Welcome to February’s Monthly Minutes at Midnight!

 Here’s the deal: I’ll share the books I’ve obtained, posts of interest from others, giveaways I have happening, and just general random shenanigans. You know I love a shenanigan.  Also, covers all link to Goodreads, because I am awesome. As always, I link up with the Wrap Up Round Up, too! 

The Books

For Review/From Publishers:

Hugest of thanks to Red Clover Digital! 


Huge thanks to the publishers for these lovelies! (Not quite as bad as usual, eh?)


Okay, not my best, not my worst? In fairness, I bought three of these for my mom to read/because I loved them and wanted to support and own them (Rebel Daughter, Some Other Now, The Initial Insult). The others just really looked good, not sorry. (They are, because I am nice, Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Valley and the Flood, The Mindersand Remote Control)


Thanks to the publishers! 

Shenanigans Since Last Time:

I read 13 books this month.  Not terrible, considering we’re down a few days.

This was a pretty good bunch. No terrible ones, anyway. And definitely a few hits! 

Giveaways: Click Here, or on Sidebar

Blogosphere Bulletin

Here are some of the loveliest/most entertaining/super helpful/just plain interesting posts I found this month!

Fancy & New Since Last I Saw You!

I love looking at pretty covers! So here are some new ones that I have fallen in love with since our last update!

Pretty covers are pretty.

Things we need to talk about at this juncture:

  • Gosh, this month was busyStarted off with a quasi-scheduled surgery for Sammy (long story hah). He needed ear tubes, for the 23989th time, but he also had something called a pharyngeal flap surgery. Which… ?‍♀️ But he handled it so well! The doctor said some patients stay up to a week after, and this is my dude the next morning eating pancakes:So, they let us go home the next day! Which, was a relief for us both if I am being honest. And he was such a champ! He is almost done with his soft diet and activity restrictions, so that is good news too! Also, Lena looks like she is about 24, and I don’t approve.

    Is… is the child 9, or 19? ?‍♀️
  • Speaking of being busy, bankruptcy is fun! Kidding, it is a living hellscape. If you want to read all about it, I tweeted. I wanted to mention it here, honestly, because I am over the stigma. “Hey, let’s make people who fell upon hard times feel extra shitty about themselves!” is a hard nope from me. I said most of this in my Twitter thread, because I didn’t want to be quiet any longer. Plus, I have spent the past month solid finding documents upon documents, bills from that one time I went to Panera in 1998, a paystub from when I was a lifeguard in high school, filling out forms listing the exact contents of my junk drawer, etc. I am TIRED. And it prevented me from doing basically anything I wanted to do this month- like visit your blogs, write anything on my own blog, watch shows, and so on. 
  • The 100 Bookish Games are somehow still happening! It is exciting, really! The game notes are always the most fun part, and also, I am about to start petitioning to do a The 100 2.0 edition where I get to use the later seasons, woo! Except like, with my own ending
  • Speaking of endings, Amber sent me this GLORIOUS ending. I love it and I hope you do too, I am so thankful to its creator! 

Have a great March, loves!

Posted February 28, 2021 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps / 34 Comments


34 responses to “Monthly Minutes at Midnight: February 2021

  1. I have stepped away from social media and had no idea you were dealing with all this. I am sorry to hear. You are right. No shame, especially when you consider the circumstances of 2020 – present. ((HUGS)) Glad to hear Sammy is doing well after his procedure. I hope it does what it was intended to do. As Lena gets older, she looks more and more like you (lucky kid!). I had no idea Yoon wrote an adult thriller. Look at that. I hope you and mom enjoy all the new books, and that things get better (easier?).

    • Aw thank you! Funny that, 2020 has nothing to do with it bwhaha. It’s all the nonsense from my shitty ex-husband. When he was fired/incarcerated, I was a stay-at-home mom, and had no income, so there went any ability to pay bills. I used our VERY paltry savings to pay the stuff I had to- electricity, water, etc, until that too was unsustainable. It took me 6 months to find a job, in part because I had no childcare, ugh, what a messy situation!

      I think it is so fun that you think Lena looks like me- I do not, but since I think she is beautiful (of course hah) I take it as a very high compliment! And yeah I have been looking forward to Yoon’s new one! It seems like my kind of thing! And thank you- I hope so too! Hopefully once this ends, you know?

  2. I have a copy of The Minders, and The Valley and the Flood is on my radar (I tried requesting it on EW to no avail LOL).

    Your son is a champion indeed! Two surgeries, and he looks like he breezed through it all…

    Yep, I read your tweets. It’s a shame that one has to defend themselves against something they had no hand in and feel belittled for it. I hope the worst is past you now!

    • I also got rejected for it! (Well- technically it is still sitting in purgatory, but I WILL be hah!)

      And yes, he sure is! He wanted out of the hospital so badly I think he’d have done anything ?

      And thank you so, so much! I hope so too- I know the work to do it was a LOT, and also it will probably not be fun to go to the actual hearing, but then once it’s done, I can like, start rebuilding!

