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The 15 best books we read in February 2024, ranked and reviewed

Many people vow to read more in the new year. Well, we’re just about tied up with the second month of the year, and my head has still been inside of a book. Or two, or…15.

I love keeping up with the hottest new launches and updating my never-ending TBR (that’s “to be read,” for short). From following book clubs like Read with Jenna and Reese’s Book Club to scouring the internet for the hottest new or new-ish reads, I always begin a fresh month with a fresh reading list.

February flew by, despite 2024 bringing upon a leap year. February is also the nationally known month of love, so my affinity for reading rom-com has only been heightened. Side note: if you’re a rom-com reader, you’ll love some of the mentions on this list.

RELATED: Best January books we read, ranked and reviewed

In total, I read 15 books cover to cover. Below, you’ll find my review notes along with some commentary from the Amazon Book Editors on most titles.  The best part? You’ll only have to wait about 31 days or so to get the 411 on my next stockpile.

Below the best books I read this month, you’ll find additional recommendations the Amazon Editorial team exclusively shared with The Post.

“Almost Surely Dead” by Amina Akhtar

"Almost Surely Dead" by Amina Akhtar
Amazon

After reading “#FashionVictim” by Amina Akhtar in February and naming it one of my five-star reads of the year, I knew I had to get my hands on her newest release, “Almost Surely Dead.” It didn’t disappoint; Akhtar has an affinity for page-turning plot lines and relatable, modern-day settings and twists.

This novel surrounds a missing woman, Dunia, who becomes the chilling subject of a true crime podcast. When Dunia’s would-be-killer ends up dead, she figures the worst is over. But then, another death threat ensues, and another…and another.

“There were so many twists and turns in this refreshingly unexpected take on the psychological thriller that weaves in the folklores and superstitions we carry with us from our childhoods and our cultures,” Abby Abell, senior editor, Amazon Books Editorial, told the New York Post.


“When We’re Thirty” by Casey Dembrowski

"When We're Thirty" by Casey Dembrowski
Amazon

As its title suggests, “When We’re Thirty” by Casey Dembrowski is the fictional rom-com take on the we’ll-marry-when-we’re-thirty-if-we’re-not-with-anyone trope. Cleverly written and light and airy at the same time, it’s a book I’m surprised isn’t talked about more on #BookTok — but it should be.

“Some things are classic for a reason,” Abell said. “This rom-com has authentic characters you’re cheering for, along with some tropes that never go out of style — friends-to-lovers and marriage of convenience (whoever made up that phrase clearly wasn’t married).”


“Good Material” by Dolly Alderton

"Good Material" by Dolly Alderton
Amazon

This month’s Read with Jenna pick was “Good Material” by Dolly Alderton and it was a title I was most excited to read this month. I’ve heard rave reviews about the author and found the plot to be incredibly honest, raw and refreshing, a different pitch than others I’ve read. Inside, protagonist Andy is struggling to come to terms with a breakup among other societal and life happenings going awry. It sounds depressing but it’s full of heart and emotion.

“There’s so much to love about this tale-as-old-as-time breakup story: it’s kicky and comical, honest and oh-so-familiar,” Al Woodworth, senior editor, Amazon Books Editorial, shared. “With bighearted and rompy humor, Dolly Alderton (‘Everything I Know About Love‘) proves that she just might be this generation’s Nora Ephron — and the quest for love that once transpired over the radio (in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’) and AOL chat rooms (in ‘You’ve Got Mail’) has made its way to present day.”

More, the Amazon Books team named it one of our Best Books of February and its easy to see why so many readers — including Jenna Bush Hager — love this and want to talk about it.


“Red String Theory” by Lauren Kung Jessen

"Red String Theory" by Lauren Kung Jessen
Amazon

I adored “Red String Theory” by Lauren Kung Jessen. Last year, I read the author’s debut, “Lunar Love,” which was a memorable love story infused with elements of Asian culture. I soaked up every page and so was the case with this title right here.

“Red String Theory” is a fated-love rom-com about two star-crossed lovers. Protagonist Rooney Gao believes in all of the signs, inspiring her career as an artist and her dating life as well. When fate leads her to Jack Liu, you’ll simply have to read to see what happens next.

