Happy April everyone! I hope your last couple months have been good! I hope that you’re doing well and staying healthy. It’s crazy that this COVID-19 is so worldwide right now. My library that I worked at closed right before St. Patrick’s Day last month so…I’m missing my job lol. I’ve been at home a lot more with this whole thing going on. Like I mentioned in my (insert link for bunch of mini review), I was playing video games, playing with the pets and coloring. But I’m still hopeful that my work will open back up soon enough. But here is what I read during March 🙂

March was a good reading month number wise, but actual reading wise…not quite lol. I’m sure I’m not alone in that I didn’t feel like getting a lot of reading done during my time at home. Sure, it’s the best time to get reading done but I didn’t always feel that way in March. Stuff like Final Fantasy 10 and the new Animal Crossing games called  my name and won more often. But despite that, I read 6 things in March, with nearly a 7th done! Here’s the breakdown:

Total Books Read/Listened: 6

Audio Books: 4

ARCs: 2

Library Items Read/Listened: 3

Started, Not Finished: 2

DNFs: 5

 

38561119. sx318 Listened from February 27th-March 3rd

Audible Original Audio Book

Rating: 4 stars

I talked about this book in my double book review before my blog hiatus. This is the last book in the Bridge Kingdom duology and picks up where the first book left off and that’s all I want to say without any spoilers if you haven’t read/listened to the first one. This second book was so action packed and filled with uncertainty for Lara and Aren that I had to listen to it every second I could! While I do think that the miscommunication was played so much that it annoyed me and the ending was a little rushed, but still really enjoyed it! I know the author is doing more books in this world which I’m SO excited about. As of this blog post, the physical copy of this book isn’t available yet, but the author said possibly fall that it will come out. But these audio books are so good, so if you’re needing a fantasy romance series, get this one!

41951615Read from February 24th-March 7th

ARC via Edelweiss

3 stars

I didn’t expect this author to return to the world of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, which is her first series. But I had seen this on Edelweiss and immediately requested it, since I was so curious about this. This takes place after the original trilogy and to be perfectly honest, I would just read the original trilogy to get the full story. Then, if you loved the trilogy, then I recommend this companion novel. While I liked this companion novel okay and I do see that you don’t need to read the original books first, this fell flat for me. We follow Red Sparkle Stone, a young girl whose mother was murdered and she was on the run. We have her “Before” chapters, where she’s a child suffering betrayal, starvation, abuse and turmoil. Then her “Now” chapters, she’s lived in Queen Elisa’s kingdom and is training in the Royal Guard to prove her loyalty to this kingdom after her adoption of the King and Queen is sabotaged. I really liked her “Before” chapters SO much more than her current chapters. Her childhood was harsh, unforgiving and seeing her have to grow up so fast was hard to read at times but also compelling.  Her current training chapters, with a mystery involved…were boring. I skimmed so much of the training because Red is the “Special Snowflake” whose way too OP and (yes she did train with a prominent fighter) hardly had any challenges. Then the mystery felt forgotten about until the last quarter of the book. I recommend the original trilogy in this world and her Gold Seer series (first two books) more than this one.

Double Mini Reviews: The Traitor Queen & The Empire of Dreams

46025047Listened from March 4th-11th

Library audio book

4 stars (was a 3.5 but rounded up)

This is the sequel to Stolen Time, which I think is an underrated book and one I really recommend if you like time travel books. This sequel really jumps into the plot after the cliffhanger of the first book, seeing where Dorothy and Ash ended up. This book does have a bit of a slower first half, but man the last half picks up and leaves you off NEEDING to know how the last book will end. The main plot line of this trilogy is using time travel to prevent so much destruction from a world disaster. I will admit that I liked Ash’s story than Dorothy, since I couldn’t get behind some of the choices that Dorothy made. The romance from book one does take a back seat so I wonder if the romance will even survive the final book. I liked this and the narrator was solid so if you liked the first book, I’m sure you’ll like some of the crazy revelations you get in this one!

46139175Listened on March 11 & 12th

Library audio book

5 stars!

