It’s time for our monthly reading recap! Jackie and I devoured a lot of books in March — 18 to be exact. Jackie read a book I loved, but she hated. I read one I thought was meh that Jackie previously read and loved. Isn’t it fascinating how the same book can delight or draw shudders? Then there was On the Come Up by Angie Thomas which we felt the exact same way about —- and we are sure you will too! So scroll down, take a look through the fantasy, historical fiction, romance, thrillers, and general fiction books we read in March 2019. Maybe you’ll find your next great read.
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Jackie’s March 2019 Stack
Well, if you watched our instastories then you will know that this book was a DNF for me. I really did not relate to the voice of the character or the stream of consciousness writing that was the essence of this book. It was aggravatingly monotonous and repetitive and although it won awards, I just could not spend any more time with this book. 1 star
This is such an original book that is a fairy tale (think original Grimm’s tales as opposed to Disney) meets modern day. It had been in my stack of books to read for a really long time and I am so glad that I finally got to it. 4 stars
Angie Thomas has done it again with this book. She has such a wonderful way of telling a story that the reader will feel completely immersed and her writing is brilliant. Unlike the book The Hate U Give when I completely understood Starr and her motivations, Bri was different for me. In this case, I questioned her actions and related more to her mother than I did to her. I wanted to reach through the book and talk some sense into her. It felt like I was sitting by while someone made bad decisions and there was nothing I could do about it. This book is a must read. 4 stars (Kirsten read this one in March too and feels exactly the same way!)
This second book in the Winternight Trilogy was a winner for me. When I started the Bear and the Nightengale I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. By the end, I was completely entranced. This book was fast paced and had me turning pages from the very beginning. It starts shortly after the first book ends. Vasya, who needed to choose between life in the convent or married, has fled her home. I cannot wait to read the conclusion. 4 stars
Thanks to Scribner for our free review copy. I read the Island of Sea Woman by Lisa See and was captivated from the first page. Lisa See’s last novel The Tea Girl of Humminbird Lane was absolutely brilliant and I felt the same way about this book. It tells the story of a friendship between two women on the Korean Island of Jeju. There, woman work as a diving collective to provide for their families and the men look after the children. It was so interesting to read a story where some gender norms are completely reversed and others, like feeding woman and children last, were still perpetuated. Beyond the incredible history of this small island is the story of a remarkable friendship between Mi-ja and Young-sook from over decades. Lisa See has done it again with this remarkable book. 5 stars
I was so excited to read this book because I loved the first one in the series so much. The City of Brass was so original and well written, that the 500+ pages were not an issue at all for me. With this book, I felt the 600+ pages. I think it was about 200 pages too long. The story dragged a little bit for me in the middle and I was disappointed. It wasn’t bad. I enjoyed it and I did finish it but I wish that the story had moved a little quicker. 3 stars.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was fine. I finished it but, I definitely did not love it. The facts related to libraries and the fire itself were extremely interesting. It was well-written and relatable. 3 stars
Oh, how do I love Louise Penny….let me count the ways…..I LOVE her books. The characters, the food, and Three Pines are such comforting reads for me. She never disappoints me. I have been trying to slow down so that I do not finish all the books before the next one comes out but, that is a lost cause. The Chief Inspector has a new job and with it, a new murder to solve. When one of the professors at in the Surete Academy is found dead, Armand Gamache is at the center of an investigation. 4.5 stars
Nina George is one of my favorite authors. I started this book and I love her writing but, as I continued reading, the subject matter became very weird. The story of each of the individuals was great but, as we enter into the world of Henri’s coma, I was not sure where the story was heading. I wasn’t sure if there was a religious undertone or if it was the hints about an afterlife. Either way, I love fantasy but this book did not fit into that category. It fit into the category of fantastic- like in the book but, I just couldn’t get behind it.
The ending of the book is where I became lost completely. I wish I felt the same way about this book as I did “The Little Paris Bookshop” and “The Little French Bistro”. Both of those books were charming and delightful reads that are very high on my list. Thank you for my review copy of this book. It was a 2.5 star for me.
This was Colgan’s first book and although I enjoyed it, it did not have the charisma her other books have. There is something so comforting about a book that involves friends, food, and love. This story was a different sort of equation with characters that are a little more flawed and a little less adorable and loveable than I have become accustomed to. 3 stars
Kirsten’s March 2019 Stack
I didn’t love this YA fantasy about fae and humans, but I thought it was good. It held my interest but I didn’t find myself thinking about it day and night like A Court of Thorns and Roses (this is most if full of books just like ACOTAR). Funny enough, Jackie compulsively read this one and felt A Court of Rose and Thorns was fair. I guess it goes to show you that everyone has a different opinion! 3 stars.
Oh boy, do you want a tear-jerker? This one had me feeling all the feelings. I was angry, laughing, frustrated, crying, and happy at various points during this tremendous debut book. I loved everything the point where it ended (it leaves you on a bit of an ambiguous ending.) No wonder it won so many awards. 4 stars.
Thanks to Atria for my review copy. All opinions are my own. Easily one of the most unique historical fiction books I’ve read in a while. The Parting Glass takes us from the mansions of park avenue to the streets of Irish New York during the Gilded Age. As the story unfolds Maire, a lady’s maid, hides her love for her employer, the debutant Charlotte, as Charlotte has an illicit affair with Maire’s brother who serves as the stableboy. Class, religion, sexual orientation, and more were all explored. And can I just say thank goodness I didn’t have to wear one of those crazy gowns? 3.5 stars
After listening to this book for an hour and having LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPEN, I stopped. I hated it. 1 star
OOOOh did I love this thriller! The house the story was set in is utterly fascinating. The female characters I loved, but I hated the architect. He was creepy in such a subtle way, but it totally made my skin crawl. I was compulsively turning pages and staying up late into the night to find out what happened to Emma and Jane. Oh, and the ending was perfection. 4.5 stars.
A family saga told about 3 generations of soft-drinks heirs that had heart and glamour. I loved learning about the rise and fall of the Panola Cola company and the dynasty it produced. It’s hard to choose a favorite Forster but it was probably Harold’s tale that I liked the most, followed closely by Ramsey. I loved the made-up family interacting with real-world figures. I just really enjoyed this read. It would be great for the beach. 3.5 stars
I thought this story so engaging. Told across 2 timelines, both set in the Gilded Age only a few years apart, this book had everything I look for in a novel. It had interesting characters, an engrossing mystery, and it was a historical fiction novel. I don’t usually read about this time period, and yet this was the second book I read about the Gilded Age this month! I loved it! 4 stars.
This story about a baker trying to feed her village during WWII was interesting, but not really memorable. The plot was intriguing but the story didn’t manage to tug on my heartstrings in the way of say, The Nightingale. Ultimately, it was forgettable. 2.5 stars (American Pop by Snowden Wright are our favorites if you are looking for books in that genre.)