March Wrap-Up [2016]

March has been one of the most exciting and productive months I’ve had in a long while. Not only did I read eleven books, but, on the marvelous sixth of the month, I completed my first novel! *dances wildly with happiness*

I could go and go about the journey of creating my novel, how my protagonist helped me uncover my passion for writing and forever changed my life in the best way possible, but then I would basically end up writing another book. If any of you are interested though, I would love to tell you all about my experience writing my first novel.

Now onto the books! As I said, I read a total of eleven books, not including a small illustrated children’s book, because that took about five minutes. It was quite an enchanting little tale, but I would rather focus on the novels. I will start in order of when I read them, starting from the beginning to the end of the month. And since I’ve read so many books, I’ll try to keep my review short. If you wish to read my full reviews, take a look at my Goodreads page.

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Rating: 4.5/5

I’ve heard so many great things about We Were Liars, so I was glad my friend (AKA Batgirl) and I chose this as our next read together. It also fit into the theme of Bibliophile Academy’s theme of the month–hypebusters.

I devoured this book within twenty-four hours, and I have no regrets. The writing style was so captivating and unique that it drew me in, never quite letting me go. I highly admire authors that make their characters real and raw, much like Lockhart achieved. These characters were happy and funny and sad and mean; they were flawed, and I love that. I don’t want to be read about perfect characters–I don’t believe in perfection. I love characters that make mistakes, and if you’ve read this, you know these characters made some big mistakes.

I did originally have this marked at five stars, however I found Cadence a little overbearing with her talk of Gat. I suppose it added to the creepy charm of the story, but I think it was too much.

I definitely wasn’t expecting an ending quite like that. I knew something bad was approaching from the first few pages, but I wasn’t expecting that. I definitely recommend this to everyone, especially if you’re looking for something quick and thrilling.

2. Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle

Rating: 4.5/5

I am a huge fanatic of superheroes. Despite my love for these cloaked heroes and heroines, I haven’t read too many graphic novels. This year, I decided it would be a wonderful time to finally start picking up some graphic novels.

When I saw this on Goodreads, I knew I needed it. Green Arrow reawakened my love for superheroes a few years ago, along with giving me bounds of inspiration for my writing. And I didn’t realize until later that this was the version the television series was based on, which makes sense with the similarities.

I loved this graphic novel. The illustrations were brilliant and detailed, and Oliver Queen was simply dashing and sarcastic–I adored him. Oliver’s dialogue and thoughts made me grin, and occasionally laugh out loud.

This was another book I finished quickly, in one sitting exactly. I would highly recommend this to fans of superheroes, especially Green Arrow.

3. A  Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed the layers that built up the story of A Great and Terrible Beauty. This book held several elements that enthrall me: a historical setting, paranormal abilities, and secrets. Many, many secrets.

This book definitely kept me curious and wanting more. I loved the rawness of their characters, both their good and their bad qualities. I also appreciate the author exploring multiple topics in this book, such as self-worth and self-discovery.

My only complaint about this book is that the friendships didn’t seem to mesh in my eyes. The girls didn’t really seem to have much in common, and a particular pair were quite mean, so I wasn’t expecting them to bond so quickly.

This entire series is on my shelf, so I will be continuing the journey of Gemma Doyle!

4. Adulthood Is a Myth: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” Collection by Sarah Andersen

Rating: 5/5

Okay, this book is a must read for all introverts out there. I’ve been following Sarah Andersen for a while, so when I learned she had a book coming out (thanks to my sis for informing me) I immediately pre-ordered it.

This book is hilarious in every way. Each comic had me laughing and grinning. I often found myself murmuring, “That’s so true.” Sarah touches upon the funny reality of friends, family, romance, work, and just about everything in between.

5. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Rating 5/5

This was long overdue. I’m in love with the television series Game of Thrones, so I knew I had to read the series, too. I’ll admit that the density was intimidating, but I pushed my worries aside and asked for the UK set for Christmas of last year. And to my joy, I received the whole series.

I was thrilled when my TBR (to-be-read) jar gave me A Game of Thrones back in February. Despite knowing what happens up until book five (for the most part, being that the show makes altercations), I was enamored immediately.

Fantasy has always been a favorite genre of mine, so to dive into this epic-fantasy world was an incredible experience. I retrieved a much more in-depth look of the characters and their backgrounds, along with the political elements I seemed to miss or misunderstand from the show, being that I watched season one when I was about thirteen or so.

