Monday, March 31, 2014

March 2014 Wrap-up [spoiler free!]

March was an amazing reading month for me! Perhaps my slump is over?


1. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. This book was a perfect post-holiday read; just what I needed to get me over the hump of the "Well, it is no longer Christmas/New Years, but spring has yet to arrive and I am stuck indoors" blues. While it is, indeed, a holiday and/or Christmastime book, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is full of warm and fuzzy moments, quirky characters and witty dialogue that merge together and capture your heart, no matter the time of year.

David Levithan, I think I'm in love with you.


2. Asylum by Madeleine Roux. Uh, hello gorgeous cover. I will admit, it was the cover that tipped the purchasing scale in its favor, as the book itself does not have the best ratings on Goodreads - and for good reason. The characters were not very well developed and the story was bland and a bit too difficult to get into. I did really like the creepy parts of the story: when they went exploring in the old, abandon rooms of the Asylum, for example; which, combined with the be-autiful cover, were probably the only things that saved the rating from going down any farther. I will probably pick up the second book, Sanctum, just to see what happens next.


3. Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King. Such a quirky, fun read! Everybody Sees the Ants is another coming-of-age story about a boy who flees into the depths of his own imagination in an attempt to escape his not-quite-perfect life. A.S. King's writing is very reminiscent of John Green; crass and crude whilst remaining extremely witty and enjoyable. I really liked Lucky's character and enjoyed his progression from a kid who was content with just trying to get by, to someone who was able to accept the things he could not change and worked to change the things he could.


4. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Another drool-worthy cover. There were a few problems with this book—Nyx's indecisiveness, the confusing plot—but I loved how original and fresh the story was, despite it being a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The parts of the book that featured the different rooms in the house were some of my absolute favorites and I adored the gothic, rustic feel of the characters and setting. The ending was a tad confusing (which has been the main complaint of Cruel Beauty reviewers), but I think I managed to grasp a well enough understanding of what happened and am really, very impressed.


5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling. I have been keeping up with my 2014 Harry Potter challenge pretty well so far; reading at least one book a month! The Prisoner of Azkaban was always one of my very favorites.


6. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. It's about time, eh? I have heard nothing but amazing things about this series on Booktube and in the blog-o-sphere, so I figured I would finally pick it up and give it a try. While I have yet to really connect to either of the main characters, the world is so complex and the story so unique that I found myself unable to put the book down until it was finished. I am very eager to get my hands on the next installment, though I currently have no idea when that will be. Curse you, book-buying ban!!


7. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. A 24-hour bookstore? Sounds like my kind of haunt! This book, while not really possessing any sort of fantasy or paranormal aspects was, in a word, magical. I really enjoyed the setting(s) and characters; Clay, our narrator, in particular. The programing and Google bits were very confusing, but the rest of the story was quite inspiring and I am now adding Mr. Penumbra's to my list of fictional bookstores/libraries I would like to visit!


8. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Graphic Novel) by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean. I finally picked it up!! For months I have been on the verge of purchasing this book during my many expeditions to Barnes & Nobel, but each time I decided that it would be a waste of money, seeing as I already read the book (and then reread it earlier this year). But, alas, my resolve is not very strong and it was bound to happen eventually. I have seen Cassandra Jean's work featured on Cassandra Clare's Tumblr and, wow, is it beautiful. After reading this graphic novel, I am definitely on the look-out for some of her other books, which includes Beautiful Creatures.

. . . . 

March Stats:

Read 7.25 books
Read 2,374 pages

GR's 2014 Reading Challenge (Progress):

Read 18 of 70 books
Currently 1 book ahead of schedule

Upcoming Releases:

Gilded Ashes (Cruel Beauty novella) by Rosamund Hodge -- April 1, 2014
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige -- April 1, 2014
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins -- April 8, 2014
Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs -- April 8, 2014
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith -- April 15, 2014

What did you guys read this month? Are there any April releases you are looking forward to? I, for one, cannot wait for Rebel Belle!

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