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February was a good reading month (number-wise) but quality-wise, I feel like it was, uhh, less than great. Which doesn’t make sense because there were a lot of 4/5 star books!
I DNF’d one book, really hate one book, didn’t like one book, had one that was just fine(ish), and the rest were 4/5. I lost my reading steam later in the month and that’s continuing on into March still.
There weren’t any new all-time favorite reads in February and I’m in a bit of a slump now but February was, overall, actually pretty good just looking at it. I don’t even have anything exciting to say right now so here is everything I read in February!
- If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free. Get that Audible deal here.
- If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd! You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
- Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
- If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
- Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
- Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
- Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
- Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!
One of Us is Lyng
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: YA thriller
About the book: On Monday, five students walk into detention and only four leave. Simon is dead before the end of detention and police investigation says it wasn’t an accident.
He died Monday but planned to share juicy secrets of his four detention-mates on Tuesday which makes them all suspects.
Final thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I don’t have any deep thoughts about it either way but I’m excited to read the next one and the one that’s coming out soon. Also, the entire time I read this I pictured Cooper as Zeke from Bob’s Burgers and I can’t imagine him any other way now.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author: The author who shall not be named
Rating: 1/5 for author but 3/5 for stories
About the book: This is a collection of magical tales from the wizarding world. Like fairy tales for witches.
Final thoughts: I’m not linking this for obvious reasons. I debated even rating/including it. I already had these and needed something easy to pick up and put down while I waited for something. If you feel so inclined to purchase these, I would buy used. I got mine from Mercari years ago (before I knew how awful she is).
Don’t Let in the Cold
Author: Keely Parrack
Genre: YA thriller
Rating: 1/5, DNF
About the book: All Lottie had to do was spend one night in a cabin with her new stepsister Jade but after a blackout caused by a solar flare, they both know they’re in for a long night.
Then a stranger knocks on the door claiming to be lost but later that night Lottie sees him outside talking to two mysterious men. She’s sure he’s lying about why he’s really there but before she can find out for sure, a fire forces the trio out in search of safety.
Final thoughts: This s like, 40 book ideas in one. From Goodreads: DNF page 115. This is boring, it makes no sense, everything that can go wrong is, the characters are terrible, and something can’t “gently flump”
Five Total Strangers
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Genre: YA thriller
About the book: Mira desperately needs to get home but a blizzard traps her at the airport after her connecting flight indefinitely. Then Harper, her glamorous seatmate from the flight, offers her a ride. Harper and her three friends can drop Mira off on their way home.
Once they set off, she realizes one of them is hiding something. The roads go from slippery to terrifying when things start disappearing and she realizes someone in the car is lying. Will she make it home or will the nightmare turn fatal?
Final thoughts: I enjoyed this. I thought Mira was a little annoying but I liked it more than I expected to. A lot of decisions made no sense but it was an enjoyable enough read.
The Girl with All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
About the book: Every morning Melanie waits to be strapped into her wheelchair by Sergeant Parks and his men while he keeps a gun pointed at her. She jokes that she won’t bite but they don’t laugh.
Melanie loves school and tells her teacher everything she can’t wait to do when she grows up but this makes Miss Justineau look sad and Melanie isn’t sure why.
Final thoughts: Last year I got pretty into post-apocalyptic books (not zombies) and this one kept coming up. I got it on a Kindle deal and even though it’s zombies, I loved this! It seemed different than regular zombies (they’re called Hungries) but I also don’t know because I tend too avoid zombie books.
I found this and the next book (The Boy on the Bridge) in the BAM bargain section so I got both and look forward to reading the other one.
Tender is the Flesh
Author: Agustina Bezterrica
Genre: Dystopian horror?
About the book: Marcos’s wife left him. His father’s dementia is getting worse. And he just tries not to think too much about how he makes a living. It just happened so quickly.
One day it was reported that animal meat was poisonous to humans thanks to an infectious virus. Then the government started the Transition making it legal to eat human meat, Special Meat.
