Everything I Read In February 2021

February was a huge reading month for me and I’m actually surprised at how much I read! It was all books this month, too, no graphic novels (but watch out March, it’s graphic novel central).

February’s book club theme was solo female travel so you’ll see three of those in here and one or two other travel books. Once I read one of something, I tend to read a few of it and this month it was travel!

I read 18 books in February and am still blown away by that!

If you’re interested in trying Audible, you can get your first month free which includes a free audiobook!  This is a great option if you want to listen to books more.  If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Author: Holly Jackson

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s senior capstone project starts out as an examination of the Andie Bell murder case but quickly turns into a full investigation with the supposed murderers brother who wants to help clear his brother, Sal’s, name.

Things start out innocent enough but quickly go downhill when someone in Fairview decides they don’t want her digging anymore. Now their lives are in danger but they’re determined to get to the bottom of everything.

Final thoughts: I loved this and can’t wait to continue the series! It reminded me of Pretty Little Liars (but different), which I love so I’m not surprised this was a favorite for me. It’s creepy but engaging and made me not want to go to bed so I could finish it.

Don’t Look Behind You! A Safari Guide’s Encounters with Ravenous Lions, Stampeding Elephants, and Lovesick Rhinos

Author: Peter Allison

Genre: Travel

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Peter Allison is an Australian safari guide in South Africa and Botswana with a penchant for misadventures. These are the stories of his off-the-wall experiences as a safari guide.

Final thoughts: Another 5-star read for me. I read his first book, Whatever You Do, Don’t Run, a few years ago and found this one in a little free library so I picked it up and finally got to it. It was a fun read and really made me want to go on safari.

Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA contemporary romance

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Anna has it all. A great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more and she is so looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta. And that’s why she’s so not thrilled about being shipped off to a boarding school in Paris.

At least until she meets Etienne St. Clair, a smart, charming, and beautiful boy who has everything. . .including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true.

Final thoughts: I finally read this YA classic and I loved it. I know it’s super problematic (cheating and slut-shaming which I definitely don’t condone) but I still enjoyed it. I loved Love and Gelato so I knew I would probably like this, too.

I will say, this book and behavior in it is a little ridiculous but I just keep thinking they’re teenagers! Of course Anna will be mad about something someone else does but then does it herself. Of course she’s going to act like a child sometimes because she is one!

That still doesn’t mean the emotional cheating and slut-shaming is ok, but they’re teenagers and are acting like it. No, not all real teens are like this but it’s not that weird for book teenagers. And it’s an older book. I liked it.

Little Monsters

Author: Kara Thomas

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls after moving in with her dad and starting a new life that is surprisingly charming, especially compared to her old life.

She even has close friends, Jade and Bailey, now but they start acting distant and weird, not inviting her to the biggest party of he year. She can’t even ask Bailey about it because she never made it home from the party. Now Broken Falls isn’t so welcoming and everyone is looking to her for answers.

Final thoughts: I wasn’t too sure about this when I started it but the more I read the more I liked it. Plus, it’s set in Wisconsin so I’m not allowed to not like it, right? It was a nice mix of a little paranormal and a little bit of teen drama but wasn’t completely outlandish.

Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific

Author: Tim Flannery

Genre: Travel

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Tim is one of the world’s most influential scientists, credited with discovering more species than Darwin.

This is the chronicle of a series of expeditions he made to the tropical islands of the Pacific at the beginning of his career.

Final thoughts: This isn’t a bad book, by any means, but it was a little boring. It’s not necessarily adventures in the Pacific, but science in the Pacific. I liked it enough to finish it but it took me a while.

The Passenger

Author: Lisa Lutz

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards and demands a new name just 48 hours after leaving her dead husband at the bottom of the stairs. She flees town (not for the first time) and meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the haunted look in her fugitive eyes.

They now have a dangerous alliance and the courage to try and live off the grid. Tanya-turned-Amelia-turned-Debra is now moving from city to city as she is chased by a dark secret.

