March madness is over! We’re moving into the second quarter of the year now (*insert obligatory “oh my god I cannot believe it!”*) and I’m actually back in my hometown at the moment, working remotely and overall trying to enjoy the company of hot Indonesian air. I am super, super STOKED that by the time I fly back to Melbourne at the end of April, it’ll be wonderfully cooler. Hopefully. (I’m a winter person, y’all.) ❤
Reviewing-wise this month has been remarkably average—six books reviews, five of them 3-star and the remaining one 4-star. Am I the only one whose reviews are published about 2-3 weeks after I actually finish reading the book? I hope not! But anyway…
- Risuko (ARC) by David Kudler | ★★★☆☆ | Not enough exposition. Strong female characters. Inspired by Japanese mythology!
- Future Perfect by Jen Larsen | ★★★☆☆ | Diverse characters. Lost focus for a bit. Overall a very interesting look at body positivity and self-acceptance.
- Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn | ★★★☆☆ | Made me think, and made me think a lot. Very interesting and refreshing perspective on sex before marriage and promiscuity. A flawed protagonist. Frustrating lack of resolution.
- The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell | ★★★☆☆ | Emotionally difficult. Really sad. Feels authentically Japanese, for some reason. Also lacks resolution.
- The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine | ★★★★☆ | Strong, likeable protagonist that the author dragged through hell and back (sort of). Super awesome magic system and world-building.
- Fifteen Lanes (ARC) by S. J. Laidlaw | ★★★☆☆ | Really interesting cultural book with alternate perspectives. Eye-opening. At times uncomfortable and sickening. Unfortunately comes with storytelling flaws.
- The Versatile Blogger Award | Also titled: Seven Quick Facts about Reg, Your Resident Blogger.
- Top Ten Books if You’re in the Mood for Asian Culture | Bringing diversity into the blog a little bit!
- Top Ten Love Interests I Don’t Really Get | The various things that would go wrong with various love interests in a real life setting.
- Let’s Talk: The Elusive Five-Star Book | What makes a book five-star material to you, and how is it different from a four-star book? Asking the important questions here. 😉
Around the Blogosphere
- Ari from The Daydreaming Bookworm asks if book reviews are becoming irrelevant. Are they?
- Jess from Princessica of Books discusses whether blog theme (and therefore aesthetics) matters.
- Emma at The Talking Bookworm defends ‘bad romance’… in this case, love triangles and insta-love.
- Sara from Freadom Library speaks out about reading books that were originally written as fanfiction and gives her recommendations.
- Joey from Thoughts and Afterthoughts shares five very, very important tips on how to Book Outlet like a boss.
- CW from Read, Think, Ponder talks about what she’d love to see in New Adult fiction. (Me too, CW, me too!)
- Stephanie from Adventures of a Bibliophile asks if who the author is matters.
- Jess from Jbelkbooks talks about book hype and the pros and cons of following it.
- Joséphine from Word Revel shares some tips on how to use instagram, focusing on content and consistency.
Most Anticipated Reads
A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see.
I’m only jumping onto this bandwagon now, but hey, better late than never? 🙂
Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here – Anna Breslaw
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.
When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.
Come on, who’s surprised to see this book here? I’m expecting maximum geekiness from this one. 😛
The Rose and The Dagger – Renee Ahdieh
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Finally. Finally. ❤
How has your March been? Let me know in the comments or link me to your wrap-up post; I’d love to hear from you! 🙂