Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March 2020 Book Review

Nothing like a global pandemic to help you reach your reading goal for the year. {grin} I read 11 books this month bringing my total for 2020 to 27! I didn't have a ton of variety this month - said global pandemic had me wanting to hunker down with happy stories!

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts and Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas - I'm putting these 2 together because none of you readers will read either of these. Natasha is my only fellow Nora lover, and she didn't like this trilogy ha. The Rise of Magicks concluded a trilogy that started in book 1 with pandemic. Nice timing to finish out this trilogy, but it was 20 years past their plague so it wasn't too freaky to read. And Chasing Cassandra was the 6th book written about the same family - I loved getting to check-in on other characters that I've been reading about for almost 4 years. {Sidebar: Natasha - have you ever read Lisa Kleypas? She reminds me of Nora, so I think you'd like her??}

Next up: Allena's tried-and-true chick-lit romance story section!

 Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher - This is basically How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in book format. Girl needs a pretend boyfriend, boy is writing an article about how to get dumped...but they are attracted to each other...and you can guess what happens. It was actually really cute and I really liked both main characters - it wasn't totally cheesy because there were some added dynamics - like the girl being biracial {as is the author} - that I also enjoyed. Rated R.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa - Girl's fiance breaks up with her the morning of their wedding. Fast-forward a few years and now to get a big job she wants...she has to work with her ex-fiance's brother...who she's attracted to. Cheesy but enjoyable. Rated R.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella - I liked the premise of this story but was hesitant to read it because for every Sophie Kinsella book I like, 2 drive me bananas. Well, this one was adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Girl saves boy's laptop in a coffeeshop so he 'owes her one' and they trade favors throughout the book as an attraction grows between them while both dealing with a lot of other things in their lives. Sometimes the characters in Sophie's books are SO ZANY LIKE JUST SO SILLY AND FUNNY AND OVER-THE-TOP THAT THIS CAN'T BE REAL LIFE AND IT'S SO FRUSTRATING TO READ ABOUT THEM. On a regular scale of 1 to 10, her characters can sometimes be a 94. Here they were an 8. {grin} This book was my favorite of these 3 for the month. But you couldn't go wrong with any of them if you like these types of books.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms - Emily blogged about this book an eternity ago, and I couldn't find it at ANY library I use. Well, somehow this month it was free for me to borrow from Amazon, so I finally got to read it, and I loved it. Amy's husband left her and their 2 kids 3 years ago, and now he's back and wants to make amends by taking the kids for the summer. Amy has been stuck as a single mom, raising 2 kids, having a full-time job {AS A LIBRARIAN!!!}, and not losing her house, so this book is somewhat about rediscovering herself as a person, not just a mom. At times the 'mom guilt' she felt was laid on a little thick for my liking, but I thought this book was just awesome. I loved Amy, I loved her evolution through the story, I loved her friends, I loved the plot, I loved all the library talk, it was great.

The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson - YUCK. This was our book club selection for March, and it stunk. The premise sounded very interesting - girl's family is murdered and she saw the man who did it, but the police are convinced her father killed everyone and then killed himself. She spends the book trying to figure out the truth...while breaking laws, getting drunk all the time while on probation, causing trouble everywhere she goes. So I was majorly annoyed with the main character and then the ending was just ridiculous. Don't waste your time.

The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar - This could very easily be at the top of my list of favorites of 2020. It was DELIGHTFUL - well as delightful as a book about WW2 can be ha. This is historical fiction about women pilots who trained men to fly in combat or flew planes around to other bases to free men up to fight. I didn't know women did this in WW2 and loved learning about this side of the war as well as loving these characters and the story. LOVED IT!

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen - Another recommendation from Emily ha. I liked this book but didn't love it. The story follows a reporter, Tabitha, who has just found out she is basically going through early menopause. She has been so focused on her career and being an adult, she hasn't thought yet about having a family. Now what? I really felt like there was a lot of growth for Tabitha and enjoyed watching her, and I also liked the exploration of being a black woman - with her friends, her job, society, family, etc. The ending was really sad but also good - it definitely picked up for me by the end. There's a sequel I'm considering reading...

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah - My boss raved about this book last fall, and it took about 6 months to get it from the library. Joanna is doing graduate research on birds at a remote cabin outside a small town when a young girl comes to her claiming to be an alien from outer space. With the help of the farmer next door, Joanna tries to help the little alien, Ursa. The story kept me guessing for a long time - could she really be an alien? The book was so unique and magical, and I LOVED how it all came together.

You Can't Touch My Hair [and Other Things I Have to Explain] by Phoebe Robinson - I have heard of the podcast Two Dope Queens, but I haven't listened to it. Honestly I picked this book because of the title and a lot of media about natural hair - it was an episode on mixed-ish, a short film about natural hair won an Oscar, I've seen several books at Target, etc. It seemed like it would be a fun book with lots of lessons in it, and IT WAS! Phoebe is hilarious {if at times a little over-the-top}, and I love how she mixed her comedy skills with information that really resonated to me as a white woman working to do better. A lot of what she talked about reminded me of what I've read {especially the chapter on 'White Women's Tears' in White Fragility, eek}. I thought she did a fantastic job of touching on really serious topics with her sense of humor. A great read I flew through.

And an update what I'm reading with the kids right now... we have misplaced The Baby-sitter's Club #3 and Just Mercy {just before Trent and I finished it}, so we are reading new books right now.

Trent and I just started The Mysterious Benedict Society,
and not even 1 chapter in he told me he loves it! Yay!
My sister gave it to him for Christmas in 2018, and he hasn't want to read it.
But I bribed him because I really thought he'd like it, ha.
It's also a series so yay for more reading!

The Secrets of Droon series is in Drew's classroom at school,
and she mentioned looking at them but not seeing the first one,
so I got it for her for Christmas. It's another series, and in some ways,
it reminds me of The Magic Treehouse Series, but I like this better.
It isn't quite as simplistic in its writing, but it isn't hard either.
Drew's able to read it to me when I ask her to.
We're about halfway through with The Hidden Stairs and The Magic Carpet,
and I'm excited to keep going!

Whew! A busy month of reading. Hopefully you found something worth reading on this list!! What have you been reading lately?


Emily said...

Yay so glad you either liked or loved those three books! I don’t know where you previously posted “you can’t touch my hair” but I already added it to my list and when I get serious about reading again (???) it will definitely be one of the first books I get!

Kathryn Bagley said...

I will have to check out your romance ones cause you know those are my jam! I'm reading Girl Wash your face now that I have time. Just trying to survive being cooped up in the's not working really well..ha!

Natasha said...

I just put some Lisa Kleypas ebooks on hold. It looks like they are popular at our library but I think I can read the first book in The Wallflowers series now so we'll see how that goes.

I really wish I could put regular books on hold at my library but that's all on pause right now so hopefully I'll remember some of these good books when this is all over.

Sam loves The Mysterious Benedict Society. Our friends in the Yukon introduced it to him this past summer and he flew through them.