“There have been so many beautiful stories of late about how our lives are intertwined (‘Past Lives,’ ‘One Day‘), Abell said. “As someone who doesn’t believe in fate, I still can’t help but be drawn into these stories. That couldn’t be truer than with this tender rom-com. Rooney Gao believes in the Chinese legend that you are tied with an invisible red string to your soul mate. But what happens when you meet your soul mate and he doesn’t believe? It’s more than worth the read to find out.”


“The Women” by Kristin Hannah

Red book cover with gold text.
Amazon

Acclaimed author Kristin Hannah impressed me yet again with her latest title “The Women,” which has been a much-anticipated read among the online book community in particular. I don’t read historical fiction all too often but when I do, it’s Hannah who I turn to. In fact, “The Four Winds” is one of her novels I consistently recommend.

“The Women” shines a spotlight on nurses in Vietnam during the war in 1965. With a message that “women can be heroes,” the story hones in on a category of the Vietnam War that isn’t as frequently talked about: the pressing fears, responsibility and tribulations nurses faced each and every day — and Hannah painted a picture with protagonist Frances “Frankie” McGrath beautifully.

“Kristin Hannah is known for novels that elicit all the feels, and ‘The Women’ is no exception,” Erin Kodicek, senior editor, Amazon Books Editorial told The Post. “Packing as much emotional punch as The Nightingale, it sings the praises of the unsung heroes of the Vietnam War — the combat nurses. It’s a story that serves as another stitch in a still open wound, one that can only help the healing process.”


“Stuck Up & Stupid” by Angourie Rice and Katie Rice

"Stuck Up & Stupid" by Angourie Rice and Katie Rice
Amazon

Like most of the world in February, I headed to the theaters to watch Mean Girls. When I realized the actress behind Cady Heron was a novelist, I *knew* I had to give it a go. And, it’s a rom-com, so why wouldn’t I read it in February?

“Stuck Up & Stupid” by Angourie Rice and Katie Rice is a modern trans-Pacific twist on “Pride and Prejudice,” one of my favorite classics, with this book delivering Austen’s storyline with humor and wit.

Young Hollywood movie stars and influencers arrive to Pippi Beach for the summer, with the glossiest star, Dorian Khan, seeking out Lily, the protagonist. Can they become friends? This title is more of a slow-paced book but is ideal for a vacation or a casual day at home, especially if you love plots where two worlds are connected. And yes, this book was so fetch.


“Say You’ll Be Mine” by Naina Kumar

"Say You'll Be Mine" by Naina Kumar
Amazon

Among all of the books I read in February, “Say You’ll Be Mine” by Naina Kumar was one of my top favorites and one I named a five-star read. It was also this month’s Sarah Selects pick, a top Amazon book club.

This charming debut romance illustrates the pressures of dating with a traditional Indian family. Personally, I loved the author’s insight and infusion of culture into this rom-com, giving it more depth than the typical happily-ever-after idea. When Meghna Raman goes on a pre-arranged date, she meets Karthik Murthy, the atypical success story who doesn’t see marriage in his future. But, when both characters need something at some point, they decide to become “fake engaged.” It’s brilliant and kept me hooked on every page.

“This fake-dating enemies-to-lovers story is much more than the tropes; it is about self-discovery, stepping outside your comfort zone and going for what you want,” Kami Tei, editor, Amazon Books Editorial, told The Post. “Throw in musicals, punny t-shirts, and an emotion-filled plot, and you have a story that will stay with you for a while.”


“The Other Mothers” by Katherine Faulkner

"The Other Mothers" by Katherine Faulkner
Amazon

“The Other Mothers” by Katherine Faulkner was a mystery/thriller book that I’ve been wanting to read for months now. I couldn’t put the author’s debut novel, “Greenwich Park,” down and this recent title delivered the same suburban drama and eerie feels as the first.

When a young nanny is found dead in mysterious circumstances, new mom and freelance journalist, Tash, is suddenly invested. This is the perfect story to relaunch her career but she has also been invested in fitting in with “the other mothers” in the neighborhood. And yes, it’s one of those books where everything is connected.

“Lately, mysteries are where authors have been going to wrestle with, or at least examine, social issues,” Vannessa Cronin, senior editor, Amazon Books Editorial, told The Post. “And this novel, with its use of plot lines that touch on class, postpartum depression, suicide and more, illustrates the trend while simultaneously delivering an absorbing, suburban thriller.”