One day he is given a special treat: a live specimen of the finest quality. He knows personal contact is forbidden but he starts to treat her like a human being and becomes tortured by what has been lost and may be saved.
Final thoughts: I don’t want to say I liked this because it’s really awful (in the way that Tampa is awful) but I liked it? This is a really dark and heavy book. It’s short but took me like, a week to read.
This was gross and absurd but also really interesting to read. I’m not vegan but I already don’t like eating meat, I just think it’s gross but man if this didn’t reinforce that. If you have a weak stomach or don’t like gore, I would skip this. I don’t know how many people I would really recommend this to, actually.
The House Across the Lake
Author: Riley Sager
About the book: Casey is a widowed actress sent to her family’s lakehouse in Vermont to take a break from the spotlight and get a handle on her drinking. Instead, with a stash of alcohol and a pair of binoculars, she becomes obsessed with watching the new neighbors, Tom and Katherine, across the lake.
One day she saves Katherine from drowning but as they get to know each other, it becomes clear their marriage isn’t as perfect as it seems. Then Katherine vanishes and Casey is determined to find her. And the truth.
Final thoughts: From Goodreads: I can’t believe I didn’t hate this. I didn’t like it that much either but it was entertaining enough to finish and my expectations already could not have been lower so 🤷🏻♀️
Author: Laura Lippman
About the book: Two decades ago Amber’s life changed forever when she gave birth in a hotel room after prom. But no one knew she was pregnant herself and her date included.
She left town when she could and never looked back. Until now. The renew their unlikely relationship but will their motivations and secrets finally destroy everyone around them?
Final thoughts: From Goodreads: I would be pressed to call this one a thriller, mystery, or suspense until probably the last 20 pages. The biggest mystery to me is why Joe is called “Cad Dad” (for real, can someone tell me?)
That said, I liked this. I’ve only read one other Laura Lippman book (Lady in the Lake) and I liked this one a lot more. About 2/3 of the way through I realized a lot has happened but at the same time it felt like nothing happened? I was still intrigued the whole time and was curious about where it was going. I enjoyed the ending and am glad I got to read this one!
Thank you William Morrow and NetGalley for this copy.
Survive the Night
Author: Riley Sager
Rating: 2/5 (only because I didn’t DNF it)
About the book: It’s 1991 and Charlie, a movie-obsessed college student, may be in the car of a serial killer. Her university campus has been plagued by the Campus Killer for the last few years but when Josh offers her a ride back to her hometown, she agrees.
But the longer she’s in his car, the more unsure she is about who he really is. Could he really be the Campus Killer or is it all just a movie in her mind? (ugh, gag me with that phrase.)
Final thoughts: SPOILERS IN MY THOUGHTS BELOW!
From Goodreads: I have so many thoughts and almost none of them are good.
-love the premise. Hate the execution.
-I want my $20 back.
-this doesn’t feel like the 90s other than no cell phones and the mention of WB at the end.
-Charlie is not smart or brave or any of the other things were told she is repeatedly.
-what woman would get in a car with a stranger while there is a campus serial killer on the loose who KILLED YOUR BEST FRIEND?
-the constant movie and film references were horrendous. Not everything needs to relate back to movies! I started audibly scoffing and rolling my eyes at every movie mention about halfway through.
-I guessed the killer on page 56 and if I can guess it, that’s not very good.
-the character flips in the middle of the book we’re just strange.
-Charlie has more than one chance to escape after she’s been thinking about throwing herself out of a vehicle going 60mph and then she just doesn’t? Because this man she doesn’t trust because he’s a liar says everything was just a “movie in her mind?” I can’t.
-The twists were fine, not that shocking to me, but I really didn’t like the very last one. He tends to do one last twist in the last few pages and I never like it. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
-she MARRIES the man who basically kidnapped and delivered her to a madwoman? Sure. Ok.
Anyway. Not a fan.
What did you read in February? Have you read any of these? Which ones?