I could talk about this book, but instead, I’ll just tell you the world and the characters and the plot is magnificent. I truly think George R. R. Martin is one of the most brilliant authors this world has seen. He has become a great inspiration to me, and I can’t wait to continue his series.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Rating: 4/5

This was a re-read because I was lodged inside of my room for a week with laryngitis, and I was in a definite reading slump. After reading the dense beauty of A Game of Thrones, I needed something heartwarming and light, so I went to my shelf and grabbed Anna and the French Kiss. I devoured it within that same day, loving it even more the first time.

The Parisian setting is sweet and romantic, tying up the beautiful relationship between Anna and Etienne. I truly love the characters in this book, their quirks and flaws and charms. Etienne is so funny and dashing, and I think his actions towards Anna were endearing without being too fluffy and unrealistic. Also, I was totally imagining Etienne as Aaron Taylor-Johnson, as I’ve heard others say as well.

The drama near the end was a little heavy in my opinion, but overall, I would recommend it to anyone looking for something lighthearted and quick.

7. Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Rating: 2/5

Peter Pan is one of my favorite books, and has imbue so much inspiration into my life. I will grab any and all retellings, especially when they’re based off of Peter Pan. Unfortunately, Never Never didn’t deliver as I hoped it would.

My first and biggest issue with this book is that I couldn’t pinpoint what age is was written for. It had the delivery of a middle-grade book, but there was some mature content that would fit into a young-adult novel. I will read any kind of book–children’s, middle-grade, young-adult, new-adult, adult; anything–though I do believe a novel should adhere to a certain audience.

I was also hoping to see the friendship between Peter and Hook develop further before it crumbled. Everything that seemed important to the story seemed brushed aside for material that didn’t seem needed.

8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 3/5

With all of the hype behind this series, I was hoping to enjoy City of Bones better than I did. Before I continue, I wish to say that I do like it. Three stars for me is equivalent to a like, not a dislike.

The whole idea of the Shadow World and the Shadowhunters and the creatures was simply brilliant. Clare placed so much thought and detail into this paranormal world, and I highly admire that.

As for my dislikes with this book, it would have to lie within the characters. I just wasn’t too fond of Clary and had trouble obtaining a grasp of herself as a person. Her emotions during this entire rollercoaster seemed unrealistic in my eyes.

I can definitely understand the love behind this book, and it’s there for a reason. As a whole, the book as a whole didn’t quite click with me.

9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Rating: 5/5

The Little Prince has to be one of the best children’s book out there, because this truly can be read at any age. It explores themes of imagination and creativity; the qualities of being a child and how we lose hold of those assets as we age. Exupery delivers this in such a brilliant manner with an astute subtlety.

Everyone should read this book. It’s short, and it may be placed in the children’s section of libraries, but it deserves to reach the eyes of every individual.

10. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Rating: 3.5/5

The Looking Glass Wars was an action-packed retelling of Alice in Wonderland, with armies of card soldiers and incredible weaponry. The Hatter in this tale has a hat that forms into blades and can move like a cat. Doesn’t that sound incredible?

And it was. This book was fantastic, but the story was told in omnipresence. When stories are told in this manner, I often find myself struggling to connect with the characters. I still loved the characters, but I didn’t feel overly attached to them.

Still, I will be continuing this series, and I do recommend it to fans of retellings or fantasy or action–or all.

11. Half Bad by Sally Green

Rating: 4/5

Half Bad kept me on the edge of my seat for almost the entire story, keeping my mind busy with trying to decipher the questions in front of me. This world of fantasy was astounding. It pulled into the real world with ease, yet the magic seems fit for an old age.

Nathan was an incredible character. He had so many dimensions and layers, negative and positive qualities. I truly felt as though I was at his side with this novel being told in a deep point-of-view. Sally Green is a true talent, and I admire her. Reading this book has taught me ways to improve my own writing, to make my deep point-of-view stronger and more realistic while still maintain my own style. So thank you, Sally, who is too important and busy to be reading my little blog.

I’m definitely continuing this series. And if you haven’t read Half Bad, then you should head over to your computer or local bookstore and purchase it.

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Okay, those were all of the books I read. I would love to here if you had read any of these books, and what novels you read in March. What were your favorites, least favorites, etc.? I love communicating with all of you, so feel free to share your thoughts!

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5 thoughts on “March Wrap-Up [2016]

  1. I only read The Assassin’s Blade, Scarlet and the novella The Too-Clever Fox. My favourite read would have to be The Too-Clever Fox simply because I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing and it’s the only 5 star “book” I’ve read so far this year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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