Oh man you guys this was intense, raw and amazing! I saw that this audio book was available on Overdrive so I downloaded it and started listening to it. We follow Ashley, an outdoor girl who is with her friends in the woods to party and drink during summer break. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating with his ex, she runs away in a drunken rage. When she wakes up, her foot is in pain and infected and she’s far from her friends and it’s her survival story. I cared SO much for Ashley and what happened to her! She’s a girl with rough edges, but it’s understandable why. She comes from a rough life, but refuses to give up out in the wild. It was so fascinating to see how she uses her knowledge to stay alive and also how her fear creeps in as the infection in her foot spreads. The author doesn’t shy away from the hard things Ashley has to do and it was hard to listen to this in only 2 sittings. This is short but really packs a punch. If you’ve read this author before or this sounds good to you, PLEASE pick this up!

 

43866260. sy475 Read from March 16th-21st

ARC via Netgalley

3.75 stars

I FINALLY GO TO READ THIS! I’ve been waiting for this book for so long! I heard about this book a while ago on Twitter and I was waiting for a release and cover and now it’s coming out this summer. This is an own voices, diverse retelling of both The Jungle Book and Les Misêrables and Eponine (Nina) is our protagonist. We follow her as she enters the Guild of Thieves and vows to save her sister from The Tiger, who is the Lord of the Guild of Flesh. This takes place during the late 1810’s and then the 1820’s in this first book. This book does get intense with talk of sex trafficking, poverty and starvation. This book DELIVERS on setting, writing style, darkness and the intricate Miracle Court. Check out my review for more of my thoughts. I really liked this, but I’ll admit, it was hard to really connect and care about Nina at times and the time jumps were too jarring but I’m excited to see how the series goes. Definitely recommend this!

I’m Back! A Bunch of Mini Reviews #3

23836855. sx318 Listened from March 16th-28th

Library audio book

4 stars

Ok, I finally got into this series! This was EVERYWHERE on the booktube channels I watched when this came out. But I had tried this a couple times in the past and wasn’t really sure about the mixed media. But I think the time I’ve had staying home finally motivated me to finish it. This is done by a full cast of actors and the cast was spectacular! The sound effects even made my puppy Sabriel cock her head a lot and it was cute. I really did get invested on what happened on the Alexander ship and Ezra and Kady’s story. While I do think that the profanity was silly and at times, the mixed media is slightly hard to follow, but overall, the authors pulled no punches in this book. I really loved the production of the audio book. I’m going to do a trilogy review of this series, so stay tuned for that coming down the road!

 

Started, Not Finished

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I realized that with feeling overwhelmed a little bit in March, I needed a favorite book in my life! So I downloaded this again on my phone and started listening to it at the end of the month. I’m only a couple hours in and I’m just happy to listen to it again 🙂 I’ll finish it in April.

52386214. sx318 sy475 Read 60% in March

This was an ARC that I was SO SO excited for! I was able to download it on Netgalley before it changed to the “Request” side. I think it might’ve been a mistake to have it in the “Read Now” section, but I didn’t mind lol. This is a new Jenn Bennett book and I’m really enjoying it. I just love her writing style and the way she builds up the town and the plot around her main character. We follow Josie, who moves back to her childhood town and sees her childhood best friend Lucky again after a long time. It looks like a “bad boy” romance but there’s so much more to it than that and I’m so happy to be reading it! I’ll definitely be finishing it soon 🙂

 

DNFs

Sadly, this was a bad month for DNF’ing books. I tried with some of these, but my reading mood was really bad with not keeping my interest this month…

35720690DNF after 285 pages

I was in a random reading mood during March and I saw this on my shelves and gave it a try. This is set in a fantasy world where there are women who are called Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. Our protagonist Mia Rose is pretty sure her mother was killed by one. But on her wedding day, things go really wrong and she realizes that she IS one of these women she’s been wanting to hunt. Part of this is a journey story, with Mia and the prince she was supposed to marry trying to survive after escaping her wedding. This was just a case of losing interest after more than 200 pages. Mia is just a flat and uninteresting character; she is more of a logical and medical minded person, but her stubbornness kept her from progressing and it was really frustrating. Her love interest, this prince she’s supposed to marry, wasn’t that interesting either. The world sounded cool, but the story just kept dragging itself with repeating a lot of the same information and we just didn’t get anywhere so I put it down. This doesn’t get the best reviews on Goodreads and I do understand why, but I’m glad I tried it.

