February 2022 Grown Up Book Reviews

February 2022 Grown Up Book Reviews

March 1, 2022
by
Brittany the Book Lady

For such a short month, I'm pretty happy to cram so much reading in!! It was another eclectic reading month for me, but I did intentionally throw in a few romance reads to help lighten things up in celebration of the month of love! 

Here's a snapshot of the books that I read this month -

*BOTM = Book of the Month, ARC = Advanced Reader Copy*

5 ⭐️ Books

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

4.5 ⭐️ Books

  • The Soulmate Equation (ebook)

4 ⭐️ Books

  • Black Cake (BOTM)
  • The Golden Couple (BOTM)
  • Dear Edward (audio, BOTM)
  • The Paris Apartment (BOTM)
  • The Choice (BOTM)
  • The Love Hypothesis (BOTM)
  • The High House ARC 

3.5 ⭐️ Books

  • One to Watch (audio, BOTM)

3 ⭐️ Books

  • Maybe Someday (audio)
  • The Survivors (audio, BOTM)

Want more detailed book reviews? See below! 

**Want to ship your first Book of the Month hardcover book for just $5? Be sure to use my referral code when you sign up for your subscription! Skip anytime!** 

Black Cake - Charmaine Wilkerson

Short summary

Estranged siblings must come together and put aside their differences after the passing of their mother. Eleanor Bennet, their mother, has left them a Black Cake to share when the time is right and a voice recording that details a long and arduous life that they knew nothing about! She reveals a lot about herself and where she came from because she believes that her children should know the truth about their heritage. Will this experience bring Benny and Byron back together, or will it fracture their relationship even more?

Overall review

I loved this book and scored it in my January @bookofthemonth box. (Grab my referral code linked to ship your own first box for just $5)! It was fun for me to work alongside the siblings to piece together the pieces of Eleanor’s life and legacy. It had mystery, intrigue, family drama, social issues and injustices, and more. It was heavy at times but so beautifully written and the ending was fantastic!

Overall rating - 4⭐️

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J. K. Rowling

Short summary

Harry was dropped on his dreadful aunt and uncle’s doorstep as an infant and never knew the truth about his parents (who passed away) and what happened to him on that fateful day. He lives a miserable existence with his muggle (non magic folk) relatives but is soon rescued by a mysterious stranger, Hagrid, the gamekeeper at Hogwart’s school of witchcraft and wizardry. Harry always knew he was different but he feels a bit more himself at Hogwart’s. But even there, he is a bit of a celebrity, the only person who survived an attack by the evil dark wizard, Voldemort. But what ever happened to Voldemort? Is he truly gone? You’ll have to read to find out!

Overall review

While the kids and I have listened to book 1 of the Harry Potter series, this is the first time that I have read this book in its entirety and this time I chose to read it aloud as a family, husband included, before the kids’ bedtime. It was such a treat to enjoy this book as a family. Of course we had a movie night to celebrate finishing the book! I know I’m late to the game getting into this series, but it’s my goal to read the whole series this year. I haven’t decided how many books I will read aloud to the kids as I know the series gets darker as it progresses. My kids are 5 and 8. I’d love any insights you may have!

Overall rating - 5⭐️

The Love Hypothesis - Ali Hazelwood


Short summary

Without giving too much away, this book featured a quirky ace female protagonist in STEM, with a book set in academia. Perhaps enough said! We don’t have enough books like this! Total rom-com with a familiar trope that you will probably fall for!

Overall review

I was enamored with this book from the beginning! I don’t read a ton of romance, and can’t tolerate a ton of steam. This was a bit steamier than I would normally read, but it wasn’t a huge part of the book, which I could appreciate! Again, I haven’t seen very many books featuring females in stem or romances set in academia, and for those reasons alone, I would recommend this one! Super unique in my opinion.

