February 2020 Must-Reads

February 2020 Must-Reads Header

If you are looking for a good book to read, I have you covered with my February book reviews! From twisty thrillers to fascinating memoirs, this book list has something for everyone!

Are you ready to talk about books to check out for March?

Today I’m sharing what I read in February and can’t wait to hear what you have been reading too.

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Check out the March Book of the Month Club Selections:

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (Contemporary)

Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk (Political Thriller)

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (Romance)- read my review today!

The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson (History)

Writers & Lovers by Lily King (Literary Fiction)

February 2020 Must-Reads

Here are 6 must-read books I tackled in February!

The Reckless Oath We Made

The Reckless Oath We Made by  Bryn Greenwood

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Greenwood has a knack for writing unique love stories and this one was just exquisite.

Zee is down on her luck with medical bills, chronic pain, and a hoarding mom.

Although she is no princess, she ends up meeting her knight in shining armor. 

Gentry, who is doing his best to be a real knight, hears the call that he is meant to be Zee’s champion. Gentry decides to keep a close eye on Zee and he landed in her life at just the right time.

When an abduction occurs, in Zee’s family, Gentry comes to her aid.

What neither of them could have ever expected is how these consequences could cause change the course of both of their lives.

Honestly, I had very conflicted feelings about Greenwood’s first novel, because I felt like the love story normalized having a romantic relationship with a child. 

This love story though was beautifully written and so unique.

Gentry’s viewpoints capture his world and are written from his “knightly” point of view.

At first I found this confusing, but then you begin to understand Gentry more and more as the chapters unfold.

I love stories with shifting viewpoints and this one has many.  You would think that the inclusion of so many voices would make it a confusing reader experience, but that just isn’t the case. Greenwood pulls all of these stories together almost seamlessly.

I have a feeling that you won’t be able to put this one down.

While I found it to be a heartbreaking read, it delivered on building gorgeously flawed characters and a love story you could root for.

I am so glad I took a chance on this one and highly recommend it for your book stack.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Reckless Oath We Take,  you might like these titles:

Where the Forest Meets the Stars (currently free on Prime)

Where All Light Tends to Go

Nothing More Dangerous

Wild Game

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

If you on the hunt for a captivating memoir, this is the book you need in your stack. 

One night, as an adolescent, Adrienne is awakened by her mother confessing that she has kissed another man. The husband (and his wife) happen to be their oldest friends and she needs a confidant to spill her secrets to and assist with coordination of her secret rendezvous. 

Adrienne loves having the attention of her mother and lends her ear, tirelessly, to hear the stories of her mother’s infidelity. She also becomes the decoy for many of their secret meetings. Adrienne loves feeling like and being chosen to be part of her mother’s other world.

The affair goes on for years and what was once exciting starts to cause strain on Adrienne. She is forced to constantly lie and her guilt starts to infiltrate her daily life.

It is when Adrienne begans confiding in others that she realizes how inappropriate her involvement is and how this secret than begins to threaten her own relationships.

I could not put this one down and was captivated from page one.

If you have a challenging relationship with your mother, this might be a difficult one to read.

That said, Adrienne’s lessons learned through this experience contain so much wisdom, as she begins processing the actions of her narcissistic mother.

I would put this one at the top of your book stacks. This memoir is gorgeous, haunting, and a beautiful coming-of-age story.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like Wild Game,  you might like these titles:

The Sound of Gravel

Three Women

The Electric Woman, $1.99

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This fantastic love story happens to be available as a Book of the Month this month! After enjoying her first novel so immensely, I couldn’t wait to see what romance Silver cooked up for us next.

Longtime readers know that I’m a big fan of two things- time travel and anything with a Sliding Doors theme. This novel falls into the Sliding Doors camp beautifully and is perfect for anyone who ever wonders, what if?

The story opens with a tragic accident that takes the life of Lydia’s future husband and soulmate. 

Emotionally devastated, Lydia’s doctor prescribes sleeping pills to help her through this difficult time. 

What Lydia discovers though is that Freddie’s life continues on in her dreams. In this sleeping world, she is still preparing for her wedding and savoring every continued moment with Freddie. It is everything she could ever hope for.

Lydia’s life begins to fracture into two quickly- her awake life and her sleeping life. 

It is in the fissures of these cracks that Silver builds such a beautiful love story.

After all, we do have the ability to immortalize people and erase faults when they pass away.

