My March 2016 Reads

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I surprised myself with the height of this month's stack of books, and even more so when I remembered there were a few audio and e-books thrown into the March mix too! You can accomplish quite a lot when you cut out a few TV shows and use your free time wisely... Anyway! Here are my thoughts about the books I loved and hated this month, because there was a great mix of both, with a ton of solidly okay books in the mix as well. 

Here's what I read this March!


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Bossypants by Tina Fey

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

 

Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.
— Tina Fey

MY THOUGHTS: I listened to this one on audiobook in my car driving to and from work, and it was perfect for that. The chapters were mostly short, and this style of humorous writing worked well for short twenty minute bursts of listening. I laughed out loud a few times, and loved that it was Tina Fey herself reading it. I think that added a lot to it that I wouldn't have gotten just from reading the book itself. Overall, it wasn't wildly hilarious or a must-read at all, but it was fun!


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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

 

Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.
— J.K. Rowling

MY THOUGHTS: Okay, #6 redeemed the series after my hate for #5. I definitely didn't remember this one (or the 5th) as much as I remembered the first four, so that's made them a little more exciting to read. I'll never be a huge Harry Potter fangirl, but they are fun reads and I'm looking forward to reading the last one soon!


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Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song by Sara Bareilles

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I reviewed this one for #COLLABOREADS-- check it out here!


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Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I wrote a full review of this one here!


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We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

 

To always know how quickly life could change, how quickly everything important could disappear, to always be trying to feel this unexpectedly beautiful life to its core.
— Laura McBride

MY THOUGHTS: This was a random library grab thanks to a great cover and an intriguing first few pages, and I was not disappointed. The story is told through 4 different characters, and I knew at some point they would overlap, but I didn't expect it to happen like it did. I knew there would have to be some event that would draw these distinct story lines together, and when it happened, it was pretty easy to guess how it would wrap up, but I was still engaged until the last page (which seemed to be an abrupt end). The beginning as you got to know the characters was a bit slow, but overall, a great debut novel from McBride! Hope she writes more.


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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

MY RATING: 1/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I think listening to this one on audiobook ruined it for me. I wanted to like it (all the reviews I've seen from friends were 4 or 5 stars!) but just could NOT get into it. I really think if I had the book in hand, I would have flown through it and been much more engaged. I even sped up the reader to try to follow better...but couldn't. Maybe someday I'll try to give the physical book a read, but I just was not a fan and couldn't even finish it!


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The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

 

Love is the child of freedom, never that of domination.
— Julie Cantrell

MY THOUGHTS: I wasn't sure what to think of this one. It was the first novel I've ever read on my iPad (I'm a diehard paper book lover) which was a different and not so great experience... but I did like this one! It kept me hooked because I knew enough of the plot to know something dramatic was going to happen, and I really wanted to see how it played out. It wasn't as suspenseful as Gone Girl and it definitely wasn't writing of any extraordinary caliber, but it did keep me engaged and flipping pages quickly! It was a quick read and a fun look at New Orleans living around the time Katrina happened, but it was pretty shallow overall and not terribly shocking or engrossing, even though the themes could have gone to much darker, deeper, more intense places. If you like books with some twists and suspense but don't like all the gory, gross, super dark details, this is a great one for you!

IN ADDITION: I received this e-book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review, but I'll always be totally honest with you about what I think!


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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I think this was my favorite HP book by far. I honestly did not know the way things played out (I've realized I never actually finished this series as a kid!) so I couldn't put this one down. The whole Snape storyline?! Never saw that coming. This was a great way to end this series. I am glad I reread them, despite all my stubborn push back originally.


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Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I reviewed this one for #COLLABOREADS-- check it out here!


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The Season of Migration by Nellie Hermann

MY RATING: 1/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: Well, I couldn't get through this one either. It's a sign of growth (I think) that I've been learning to close books I'm not enjoying and stop reading once I've given them a chance. I used to feel obligated to finish... but no longer. There are too many amazing books to be read to waste time reading mediocre ones! This one was challenging in the way each paragraph switched perspectives and times. It takes skill to make that work well, and I wasn't following this one. It's a fictionalized take on VanGogh's life, which made for an intriguing premise, and although I learned more about his life beyond his art, I really wasn't intrigued by the his complex and messy relationship with his brother or hooked at all by the writing. I'm sure there are people (art fans especially) who would enjoy this one, but it just wasn't worth finishing to me!


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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

MY RATING: 5/5 stars

I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.’ ‘But you built me dreams instead.
— Erin Morgenstern

MY THOUGHTS: I had heard HIGH praise for this one, which usually means I want nothing to do with it. It's probably the rebel tendencies in me, but I typically avoid things with a lot of hype because I rarely find that they live up to it. This one on the other hand, did. It really did. I was so captivated and intrigued by all the magic and mystery in this book. Here's an example of a book that excelled at switching between perspectives and time periods, and drew you more into the story each time instead of confusing you as the reader. I found this to be beautiful, enchanting, curious, and fun, and would definitely recommend it! It was well worth the wait and well-deserving of the hype and high praise.


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

MY RATING: 5/5 stars

There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.
— Paul Kalanithi

MY THOUGHTS: I heard about this one from Anne Bogel's podcast first, and instantly added it to my list. I had seen it around but never really knew the premise, and even once I did, I wasn't sure what I would think. Knowing it was about Paul (a neurosurgeon in his residency) and his own cancer that took him too soon, I was afraid it would be horribly depressing and morbid, but it was beautifully written and poignant. I couldn't put this one down (I literally only did because it was late and I really needed sleep) and wept like a baby throughout his wife's epilogue. This is a 5 star, must-read! It won't take you long and it will be a lovely look at how to live well even in the face of death.


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The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I've been on an Emily St. John Mandel kick ever since Station Eleven (her newest) and I was really glad to find that this one (one of her oldest) was still fantastic. This was a pretty quick read and one that kept me curious throughout. I still rank Station Eleven as her best book, but I do recommend this one!

IN ADDITION: Basically, anything and everything by this author is worth your time, so just grab her books and fall in love.


What have you read lately? I would love your best book recommendations!

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