Ah, February. I can’t say that I’ve ever really felt the impact of a month being shorter than the others before, apart from this February when I only managed to read four books. Six is usually my average and I feel like I might have just squeezed in completing two more if only I’d had those extra days. But perhaps that is just wishful thinking!
I also can’t really say that I loved the books I read this month, apart from one. Most were okay, and averaged around 3.5 stars on Goodreads but none really blew my socks off. Whilst that doesn’t sound like the most enticing way to get you to read on, you never know, you might find that you love the books for the very reasons that I didn’t.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
This was a reread for me and I picked it up primarily because I needed a good dose of morally grey characters in a solid fantasy world. I hadn’t been getting that from the books I had been reading recently but I knew that Leigh Bardugo would deliver. And she didn’t let me down. I don’t usually reread books but I’m so glad I did this time as I picked up on details I had overlooked the first time round in my race to find out what happened and I got to savour the characters and the moments so much more because, ultimately, I knew how it would all turn out in the end. I gave this 5 stars the first time I read it and that rating has not changed. If you like rich characters, magic, fantasy and seemingly impossible challenges, then I would highly recommend giving this book a go.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
I read this book with a couple of other bookish friends from Youtube and I always find that reading books with other people is a really interesting experience, especially when a book leaves us all with different thoughts and feelings. White Oleander is a book about a mother and daughter; Astrid is just a young girl when her mother goes to prison for murdering her lover in a crime of passion. Astrid is placed in the US foster care system and we follow her story as she goes through some really troubling experiences whilst also learning that her mum is perhaps not as magical and ethereal as she always believed. It is a moving and dark story but ultimately, I felt quite detached from Astrid as a protagonist and this really coloured my reading journey meaning I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I had hoped to.
The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange
This book was the Bookish Mamas choice for February and when I first picked it up, I didn’t actually realise it was a middle grade book! It was only after puzzling over the simplified language that I did a little digging and discovered that it wasn’t a book aimed at adults. Having said that, this book is quite tricky to place age-wise as it does cover some darker themes which would perhaps not be suitable for all 8-11 year old children. The Secret of Nightingale Wood is about a young girl called Henry, whose family have moved to the country following the tragic death of Henry’s brother. It is set in 1919 and, as you might expect, each member of the family is struggling to deal with this tragedy. Henry has chosen to cope by retreating into the world of her favourite bookish characters and then one day, she spots a trail of smoke coming from the woods near to her home. Curious, she follows the trail and comes across a woman living in the woods. From there the story unfolds. This is a story which touches on a number of issues from women’s rights to mental health as well as looking at how much children can observe and take on themselves. I enjoyed it to some degree but I felt that it was a little simplistic and I felt that some of the plot points were too convenient, although I appreciate this is often the case in middle grade literature.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I am a huge fan of Anna Kendrick so I was really looking forward to picking this up. Pitch Perfect 1, 2 and 3 are some of my all-time favourite guilty pleasure movies. Written in the form of essays, it was an interesting look at Anna’s early career, how she started and how she felt once she became a household name. It wasn’t quite as funny as I had hoped it would be and I felt a little like Anna tried too hard to pretend she wasn’t affected by fame and was really just ‘one of us’ but I think it you like autobiographies and are an Anna Kendrick fan, then you’ll probably enjoy reading this.
If you are a reader and want to know what I’ll be reading in the month of March, then you can find my TBR vlog here.