“A Brush with Love” by Mazey Eddings

"A Brush with Love" by Mazey Eddings
Amazon

If you love a lighthearted romance, grab “A Brush with Love” by Mazey Eddings. I found it to be cute, dashing and well-written. Not to mention, it’s the first book in a trilogy of rom-coms. The more, the merrier.

Protagonist Harper is nervously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when, at the perfect timing (not), she runs into Dan, a first-year dental student who’s extremely cute. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper’s rules — focusing on her dream, her plan and certainly not boys. But, will Harper trade fillings for feelings? It’s a story you’ll have to read for more.

“If you’re into medical romances, this one is for you!” Tei recommended. “It won’t be anything like pulling teeth to ‘root’ for Harper and Dan.”


“Ready or Not” by Cara Bastone

"Ready or Not" by Cara Bastone
Amazon

I’m going to be honest, picking up “Ready or Not” by Cara Bastone was largely due to the stunning cover. Seriously, can we find a more stunning portrait of an urban springtime landscape? I initially came across this title via Book of the Month and was so happy I did.

I’ve never read a contemporary romance novel quite like this one. This friends-to-lovers trope centers on a surprise pregnancy that’s filled with heartfelt dialogue, unexpected love and a slow burn. It’s incredible and I found myself not wanting to put it down.

“They never went out of style for me, but rom-coms are definitely having a resurgence, in movie and book form (consider No Hard Feelings with Sydney Sweeney and anything written by Emily Henry),” Abell shared. “In ‘Ready or Not,’ there’s nothing like a surprise pregnancy to change your perspective. This story is endearing, life-affirming, and left me feeling buoyed and hopeful.”


“Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy” by Bob Goff

"Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy" by Bob Goff
Amazon

Because my faith is important to me, I’m always on the hunt for a motivating novel on a given topic with a moral perspective in mind. Bob Goff is one of my favorite authors — with “Love Does” and “Everybody Always” holding a special place in my heart and on my reading list — so I knew I would enjoy every minute of his latest title, “Undistracted.”

It sounds cliche, but it’s one of those books that’s about rediscovering your joy. If it was written by any other author, I likely wouldn’t have picked it up, but I knew this book would be soaked in wisdom and good stories. Regardless of religion, I’d recommend this book as it’s more encouraging than directionally loaded.


“Redwood Court” by DéLana R. A. Dameron

"Redwood Court" by DéLana R. A. Dameron
Amazon

This month’s Reese’s Book Club pick was “Redwood Court” by DéLana R. A. Dameron. Focusing in on a Southern Black family, this title follows the youngest daughter in the familial tree, Mika Tabor, as she comes of age in the 1990s.

On Redwood Court, the cul-de-sac in the all-Black working-class suburb of Columbia, South Carolina, where her grandparents live, Mika is learning important life lessons in vivid detail. The dialogue and written words are stunning and it’s a tale as old as time.

“Neighborhood novels are having a moment: ‘The Heaven and Earth Grocery Story‘ by James McBride (our No. 1 Pick for the Best Book of 2023), ‘Small Mercies‘ by Dennis Lehane, Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle series, and Tia Williams’ latest, ‘A Love Song for Ricki Wilde,’ to name a few of the Amazon Editors’ recent favorites,” Woodworth listed. “And, ‘Redwood Court’ — a sprawling yet intimate novel that feels destined to be a TV series — fits perfectly into this trend of books that focus on belonging and community.”


“The Breakaway” by Jennifer Weiner

"The Breakaway" by Jennifer Weiner
Amazon

As a fan of Jennifer’s Weiner’s work, namely, “That Summer” and “The Summer Place,” I knew I was in for at treat as soon as I picked up “The Breakaway.” In this novel, 33-year-old Abby Stern loves her life with freelance gig-style jobs, her Philadelphia bicycling club and her friends. Then, she meets someone from her past — and the story becomes more captivating as each page turns.

“After splashing onto the fiction scene in 2001 with ‘Good in Bed,” Weiner keeps delivering one compelling novel after another,” Sarah Gelman, Amazon Books editorial director, told The Post. “This one feels a bit more ‘classic Weiner’ than recent books, with themes of mother/daughter tensions, romantic relationships and body image.”


