February Reading Wrap-Up!

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I am sitting here attempting to write this February Reading Wrap-Up and I don’t even remember a minute of February. It was a blur and lasted 2.4 seconds and felt like some kind of weird time warp. And it is now officially March and I couldn’t tell you anything that happened last month, but what I CAN tell you is that I read some really great books! I finished 9 books…and really enjoyed all of them! So let’s take a peek at my February Reading Wrap-Up! How did your reading go this month? Any great books? Let’s chat!

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

Oh how I loved this book!!! I have What the River Knows on my shelf for a couple of months and finally made time to read it. Wow…it was fantastic! I fell in love with author Isabel Ibañez’s writing after reading Together We Burn. She is a gifted storyteller! I knew I was going to love this one because I am a sucker for anything dealing with Egypt. I find it so fascinating! This definitely did not disappoint and had so much excitement and mystery and it was insanely atmospheric! I cannot wait for the next book in this Secrets of the Nile series! Here is a little info!

Goodreads Synopsis

Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

The Invocations by Krystal Sutherland

Raise your hand if you were a fan of House of Hollow? If you are a lover of all things weird, creepy, and macabre then you should definitely add both House of Hollow AND The Invocations to your TBR. The Invocations was gripping and addictive from the very first page. If you love books with witches, demons, curses, magic, and all things supernatural then I think you should give this one a try! So expertly plotted and super dark…such a good book! Here is a synopsis!

Goodreads Synopsis

Zara Jones believes in magic because the alternative is too painful to bear—that her sister was murdered by a serial killer and there is precisely nothing she can do to change it. If there’s anything Zara cannot stand it’s feeling powerless, so she decides she will do whatever it takes—even if that means partaking in the occult—to bring her sister back from the dead.

Jude Wolf might be the daughter of a billionaire, but she is also undeniably cursed. After a deal with a demon went horribly wrong, her soul is now slowly turning necrotic. Flowers and insects die in her wake and monstrous things come to taunt her at night. If Jude can’t find the right someone to fix her mistake, she fears she’ll die very soon.

Enter Emer Bryne: the solution to both Zara’s and Jude’s predicaments. The daughter of a witch, Emer sells spells to women in desperate situations willing to sacrifice a part of their soul in exchange for a bit of power, a bit of magic to change their lives. But Emer has a dark past all her own—and as her former clients are murdered one-by-one, she knows it’s followed her all the way to London.

As Zara and Jude enter Emer’s orbit, they’ll have to team up to stop the killer—before they each end up next on his list.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue has been on my TBR FOREVER! I got it in one of my Book of the Month boxes and its just sat on my shelf looking adorable. I am such a mood reader and for some reason I never felt like it was the right time to jump into this one. Well, 2024 is my year to clear up my TBR so I decided to give it a go. It was SO good. Kiinda adorable actually. I loved the romance in this book between Prince Henry of England and First Son of the US Alex Claremont-Diaz. This book was heartwarming and funny and did I mention adorable? So glad I finally got a chance to read it!

Goodreads Synopsis

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Here is another book that has been sitting on my shelf for WAY too long. A Million Junes by Emily Henry is a book that came so highly recommended by several of my friends…most noteably my friend Arlene who loved it so much and shouted at me for not having read it. I did it, Arlene! I read it…and I loved it. Emily Henry smashed together with some magical realism…yep…awesomeness ensues. This was such a fantastic story with beautiful writing and I couldn’t put it down! Check it out!

Goodreads Synopsis

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

You may have noticed that I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. I absolutely tend to say in the fiction lane…but this book just kept jumping out at me. I fell in love with cover and when the publisher reached out to me with a copy to read I jumped at the chance. All Boys Aren’t Blue is an incredible and moving memoir by author/journalist/activist George M. Johnson. This was such an impactful read and one that I think is going to help a lot of kids find their way and their voice. This book is one of the most banned books in the US…which to me makes it an even more important read. Here is a little synopsis.

Goodreads Synopsis

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

Clever Creatures of the Night by Samantha Mabry

Next up we have Clever Creatures of the Night by Samantha Mabry. How awesome is this cover?!? This was a super quick read for me but hugely atmospheric! Author Samantha Mabry truly set the scene with vivid descriptions that put the reader right into the story. This is a YA book with lots of creepy vibes. I would describe it as part mystery and part dystopian/post-apocalyptic in nature. The atmospheric nature of the book was the best part for me. I felt like the mystery wrapped up a little quickly but I still really enjoyed the book! Here is a quick description!

Goodreads Description

When Case’s best friend Drea goes missing, Case dives into the bizarre, cultlike—and possibly murderous—behavior of Drea’s roommates in this gripping literary horror novel for fans of The Honeys and Mexican Gothic.


