March Wrap Up and April TBR
March was a very successful reading month for me. I read a total of nine books! We’ve got a lot to get through so without further ado let’s chat books.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
My Not So Perfect Life was pretty much what you would expect from a Sophie Kinsella novel. It’s sweet and cute with a dash of romance. That being said, I wouldn’t say that it was my favourite Sophie Kinsella novel.
Overall, I found the story fairly predictable. I wasn’t surprised by anything that had happened throughout the novel and it felt like it was a pretty typical progression for the genre. However, I will say that the story was very relatable for any young adult who thinks they have a plan and have a “what am I doing with my life moment” or feels like they're not going anywhere when it seems everyone else is.
I gave My Not So Perfect Life 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
This book made me SO emotional! What I had heard about Adam Silvera’s books is definitely true - he destroys your feelings.
I read They Both Die At The End because it was the Booksplosion book of the month for March. For those of you that don’t know, Booksplosion is a monthly book club run by polandbananasBOOKS, Katytastic and jessethereader on YouTube.
This book takes place in a world where an organization called Death Cast gives you a call at midnight the day that you’re going to die. We follow two boys Mateo and Rufus, who met on an app called Last Friends, on their last day and how each boy influences the other to live in a way that they haven’t before.
It almost goes without saying that I loved this book. The relationship between Mateo and Rufus is the cutest thing and the way their dialogue bounced off each other had just the right amount of tension and playfulness that you want from the lead characters.
One thing that I wish we had was more of an explanation as to how Death Cast knew you were going to die and how they knew everyone’s phone numbers. I know that this wasn’t necessarily a central focus of the story, but I had found myself curious the entire time.
Of course, I gave They Both Die At The End 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads (Duh!).
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
I’ve been wanting to read this book since the beginning of this year, it has been on numerous TBR posts, but yay - I finally read it! I have talked about what this book is about before, so if you would like a quick synopsis, please check out my Biannual Bibliothon TBR.
Overall, I really REALLY enjoyed this book! For any of you who are really into reading YA mental health books, this is a must-read. I can only speak to the anxiety representation being realistic, however, reviewers that I trust and are well-educated in the field of mental health have said that the agoraphobia and OCD representation is realistic and authentic. This was my first time reading a book that had dealt with agoraphobia and I felt that I learned a lot through Norah's experiences (however, I do recognize that one experience is not reflective of all experiences) and I appreciated that how she was affected by her mental illness was prominent throughout the story instead of being pushed aside for a different plot point. While I would like to say everyone should read this book, I do want to quickly mention that I would put a trigger warning on this book for self-harm.
Lastly, I do have to say that the romance is adorable. This is slightly spoiler-y, but I need to say that the description of this book is deceiving. The description comes off like this is a boy saves girl from mental illness type story, which it definitely was not. It was not my favourite romance of all time, but it was cute and a great aspect of the story.
I gave Under Rose-Tainted Skies 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh
I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but Flame In The Mist is another book that I have been anticipating for quite a while. Flame In The Mist takes place in feudal Japan, so this definitely intrigued the Japanese Language and Culture major in me. It's refreshing to read a book that takes place in a historical-type setting that is not in America, England or another European country and all of the details were gorgeous and accurate to what we know about feudal Japan.
Don't worry - I didn't just spend the entire book gushing about the setting. Flame In The Mist also had a really great cast of characters. I enjoyed that Mariko defied what would be expected of her as a woman of the time and wanted to do more than simply be married off for social gain. There is a romance, but I definitely wouldn't say that it was the main focus of the story. We focused more on Mariko taking control in figuring who had attacked her, accepting her individuality, and a lot of feudal Japanese political intrigue. The only reason why I did not give this book the full 5 out of 5 stars was that I did feel that it dragged a little bit in towards the beginning and it did not pull me in as much, but overall I would definitely recommend checking this book out.
I gave The Flame In The Mist 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
THIS BOOK WAS THE CUTEST! I had seen advertisements for the movie, Love Simon before it was released and I knew that I would need to see it asap. So of course, that also meant I would need to read this book asap and I made a b-line for my local library.
Simon is a hilarious character and I loved reading from his perspective. But what I loved most about this book was that the coming out wasn't the main focus, because Simon was past questioning is identity, and that it was more just about his first love story with someone who he had a genuine connection with - literally I could not quite my goofy smile off my face it was so cute. This is all I'm going to say because I don't want to get too spoiler-y, but seriously, read this book then watch the movie. Be sure to bring tissues.
City Of Bones, City Of Ashes, and City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare
After finishing Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda I felt like I was on a real reading kick and I ended up marathoning my rereads for the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series for the Dreg's Society Facebook group's Shadowhunter Chronicles reread leading up to the release of Queen Of Air and Darkness in December run by the lovely emmmabooks on YouTube.
For this reread I did a combination of physical book reading and audiobook listening, and since I had never listened to the audiobooks before, this made the reread feel refreshing. Of course, I enjoyed reading these books, particularly City Of Glass because it was one of my favourites in the series. That said, either I had forgotten that this or I felt it more this time, but I found Simon and Clary particularly annoying at times and I believe that my ratings for City Of Bones and City Of Ashes have dropped from my first reviews because of this. I also forgot how sassy book Alec is, which was a happier surprised. Cassandra Clare only grows as a writer and her world is intriguing, intricate and absolutely magical, so if you haven't read the Shadowhunter Chronicles yet please try and get through these first few because it only gets more amazing from here.