50157754DNF at 22%

This was a book I got approved for Edelweiss. This sounded cool with the synopsis talking about underwater deities that might not be dead so I figured “why not?” But sadly, this book is mostly about a toxic friendship between two boys Hark and Jelt. We mainly follow Hark, a boy who ends up being an indentured servant on an island and a lot of this book is just his normal life and being worried about Jelt, who honestly isn’t a good friend to him. The underwater gods are mentioned but that lore is barely touched in the chunk that I did read. I didn’t think that this book had a good hook. Hark is such a passive character that he didn’t feel like an actual character. I even struggled to visualize what he looked like. A lot of Hark’s normal routine could’ve easily been summarized to speed up the plot of this story. I’m bummed about this book, but I will give this author another try. But this book isn’t for me.

42281684DNF @ 55%

I was so excited for this book, like I mentioned in my recent batch of mini reviews. But sadly, this book felt kinda overstuffed with a “save the kingdom” story, a”survival story” and “a girl with a secret power” story. I never felt like Jennesara’s power (what we know in the first half anyway) wasn’t worthy of being a secret and the fact that she wasn’t educated about the world outside her kingdom was so stupid and it’s a plot device that pisses me off! I rant about my cons of this book more in the mini review (link is above) but I ended up losing interest and motivation to finish. I’ve met this author before and the cover is stunning, but I couldn’t finish it. I didn’t hate this at all, just mostly frustrated with a couple things and bored enough to not finish. Still, if this sounds good, do pick it up and see if you like it!

40144224DNF after 85 pages

This one hurts the most guys! (the GIF in my mini review says it all) This is such a hyped release and I was on that hype train hard! I even got requested a physical ARC and got one, which made my day when I got it. But after reading 85 pages, my anticipation went down in flames. I did mention that I will give this another chance in the future, since there’s a possible chance that maybe the audio book could help me finish it. But to be honest, I didn’t care for Kallia at all and the writing was wordy but in the way where it doesn’t help the story along. The pacing was weird, the beginning was odd and didn’t quite pull me in and the Phantom character reads as an adult, too old for a YA book. But we’ll see what I think if I try this again…

43701079. sy475 DNF after 50 pages or 13%

This was available on Overdrive and I tried it the other day. This author is highly acclaimed and her book Bone Gap won the Printz Award a few years ago. This is a historical fiction book that has a ghost tell the story of Frankie, a girl who is left at an orphanage with her two other siblings right before WWII by her father. Frankie is angry about her situation and we follow her life during WWII and all the ugly stuff that comes with it. I only read 50 pages, which isn’t a lot, but this wasn’t for me at all. I didn’t like that a ghost was telling Frankie’s story; this style choice causes a disconnect from Frankie that we don’t know all of what she’s going through. Plus the writing kinda starts building this story to an almost “tragedy porn” level? I wasn’t invested enough in this girl and her situation to keep reading. I will try Bone Gap since I own it, but this put me in a downer mood and I had to stop.

 

April 2020 TBR

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Some of these books are repeats from my March TBR lol! Some of these STILL haven’t been read since my reading mood is so weird with all that’s going on! But I NEED to get some of these done (*cough* Race the Sands and Maya and the Rising dark *cough*). Then, slight spoiler for my March book haul, but I did get Goddess in the Machine and Half Life which I’m SO stoked! Then I want to do a second listen of Aurora Rising before the sequel comes out in early May and I also have both the eBook and audio book of Gemina to continue the Illuminae Files series. Anything else I get to will be bonuses so wish me luck 🙂

What did you read in March? How have you guys been lately? Let me know in the comments!