Here is What I Read - February 2020

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

February was a great reading month for me! I really made the time to read during my commute in to work as well as in the evenings. I was on my phone just a little bit less at night! I continue to branch out in my genre's and read a mix of books. Overall, I would recommend each book I read in February. They were all so different so I liked them for different reasons.

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This Tender Land

by William Kent Krueger

What is this book about?

1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.

What did I think?

Wow! This book was good! It is a way different read than I am normally used to, but this book hooked me from the beginning and was so well written that I felt their struggle and pain throughout the book. This isn’t my first read from William Kent Krueger. He actually has a great mystery series set in Minnesota that I discovered back in 2013. I would definitely give this one a read!

The Last Affair

by Margot Hunt

What is this book about?

Nora Holliday is not that kind of woman. Not the kind who has an illicit affair with a married man. But Josh Landon is everything Nora’s alcoholic husband isn’t. And now she and Josh are so infatuated, they can’t stay away from one another. Abby Landon, Josh’s daughter, is home from college nursing a broken heart. She’s seeking solace, not more scandal, so when she catches her dad kissing Nora, she vows to take the homewrecker down. And as for Abby’s mother and Josh’s wife, Gwen? To anyone on the outside looking in, the mother of two appears to be living the ideal suburban life. Until she winds up dead. The serene seaside town of Shoreham has always been the perfect place to raise a family—not somewhere housewives are brutally murdered. So who killed Gwen Landon, and how many twisted secrets will be exposed as the vindictive plot comes undone?

What did I think?

This was your classic thriller. However, each chapter was written from one of the character’s point of view. I got really into this book and read it in just a few days. You knew from the beginning one of the characters was killed and I ended up changing my mind a few times on who I thought killed her. I was definitely wrong in the end.

Good Girl, Bad Girl

by Michael Robotham

What is this book about?

A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—one that Evie Cormac, the girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth?

What did I think?

This was also an eerie book! You questioned the whole time what really happened to Evie and if someone was really after her. This was also a page turner for me and one that I finished quickly! I would say you should add this to your reading list.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune

by Roselle Lim

What is this book about?

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant. The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around--she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

What did I think?

I loved switching it up and reading such a fun, light book. Natalie Tan came home after her mother’s passing and was gifted the restaurant space her grandmother had many years ago! The book shared her struggles both internal and external to get the restaurant going. There is an element of magic and love in this book. This ended up being a great random pick from the library. I was attracted to the cover of the book.

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

by Christina Lauren

What is this book about?

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun. Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

What did I think?

My FIRST audio book ever. I polled my Instagram in February asking if they counted ‘listening to an audio book’ toward their overall reading count. Most of you said yes! So…even though I still feel like it is cheating, I counted it. I don’t really think I am going to be doing a TON of audio books as I found I missed some of the book because I was listening while also working. However, this book was so cute! I loved the back and forth struggle between the two main characters trying to fight the fact that they didn’t really just want to be friends. I love these quick “reads.”

The Family Upstairs

by Lisa Jewell

What is this book about?

Be careful who you let in. Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

What did I think?

This one was good! Weird, but good. It jumped from present day to the past as the two stories finally merged into present day and explained a few weird twists in the end.

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