Final thoughts: I ended up liking this more at the end than I thought I would at the beginning. I will say, the end was a little weird (no spoilers) but it was surprising (in a mostly good way). Thinking about it now, maybe it’s more of a 3.5 but I still liked it more than I didn’t.

The Last House Guest

Author: Megan Miranda

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: A year after a wealthy summer guest suspiciously dies, her best friend remains there under a cloud of grief and suspicion. Littleport, Maine is an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy and a simple harbor community for year-round residents.

Friendships don’t usually develop between locals and summer visitors but that’s what happened with Sadie Loman and Avery Greer, inseparable for almost a decade of summers until Sadie is found dead.

It’s ruled a suicide but she feels like some people blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying and Avery is intent on finding out what really happened and clearing her name.

Final thoughts: I read All the Missing Girls last summer and thought it was just OK, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one. I ended up liking it more. The culprit was different than you would normally expect, which was refreshing.

Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Mortals may rule the desert of Miraji but mythical beasts still roam wild in the remote areas. Rumor has it there’s even a place where djinn still perform their magic. But for humans, especially women, orphans, or the poor, it’s unforgiving and Amani is all three. While she is a gifted gunslinger, she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk where she’ll wind up wed or dead.

But then she meets Jin, a foreigner, in a shooting contest and she sees the perfect way out.

Final thoughts: I loved this. I had no idea what it would be, I didn’t even pick it out, I got it in a mystery book box, but I ended up loving it! I feel like it has the usual YA gripes but I can usually look past those. I liked the story. I liked that there was a hint of romance, but mostly none. I loved the setting. Big fan.

Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel

Author: Rosita Boland

Genre: Solo female travel memoir

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Her first life-changing trip was solo to Australia as a young graduate. Over the next 30 years, Rosita became enchanted by travel and visited some of the most remote parts of the world where she carried little more than a beat-up backpack and a diary.

Here are nine journeys from nine different moments in her life spent exploring the world, sharing how these experiences and the people met along the way can shape the course of a life dramatically.

Final thoughts: I LOVED this! It was my favorite February book club read, for sure. I would highly recommend this one if you like travel books or solo female travel memoirs.

Miss-adventures: A Tale of Ignoring Life Advice While Backpacking Around South America

Author: Amy Baker

Genre: Solo female travel memoir

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Amy decided to quit her job to backpack around South America where she finds herself on the receiving end of some over-the-top and seemingly unnecessary advice. She shrugged it all off. At least until she ran into trouble.

This is one I’d love to read this month, especially because I just love Latin America.

Final thoughts: This was the second book club read for me this month I really enjoyed it. I liked the beginning more than the last couple of chapters though. The ones on Colombia were my least favorite but the beginning had me laughing out loud a few times. I liked it, but I don’t think it’s one of my top travel books.

A Thousand New Beginnings: Tales of Solo Female Travel Through Southeast Asia

Author: Kristin Addis

Genre: Solo female travel memoir

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Kristin left her job and steady boyfriend at 26 to travel through Southeast Asia on her own.

This is a collection of stories and experiences from her first year on the road where she made new friendships and found that not only did she travel the world outside, but traveled the world within.

Final thoughts: This was my first book club read for the month and it was one I’ve wanted to read for years. I did really enjoyed this but it’s also probably not in my top travel books. It certainly had me missing my backpacking trips though!

House of Dark Shadows

Author: Robert Liparulo

Genre: YA fantasy horror

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Xander is beyond disappointed when they move from LA to a secluded small town. But Victorian house they’ve moved into and all it’s rooms have him, David, and Toria captivated.

Soon they discover something is off about the house. Sounds come from opposite directions, footprints appear in the dust, and when David hides in the linen closet, he ends up in locker 119 in his new school. Then the really weird stuff happens and they find themselves in far off lands. But is it a dream-come-true or a living nightmare?

Final thoughts: This one really surprised me! MINOR SPOILERS BELOW!

It was just creepy enough and I thought the whole time travel thing was done in an interesting and unique way. I also really liked the ending.

