So I finally noticed that I never did a February Wrap-Up, so I decided to combine it with my March Wrap-Up. Both February and March were pretty good reading months for me, so in total I managed to read 17 books (6 in February, 11 in March). The reason March was such a good reading month for me is because I have been on Spring Break for the past week, and I’ve devoted myself to getting through at least one book a day while on break, which so far has been achieved.
So starting off with February –
Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
I absolutely adored this book. The characters were so adorable and wonderful, and the writing was as gripping as any of Rowell’s other books. I wasn’t exactly sure how Rowell would do in a different genre, as this book is fantasy, unlike her usual contemporary, but I think she did fairly well. The world-building wasn’t as good as it could have been, with some of the explanations of the magic being a little confusing and not well fleshed-out, but overall I still really loved this book, and I ended up giving it 5 stars.
The Hidden Girl, by Lola Rein Kaufman
I enjoyed this book, but it felt much too short, considering that it spanned most of the life of the author. At less than 100 pages, I was able to read this book in one sitting, but the story left much to be desired. It felt like a synopsis of a full novel, skimming over any details and giving a very broad description of Kaufman’s survival of the Holocaust. I gave this book 3 stars.
Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
After watching the film, I didn’t really have any desire to read this book. I’m not a huge fan of WWII nonfiction, as it is often just too depressing for me to get through, but a friend loaned this book to me, insisting that I absolutely had to read it, if I liked the film. This book took me a while to get through, both because of the writing style and the general heaviness of the topic, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a very powerful depiction of the war, and Louis’ story was awe-inspiring. I ended up giving this book 4 stars, simply because I felt some parts were dragged out, and I wish we could have gotten some more details about the people around Louis, rather than just his story.
A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J Maas
I love Sarah J Maas’s writing. The way she presents her characters is so unique and wonderful, and I knew I was going to enjoy this book even before I picked it up. I loved it. From the first page I was enthralled, and I could barely put it down. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it was a little bit predictable, even beyond the predictability of the fairy-tale retelling. I gave this book 4 stars.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton
This book was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read, and went far beyond my expectations of a debut author. I loved all of the characters, and Walton’s writing style was so unique and original. I gave this book 4 stars, only because I didn’t get quite all of the resolution that I wanted, and I also wish we’d seen a little bit more of some of the minor characters.
Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken
Can we just take a moment to admire the infinite gorgeousness that is this cover? This may be one of my favorite covers of all time. So beautiful. I loved the story almost as much. After having read the Darkest Minds trilogy, I was really excited to see what else Alexandra Bracken had to offer, and she did not disappoint. The concept behind this story was as fascinating as it was original, but the execution of it wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping for. The characters frustrated me at times, and there were a few musical aspects that I wasn’t a huge fan of (as a musician some of Etta’s actions as a musician were a little bit bizarre to me). I gave this book 4 stars.
TBR Jar – My TBR Jar challenge for the month of February was to read a book that was under 200 pages. I completed this challenge with the book The Hidden Girl: A True Story of the Holocaust.
Moving on to March –
The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
This is a book that I had to read for school, and I really didn’t enjoy it at all. I didn’t like any of the characters, and there was absolutely no plot whatsoever. It felt like Faulkner had just said to himself “what is the most convoluted, confusing, and painful book ever written? I want to do something worse.” I gave this book 2 stars, if only because I can appreciate how much work Faulkner put into writing this book.
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
This book was fantastic. It took me way too long to read, but I enjoyed it so much. The character’s stories were so well done. Also, Verity’s sass was the best. I gave this book 4 stars, only because it took me so long to get into it, due to the writing style not really being very appealing to me, and the POV change in the middle made it so that I had to get into the book all over again.
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
This book was hilarious. Don’s personality was so relatable to someone like me, who is often incredibly socially awkward. While I didn’t really like the resolution at the ending, and it was a little predictable, I loved that it was a light fluffy contemporary, giving me a break from the heavier books that I had been reading. I gave this book 4 stars.
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like this book, which is probably why it has been sitting on my shelf for months, untouched. While I did enjoy this book, and I am going to continue on with the series, there were definitely many flaws in this book. I ended up giving it 3 stars, because I didn’t really like the writing style or the plot, but I loved all of the characters, and quickly became very invested in their stories.
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
I have only ever heard good things about this book, so I went into it expecting to love it. I did love it, even more than I thought I would. This book quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. The writing was extraordinary, and by the end I was so invested in all of the characters that I didn’t even want to finish it, knowing that it was a standalone, and that I wouldn’t get more of the characters. While I was a little confused by the ending, which seemed a little bit abrupt, I still ended up giving this book 5 stars.
Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
This book actually shattered me, and then I watched the movie trailer, and I just imploded. This book sent me spiraling into a pit of despair, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve made it out yet. I will give you a warning – DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THE MOVIE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK. There are major book spoilers in the trailer, but you won’t realize it until you read the book and realize that you’ve been spoiled. Obviously, I gave this book 5 stars.
I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
I was really interested to see what else Markus Zusak had to offer, considering that The Book Thief is probably my favorite book of all time. I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I think my biggest problem with this book was that I didn’t like or identify with any of the characters. The writing and the plot was great, but if you don’t feel any connection with the characters, it can make the book a lot less enjoyable. I gave this book 4 stars.
Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer
I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up this book. I read Cinder months ago, and absolutely adored it. For some reason, I just decided that I wasn’t going to read the rest of the series right away. I’m finally getting to it now, and it was even better than I was hoping for. I know a lot of people don’t like Scarlet as much as the other books in the series, but I loved it just as much (if not more) than Cinder. I really regret putting this off for so long, since I ended up enjoying it so much. I gave this book 5 stars, obviously.
The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
This was another book (technically a play) that I had to read for school, so I wasn’t really sure whether I was going to enjoy it or not. I loved it so much. All of the characters were so charming and genuine, and most of the play had me laughing out loud. Definitely one of the better school required readings I’ve had to deal with. I gave this 5 stars.
The Elite, by Kiera Cass
This book wasn’t as good as the Selection, but this series is definitely a guilty pleasure for me. The romance is squeal worthy, but the characters (especially America) can be so, so frustrating. While overall I did enjoy this book, it’s definitely never going to be a series noted for its literary merit. I gave it 3 stars.
Cress, by Marissa Meyer
So I don’t have a rating for this one yet, because I’m still reading it, but I am going to finish it today, which is why I’m including it in my wrap-up. I’m probably going to end up giving this one 4 stars, because I’m not liking it quite as much as I liked Cinder and Scarlet. It’s a really long book, and not a lot has happened, it’s a lot of sitting around trying to figure out what to do, without ever actually doing anything. On the other hand, Cress and Thorne are wonderful, although I don’t like Cress as much as I thought I would. She’s just a little too helpless and deluded, not that it’s her fault.
TBR Jar – My TBR jar challenge this month was to start a new series, which I accomplished by reading The Raven Boys.
What books did you read over the past 2 months? Should I continue on with The Raven Boys? Were you bothered by America as much as I was?