Hi guys! How are you? I hope you had a lovely Easter (if you celebrate Easter) and a great reading-month in March! I almost can’t believe it’s already April, and it’s especially hard to believe today – since it’s been snowing all day. I mentioned in part 1 of my wrap up that I’d read only 4 and 5 star books, and luckily for me that trend continued throughout the month. Though I did get through a bit fewer books in the second half of March, but quality trumps quantity, right? So let’s look at the books:
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Lately nearly every YA fantasy book I’ve read’s left me unsatisfied, not exactly disappointed, just wanting a little more of something, more darkness, more complexity, more depth. I was starting to worry I’d simply fallen out of love with the genre, but that was before I read Children of Blood and Bone. This book was exactly what I needed and I think it’s what the genre needs too, diverse voices telling diverse stories. Reading a fantasy book that isn’t set in a western-inspired world or centered around western myths/beliefs is honestly such a breath of fresh air, but talking about the book only terms of diversity would be doing it a disservice, cause it’s amazing in so many other areas as well. It gave me everything I want from this type of book and it did it all better than I’ve ever seen it done. The prose is sharper, the world is richer, the plot is tighter, the twists hit harder and the characters… The characters are all complex, layered people who have strengths and weaknesses, who make mistakes and only sometimes learn from them, who grow and change (or don’t) in unpredictable ways. I loved this one and I can’t recommend it enough.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This book is told from the POV’s of two women separated by time and place. Nao’s a 16 year old girl in Tokyo who’s planning to commit suicide, she’s being bullied at school and her home life isn’t much better. She’s lonely and seeking a connection, so she buys a diary and starts writing to an unknown ‘you’, planning to leave the journal somewhere to be found. Ruth is the woman who happens to find Nao’s diary, washed up on the beach on a Canadian island. Ruth’s a novelist who isn’t writing and solving the puzzle of the diary and discovering Nao’s faith becomes somewhat of an obsession for her. I’ve had this book on my tbr for ages and I’ve been meaning to read it for so long – well, I finally did and it was wonderful. It deals with some pretty dark and heavy topics, but it does so with empathy and grace. Ruth Ozeki is a fantastic writer, she paints the most vivid pictures with her prose and her characters all feel like real people, I think they’ll stick with me for a long time.
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’m having a really hard time articulating my opinions about this book and I think it’s cause I just don’t have any, or at least not any strong ones. My notes on this literally say: “Pretty solid YA fantasy. I liked it.” I should blurb books, guys. But seriously, everything I have to say about this, I’ve said before. I probably said it about Falling Kingdom two weeks ago, but let’s break it down: I think this book is very well written, it has an interesting mountain setting and good characters, I especially liked Raisa, a princess who actually wants to become a good queen and do what’s best for her people. I wasn’t a fan of the pacing, the story dragged in parts (mostly Han’s chapters) and the plot-twists were so predictable I’m not sure they were even meant to be twists, but the characters sure seemed surprised, so I’m guessing they were?
The Hundredth Queen and The Fire Queen by Emily R. King 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’ve seen almost exclusively negative reviews for this series and I understand why. They’re pretty light fantasy books, which play a lot of tropes stick straight – including an insta-love romance, a heroine with hidden magical powers, an unwanted marriage to the Rajah and even a love triangle (in the second book). But I liked them anyway. I liked the cast of mostly female characters, I liked that the terrible Rajah is actually terrible – not misunderstood or possessed, I like the ‘falling for the guard’ trope, I like the elemental magic and the mythology surrounding the bhuta. I wish some of the characters had been more fleshed out and parts of the plot (especially in the second book) tested my willingness (and ability) to suspend disbelief, but while some parts were silly, they were never boring and I’m eager to continue reading this series.
I also want to highlight some of my favorite blog posts of the month:
Acqua di more shared 10 Books She Loves But Rarely Mention on her Blog and it helped expand my ever-growing tbr pile.
Alex @ Alex reads and blogs wrote about Book Reviews vs. Reactions and why she has a hard time reviewing books and it was so relatable. I’ve had this blog for more than 6 months and written one review.
Avery @ Red Rocket Panda compared The Most Popular and The Highest Rated Books on their TBR and the results were both surprising and interesting!
Etinosa @ Uwadis shared her favorite Female Nigerian Authors and I loved learning more about some authors I love and discovering some new ones.
Marina @ Books of Magic wrote about her Top 5 Books about Witches and it I loved it, cause I’m always down to add more witchy books to my tbr.
Martha @ The Cursed Books discussed Why We Need More ‘Unlikable’ Heroines and it was brilliant. I agree with every word she wrote.
Melanie @ Meltotheany wrote a really personal and beautiful review of Furyborn which made me want to read the book.