So it’s been a looong time since I last wrote a wrap up. In fact, it’s been a good few weeks since I’ve posted on here at all! Part of me does feel bad, but at the same time I do believe it’s good to take a break if you feel like you need one, so I’m back feeling nice and refreshed (and having read some fab books). I managed to read a total of five books in March which I was really happy with, so keep on reading to see what I read and my thoughts!
The first book that I read last month was Love, Simon (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda) by Becky Albertalli. 17 year old Simon Spier is gay, but nobody knows. Whilst sending emails back and forth with an anonymous student at his school whom he begins to develop feelings for, Simon tries to navigate his way through high school life whilst keeping his biggest secret. Of course, this doesn’t quite go to plan.
I really enjoyed Love, Simon; it was an honest, loving, funny, emotional, warm-feeling-in-the-stomach kind of read which included some awesome representation that just felt natural and not as if it had thrust into the story just to tick “diversity” off the author’s list. The characters were my favourite part of the book; they felt tangible and I would very much like to be part of Simon’s friendship group! I also found myself relating to the high school experience as it was very realistic, unlike some other contemporary stories. The plot was also intriguing and exciting as I kept trying to guess who Blue, the fellow student Simon has been emailing, was. Throughout the story I was wholeheartedly rooting for Simon to be happy and there were plenty of moments where I audibly “awwwwed” as well as scenes where I was like “oh shit!”. I also want to note that this book features the message of being and embracing yourself which I think is so important! Whilst not my typical genre of choice as I tend to pick fantasy over contemporary, I loved this story all the same and it was a definite 4/5 stars for me. Check out my full review here.
Next, I read Everless by Sara Holland. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I received an ARC of this at YALC last July… and yep, it’s taken me this long to finally read the book. I actually read the hardcover that came in the December FairyLoot last year, but semantics, you know? Anyway, onto the synopsis. In the land of Sempara, where the rich control everything, time can be extracted from blood, usually that of the poor, and bound to coins which when ingested can extend the drinker’s time. Jules,who lives with her father and are behind on their rent, takes a job at the cruel Gerling family’s estate, Everless, to earn some money. Jules’ time at the estate finds her discovering a web of secrets are lies that will not only change her life, but time itself, forever.
I had been in a bit of a reading slump so far this year, and when I look back on the start of the 2017 reading year I didn’t feel I’d had as great a start to this year. When I picked Everless up, I knew within the first few chapters that I was going to love it. It felt so good sinking back into a fantasy with such a unique and exciting premise.
Jules was a character I could definitely get on board with and I was backing her throughout the story as, despite the fantastical setting, she was relatable and believable. Without including any spoilers, I’ll just say that I had a hard time choosing between the two potential love interests at first, but as the story developed I knew I’d chosen the right one and a time-old love triangle was avoided! The plot kept me hooked throughout, tripping me up when I thought I had something figured and surprising me when I didn’t. The world building was also really well done, as I could picture the story seamlessly with ease which was also aided by the fact that the magic system was so well built. I raced through the book in only two days as I couldn’t wait to see how the story would develop… but that ending?! I need the sequel like now! Another 4/5 stars.
The final books I read in March were the three books released in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard: Red Queen, Glass Sword and King’s Cage. I’d meant to read this series a long time ago, and actually did start Red Queen a few months back… but I put it down to pick something else up. This month, I wanted to give it another go as I’d heard amazing things about the series so finally delved in. I can’t really say much about the second and third book without spoiling anything so I’ll only give you the synopsis for the first…
In a world where society is divided by blood, the Reds are commoners who are ruled by the Silver elite, whose blood gifts them god-like superpowers. When Mare Barrow, a seventeen year old Red begins working in the Silver Palace, she discovers that despite the colour of her blood, which should deem her “ordinary”, she actually possesses a deadly power of her own. Kept in plain view as an attempt to hide her, the Silvers declare her a long lost princess who is now engaged to their very own Prince, whilst Mare works secretly with the Red Guard, a resistance group trying to bring down the Silvers. But all is not as easy as it seems, as the world is full of those ready to lie and betray.
I was sucked into the first book almost immediately. After the first 50 or so pages, the plot really intensified, with action scenes peppering the more political chapters where we learned more about the world, the people and the war. There were a couple of plot twists in Red Queen, some I saw coming and admittedly some that took me completely by surprise. I enjoyed Mare’s development from downtrodden Red to strong and powerful Silver princess. Her betrothed Maven annoyed me a little at first by through his whining and complaining, but understandably, as he always felt sidelined by his older half brother Cal. Ah, Cal. I loved him from the beginning. It was interesting to see how he battled his General skills instilled in him through his father and practice for the war, and the conflicting feelings he felt for others and the situations he found himself in. Another character aspect I loved was that the bad guys really were bad, serious villains that you could do nothing but hate. The ending left with me a serious need to pick up Glass Sword, which is exactly what I did!
I devoured book two and three in a matter of days and I was glad I’d left it so long to pick up the series as it meant I didn’t have to wait between books. Without spoiling anything, I think the main thoughts I came away from the series with is that I would have liked a little more character development to go hand in hand with the impeccable world building. A lot happened to our main characters over the story’s arc, with some new ones introduced, and I struggled to find a real connection with them which made me a little upset. There were times when I really rooted for them, and did feel overwhelming emotion during certain scenes, but I think that aside from Cal I wasn’t too fussed what happened to anyone…. *hides face*. That being said, I can’t wait for the fourth and final book War Storm, especially after the ending of King’s Cage. All three books were action packed, with twists and turns I didn’t anticipate, and were 4/5, 3.5/5 and 3.5/5 stars respectively.
So there we have it, my slightly lengthy wrap up for the month of March! How did you get on with reading this month? Have you read any of the above?
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