Check out the book reviews for my February reads!
If you’re just now tuning in, I have taken on an alphabet reading challenge where I read a book that starts every letter of the alphabet in 2019. You can keep up with my progress on my Alphabet Reading Challenge Page. You can also click here to see which letters I crossed off in January, and click here to follow me on Goodreads.
Between school, work, and trying to up my social game (that’s social life, not social media), I didn’t have nearly as much time to read or listen to audiobooks in February compared to January, but I’m so excited about the three books that I was able to read this month.
BECOMING BY MICHELLE OBAMA
Completed February 6, 2019 | Published on November 13, 2018
I loved Becoming so much that I decided to do a full review of it. Even if you have differing political beliefs, I highly recommend that you read Michelle Obama’s book. The book itself does contain some things about politics, but that’s only surface level. It doesn’t talk about her beliefs, and she doesn’t try to sway you in one way or another. She’s simply telling her story of how she grew up in the South Side of Chicago and eventually made it to Princeton and later Harvard. She talks about the struggles of marriage and motherhood, how she continues to change things up as she discovers her “why” and what brings her joy, and how she’s taken the lessons she’s learned from her upbringing and applied them to her life, career, and relationships.
Becoming is truly a work of inspiration, and even after her life in the White House and in the spotlight, Michelle continues to be real and honest. You can read my full review of the book by clicking here.
LADY SMOKE (ASH PRINCESS TRILOGY #2) BY LAURA SEBASTIAN
Completed February 12, 2019 | Published on February 5, 2019
Lady Smoke is the second book in the Ash Princess trilogy. To read my thoughts on the first book, Ash Princess, click here.
Synopsis: After escaping from the Kaiser’s grasp, Theodosia, has taken his son, Prince Soren, as her prisoner as she sails with aunt, Dragonsbane, to come up with a plan to free her people from the Kaiser’s rule. She and her team decide that they ultimately need an army in order to overthrow the Kaiser, and Dragonsbane, with her own motives in mind, arranges for Theo to attend an event where she will choose a husband, something that breaks away from the traditions of Astrea.
My Thoughts: Even though this book starts with an L, and I already read an L book last month, I decided to give this book a read anyway since it was fresh off the stands. Honestly, I’m annoyed that I did. I wasn’t super enthralled or intrigued by the first one, but I read Lady Smoke in the hopes that it would get me more excited about the storyline. I was disappointed.
Just like Ash Princess, Lady Smoke is…fine, but there was nothing about the book that made me want to keep reading or made me feel like I needed to drop everything else I was doing in order to see what happened next. The storyline was kind of boring to me, and the twists and turns that are supposed to enthrall you did nothing to keep me hooked.
I will say that Lady Smoke is better than Ash Princess, but only slightly. I still continue to think that Theodosia is a very stubborn person who’s bit off more than she can chew. She’s literally been a prisoner for ten years, and she thinks she knows so much, but her view of the world is so skewed, and she refuses to take advice from anyone, even the people she allegedly trusts. The love triangle is absolutely awful and the worst part of the series. Usually, the love triangle is something that keeps me going, but in this story, it seems almost forced, and I get frustrated when she makes a decision solely based on her feelings for one guy or the other – which she does…a lot.
I’m disappointed in myself for doubling up on the letter L for my reading challenge just to read this book, but what’s done is done, and honestly, I don’t see myself finishing the series.
A MAN CALLED OVE BY FREDRIK BACKMAN
Completed February 18, 2019 | Published on August 27, 2012
Synopsis: A Man Called Ove tells the story of a man who willingly lives in isolation. He sticks to his daily routine, and he has zero tolerance for people he doesn’t like (which is mostly everyone). Behind the bitterness is a deep sadness for the love he lost and life he once knew. When a boisterous couple and their two daughters move in next door, it’s the beginning of the end of Ove’s strict routine and quiet, isolated lifestyle, and the beginning of accidental friendship and finding joy in unexpected places.
My thoughts: I had been wanting to read this book for a long time because of recommendations from other people, but the description of the book didn’t really pique my interest, so I put it off for a long time. I regret that now.
At the beginning of A Man Called Ove, I was eager to keep reading while at the same time asking myself, “Where is this going?” As I continued to read, I found myself laughing at the interactions Ove had from trying to buy a computer to plotting revenge against a neighbor’s dog. The story was told between present day and flashbacks, so we get to see what lead to Ove being the way he is today, from stories of his father to dealing with bullies and meeting the love of his life.
This book explores the loneliness that seniors feel, not just because everyone they love has passed on, but also because they’re living in a world that continues to progress, particularly when it comes to technology. Ove plans his day around ending his life so he can be with his beloved wife, but something seems to always gets in the way, especially now that the new neighbors moved in next door. The book takes you on a journey from feeling sorry for a man who had some sh*tty cards dealt to him to unexpected bouts of laughter when his days don’t go according to plan or people force their way into his life, in spite of his curmudgeonly ways.
I felt so many emotions while reading this book, and I loved it so much that I sat through the Swedish version of the movie on Amazon Prime just to see how the story played out. I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, but I’m so glad that I finally decided to check this one off of my TBR list.
What books did you read in February?