Looking Back on February 2022

I’m really sick of major life events. I swear something major has happened every month for the last year if not more. This month started with losing my job. The first job I’ve ever been fired from and I can’t believe the explanation I was given. I have my own conspiracy on what happened, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. I don’t have a job anymore. I gave them almost a decade of my life, and now that chapter is over. I’m trying to look on the bright side, which is really hard because I’m not an optimist.

My anxiety and depression (bipolar disorder) had a hay day with that event.

At first, all I wanted to do was crawl under a rock. I’ve never been fired before. It was something I prided myself on. I like to think of myself as a good little worker bee, who has some leadership qualities. And then this happened, and it felt like my world slipped out under my feet. My family knows me really well, so they forced me out of the house to join them for a women’s hockey game. Not only that but we went out to lunch beforehand, and they really helped me pull myself out of that mental state a few days after it happened.

Polzine family at hockey game

So, I made a plan for myself. I need structure, I don’t do good without structure. I never have, which is probably why summer vacation was always the worst for me. My mental health took a major dip then. So, as I said, I made a plan. I literally set up a schedule for myself that I forced myself to follow. I continued to set an alarm for myself in the morning even if I didn’t have a job to get up for. Then I put things to do on my calendar to keep myself going.

Not that my “plans” all went according to plan.

My apartment got mice, so I was forced to leave for a few days (almost an entire week) while they dealt with it, and then my car straight up died on me (because of course it did). I had the thing for around seven years, so it wasn’t surprising but the timing of it wasn’t great since it was the same week the other two events happened. Not to mention, Pixie pulled something that week and was limping everywhere… fun times. Luckily, just getting her to rest was enough to resolve that issue. She’s all back to normal now. And my car is out of the shop, so at least I have wheels granted the car is still probably on its last legs. But I can’t afford a new car, especially as I’m still looking for a new job that isn’t a massive step backward in my career or a serious downgrade in pay. I need to be able to afford my bills and rent, but I’m also trying not to be so picky that I can’t find a job either. I can’t stay on unemployment forever and mentally I don’t think I could manage it. I feel so out of sorts without a job to perform every day.

Body Paints of the Month

Books I Managed to Read this Month

If they have a ♥ next to them, they are available on Kindle Unlimited. If I did a review, I’ll link it outside I decided to include quick reviews of books or series. If it’s a series, the mini-review is at the end of all the books. Mostly it’s just a quick blurb about what the book/series was about. For the most part, these are in the order that I read them in, but if they were a series I kept them together so the blurb went underneath the series.

