Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - February 2022 Books

This year I thought I would share a little more of all my books and I thought the best way to do that would be if I wrapped up my reads of each month, so I can share mini reviews on all the books I've gone through! 

It could be a big range from 2 to 10 books depending on how much I read, but I figure I can share a little synopsis and quick thoughts on each book. I will still be doing more in depth reviews on books that really capture me! 

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - February 2022 Books
E copies of The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea & A Far Wilder Magic were received as review copies - this post contains affiliate links 

So, in February I read 10 books - a mix of genres from young adult fantasy to non-fiction psychology books. I love most genres, and I really want to keep my reads diversified this year! Also, what was great about this month was the mix of old and new books I read was about a 50/50 split! I read these mostly via audiobook (7 of the 10, 2 physical books and 1 e-book on my phone). 

Here's a quick look at all the books I read in the past month:  

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - February 2022 Books

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is Shea Ernshaw's first adult novel - it is a mystery book set in a remote isolated commune in the forest. I love Shea's writing style and it certainly fit in to the mystery genre. We are introduced to Travis who is looking for a famous author who has been missing for 5 years, and he finds his way to a commune in the wilderness and he too goes missing. Jump to present day in the commune where everything is not what is seems! I loved the setting - the atmospheric writing is lovely, so dark and eerie! I loved the characters as well. The plot and reveals and ending was good, just a little different than I was expecting. 

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. I didn't realize there was a Gillian Flynn book I hadn't read - this is an adult thriller novella. I've realized I struggle with shorter stories as I always want more detail! It starts out abrupt and weird and creepy and I loved how twisty it was. I just had so many questions at the end (of course, I think that was the purpose overall, but I struggle with unanswered questions so it felt a little undeveloped to me).

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh ~ ☆☆☆☆ ½ - 4.5 stars. This is the best book of the year so far and it was amazing - I did a much more detailed review of this book here if you want to check it out! This is a young adult fantasy novel set with our main character, Mina, who sacrifices herself and jumps in to the sea, for her family to see if she is the Sea God's true bride - the one who can break the curse and stop the storms that have been wrecking havoc on her homeland for 100 years. Mina is swept away to the Spirit Realm and has 30 days to solve the curse as humans cannot survive in the Spirit Realm longer than that. The plot, the characters and the setting are so lovely! 

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is an adult thriller - it was a quick read for me! It's a deserted island with 6 people coming together for a few weeks of off-grid living on an island with a dark history! It's a slow build as the first part of the book really focuses on background and setup, before everything starts to unravel in the second half and I enjoyed the slow build and anticipation to see how all the characters would blend together! Thrillers aren't always my favourite, so the ending could have been a little different for me, but I did enjoy this! 

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a non-fiction poetry read, and I wanted to hear more from Amanda Gorman after hearing her poem at the presidential inauguration. This was good - there was some mixed styles and some resonated with me more than others, but overall the content was really good and Amanda deals with heavy topics well! 

A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft ~ ☆ - 1 star DNF. This is a young adult fantasy and I was pretty excited about this book, and I gave it a good go, but I had to stop reading this at 30% - it has taken me weeks to get to this point and I was just struggling with the story. The story was too slow, the characters underdeveloped and unlikeable and quite a bit of religion talk without any explanation of the differences. We didn't get in to Magic and it wasn't for me - I do have another book by this author so I'm going to give her another shot!

Monthly Reading Wrap-up - February 2022 Books

The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is a non-fiction psychology book that I picked up in college and only read the part on the Stanford Prison Experiment. So, I decided to get through the whole book, and it's a big undertaking (26 hours of audiobook). This covers not just the SPE, but it really dives in to the Abu Ghraib prison with US Military personnel going to trial and Zimbardo's thoughts on who should have taken some responsibility. Additionally, touches a bit a bit on heroism at the end. Long and dry read, but interesting information overall. 

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert ☆☆☆☆ - 4 stars. This is an adult romance and I love throwing a cute, easy read in my mix and this really fit that! This romance features a character with chronic pain and the main characters and their connection was lovely. The main character gets a little help checking off her "get a life" list - it was funny, but also had some pretty steamy scenes (a little spicier than I anticipated), but I'm excited to read about the other two sisters as well! 

Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim ~ ☆☆☆ ½ - 3.5 stars. This is a young adult fantasy and it has been called Mulan meets Project Runway - our main character has to pose as her brother to compete to be the Imperial Tailor. I really enjoyed this! It's almost 2 different stories though - the first half is a competition and the second half switches to a quest. I really enjoyed the tailor competition, and I did also enjoy the quest as well. I loved the characters and the tasks that they had to complete. Overall, enjoyable story!

Unravel The Dusk by Elizabeth Lim ~ ☆☆☆ - 3 stars. This is the followup to Spin The Dawn and the conclusion of the Blood of Stars duology. I was wavering between a 2.5 and 3 for this, for the majority of the book it was 2.5, but I did like the ending and it picked it up for me. This isn't a bad story, but it's very different from the first book. I loved everything about tailoring in the first book at the quest for the dresses - this was very much a battle heavy book with demons. It just wasn't what I was expecting after the first one and found it a little harder to get through myself. I wish the tailoring was still somehow maintained throughout as I loved those descriptions!

I would call February a good reading month - most books were good, but I also got my best and worst books so far of the year read this month! 

Here's a little refresh of my rating system:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

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