Monday, April 3, 2017

March Reading Wrap-Up

Another month, another round of good books! In March, I managed to finish 12 books and 2 graphic novels. I would call this a successful month... so let's get into it.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

My Rating:  ★★★

My Thoughts: I will keep it brief in this post, as I wrote a full review on this book earlier in the month. Overall, I really liked this book. I have some problems with how similar some of the plot twists and characters seemed to other Sophie Kinsella books, but maybe that's just me. This book was quirky and funny, and overall an enjoyable ride.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic #1

My Rating:  ★★★☆☆

My Thoughts: I recently met V. E. Schwab at a book signing. She was such a lovely person and I loved hearing everything she had to say about this book series. I was pumped! Unfortunately, this book fell a little flat for me. I like the main characters, Kell and Delilah. I was also intrigued by the idea of the four different versions of London, each with their own set of magic and rules. However, I was bored through most of this book. I can't really say what it was that made me feel this way, I just know that I had a hard time following along and remembering what had happened. However, I did continue onto the second book last month and I will share my thoughts on that book below. 

Thirteen Reason Why by Jay Asher

My Rating:  ★★

My Thoughts: This was the first of two re-reads for me in March. Having read the book when it first came out in 2007, I wanted to read it again before the Netflix TV adaptation was released. Just like last time, I loved this book. It's nice and short, making it SO easy to fly through. This book covers the very tough topic of teenage suicide. Hearing a girl talk about the reasons she had to commit suicide is not an easy thing to get through, but I think that this book handles it very well. I also thought that hearing everything through one person, Clay, allows you to feel like you are listening to those tapes yourself. I cannot wait to watch the TV show and I hope that it does the book justice.

Full Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Series: Just One Day #2

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

My Thoughts: If my feelings about the first book were just so-so, this book didn't improve them by any means. First of all, this book was described LITERALLY EVERYWHERE as a sequel. Just One Year was in no way, shape, or form a sequel. This book ends in the exact same place as the first book. Instead what this book ended up being, was the first book but from
Willem's perspective. On top of that, what happens to Willem while Allyson is looking for him is just not nearly as interesting as what she was doing. There were many times where the author introduced pointless characters and unnecessary storylines. Overall, I just really didn't like this book. As such, I have also put this book series on my "Books I Think Are Overhyped" list. 

Mentioned Posts: Books I Think Are Overhyped

Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

My Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts: I was in such a contemporary kick in March. Also, a lot of news came out in March about the movie adaptation of this book, so I figured it was time to read it. And boy, was I glad that I did! I love this book. I rooted for Simon the whole time. I had my theories about who Blue was, but I was wrong in the end. While the love story was, obviously, the best part of this book, the topic of "coming out" was also very interesting. As a straight female, this is not a topic that I have very much insight into. I could never say what that experience is like, so I enjoyed seeing what Simon's experience was like. Overall, this book met my expectations. All the hype that I had been hearing about this book was well deserved, and I can't wait to see the movie next year.

By Your Side by Kasie West

My Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts: I have also written a full review for this book, so I will also keep this one short and sweet. As a lover of contemporaries, this book was great. A girl gets stuck in a library with a boy... this is the perfect scenario. While the love story was adorable, this book also dealt with some heavier topics. The balance between the light, fluffy romance and the heavy, personal topics was perfect. This is my second Kasie West book, and I think I am going to officially add her to my list of favorite contemporary authors.

Full Review: By Your Side

Preacher, Book 1 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

Series: Preacher #1

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: I decided to start reading the Preacher comics for two reasons. First, I have heard so many people say that this comic series is one of the best of all time. Second, the AMC app had all episodes from the first season of the TV adaptation until the beginning of April, so I figured now was a good time to get caught up. I am so glad I started reading this comic. While extremely dark and gory, Preacher has a sense of humor that I really appreciated. I very much look forward to continuing on, especially since the second season of the show premieres in just a few months. I would highly recommend this comic series, but beware... it is not for the faint of heart.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic #2

My Rating:  ★★★☆☆

My Thoughts: Since I have included this book series in my "Books I Think Are Overhyped" blog from a couple of weeks ago, I think it's safe to say that I am not enjoying this book series as much as I had hoped. I can see how people would love these books, unfortunately I am just not one of them. I would say that I will not be reading the last book in the trilogy, but I have the problem of not having the ability to quit things. I guess we shall see what happens.

