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FEBRUARY READS | LIFESTYLE

I read several great books this month and between the snow days and the great stories, I finished eight of them! 3 of them I finished in two days-I just couldn’t put them down (and we all know how important sleep is to me..so you can imagine how amazing these books were) so let’s get down to business.

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: I saw such buzz about this book on Instagram for several months and was so excited when I flipped to the first page. However, once I had completed it I have to admit it left me a little…empty? Confused? The story follows a down and out gal who finds herself in her own personal ‘Midnight Library.’ The Midnight Library allows her to pick different ‘books’ of her life to experience based on different choices she could have made. For example, she had been engaged but didn’t follow through with the wedding in her real life so one of the ‘books’ that she visits in the Midnight Library is the life that COULD have been with her husband had she followed through with her wedding. She falls in and out of different ‘books’ experiencing all kinds of what might have been situations. I might have to give it another read because it was not a favorite of mine despite all of the hype so I’m wondering if I missed something or if it just truly wasn’t a good fit for me. As it stands, I give it a 2/5.
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris: I opened this book expecting a very somber read but, curiously, despite the obviously somber tone, it was a love story at its core. A delightful love story, nevertheless, as it all transpired inside of a concentration camp. It was an interesting spin on other WWII novels that I’ve read as it follows a man-the tattooist-in his day to day life at Auschwitz. It digs deep into the bravery and compelling camaraderie between the captors while shedding light on the despair they all faced every single day. I finished it in just a day or two and am excited to get my hands on the other books in the series. 3/5.
  • The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren: This was my book club selection for the month and it was hot, hot, HOT! Prepare to blush as you dive into the story of a single mom who is quite content to stay single. At her local coffee shop, she and her best friend discover another regular customer who has developed a dating app that uses DNA to help find your soulmate. The girls send in their samples, mostly for fun, but our single mom is in for a huge surprise when she finds out that she and the app developer are a 98% (unprecedented) match. Is the science correct? Is there a gentleman hidden somewhere under the man who won’t even hold an elevator door open for her? Are they soulmates? Are they really, truly even a 98% match? I guess you’ll just have to read to find out….4/5.
  • The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore: After the steamy love story that was ‘The Soulmate Equation’ I shifted gears totally and read the true story of Elizabeth Packard, a woman sent to an insane asylum at the hands of her preacher husband for merely expressing her own thoughts. In the 1860s this was the case for so many women but most were silenced…Elizabeth was not. This story shows her every fight, struggle, success, and two steps forward, one step back journey to freedom. It also illustrates the extraordinary lengths women like Elizabeth went to to fight for women’s equality. She shook up courtrooms and published her own work to ensure that women everywhere would no longer end up in insane asylums at their hands of their husbands ever again. Better yet-Elizabeth lived in Illinois- so it was a story local to me which made it an even better read. If you’re into true stories, women’s rights, or the history of women’s rights in Illinois, this one is for you. Be mindful, though, this was NOT an easy read. I often read books in the car to and from school pickup or when I catch a few spare minutes during the day, but this one required much more mental concentration than most. Don’t let it deter you though, I still give it 3/5.
  • The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer: Okay-I never thought I could love a WWII novel as much as I loved ‘The Nightingale’ but I stand corrected. ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ is a beautiful story about love, loss, and a secret that nearly makes it to the grave. It’s a blissful mix between ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz.’ If you enjoyed either of those books, you have GOT to get your hands on this one. 5/5.
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry: I’d been waiting for just the right time to crack this book open. ‘People We Meet On Vacation’ is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time and my love for Poppy and Alex rivals my love for coffee so I knew I needed to be READY before I started another book by Emily Henry. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy ‘Beach Read’ nearly as much as ‘People We Meet on Vacation.’ ‘Beach Read’ follows a gal who inherits her late father’s beach house. Down on her luck and in need of some money, she begins writing her next great novel but struggles to find inspiration given what she’s recently experienced in her life. It doesn’t help that she finds her neighbor to be an irritating distraction until…wait? Could it be her handsome college nemesis? A fellow author…in the house right next door?! An interesting romance unravels and and it’s all going swimmingly until it’s not. Even with the twists and turns, I can’t bring myself to give it more than 2/5 but if you’ve read both ‘Beach Read’ and ‘People We Meet On Vacation’… I want to hear from you! Which one did you prefer?! Drop it in the comments!
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque: My kids ended up with a snow day towards the end of February and my husband noticed I had been enjoying WWII novels so he suggested ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ which is touted as the greatest war novel of all time. It’s a short read-296 pages-and I finished it in a day. It lived up to the hype. It was heartbreaking but so raw and it truly made me appreciate WWI so much more than I had before. It opened my eyes to all of the lives truly ‘lost’ in all wars, in fact. Nothing romantic or heartwarming about this one, but frankly, I think it’s a must read. 5/5.
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: This book was the most requested book last month via DMs and my last blog post so I was thrilled to open this one. You guys were so RIGHT! I finished it in two nights despite my strict bedtime routine 🙂 It’s a beautifully written story about a girl and her first love, essentially, but it digs so much deeper than that. Growing up in an abusive household, she wasn’t sure what true love was supposed to look like but she thought she’d found it…with someone who WASN’T her first love. It isn’t long until she is abused herself…but surely he loves her even if he hurt her…right? Good luck putting this one down as you read through her journey for happiness and freedom..and to see what happens with her first love 🙂 5/5

WHEW. February is short month but in between snow days and slow weekends I surprised myself with how much reading I accomplished. I’m currently reading a true crime story and I can’t wait to share about it and the others I dive into for March! If there are any books that are a must read for you, drop them in the comments! I love to hear what you’re reading! Until then…