Yes, I know I’m late. It’s March 3rd already and I’m just getting around to posting this [first!] monthly wrap-up. I will use the excuse that February is the shortest month of the year, so if you think about it, technically I’m not late. In an alternate universe somewhere, today is February 31st. I’ll stand by that, thanks.
February is the month when all I want to do is stay on my couch underneath a cozy blanket and read some good books. And, well, that’s pretty much I’ve done. Six books and counting!
(Well, nine, but there’s no point in mentioning the two that I just couldn’t get through.)
I haven’t published reviews for most of these novels yet (ah, I have been somewhat too ambitious) but you will be seeing them in the next several weeks. For now, here is my February Wrap Up.
It all started with The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson, a young adult novel about the tribulations of teenagers and their high school life. A serious novel compared to Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen which dealt with similar topics but in a much lighter way. They reminded being in high school all over again and I really enjoyed both.
Then there was the recent big title All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai, a sci-fi drama/comedy about the troubles of time travel. Despite my excitement at receiving this novel, I just couldn’t get behind the hype. It was good but not that good. I think my perception of it was killed by my expectations. After all of the promises of “What if the future looked like it was imagined in the 1950’s?”, I found the lack of retro-futurism really disappointing. For me, there was just too much emotional drama and focus on the romantic relationship, and not enough actual sci-fi and world-building.
After the dud of The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan and a couple of books that I tried but couldn’t spend time on, I finished the month with some mystery and crime. First it was A Killer Harvest by the Kiwi author Paul Cleave, a mystery thriller about a blind boy who receives one eye of his murdered father and a second eye from the killer. It is a fun, fast-paced read that definitely left me itching for more thrillers. Thankfully, there was The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei, which was not only my last book of February but also my favourite for the month.
Ah, The Borrowed. As soon as I finished reading it, I already missed the genius detective Kwan Chun-dok and his protégé Sonny Lok. I missed the streets of Hong Kong, especially in their turbulent and strange times of the 1970s and 1960s when British power still ruled. It is such a powerful novel, so smart, so colourful, so insightful and full of history. I really can not rave enough about it. So, yes, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you do not put The Borrowed on your to-read list for 2017.
I know it’s only the beginning of the year, but would it be too early to say that it might also possibly be my favourite of 2017? Apart from January’s read The Accusation, no book so far has made such a strong impression as The Borrowed. Both of the novels make me eager to explore foreign literature further – something that I always wanted to do but never have.
Spring is finally coming! March is today, and even though snow is still a possibility, I’m excited by the warm weather and my birthday. On this month’s to-read list are some great to be soon published titles such as the gothic novel The Girl From Rawblood (already published in the UK, I believe), the historical A Trial in Venice, and some more mystery thrillers including The Cutaway and So Much Love.
I can’t wait!