When Case shows up at the isolated West Texas house where her best friend, Drea, lives with friends from school, Drea is nowhere to be found. Why would she ask Case to visit and then disappear? With twenty-four hours until her ride home, Case intends to find out.

But Drea’s roommates can’t—or won’t—answer any questions. They leave Case to search alone, to find bits and pieces of Drea’s life hidden in and around the house, while they continue playing out a rural utopian fantasy. Their bizarre behavior puts Case on edge, and she’s not the only one. The animals nearby are lashing out, strangely aggressive.

Something bad happened in this house. Something that must be connected to Drea’s disappearance—and if she gets too close to the truth, Case might just be next.

Ready or Not by Cara Bastone

You guys…I LOVED Ready or Not. Ya girl is still in her Rom-Com Era it would seem. I almost didn’t choose this book because of the surprise pregnancy trope. Almost. I wasn’t sure I was in the mood and worried it would be a little too heavy but it wasn’t at all! So glad I chose it because it ended up being one of my favorite reads of the month! Cara Bastone’s writing and the characters…gahh…they were fantastic. The relationship between Eve and Shep was perfection. I loved their friendship and watching it blossom was *chefs kiss*. This book does have a brief mention of miscarriage…not the main character but just wanted to share that in case it is a sensitive area. Highly highly recommend this book if you love a good Contemporary Romance! 5 big ole stars from me.

Goodreads Synopsis

A surprise pregnancy leads to even more life-changing revelations in this heartfelt, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers romance of found family and unexpected love.

Eve Hatch is pretty content with her life. Her apartment in Brooklyn is cozy and close to her childhood best friend Willa, but far from her midwestern, traditional family who never really understood her. While her job is only dream- adjacent , she’s hoping her passion and hard work will soon help her land a more glamorous role. And sure, her most recent romantic history has consisted of not one but two disappointing men named Derek. At least she always knows what to expect…until she finds herself expecting after an uncharacteristic one-night stand.

The unplanned pregnancy cracks open all the relationships in her life. Eve’s loyal friendship with Willa is feeling off , right when she needs her most. And it’s Willa’s steadfast older brother, Shep, who steps up to help. He has always been friendly, but now he’s checking in, ordering her surprise lunches, listening to all her complaints, and is… suddenly kinda hot? Then there’s the baby’s father, who is supportive but conflicted. Before long, Eve is rethinking everything she thought she knew about herself and her world.

Over the course of nine months, as Eve struggles to figure out the next right step in her expanding reality, she begins to realize that family and love, in all forms, can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Keeping Pace by Laurie Morrison

Next up we have Keeping Pace by Laurie Morrison. This is an upper middle-grade novel and I really enjoyed it. This is a heartwarming book that is all about friendships, crushes, first relationships, setting goals, and winning and losing. I listed it as upper middle-grade just because it does deal with relationships and some kissing that the 8-10 year olds might not be too interested in. Definitely a great book for the ages between middle-grade and YA. Here is a little synopsis!

Goodreads Synopsis

Laurie Morrison’s Keeping Pace is a poignant middle-grade novel about friends-turned-rivals training for a half-marathon—and rethinking what it means to win and what they mean to each other.

Grace has been working for years to beat her former friend Jonah Perkins’s GPA so she can be named top scholar of the eighth grade. But when Jonah beats her for the title, it feels like none of Grace’s academic accomplishments have really mattered. They weren’t enough to win—or to impress her dad. And then the wide, empty summer looms. With nothing planned and no more goals or checklists, she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be working toward.

Eager for something to occupy her days, Grace signs up for a half-marathon race that she and Jonah used to talk about running together. Jonah’s running it, too. Maybe if she can beat Jonah on race day, she’ll feel OK again. But as she begins training with Jonah and checking off a new list of summer goals, she starts to question what—and who—really matters to her. Is winning at all costs really worth it?

Engaging and heartfelt, Keeping Pace is about wanting to win at all costs—and having to learn how to fail.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Last but certainly not least we have People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. I adore me some Emily Henry. She is the absolute master of witty banter and fantastic characters. Can I just say I LOVED Alex and Poppy. Gahh just the cutest! I was so cheering for them the entire book. This was funny, charming, super sweet. I think that I enjoyed A Million Junes a little bit more…because I loved the magical realism…but People We Meet on Vacation was still a 4 star read for me!

Goodreads Synopsis

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Eyes on March

How was your February? Did you read any good books? I am so looking forward to March. I have my sights set on so many books including an enormous order coming in from Book of the Month. Annnnd perhaps one coming from Book Outlet.

Do you set a TBR for the month or are you more of a mood reader like me? I will have a general idea of what I want to read and then I go where the mood leads me!

Happy reading!

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