Book review round-up! Battle of the Linguist Mages, Finlay Donovan Knocks Em Dead, What’s Your Sign?, Katie the Catsitter 2: Best Friends for Never, Cold, and Ophelia After All

You hate to see it! Your favorite Latitude is simply swamped with homework, Still. I read fifty-two books in January and that was my goal for the whole year! I’m tired and I need to consume a different media now. Being a lit student is a Lot. Hopefully February will be better. Also sorry that all of these sound like Letterboxd one-line reviews. I’m a product of my time! I received all of these books at no cost to me through NetGalley.

Battle of the Linguist Mages (Audiobook)


Science fiction, adult, pink
Published January 11th, 2022

Have you ever wished that An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was more like Snow Crash or Neuromancer, or that it was entirely drenched in pink and sparkles? If you have, BATTLE OF THE LINGUIST MAGES is for you. I would die for Scotto Moore. Five stars. I also read this on audiobook, and the narrator was great. (Five stars for her also.) Bookshop link here.

Finlay Donovan Knocks Em Dead (Audiobook)

Published Feb 1st, 2022
Adult, cozy mystery, contemporary

Think of a cozy mystery that’s just like, a touch more stylish? And you’ll get FINLAY DONOVAN KNOCKS EM DEAD. This is the second volume in the series, and I did not read the first, but now I really really want to — not because I was confused, but because I am fascinated. Bookshop link.

Cop involvement: Finlay’s sister, Georgia is a cop and a love interest, Detective Nick Anthony is also a cop (he is regrettably very hot). Finlay shows little regard for the law, which I love in a cozy mystery. Four stars! Narrator gets a solid five stars.

What’s Your Sign? (Audiobook)


Publishes Feb 15, 2022
Nonfiction, astrology

This is like a coffee table book but for some reason it was turned into an audiobook. I imagine this would be incredible to have on your coffee table to flip through sometimes. As an audiobook, it’s kind of a mess. Honestly, I picked this book up because I thought it was an adaption of the podcast What’s Your Sign? Which is the only astrology podcast I listen to and which I once gave a three-star review on Facebook to because it was “too gendered”. (It gets less gendered!) I thought that reading and reviewing this audiobook would be my redemption arc! But it is not put out by the double Tauruses of What’s Your Sign, it is put out by Sanctuary Astrology, which is an app with the ugliest icon I’ve ever seen. Anyhow, after reading this book, I know way too much about astrology, and I know more about houses but have retained none of the information about how houses relate to my chart. Three stars. No redemption arc. (Fantastic audiobook narrator. 5 stars, but I’ve enjoyed her work more on novels.) Bookshop link.

Katie the Catsitter Book 2: Best Friends for Never


Publishes Feb 15, 2022
Graphic novel, middle grade, diverse

I was not prepared for this graphic novel at all being about superheroes and villains! I did not read the first Katie the Catsitter book so I was a little lost at the beginning – was this contemporary? Magical? Urban fantasy? It’s just about superheroes and villains – unclear if any of the superheroes have “powers”, really, and also many hyper-intelligent cats. It’s also about friendships and getting new friends and not remembering how to connect with your old ones. It’s got really good art that isn’t necessarily realistic but feels relatable. The cast is both diverse and delightful. There are twists that I definitely saw coming, but also I am An Adult and familiar with The Tropes — a child Latitude would definitely be surprised. Five stars! Bookshop link.

Cold by Mariko Tamaki


Queer, YA, mystery, thriller
Publishes: February 8th, 2022

Dual-POV YA murder mystery partly from the perspective of the victim? Yes! Are the characters well-rounded? Not really! Is that okay? Yeah, pretty much! This book is not good because of the characters, but because of the twisty plot and the layers that this story uncovers. I enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed The Taking of Jake Livingston, a similar book that I read last year. Content warnings for homophobia and some intense toxic masculinity. Four stars. Bookshop link.

Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie


Publishes: February 8th, 2022
Queer, contemporary, YA

This is one of my favorite reads of 2022. Now, is it February 1st? Yes. However. This book’s got everything you want in a YA novel:
1) Incredible characterization
2) The voice! Excellent use of voice!
3) It’s here, it’s queer, it’s fantastique
4) Also the main character is a botanist and really intensely into roses and I’ve never been more delighted about this??

This book is like the experience of reading a really really good short story in a Dahlia Adler anthology and then it goes on for the FULL NOVEL EXPERIENCE. I’m in love with this book. Five stars. Bookshop link.

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