February 2022 Book Wrap Up

February was long and chaotic for me. Early in the month, I finally got a date for my jaw surgery, March 2nd! Which meant I spent most of this month planning my trip to Spain and being extremely anxious.

Before I got the surgery news, I was planning on spending this month reading romance novels to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But after I got the call, I couldn’t focus on just romance, so I had to add some thrillers into the mix.

I like romance in books, most of my favourite books have a romance storyline, but I don’t like it when it’s the main story as I get bored very early on, which is why I rarely read any. So I challenged myself to read mostly romance in February. These are the books I chose.

Romance novels

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

I really wanted to like this book, and I did initially. It starts as the typical friends with benefits story, but it just ends up being drama. The guy had so many red flags I’m shocked the protagonist decided to stick around. I got so tired of hearing her thoughts, going on and on about does he love me, does he not? I finished it, but in the end it just felt very repetitive.

I think I was expecting way more after reading It Ends With Us, that book was perfect.

That’s how it is when a person develops an attraction toward someone. He’s nowhere, then suddenly he’s everywhere, whether you want him to be or not.

When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in.

The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

I’ve seen Helen Hoang’s books everywhere, and I finally decided to give them a chance. I read two of the three The Kiss Quotient series, and I really liked them, even if by the end I was a bit bored of the inner lovesick monologues. I found these books refreshing with the autism storyline and the insight into Vietnamese culture.

I loved reading the books from the perspective of someone with autism and their search for love. I thought these books were great, just a bit too romance-focused for my taste, but they’re romance novels, so I can’t complain.

What would he think if she told him how difficult it was for her to do things like dancing and drinking? Going out was supposed to be fun. For her, it was work—hard work.

How did you change your life when you were trapped like this? Her history didn’t define her. Her origins didn’t define her. At least, they shouldn’t. She could be more, if she had a chance.

Thrillers

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

I love the female detective trope, so I will read any book that has that. The Sanatorium has been everywhere, and while it was a good thriller, I think I was expecting more. Funnily enough, the part that got me the most excited was the epilogue which hopefully will be explored in the second book of this new series, which comes out later this year.

I found the plot of this one a bit weak. The killer’s motive seemed to be very random, though I wasn’t expecting some of the reveals.

It’s strange, she thinks, how for her, claustrophobia doesn’t only exist in spaces outside herself, but within her too. That horrible sense of being trapped inside your own body.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

I’ve read all of Riley Sager’s books which is why I was disappointed with this one, but it was my own fault. I know his style now and how he usually develops a story. So I knew exactly what was going to happen from the beginning. I hate this. I love his books, but his story progression is always very similar. So I knew every twist, which made it hard to enjoy the story because I wasn’t surprised during each “plot twist”.

I know if I had read this book first before reading the others, I would’ve liked it more. I’m just mad at myself, but I’ll continue reading his books because I have no self-control and his thrillers are weirdly addictive.

Sometimes you can’t simultaneously be smart, brave, and careful. Sometimes you need to choose one.

Short stories

Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell

I chose this book because it was Waterstones’ Irish Book of the Month. I’ve been trying to read one of their Books of the Month every month this year, but I wasn’t interested in their selection for February, so I decided to give this one a go.

This collection of stories was mostly great. There were some that I couldn’t put down, and a few I wanted to skip. It was a collection of stories about different moments in the lives of young women.

Non-fiction

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

This book was another Valentine’s Day choice. I’ve heard great things about it, and while it did provide valuable insights on how my brain and body work, I found it a bit too long. The book was written like a very long presentation, and it was very chaotic. I felt like I was reading someone’s thoughts, not carefully written statements. The writer even provided tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) snippets at the end of every chapter with the essential information, which I found very useful because I had to skip from time to time as it was getting too repetitive.

I can see why this book has so many great reviews, but I would’ve liked a shorter version with the key points.

The day you were born, the world had a choice about what to teach you about your body. It could have taught you to live with confidence and joy inside your body. It could have taught you that your body and your sexuality are beautiful gifts. But instead, the world taught you to feel critical of and dissatisfied with your sexuality and your body.

This has been my only post this month. I don’t really have an excuse other than I’ve been too anxious to focus on anything. I couldn’t even take book pictures, so I just have a lame cover. I’ll be bed-ridden after the surgery so I should have some more time to write a few posts for March.


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