Hey hey and welcome to another monthly wrap up – in this case two month’s worth. 🙂
March was a weird month for me. It felt very long and I was in a horrible reading slump and just in an overall funk — hence my absence.
I only read two books in March, yep two, and it was a struggle to even finish them. Part of the problem, I believe, is in these past few months I’ve noticed my reading interests have changed a bit. I’m gravitating more towards contemporary fiction more than I have ever done and I honestly haven’t read that much fantasy — shocker I know. April was a bit better to me and I managed to read five!
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab ★★★★
Soooo guess what I finally did?! Yep, that’s right I FINALLY finished Vengeful. This took me a while to finish, and it came down to a few key things. The first is at the beginning of every year I crave non-fiction and it’s all I want to read. I started Vengeful in January right after I finished Vicious, but all I wanted to do was read non-fiction so my heart wasn’t in it. The second issue was my mindless clicking the “hold” button on my library’s website. I ended up putting about 20-ish books on hold all at once. Oops.
However, I think the majority of the problem with finishing Vengeful was the slow moving plot of this book. The book introduces the reader to new characters, and spends a lot of time flushing those characters out while neglecting a bit to the ones we saw in Vicious. There’s a lot of characters in this book and the middle fell a little flat to me, and I ended up putting it down quite a bit. The ending also seemed a bit anticlimactic to me.
I’m curious to see what Schwab will do with a third book especially with the events that took place at the end of Vengeful. I recently listened to a podcast with Schwab and she talked a bit about the third book and I don’t want to spoil anything, but a certain character will be returning for the third installment. If that’s the case, then the ending to Vengeful just doesn’t make sense to me. But, I have faith Schwab will work her magic. I ended up giving Vengeful four stars because the last 100 pages made up for the slow-ish pace in the middle of the book.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★
The second book I read in March was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and here again we have a book where I am mad at myself for not reading it sooner. WOW. I devoured this book in two days and it would have only been one day, but I had this little thing called “work” to go to. Annoying, am I right?
This book was just so…beautifully complex? The depth of the characters, especially Evelyn, was very impressionable. Early on you learn this book is more than just a 60’s movie star and her scandalous life. This book had moments where you’re rooting for a character and wanting to smack them all within the same paragraph.
This book was honestly one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It definitely gave me a full blown book hangover, and it was quite hard to pick up another book after reading this. I’m very much looking forward to reading more by Reid.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★
This book gave me the first year of college nostalgia feels for sure. I couldn’t really relate to Cath on a personal level, but what I did relate to her is the uncertainty of knowing what you want to do, and the scariness of going to college. As a huge introvert the thought of having to make friends and learn where everything was all over again terrified me. Although, I definitely did not hide out in my dorm for months and eat nothing but protein bars.
I read this book in the span of three days, and if you are looking for a cute, feel-good read definitely pick this up.
Shades of Magic Vol 1.: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab ★★★★
This is my first graphic novel of the year, and man, this is a beauty. The art is impeccable. I’m about halfway through A Darker Shade of Magic right now, so I didn’t know anything about the world or the characters going into this.
Once I started A Darker Shade of Magic and realized who Maxim was, I was very intrigued and cannot wait to read more — especially the character transformation Maxim has between these two works.
Schwab is slowly turning into one of my all time favorites.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton ★★★
Man, what is it about the number 7 and the name Evelyn in book titles this year, am I right?
This book frustrated the HELL out of me. I know a lot of people enjoy being in the dark about what goes on in a mystery/thriller. Normally I do too, but it took almost 70 pages in to finally figure out what was going on. By the time I got to the end of the this book I was so frustrated that the plot twist didn’t give me any satisfaction.
I rounded to three stars, but it was more of a 2.5 star read for me. Definitely one of the more disappointing letdowns of the year so far.
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ★★★
The layout of this book is setup where it can be read easily in one sitting, which is exactly what I did at work during a slow day. The book is more about the complicated relationship, and the dynamics Korede and Ayoola have with each other, than it is about Korede telling the reader about Ayoola being a serial killer.
In the beginning I was definitely on Korede’s side, but when I got to the end of the book I found myself conflicted about my opinions on Korede. Braithwaite does a spectacular job of writing morally gray characters, and little easter egg hints. I can’t wait to read more of her work.
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★
This was a short story Reid wrote that I believe is only available via ebook. I thought it was okay, but I feel like Reid’s best work is with longer pieces. Set in the 1970’s, the story is told through alternating letters between Carrie and David as a way to cope when they discover their spouses are having an affair with each other.
It was only 115 pages and I read it in about an hour, but I also felt kind of meh afterwards, which is why I only gave it two stars. I don’t know if I would recommend it per say, but if you like Reid’s other works and want to read something quick then maybe read it. Just don’t go into with high hopes.
And there you have it. April was definitely much better to me and I think the jump start I needed to get back into the swing of things.
I’m not sure how much I will get read in May as I have decided to tackle probably the biggest books on my to-read list by reading them at the same time. Yes, you heard that correctly. I’m reading A Queen of Air and Darkness and A Priory of the Orange Tree together so, pray for my eyes and my heart as I’m sure I’ll need lots and lots of tissues to get through these tomes.
What did you read this month? I’d love to hear!