February was one of the best reading months ever in the amount of books I managed to get through! I’m so proud and also incredibly glad I ended up loving most of the books! Here is my February Wrap Up:
The Honjin Murders – Seishi Yokomizo – 4/5
“I must confess I never intended to mislead my readers.”
Oh okay because I WAS MISLEAD!
Although I felt the side commentary was a little OTT and it definitely mislead me by pointing out various facts as” important ” and ” playing a central role” in the mystery. Granted that was because I interpreted the facts my own way, doh!
But really I enjoyed this a lot more than I first thought I would and the narrator was very engaging. I felt a slight hint of Hercule Poirot throughout; and as it turns out Agatha Christie was an inspiration to the author/narrator so really no surprise there.
A classic locked room murder mystery, well worth a read 😊👌
The Poison Garden – Alex Marwood – 3.5/5
** spoiler alert **
I thought it was slow to start, but I accept it as part of creating the atmosphere, letting us get to know the characters a bit more; once it got going I enjoyed it mostly.
SELECT TO READ MINOR SPOLERS FROM HERE
Up until the end, which ruined it for me. I feel like I have too many unanswered questions, the ending felt rushed and was a complete anticlimax. Character driven plot went straight over my head for my need for closure; I wanted Romy to act on her feelings.
I’m confused where this whole build up was leading to and why NOTHING HAPPENED in the end 👀
I’d love to see a sequel so that my curiosity itch gets scratched, and hopefully explains why this one ended so abruptly. 🤷🏻♀️
I’m torn between 3.5 & 4 stars, because I mostly enjoyed this book and would recommend as it’s an easy read but the ending really let me down.
Room – Emma Donoghue – 5/5
“When I was four I thought everything in TV was just TV, then I was five and Ma unlied about lots of it being pictures of real and Outside being totally real. Now I’m in Outside but it turns out lots of it isn’t real at all.”
I found it strange at first, reading in a voice of a five year old, but I soon fell in love with witty Jack, who was definitely wise beyond his years, despite having never seen the world outside the tiny room he shared with his mum who had been kidnapped seven years before.
Thought provoking, compelling, heartbreaking and really quite unsettling read. Luckily Jack’s naivety and pureness made it slightly easier to digest.
I would definitely recommend.
One of Us is Next – Karen M. McManus – 5/5
So pleased that I loved it as much as the first one. I’m absolutely over the moon it didn’t disappoint!
I liked how the narrative was again led by different characters and separate POVs in alternate chapters and how it all came together in the end.
Although I guessed the major plot twist, it still had a little something in store to give me the element of a surprise.
I would definitely recommend reading One of Us is Lying before diving into One of Us is Next. Although it’s a completely different storyline, it does feature major spoilers that will ruin the first book if you haven’t read the prequel. Previous characters also appear heavily in this, and it would help to understand their relationships between each other.
I hope this isn’t the last we hear from the people at Bayview High 🤞😉
Sweetpea – C. J. Skuse – Audio – 5/5 (Sweetpea #1)
Although it was slightly rude at times, I loved the whole thing from start to finish.
Our main protagonist is the craziest character I’ve ever come across, and hey I’ve come across some real nut-jobs in various books, but I absolutely loved her!
I seem to have a soft spot for psychopaths/serial killers in books. What does that say about me?! 😳
Highly recommend for some laugh out loud moments and jaw dropping action!
In Bloom – C. J. Skuse – Audio – 4/5 (Sweetpea #2)
Rhiannon is my favourite kind of vigilante psycho killer – with the driest and darkest sense of humour she’s right up my street.
In Bloom was good, and as I started it straight after finishing Sweetpea last night, it just felt like it picked up straight from where I’d left off.
However I prefer Sweetpea for sure. Rhiannon was more, um, herself when she didn’t have “the voice of reason” constantly breathing down her neck and I preferred her more calculating, smart and absolutely savage.
I hope there’ll be #3 because I need to know if she’ll take her revenge she deserves having been betrayed by.. Oh just read it!
Who Killed Ruby? – Camilla Way – Audio – 3/5
Not nearly as good as Watching Edie, which I absolutely loved and recommend big time!
Who Killed Ruby? is an okay read. Good for a background noise (I listened to the audio book!).
I quickly lost my interest in the story as it failed to keep my focus most of the time. Despite that I managed to work out who Killed Ruby before the “grand reveal”, which fell flat for me, and there wasn’t much that surprised me.
So in other words – I didn’t hate it, but I also certainly didn’t love it.
Dark Places – Gillian Flynn – 3/5
It was one of those books that felt like it’ll never end. It felt like I was reading it for a good few years!
When I first started, I instantly thought “Hey it’s the best Flynn yet!”, I was sucked into the story and felt immediate connection to Libby.
And then I struggled, I absolutely did not give a toss about Ben and was bored out of my mind throughout his chapters; it got slightly better in the end but he’s definitely my least favourite character in this book.
Although the ending was FAR FETCHED and the mother of all coincidences it gave me a bit of a thrill that pushed me to finish it, and truthfully saved the book for me from a certain 2 stars.
But I finished it and I’m glad. Wouldn’t read again though 😂
Blue Lightning – Ann Cleeves – 5/5
Cleeves is so clever! She manages to build and hold the tension up until the very last page. The atmosphere in this was intimate, yet so sinister and dark it just held me captive.
Whilst I’m upset by the ending it’s definitely my favourite so far. I generally find Ann Cleeves books quite difficult to get into at first. I don’t know what it is, but once I get past a certain page I’m totally sucked in and cannot wait to see where the narrative takes me.
Blue Lightning was different. I felt from the start it’s easier to get lost in it; I was transported to the little Fair Isle and it kept me mesmerised throughout (I’d totally move there!).
I absolutely loved this!