March 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

Hi all!

Welcome to my March Reading Wrap-Up for 2018! This was a fantastic reading month for me. Not only did I finish so many books (9 total) but most of the ones I did complete were phenomenal. Let’s get started!

1.) THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END BY ADAM SILVERA (PHYSICAL BOOK)

Order a copy here!

PLOT: I cannot spoil this book because the title itself tells you exactly how the story will end. In this world, a company named Death-Cast informs people the day they are going to die. This allows the victims to set affairs in order and live out their remaining hours however they choose. The only problem is, Death-Cast do not know how and at what time it will happen. At midnight, teenagers/strangers, Mateo and Rufus both receive the call that their lives will end tomorrow. They connect through an app called Last Friends and decide to spend their End Day together. Mateo teaches Rufus to spread kindness without needing recognition and Rufus teaches Mateo to make the most of every moment. Over the course of one unforgettable day, two boys form a bond that transcends eternity.

MINI REVIEW: I mentioned in my February 2018 Reading Wrap-Up! that Adam Silvera writes books that pack an emotional punch. No truer words were ever written. Even though the reader already knows how the story will end, nothing can prepare them for it when the time actually comes. If the concept of death is too confronting for you, I wouldn’t recommend reading this. Having said that, the ultimate message in this book is positive – live your life and live it well. The author made me fall in love with his characters which was both wonderful and tragically heart-breaking. By the time I was well and truly invested in their journey, it was all over. I also really appreciated the way all the stories intertwined. If you have ever read The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, you will know what I mean. I won’t say much more except I cried like everybody else. It really made me think…if I was only given one day left on this Earth, how would I spend it?

RATING: I gave this 5/5 stars.

By the way, if anybody likes my adorable fox mug (pictured above), you can purchase him here.

2.) THE MARK OF ATHENA (BOOK #3 OF THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS SERIES) BY RICK RIORDAN (AUDIO BOOK)

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PLOT: Once again, this is the third book in a series so I won’t spoil the plot. All I will say, is that it follows seven different POVs (point-of-views) and the epic quest that has been building up since the beginning, takes our demi-gods to the ancient city of Rome to save a familiar character from The Percy Jackson series. If you want more information, I discuss The Heroes of Olympus series in my January 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

MINI REVIEW: I feel like these books just keep getting better and better. The Mark of Athena was so enjoyable because all of my favourite characters were finally together, working as a team. I love how they each have such different and unique personalities/abilities. Having travelled to Rome in June 2017, I was very nostalgic listening to the demi-gods visit various landmarks I had been exploring just months earlier. I’ve said this before but the audio book narrator is fantastic. The voices he puts on had me in fits of laughter. I cannot wait to dive into The House of Hades and see what happens next!

RATING: I gave this 4.5/5 stars.

3.) SEA OF STRANGERS BY LANG LEAV – POETRY AND PROSE (BORROWED PHYSICAL BOOK)

Order a copy here!

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PLOT: There is no plot to Sea of Strangers. It is a beautiful collection of poetry and prose revolving around the topic of love and loss. Woven throughout the words are strong themes of healing, self-empowerment and discovery.

MINI REVIEW: Lang Leav is my sister’s favourite poet. She is the proud owner of all her works. I borrowed her latest release to see if the hype was real and let me tell you, it was! You can really feel the outpouring of Lang’s heart. I truly enjoyed how relatable her messages were. I want to share with you my favourite piece from this book:

WITH ANYONE ELSE

‘You came into my life and made everything else feel like a rehearsal. Love always came to me as a question, but with you, it felt like an answer. I didn’t know I had put up walls until you brought them crashing down. I couldn’t figure out why love was different with you until I realised it hadn’t been love with anyone else.’

RATING: I gave this 4.5/5 stars. 

4.) A WRINKLE IN TIME (BOOK #1 OF A WRINKLE IN TIME QUINTET) BY MADELEINE L’ENGLE (KINDLE BOOK) – SASSY BOOK CLUB PICK FOR MARCH 2018

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Screenshot from my iPhone Kindle

PLOT: This was our Sassy Book Club pick for March. The live show was held April 1st on Kassie’s YouTube channel. This month, we were tasked with not only reading the book but also watching the brand new film adaptation to compare the two. For those of you that don’t know, A Wrinkle in Time was first written in 1962. The author died in 2007 but it has since been remade into a film in 2003 and again in 2018. In the first book of this science fiction quintet, Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin, journey through space to rescue her father, who has been experimenting with the fifth dimension of time travel and mysteriously disappeared. They face off against all sorts of evil, gaining new allies and friends along the way in their quest to save him.

