my personal preferences. So, here we are. I’ll be dividing each book I read into Love, Like, and Not for Me categories, and really can’t wait to see the outcome. So, how did February look?


play the fool lina chern

Play the Fool by Lina Chern, I’ll have to admit after what I had to say at the end of last month, wasn’t perfect, but I absolutely adored the characters. I still wish there had been more tarot in the book, but Katie, her brother Owen, and the detective Jamie made reading this an absolute joy. There were some really nice twists and turns and some fantastic relationships, so, no matter how many things I would have liked changed, I really loved reading this one. It was fun and suspenseful, and I really loved the surprise romance because it was just perfectly done.


ashes to ashes crust to crust mindy quigley

Ashes to Ashes, Crust to Crust by Mindy Quigley is the second in the Deep Dish Mystery series. It follows Delilah, a woman from Chicago who runs an upscale deep dish pizzeria in a vacation spot for the wealthy in Wisconsin, and the mysteries that fall in her lap. I really enjoyed the first book, but this one didn’t focus on Delilah’s restaurant crew as much as I would have liked, so I felt kind of disconnected from the story. I did adore Butterball the cat and Delilah’s ex-fiance, especially at the end, so I liked this one, but didn’t love it.

the tyranny of faith richard swan

The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan is the second in the Empire of the Wolf trilogy and, unfortunately, I felt like it just bit off more than it could chew. There were too many plots that just didn’t get woven well together, and the surprise romance was a really unwelcome surprise. Considering the events of the first book and that this one follows on the heels of the first one, it just didn’t sit well with me. Beyond that, the kidnapping case wasn’t really interesting as I figured it out almost right away. But I still liked this one because Helena was amazing and I loved seeing her with Bressinger and Radomir. Those three were wonderful!

Not For Me

in an orchard grown from ash rory power

In an Orchard Grown From Ash by Rory Power is the second in the Wind-Up Garden duology. The first book didn’t wow me, but I was intrigued by the third of four children, Nitsos, and how his story ended, so I was looking forward to seeing how everything he set up unfolded in the second. I already knew this one wasn’t going to be for me, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much I ended up not liking this one. For one, I thought this duology was about twins Rhea and Lexos, but I feel like Chrysanthi is the focal character. I do love her, though, so I don’t mind as much. The other characterizations and Nitsos’s story are just big disappointments and the loveliness of Chrysanthi just can’t correct for that, unfortunately.

In Progress

Lester Lies Down by James Ladd Thomas is one that dropped in my inbox, oh, about a half a year ago. It’s a fictional slice of life type of story with a main character who appears to be on the autism spectrum. I’m drawn in just by that, but I’m not really sure where the story is going. It feels like it’s just meandering, so I’ll have to read on to figure out my feelings about this one.

Thanks for reading!

Head over to the Bookshelf to check out my reviews of books from the Big 5 and self-published, indie, and small press books.

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