February was a great reading month for me! My goal was to read six books and I ended up getting through seven.
Not only did I exceed my reading goals, but I loved (almost) every book I read!
I learned two big lessons for meeting my reading goals:
- Honor my scheduled reading time like it’s holy (it is!)
- Use every spare minute to supplement with an audiobook because those minutes add up!
Here are the 7 books I got through this month and my thoughts on them!
Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂
1. The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction | Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: Yes; if you want an easy read or a happy Rom Com, this is the book for you!
Summary: The Kiss Quotient is a gender-swap version of Pretty Woman. Stella, an autistic girl with a big brain and an even bigger heart, hires Michael, a professional male-escort, to teach her the ways of the bedroom.
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. Despite Stella’s rigorous lesson plans, she begins to fall for him. And not just fall—obsess.
But Michael has some issues of his own—he has a treacherous past and is constantly living under the fear that he might be turning into his father, a very, very bad man.
This is a sexy and fun loving story that’s unique and refreshing.
Personal Thoughts About It: I really enjoyed the main characters in this story—Stella and Michael. While the storyline was predictable (it was supposed to be!), the characters themselves were well crafted and fun to spend time with.
But the main reason I gave this book such a high rating was the ending. The ending was the heartwarming ending we crave in a good love story, but it was delivered in such a perfect way it didn’t come off cliche or overly fairy-taleish.
And to top it off, there was a really special Author’s Note in the back that pushed me to decide on the 4-star rating! Overall, this is an easy, sweet read that’s perfect if you want an out-of-the-ordinary love story or just a fun, uncomplicated read.
2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: YES! This is a must-read for every single person alive. This book is now among top books I’ve ever read!
Summary: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a girl who’s socially awkward, seemingly mediocre, and stuck in a life-sucking routine.
But as the book goes on, Eleanor starts to reveal her quippy and extremely witty personality and her strange—and very interesting—views on life and people.
Moved by the idea of potential love, Eleanor starts to break out of her routine. In doing so, she gains so much more than she could have ever anticipated. But shaking up her everyday routine also stirs up some of her past and brings it to the surface.
The characters in this story are incredibly crafted and multi-dimensional and the pace and the anticipation of the impending storyline are just as amazing!
Personal Thoughts About It: This was by far the best book I read this month and possibly the best book I’ve read in the past year. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with every single word.
This is a book not to be missed. If you haven’t read it yet, make it a priority—you won’t regret it!
3. The Other Woman
Author: Sandie Jones
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: Yes; If you’re looking for a garden variety thriller, this is a great choice! It’s fast-paced, easy-to-read, and will keep you guessing! A very entertaining read.
Summary: The Other Woman follows Emily and her budding relationship with the seemingly perfect man, Adam.
Everything about their relationship seems promising, until Emily meets Adam’s mother, Pammie. Pammie is needy, hyperbolic, and sometimes straightout conniving. But Emily believes Adam is worth the trouble, so she sets her mind on sticking it out, regardless of how vicious she must get towards Adam’s mother. But Pammie is not going down without a fight.
In addition to Pammie’s constant fight to be Adam’s #1 woman in his life, Emily has to deal with the possibility that Pammie might be dangerous in addition to plain obnoxious. As Emily gets closer to Adam—soon becoming his bride-to-be—Pammie gets more and more insufferable and more and more suspicious.
Personal Thoughts About It: This is a fast-paced book that I got through in two days. It delivers the perfect amount of suspense that you want from a thriller, while throwing good twists out at the perfect moments. I found the ending to be a bit predictable, but it was still a fun and consuming read!
4. I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: Yes! This is one of the most heartwarming and heart wrenching books I’ve ever read. I loved every single second of it!
Summary: I’ll Give You the Sun is the story of twins Noah and Jude. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of the two, presented during different years throughout the story. Sometimes they’re NoahandJude—thick as thieves and existing almost as one entity—and other times they’re Noah and Jude—distant, cold, and unsupportive of each other.
This is a book that boldly and expertly tells of the griefs of love, the excitement of hope, and the necessity of surrendering.
