The Books I Read in February 2020

February was quite the reading month for me! Maybe it was all the rain and dreary weather we had, but I was able to read eight books this month. The best part is that almost all of them were enjoyable reads that I’m excited to recommend to you! It’s hard to choose a favorite from this month, but I think In Five Years was mine! It was enthralling and left me thinking about what I would do in that situation. Anyways, let’s get started with everything I read this month…

As always, you can see my latest reads on my bookstgram account @enw_reads (I share ALL things books there!) and on my Amazon Shop page! If you have any book recs, send them my way! I would love to hear what you have read recently in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

big lies in a small town review

BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN by Diane Chamberlain | Big Lies in a Small Town follows a dual timeline of Anna Dale, an artist in 1940, and Morgan Christopher, a failed art student in 2018. Morgan is serving a sentence in jail for her role in a DUI accident that almost took someone’s life. She is hired to restore a mural that was painted by Anna Dale in 1940. This might just be her get of of jail free card, so to speak. But there are a few requirements: she must stay out of trouble and complete the restoration by opening day of the art studio, which is only a few weeks away. Left with many questions and a daunting task, Morgan is determined to do what she has to do to stay out of jail. review: Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors and for good reason – she has a way with words and always writes a book that is utterly unputdownable! Big Lies in a Small Town is no different and I highly recommend this one. I was unfamiliar with the post office mural contest that happened around the country in the 1940s, so I thoroughly enjoyed learning about that as we journeyed through Edenton in 1940 and 2018. The dual timelines and point of views helped create a very compelling, detailed story that kept me flipping the pages. This book deals with a lot of heavier topics including sexual assault, alcoholism, and race relations. It had a great amount of history, mystery & an suspense! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

THE BEANTOWN GIRLS by Jane Healy | In 1944 Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is reported missing after being shot down in Germany, Fiona’s long-held plans are shattered. Determined to learn her fiancé’s fate, Fiona leaves Boston to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along. The trio experience a lot as Clubmobile girls and learn about work ethic, courage & camaraderie during their time overseas. review: It’s no secret that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but occasionally I’ll get a bit burned out because all of them end up blending together. I was pleasantly surprised with The Beantown Girls, as it told a story that I had never heard before, of the Red Cross Clubmobile girls! I really enjoyed each character and found myself rooting for them on their journey! The author did a great job of blending the historical landscape with details of friendship, love, and and companionship. if you like historical fiction, be sure to add this one to your list! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson | Andie Bell, a pretty and popular high school senior, was murdered five years ago and the tragedy still haunts the town. Andie’s boyfriend, Sal, was the prime suspect and ends up killing himself before the case is closed. The murder left a lot of unanswered questions and many people think there is more to the story than what the media outlets have reported. Pip, a high school senior, decides to reexamine the closed case as part of her senior project. She discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent…and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger. review: If you like true crime, go ahead and add this book to your list ASAP, I promise you won’t regret it! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this book – I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what happened! While this is considered a young adult book, it didn’t read like one. I really enjoyed the unique format of this book, it consisted of interviews, project entires, transcripts, etc. It was fully of descriptive details, a believable plot & it was a very compelling read! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson | Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. review: Just Mercy is a must read and an unforgettable true story. As I read this book I found that I was heartbroken, angry, and sad with over our justice system. This book really opened my eyes to a different side of the criminal justice system. I highly encourage everyone to read this book. It is thought provoking, powerful, and will stay with you for a long time. Now that I have finished reading the book I plan on watching the movie. rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️ what I read in February book review blogger

