February was a productive reading month for me. I kind of made it my new year’s resolution to read all of the physical TBR books I already have before buying any more. I also gave myself permission to stop reading books I’m not into sooner than I usually do. Because of this, I started and abandoned about four books and it felt surprisingly good. Here are reviews for most of the book I finished this month:
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
The fourth book in the Wayward Children series and one that I expected to love as I did the other three books. I did not expect to become so entwined with the story that I dreamed of it the two nights following reading the book. I don’t remember exactly what happened in my dream but I know I woke up thinking about fair value.
This series follows a school of children and adult teachers who have gone to another world and come back. Some were traumatized by their trip and others cannot function because of their desire to return. The books alternate being about the school and the history of one of the characters. This one is about Lundy’s time spent at the Goblin Market. Each page has phrases and descriptions so hauntingly beautiful and full of meaning that it makes me glad these are all novella length. I can’t recommend these books enough.
The Bookseller by Mark Pryor
I’m not the biggest fan of mysteries. The answers are either way too obvious or they come completely out of nowhere and both options leave me feeling less than satisfied after finishing a book. Not liking mysteries aside, this book was an enjoyable read. It was nice to read about an adventure in Paris and the characters were likable. I’d recommend this book to someone who likes mysteries.
On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
I really enjoyed this French memoir. It was refreshing to read about Normandy instead of Paris or Provence and it was written in a way that made you excited to find out what happened next. Many books about restoring an old house in France are a comedy of errors that make you think anyone moving there is crazy – this was not one of those. Yes, they were undergoing a house renovation but the author’s husband did most of the work, leaving the memoir to have more personal stories of relationships and discovering new customs. Highly recommended!
The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
I picked this up during an audible sale after seeing it everywhere- Costco, my local bookstore, online, etc. Part historical fiction set in the 1950’s and part fiction set in 2017 (both contemporary romance), We follow Elisa in the former era and her granddaughter, Marisol, in the latter. Marisol has been tasked with traveling to Cuba to spread her grandmother’s ashes. Once there she discovers a secret that her grandmother never told her about and is determined to find the answer to all of her questions before her return to the United States. Overall I really enjoyed this book. It made me miss Florida and want to visit Cuba. At the very least, it was a good mental escape from the snow we’re having in Seattle right now. My only real beef with this book is not a fault of this book but many: I’m kind of annoyed with books that flip stories and times like this one. I don’t like being pulled out of a story I’m enjoying to switch to another story that I also enjoy. I think the audio book narrators did a great job and it took me a while to figure out that there were two different ones.
Wild Country by Anne Bishop
The Cake Therapist by Judith Ferting
When I came across this book I pictured it being similar to Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen: a magical realism cozy with an emphasis on baking. Despite not liking the book overall, I did enjoy the world and up until the last page I actively wanted to keep reading to find out what happened. I don’t like the way this book is laid out and I don’t feel that it was executed properly. For much of the book Claire vaguely refers to a relationship but it takes forever to find out more of what happened. The tasting feelings thing is more of a premonition when something bad is going to or has happened and feels like more of a psychic thing to me. The story also jumps back in time at the end of each chapter to the early twentieth century despite there being no reference to this in the book description. If executed properly this book could have potential but, sadly, I can’t recommend this one.
Do you have any favorite books from this month?