Mentioned Posts: Books I Think Are Overhyped

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My Rating:  ★★

My Thoughts: This book was my second re-read of the month and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. With the movie adaptation for this book coming out next month, I figured now was the perfect time to refresh my memory. I have read both of Nicola Yoon's books and they are both so enjoyable. While her books are a bit insta-lovey, they are also adorable and relatable. Like many others on this wrap-up, this book also deals with some darker topics. Nicola handles these moments in the book with such grace and understanding. I mean... this book is about a girl who is literally allergic to everything and can't leave her house. The ending took me by surprise, which is ultimately the reason I decided to rate this book with 5-stars. I think that the ending Nicola chose was a brave move and I applaud the book and the author.

Full Review: Everything, Everything

The Walking Dead, Vol. 27 by Robert Kirkman

Series: The Walking Dead #27

My Rating:  ★★★☆☆

My Thoughts: A lot of stuff went down in this volume of The Walking Dead. This is one of two comic series that I am up to date with. I hate having to wait for the new volume to come out in trade paperback, but it is usually worth it. What all that means is that sometimes it's hard for me to remember what happened the last time I picked up a volume. This volume, however, has something REALLY big and important happen. I don't think I will forget about the events that happened the next time a trade paperback comes out. If you are a fan of the show and haven't read the comics yet, please do. I promise you that these are way better than the show.

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Series: The Witchlands #2

My Rating:  ★★☆☆

My Thoughts: Sigh... I really want to like this series. A fantasy series centering around a female friendship... I should be invested. However, I am having the hardest time following these books. I thought that, maybe, the second book would change my feelings about the first book, but that did not happen. As such, I have also put this book series on my "Books I Think Are Overhyped" list. 

Mentioned Posts: Books I Think Are Overhyped

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

My Rating:  ★★★★★

My Thoughts: This book was seriously amazing. This book deals heavily with race issues... to the point where sometimes I got a little uncomfortable hearing the way some characters were talking about others. This book was listed one of the "Best Books of 2016" and recently was picked up for a movie deal. I had read news about Viola Davis and Julia Roberts being cast as the two leads and I knew that this book had to be good then. AND IT WAS! This is the kind of book that you don't want to put down. As I was reading it, I could easily see this movie adaptation being Oscar nominated. I have read two other Jodi Picoult books and they were so light and fluffy compared to this book. I cannot applaud her enough for her bravery on researching and writing about a topic so controversial. Even for someone like myself, who thought they were pretty open-minded before, I learned so much about what it might actually be like to be of the opposite race. All I can say is please, please go read this book if you haven't already.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: As a lover of all things Jazz, 1920's, and the Fitzgerald's, I was very excited to finally read this book. This was one that I had been eyeing for a couple years and just never had the opportunity to get to it. This is also another in a string of books that had an adaptation either announced or released. So of course I want to watch it! I went into this book knowing that while the author heavily researched the Fitzgerald's lives and that the events in this book were based on factual things occurances, this is overall a fictionalized version of Zelda Fitzgerald's life. Overall, I really enjoyed this book though. I had a little knowledge of what Zelda and F. Scott's lives were like, but this helped to deepen my understanding. I came out of this book wanting to re-read The Great Gatsby again, wanting to wearing flapper dresses and feathered headbands, and the desire to download all of the jazz music! The other thing that this book made me realize is that I may not dislike historical fiction as much as I had previously thought. In fact, along with contemporaries (because it's officially SPRING), I think I might be in the mood for more historical fiction. 

The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales by Chris Colfer

Series: The Land of Stories

My Rating:  ★★☆☆

My Thoughts: This book is absolutely not necessary to the Land of Stories series, but it was still fun. This was basically just a collection of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and fables that most children grow up hearing. It is exactly what the title of the book says! I don't even thing they retold the stories in any way, but I didn't mind. It was nice to have a refresher on these famous stories.

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