I’m so excited that it’s February because I’ve been looking forward to taking part in F/F February for ages.
F/F February is an annual reading challenge hosted by Imi and Ellie over at Beyond a Bookshelf, and the aim is to read and celebrate sapphic books during all of February.
February is also Black History Month in the US, so I’ll be reading both sapphic books and books by Black authors this month.
Although (the US) BHM is in February, it’s really important to read and support books by Black authors all year round, not just in February.
So I’ll be reading several books by Black authors this month, but I’ll also be reading books by Black authors every month this year and continuously into the future.
As part of F/F Feb, Imi and Ellie have a bingo board of reading prompts, and I’m going to aim to hit eight out of the nine.
My F/F February TBR
Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
Bingo card prompt unlocked: An F/F audiobook, graphic novel, or multi-media story
Written in the Stars
After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.
Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.
When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.
Bingo card prompts unlocked: An F/F book featuring your favourite trope (fake dating) and an F/F contemporary, historical, and/or romance
Cinderella is Dead
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum.
There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
Bingo card prompt unlocked: A sapphic own voices book
One Last Stop
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone.
She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker.
She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Bingo card prompts unlocked: An F/F rec from a friend
She Who Became the Sun
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…
In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.
When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.
After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.
Bingo card prompt unlocked: An F/F book from a 2020 or 2021 debut author
The Space Between Worlds
The multiverse business is booming, but there’s just one catch: no one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive.
Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying–from diseases, from turf wars, from vendettas they couldn’t outrun.
But on this earth, Cara’s survived. And she’s reaping the benefits, thanks to the well-heeled Wiley City scientists who ID’d her as an outlier and plucked her from the dirt. Now she’s got a new job collecting offworld data, a path to citizenship, and a near-perfect Wiley City accent. Now she can pretend she’s always lived in the city she grew up staring at from the outside, even if she feels like a fraud on either side of its walls.
But when one of her eight remaining doppelgangers dies under mysterious circumstances, Cara is plunged into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and future in ways she never could have imagined–and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
Bingo card prompt unlocked: An F/F backlist book
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?
Bingo card prompt unlocked: An F/F sci-fi or fantasy
Books that aren’t for F/F Feb, but I’m still going to try and read anyway
I know this is a REACH adding another three books to my seven-book TBR, but hear me out. There’ a reason for me to read each of these books in February.
I’m reading A Pho Love Story this month because I started it at the end of January and it releases in the UK soon, so I want to review my e-ARC ASAP.
Spoiler Alert is the February and March book club pick for the Sprayed Edges book club so I need to start that soon. And I had planned a buddy read of Cemetery Boys for this month with my friend Helen so I don’t want to let her down.
I know this is a pretty ambitious TBR for the month but I’m going to try my best to read as many of these as possible. Wish me LOTS of luck.
What are you reading in February? Are you taking part in F/F Feb or reading books for Black History Month? Let me know if you’ve read any of the books on my TBR!
5 thoughts on “February 2021 TBR // F/F February and Black History Month”
Ooooh I didn’t know Cinderella is Dead had sapphic rep! I’m even more excited to read that now 😀 I recently read Fireheart Tiger. What a beautiful read!
I’ve heard lots of good things about Cinderella is Dead. Definitely adding it to my tbr list!
*chants* OLS! OLS! OLS!