The Monthly Wrap: February

February has been a quiet little reading month for me. February is my birthday month and this year I took myself on a holiday which involved lots of beach reading, coffee, walking and beautiful catch-up’s with long time friends.

I started my month by continuing Impossible by Sarah Lotz. I was and am still throughly enjoying this book and I’d like to see where it ends. If I were comparing this romance book to say ‘The Spanish Love Deception’, it does not read as quickly nor have it in your grasp as suddenly. I want to see where Bee and Nick’s story will end in the month of March.

I picked up my Literary Lovers book club book, ‘Infinite Country’ by Patricia Engel in the mean time. Now this is only a small book of 191 pages, but it really does cover a broad scope of life as a Colombian person seeking refugee in America. The multi-perspective narrating really threw me to begin with and I actually had to start the book over at about 25 pages. I just felt I hadn’t fully grasped the characters and their experiences. We learn about Talia, who is an incredibly resilient adolescent escaping a correctional facility in the Colombian mountains. A passage in the book that stood out to me and that I think perfectly describes Talia’s life is; “The impulse to hurt Horacio (the man she attacked to wind up in the correctional facility) must have come from somewhere, they agreed, but Tahlia was exemplary at home and school. Her record undeniably clean. They ran down the list of traumas. Rape. Abuse. Neglect. Displacement from the armed conflict. Orphaning. None applied to Talia. She told them her mother was abroad and sent her back to Colombia when she was a baby. But this particular family condition was so common it couldn’t possibly be considered trauma.”. A large portion of the book is about learning her parents story of resettlement, financial challenges, exposure to violence and how they came to be living between America and Colombia – growing a family in separated circumstances. I found this book interesting but it didn’t stand out to me greatly.

Thennn … I went on holidays to the beach!! Wooo!! And I needed an easy romantic fiction again 😊 I purchased a copy of ‘The Unhoneymooners’ by Christina Lauren before I left, and let me tell you I was so glad I brought it along! I loved it! When all of the guests at Olive’s twin sister Ami’s, wedding get immediate food poisoning from the seafood buffet – Olive is left with no other choice but to take the free 10 day honeymoon with her brother-in-law/arch nemesis/biggest pain in her butt, Ethan. Their plane ride is hilarious, their honeymooners suite is HILarious and their couples activities have them not only despising each others presence, but also starting to slightly enjoy one another’s presence. They become all very confused about their feelings but figure it out in the end, you know, the usual romance trope that I’m a sucker for at the moment. I finished this is in the two days I was away, unputdownable!

Next I picked up a super special pre-release book, ‘The Woman in the Library’ by Sulari Gentil. I feel really privileged and lucky to be reading such an early copy of Sulari’s June book, and then being able to discuss all things mystery, suspense, murder with her. Sulari is one of our local authors and excitingly, has signed her newest novel with Ultimo Press (whom I love!). ‘The Woman in the Library’ surrounds 4 strangers becoming quick friends when they believe a scream has signified a woman being murdered in their local inner city library. Soon all becoming suspects, they start to feel closely bonded, protective but not suspicious of one another until the pennies start to drop. Pieces of each person’s story don’t add up, histories become exposed and each character has their particular reasons for being in the library that day. Sulari has crafted this unique crime novel in such a way that, as the reader, you are seeing the narrative unfold through a storytellers eyes. A big portion of this books is told via two authors email correspondence and it starts to becoming a little… hmm… dangerous. The story is forming, developing and being written by an author at the same time as we are learning about the story. We are literally seeing the story piecing together! I was left reeling at the ending and had to message Sulari straight away saying “OMG NO WAY”!! ‘The Woman in the Library’ is twisty, as Ultimo describes it on the front cover of my copy – but easy to follow, a great read and just so DARN clever! Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now I’m going to class this next book as my February read because it was just too fantastic not to include in the wrap up – three days into March and I’m buzzing on the energy of a fantastic reading month ahead. I devoured ‘The Paper Palace’ by Miranda Crowley-Heller in less than 24 hours yesterday. WHAT. A. NOVEL .This is a story about Elle and her extremely strong love for two men whom have both shaped her at different stages of her life. The story flicks between past and present. In present day, Elle is holidaying at their annual home away from home, the paper palace. A small collection of costal huts in Massachusetts. She is there with her husband Peter, their three children and her mother – of whom we learn a lot about. Elle’s relationship with her mother is explored a lot throughout the novel and it provides a backstory of the mental, emotional and sexual trauma of her childhood. It becomes clear very early into the novel that sexual trauma is faced generationally for the women in this story. It is a strong theme throughout the novel, so trigger warning for those endeavouring to read. I will be posting a full review on this novel soon as I’m listing it down as another one of my favourite reads this year.

What are you guys reading into March? Any stand outs in February for you? Leave me a comment 💬