Wrap-up: March 2018

The sun is shining and it’s finally getting warmer. After a long and bitterly cold winter, I welcome the spring like a cat sunbathing on a tiled roof (which is what I was observing during my classes on Thursday because why would you listen to the professor if you can admire a stray cat sitting on a roof next door?). March wasn’t actually a good reading month for me because I sort of hit a slump. I felt pressured into reading review copies and so I ended up reading what I had to instead of what I wanted to. Plus when I finally got to read what I wanted, the book disappointed me big time and I just became angry and frustrated.

Despite my reading slump I did manage to read 6 books which isn’t at all bad. Besides that I also reread some of my favourite feel-good books but since I only read the parts I loved, not the whole books, I will list them separately. So here are the books I read last month:

  • The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell
  • SonΒ by Lois Lowry
  • Happily by Chauncey Rogers
  • Legend’s Legacy by Amanda Witow
  • Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
  • Keepers by Sacha de Black

Rereading:

  • Finding Sky by Joss Stirling
  • Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling
  • Misty Falls by Joss Stirling

My favourite book of last month was Keepers by Sacha de Black and I actually finished reading it on the last day of the month! So despite the previous disappointments, the month ended pretty good. I posted an entire review of it just this week so I won’t get into too much details here. Suffice it to say I absolutely loved the book and I am (im)patiently waiting for the sequel to come out.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night was my second favourite of the month. Jen Campbell is my favourite booktuber and I love watching her videos, her voice has a surprisingly calming effect on me. While I really enjoyed reading her short stories, I was impressed by some and indifferent towards others. This always happens with short stories so it’s hard to rate the entire book. But I would definitely recommend it to fans of fairytale retellings and magic realism.

Next I read two books which were sent to me by the authors in exchange for an honest review and since I already posted reviews on both of them, you can stroll back through the review section on my blog and read more about Happily and Legend’s Legacy. Also, I won’t get into too much detail about the biggest disappointment of the month, Mariana, because I ranted about it in a separate review, so go read that as well if you want to hear my opinion on it. While the story seemed compelling after reading the blurb, the actual writing was just terrible.

I finished a series this month, and although I loved the first three books in the Giver quartet, the final book Son didn’t deliver it for me. I felt like the book could’ve been way shorter, like the others in the series, and some parts were just redundant. The ending was a bit rushed and I would’ve liked to see more of it. Overall I was highly impressed by this series and I totally understand why readers are in love with it, the story is so unique and complex and it offers a lot in merely 200 pages per book.

Last of all, I reread some of my favourite feel-good/guilty pleasure books in my beloved Finding Sky series. I know this series isn’t the best of what YA has to offer but I just adore the characters and the writing and the warm sensations I get when I pick up the books. Whenever I’m feeling sad I reread some of my favourite parts of the books and it makes me feel less alone. And isn’t that the whole reason behind why we read?

My bookish friend and fellow bookblogger Samanta from Samyinbookworld (https://samyinbookworld.wordpress.com/) is hosting a readathon this weekend and I wanted to join her if even for a day but our kitchen is being remodelled and I have a presentation on Monday so unfortunately I had to pass on the offer. I am however thinking of doing a readathon later in the month, perhaps before or during spring break. I do have a lot of books to read so it would be a perfect oportunity to cut down the size of my TBR pile. Even though I am constantly adding new books to it so it’s pretty much a mission impossible to have any kind of control over it.

Have a lovely bookish weekend!

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Happily by Chauncey Rogers (spoilers free)

Happily Ebook Cover

 

If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t,Β makeΒ it.

Laure is a teenage street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests, if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

While Cinderella isn’t my favourite fairytale, I do like fairytale retellings and I especially love characters who aren’t your typical goody goodies and can perhaps be classified even as criminals (which Laure totally is – I mean she steals stuff). So I was delighted to read Rogers’ take on Cinderella to see his spin on the story we all know (and love or in my case feel like it’s too cheesy).

The book starts off at a fast pace and that never slows down. I loved the fact that we were thrown into the action and there wasn’t time for being bored. Laure was a refreshing character, selfish, yes, but still a good person which is how I think most of us are. Luc wasn’t your typical good guy, ultra handsome and splendidly skilled, he was just a regular guy who tried to provide for his family and he was also extremely kind which I loved.

I laughed on several occasions, I especially liked how the royal family was portrayed. There is no prince charming in this book. King Justin scared me a bit and I was annoyed with him so I was glad to read about where he ended up. The relationship between Laure and Luc grew slowly but surly and alhough you could argue that they fell in love pretty soon, the amount of obstacles they had to plow through in that short amount of time was huge. So I understand why they would feel the way they did so shortly after they met.

What bothered me the most was the ending because it was a bit too sappy for my taste (though it wasn’t really what I expected) and I would’ve liked to see more complexity in the story. Sure, the turns were unexpected and they were far from typical, but at the end of the day it’s a pretty simple story. Fairytales are simple as well, so if you look at it from that point of view, this story works. But I do prefer more dark themes and complex story lines and that’s why I gave this book 4 stars out of 5.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of fairytales, Cinderella and to those who love to read a fun, fast paced and funny YA novel. You will certainly enjoy yourself a lot.