February Wrap Up

I have been finding myself in a bit of a reading rut lately, so for this year I have been challenging myself to try a variety of new to me books from all kinds of genres.

I read 12 books in February, and these are some of my thoughts.

Keep Calm And Carry On, Children by Sharon K. Mayhew

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This book was just okay. I liked the concept, but to be honest it just didn’t have much of an actual plot, it felt more like a collection of thoughts rather than a story. Each chapter had a date/time stamp at the top, but those dates weren’t always in order even though the story read in chronological order. I’m not sure if that was an editing error or a planned choice, but I found it quite disjointed. It was fine, but not something I would choose to read again.

Growing Up For Beginners by Claire Calman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I found this book slow to get going, because there are so many characters each with their own story to tell. But the way all of these characters have been seamlessly interwoven makes it a very clever piece of writing. You can read my full review here.

The Last Of The Ryn Dvarek by D.R. O’Shea

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This book has some very good reviews on goodreads, so I suspect the problem was with me and not the book. I just couldn’t seem to get into it. It felt long winded with stories inside stories, it took forever to get anywhere. Cael and Wynn were both likeable enough, but it wasn’t engaging enough to keep my attention. There were moments when I got so lost, which did not help with progression of the plot.

Emergency Room by Caroline B. Cooney

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The way this book is written is actually quite smart. It is so busy and fast paced, with constant comings and goings, which makes it feel like a busy shift in an emergency department. That being said, the speed of the book sometimes made it hard to keep up. I wanted to know more about some characters and less about others, which left me feeling a little unsatisfied. My full review of The Emergency Room is here.

The House By The Sea by Louise Douglas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was an intense read from start to finish, and the kind of book I cannot read late at night. Edie and ex-husband Joe inherit a beautiful, old family villa in Sicily. Both Edie and Joe are haunted with grief, regret, and anger at the loss of their young son ten years prior. The House By The Sea is full of suspense, drama, and mystery as Edie discovers old family secrets that finally help her to heal. You can find my full review of The House By The Sea here.

Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One of my favourite books this month was Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood. It was a fun romantic comedy with a few sad moments in there, and while a little predictable at times, it was a heartwarming read. Most of the characters are extremely likable, which just lends itself to a very enjoyable read. To read my full review on Big Sexy Love, you can find it here.

The Cry Of The Lake by Charlie Tyler

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Years ago, a little girl named Lily was out searching for mermaids, when she saw something that she couldn’t explain. Years, and a murder later, lon hidden secrets are slowly revealed. This is quite a haunting story, with an eerie feeling at times as pieces of the story start to unravel and reveal themselves. It is a hard read in a way, as one of the characters is designed to not be so likable, but as stories and secrets are revealed, you do begin to get a sense of why everyone is the way they are. A very well written, gritty story. If you want to check out my full review of The Cry Of Lake.

Matchmaking For Beginners by Maddie Dawson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I liked this book more in some moments than I did in others, but ultimately I did enjoy reading it. Marnie inherits an apartment from her ex-husband’s quirky great aunt, moves to Brooklyn, and meets an array of characters. I loved Blix, and wished we got to see a bit more of her. Marnie, was okay, but there were times when she really annoyed me with some of her actions. All in all, it is a nice little read. You can check out my review of Matchmaking For Beginners here.

The Rye Rooftop Club by Mark Feakins

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This was an interesting read. Ralph leaves his old life behind in order to move to Rye, Sussex, where he buys an old run down bookshop, and finally gets to live his life on his own terms. Anna owns the bakery, where she specializes in odd sounding pies (Turkey and coconut cream anyone?). She is unlucky in love and always on the look out for Mr. Right. Joe is the owner of the local hardware store and corny jokes. He has a revolving door of women he has dated and in no rush to settle down. And Auntie B. is a 92 year old woman who is full of wisdom and Dickens quotes. Together the four of them make up the Rye Rooftop Club, a small family who share the highs and lows of life and love. This book has a whole array of colourful characters.

Philomena by Mark Guiney

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is a futuristic story with airships, swashbuckling pirates, a sword-wielding girl, an evil dictatorship, and a long lost king. This was a great book, with a lot of action, a little bit of love, and a touch of magic. This almost had a sort of Harry Potter feel to it, a little bit of Famous Five.

The Titanic Detective Agency by Lindsay Littleson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a nice little read. The author tells an enthralling story of real-life historical characters on board the doomed ship, Titanic. The tale specifically follows three children who travelled, and survived, the Titanic’s first and only voyage. This had a touch of Famous Five adventure, so it’s worth a read if you like that sort of thing. My full review for this book is here.

Bartholomew Mills And The January Dawn by David Carmalt

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bartholomew Mills And The January Dawn tells the story of 12 year old Bart and his adventure on board the ship The January Dawn as it sails from England to Barbuda during the final years of piracy. The journey is full of perils both on and off the ship. I found this book to be both well written and entertaining, and I developed a real soft spot for Bartholomew. The imagery of the story was beautiful, and the adventures and shenanigans that took place on the ship were well thought out and all necessary to the plot.

Have you read any of these books? Did you read anything good in February? Let me know!

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