Jackie read a record 16 books this month which she’s super proud of. I hit a record low – I only physically read The Rose Code, having listened to the remainder of the books. 🤷🏼♀️ Spring is upon us and I’m just too caught up in cleaning and enjoying the weather to sit around and read.
Thank god for audiobooks, amirite? Regardless of how we consumed the content, we have a total of some 30 book reviews in the March 2021 Novel Ideas. Read on below to see what books we loved and which you can totally pass on.
*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.
Jackie’s March 2021 Novel Ideas Reads
I am so grateful for this book because it was my first 5 star of the year. I could not put it down. I felt like I knew each of these multi-faceted characters and the fact that the story is based on true events makes it even better.
When a group of women from Smith College go to France during WWI, they do not expect to be so close to the front line. The things they see and the way they grow is empowering and captivating from the first page! Be sure to check out our Instagram Live interview with the amazing Lauren Willig
I have not read many books where the central characters are American
While this is characterized as
This is the third book in the Brown Sisters trilogy and I adored this romance. Eve Brown is a mess. She switches jobs and careers on a whim and can’t seem to do anything right. When her parents cut her off and tell her to find a job, she finds herself at a bed and breakfast interviewing for a chef position. After Eve accidentally hits the owner of the B&B with her car, she begins the job helping Jacob, the reluctant owner. This steamy romance was a perfect one-sitting read. Thank you Libro
I loved this unique Peter Pan story that had me thinking about the true meaning of Neverland and the stories of the lost boys. Wendy Darling and her parents have never been able to move on after her brothers disappeared mysteriously five years ago. Wendy has no memories of the 6 months she was gone and no explanation for why she came home and her brothers didn’t. Now, as children start to go missing again, it feels like too similar to be a coincidence. This is a smart, well-written, well thought out twisted Peter Pan story. Thank you to Lobro.fm for my copy of this book.
Nella is the owner of a shop that used to be a renowned apothecary to treat women but, after her mother died and Nella faced unspeakable loss, her shop is now is the bringer of death to men who have wronged the women in their lives.
In present day, Caroline is spending her 10th wedding anniversary alone in London after discovering her husband is a lying, cheater. When she finds a vial while mudlarking, she cannot resist the pull. What is the story behind this vial? Thank you to Harper Collins for my copy of this book.
This is one of the most enjoyable thrillers I’ve read in a while. Even after I was surprised by twist after turn, the story kept moving in an unexpected direction. I love a thriller that I not only did not expect the ending but that I actually like some of the characters and where the story ends.
Thank you to Macmillan and Macmillan audio for my copy of this book. I read and listened to this one in just a few days
Those Who are Saved is about one mother and the impossible choices she has to try and save her daughter during WWII.
When she finds out she has to go to an interment camp, she sends her daughter, Lucie, to stay with her French Governess to keep Lucie alive. When she has a chance to escape to the United States, there is no time to get Lucie.
And thus begins the wait for the end of the war and the search for her missing daughter. I was compulsively flipping pages as I strived to learn if mother and daughter would be united once more. Thank you Putnam for my copy of this book.
Ahhh. This was just what I needed. A little bit of Paris, a little bit of ballet and a perfect romance to go with it. This book reminds me of one of my favorite movies- Center Stage- but set in beautiful Paris. It made me feel like I was there and I couldn’t put the book down.
This is a perfect YA romance! Thank you NetGalley and for Random House Children’s Books for my copy of this book!
There are so many things that I love about this book and I cannot wait to talk about them all with Kristy on April 12th! It is rare to find a book that can bring me to tears on page 10 and keeps me turning the pages. I read this book in a day because I just couldn’t put it down.
This is a love story that has depth and tackles difficult topics like infertility without being too overwhelming. I LOVED this book.
I love Reese’s YA picks and could not resist reading this book. It has a little bit of everything- magic, love, and adventure without being too predictable. I love a YA that does not read like a YA and this fit the bill perfectly.
When police come to Grace’s door, she is terrified that something has happened to her teenage daughter, Penny. Instead, she finds out her daughter has been arrested for murder.
What follows is a year and a half in a Psychiatric facility while Penny awaits her trial and try to determine if the multiple personalities are real or a made up ruse to get away with murder. Because Eve, the protector, has kept Penny and the other personalities away.
This thriller is brilliantly crafted and had me guessing until the very end. Thank you to Macmillian Audio for my ALC of this book. It was amazing to listen to as each personality had a distinct voice. I couldn’t put it down!
This romance follows the romance script with perfect predictability which means that it is perfect if you are looking for a romance. Note: there is a suicide in this book that might be a trigger for some people and you should avoid this book if that is the case for you.
Even though there is some heavier elements, I didn’t feel that the book ventured too much from the typical romance path. I enjoyed it.
I was so excited when I learned that Netflix was making this into a series. I think it will be amazing on screen and I am so curious to see if they keep to the book or change things, which is so often the case.
Alina Starkov is an orphan who has never excelled in anything. When her regiment is sent into the fold and her best friend is in danger of being killed, she unleashes a power, unlike anything anyone has seen. It may be the answer to the wars that have ravaged her nation.
If you love this book, be sure to check out our post Books Like Shadow and Bone
Have you ever loved a book so much that you couldn’t put it down but also didn’t want it to end? That is how I felt about book!