A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD by Therese Anne Fowler | In a seemingly close-knit neighborhood in North Carolina, a widowed ecology professor, Valerie, is raising her biracial son, Xavier, in the house she bought years ago with her husband—before his sudden death devastated their family and left Xavier without his father. When new money Brad Whitman moves in next door, demolishing the existing home and yard to make way for his mansion, Valerie is less than thrilled. These two neighbors couldn’t be more different and it’s a struggle to continue living their lives while being good neighbors. The relationship between the two families becomes complicated…and explosive as tensions run high. review: I have conflicted feelings about this book and I’m still working on how I liked this one. Overall I think the book was well written, although the narration (the third person narration of “we” to signify the neighbors) was a bit confusing and unnecessary at times. This book is not fast paced, but a slow build literary fiction book surrounding the two families. It aims to tackle issues of racial relations but it took quite a while to get to that point and then it felt rushed. The last 20% of the book was good and I liked the ending, however much of the book left me wondering when something was going to happen. I didn’t like the relationship Brad, the step-father, had with his stepdaughter Lily. It made me extremely uncomfortable and I’m not sure what value it added overall. If you like literary fiction like Ask Again, Yes, maybe give this one a shot. rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️

THE OTHER MRS. by Mary Kubica | Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie. But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light. review: This domestic thriller was full of twists and had an ending that will leave you shocked! I had been in a rut with thrillers lately but this one got me out of my slump. I always love unreliable narrators and the characters in this book really made for a fun page turner. The small island town really added to the overall creepy vibe of this book and I really enjoyed the well-developed characters. If you need another thriller to read sure, add this one to your list! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

IN FIVE YEARS by Rebecca Serle | When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan. But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind… until she can no longer ignore it. review: After reading The Dinner List last year, I was excited to read the author’s latest book. I’m going to try and review this without giving away any spoilers, but just know this book is phenomenal and definitely a must read! The premise is original and the execution is thought provoking. I put myself in Dannie’s shoes numerous times asking myself “what would I do in this situation?” and attempting to figure out how this was all going to come together. As much as this is a love story, it’s also about the power of friendship. I think this would make a great book club discussion book! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

WILD AT HEART by K.A. Tucker | Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together. But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra. Calla struggles to find herself as she navigates her new normal. But will this ever feel normal to her? review: This is the sequel to the much adored book The Simple Wild & I rarely say this, but I think the sequel is just as good as the first one! I really loved the growth of Calla and Jonah in this sequel. I appreciated that their relationship had flaws and issues, making them even more relatable. The story line of this book is fantastic and the sideline cast of characters were just as wonderful! The author does such a great job of transporting you to remote Alaska and really gives you a feel for just how different life in Alaska truly is. I particularly enjoyed that you got a deeper glimpse of each character in this book and how they each found a way to thrive. This is certainly a feel good book that will leave you smiling, laughing & definitely wanting more of Alaska! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

 

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13 Comments

  1. Rach wrote:

    You read a lot of good thrillers this months! Totally adding them to my list of books to read!

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  2. Hillary wrote:

    You sure did get some reading in!! I’ll have to check out Just Mercy. It sounds really interesting!

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  3. Laura Leigh wrote:

    Oh I want to read Wild at Heart!!! That sounds amazing and right up my alley for sure.

    xo Laura Leigh

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  4. Rachel wrote:

    You read so many good books in February! I’m dying to read In Five Years and Beantown Girls and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

    Rachel

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  5. Ada wrote:

    Oh wow girl you are a reading machine, and I totally love that. I was doing pretty good in January, but honestly I’ve fallen through in February!

    Love how thorough the review is without giving anything away. I think I’ll grab A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. Sounds so intriguing!

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  6. Lizzie wrote:

    You always have the best book recommendations! Can’t wait to check all of these out!

    Lizzie

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  7. Anna English wrote:

    Wild at Heart caught my eye! I’m adding it to my list.

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  8. Tami wrote:

    February was a slow month for me in terms of reading. I have to catch up now.

    Posted 3.4.20 Reply
  9. Francene M Katzen wrote:

    Always enjoy your book reviews. We seem to like the same kind of books. . .you have already read a few that are on my list. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Posted 3.5.20 Reply
  10. I keep saying I need to read more! Some good picks here!

    Posted 3.5.20 Reply
  11. Caitlin wrote:

    I’m jealous of all of your reading! I love The Other Mrs.!

    Posted 3.5.20 Reply
  12. Greta wrote:

    You always have the best book recommendations!

    Posted 3.5.20 Reply
  13. Lydia wrote:

    I kind of love YA books, I ‘ll have to check out A Good Girls Guide to Murder!

    Posted 3.5.20 Reply

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