Thursday, April 1, 2021

March 2021 Book Review

It's officially spring, the bluebonnets are finally popping up, Easter is this weekend, it's book review day... It's a great day today!

I read 10 books this month bringing my total to 32, I'm 8 ahead of my goal of 100 books for 2021. I'm also doing really great with book goals for the year too. So let's dig into what I read this month!

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks - Trent and I finished this early this month, and it was so good. Yes, it's for middle grades, but I read every word of it and wanted to count it in my reads, ha.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson - I read The Warmth of Other Suns at the end of 2020 and was FLOORED by how phenomenal it was. I was super eager to read the newest release by Isabel Wilkerson, and while I didn't like it as much as Warmth, I thought it was very insightful. It compared the racist society of America with the Caste system of India, and the Nazi treatment of the Jews. I learned a lot and found the comparisons/discussion extremely intriguing.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
 by Kim Michele Richardson - This was my in-person book club selection for our April meeting. It follows a packhorse librarian in Kentucky named Cussy {same topic as The Giver of Stars} in the 1930s who is also a 'blue' {a small group of people in Kentucky who had blue skin which was determined to be a blood condition}. Cussy was such a wonderful character with a huge heart, and I loved reading her story but felt it wasn't as good as The Giver of Stars. The beginning starts off with a bang, the middle kind of wanders, and then the ending was rushed. When I think back on it, I loved Cussy and how everything came together, but it was more good than great.

Hideaway by Nora Roberts - Sometimes I wonder why I still read Nora Roberts. I think she's run out of plot lines or ways to have characters interact. She is a talented author, but all her books feel the same.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - My sister bought me this for Christmas, and it's a love story based on the Bible. I was prepared for a lot of eye-rolling, but I actually loved it! Set in the 1850s in the California gold rush, Angel was sold into prostitution as a child and after being married off struggles with the intentions of her husband and healing her body and heart. Yes, there are lots of conversations with God and Bible references, so if that's going to bother you, don't read it, but the story was SO engaging and I loved rooting for Angel.

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas - OMG. The 4th book in the Court of Thorn an Roses series and I WAS HERE FOR IT. This story follows Nesta, the sister of Feyre from the first 3 books, and I LOVED it. I was in heaven to be back in this world with these people and can't wait for the next one. Super Super Rated R.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender - This was our BFBC pick for March, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Felix is a transgender teen attending a summer art program trying to get a college scholarship. He is navigating the relationship with his father, his best friend, the people in his art program, the prejudices around him. This is definitely YA and at times Felix for sure acted like a teenage brat, but I loved reading his story and learning more about the transgender community. I'd like the kids to read this book when they are older.

Watermelon, Nooses, and Straight Razors: Stories from the Jim Crow Museum
 by David Pilgrim - I don't remember what book I was searching for in my e-library catalog, but this popped up, and I was instantly intrigued. Did you know there was a Jim Crow museum? I didn't and really enjoyed reading this book and digging into where some of the racist stereotypes come from. This book was HARD to read at times {there are very graphic pictures of lynchings, trigger warning} but very educational. I highly recommend.

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone - I checked this out to read with Trent, and after a few chapters he wasn't digging it, but I was!! This is such an interesting look at a piece of history. There was some military history and WW2 history that was new to me, and I really enjoyed this. I think this would be a great read for kids - especially kids who like reading about the military.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles - I finished the month with this story based on my movie date's {Allison} recommendation. Captain Kidd travels the state of Texas after the Civil War doing readings of the news. He is charged with taking an Indian captive - a 10-year-old girl - back to her family. They have some adventures along the way and the ending was such a wondeful surprise for me. I felt like this story was like sitting with a warm cup of hot chocolate - I savored it and felt so warm and happy when it was over. Captain reminds me of a loveable Call from Lonesome Dove, and I can't wait to watch the movie next!

Drew and I are continuing our march through the Harry Potter series, and started Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this month. This girl LOVES Harry Potter. She talks about it all-the-time, has loved the movies, wants to be Hermione for Halloween. It is SO FUN!

My mom bought Trent Dear Martin at a garage sale, and he really enjoyed it. Dear Justyce is the sequel and follows a secondary character from Dear Martin. It is fantastic and follows a Black teenager who is awaiting trial. It follows a really interesting point that we discussed in our Blog Friend Book Club a month or so ago - what happens to people who don't have options? Trent and I have talked about the fact that he has so many great opportunities laid out before him, and if he chooses a 'bad' path it would be easy to blame him. But what about someone who only has 'bad' choices. That's Quan in this story - father is in prison for selling drugs, mom is in an abusive relationship, he does well in school but gets an undeserved bad reputation - it would be easy to blame Quan for falling into a life of crime - but when you look at the big picture, it isn't so easy. I've loved the conversations Trent and I are having while reading this!

And those were my March reads! What did you read this month?


Kathryn Bagley said...

I just finished The Dutch House for took a while to get into it but it wasn't bad, it wasn't great. I'm not sure what the story line was but that's what I read..ha!

Natasha said...

I need to check out some of those YA books, for both me and Sam.

Emily said...

This was quite a diverse book selection. Really heavy educational books about hard topics. Really light fluffy Nora Roberts. YA LGBT+. Harry Potter. LOL