In March, I ended up reading 35 books. I didn’t read as many physical books as before, but I did discover the joy that are audiobooks! (Planning to write a blogpost about them soon!!) I’ll share some quick reviews of my favourite reads of the month (4 and 5 star reads).
Keezy Young – Taproot
I just… I loved this so much? The one downside is that it’s definitely on the short side and it felt a little rushed at times. But I’m still rating this 5 stars because I don’t even care. This is exactly what I look for in a graphic novel: it’s sweet and funny, and really diverse, and I loved the romance and the banter and the friendships. The characters are just so great: Hamal is the kindest person ever, Blue is so loyal yet so dramatic, and the Oscar for the best side character goes to the funniest grim reaper I have ever seen.
Sangu Mandanna (ed.) – Color Outside the Lines
I read an eARC of this through Netgalley! Since this book won’t come out until November, I haven’t posted my review yet, so keep an eye out for that. It’s safe to say I really enjoyed this anthology!
Colson Whitehead – The Underground Railroad
I didn’t actually write a review for this, because I just didn’t know what to say. It’s a very hard-hitting novel, and really gruesome at times, especially because of the reality of it.
Lauren James – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (reread)
I listened to the audiobook for my reread, and I loved it even more the second time around. Romy is such a real character, and I finished the audiobook in three days as I just couldn’t put it down once again. I finished this just in time for my copy of The Quiet at the End of the World to arrive, so I’m very excited to read that soon!
Amy Rose Capetta & Cory McCarthy – Once & Future
You can read my review of this awesome retelling here!
Jen Wang – The Prince and the Dressmaker
Ahh my heart! This was so sweet, and so accepting, and so wonderful. I had a really rough day when I read this and it definitely cheered me up.
Jessica Townsend – Wundersmith
This series is honestly so much fun! If you like middlegrade, I would highly recommend picking it up. It’s fast-paced and suspenseful, but mostly, it’s strange and funny and the detailed world building is amazing.
Heather Kaczynski – Dare Mighty Things
It took me a while to really get into this, mainly because I didn’t love the main character at first and everything was so unclear. But there was a tremendous amount of character development, and after some twists and turns I had not anticipated, the story really took off and left me craving more.
Usually, this type of book tends to be pretty formulaic: MC enters a competition, slowly defeats the other contestants and the book ends with the MC winning. This is why the first book in a sci-fi series often feels like an introduction rather than a solid book in itself.
But Dare Mighty Things really stepped up its game in that aspect, and there was a lot more to the story after the main competition ended. This made it a much more interesting and unpredictable read and it’s one of the reasons I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would for the first half.
One of my main reasons to pick this book up was the ace rep. The main character explicitly comes out as asexual in the novel, and it was nice to see her trying to figure out what this meant in terms of her romantic/sensual attraction to people.
Juno Dawson (ed.) – Proud
I loved this anthology a whole lot! Usually I have a hard time rating anthologies because the stories’ quality will differ and I won’t like every story equally, but all of the contributions to this book were so consistent. I’d honestly rate them all 4 stars separately. It made me really happy to read this.
While I did love what this anthology IS, and I wouldn’t want to rate it on what it ISN’T, I can’t help but feel disappointed that there wasn’t any aro and/or ace rep. Since this book is promoted as being super inclusive, I was really hoping to have these identities represented. I thought it was a real shame that this wasn’t the case. What I have seen: gay/lesbian, bisexual, transgender/non-binary rep. And that’s all really great! But yeah, it could definitely have been more inclusive! Admittedly though, I was happy to see an aro/ace artist contribute to this, so I don’t want to come down on it too harshly. I justed wanted to hopefully help manage people’s expectations.
CWs: homophobia, transphobia
Katherine Arden – The Winter of the Witch
This book had me crying 20 pages into the story. Definitely a worthy conclusion to this trilogy, which has to be one of the most atmospheric series of all time.
Laura Silverman – You Asked for Perfect
I got stressed reading even the first 20 pages of this book. Pressure, much? I didn’t love high school, but wow, this was intense. I’m afraid to ask if this is really how the US school system works, because I kind of know it probably is… and I’m wORRIED!
This book was so good though! I loved the characters, and it had such wonderful friendship and family dynamics, on top of the wonderful romance. Even if there were issues, everyone was ultimately so supportive of one another, and there was never any unnecessary drama. On top of that, academic pressure and stress/burn-out are such important themes that I think should be discussed a lot more in YA!
CWs: stress/burn-out/academic pressure. It could also be triggering if you have anxiety.
Roshani Chokshi – The Gilded Wolves
Wow, this was sooo good! I absolutely fell in love with this. The characters, the historical setting, the detailed world building, the plot – it was all amazing. I really don’t understand why people have been comparing this to Six of Crows so much, because it’s wildly different. It’s such an original, inventive story, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
And I was so happy to see an autistic character as well! Good autistic rep is still so hard to find, and even though this isn’t own voices, I did think it was handled well enough. Zofia was a wonderful character, and I’m glad she was portrayed as a strong, independent character. I do think the rep was a little stereotypical at times, or rather, it was laid on rather thickly, but I didn’t have any real issues with it.
Lauren James – The Quiet at the End of the World
She did it again! As I loved The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I had high hopes for Lauren James’s new book. And it’s so good!!
What I loved most about this is how hopeful it is. Usually, dystopian sci-fi tends to be quite anxiety-inducing for me, but this wasn’t at all. I can only describe the pacing as relaxed, and there was little conflict in the book. It’s mainly centered around Lowrie discovering secrets about her world, and her coming to terms with being one of the last humans.
It took a while for the story to really take off, but when it did, it was one surprising twist after the other, some of them amusing (wait until you find out Lowrie’s last name!) and others mindblowing. I love when books pose ethical questions, and this does just that.
Rep: bisexual main character, Chinese love interest, bisexual side character, trans side character.
Shaun David Hutchinson – The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
I’ve only read We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson before. I loved that, but it was a pretty heavy read for me. So I was a little hesitant to read his newest book, but it was much lighter in a lot of ways! I feel like he’ll quickly become one of my favourite authors, because I enjoyed this so much. It was a strange read, but the strangeness was handled in a way that made it feel pretty light and often pretty hilarious. It does touch on heavy subjects, especially dealing with the death of a best friend, but I never felt like it was a hard book to read because of that.
Rep: gay main character, trans love interest.
CWs: death, grief, homophobia, mentions of attempted suicide, gory details regarding dead bodies.
Heather Kaczynski – One Giant Leap
I did not expect to love this duology THIS much! It honestly blew me away. The pacing is slow enough to get fully invested in the characters and the story, but quick enough to stay engaging. And I would die for Cassandra Gupta, I just love her so much! She went through sooo much character development, and I love how it was shown that coming to terms with her asexuality was a journey and she wasn’t yet done with that at the end of the book.
Rep: Indian asexual MC, Asian side character, bisexual side character, Latinx side character.
Looking back, I really did read some great books in March. I also discovered a few potential new favourite authors, and I got to read more books representing some of my own identities, which was quite wonderful!
What was your favourite read of March?
35 books is amazing, so congratulations on that! Have a great April 🙂
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Thank you!! I hope you’ll have a great (reading) month too!
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Such an amazing wrap-up! So many great books
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I had a lot of fun reading them!!
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