I’ve had a massive reading month. February may have been short, but I managed to cram in 7 books! You know when you just get in a reading groove and enjoy working your way through a few books? Well, that was February for me. It was a good mix of drama and romance, light and dark.
The Good Girl by Fiona Neill
This was a great book to start the month with. Romy Field is a good girl, that is until a video is released and she finds herself in the middle of a scandal. As everyone looks around them for people to blame, it’s clear that everyone has a different version of events and a different opinion as to who is to blame. What quickly becomes clear though, is that Romy is not the only member of the Field family that has secrets.
I loved the different perspectives in this one as you get not only Romy’s version of events, but also her mother Ailsa’s (who just so happens to be the Head Teacher at Romy’s school). Told in the present and in the past following the events leading up to the scandal, as a reader you are gripped watching the drama unfold.
As a mother to a daughter, I found The Good Girl completely terrifying in the way you can see how easily these things happen. On one hand, no one is to blame, but on the other, everyone is. This will be a great summer read for anyone who enjoys this genre.
Her Homecoming Wish by Jo McNally (AD – Advance Reader Copy)
This was a lovely quick read which follows Mack who is a good girl who is looking to shake off her sweet image after her marriage breaks down and she returns to her hometown. Lucky her brothers’ teenage best friend always had a reputation as a bad boy, however it seems that Danger Dan is now Sheriff Dan. You can read my full review on this one here.
I also read another Harlequin romance at this point – Secret Heir Seduction by Reese Ryan – but it was another advance reader copy and a review will follow on this next month. I really do think that when you want a nice quick read with drama and romance, you can’t beat a Harlequin!
By this point I was ready for something a little more serious and with a little more depth. Which brings me on to the next book I picked up.
Keeper by Jessica Moor (AD – Advance Reader Copy)
This is an incredibly dark book. When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the water it looks like an open and shut case and another sad suicide. However, things are not as they seem and Whitworth and Brookes – the investigating officers – seem to find more questions than answers at every turn.
At Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked, each woman has a heart-breaking story of her own. Each story is centred around domestic violence so if this is a trigger for you then it’s best to sit this one out. This is a pain that seems to be echoed in Katie’s past too. Set in the present during the investigation and in a past that Katie ran from, this is a dark story filled with torment.
Keeper has flawed characters at every turn and although some are kept a little two dimensional, there was enough going on to keep you interested. I found the shelter manager annoying and the views / opinions / language of the police frustrating at times and thought this characterisation by Moor to be very clever. The social dialogue around the views on domestic violence are both sad and unsurprising.
Keeper is not a light read to say the least. It is wonderfully written though with real sensitivity paid to the women’s stories. There is no neat end to this book but then sadly life rarely has a nice neat ending either. Gripping from start to finish, Keeper is a page turner which is worth the read.
Slave Girl by Sarah Forsyth
This is an autobiography which is both intense and heart-breaking. Sarah is a broken woman. Abused, first by her father and then in the care home she was placed in to keep her safe. Somehow, she started to turn her life around though, and Sarah trains as a nursery nurse. Her luck doesn’t hold though and at 19 she becomes a victim of human trafficking.
Forced – quite literally at gun point – Sarah becomes a sex worker in Amsterdam’s red light district. What follows is a downward spiral into despair fuelled by drugs. Slave Girl is Sarah’s story. It’s a harrowing account of her life, the people that failed her and her own self-destructive behaviour. This is not a woman who hides behind being a victim, but instead she faces what happened to her with honestly, openness and with the voice of a survivor. As you can expect Slave Girl is a very difficult read at times but it’s just one girls story set in a world where thousands of girls meet a similar fate.
“I am many thangs – some good, some bad. I am weakness and I am strength. I am fear and I am love. I am despair and I am hope. But I am one thing above all else. My name is Sarah Forsyth. I am a survivor.”
By now I was ready for something a little less intense!! So, next I reverted back to one of my guilty pleasures, a YA sci-fi book.
The Partials by Dan Wells
This was a charity shop pick up and I loved it! The YA genre is one of my comforts and add in a dystopian future and I’m sold.
The Partials fit the bill perfectly. Set in the future where the world has been wiped out by a virus which has seemingly killed everyone with exception of 36,000 humans who seemed to have natural immunity. The problem is that none of the children they bare are immune and there hasn’t been a child live past a few days in more than 11 years. The human race is slowly dying out and they are desperate for a future.
It seems that Partials – part human cyborgs – could hold the answer. The problem is no one has seen one since they rebelled against the humans and created a war which ultimately ended the world.
The has all the ingredients you expect to find in a YA sci-fi book. Feisty characters, a dystopian backdrop and plenty of action to keep you turning the pages. In a saturated genre market, this was well written with a solid story. So much so that I’m already on the final book of the trilogy!
Fragments by Dan Wells
I can’t say too much about this one without giving away spoilers. However, it is book 2 of the Dan Wells Partials trilogy, and doesn’t disappoint. The characters are given more depth, the dystopian world they live in is given more airtime and some of the secrets of this future are uncovered.
I’m really enjoying both Kira and Sam as characters and some of the minor characters are really starting to come in to their own too. I can’t wait to see what book 3 has in store!
And that’s it! To be fair I think 7 books in a month is more than enough for anyone! What about you? Did you read anything this month that you would recommend? Do any of these take your fancy?
- Books read this month: 7
- Books read so far in 2020: 12
DISCLOSURE: some of these books have been gifted to me in return for my honest opinion which has been provided to the publishers via NetGalley. These books are clearly marked with AD and described as an Advance Readers Copy. The decision to include them on this blog is my own and I am under no obligation to do so.