February Wrap Up | Books and Baking

February was busy for me as I had an assignment due at the end of the month, but I surprisingly still managed to read 5 books. I enjoyed all of them and also have a new favourite in To Kill A Mockingbird. It was such a great book, and I cannot believe it has taken me so long to get round to.

Let’s get into the wrap up:

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

I finished the Truly Devious series in February and what an ending to a great series! I absolutely LOVED this series, and it was so fitting to read it in the winter as it is such a cosy murder mystery series. The last book did not disappoint – but as it is the last in a series, I don’t want to give much away so this is brief! I loved that there were two strands to the mystery and the past and present mysteries were laced throughout all 3 books. I would highly recommend this if you love a cosy, YA boarding school style mystery!

Rating – ★★★★.5

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it”

I buddy read To Kill A Mockingbird with a friend and its safe to say we both loved it! I actually changed my rating to 5 stars from 4 after discussing it because I enjoyed it so much. I loved Atticus and his role in the book as both a parent and as a lawyer. I think that Harper Lee crafts a raw and realistic view of 1930s Alabama – the racism that is ingrained in society and the gender roles at the time are discussed so well here. I particularly liked the characterisation of Tom Robinson and Boo Radley – who are alike in so many ways. The fact that such a heavy story is from the eyes of a child just adds to the ideas of innocence as being corrupted by society.

Rating – ★★★★★

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf

I want to read more middle grade novels and I enjoyed this one so much. The author tackles a really important and topical subject in such a digestible way for children and I really liked that. The book is set in a primary school and there is an empty chair at the back of the class – but one day when a boy fills the seat, the children are not prepared for where the adventure will take them. Going into the book, I had no idea that it would be about the refugee crisis and it offers such a heartfelt view of that from the eyes of children. I learnt a lot, laughed a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed this story about acceptance, kindness and the power of friendship.

Rating – ★★★★

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a powerful story about loss, grief, family secrets and sisterhood. I loved the fact that the novel is written in verse and its lyrical strength provides such a solid foundation for the heavy, albeit important issues that are explored. The dual narrative provides a heartfelt insight into the lives of protagonists Camino and Yahaira. The story is such a raw and poignant view of grief and the many forms it takes. Acevedo brings attention to the heart-breaking crash of Flight AA587 from New York to the Dominican Republic in 2001 and these emotions really shine through the whole book. I am definitely going to pick up Poet X by Acevedo soon!

Rating – ★★★★

Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah

The last book I read in February was the book for my uni course’s February Book Club. I enjoyed this children’s poetry collection which explores ideas of race, heroes, social issues, and environmental issues. Parts of this poetry collection were very interesting and I am looking forward to our discussion.

Rating – ★★★

Let me know what your favourite read of February was in the comments! Mine was definitely To Kill A Mockingbird!

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