It looks like I’ve have a jam-packed ladies month this February, all female authors and a mix of fantasy, classics, historical fiction and a memoir. Not too bad, I say.
The Seven Sisters & The Storm Sister (Seven Sisters #1 & #2) by Lucinda Riley
Can I just say I have found a new favorite series? A mixture of historical fiction, mystery, romance – a series with women at the front and center and each book exploring a new destination…Brazil, Norway! The series starts off with the death of Pa Salt, the adoptive father of six women and the clues he leaves them regarding their heritage. Each book stars a new sister, but what I really enjoyed was the structure: half of the novel revolves around the sister and the other about her ancestor. For e.g Maia in the first book and a Brazilian socialite from the 1920s. I did enjoy the first book more but I’m beyond excited to continue the series with the third book that comes out later this year.
Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser #1) by Meghan Ciana Doidge
This was a little bit of fluff I read for one of my bookclubs – a short, easy read about witches, vampires, werewolves and cupcakes! Basically it’s about a young woman called Jade, owner of a cupcake store, who becomes involved in a mystery concerning the brutal deaths of werewolves. I enjoyed it, but as the book develops you realize there particularly no meat to the characters or the story, which is a shame.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K Rowling
The only re-read of the month but an enjoyable one to say the least. Chamber of Secrets continues Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts, a story that involves spiders, weird Slytherin things and that funky Polyjuice potion! I preferred this to the first book, and the Oh Witch podcast (discusses the series in an academic way) was a great accompaniment to the book.
Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
I really wanted to love this. I adored the Jo Walton books (Among Others & The Just City) last year, and this book, a mesh of Regency flair and dragons sounded delightful. But I felt disconnected from the characters and the plot (too many perspectives!) and found it hard to visualize most things. I enjoyed the world building though but it wasn’t enough for me to truly enjoy it.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Ok, here comes the first Austen book I truly enjoyed. Pride and Prejudice was ok. Persuasion was ok. Mansfield Park was…Errgh, no. But I adored Sense and Sensibility and I think that was because I loved the characters. Elinor was complex and charming. Marianne was awesome – if a bit too much passionate. Colonel Brandon, oh how I love thee! Now I’m off to see if I enjoy Northanger Abbey and Emma just as much, hopefully!
The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark
The Driver’s Seat is an interesting novella – weird, strange and a bit alarming. It’s sort of a mix of a backwards crime story and a distorted fairytale. Where we know quite early as what is going to happen, but also read with despair as we become increasingly aware of a woman’s journey to self annihilation – using the man as an object of destruction. This is a book to read in one sitting, to see that tension rises. And it definitely rises.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
The only book I’ve done a proper review of this month – one that I found funny, full of heart and relatable. See my review here.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Another Muriel Spark novel! I think I’ve found another author that I admire – which is awesome. And I think, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie might be my favorite of hers so far. It is about an unorthodox female teacher who has a special, and ultimately dangerous relationship with six of her students. I adored the character of Brodie, despite her very visible flaws – but she was complex, fun and now I can’t watch to see the film adaptation starring Maggie Smith.
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
My only Australian novel of the month, which sadly left a lot to be desired. All the Birds, Singing is about a woman called Jake who lives in an old farmhouse on a British island. Something, someone is killing her sheep and she is tormented by her secret past. I found some parts of the book quite interesting – the broken timeline, the mystery behind the sheep killer, her relationship with Otto and the book was easy to read. But I found the ending dissatisfying and felt disconnected and bored by most of the characters. I wish I enjoyed it more – but honestly I didn’t.
Favorite book of the month: The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
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So what were your favorite books that you read in February?