February has flown by, it literally felt like a couple of days! I’m not sure what I’m taking away about this month, I can’t really decide if it has been ok or not, because I feel like looking back over the month there hasn’t been anything that stands out to me, either good or bad. March is going to be quite a big month, I’ll be back at college and towards the end of the month I’ll be preparing to return back to my job as well. I have high hopes for march; the weather is getting better, it is still light at 5:30 which is amazing as it just makes the days feel that much better and less depressing. I want to make the most of lockdown and the time I have in it for the last week of it, because this is going to be the last lockdown we ever have ( I don’t want to jinx it but i really don’t think we will have another lockdown, I do think the end is in sight). I have mixed feelings about coming out of lockdown in March, I do feel like I’ve forgotten how to socialise and I have become quite comfortable just remaining within the four walls of my house. I am sure most of you are absolutely buzzing for lockdown to be over, I think everyone is, but I have mixed feelings about it, maybe I’ll do a blog post about it! I’ve seen a few people with smiliar feelings to me, I read this Vogue article which kind of summed up what I was feeling, if you want to read it click here.
Looking back over February, I read 5 books! My monthly target is 4 books per month so I’m pleased with how much I read. I’m going to do a quick summary and review for each of the books I read, and then move onto my most anticipated March TBR. For a few of these books I’ve already done in depth reviews and analysis so I’ll be sure to include links to those posts incase you want to read more about a book I mention.
Book one: ALL GIRLS by Emily Layden
I read the ARC of this at the end of Jan/ early Feb, but the publish date was 16th of February so it is available to purchase now if you are interested! This book follows 9 girls through their first year at an all girls boarding school in New England. We follow them through navigating friendships, families, boys, and scandal, each girl giving us a different experience with each. During the school year a scandal arrises for the boarding school, when a former pupil accuses a teacher of rape, and they expose how at the time of the assult the school chose to expell them to keep it quiet. This scandal is the baseline of the whole book, proving a theme of sexual assault for the girls to consider. We learn from each girl their personal experience with assault, even if they don’t directly recognise it as assault at the time, we get a glimpse at a dance teacher who took advantage, pressures from boys into having sex, and how sexual assault claims can ruin trust between student and teacher. We see the varying emotions things like this can bring about in girls of such a young age. Overall I loved this book, I found the themes explored were deep but well written, and I liked the aspects of it embedded in all the girls lives, I think it was a great commentary on our society and how normalised assault is, to the point we don’t even recognise it. My only fault was that due to their being 9 perspectives, I felt like we missed out on some endings for certain girls, I would have loved to explore a few of their stories deeper.
BOOK TWO: Atomic habits by James Clear
I don’t have any complaints for this book, I think it was a well curated bank of knowledge on building and sustaining habits, an essential read for anyone interested in self development. It was worth the hype in my opinion! I did an indepth review and summary here if you are interested in reading more about it: Atomic Habits book review, summary and lessons
BOOK THREE: Just like in the movies by Heidi Rice
This was another ARC I recieved from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date March 12th. Here I’ve included my goodreads/netgally review.
I really enjoyed this book- I read it in 2 days! I found it a classic romance read, but with some deeper topics in there as well. There is an under layer of grief throughout, as Ruby is mourning the loss of her best friend Matty. I enjoyed how it read for the most part, I struggled in parts where it felt a bit stiff but for the rest of it, their story flows nicely. I grew to love both characters and I think they were developed really well, as we learn a lot about Luke as we go through, and learn to love him despite his initial impression. I loved how both viewpoints were included as I think it made us as readers closer to Luke and more likely to root for Ruby and him, as without his pov he would have been much less likeable. I love romance reads with both pov so I really enjoyed that aspect! I thought the theme of movies and films felt like it was really intertwined in the story and was a lovely touch, as at first I thought the movie theme would be almost like an added extra, but it felt like it really held the story together. My only critisim would be that in parts the text felt a bit clunky and I do feel like Ruby’s back story was not as in depth as I would have liked it to be. There were a few parts where I thought we were about to learn more about her but we only got a surface view, and I would have preferd all or nothing as it felt a bit half hearted.
Overall I loved it and would recommend to anyone looking for a good romance read, that includes layers of difficult topics, but is not draining in anyway.
BOOK FOUR: This is how it always is by Laurie Frankle
I loved this book. It tackled some deep topics, about gender dysphoria, being transgender, and navigating the world as a young child whilst trying to come to terms with who you want to be. I did an in depth review post on this book, I’d highly recommend checking this post out if you are looking for a great, moving book featuring themes of family dynamics and gender. Read my review: This is how it always is – Laurie Frankel book review
BOOK FIVE: This time next year by Sophie Cousins
Generous rating but this book was seriously amazing! Easy to read, lovely characters, realistic, funny and a great romance! I literally cannot fault this book it was great. We follow the two main characters, Minnie Cooper and Quinn Hamilton. They were born in the same hospital at the same time, their mothers becoming friends in the ward. Before Minnie is born, her mum tells Quinns mum how she plans to call her child Quinn. At the time, there was a competition where the first baby born on new years day would win a huge cash prize, enough to set you up for life. When Quinns mum gives birth first and wins the prize, she decides to take the name Quinn for herself, creating a rivalry and hatred between them. One day Minnie and Quinn meet on their birthdays, 1st of Jan. We follow them on a journey of hatred ( from Minnies side) to friends to complicated friends, to lovers, a classic story. Even though them falling in love is not unexpected, this story is unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. I hadn’t met characters like Quinn and Minnie before, I thought they were so well written! Overall I’ll be recommending this book to anyone who asks from now on! Best book I’ve read so far this year, tied with The rearranged life of Oona Lockheart, which I discuss in my January reading wrap up .
So that was my February reading wrap up! I had a great reading month with a 5/5 and multiple 4/5’s! Now for my March TBR. I won’t be going into detail about these books, it will be more of a list as this post is already long enough. I’ve got a mixture of ARC and books I have purchased so you can either look at these for your anticipated reads or to read straight away.
currently reading : The Lock in by Pheobe Luckhurst. I’ve just started this ARC, and I’m loving it so far! Our main character Ellen seems very funny which makes the book enjoyable. I’ll be doing a review once I’ve read this, but maybe in a couple of months nearer to the release date, as it is not set to be released till July 22nd.
The Husbands secret by Liane Moriarty
Friends and dark shapes by Kavita Bedford
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ( I’m so behind on this one I know)
The one by John Mars
That is all for today! How was your February, did you read anything good? If so lmk in the comments I’d love to discover some different books I can read in March.
thanks for reading!