Quick Thoughts on What I Read in March! (Do I even need to give you a head’s up that it will be long?)

Lots of books this month! The physical books are listed first with their respective reviews; scroll down for my audiobook thoughts. 

PHYSICAL BOOKS

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe (Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, #1) by Jenny Colgan

Okay, I love Jenny Colgan and so naturally I loved this book! It wasn’t quite as good as the other two books I had read by her … in those ones, my favourite part was the escape to somewhere new, that fish out of water, starting over vibe. But this one was still amazing. I loved the idea of starting over, meeting a new beau, making new friendships … it’s everything I want in a Jenny Colgan story! And while her last one had me baking bread, this one had me wanting to bake cupcakes … and thankfully, my birthday is in March so I have a reason to! I love Jenny Colgan’s books and will seriously need to find them all and get them on my shelf. She’s such a wonderful author!

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

Ugh. This was horrible! I had seen a recommendation of this book on a vlog and then I saw the book at Shopper’s Drug Mart so I picked it up. And I’m glad that it was easy to read quickly because this was definitely the worst book I read this year! I didn’t relate to the main character at all and felt like so much that happened was just not possible. I mean, an 8 year old boy strips down in a snow storm and is clearly hallucinating and feverish … and then totally fine? Does the author live somewhere warm because that’s not how winter works. Also, there was no need for an instaromance in this book. Like, NO need. Anyway, this is apparently part of a series and I am not continuing with it. The whole story was all over the place and it could’ve been great, but was just … not.

We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk

I’m not sure how I felt about Lindsey Kelk’s latest, We Were On A Break. It was enjoyable, but parts of it definitely dragged. I don’t think I liked the drawn out idea of will they or won’t they get back together. At some point I decided that I didn’t really care. I do love Lindsey Kelk’s writing, though, and will be reading her other books, but this one was one I really really looked forward to so I’m kind of sad it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I feel like maybe I had taken too many breaks while reading this one or maybe I hyped it up a bit too much in my head that it just didn’t live up to expectations.

The Stone House (A Class Novel) by A. K. Benedict

Ever since I finished watching the TV show Class this month, I had been thinking SO MUCH about the characters and a possible series 2. When I saw that there were books written for the series, I knew I had to try them out. I was at Indigo one day and this one was on a display and I had to snatch it up! Unfortunately, it was just okay. It was fun to get back into the world again, but the characters fell flat for me. I didn’t like Quill’s character in the book – she is amazing in the show – and I didn’t like the dynamic between April and Ram. Ram was just an ass and he really isn’t in the show. I heard that this was written before the show came out, so that explains some things. Still, it was fun to get into a strange house and solve a mystery.

How to Love by Katie Contugno

I think I bought this book because so many people had been raving about it, however it just wasn’t for me. It was so hard to like Sawyer – was he supposed to be swoon-worthy? I feel like Reena went through this major life change and yet Sawyer still seemed like a teenager and just so selfish. I didn’t get the romance in this book, I didn’t like the ending, and I felt like the whole motherhood part of it was unrealistic. I’m glad that I got this book cheap. I feel like Katie Contugno has great potential as a writer, but I think I’ll be checking out some of her newest work to see what it’s like.

Haunted (Women of the Otherworld, #4) by Kelley Armstrong

This month I read another book in the Women of The Otherworld series and while I’m liking it, I’m not totally loving it. Maybe it’s the supernatural aspect of it? Don’t get me wrong, I love Kelley Armstrong and her writing, but I think I prefer her other adult series. However, I do love the werewolves in this series, and I kind of wish they made more of an appearance throughout. I know the next book is about them, which is great. This book, though, I just didn’t like Eve very much and I felt like there was lots of going here and going there throughout this book and nothing really happening. Also it was kind of weird being that Eve is dead and basically has everything she had when she was alive. What kind of a ghost needs a house? Should anyone be afraid to die when they can basically still interact with their loved ones, they have a house, they can still have sex, etc.? Here’s hoping I love the next book a little more!

Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms, #1) by Julia London

A local library is having a historical romance evening with the second book in Julia London’s Highland Grooms series. I checked out the first book and thought it looked so good and it was such a fun read! I hadn’t read a historical romance in a long time so it was a fun change from what I had been reading. I loved Margot and Arran and the back and forth in the beginning between their relationship then and their relationship now made the story so readable and enjoable. I haven’t read a lot of Julia London and this one really piqued my interest in her writing. I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

AUDIOBOOKS

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I’m not sure what to say about this Sarah Dessen book. Usually I love her books, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t totally in love with Remy’s character and felt like she was just a bit of a downer. I think I prefer Sarah’s newer books because these older ones just don’t show her strengths as much, so I think I’m going to not read the other couple I have to read (both came out before this one) and just keep reading her newer ones from now on. Seriously, her new books are amazing!

Notes on the Audio: If I had tried to read this in physical format (which is how I own the book) I think I might have put it down. Like I said, this story doesn’t quite have the lyrical quality and addictiveness of her newest books so the audio really saved me with reading this. 

The Heir and The Crown (The Selection, #4 and #5) by Kiera Cass

 I loved this series when it first came out but then when The Heir came out I was in my “buy the book but put it on my shelf unread” phase and so it’s taken me this long to finally get to it! Thankfully, my library had the last two books in the series on audiobook so I got to listen to them within a week. And they were perfect! I loved that these two books were kind of like a series on their own so I didn’t have to remember lots of details from the first three books. I still loved seeing America and Maxxon but it was nice that these two books centred on their daughter and her own Selection. And I’m happy to have finally finished this series! It was definitely enjoyable!

Notes on the Audiobook: These were narrated by Brittany Pressley and she does such an amazing job! If I had picked up these books in physical format, I might not have loved them as much as I did. She really did a great job of bringing the characters and the story to life. I love this series so much that I would definitely do a reread through the audiobooks if Brittany Pressley narrates them all! 

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer

I finally got to finish the Lunar Chronicles this month! I did really enjoy reading Winter though I have to say that Winter and Cress are NOT my favourite characters.

I loved how strong Cinder and Scarlet were and I think we lost that when we got to these last two retellings. When it came to these last two books, I felt like the hormones got in the way of the strength – like, being in battle and all you can think of is how hot the guy you’re in love with is? Or just spend more time thinking about whether or not he likes you, rather than the task at hand? I felt like there was some of that in the first two books, but Cress and Winter were just so overboard with it that it got annoying. And I know that these are retellings of fairytales, but it was kind of annoying that everyone was perfectly paired off by the end. It made it predictable. BUT I did enjoy reading this series, especially listening to the audiobooks! They had lots of adventure and thrills and I definitely preferred certain characters over others. I’m not sure if I’ll read the other books in this series, but we’ll see. Winter was fun to read, though could’ve been a bit shorter, so I think I’ll need a break now!

Notes on the Audio: As always, Rebecca Soler does an amazing job. By this last book, there are so many characters and not once did I feel confused listening. I especially love her voice for Cinder and Scarlet and even though Iko’s is a bit whiny at times, I feel like the vocal stylings of her voice are pretty appropriate. As this is the last book in the series, I will say that I enjoyed listening to this whole series on audio – Rebecca Soler made it very enjoyable! 

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

I definitely love Nina LaCour’s language. She has a way with words that makes me feel so awkward when I talk. I wish I could string sentences together like she can! However, while this was a great book, and I did give it four stars, I feel like parts of it are forgettable. I’m sitting here now, trying to think of what to say about it and I loved the relationships in it, the showing of the grief process, but when it comes to the plot, I feel like the plot was grief, if grief can be a plot. There’s a lot of back and forth from the past and present, but not a lot actually happens. So, in the end, it was good, but don’t ask me to recall many details on it.

The Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong

This month I tackled even more Kelley Armstrong books and I know I say it all the time, but man is she amazing!

I can’t believe that I waited this long to read her books, but I think I initially started reading her books at the wrong time. I read the first YA trilogy, the Darkest Powers one, years ago and loved the writing, but for some reason the last book turned me off a bit and I think that effected my reading ever since. However, now that I’ve been caught up and catching up on her adult series (and falling madly and deeply in love with her writing in the meantime), I wonder if my thoughts of that first series would change this time around. This series was great. I listened to the first two as audiobooks and read the last book and it was fun to see characters from other books come to play (from both the Darkest Powers trilogy and from the Women of the Otherworld series). And I loved the romance in this book – it was a love triangle, which I usually hate, but a well done love triangle. I felt like the right things happened to make it work.