“Mistakes We Never Made” by Hannah Brown

"Mistakes We Never Made" by Hannah Brown
Amazon

Enter one of the most-anticipated reads of not only the month, but the year, if you know me: “Mistakes We Never Made” by Hannah Brown. As a serial fan of “The Bachelorette” and “Dancing with the Stars” (spoiler alert: Brown won the coveted Mirrorball trophy in her season), I *ran* to the book when I was offered an advance copy.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Brown (pinch me!) on this new title and she said it’s the perfect book to read by the pool in the summer. Following a second-chance romance storyline with Emma and Finn and, of course, the opening scene taking place at Emma’s best friend’s bachelorette party, you’ll love the setting, witty characters and everything else. Oh, and it was another five-star read of mine.


“Keep Your Friends Close” by Leah Konen

"Keep Your Friends Close" by Leah Konen
Amazon

“Keep Your Friends Close” by Leah Konen is a thriller that has an eerie vibe. If you love novels abounding in mystery and best friend drama plot lines, the author’s latest release is the exact fit for you.

Protagonist Mary is knees-deep in a custody battle and is in dire need of a BFF. It seems like fate when she meets the charming and enigmatic Willa at a Brooklyn playground. Best friend, secured.

Two months later, once her divorce is finalized, she runs into Willa — but now, Willa goes by “Annie,” and she has an entirely new family. Then her ex-husband is found dead and Mary is the prime suspect. So, her only choice is to turn to Willa.

Partially predictable but otherwise super engaging, I enjoyed this read quite a bit. It’s a domestic thriller where each chapter will have you hooked onto the next.


Other February Books to Read, per the Amazon Books Editorial team

“Narcotopia: In Search of the Asian Drug Cartel That Survived the CIA” by Patrick Winn

"Narcotopia: In Search of the Asian Drug Cartel That Survived the CIA" by Patrick Winn
Amazon

“Fans of “The Wire,” “Breaking Bad,” and The Godfather won’t be able to resist this heart-pounding — and true — tale of drugs, crime, and power, with real-life characters whose astonishing stories have never been told,” Lindsay Powers, senior editor, Amazon Books Editorial, told The Post. The Amazon Editorial team named this a Best Book of February as well.

“You’ve got Asia’s ‘El Chapo’ operating out of one of the most secretive places on earth, informants with hidden agendas, infighting between the DEA and CIA,” Powers added. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the good guys are here, and who the bad guys are.”

Not to mention, Powers noted, please make this into a movie!


“An American Dreamer: Life in a Divided Country” by David Finkel

"An American Dreamer: Life in a Divided Country" by David Finkel
Amazon

“This is the best kind of narrative nonfiction — so intimate, so profound and poetic, that it reads like a novel,” Powers shared, recommending “An American Dreamer” by David Finkel.

Here, Brent Cummings is a veteran who has returned home to Georgia, a place that now feels more foreign to him than the time he served in Iraq and Israel. “He’s grappling with his purpose and privilege, and the devastating reality that America’s vow — be a good human, work hard, get rewarded — isn’t true for him, for his family, his neighbors and most people,” she explained. “This is a deeply relatable parable about the American Dream; I devoured this bittersweet book in just two sittings, which is why we named it one of our Best Books of February.”


“All in Her Head: The Truth and Lies Early Medicine Taught Us about Women’s Bodies and Why It Matters Today” by Elizabeth Comen

"All in Her Head: The Truth and Lies Early Medicine Taught Us about Women's Bodies and Why It Matters Today" by Elizabeth Comen
Amazon

“‘All in Her Head’ stirred a lot of emotions in me as I read, ranging from full-on laughter to wanting to throw my Kindle at the wall,” Powers honestly said. “Who knew medical history and scientific journals could be so engrossing?”

Powers told us that she could not stop quoting this book the entire time she read it, which is why she, along with the Amazon Editorial team, named it the best nonfiction book of February.


“Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family and Social Class” by Rob Henderson

"Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family and Social Class" by Rob Henderson
Amazon

“In the vein of Hillbilly Elegy and Educated, Rob Henderson tells the searing story of his childhood in foster care, untangling his emotions and experiences — and how they fit into a larger conversation about opportunity, affluence and education,” Powers said, recommending “Troubled” by Rob Henderson.

What’s more, this insightful, scorching debut is a real page-turner. “It will make you interrogate your own beliefs about who gets first (and second and third) chances, and who faces a much steeper hill to success— often time through no fault of their own,” Powers added.


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