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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Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time. (blurb taken from Goodreads)

 

This book is a classic example of a good plot turn wrong. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t DNF-ed it at the beginning, I was probably hoping it would improve (spoiler alert: it didn’t) but this was such a waste of my time, I grow frustratedΒ  when I think about it. The plot sounded really interesting to me because it reminded me of Outlander and I saw such good reviews on Goodreads, I thought to myself, this must be a wonderful book. IT WASN’T.

The characters were seriously under developed, even the main two characters, Julia and Mariana. You basically don’t know who these people you’re reading about really are. The book is classified as a romance novel but there is hardly any romance there. Sure, you have the story set in the past, but you basically jump from two people meeting for the first time directly to the you-are-my-true-love part. It didn’t make any sense.

The ending was totally unexpected and again, DID NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. If you choose to encorporate such a big plot twist, then you need to add some hints or at least don’t do it on the final page. Come on. What was the point of everything else then? I always prefered Iain to Geoff but the ending just made me angry.

The historic background is a joke. There is some, but very little, historical descriptions which this book desperately needed. The writing style was plain and simple, nothing special. It ruined the story (which was already bad) for me. The dialogue of Mariana and Richard was just weird. I get you’re trying to be historically accurate, but it came out just plain weird.

The story has so much inconsistencies and loose ends. It held potential but it disappointed me a lot. I was bored while reading it. I wanted to learn more about everything and all I got were vague remnants and impressions. Honestly, I don’t know why this book has such a high rating and why people love it. The story doesn’t work well at all, the characters are flat and boring, the plot line is all over the place and the language is that of a high school writer. This will be the first and the last Susanna Kearsley novel I ever read. Diana Gabaldon is a goddess compared to her.