Notes on the Audio: I really enjoyed listening to the audio for this series! Since it had been so long since I read the first series that this one spins off from, I think that the audiobooks really helped me get back in and added so much to the story. These are narrated by Jennifer Ikeda who is a favourite narrator of mine and I felt like she did a great job of giving voices to the characters and bringing the story to life. 

Winter Storms (Winter, #3) by Elin Hilderbrand

Finally got access to Winter Storms from my library! I had been waiting for the audiobook since I finished the second book in the series last month and it was worth the wait. This might have been a Christmas-themed book but it was still totally enjoyable to read in March – and it was a great conclusion to the series. Almost a bit too perfect with lots of loose threads being neatly tied up, though I liked the story of Ava (although, seriously, three men after her? Really?), and I still really enjoyed getting the perspective from lots of different characters. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the last two books of this series for my bookshelf!

Notes on the Audio: Loved listening to this story on audiobook. I only own the first book in hardcover, so the audiobooks were a super fast way of getting through the whole series. These are narrated by Erin Bennett and are super, super short, with this book only being 6 hours and 31 minutes. There are a LOT of characters in this story and even though each character’s part starts with their name in the heading, it was still so easy to follow along listening to Erin narrate. Not once did I wonder who I was listening to and the story flowed perfectly. 

The Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine, #3) by Ransom Riggs

It’s funny, when it comes to the Miss Peregrine series, I had never intended to read this far. I loved the first book and thought it should’ve been a standalone, then I thought the second book was just okay and said I probably wouldn’t read the last book in the series, but then I saw it at Costco and I’m WEAK when it comes to books at Costco. I just had to get a copy! I’m glad I didn’t need a huge refresher on the last books to complete the series and definitely thought this was a good ending. That being said, I listened to the audiobook (the narration was great) and kind of consulted the photos in the book every once in a while, but I didn’t feel like the photos were necessary to the story. Still, these books are so pretty and I’m glad to have them on my shelf. I’m also happy this series is over. I think Ransom Riggs has a very interesting mind and I’m looking forward to whatever he comes up with next.

Notes on the Audio: This is the second book that I’ve listened to by Kirby Heyborne and I know it’s not going to be my last. He is such a great narrator and really tells this story with amazing emotion and clarity. He’s very animated and gives life to the characters and spirit to the story. I’m definitely interested to see what else he’s narrated because I think he’ll become a favourite of mine. 

Soundless by Richelle Mead

I love Richelle Mead’s writing and thought this book looked so good when it came out. I’m kind of glad that I listened to the audiobook, though, because I feel like if I had read the story I wouldn’t have liked it as much as I did. We’re reading about a society that signs everything to one another – no one can hear anything. Reading it, it would almost seem like there’s no dialogue, and we do spent a lot of time in the main character’s head. However, listening to the story made it go by quick and it was a very intriguing read! I’m glad it was a standalone, too.

Notes on the Audio: I’m very glad that I listened to this book on audio because it made the story flow much better than if I had read the physical copy. Like I said, we spend a lot of time in the main characters head and large paragraphs like that can be torture, for me at least, to get through. The audio helped give the book some life and I think it would’ve been just lacklustre otherwise. I did feel like Kim Mai Guest had a great voice and I would definitely be interested to check out other titles she’s narrated. 

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages, #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr

I also started the Blackwell Pages series by Kelly Armstrong and Melissa Marr. While it was fine to listen to, I realized that I’m just so-so with middle grade books these days. It makes sense since I’m so-so with a lot of YA books and seem to be in an adult book mood. Nonetheless, it was still a fun read and I do love mythology. I’ll still continue on with this series just to knock it off my TBR, so hopefully the next couple books are good.

Notes on the audio: This book was okay on audio – I definitely think that listening made me like the story more than if I had read the physical book. My issues were that there were three narrators, two of them being male, so at times I didn’t really know who was narrating, their voices being a little too similar. I don’t really think this book required more than one narrator, even if there was a female voice in it. I felt like the audiobook helped the story go by at a quicker pace, but the narrating was lacking. There are some great narrators out there and the ones chosen didn’t add a lot of emotion or spark to the story. 

 

Advertisements

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s