Hi everybody, and welcome to my March wrap up!
This feels like a weird wrap up to write, since it’s been such a weird time. As you all are very well aware, the Corona Virus has become a full-blown pandemic that is taking over the world. Personally, I’ve been at home since mid March – I’ve been technically unemployed since my company organizes international courses and well it’s no surprise that there are no courses right now, so no work to be done from home either. But I’m home and doing my best to stay safe and healthy and follow the regulations, which are basically to stay at home, unless for crucial things like groceries. I hope every one of you is safe and healthy and so are your family and friends.
These are scary times, and hearing news reports is making me anxious as hell so I’m coping the best way I know how – by disappearing as much as possible into fictional worlds. Which is how I did get quite some reading done this month.
So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to this month:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I absolutely ADORED The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern when I read it last year and so I was both excited and a little nervous about picking up her new novel, The Starless Sea. I have to admit that I did not love it quite as much as I did The Night Circus, because for me it went a bit long and it was a bit too… whimsical for me. I love a little whimsy, but here I felt confused a lot of the time, not knowing what was going on or how things were even possible and I guess the realist part of me was just rebelling. Other than that, I did highly enjoy the gorgeous writing, all the interweaving stories, the magic feeling of possibility, the intriguing characters and the romance.
Rating: 3,5 stars
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
I’ve been wanting to read this story forever because Ancient Arabia + woman masquerading as a man + magic + Prince of Death. I also thought the sequel was coming out this summer so I hurried to read the first book, only to find out the sequel has been postponed to 2021. Boo. But I still highly enjoyed this story, which played out like a movie in my head. There was one plot point I did not like at all (won’t say because spoilers) and the beginning was a bit slow, but overall I highly enjoyed this and am super excited to read the sequel and finale to this duology.
Rating: 3,5 stars
Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani
I picked this one up because it promised kitsune and shinigami and loads of Japanese mythology, which I LOVE! The story did feel like an anime adventure, very action-packed with mythical creatures, a fun heroine who suddenly get the responsibility of the entire world thrust into her hands, and a cute little romance with a kitsune. Basically, a mix of my favorite Red Winter series mixed with some Death Note. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! Though it didn’t live up to either of those obsessions of mine (though to be fair, chances were slim), it was still a really fun adventure and I highly enjoyed reading it.
Rating: 3,5 stars
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
I loved this new, adult novel by Sarah J. Maas. I know her writing has some issues, but just like with her other series, this book quickly managed to secure its place in my heart. I loved reading this and spent so much time afterwards just thinking about the story and the characters. It was a rollercoaster ride, with a ton of twists and turns I personally did not see coming. The last part especially was ABSOLUTE EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT, SCREAM-AT-YOUR-BOOK, BITE-YOUR-NAILS BRILLIANCE! And the friendship! OMG, THE FRIENDSHIP! I can’t wait for the next installment.
Rating: 5 stars | Full Review
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
After Sarah J. Maas put my heart through the wringer, I needed something cute and fluffy and fun, and picked up The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa. This is a story about a wedding planner who got stood up at the altar and two years later has to work together with her ex-best (worst) man to secure her dream job. It’s a fun enemies-to-lovers story which you know I’m a sucker for. The banter between Lina and Max is sassy and cute and I thoroughly enjoyed the slow-burn romance. Also, it has some great Brazilian rep and I highly enjoyed all the food descriptions. (hungry just thinking about it)
Rating: 4 stars
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Honestly, I didn’t know about this book but I saw it described somewhere as a ‘Slytherin romance’ in which an ambitious girl’s plan is to woo the Shadow King, marry the Shadow King and then kill the Shadow King so she can be Queen. Not even 2 minutes later I had purchased the book because I NEEDED THIS STORY SO BADLY. I loved reading about such a cunning, ambitious ‘heroine’ and the romance was exactly what I needed. I also loved the weird juxtaposition of good vs evil (one of the ‘villains’ is a type of Robin Hood character who steals from the rich to give it to the poor and the ‘heroes’ are taking over the world by force or you know, plotting to kill the king for personal gain). It took me a while to get into the writing though, and I felt like the secondary characters stayed a bit onedimensional. But overall, a really fun ride.
Rating: 3,5 stars
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
I picked up Only Mostly Devastated because it was promoted as ‘Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Grease’. I was so excited but when I started reading it I realized I don’t actually really like Grease (the songs are fun but I’m not a fan of the message that you can get your love if you change everything about you to suit them). I worried for a bit that the message of Grease would not sit well with me in this book either, but honestly I should not have worried. Though a bit frustrating at times, I felt like the story and the message about coming-out on your own terms but without hurting others were very well handled. Also, some solid bi-rep in here! I loved it and I flew through it in a day.
Rating: 4,5 stars
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
In my quest to get through my backlist I FINALLY picked up Aurora Rising and really, why did I wait so long? This is a story about a bunch of misfits becoming a found family (in SPACE). I LOVE THOSE STORIES AND I LOVED THIS SQUAD WITH ALL MY HEART. They are my babies and I will hurt anyone who hurts them (looking at you Jay and Amie!) Especially Finnian, my disabled, sarcastic, snarky, alien tech-wiz. In summary, the hype is real and I’m now also way excited for Aurora Burning!
Rating: 4,5 stars
HUnting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped by ANnette Marie
I LOVED IT! This installment was everything I ever wanted. Can I rate it higher than 5 stars? I read it almost in one sitting and I’m aching to read it all again. This book DELIVERED on everything I could have wanted and everything I didn’t even know I wanted yet. Seriously, I just can’t put into (eloquent) words how much joy this book and this series and this world has brought me. I’m so beyond grateful that Annette created this gorgeous world and its characters and is sharing it with all of us.
Rating: 5 stars
Top Ten Tuesday
QUOTE IT WEDNESDAY
Not that much new music this month, but still a few nice ones:
Dreamcatcher – Scream
Two months in a row I’ve been listening to this non-stop. WHO IS STILL OBSESSED? I AM!
BTS – BLACK SWAN
I already listened to this quite a bit, but this music video is just too gorgeous not to mention. These guys are just so talented that I can’t imagine anyone not appreciating them.
DREAMCATCHER – SAHARA
More Dreamcatcher. I love this video since it shows their silly sides, not just the serious ones they always have in their music videos. And really, I could use some silliness this month.
ITZY – WANNABE
As is tradition with Itzy and me, I wasn’t an immediate fan of this song, but it has grown on me and now I’m happily singing along!
Little Mix – Wasabi
Little Mix always manages to have such fun, powerful songs.
Five Seconds of Summer – Old Me
I’ve always liked every single 5SOS song I’ve heard, but I’ve never actively listened to them. This month though, I fell in love with Old Me and am slowly making my way through all their previous songs.
I haven’t been watching a lot, honestly. I though me being home all day would mean I’d binge a lot of Netflix, but I’ve mostly been keeping busy in other ways.
I did start watching the first episode of kdrama Crash Landing On You, but I’m only 2-3 episodes in so far. Excited to be finally watching another kdrama though!
Things that made me happy this month:
- Uhh tricky one. I’ve been happy for the health of my friends, family and me so far. And I’ve been happy about all the books I managed to read.
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- Hopefully, for life to be able to return back to normal.