  3. Beth W

    I’m glad Sammy is healing well and rapidly! That kid is such a trooper. And I hope Lena is also doing well.

    Speaking as someone who was homeless for a brief period of time, I agree that the social stigma of shame is absolute bullshit. And goes back several hundreds of years, with equating poverty with low moral fiber (that whole ‘they’re poor because they’re a bad person’ thing, and also the Christian concept that the poor are pitiable children we must take care of, rather than empower). I hate the whole ‘prove this, prove that, show me all the documents’ thing. Went through it with the divorce and it is SO exhausting. I wish there was some way I could help, but I’ve always here if you need to vent.

    Also YES please another TBG around the later seasons of The 100! After mine, though, around Pride and Prejudice. 😉
    I can’t wait to see what you think of those books you got- some are now (of course) on my list.

    • Aw thank you! He really is a tough cookie!

      Aw Beth, I am so sorry that you went through that. And I agree, it IS bullshit. No one is out here like “hmm you know what would be fun today? Having no place to live!” (or declare bankruptcy, or be on food stamps, or whatever thing we’re shaming people for at the moment). It’s infuriating. Especially because so often, the whole Christian ‘taking care of people” only includes white people, which is a whole OTHER issue. And I also agree that empowerment would help more than anything- like okay bankruptcy is whatever, but maybe if I could earn a living wage, it wouldn’t be so messy! I actually thought the divorce was quite easier- BUT that is probably because we had no assets, and he was in jail so there wasn’t much he could do hah! Glad that it is over for us both, regardless!

      And YESSS I am already planning! It’d probably not be for a few years- I know several people are on the list to co-mod, but WOW I cannot wait to do it again! It has been so much fun to sit back and watch! BUT I promise I will play your P&P game, even if I won’t have any idea what is happening (that is what Wikis are for, right? ?)

      And yes I will definitely let you know, if I ever actually read any other than the ARCs. I fail so hard at books, honestly!

      • Beth W

        Yep! Same with refugees. Nobody leaves a situation because it’s happy and healthy for them. And the amount of control we have in our lives over things (like income and expenses) is pretty tiny, although as a society we don’t like talking about how big of a part luck plays in our lives and how little control any of us has over anything.

        Oh yeah, I was on food stamps my senior year of college, despite having a part-time job at Blockbuster Video. What could possibly by a source of shame about being employed, and in the midst of my education, and wanting to *eat*? Ugh.

        I watched a video the other day from an economist who did a straight comparison of monetary value, pre-Regan’s trickle-down economics and today. Counting for inflation, his calculations was that minimum wage should be $23/hour. 23! And here we are, some states fighting tooth and nail to get it to $15. Ugh. Wouldn’t we all rather be making more money for the same amount of work? Having fewer bills and uncertainties and monetary stressors in our lives? Isn’t that kinda the dream??

        And thank you- please do joint the P&P game! You could totally Cliff Notes that. I might take a page out of your book and make it a multi-Austen-book game, if we had enough players. 😀

        • Oh you are SO very correct. The refugee one breaks my heart- can you imagine how SCARED they must be? And to be treated so horribly? Same with homelessness tbh. My brother is one of those shitty “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” jerks, and it’s like… you REEK of privilege, sir. Like he pretends that he has a swanky job and a nice house because of his own choices, but it’s CRAP. My parents paid for him to go to school, helped him finance his shit, gave him his first car, etc etc. And I KNOW full well how damn lucky I am to have them, and how someone else in my situation would be screwed and the only reason I am not totally screwed is because my parents’ privilege, and their parents before them, etc. Even my parents have tried to explain it to him- like “how did you GET the job? Because we paid for you to go to the fancy mechanical school in Florida,” etc. And he just… SUCKS, Beth. He sucks.

          SAME I worked full-time pre-pandemic, and I had food stamps. Because obviously $11.50/hr isn’t exactly going to take care of 3 people. A job, mind, that REQUIRED A COLLEGE DEGREE. I have applied to probably 50 jobs since then, and NOTHING, even though none of them pay much more than that either. It’s absurd!

          Wowww you know, I don’t doubt that! I would CRY to get $23 an hour! AND I bet people would be MUCH more willing to go to work if they made enough to live on! Like- working was expensive! Gas, and parking, and daycare, and clothes… right now I make more, and have to spend nothing, why WOULDN’T that be better!?

          OHHHH YOU SHOULD! I love that idea! I have already planned out the basics of my The 100 2.0 Game ?

  4. Kel

    You weren’t kidding. That is one seriously busy month. I’m glad Sammy got through surgery okay, and you’re right, Lena does look 24, lol. But man, that bankruptcy paperwork is no joke and sounds like a special kind of soul-destroying. I hope the worst of it is over and you can get some rest soon.

  5. I bought Finlay Donovan, and hope to read it soon. It looks fab. I also want to get The Initial Insult. I did not see your original tweet, but I think it’s great that you’re sharing about bankruptcy. Things like this have such a stigma and it shouldn’t. Things happen; people go through rough times. I do wish you all the best though, and I hope you can just relax soon!!!