I gave City Of Bones 4 out of 5 stars, City Of Ashes 4 out of 5 stars and City Of Glass 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
The Upside Of Unrequited by Becki Albertalli
Finally, I was able to squeeze one more read into the month of March, The Upside Of Unrequited by the lovely Becki Albertalli and much like Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, this book was adorable. All of Becki's books take place within the same world, so while our main characters are not the same, Simon is mentioned, and also Abby and Nick make an appearance.
This book follows seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso who has had twenty-six crushes and zero boyfriends. She has also had zero rejections because she has never actively pursued any of her crushes due to insecurities about her weight and how she believes people must view her because of her weight. Molly never truly felt the need to put herself out there, because, while having a boyfriend would be nice, she would always have her close, best friend relationship with her sister Cassie. It's when Cassie, who had previously been into more casual relationships, gets a serious girlfriend that Molly starts to feel like things are changing and that she might have to take more risks.
I related very much to Molly's entire experience throughout this book and many of the thoughts that she has about not being good enough for love are definitely things that I had also thought at that age. Because it can be easier to tell yourself that you don't deserve love than to actually try and put yourself out there for possible rejection. I love that there were two sets of two mums in this story, that Molly's family was so unique and that is was never treated as abnormal. There was even that problematic grandma character that everyone has that is still there to be supportive and is open to learn, sometimes to takes a few tries, after she makes a statement that's not great. Basically it was cool to see an older relative in a YA book that at the end of the day comes from a place of love, even if she can be super sassy.
One thing that happened in the book that kind of bugged me was when Cassie made statements that Molly was mature because she hadn't been in a relationship before. For example (SPOILER), when Cassie didn't tell Molly that she had made it official with Mina and Molly found out by Facebook, Cassie said "You will understand when you have a boyfriend", making Molly feel small and like she was in the wrong. This statement is total crap that Cassie says to justify a crappy thing and it never really felt like there were any reprucussions on Cassie's part for some of the digs she takes at Molly who she knows is already dealing with anxiety and self-esteem issues.
Overall I still really enjoyed this book, I flew through it and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
I'm hoping to have another successful reading month in April and so far it's looking pretty good (I've already finished two of these books!). This post is already pretty long so let's move on to my TBR.
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Essentially The Language of Thorns is Leigh Bardugo masterfully crafting myths, fairy tales and folklore for her Grisha world. This bind-up is full of stories from the different cultures in the Grisha world, from Zemni to Ravka to Kerch. I have already finished this book, so I'm not going to go too spoiler-y or into what I thought, however, while arguably you could read this before you read any other her other books, I would not recommend it. This book is ideal for fans of the world who want to learn more about the different cultures that we've encountered both through the Grisha trilogy and the Six Of Crows duology. It's also an absolutely gorgeous book, so of course, I had to have it!
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
I wanted to pick up A Wrinkle In Time because I knew it had a movie come out (with Chris Pine in it *heart eyes*) and being the reader that I am I had to read the book first. Many people around my age would have probably read A Wrinkle In Time when they were a kid, probably between the ages of nine and twelve, but this was my first time reading it. I was not originally aiming to read this book in April (the reason why there is no photo, sorry!), but my library hold came in so if that's not a sign I had to read it this month I don't know what is.
Again, since I've already read this book I'm not going to go talk about my thoughts on this book quite yet, but this book is essentially about three kids, Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace who embark on a dangerous and exciting adventure in order to save Meg and Charles Wallace's father and our universe from a darkness that threatens it. I still need to see the film, but I'm excited to compare the two.
Son Of The Dawn by Cassandra Clare
Son Of Dawn is the first of ten stories in Cassandra Clare's upcoming anthology Ghosts Of The Shadow Market, co-written with Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman, Sarah Rees Brennan and Kelly Link. I was released as an e-book on April 10th, so this is another quick addition to my TBR. Throughout the history of this world, the Shadow Market has been a place for Downworlders to meet, do business and share dark secrets that they don't want Shadowhunters to know about. This series of novellas follows a particular character who we've met in Cassandra Clare's previous works and their visits to the Shadow Market. This is all I can say without getting super spoiler-y, but I've very excited to dig into this novella.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
This month the Dreg's Society's Shadowhunter Chronicles continues with Clockwork Angel, the first book in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices Series. It has been quite a few years since I've read this book and to be honest, for me, the whole series was a bit of a blur. It was an amazing blur, but I can't quite remember where each book ended. Basically, I'm due for re-read.
Without being too spoiler-y, Clockwork Angel takes place in 19th century England and follows Tessa, a young girl who is in search of her missing brother, and Will and Jem, Shadowhunters from the London Institute. They find themselves up against a dark organization who aims to take control of the British Empire and it's up to them, and the rest of the London Institute, to stop them. This book had me at demon hunters in 19th century England!
Warcross by Marie Lu
The last book that I'm aiming to read in the month of April is Warcross, which is the first book in a new series by Marie Lu. I LOVE Marie Lu's writing and her characters are always so intriguing and beautifully written.
Warcross takes place in a near future, sci-fi version of Japan, where the obsession over a game called Warcross had taken over the world. The story follows teen hacker and bounty hunter, Emika Chen. As a bounty hunter, Emika tracks down players who bet on the game illegally, but one-day, when Emika hacks herself into the International Warcross Championships, a glitch accidentally turns her into a gaming sensation. In the fallout of this event, Emika finds out that there is something sinister going on that might have serious repercussions.
That's it for my March Wrap Up and April TBR. If you've made it to the end, thank you so much for reading! I'm very excited for the books that I have lined up for this month - crossing my fingers that April is as successful as March. What books are you most excited to read this April? Let me know!
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!