47

Author: Walter Mosley

Genre: YA sci-fi historical fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

About the book: 47 is a young slave boy living under the watchful eye of a vicious slave master. His life is doomed until he meets a mysterious runaway slave named Tall John. Soon he is swept up in a struggle for his own liberation.

Final thoughts: This was a tough one for me. Objectively, it’s a good book. It’s well written and well done, but I just thought the sci-fi wasn’t quite enough? Maybe? Like, it could have used a little more of it or none of it. It was just a touch of sci-fi but needed more.

It was definitely an interesting read though and I’m honestly surprised I got this (BAM bargain section a few years ago) because it doesn’t sound like something I would normally read.

Local Girls

Author: Caroline Zancan

Genre: Contemporary

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Maggie, Nina, and Lindsey have been friends practically forever in a dead-end town outside of Orlando. Their friendship has been their only constant but everything changes with a chance encounter with their favorite movie star on the last night of his life.

Final thoughts: This is probably the lowest rated book on Good Reads I’ve ever read at 2.88. I got it at a library book sale a couple years ago and finally read it. I was a little worried after seeing the rating but I actually really liked this!

This is not a thrilling book by any means but I did really like it. It’s mundane teenage life outside of Orlando with their friendship drama and life hardships. This one just proved to me that you shouldn’t necessarily pay attention to book ratings.

The Stone House

Author: A.K. Benedict

Genre: YA sci-fi

Rating: 2/5

About the book: Terry is drawn to the old Stone House near Coal Hill School. Most people have heard the stories and hurry past but she can’t stay away. There is a mystery at the house and she is determined to solve it. There is a presence in the house and it wants her.

Final thoughts: I didn’t like this but I also had no idea what was going on because it turned out to be the third book in a series.

Here’s what I put on Good Reads: I honestly have no idea what I just read. But I also just realized it’s book number three and I’ve never seen Dr. Who so maybe that’s why.

Run Run as Fast as You Can

Author: Willow Rose

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Simone Beaumont is having a rough day. Her baby is always crying and she’s in a fight with her husband. Part of her just wants to run away from it all. While putting her baby in the car, a man in the parking lot makes her wish come true without even asking.

Final thoughts: I read this years ago and remember really liking it. I forgot most of what happened but there was one storyline that I really liked and thought there was more of. I was a little bummed that part wasn’t as prominent as I remember but I still liked it.

Who’s a Good Boy?

Author: Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, Jessica Hayworth

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 4/5

About the book: This is the fourth installment in the Welcome to Nightvale episodes.

Final thoughts: I finally read the last book of episodes that is out (I hope they do more!) and it was just as fun as the others. It’s just as weird as ever and I still love it.

Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA fairytale retelling

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Catherine is one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts but her interests are in baking. All she wants to do is open a bakery with her best friend but that is unthinkable for the potential next queen, according to her mother.

But then she meets Jest, the handsome young court jester. It’s the first time she feels the real pull of attraction and they enter a secret courtship with the chance of offending the king and infuriating her parents. She is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her own terms.

Final thoughts: I love Alice in Wonderland so I was pretty sure I would like this and I did! I really enjoyed getting to see how the queen became who she is. It was whimsical but still exciting.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in February?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

8 thoughts

  1. It looks like you read some awesome books last month! Quite a lot of these are on my tbr. A Good Girls Guide to Murder is one I have on my shelf from the library and I need to hurry up and read it before it has to go back!

    Like

  2. Congrats on reading so many books in a month! Might I suggest a book by Susan Jane Gilman? I will never forget “Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven.” Gilman can weave an incredible journey and this one is utterly true (non-fiction).

    Like

    1. Thank you! I just looked it up on Goodreads and it’s on my TBR so thank you for reminding me of it, I’ll have to give it a shot!

      Like

      1. It is an easy read and hard to put down. I hope you like it as much as I did. Her most recent book, “Donna Has Left The Building” is fictional (her second one). All previous books before that, besides “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street” were non-fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

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