March Reading Round-Up

It’s been another busy reading month, and I’m now very close to halfway through my Goodreads challenge of 151 books. Hurray for me and my complete absence of a social life. The last week of the month has been a weird one because I’m in the midst of moving house and, consequently, all my books are packed away, so I’ve been catching up on some e-ARCs and, obviously, sneaking new books into the house without my husband seeing them.

  1. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge – this was very sweet, as well as funny. It’s about a young boy who loses his mother and resorts to quantum theory to try to get her back. I read it to see if it would be suitable as a year 7 class book; it’s probably pitched a little younger than that, but it was still an endearing read.faceless
  2. Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel – I reviewed this here. Most of the book focuses on its main character’s recovery from having her face burned off in a freak accident. It’s harrowing and upsetting, but well worth reading.
  3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – I understand from Twitter that everyone loves Alice Oseman and this book. It didn’t do anything for me except make me not want to read her books again.trouble
  4. Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach – this was okay but nothing special, and featured one of my least favourite YA tropes.  You can read my review if you want to know what that is.
  5. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – I reread this after buying a beautiful copy to add to my collection of Penguin English Library Editions and I loved it. I don’t remember feeling quite so in love with it when I read it as a teenager. I rhapsodised about it here.
  6. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury – I liked this retelling of the Aladdin myth, although I inevitably ended up annoying my family by singing A Whole New World for several days. My review is here.
  7. Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg – this was really good. I liked Mazie a lot and saintmaziegenuinely cared about what happened to her. My favourite thing about this book was the way New York was almost a character in its own right; historical fiction set in one of my favourite cities will always be a winner for me.
  8. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – my mission to plough through this series continues. This one was good in lots of ways (i.e. Aedion) but there was a lot of fannying about involving witches and Celaena’s story became a standard “crap magician” narrative which annoyed me. Also WHERE IS KALTAIN? And I still love Chaol. So there.
  9. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – you can read my review of this here if you are so inclined. In short, the book is entertaining and appealed to my newfound love of Books Set in Space, but the plot was a bit meandering for my liking.
  10. The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine – frankly, this just wasn’t very good. The Snow White retelling idea sounded alright but there wasn’t really any point to the story; most of the interesting stuff happened before the main story began and there’s nothing original in the Strong Female Character Fights Evil Queen narrative arc because it is in every goddamn YA fantasy series.
  11. Shtum by Jem Lester – another area in which I’m apparently in the minority. I found this book about a father’s fight to get the right help for his autistic son incredibly depressing; the parents are unbelievably selfish and, while I now have a greater understanding of what it’s like to live with an autistic child, I question how much poo really needed to be mentioned.
  12. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry – I really enjoyed this time-travely lovethatsplitYA, although obviously I did not understand the actual time travel bit at all. It was very much a romance but I didn’t object too strongly because I really liked the writing. My review is here.
  13. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett – the cover quote describes this as ‘One Day meets Sliding Doors,’ which pretty much sums it up. I liked it a normal amount, but did find the structure (three versions of the central relationship, told in alternating chapters with a mind-boggling number of character names to remember) relentlessly confusing.
  14. Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin – this prequel novella to Wolf by Wolf tells a story which was hinted at quite a bit in the full novel, so I’m not really convinced I gained any fresh insights from reading it.
  15. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – I completely loved this weird little doorwaybook about the aftermath of trips into fantasy universes. It had a note of Miss Peregrine to it but, otherwise, was a really original story. And it was very short, so that was good too.
  16. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman – this started pretty slowly, with lots of Regency manners and society balls, none of which is very new and exciting if you’re a Jane Austen obsessive like me. But it got a lot more exciting when demons started attacking London and Lady Helen, the teen protagonist, had to fight them with her mirror compact. Yes, really. It’s good.
  17. The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer – I think this is meant to be a thriller but I didn’t find it very thrilling. The bit where the little girl went missing literally gave me nightmares about losing my own daughter, but after that I thought it was a little bit silly.
  18. This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin – contemporary YA about three teens who form both a band and a love triangle; it was deceptively simple and short, with quite a complex story at its heart.
  19. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick – I didn’t really enjoy reading this butEveryExquisiteThing_Cover_314bl then, thinking about it afterwards, I wonder if I was just being grouchy and thinking too much about moving house instead of focusing on the actual book. The meta aspect of it, with the characters obsessed with a novel, appealed to me, but I wasn’t quite convinced by the main relationship.
  20. Perfect Days by Raphael Montes – I can’t remember where I heard of this book but I’m glad I did because it was excellent. It’s about a creepy dude who meets a girl, becomes obsessed with her and kidnaps her by shoving her in a suitcase. It’s very dark but also weirdly funny in a satirical way. It’s one I’ll be recommending.
  21. Alice and the Fly by James Rice – this is a UK YA book about mental illness which I haven’t seen discussed very much (actually, I picked it up having seen it mentioned somewhere, but I now can’t remember where). It was dark and disturbing, but really emotionally affecting. I recommend it.
  22. The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood – look, basically, I just don’t understand time travel and now I’m starting to hate it. Possibly reading this so soon after The Love that Split the World was a bad plan, with both being YA time travel romances, but, as usual, I didn’t get how the actual time travel worked and there was A LOT of maths in this book, which is not my favourite thing.
  23. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – this was a quick but quite disturbing read about a school shooting, taking place in real time with four different narrators each describing the action in two minute intervals. It’s a clever structural idea which makes the book really pacy. It didn’t have the slow-burning menace of, say, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I am inclined to agree with some of the criticism I’ve seen about the reductive presentation of the shooter.

I’m writing this wrap-up slightly early this month, just in case my worst fears are realised and moving leaves me WiFi-less for a few days. Let’s not think about it; it’s too horrible.

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2 thoughts on “March Reading Round-Up

  1. curlygeek04 says:

    Good luck with your move! That’s quite a lot of reading in a month. I enjoyed Saint Mazie but maybe not as much as you — I do think you need to love New York to really enjoy this book. I’m reading Long Way to a Small Angry Planet now. I really like it, though it doesn’t feel like a Bailey’s longlist type of book, it just feels entertaining. It reminds me a bit of Leviathan Wakes, have you read that?

    Like

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