Monday, February 29, 2016

Best Books of February

It's time once again to tell you about the best books I read this month. It's the month of romance and it brought lots of romance to my Kindle. Here are the month's best!



There's an interesting story behind the first book I read this month. It was written by the very talented artist who designed my bookmarks. If you're looking for a swag designer, look no further than Kristin Rae. If you're looking for a great book to read, look no further than Kristin Rae's book, Wish You Were Italian.




I'm just going to say it--Europe is huge in YA and middle grade fiction. There's no book that captures exactly why like Wish You Were Italian. The book features an American teen whose parents send her overseas to school for the summer. But instead of sticking her in a classroom, the author has her going rogue. She never even shows up at school at all, instead choosing to travel across Italy, meeting a cute boy (or two) along the way. Such a fun read, whether you're a teen or an adult!

I saw the second book I read this month on Facebook and I couldn't resist. A book told completely in blog posts, letters, homework assignments, and other forms of written communication? I'm in! Here's the adorable cover:



In The Pages Between Us, two best friends create a notebook so that they can communicate, since their class schedule keeps them apart most of the school day. Because the story is told through letters, we feel like we have front-row seats to this slowly dissolving friendship. It's tragic, but hopeful, since both girls form very solid lives of their own while still remaining BFFs. Brilliant, brilliant storytelling...in a very fun format.

The author of the next book will be familiar to those of you who regularly read my blog. Kelly Hashway rereleased one of her previous books this month and I got to help her promote it on social media. Into the Fire is a supernatural love story with a stunning cover:



I wasn't sure what to expect from a book about a girl who bursts into fire and rises from the ashes, but this is, at its heart, a young adult romance. Cara is torn between her feelings for Logan and the knowledge that loving her can be very, very bad for his health, especially since she risks bursting into flames every time things "heat up" between them. Whether you're a fantasy reader or not, you'll love the relatable adolescent themes in this book.

The next book has a premise you can't resist. A girl whose cousin bought a ghost on eBay? How fun! Ghost for Sale is a love story--but one member of the couple involved in that love story just happens to be dead.



Being in love with a ghost sucks. You can't touch, you can never get married and spend your life together. All you can do is hang out and search for your ghost's dead twin sister. Sandra has managed to make a romantic comedy with a human-meets-ghost twist work in such a charming way. I loved every page of this book! 

I feel like I just met Karen Helene Walker, but I think we've been reading each other's blogs for a while now. This month I finally got a chance to read her spooky book The Wishing Steps.



Karen has created some amazing women. They're strong and resilient but, most importantly, they inspire others. In The Wishing Steps, a set of invisible steps provides these women an escape of sorts--a place they can go when they're afraid or hurting. We follow three generations of women who are taught that, yes, there are bad people, but good people can change the world.

That's all for this month. What good books have you read so far this year?

45 comments:

  1. Sandra and Karen will be thrilled with those reviews.

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    1. I had a great time reading their books!

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  2. They all look so good. I think I might get Ghost for Sale. I loved the movie, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir".

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    1. I watched that movie to see Natalie Wood--I think she's in it very little. Can't remember for sure, but I enjoyed the movie anyway!

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  3. Kelly's book is the only one I've read, but it is great. The others sound interesting. Will take a look. I'm reading Anna and the Swallow Man now. It's different. Read The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow and The Mardi GRas Chase, Clockwise. Have a great week.

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    1. I haven't heard of Anna and the Swallow Man--need to look into it!

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  4. Fantastic reviews! There are a few on my TBR list. Have a great week!

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  5. I have read nothing recently! Need to fix that!!

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    1. You can just wait 'til the Lifetime version of whatever book you're going to read comes out!

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  6. I only read a few romances this month! I didn't even think of that!

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    1. I wrote that opening at the beginning of Feb. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have thought of it, either!

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  7. Stephanie, wow, thanks so much for this. Given your preferred genre, I wasn't sure how you'd feel about my book. These other books sound delightful. Just might have to check out the Italian one.

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    1. I do read a lot of MG and YA, but I'm always up for a great grown-up book, too!

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  8. great recs!! I read Wish You Were Italian when it was released back in May 2014 and I LOVED IT. Such a great, fun read and an adorable cover. It sits face out on my shelf in my den b/c I love the cover so much.

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    1. I love that of the many, many, MANY books about going overseas, this one has her going rogue. She doesn't stay in school all summer...she gets out there and really sees these amazing places.

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  9. Love seeing your list of books that you got read. Looks like there were several good ones. A few weren't on my radar, but now I want to read them, too.

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    1. I always hope that maybe I'm able to introduce people to a book they might not have known about otherwise but they end up reading and loving!

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  10. You have an awesome list this month! Love the premise of Ghost and am going to have to check that one out especially :)

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    1. I fell in love with the premise of that one the first time I read about it online!

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  11. An eclectic sampling of books, and how wonderful to read so many in one month. (I'm clearly jealous!) Thanks for the recommendations.

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    1. I read while on my treadmill...and I'm trying to put in more treadmill time. (Typing this while realizing I only walked a half an hour today!)

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  12. Those are some awesome-sounding books!!

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    1. They were awesome. Thanks, Elizabeth!

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  13. You are such a wonderful friend to other authors. You really are.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. Aww, thank you, Sandee. I always feel guilty I didn't get to someone's book in a given month! I want to read all the books NOW!

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  14. Some of these have amazingly clever ideas. A ghost on eBay? Love it.

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  15. I echo Sandee's sentiment and am thrilled to have made the Feb read list:) The other books sound great! I have read Kelly's. What a premise and that cover. Wow!
    Thanks again, Steph. Appreciate ya.

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    1. It was a great book...and, as I said above, a VERY clever premise!

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  16. What a wonderful premise with The Pages Between Us. Love it!

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    1. It was an interesting insider's look at a dissolving friendship. It always sucks when friends go apart.

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  17. Lots of temptation here. Thank you - and the authors.

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  18. The Pages Between Us sounds like a sweet read.

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  19. I do love your reviews, Stephanie! You make me want to read them all :-) In fact, I think I will!

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  20. I'm honored I made the list. :)

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  21. Thanks for the great Feb reviews!

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  22. Ooh, The Wishing Steps sounds great. I'll have to check that one out!

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  23. Sounds like a lot of great books. I'm doing a lot of rereading at the moment.

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  24. I wish I could still live the life of being in Europe and finding love. I would love that even when I am 80. one thing I noticed is how strong all the female characters seem to be in these books.

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  25. Wow, those all sound good. I'm tempted by the Italian one, since I'll be visiting Italy for the first time in April.

    The best book I read last month was Joe Hill's Heart-shaped Box, which is also about a ghost that was bought online. Into the Wild and The Poison Artist were great too...and The Ghost Bride. All four-star reads.

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  26. Into the Fire is a great read and I enjoy European settings. You read some great books last month.

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  27. It sounds like you read some very interesting books this month. Those writers sure have creative minds and I wonder what would happen when two would pair up to write a book. I know it would be easier said than done but I'm wondering just the same what would come out of combined talents.
    JB

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