Hello, everyone! We just finished a fabulous month that went by very quickly. So it’s time to wrap up all the great books I’ve read this month. This was a busy month for me. Nineteen books. I think that’s a new record for me. I’m kind of sad that March is over but I am stoked for April, mostly because my local library is reopening after eight months of renovations. Yay! That means I don’t have to schlep over to the next closest library. It’s not bad per say. But my local one is like my second bedroom. 😊 I hope to post more in April because I failed in March. 😢 Sorry, guys. However, I have a bunch more posts planned for April. Anyway, without further ado here are the books I read this month:
1. Rules For A 50/50 Chance by Kate McGovern
I loved this book! Especially the romance which was A) adorable and B) interracial. Which is a actually a huge deal for me, because I’ve only read a few books with interracial couples and books need to have more diversity. Though it does focus on the romance, it’s not sappy. Its main focus is on the challenging decision the main character, Rose, must make. Rose has to decide whether to take a blood test that will tell her if she has Huntington’s, a horrific disease that is slowly killing her mother. It gave me a whole new perspective and raised some very hard questions. I also want to mention the ending. It was awesome and what I felt like was a perfect conclusion. The moment when she decides that she doesn’t want to know whether she has it or not is so powerful…..I can’t describe it.
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This was actually a reread for me, as I listened to it on tape last year. But after watching the movie, I wanted to read it again. And it was just as good as I remembered. The characters were amazing, the plot was unique and it had some moments that had me crying as well as laughing. Skeeter, Minnie, and Abilene had me cheering out loud and the book raised some deep questions.
3. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
I thought this book was okay. Not great, but okay. It had an interesting concept and the characters were likable enough. But, I just found myself becoming increasingly bored with this book. I’m not sure if it was the writing or the lack of action; I just couldn’t focus on the book. My mind kept wandering and I actually skimmed the last few chapters. It offended me, too. It portrayed religious individuals as crazy people who starve themselves. Most of the world is religious and they’re not all crazy! Oh and don’t get me started on the absence of science in this book.
4. I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, and Liz Welch
I literally could not put this book down. The true story of a boy from Zimbabwe befriending an American girl entranced me. The characters were amazing and the character development was some of the best I’ve ever read. Caitlin and Martin inspired me to want to do more in my community and to work harder. This is a story of growth, friendship, charity and perseverance. It made me want to cheer out loud and cry at the same time.
5. Illumanae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
AI that wants to kill everyone? Check. Awesome romance? Check. Crazy virus? Check, check, check. This was laugh out loud funny, creepy and had something for everyone. The twist at the end totally caught me off guard and I actually danced around my room at the end.
6. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I loved Illuminae so much I literally ran to the library and got the second book the day after. And it did not disappoint. Another amazing romance, great characters, and alternate realities!! Oh, and it also has crazy human-eating aliens. What more do you want in a Sci-Fi book?
7. I Am Princess X by Cherie priest
Skeptical me was skeptical when I first started this book. A long lost girl? A webcomic? I thought it was going to be stupid and childish but, I was pleasantly surprised. A creepy villain, an intense search and a great comic all added up to be a strange but awesome book. It was quick, enjoyable and even a bit scary at times. The only thing I didn’t like was that May was waaay to trusting of a complete stranger. But, still enjoyable.
8. Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly
This was an inspiring story about accepting who you are and learning that just because you take a different road to get to the goal doesn’t mean you’re dumb. Ally’s story immediately resonated with me as I could relate a lot. It wasn’t challenging but it had a great lesson. The characters were great and I believe that this should be mandatory reading for middle schoolers.
9. The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
This book has been on my to-read list for the longest time. Yes, it’s Juvenile Fiction but I still found it immensely enjoyable. The characters were original and the plot gave a new spin on the classic school for superpowers kids cliche. I also loved the twist that Dr. Hellion herself had powers and that the reason she tries to “Fix” kids, is that she accidentally killed her sister. It made me hate her ever so slightly less.
10. Front Lines by Micheal Grant
There were so many things right about this book. First of all, it was set in WWII. Second of all it was an alternate history. Lastly, it had empowering female characters. In this reality, congress passed a law saying women could fight in the army. It follows three different girls; Rio, Rainy and Frangie while they fight in the American Army. Each girl had a separate personality, flaws, and realism that I admire. It also doesn’t sugarcoat anything with graphic violence, racisim and sexism. It might be uncomfortable but I found that the realism added a good dollop of authenticity.
11. Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Another WWII book on my list! This one is about a black girl, Ida Mae Jones, who loves to fly. So, when the government creates the first women’s air force service she is ready to go. But, they won’t accept her as black, even with her light skin so she decides to pass as white. What follows is a powerful story about race, friendship and how far people will go to chase their dream. This book was well written, had a believable heroine and it handles race very well.
12. Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
Okay, right off the bat the main character, Scarlett, is Muslim. So yay for diversity. Also, the main character is bad*ss! Seriously. She pretty much takes down a crazy organization that wants to kill everybody by herself, with a little help from her friends. I liked the plot and characters and the twist was pretty good. I didn’t like the romance, though. It felt cheesy and didn’t add anything to the story.
13. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
*Sigh* This book had so much potential and then it just threw it away. The concept was great, a mother gets pregnant and tries to kill her child by eating a deadly poison. The baby (Ismae) survives, however, and bears “Death’s mark.” Years later, she is forced into an arranged marriage from which she escapes and is taken to some nuns. But these nuns are actually assassins and they train her to become a bad*ss killer. Sounds cool, right? But the delivery was less than great. Stupid characters and a weak romance turned this into just another boring YA book.
14. Fallout by Gwenda Bond
A re-imagining of……..Superman? That was my original reaction when I read the description. But after reading it I was blown away by the characters, plot, and originality. Lois became one of my new favorite YA heroines mostly because of her quick wit and dry humor. I also liked the weird hive mind controlly thing even though it was super creepy.
15. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I won’t talk about this book too much because my full review is coming but I will say that HOLY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS this book was good! The characters were great and the plot was both insane and original at the same time. I do have a big issue with the ending, though………
16. The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
A review is coming for this as well so I’m just going to say that this was the worst book I read this month. Boring characters, a terrible ending and slooow pacing. I’d personally take this book off you to-read list.
17. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica
I wasn’t actually going to read this book. The idea of the search for a missing teen set in WWII didn’t really hook me. But the plethora of good reviews made me change my mind and read it. I was not disappointed. Hanneke stole the show as the most developed and complex character in the book. I liked her struggle to find the missing teen and her struggle to accept her boyfriend’s death and move on.
18. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
I hope the new movie does this book justice. It was hilarious, original and the unique formatting was very cool. I also like how this doesn’t go the cliche route. The one where a dying person and a not dying person fall in love and learn from each other. Not that that can’t happen but very few people actually experience that in real life. Andrews totally got that and embraced it wholeheartedly giving us a feel-good book that makes you laugh out loud.
19. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
This book gave me a really perspective on Kathrine’s story. We all know the story, as one of Henry’s six wives he divorced her and she lived the rest of her life in poverty and disgrace. But this book breathed new life into the story and Kathrine. She is arrogant, a liar, manipulative and sometimes even cruel. But, in those days, that’s what you had to do to become powerful. So, I forgive her.
And that’s all the books I read. Right now I’m reading America’s Women by Gail Collins and it is amazing. I think I’m going to read Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh next, but America’s Women is not short. Anyway, I hope you all had an amazing month filled with tons of reading and I wish you a wonderful April.