MINI REVIEW: Hmm…I feel like this is going to be an unpopular opinion but I was very underwhelmed by this book. Please keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with you liking it, it just wasn’t for me. Hardly anything exciting happened in 256 pages and the writing style was quite odd. There were a couple of instances where Meg’s family and friend Calvin, insult her intelligence. This was done right in front of her and she never seemed to take offence. At times, she is interrupted whilst speaking and hardly ever listened to. Furthermore, I felt that the story moved at an incredibly slow pace in the beginning and when things finally did start to take off, not much was explained. The plot was poorly structured, there was little to no character development, hardly any world-building and unrealistic dialogue. I cannot think of a single thing I liked about this book, therefore I am not interested in continuing on with the series.

I watched the film adaptation on March 31st. It was slightly better but that was purely due to the amazing cast, special effects, makeup and costumes. The digitally enhanced scenes make the movie look much more vibrant and exciting than was originally described in the novel. In the book for example, Mrs Which is depicted as barely visible, but on screen, she is presented as a majestic goddess in the form of Oprah Winfrey! To those that haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time, I believe you will enjoy the illusion created by modern cinematography. To me, it was the same story so I didn’t like it.

RATING: I gave this book 1/5 stars and the film 2/5 stars.   

5.) OBSIDIO (BOOK #3 IN THE ILLUMINAE FILES) BY AMIE KAUFMAN AND JAY KRISTOFF (PHYSICAL BOOK)

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PLOT: This cover is so shiny! I really don’t want to spoil the plot seeing as this is the last book in the trilogy, so click here if you want more information regarding The Illuminae Files. All you need to know is that two new characters are introduced and we readers get to witness the final showdown between the citizens of Kerenza and BeiTech Industries. Epic!

MINI REVIEW: Do I even need to express how excited I was to finally get my hands on this book? This was my most highly anticipated read of 2018. Feel free to check out my Obsidio Unboxing/Book Launch post if you’re interested. What can I say about this final instalment to a fantastic series? I flew through it so quickly, eager and scared to discover how it would end. There was non-stop action from start to finish, leaving my heart in my throat with every turn of the page. I think Amie and Jay did a phenomenal job wrapping everything up. I loved every single moment but I’m very sad it’s over. Once the audio book is released, I will be listening to that as well. What a journey this has been!

RATING: I gave this 5/5 stars. Naturally!

6.) REBECCA BY DAPHNE DU MAURIER (PHYSICAL BOOK) – MONTHLY CLASSIC PICK FOR MARCH 2018

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PLOT: This book is very special to me because I was actually named after it. I was given this copy a few years ago for my birthday and finally read it in March. This particular edition also features two other stories by Daphne du Maurier – My Cousin Rachel and Frenchman’s Creek. I may read them someday, I may not…

In this haunting tale, we follow an orphaned woman who is swept off her feet by the wealthy and charming widower, Maxim de Winter. He surprises our protagonist (whose name you never learn) with a proposal in Monte Carlo, relieving her of her unsatisfying job as a lady’s companion. When they arrive at his large estate (named Manderley), she discovers that his late wife, Rebecca, casts a lingering shadow from beyond the grave that threatens to destroy their marriage before it has even properly begun. All of the staff, including the frosty housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, cannot let go of the woman that mysteriously drowned, leaving Maxim’s new wife feeling as though she will never quite measure up…

MINI REVIEW: I fell head over heels in love with this gothic work of literature. The writing was so poetically beautiful and relatable. I felt as though I was walking through Manderley, breathing in the ocean air. The story was also immensely intriguing. It moved at a good pace and kept me hooked all the way through. Towards the end, I found myself wondering: who is the real villain here? To be perfectly honest, all of the characters were very unlikable and deeply flawed. Daphne du Maurier did an excellent job creating a spooky atmosphere without the actual presence of anything paranormal. This is a classic I would definitely re-read.

RATING: I gave this 5/5 stars. Simply amazing!

7.) THE HOUSE OF HADES (BOOK #4 OF THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS SERIES) BY RICK RIORDAN (AUDIO BOOK)

Order a copy here!

