What Leslieanne Read in February

Brr! Bit flipping chilly, isn't it?

February's had a few moments where I was sure I could smell spring in the air, but this last week it totally shot me down. 24 carat winter!
On the upside, cold days are totally perfect for bundling up in a blanket with a cuppa and a book right?
Which is largely what I've been doing :)

So here's what I've got through this month...

The Humans by Matt Haig

My absolute favourite of the month; I loved this book so much.
It's about Professor Andrew Martin, or more specifically, the alien sent from another planet to take his place after the real professor is killed quickly after making a discovery that the alien race thinks we humans just plain aren't ready for yet.

I know, I know. It all sounds ridiculous. But trust me, I am not a fan of sci-fi in the main, and really and truly, this isn't a sci-fi book. Even with the aliens and other planets and what not. Honest.

What it is, is a gorgeous exploration of what it is to be a human. It's about the alien learning why we are the way we are, why the little things are so important, and ultimately about him starting to reassess his first impressions that we (the human race) are really nothing special. There's also a brilliant dog called Newton, and you know I can't resist a book with a pooch.

It's laugh out loud funny, it's heart breakingly sad, and it's so immensely readable, I ended up finishing it in two big chunks. Matt Haig is officially my newest favourite author and I'm having to be really strict with myself not to just binge read all his books in one go because I know I'll be gutted when I've none left. (Also known as: exactly what I did after the first David Mitchell book I read.)

Anyway. If you only take one recommendation from this month's post, you honestly can't go wrong with this one. It's brilliant.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

If you read my bookworm round up last month, you'll know that I found out Wicked the musical was actually based on Wicked the book, and I loved it.
This, is part two in the series, and I loved it just as much.

It follows the story of Liir, who may or may not be the son of Elphaba (the green witch). Obviously that makes it brand new territory in terms of what we know from the movie, and gives the author even more scope to let his imagination run wild, which he does so brilliantly. The Merry Old Land of Oz; is once again really not all sunshine and rainbows, but I still got utterly swept up in the whole thing and the ending was just about the most perfect way it could have gone.

There are two more books in the series, both of which are sitting in my to be read pile and I can't wait. They're so far out of my usual reading comfort zone, but also so immensley readable, I can't stop!

The Winter's Child by Cassandra Parkin

You may have seen me post this one on Instagram with a friends reference - I was SO ready to put this book in the freezer after a few chapters! A missing child has got to be every parent's worst nightmare, and this book makes you feel every stab of hopelessness and fear but somehow also keeps you turning those pages as if you were looking for a child of your own!

Anyway. the book focuses on Susannah Harper, mum of Joel, who has been missing for five years. (I know, we're already in lump in throat territory!) Five years after her son's disappearance her marriage has fallen apart & her coping mechanism is trying to help others in similar positions. She seems like she's actually doing okay; until she really very isn't.

The book quickly spirals into hauntings, betrayals and lives unravelling. I started to piece together the ending earlyish (by my standards!), but thanks to Cassandra Parkin's truly chilling storytelling, I was still totally gripped to the end.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan

Ooh, this was a tricksy little book with a very satisfying, if morally questionable ending.

Essentially, it's the story of Zoe - 'child genius, musical sensation' - trying to rebuild her life after serving her time for causing the death of three other teenagers.
Her mother arranges a sort of 'come back concert' in their new home town (where nobody knows her daughter's past), but it goes horribly wrong. Particularly for Zoe's poor mum, who is dead a few pages later. (Don't panic, that's not a spoiler, it's all in the synopsis on the back cover.)

What follows, is how things unfold from there, as told by a number of different characters.
Usually, I'm not a massive fan of the whole 'multiple viewpoints' approach to story telling, but this one really works.

I won't say too much more for fear of letting cats out of bags, but it's definitely worth a read.

And that's all for February folks!
What do you say - have I inspired you to pick one of those four up? Have you read any of them already? Or what else are you reading that I should know about?

Thoughts & recommendations all very welcome in the comments :)

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