February 2023 Book Reviews

cloisters villa we know you remember

 

This post includes my February 2023 book reviews.

I had these books finished over the weekend, but I was hoping to get through at least another one. Since that didn’t happen, this is my final tally for February 2023. I read six books and reread one, which is pretty average for me.

Without further ado, let’s get to the reviews.

 

The Collector by Anne Mette Hancock

the collector

The Collector

This is the second book in the Kalgan and Schaffer series by Anne Mette Hancock and I loved it!

I like the setting and the characters most of all, but the story was well-developed as well. Although they are not perfect, they seem to work well together and match the overall tone of the book. 

In The Collector, the author continued with Heloise’s personal story that left us hanging in the Corpse Flower. She is still wary about her personal relationships, but you can see her character grow and mature.

A young boy, Lukas, disappears after being dropped off at school in this second book. Schaffer and his partner start investigating this case, which leads them to a surprising place. 

Cleverly plotted with the Scandinavian setting I simply adore, the book had me immersed in the story from the first page. If you’re into atmospheric, moody reads, then you should pick up this series.

I cannot wait for the next one, since the book left the reader wanting more once again!

 

Convincing Florence by Celine L.A Simpson

convincing florence cover

Convincing Florence

This is the second book I read since joining the @equalitybooks  tour group. 

Although I did like the book overall, there were some parts that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book and gave it four out of five stars, so let me start with my issues. 

Florence, come on! We’re all damaged to a certain extent and afraid of getting our hearts broken. But she went on and on about it for almost half of the book. Her internal dialogue was very interesting to follow. At times it had me on the floor, while at other times it was infuriating. I must say, I commend Nathaniel for sticking around and not giving up sooner. 

Thankfully the story moved on from that, and I flew by the second half of the book. Now, let me talk about the parts I loved.

Florence works in a library, one of my preferred settings for novels. Although she doesn’t have any friends, her relationship with her grandmother is very healthy and based on mutual respect.

Enter Nathaniel into the equation. He makes her feel things she hasn’t felt in a while, and she’s starting to open up a bit. Their banter is adorable, and they just seem to work together.

A cute rom-com that I didn’t know I needed in my life! If you’re looking for a cute contemporary romance that can be read in one sitting, then definitely consider this book.

 

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

pineapple street

Pineapple Street

Thank you, NetGalley, Penguin Random House Canada, as well as Jenny Jackson for the opportunity to read and review this advanced copy. 

I will make this one pretty short and sweet. Although there were minor issues that bothered me, such as rich people’s sense of entitlement, I thought the author did a great job with the overall premise of the book.

The characters were a bit insufferable, but that made me like the book even more. I liked their imperfect, flawed views of the world through their privileged lens. The way they grew into adulthood as well as the quest for becoming better people and not allowing money and privilege to define them was well captured.

An overall great debut that I definitely recommend to lovers of family sagas that is heavy on character development.

 

Dahlias for Dominica by Kasey Kennedy

dahlias for domenica cover

Dahlias For Dominica

This cute little rom-com is the second by the author. Thank you to @katieandbreypa and Kasey Kennedy for the chance to read and review this book. 

I loved the way the story flowed, and the characters were fresh and easygoing. Their breezy banter was well done and made the book enjoyable overall. A lighthearted rom-com for the current times, it is an easy read that would definitely get you out of a reading slump.

The only issue I had with this book was the constant inclusion of too much political correctness into the story. In my opinion that made the story a bit far-fetched, and I felt it was unnecessary. The expectations of gender roles and prejudices, although still very much a reality in our present times, were too omnipresent in a light rom-com such as this one. 

With that being said, I liked the book and I definitely recommend it if you want something pleasant to read. Now I need to get the author’s first and third books, Peonies for Page and Lilies for Lauren. 

 

The Angel Maker by Alex North

the angel maker alex north

The Angel Maker

Thank you, NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for my advanced copy for review.

Unfortunately, this is the second book by this author I did not enjoy. I tried, but his style just doesn’t work for me. The thing that didn’t help was the audio version. I was confused for most of the book, and to be honest, I’m still not too sure what happened in this book. Out of curiosity, I might grab a physical copy from the library at some point in the future. But that will be only if I manage to fit it into my busy schedule. You can read the description by clicking the link I provided if you want more information about the book.

 

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

the cloisters

The Cloisters

Although I’ve read many mixed reviews about this book, I enjoyed it very much. It felt as if I was transported to all the places in New York. I could see myself observing the characters as if I was present. That’s how vivid the descriptions of the museum and the gardens were. In my opinion, they were a highlight of the book. 

The flawed relationships between Ann and Rachel, as well as Ann and her mother, not to mention her fling with Leo showed another facet of the story. Although I didn’t care much for any of them, they drew me into their tangled web. 

Even though not much happens for a great part of the book, the way the author lays the foundation was well done. I usually tend to prefer books that are very plot-heavy, but I did enjoy this book very much. The character development of the main characters was detailed enough without taking over the whole book. Dark academia and gothic vibes are not usually a genre I seek out, but I was pleasantly surprised. Well done Alexandra with this recommendation! I loved it, even though I only gave it four stars. But you know for me to give a five-star rating, the book will have to absolutely blow me away. 

 

A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson

a nearly normal family

A Nearly Normal Family

This is a reread for me for the NordicNoirReadalong for this month. I originally read this book in 2020 and loved it. I browsed through it again for the group discussion we held, and I enjoyed seeing other members’ reactions. 

It is a book that is told from three POVs: the father, the daughter, and the mother. 

The eighteen-year-old daughter of an affluent family is accused of murder, and the three family members all tell their own stories, from their own perspectives. 

This is a multi-layered story of how far we will go to protect those we love. A complex novel that keeps you hooked from the beginning to the end. If you’ve never read a Nordic Noir thriller, this one concentrates more on the psychological aspects of the genre, rather than the moody, dark atmosphere we expect.

 

This sums up the seven book reviews from February 2023. Have you read any of these books? If you did, do we share similar thoughts?

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