As Lydia heals, her time in her sleeping life really begins to separate and Lydia discovers that her waking life might be just as beautiful.

I really enjoyed this one and it ended up being a perfect Valentine’s Day read this year.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Two Lives of Lydia Bird,  you might like these titles:

The Life Intended

I Liked My Life

Time of My Life

The Wives

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This novel is one of those buzzy thrillers that ended up being picked as a, “best book of the month,” by many syndicates. As you know, that can be a hit or (often) a miss.

Thursday is married, but only really married for one day out of the week. The rest of her husband’s week is spent commuting back and forth to visit his two other wives. 

Thursday is curious about the other women, but Scott thinks it is important to keep these worlds separate. In her head, she is the sexy adventure-seeking wife that he needs to visit to get away from his boring wives. She begins to wonder though, what if that isn’t actually the case?

When Thursday stumbles upon a scrap of information, about one of his other wives, she can’t help but try to find out more information about them on social media. 

She, in fact, becomes obsessed with finding these women and hearing more of their stories.

As her curiosity grows, she decides to schedule some in-person meetings so she can learn more about why Scott insists on keeping them in his life.

It is when she travels down this rabbit hole that the stories frayed ends really begin displaying and Thursday realizes that Scott might not be who he says he is.

This started with tons of promise and I flipped through the first half rapidly. The ending promised a “bumpy, twisty, exhilarating ride,” but I found it more of a fizzle. 

Honestly, this might not be a reflection on the writer and just the tired theme of the unreliable narrator.  When executed well, it can be so fun.  When it doesn’t though, it can be a bit chaotic and confusing.

For me, this felt a tad too disjointed, although the first half was a blast. 

3 out of 5 Stars

If you are looking for an unreliable narrator story that really delivers,  you might like these titles:

The Other Mrs.

My Lovely Wife

The Wife Between Us

This Terrible Beauty

This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann (this one is priced at just $4.99!!)

Thank you to the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you are looking for a historical fiction novel that you can really sink your teeth into, this is the one! 

Set on the shores of an East German Island, Bettina is struggling to figure out her new life, now that World War II has ended.

She ends up marrying an older bureaucrat, Werner, who seems to adore her.

Shortly after their marriage though, he joins the secret police, a role he never expected to receive.

This task force is on a dark mission though and the power and notoriety quickly go to Werner’s head. 

He begins to see Battina as a belonging and is increasingly disappointed that she can’t be like other wives. Battina’s passion for photography and flightiness are things that anger Werner and he becomes more unhappy and controlling through the years.

This is when Battina finds love, with a pastor’s son, and discovers what being truly happy looks like. 

This affair is dangerous though because Werner holds the power in town and isn’t afraid to use it.

As the two fall more and more in love, they know that they have to do everything they can to escape Werner.

Not only do we get to see what Battina’s life is like then, we also see her as celebrated photographer now living in Chicago. 

Despite her success, she can’ stop thinking about what (and who) she wants to reclaim back in Germany.

This was such a beautiful read with all the right elements mixed in.

Usually my historical fiction reading is centered around World War II books so it was incredibly fascinating to read about the time following the war and the realities of what it was like in Germany.

Since this one is just $4.99, it is a no brainer to pick it up for your stack.  I hope you love it as much as me!

5 out of 5 Stars

If you liked This Terrible Beauty,  you might like these titles:

Those Who Save Us

The Things We Cannot Say

All the Lights We Cannot See

How to Do Nothing

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

I always love to peek at Obama’s book lists and this book ended up making his list of 2019 favorites. 

Looking for a digital detox book? 

This isn’t it.

Rather, this is a well-developed set of essays that explore how our attention continues to become fractured as more tech is available to us. 

Odell challenges us to think about how we are dividing ourselves online and how these divisions make us less productive, limiting us from building real human connections.

A big focus of this books is spent on valuing our time better. In it she says, “I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out,”

I could use a little more #NOMO in my life, how about you?

Odell stresses that it is necessary to have time alone to build relationships, creativity, and space in our lives.

If you need any motivation, in this department, definitely check this book out.

Not only is this a well-developed reminder of the disservice we do to ourselves and others, by not building real connections, it also has loads of fascinating historical information too.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you liked How to Do Nothing, you might like these titles:


Big Magic

Braving the Wilderness

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January 2020 Must-Reads

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Happy Reading!

February 2020 Must-Reads Book Covers

Published March 04, 2020 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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