Personal Thoughts About It: This was my only other 5-star rating this month (other was Eleanor Oliphant). I absolutely loved this story. It was one of the first YA books I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it so much I’m now on the YA bandwagon! The characters in this book are crafted so well you’ll feel like you’re their best friend, and at some points you’ll even feel like you are them.
I highly recommend this book. Whether you’re looking for a good cry, a heartwarming story, or a reason to escape from the world for awhile, you’ll find all of that here.
5. Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: Possibly; if you want a quick YA read with interesting characters, this is a good choice. This book wasn’t ground shaking by any means, but it was intriguing and captivating.
Aza has insider knowledge since she used to be close to the son of the fugitive when they met in Sad Camp—a camp for kids who’ve lost a parent. But the hunt is quickly ended when Aza reconciles her relationship with Davis (the fugitive’s son) and he gives her the cash she’s been seeking in order for her descretion.
While the adventure for the missing fugitive is the story we start with, the book soon goes into the struggles and the unsolvable mystery of Aza’s mind and her compulsive, intrusive thoughts. Aza suffers from a mental condition that’s not as simple as she makes it seem.
The ebbs and flows of her mental health are closely tied with her personal relationships—proving to be both symbiotic and parasitic.
Personal Thoughts About It: I decided to give this YA a shot after finishing I’ll Give You the Sun. This was my first John Green book—I decided to start my new YA journey with the king of YA.
I wasn’t expecting an earth-shattering experience from this book because of the reviews I’d read on it, but I was in a bit of a book hangover and didn’t think I could handle something as intense as The Fault in Our Stars.
Overall, this was a quick and easy read, but it was also emotional and moving. It expertly went into the mind of Aza and made you feel the horrifying thoughts she dealt with every day.
6. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Genre: Modern Classic | Psychological Thriller
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: Unfortunately, no. This book lacked suspense and felt long and drawn out.
Summary: Tom Ripley goes to Europe on the request—and the dime— of Mr. Greenleaf, a man desperate to get his son to come back home.
The Talented Mr. Ripley starts with Tom’s pursuit to convince Dickie Greenleaf, the fun-loving amateur painter, to come back to America, but his quest proves futile after just a few days in Italy. Tom realizes he needs to change his plan quickly if he has any hope of meeting his goal—and staying on Mr. Greenleaf’s payroll.
As Tom and Dickie grow closer, becoming roommates and then best friends, Tom begins to get more and more attached to Dickie, until one night he can’t handle it anymore—he puts on all of Dickie’s clothes in an attempt to feel as if he is him.
After Dickie catches him in this vulnerable state, things are not quite the same between them. As Dickie pulls away, Tom becomes more and more desperate to keep him close.
As tension and desperation escalate, Tom’s driven to do the most extreme thing a person could do—murder.
And of course, his drastic measures lead to more and more drastic measures until Tom is in over his head.
This book is part of a series, with book #1 introducing all of the characters and drama, but no resolution just yet.
Personal Thoughts About It: I was disappointed with this book. While the main character was very disturbed with many issues and the plot was exciting and interesting, the delivery was boring.
The story was told from Tom’s perspective, which had the negative effect of removing all the potential tension because you were seeing the plot unfold first hand. If the plot would have been revealed separately from Tom’s account, it would have left a lot of mystery and anticipation.
Tom is a very unbalanced character, but his actions were spontaneous and accidental, which took away from the friction of the plot. All in all, this book had a lot of potential, but, unfortunately, fell flat.
7. The Female Persuasion
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Do I Recommend This?: Yes, if you already have it or you’ve been wanting to read it. If you’ve never heard of it before or don’t have it in your possession, I wouldn’t recommend buying it.
Summary: The Female Persuasion follows Greer over many years, from high school to college to life as a young adult, trying to figure out the ins and outs of her career, love life, and finding her place in the world.
Greer meets an older woman who later becomes her mentor, guiding her along as she forges her own path. Despite the confusion, turmoil, and heartbreak she encounters along the way, this is an uplifting coming of age story.
Personal Thoughts About It: This book is a lot of interesting thoughts paired with not much story. This is definitely a character-driven novel with a subdued storyline. It’s written well and is an easy read, but overall, it lacks any kind of je ne sais quoi.