Hello everyone! Welcome to my March Wrap Up! It’s a bit late as I read a lot of books in the last 48 hours of March, so without further ado, here is what I read in March!
My March TBR was mega ambitious, seeing as it had 12.5 books on it, which is about as much as I read in January and February combined! Despite this, I feel like I was really quite successful! I read, DNF’d or unhauled all but one book, which I am currently reading. I also read 4 of the 6 books that I wanted to for the #FemmeFanTale readathon (the others were DNF’d later).
I DNF’d three books this month: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski, The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, and The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. You can find my full review for The Midnight Lie here.
I also unhauled We Are Cuba, because I was only reading it to help me study for an exam that I no longer have to take because… coronavirus.
BOOKS I READ IN MARCH
RADIANCE BY GRACE DRAVEN
This is a truly beloved new adult fantasy romance that follows the arranged marriage of a noblewoman and a prince from two species who find each other physically repulsive.
You can find my thoughts in a bit more detail on goodreads here, but essentially I enjoyed what this book didn’t do (aka unnecessarily dramatic immaturity), but what it did do didn’t do much for me. I like romances where the conflict is external to the couple, and I’m not a fan of angsty romance, so in that respect I liked this book, but I still like a bit more of a slow burn or gradual development. I enjoyed this book enough, but I wasn’t super invested, and I ended up giving it 2 stars.
DIE VERWANDLUNG VON FRANZ KAFKA
Metamorphosis is a very short classic from the bohemian author Franz Kafka and follows the experience of Gregor Samsa and what happens when he turns into a massive bug. This is the International Reading Book Club book for March and April, so if you still want to join in, go and check out the goodreads group here.
This is never the type of story I would usually choose to read, and to be honest the premise didn’t interest me that much, but for what it was it was well written and very short, so it did manage to hold my attention. I am very glad that I decided to listen to the audiobook, as I think that helped me enjoy it more. I gave it 2.5 stars.
HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD BY SARAH J. MAAS
House of Earth and Blood is the first book in Sarah J. Maas’ new Crescent City series, which follows a woman called Bryce who is roped in to investigating the death of her best friend. In good old Sarah J. Maas style, this is a fantasy romance, but this one is set in a sort of fantastical future version of Earth, so it is more of an urban fantasy than her other books. This book is also officially an adult book (but had far less NSFW scenes than the ACOTAR series).
It has been too long since I last read a Sarah J. Maas book. Very few books manage to make me turn the pages as quickly as a Sarah J. Maas book, and this book certainly did that. I will say that Sarah J. Maas has still yet to top the Throne of Glass series for me, but I did really love this. I liked it less than ACOMAF, but more than the other books in the ACOTAR series, so I am hoping that the next books will be even better!
I will say that the love interest, Hunt, didn’t do much for me in the first book, so we’ll see how that storyline plays out. I ended up giving this one 3.5 stars, even though I really enjoyed reading it. 5 stars for keeping my interest, 4 stars for the actual plot and most of the characters, but at most 3 stars for Hunt.
SHADOWS OF MAGIC BY LINDA CHAPMAN
Shadows of Magic is the fifth book in the Stardust series, which is a children’s series aimed at 5-8 year olds. The series follows Lucy and her new nextdoor neighbour Allegra. In the first book, Lucy finds out that she is a stardust spirit and goes into the woods at night with Allegra and her mum to help protect the worldlife.
Was I really reading this because I expected to love it? No, of course not. I was reading it to relive a book from my childhood (and fulfill a prompt for a readathon). So, I gave it 3 stars, but equally as a child I loved this and I will definitely shove this down the face of any 7 year old who asks me what they should read. Especially as I think this series deals with really important issues, like taking care of the environment.
THE ROYAL TUTOR VOL. 6 BY HIGASA AKAI
This is the sixth book in Higasa Akai’s manga series The Royal Tutor, which follows Heine Wittgenstein, the new royal tutor, and the young princes of Granzreich who he has been trusted to teach.
I love this series, it is my favourite manga, and I’m doing so well with reading at least one installment each month! I gave this one a lower rating than some of the other book in the series, because it felt more like a set up for the next installment than anything else, but I still liked it. 3 stars.
ARIEL BY SYLVIA PLATH
I started reading some of Sylvia Plath’s poetry for my English Lit class late last year, and a lot of it was from this collection so I decided to grab myself a copy and read around a bit. I finally finished it, and well, like with a lot of collections, there were some I loved, and some that were just okay.
I will say that I don’t think Plath’s poetry is my favourite, and I feel like I can do her better in small doses because they’re just quite depressing. I ended up giving the collection overall 3 stars, but there were some poems I loved.
FAR AWAY BIRD BY DOUGLAS BURTON
I received an eARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book was released in February 2020.
This is the origin story of Theodora, Empress of the Byzantine Empire, detailing her late childhood and her time spent as an actress, prostitute, and more. When I read this book, I thought it would be my favourite book of the month, and it was the best book I had read up to that point (spoiler alert: that changes). I am usually quite bad about continuing series, but I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the second book. 4.5 stars. I will be posting a full review of this book in the next few days.
TW: CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE
THE INNKEEPER CHRONICLES BY ILONA ANDREWS
I was researching to find some books to buy and read, and I realised that a fourth book in this series had been released. My knowledge of this series was pretty rusty, so I decided to reread books 1-3. I then picked up books 4 and 4.5. This is not one of Ilona Andrews’ most popular series, but it is definitely my favourite. I gave book 1 3.5 stars and the novella 3 stars, and the rest 4 stars.
It is set in a sci-fi-meets-fantasy type setting, and we follow our main character Dina, who is an innkeeper. Innkeepers are symbiotically bound to their inns and have two roles: prevent the rest of Earth from finding out about the aliens, and provide safe refuge for other beings travelling through the universe. These innkeepers can bend physics and decorate rooms with just a thought, and inside their inns they are the most powerful. I think it’s an amazingly unique concept, and it is a large part of what makes me love the series so much. There is an element of romance, but it is not the main focus of the story, instead we focus on Dina’s struggle to improve the rating of her inn and search for her parents who disappeared years earlier.
The next book in the series hasn’t been announced yet, but I really, really need it.
BEFORE THE COFFEE GETS COLD BY TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI
The book is set entirely within a cafe. In this cafe, there is a single chair that will allow you to travel through time as long as you follow all of the rather complicated rules. If you go to the past, though, you cannot change the present. No matter what you do, the present remains the same. Nevertheless, some people decide to travel through time.
In this book, there are smaller stories and in each one a different person travels through time for one reason or another, but the stories are linked by the constant cast of characters, and each does flow from the next, making it a cohesive novel and not a short story collection. It is a magical realism masterpiece.
This is the best book I have read so far this year, and is the only one I have given 5 stars. It made me cry for twenty minutes straight at the end, so after that I couldn’t really give it any less. It’s beautifully written, wonderfully imagined, and absolutely emotional. Please read this book.
And that’s all! What books did you read this month? What do you think of the books I read? Let me know in a comment below, and feel free to link your own wrap up as well so I can do some blog hopping!