    I’m so glad your son’s surgery went well and he didn’t have to stay in hospital for long!


    • Aw thank you so much! Luckily Sam was only there for one night- even though the doctor said some patients stay over a week! I was so glad, and so was Sammy! And yayy, I hope you love them both! Initial Insult was great, which is why I got that one, and fingers crossed that we both enjoy Finlay!

  6. Everyone Dies has me curious. So glad the surgery went well! what a trooper! And that he got t come home quickly. You have, as usual, way too many awesome looking books. Can’t wait to hear all about them (I’ll just watch for your reviews since clearly my reading mojo is LACKING lately)!

    Yes, no shame. We have such wacky ideas in this country. I don’t understand but it’s ridiculous. People should matter, not money or circumstances out of our control. I hope things go smoothly going forward.

    The Bookish Games!! Haha I enjoyed lying :):):)))

    • I really liked the author’s first book, so I have pretty high hopes for this one too! And thanks, I was so glad too- I think he would have eaten just about anything to be able to leave and get to his own bed! And you are right, I DO have too many books! Hopefully you can get back into a reading groove one of these days!

      And thank you! I agree too- WHY does legit at least half the country prioritize financial matters over actual human lives? Because that is it at the end of the day, isn’t it? Hate and money hoarding > Actual people for at least 50% of this damn country!

      HA of course you did, Idk what you’ll do when you have to be a Townie again bwhaha. No one will ever believe you ?

  7. *Hugs.* Sorry about the bankruptcy stuff. That does not sound fun. I’m glad your son did well with his surgery. And, you got the new Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock book! I’m super excited for that one. I hope we both like it.

  8. You are going through so many things at once Shannon! I’ve never declared bankruptcy but we were forever on the edge for years when we were first married and Kevin was in the military. It’s not a fun place to be in but you are absolutely right about there being no shame. It is extremely hard to get ahead when you are so behind and those money counselors can be ridiculous.

    {{hugs}} and wishing a pile of money showers all over you.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Aw thank you so much! The money counselors are SO ridiculous! And like- if it didn’t take so much time, I would probably have laughed it off, but you know when they catch you at the WRONG time hahah. I am sorry you guys had some struggles too- it is too damn common!

  9. I am glad to hear Sammy is doing better! He looks like a real trooper in the photo! I am so sorry you’re going through such a tough time and I agree that we need to talk about these things more often rather than look down on people! Also, you’ve read an insanely good number of books last month!

  10. First off, let me say that I had to file for bankruptcy about 7 or 8 years ago now. It sucks, but it is the best thing to do in some cases. Unfortunately, while I was doing well and keeping my head above water credit wise after being out of it, this past year has killed me with losing my second job. Glad Sammy didn’t have to stay in the hospital that long! That’s awesome he got to go home. You got some great books this week too! Can’t wait for the new Rachel Lynn Solomon one myself! I’m keeping my fingers crossed in hopes for a physical ARC of it. We’ll see.
    Lisa Loves Literature

    • Oh Lisa, I am SO sorry. It is such CRAP, but I agree that sometimes it is the only option. I am also very, very sorry to hear that you are struggling again. Honestly, NO ONE should have to work two jobs just to live, and I am so mad on your behalf that you do. THIS is why we need changes. I am sending you TONS of good vibes, hoping something works out soon ♥♥

      Aw thank you so much, I was so glad he was able to get home quickly (as was he!) And ohhh I will keep my fingers crossed for you! (And I would love to get one too hahha, she is such a favorite author!)

    • Aw I am glad your kids feel better! Sammy has had like, 2937 tubes hah, his fail constantly, even the “permanent” ones. But he barely even noticed them this time, since he had the other surgery at the same time, so that is a plus I guess ?

  11. Danielle Hammelef

    I am so impressed with how well you are handling everything thrown at you this past year–staying positive and sharing with others to help people see they are not alone. I didn’t know about the bankruptcy until I read this post and hope I never have to face this. I’m so happy to read that your son’s surgery went well. On a bookish note, I’m currently reading Firekeeper’s Daughter and nearing the end. Events that happened in the book last night haven’t left my mind all day and they tore me apart. I can’t believe this book is a debut. I hope your March is going well.

  12. I’m sorry February was such a tough month for you. I really wish I had been around to provide support at the time. There are so many bogus stigmas that I really just don’t get. I appreciate how you always take the chance to break down those stigmas, and I know how much of a difference talking about “taboo” topics can be. Thank you for sharing.

    Also, can I just mention the shame I feel at seeing We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This in your February Wrap Up, when it comes out in a week and I only just started my e-ARC yesterday ?. Also, even though it has been months since the cover was revealed, I’m still absolutely obsessed with It All Comes Back to You and how gorgeous it looks!

    Thanks for mentioning our post! We tried really hard to come up with manageable tips, and I think we did a pretty good job! ?

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