In 2004 Lara Barnes’s fiancé disappears on their wedding day. As Lara searches for answers, she starts to unravel a family mystery that goes back to 1925. This book has everything. It’s a dark fantasy filled with mystery, disappearances, and magic. I don’t want to give more detail because I don’t want to spoil any part of this book- it is my favorite fantasy of 2021 so far!
This debut novel revolves around three generations of an Irish family living in a small town where everyone knows each other. Kevin is a stay at home dad trying to keep track of his rebellious 16 year old daughter and his mother who keeps getting arrested for shoplifting.
When Kevin sends his daughter to boarding school and hires an Aide to help his mother, he thinks his problems are over. The humor in the book missed the mark with me and I found myself frustrated as I followed this family on an emotional rollercoaster. Thank you NetGalley for my copy of this book.
Rachel is a 24 year old woman who has serious food issues stemming from her mother. She is obsessed with maintaining her body and her image while craving nurturing, unconditional love and food.
For Rachel, food and love are the same. When she starts a 90 day detox from her mother, Rachel meets Miriam, an overweight orthodox Jewish women working is a yogurt shop.
There was so much about the book that I really enjoyed but there were parts that I found so strange. Her fantasies about food were strange. Her sexual desires linked to mothering were disturbing to me. Overall, the book was well-written but not a favorite.
Kirsten’s March 2021 Novel Ideas Books
Thanks to Libro. Fm and Riverhead books for my review copy. All opinions are my own. This collection of short stories was a thought-provoking delight.
The titular novella was my favorite of the bunch. It gave me chills and had me thinking it was over much too soon.
Kate Quinn does it again with this story about 3 female code breakers working during WWII. Beth, Mab, and Osla’s stories each could have been their own book, instead, we got an epic tale of intertwining friendship with a spy mystery to boot!
Oh, and did I mention that Osla dates Prince Philip before he marries Queen Elizabeth II AND that part of the storyline takes place in the lead-up to the royal wedding?
I read the first book in this series and thought it was OK. But I actually adored Majesty. I loved see the characters really develop and find themselves in this book.
I don’t want to talk spoilers but I really did enjoy this one. I hope there is a trilogy.
The titular shop in this book is more of a footnote. In fact, it’s only got a scene or two out of the entire book! Instead, the shop, or rather the dress purchased, is the catalyst for the story.
When Larisa stumbles into the shop and buys the dress for her fictional wedding, it sets off a series of events that are both poignant and comical.
Unfortunately, the writing style was a little too much tell and not enough show for my liking and I really struggled to connect with the lost 40-year-old Larissa.
I had royal fever this month while working on our Royal Reads post, so it’s no surprise that when my library hold for this autobiographical audiobook came through, I dove right it.
Angela Kelly is the Queen’s head dresser and long-time companion. She details her process for dressing the queen, talks about some iconic looks, and even reveals a few personal stories about her time with her majesty.
To compare this book to The Hate You Give is doing this book a disservice. The similarities exist in all the best ways, but I don’t want people thinking they can read one or the other.
This book is set in 1992, in LA, during the Rodney King riots. Ashley is an affluent black girl at a private school, who is forced to reckon with what her blackness means to herself, her friends, and her family.
This book was firmly OK. I’m normally a big fan of Lisa Jewell’s writing, but this one didn’t have me flipping pages at top speed.
The story is about a person who is sexually assaulting women, a girl gone missing, a lonely incel, and a philandering child psychologist and his family. It had promise but lacked the plot to fully draw me in.
I’m not the resident fantasy girl, but HOLY YES BATMAN. This story of a bad-ass female pirate was incredible. Normally, I only like fantasies if they have a strong romantic element. But in Fable, I found myself drawn in by our namesake character and the vivid world description.
Well done, Reese with this pick
I got this cute romance from a friend for Valentine’s Day. The story is about a wedding calligrapher who predicts a marriage between a couple will be a mistake. In writing. On their wedding program.
When the wedding gets cancelled, the groom comes in demanding answers. It was a great romance!
I picked up this sci-fi psychological thriller because of the cover (#booktruth.) I thought it would be about a first wife upset that she had been replaced by a trophy wife…little did I know, she was replaced by a LITERAL CLONE of herself.
I’m not usually into sci-fi, that’s firmly Jackie territory, but it was actually pretty good! If you like Sci-Fi, you would probably REALLY enjoy it. It was clever and interesting, even if it’s not my usual cup of tea.
I love a good royal story, I did just write the Ultimate List of Royal Reads after all. So when I saw that Melanie Summers wrote another royal read, I had to read it!
Cute, funny, and adorable as always, this story of a princess who gets dropped into the wilderness with a TV adventurer was a page turner. I finished it in one sitting chuckling aloud as I read along.
This charming story is about a bi-racial family in Harlem with 5 kids who are about to lose their home because their reclusive landlord won’t renew their lease.
My entire family enjoyed this delightful tale of the siblings trying to win their landlord over so they don’t have to leave home. It was full of all the antics you would expect of a big family.
The story alternates between Huey as a teenager grappling with his new life in the city at a prep school, and his childhood in the south during a summer in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement when he learned just how complicated it was to be a bi-racial child.
I was so drawn into Huey’s story that I lost track of time. It was over and I craved more.