Monthly Book Blog Wrap-Up: February 2022

Hi and bye, February! I don’t know how I found the time, but I feel like I was as productive as ever in February. February was the month of the blog tour for me. I also managed to squeeze in a few pleasure reads for myself. (That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the blog tour books, which I did.) Here’s what I accomplished in February.

Book Reviews

For a short month, I surprised myself by posting six book reviews. I’ll happily take a pat on the back for that. From earliest to latest, here are my recent book reviews.

Book Memes and Other Posts

I posted four book memes.

Though not a book meme in the traditional sense, I also participated in the Support Book Bloggers Challenge. I chose the 10 new-to-me book bloggers prompt. Check it out for some potentially new-to-you book bloggers to follow.

I also posted a list of recommended and TBR books for Black history month.

And I can’t forget about my January monthly wrap-up.


I’m now a smidge over half way to my goal of 100 blog followers by the end of 2022. A big thank you to my new blog followers!

Since posting more frequently over the past several months, I’ve noticed an increase in monthly views and unique visitors. The numbers will be small to some, but it’s a steady trend upward nonetheless. Amazingly, more unique visitors checked out my blog in February than in January, which surprised me because February is a shorter month. February also had the highest number of views and unique visitors compared to previous months. This increasing trend makes me happy because it means (I hope) my reviews and my love of books are reaching more people. I think this is mainly a result of signing up from so many blog tours in February. That’s not sustainable for me, though, so I don’t anticipate hitting these numbers every month.

In February, my top five posts were:

  1. 2022 Support Book Bloggers Challenge: 10 Book Bloggers
  2. Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
  3. Blood of the Lost Kingdom by Kristin Ward
  4. The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins
  5. Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian


Lisa at Owl Be Sat Reading started the hashtag #BeatTheBacklog to rally those who want to make a dent in their TBR list. I only read one book in my backlog in February, The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick, which was in my NetGalley queue. I definitely want to make more progress, but one book is certainly better than none! You can find my progress list here of all of my #BeatTheBacklog reads.

Other Book-ish Progress

I made a little progress on my NetGalley queue (The North Wind), though not as much as in January. As I mentioned earlier, most of my attention was on blog tours this month. I also read A Dance with the Fae Prince by Elise Kova, which was not a NG read.

In March, though, I plan on making more progress on my NG approvals. I was pleasantly surprised that publishers approved me for A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland; The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah; The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh; and Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel. I’m quite behind, but I’ll read everything eventually!

I also won a couple of book giveaways. Thanks to Jill at Myth and Magic Book Club for a copy of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. And thanks to Nick at Out of This World SFF for a copy of Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford.

Last, but certainly not least, I created a bookstagram. Please feel free to follow me on Instagram at alitescape!

Book Review: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Print Length: 271

Want to support local bookstores? Buy a copy of Field Notes on Love on!*

*These are not affiliate links and I do not make a commission from any purchase made using these links.

Official Synopsis

Two teens are thrown together on a cross-country train trip that will teach them about love, each other, and the futures they can build for themselves in this meet-cute romance from the bestselling author of Windfall and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

It’s the perfect idea for a romantic week together: traveling across America by train.

But then Hugo’s girlfriend dumps him. Her parting gift: the tickets for their long-planned last-hurrah-before-college trip. Only, it’s been booked under her name. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Mae is still reeling from being rejected from USC’s film school. When she stumbles across Hugo’s ad for a replacement Margaret Campbell (her full name!), she’s certain it’s exactly the adventure she needs to shake off her disappointment and jump-start her next film.

A cross-country train trip with a complete stranger might not seem like the best idea. But to Mae and Hugo, both eager to escape their regular lives, it makes perfect sense. What starts as a convenient arrangement soon turns into something more. But when life outside the train catches up to them, can they find a way to keep their feelings for each other from getting derailed?

My Review

I kept seeing The Love Hypothesis floating around. As a woman in STEM, I’m curious about the hype, but know I probably won’t have access to it from my library for a while. Then this book magically crossed my timeline and I thought, “I’m up for a genre change. The cover looks cute. The title sounds science-y. Let’s go for it!” Admittedly I don’t think I’ve ever, at least not that I can remember, read a non-fantasy romance. So I stepped out of my comfort zone here, and I’m glad I did.

This book is actually pretty cute. But, more than that, it’s about searching for your passion, if you don’t know what it is. It’s also about letting go, taking risks, and trusting that love is all that it’s cracked up to be. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the science field, but that’s ok; field notes apply to many subject matters, namely film studies in this book.

Another theme of this book is finding your identity outside of your family’s expectations and opening lines of communication. If you don’t communicate how you feel, how can your family’s well-meaning expectations ever shift? How can you know that there’s more than one way to approach a crux in life?

Jennifer E. Smith’s writing style is light and effortless. Yet, it also conveys the complexities of emotions faced by 18-year-olds, whether they’re related to college, adventure away from family, or love of all sorts. Though homophobia and racism are not themes that span the entire book, Mae and Hugo each reflect on their encounters with these unappreciated behaviors.

Overall, I’m glad I tried out a different genre than I normally read. I admit I teared up near the end of the book after a particular event. I’m not sold on the whole non-fantasy romance genre yet, but I’m game to read some more.

Rating: 3.5/5
Content warnings: mention of family member death, mention of racism, mention of homophobia
Reading format: Library hardback

WWW Wednesday: January 26, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme revived and hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is to answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses.

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading: Right now I’m reading an ARC via NetGalley of Castle in their Bones by Laura Sebastian. Apparently this has been sitting in my NG queue for a little while. I didn’t realize it’s by the same author who wrote Half Sick of Shadows, which I loved. This hits bookstores on February 1. I’ll probably finish it by then, but I don’t think I’ll be able to write my review and post it on the blog by that date.

Recently Finished: The last book I finished is To Bleed A Crystal Bloom by Sarah A. Parker. It’s not the first “dark fantasy” I’ve read, but it’s certainly the darkest. I loved it. Right before that I finished Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith, which is a YA “meet cute” type romance. I wrote my reviews for both of these books, but just need to decide when to put them in the blog queue.

Reading Next: I’m either going to keep reading The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney, or start The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins. The latter is for a blog tour with The Write Reads, so keep an eye out for my review next month.

WWW Wednesday: January 19, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme revived and hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is to answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses.

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading: I decided to step out of my comfort zone and into the land of YA romance. I can’t remember the last time (or if) I read something in this genre, but I somehow stumbled across Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith. I thought the cover was cute and I thought why not give it ago? So far it’s a nice, light read and I’m enjoying the genre switch.

Recently Finished: The last book I finished reading is The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa. Before that I finished A Land of Never After by R.L. Davennor. You can read my review here. It’s a Peter Pan retelling that’s not particularly fit for a child’s bed time story. Think light fantasy horror regarding a curse where the characters must kill or be killed to survive.

Reading Next: Sometimes I can answer this one, and sometimes I can’t since I’m a mood reader. I might get a head start on a book tour book, or I might try and squeeze in another NetGalley request. If I go the NG route, I’ll read Out Front the Following Sea by Leah Angstman.