Top Five Friday: Books That Got Me Through This Winter

We are three months into 2021 and I am more grateful than ever for the absolute gift that is reading. On top of that, I am indebted to librarians everywhere for keeping the book world running in the middle of a pandemic and getting zero credit for it. Thank your librarians, people! Write them nice notes. Advocate on their behalf. πŸ™ They are invaluable.

The cover of the book What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo depicting a young white woman with sharp teeth protruding from her mouth

1. What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

You know that one book you just keep talking about that no one will read? Like, not one person. I get it, the thing is fairly new and werewolves aren’t the craze they once were. But people, seriously? This book is magnificent! Why isn’t it on all of your shelves yet!? I realize I’m setting the bar pretty high here, but APPARENTLY that’s what I have to do to get someone to read this beautiful, fantastic, sensational novel! The thing exceeded every one of my expectations. Gimme a dozen sequels, Rose Szabo! I could live inside this world of yours for years.

😱 YA Horror
🩸 Gore
πŸ‘» Supernatural
⏲️ Fast- Paced

See my full review of What Big Teeth for content warnings, rep and a bit about the author.

β€œI don’t love her, if that’s what you mean,” he says. “I just want her love to save me.”

I don’t tell him that that’s how it always begins: in selfishness, in ambition, in lust or desperation. That love starts out as something you want to bite into and ends as something that swallows you up.

Rose Szabo, What Big Teeth
The cover of the book Legendborn by Tracy Deonn depicting a young black woman with natural hair and blue and red magic encircling her arms.

2. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Legendborn is the standard to which I am now holding all YA fantasy. The representation in this novel is about as perfect as it gets. Seriously. I do not say that lightly. We have queer characters, gender neutral characters, characters of color, and neuro-diverse characters. There is no tokenizing. There are discussions of race and gender and orientation without making them the focus of the books. This is everything I want from contemporary fiction and particularly from fantasy. To say I am overjoyed is an understatement.

✨ Black Girl Magic
πŸ§‘πŸ½β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘πŸ» Love Triangle
πŸ’” Grief and Love
πŸ“– Couldn’t Put it Down

See my full review of Legendborn for content warnings, rep and a bit about the author.

The cover of When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole depicting the facade of a blue brownstone building with a light on in only one window

3. When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

The increase in authors of color (and WOMEN, at that) getting published in the thriller/mystery genre is one of my FAVORITE things happening to books right now. The field has been dominated by white women for decades (it was mostly white men before that, though honestly, what wasn’t? πŸ™„) Alyssa Cole took this genre to new, amazing heights with her book When No One Is Watching which gives the nasty business of gentrification and even more sinister spin. It has a very Get Out feel to it but I feel comfortable recommending it even if the horror genre isn’t quite your bag. This book is chilling without the gore. Because really, what’s creepier than institutional racism and systemic oppression?

See my full review of When No One Is Watching for content warnings, rep and a bit about the author.

β€œThey can break, but they can’t erase,” Gracie says. “They can build but they can’t bury us.”

– Alyssa Cole, When no one is watching
πŸ•΅πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ Mystery/ Thriller
⏲️ Fast Paced
🎀 Own Voices
πŸ‘οΈ Multiple POV
The cover of Wicked Fox by Kat Cho depicting a young Korean boy and girl in school uniforms with the moon behind them

4. Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

What do I love most about this book: the characters? the folklore? the teen love? Probably all of those, tbh. But I especially loved buddy reading this book with my friend, Amanda, back in January and am now utterly convinced that the cure to winter blues is books with friends. Even if you’re hundreds of miles away from one another. Reading counts as a social activity and you’ll never change my mind.

🦊 Korean Folklore
πŸ•―οΈ Slow Burn Romance
2️⃣ Duology
πŸŽ“ High School

See my full review of Wicked Fox for content warnings, rep and a bit about the author.

β€œShe’d read books that said two lovers’ hearts could race as one. This wasn’t true for Miyoung. Her heart chased Jihoon’s, speeding in a breakneck sprint to catch up.”

Wicked Fox, Kat Cho
The cover of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas depicting a white woman with auburn hair and who is partly cut out of the frame while wielding magic.

5. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Real talk, I read this first book in this series (A Court of Thorns and Roses) the day before I had surgery. And then I read (and re-read) this one and the sequel. THEN, for good measure, I read them all again because I’m a monster! I can’t get enough of this book or the fan art or the fandom in general. I have refrained from writing much about it, though, as I am preparing a big post for once I’ve finished A Court of Silver Flames next month!

πŸ§‘πŸ½β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘πŸ» Love Triangle
πŸ’˜ Enemies to Lovers
πŸ‰New Adult Fantasy

Stay tuned for my full review, content warnings, author blurb moodboards and character aesthetics… if you’re into that sort of thing.

a photo of sarah holidng up a tablet with the number 5 on it

Personal note: girl on plans for spring

I’m currently working on my book recommendations (based on astrological signs) for April and am really hoping to go more places with that. Until now I’ve only been posting them on Instagram. Keep your eyes peeled for more zodiac-related book content in the coming month!



Sarah written in handwriting

Published by Sarah

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

7 thoughts on “Top Five Friday: Books That Got Me Through This Winter

  1. At this point I know I just HAVE to read Legendborn – you’re one of many people I’ve seen recommending it and I just have got to give it a try!
    Great post! Excited about the zodiac content πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes to ACOMAF! I don’t remember how many times I’ve read that book or the AOCTAR series πŸ™ˆ. Can’t wait for your zodiac book recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

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