  1. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (The Big Bad Wolf Trilogy, Book 1) by Janie Marie – 3.25 stars
  2. Little Hood and Her Wolf (The Big Bad Wolf Trilogy, Book 2) by Janie Marie – 3.25 stars
  3. The Wolves are Everywhere (The Big Bad Wolf Trilogy, Book 3) by Janie Marie – 3.25 stars
    • This is a spin-off, alternate universe, series to the Gods & Monsters by Janie Marie. Basically in Jane’s dying moments she dreams of another world where she and Death were together. While the two are together, they are not the main focus of the series. Jane (now Janie) and Death (now Ryder Godson) are side characters while the trilogy focuses on Kylie Hood (the dark half of Jane’s soul) and Logan Grimm (who is Jason, Jane’s first husband). Logan previously dated Janie, but broke up years ago before she got together with Ryder after accusing her of cheating around the time she found out she was pregnant then miscarried. The story starts out with Kylie being severly beaten by her stepsister and Logan finding out about this, only Kyle doesn’t want anyone to know because Kylie is hiding a dark past/the truth, not just from others but herself. We don’t fully learn this until the end of book two, but there are hints along the way. As she often sides against rape victims and only focuses on herself. I would’ve rather she wasn’t one of main character at times because of this, but she does eventually turn things around and becomes a better person. There are other characters and call-backs to the original series, but it does standalone.
  4. Blood and Bargains (The Bargaining Series, Book 1) by Hollis Darling – 3.25 stars
    • This book follows a widow named Billie as her world is suddenly introduced to the Fae. Her best friend goes missing after a bonfire, and she finds herself intangled with a healer and Fae named Callum. Through her connection with him, she tries to find what happened to her best friend, Emma. Only what she discovers about where her friend was taken and why has more to do with Billie’s past then anyone realizes. I’m curious about where the next book in this series will do, but it has not been released yet nor has a date been set yet as far as I’m aware.
  5. The Awakening (Zodiac Academy, Book 1) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  6. The Awakening as Told by the Boys (Zodiac Academy, Book 1) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  7. Ruthless Fae (Zodiac Academy, Book 2) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  8. The Reckoning (Zodiac Academy, Book 3) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  9. Shadow Princess (Zodiac Academy, Book 4) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  10. Cursed Fates (Zodiac Academy, Book 5) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  11. Fated Throne (Zodiac Academy, Book 6) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  12. Heartless Sky (Zodiac Academy, Book 7) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
    • This series has not finished. There is another book that is coming out at the end of the year according to its current release date. The series mainly follows Darcy and Tory Vega; girls who grew up in the mortal world but it turns out they are lost Fae princesses. They are whisked away to Zodiac Academy where they find out they have all four elements, while most Fae only have one or two. On top of that, there are four Heirs who do not want them reclaiming their thrones, so there is a lot of tension between the two groups as the stars keep bringing them together and have other ideas for their future.
    • See my review for more thoughts on this series.
  13. House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City, Book 2) by Sarah J. Maas4 stars
  14. Dark Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, Book 1) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  15. Savage Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, Book 2) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  16. Vicious Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, Book 3) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  17. Broken Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, Book 4) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
  18. Warrior Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, Book 5) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti – 3.75 stars
    • This series is a reverse-harem romance that is set in the world of Zodiac Academy. It takes place five years before the events of that series following Elise, Gabriel, Leon, Ryder, and Dante. Elise is investigating the death of her brother and ends up discovering a cult that has people committing suicide in order for the Card Master, nickname King, to gain their power with the help of a drug. While the four guys are initially her suspects, she ends up falling for them. Considering this is a reverse-harm romance, and I already read Zodiac Academy, I knew they were her mates. So, that element wasn’t so much a mystery. Still it was fun reading about them falling for each other and what the hell happened between Gabriel and Lance Orion. Especially as Gabriel didn’t realize all four guys were her mates and was pretty adament she was only his.
    • Spoiler
      TOTALLY CALLED Titan being King. When he wasn’t mentioned helping during the Gang War on campus and King captured Elise, I immediately went it’s Titan. His daughter died to gang wars so he has the motive, not to mention he was pushing Elise to the counsilors to know her mental state… Ok for a hot second I thought it was the Principal, but dismissed that as he didn’t have the motive. Whereas Titan did.
    • Spoiler
      Also, I was totally confused who Ryder was as he doesn’t get mentioned in Zodiac Academy. I was kept going “Does he die?” or “Is he just not mentioned before he’s not directly interacting with the rest of the characters?” Then I realized he’s Carson, before it was revealed he was Carson I mean. He gave Xavier his piercings and wanted a prank pulled over on Gabriel. I don’t know why I didn’t put two and two together at first. But it makes sense, Ryder had to “die” as his gang refused to accept peace with Dante’s clan. Carson point blank comments that he can’t pull one over on Gabriel as he’ll see it coming. Not to mention he has a tattoo sleeve of Disney characters (or the illusion verison of him does as the sleeve described in Warrior Fae is the star sign of each member of their family), because Ryder only knows those movies and is a kid at heart in a lot of ways due what happened to him in the past. Granted, it’s all secretive during the books and he denies it as he fears that’s showing weakness. I should’ve realized Ryder was Carson sooner just in disguise so he doesn’t look like he’s one of Elise’s mates.

Check out this post to see how my rating scale works, but quick version: 5 stars = Masterpiece, nothing can literally be better than this. Not to mention, a major book slump happens afterward where I cannot pick up another book for quite some time. 4 stars = One of the best books I’ve ever read, I couldn’t put it down and found little fault in it. 3 stars = A good book but there were some flaws from editing to plot to you name it. 2 stars = Liked the book, but wouldn’t say it was something that was memorable. 1 star = Book wasn’t for me. I almost never give a 5-star rating, some books have come close but something always held me back from giving it to those books. I also use .25 increments with the ratings, so there’s a range in each of those levels.

Hope you had a great February!

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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