Overall rating - 4⭐️

Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover

Short summary

Sydney thinks things are going well, she has an awesome roommate, a loving boyfriend, and life is good. Little does she know, betrayal is around the corner. How will she heal? She may find someone to fill that void that is now ever present in her life. But timing is crap and this can’t work. Maybe someday.

Overall review

I have a hard time with infidelity in books, especially when it’s a heavy theme that pervades the book. I hate seeing people get hurt from cheating. I borrowed this book not knowing much about what it’s about because I’ve read some other Colleen Hoover books that I’ve really enjoyed. This one fell short for me. I ended up feeling annoyed through most of it. I did like seeing a relationship build between a hearing impaired person and the female protagonist only because it was interesting to see that representation. I’ve never read a book with a profoundly deaf character! That element was great! The rest was meh for me.

Overall rating - 3⭐️

One to Watch - Kate Stayman - London

Short summary

Bea is a popular plus size fashion blogger who would love to find love. She’s unexpectedly invited to a reality television show, similar to the bachelorette, called The Main Squeeze. The franchise has never had a plus-sized participant and Beatrice would love to see more women that look like herself represented. But she is reluctant to take on this opportunity because she is afraid to be vulnerable, she doesn’t think the men will want her, and she isn’t really sure that she’s cut out for love. She’s right to be reluctant because her experience on the show isn’t a cake walk at all. Who can she trust? Who is there for the right reasons? Will she get her fairy tale ending?

Overall review

Admittedly, I really enjoyed this book and was hooked. I particularly enjoyed the representation of a plus sized woman on a reality show. I was rooting for Beatrice to find love the whole way through. But what I had trouble with were the cringey fat-shaming parts of this book. And Bea had her fair share of heartache on her journey to find love. I hated how much she got hurt by those she had been vulnerable with.

Overall rating - 3.5⭐️

The Choice - Dr. Edith Eva Eger

Short summary

Edith is a former ballerina and gymnast who was sent to Auschwitz as a teen. She was separated from her parents and endured unimaginable horrors alongside her sister while there. She and her sister hung on by a thread and barely made it out alive. When they were finally liberated, they continued to suffer horrors in the aftermath. The choices Edith had to make, even post-war were difficult. This is her moving tale.

Overall review

I love memoirs and the world war 2 era is fascinating to me. I’ve read a lot of historical fiction and nonfiction covering this time period and this was one of the more poignant and beautiful works. Edith shows how her resilience, strength, (and ultimately her survival) were found through the choices she made and the perspectives she held throughout the challenging experiences that she faced in the concentration camp and even post-war. Read to learn how she was able to survive the unimaginable circumstances that she endured and how she was able to get ahead and find her purpose, and even make a difference for others, while living as an immigrant/refugee in America, post-war. I highly recommend this heavy and moving read.
Overall rating - 4⭐️

The Soulmate Equation - Christina Lauren

Short summary ** spoiler alert **

Jess Davis is a single mom who was raised by her grandparents. Feeling pretty much abandoned by her parents and her daughter‘s father who jumped ship before she was even born, Jess doesn’t know if she’s cut out to be loved and wanted by someone else. She doesn’t even think she’s dating material. She’s a brainy statistician who stumbles upon an up and coming dna-based match-making company with her friend. On a whim, she decides to submit her sample and she ends up matching with the founder with a nearly unbelievable 98% rating. She’s flabbergasted as she already is not a fan of Dr. River Pena, but the company has a lot to gain if they fall in love. In fact, they offer to pay her to give it a shot. She finds that perhaps there is more to River than meets the eye, but could this really be true love?

Overall rating

For the majority of this book, I was just smitten with the characters and their budding romance. River began to surprise Jess in so many unexpected ways and fitting her like a glove. I couldn’t get enough of it! I also love when a protagonist in Jess’ circumstance has a shot at finding her own happy ending. Perfect February romance read!
Overall rating - 4.5⭐️

The Golden Couple - Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Short summary

Matthew and Marisa Bishop seem like the golden couple to everyone outside their marriage until infidelity hits! They seek out the guidance and controversial therapy techniques from Avery, a therapist who recently lost her license. It turns out not all is as it seems and there is much more to uncover inside the Bishop’s fragile marriage and within their circle of friends, relatives, coworkers, and acquaintances. Who is telling the truth? Will Avery need to go deeper than she ever has before with the Bishops?

