Reading Lately – February 2019 (*contains gifted items)

February, hmm? Where did that month go? After the never-ending weeks that are January, the second month of the year always seems to disappear quite literally in a blink. A shorter month means a few less books than normal, but quality not quantity and all that, and my reading material for the month has been nothing short of fab. I’ve mentioned on here before that my reviews tend to be mostly positive, and part of that is down to the fact that I spend a lot of time researching what I’d like to read and checking out other peoples’ reviews and recommendations. It’s rare for me to pick up a book on a whim (although I have done it very successfully from time to time). Most books I review here are ones I’ve wanted to read for some time (you should see my library reservations list 😉 ). The epitaph on my final resting place will probably read ‘too many books, not enough time’ (that and ‘what, really?’ – I’m naïve). Anyway, someone told me recently that writers and readers are ‘desire-hungry and time poor’ and I find myself agreeing more and more with that sentiment. Onto what I’ve been reading this month. Will there be something in here to fan your bookish flames?

My first book for the month was one of those books that came to me in a round about way, rather than through my huge list of recommendations. One of the members of my writing group loaned me Iss, by Fiona MacInnes, a story set between Orkney and Edinburgh, and spanning themes of culture, community and home. It follows the stories of Micheal and Seadhna, two Orkney inhabitants who for different reasons find themselves existing on the outside of life. It is something of a romance, but also touches on lots of other themes and really resonated with me as someone who lives in a remote part of the world. It’s probably a little-known book to many but reading it reminded me to occasionally step away from the bestsellers – there are so many under-rated authors out there. The only slight caveat I would add is that you may struggle with the some of the dialect if you aren’t Scottish. I did find myself smiling over terms like ‘choochter’ (roughly translated as a ‘country bumpkin’ type who hails from the Highlands if you haven’t got a Scottish slang dictionary to hand 😉 ).

Photo of 'ISS', by Fiona MacInnes

My second book for February was The Year After You by Nina de Pass, which was kindly send to me by Ink Road Books, the YA imprint of Black and White Publishing. First off, I found myself just a little bit in love with the book’s cover – and soon after, a LOT in love with the story – which I ended up reading over the course of a very wet weekend. It’s a tale about friendship and healing set against the backdrop of a Swiss boarding school, with a narrative that unravels almost like a thriller, making you want to dart on to the next chapter as soon as you’ve finished the one before 🙂 . I absolutely love good young adult fiction and this one ticked all the boxes. I’d had my eye on it for a while leading up to its release so I was VERY happy to receive an early copy. Isn’t it fantastic when a book turns out to be every bit as good as you had hoped?

Picture of 'The Year After You' book against stones.

My next book for the month was another gifted copy – this time from Barrington Stoke who specialise in books for dyslexic and reluctant readers. My  youngest son has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia so we were super-excited to find out about their publications (and even more excited when they offered to send us some of those lovely publications to review!) We were delighted to receive a preview copy of The Disconnect by Keren David (which isn’t out until April), about a group of teenagers who have the chance to win £1000….if they can give up their phones for a six week period. My kids and I loved this story and it gave us lots of interesting things to talk about. Great for pre-teens and younger teenagers (and pretty good for adults, too, I’d say! 😉 )

Photo of 'The Disconnect' book on beach

My fourth and final book for the month was Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – yet another YA novel that has led me firmly to the belief that I’m actually still 17, not over 40 😉 . If you’ve seen the Netflix adaption of this film you’ll love this (and if you haven’t seen the Netflix adaption, I’d wager you might still love it too). It’s a story about friendship, fun, Dolly Parton, beauty pageants and romance. This book will have you smiling from ear to ear if you let it (and also, listening to ‘Jolene’, ‘Nine to Five’ and ‘Islands in the Stream’ on repeat for a week if you’re anything like me).

Picture of 'Dumplin'' book on rocks

That’s it for this month’s round up – I do hope it might have whetted your bookish appetite. Wishing you a good month of reading ahead folks. Don’t forget World Book Day is happening at a bookshelf near you on the 7th March!


*This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission should you choose to purchase via them.

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