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PLOT: I know I keep repeating myself but as this is the fourth book, I won’t spoil what happens. If you would like to learn more about The Heroes of Olympus series, click here.

MINI REVIEW: I was a bit sad to discover that my beloved audio book narrator had been replaced by a different guy in The House of Hades. However, he grew on me as time went on. Unfortunately, I did not love this one as much as the first three. It fell a little flat for me. I wasn’t overly engaged with the plot and I was a bit disappointed with the journey through Tartarus. I expected it to be a little more adventurous but not a whole lot happened. I was also sad that some of the characters were separated for about 98% of the story. Having said that, I am looking forward to the fifth and last book, The Blood of Olympus.

RATING: I gave this 3/5 stars.

8.) EVERYBODY NEEDS A BRIDGE BY COLLEEN D SCOTT (PHYSICAL BOOK)

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PLOT: Set in the 1980’s, this story follows a Caucasian teenager named Erin, living in southern Alabama. She attends a public school for the very first time that mainly consists of African American students, initially making her the subject of some bullying. In this coming-of-age novel, we witness Erin’s character’s progression as she moves from adolescence into adulthood. There is a big focus on friendship, racism, forbidden romance and discovering your own path in order to navigate the tricky rapids of life.

MINI REVIEW: I was sent this new release novel by the publishing company in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to read all of my non-spoilery thoughts, please click here.

RATING: I gave this 3/5 stars. 

9.) UNEARTHED (BOOK #1 OF THE UNEARTHED DUOLOGY) BY AMIE KAUFMAN AND MEGAN SPOONER (KINDLE BOOK)

Order a copy here!

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Screenshot from my iPhone Kindle

PLOT: This young adult, science fiction story has been described as a combination of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider in space. That was enough to get me interested! When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, two individuals from very different walks of life seize the chance to explore the mysterious planet Gaia. For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an extra terrestrial culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study. For Amelia Radcliffe, Gaia is a treasure-trove just waiting to be scavenged. Despite the tension between them, Jules and Amelia must navigate traps and trials within the Undying temple in order to stay one step ahead of the enemies on their heels. What they discover however, could spell the end of the human race…

MINI REVIEW: I went into this book slightly fearful. Why? Because I disliked These Broken Stars and did not finish This Shattered World by the same two authors. It’s hard to believe I felt that way when I absolutely adore The Illuminae Files and Amie Kaufman in general. Still, I wanted to give these ladies another chance. So, did they redeem themselves? Yes they did! The biggest stand-out was the two main characters. I loved Jules and Amelia both as individuals and together, working as a team. They were such strong narrators and I could really feel their chemistry. The dialogue was super witty, the story interesting and the adventure on point! Also, that twist ending? I cannot wait for the second and final book in this duology: Undying.

RATING: I gave this 4/5 stars.

I hope you enjoyed my monthly wrap-up! What was your favourite read in March? What is on your TBR for April? Thank you for your support.

Peace & Love xoxo

This post contains links to my Book Depository Affiliate which helps fund my blog, I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own

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10 thoughts on “March 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

  1. What a wonderful feat, reading 9 books this month! It is inspirational, and I don’t even read that many books at all lol. The first book sounds the most interesting to me – more and more books are set in the modern world incorporating apps and all things digital. This always catches me off guard because I still don’t expect to read about too modern of a world in the books I choose to read, unless it’s sci-fi. Another thoughtful and reflective blog post from you that I enjoyed reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my dear friend!! Haha I have a reading obsession! It always makes me think of advice I received from a popular author once: ‘In order to grow as a writer, you should read as much as you can’. It’s really helped me develop 🙂 I think you would really enjoy the first book. Cannot wait to see you soon! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. i’ve been meaning to get a copy of Lang Leave’s book Sea of Strangers, i’m happy i read this review i don’t see a lot of people pick that up. I’ve been seeing a lot of hype over “The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One” and the reviews on goodreads weren’t that up to par.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you stumbled across my review so you can pick it up. It’s so worth reading! I have heard a lot about The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One but I’m yet to read it 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a list of indie poets in my head that I want to get – it’s just hard finding the style I like. I’ve heard a lot about the book, but I know I’ll get the sun and her flowers first before I get something from her collection

        Liked by 1 person

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