Overall review

While I was able to guess a few pieces of the puzzle, this book is fraught with mysteries at every turn. I was very puzzled throughout, but put my detective hat on to try to figure out the links. In many ways, the ending was unexpected, but some of the twists and links were a bit far-fetched to be believable. I would still recommend this one to the thriller/mystery fanatic. This was my February Book of the Month main pick! Don't miss that $5 referral code if you decide to sign up for the best monthly treat to yourself! 
Overall rating - 4⭐️

Dear Edward - Ann Napolitano

Short summary

Edward is the sole survivor of a devastating plane crash, dealing with the aftermath. This is a tale of grief, devastation, growth, and finding one’s purpose. The book flips between present day and the day of the crash. Will Edward be able to find himself and move on from this horrific event that took his entire family and many other passengers?

Overall review

This book was a tough listen, especially toward the end when the book detailed the moments before the plane crab itself. The book was actually inspired by some real life plane crashes, one of which had a sole survivor. For me, it was worthwhile listen and an interesting deep dive into someone’s grief journey. I enjoyed seeing how Edward grew and found purpose, and discovered how he could make a positive difference in the lives of the people around him and for surviving family members of many of the passengers who lost their lives on that fateful day.
Overall rating - 4⭐️

The Paris Apartment - Lucy Foley

Short summary

Gothic, Parisian locked door mystery. Jess needs a do-over and she decides to crash with her brother Ben in his Paris apartment, but when she arrives, he isn’t there! And there was something off about his last voice note to her. What is going on? And what are these sketchy neighbors hiding from Jess. As she digs deeper and deeper into Ben’s history here, she learns that there is more than what meets the eye in this apartment and its residents. What secrets are they hiding from her? Who can she trust?

Overall review

I was lucky and picked this book up on pub day from my local library. I loved the pacing of this one and the twists and turns throughout. I’ve read The Hunting Party and the Guest List by Foley as well and while the short chapters/everyone’s a suspect feel was reminiscent of the other books, I think this one is my fav!

Overall rating - 4⭐️

The High House - Jessie Greengrass

Short summary

2 pairs, Caro and younger half-brother Pauly, and Grandy and his granddaughter Sally come together, taking shelter and refuge in the High House amidst a climate disaster that threatens extinction to the human race and life on earth. The converted summer home is fully stocked by Pauly’s mother, a scientist who seemed to think of everything as this environmental threat began to rear its ugly head. But did she really think of everything? Grandy is working to instill skills in the young people of the house as his health begins to fail. What is in store for this foursome as the waters rise and the weather conditions around the world worsen?

Overall rating

I’m a huge fan of dystopian novels and was thrilled when @scribnerbooks & @simonandschuster contacted me to receive an advanced reader copy of this novel. It was a very quick read for me and I was appalled at the climate disasters in this book while also recognizing some parallels to our world today. I can only hope that we can begin to take the lessons from dystopian novels like this one and enact the necessary changes to make our world a better place for generations to come.

Overall rating - 4⭐️

The Survivors - Jane Harper

Short summary

Two girls are killed, 12 years apart in this eerie, coastal town. Whodunit mystery.

Overall review

I had a hard time with this one and struggled keeping all of the characters straight. So many suspects and lots of confusing details. Perhaps I was a bit distracted since I listened to this one on audiobook, but it didn’t capture me as well as many other similar thrillers have.
Overall rating - 3⭐️


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Which books did you read in February? 

Brittany the Book Lady

Growing up I was first introduced to Usborne Books and More at a young age when my mom had purchased books for our family. Since then, I've fallen in love with the books and the company's mission to promote literacy throughout the country.​

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