So, a lot can change in a month can’t it?! Since my last “what I read” update for February, all our lives have changed dramatically.
I won’t lie, I’ve been escaping into a book whenever I can. Books have always been a place for me to hide and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing during March. Hiding from the news, hiding from my worries and (from time to time when they let me!) hiding from my kids who are bouncing off the walls!
That does mean that I have managed to read through a whopping 6 books last month. Now that may not be a huge amount, but don’t forget that’s as well as working 2 jobs from home and attempting to home school 2 children! So, it’ll take that as a win. This is what’s been on my bookshelf.
RUINS BY DAN WELLS
What a great way to end a trilogy! I already read both Partials and Fragments by Dan Wells back in February and loved them both so there was no doubt that I would be reading the final book in the series.
Wells really brings it up a notch in the finale and I love that we get so many perspectives in this final book. With so many POV narratives woven throughout, you can a real sense of how and why things happened. There was no single event like you are initially led to believe, instead the end of the world was brought about by a series of actions from both the Partials and humans alike. I don’t want to give too much away but Ruins goes a lot deeper than the other two books, bringing into question whether it is just in our nature to destroy.
This has been a great series; one I would definitely recommend to anyone that enjoys the YA sci-fi genre.
CLAIMING HIS HIDDEN HEIR BY CAROL MARINELLI
After a bit of an epic trilogy with the Partials series, I snuck in a quick Mills & Boon romance. If you follow this blog, then you will know that these kinds of books are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Quick and easy to read with a prescribed formula that works. They are a lovely bit downtime when you don’t want to think too much.
This delivered exactly that with an alpha male (rich of course!), a strong woman (with sass) and a secret baby thrown into the mix.
MUSIC FROM ANOTHER WORLD BY ROBIN TALLEY – AD | eARC
What a book! This was provided to be as a pre-release in return for feedback to the publisher, but I have no qualms about gushing about it and demanding that everyone go read it.
Set in California during the late 70’s, Sharon and Tammy are forced together as pen pals as part of a school project. Written as a series of diary entries and their letters to each other, what unfolds is a journey of self-discovery measured along the lines of the blossoming friendship. Both Tammy and Sharon’s brother are gay at a time in US recent history when being gay was something which was feared. When feminism was gaining a louder voice and punk music was gaining a small but devoted following.
Music From Another World taught me about history – look up Harvey Milk as a taste – while weaving it through characters you can’t help but fall in love with. What I loved most about it though was that it didn’t shy away from some of the more difficult topics. Not just the obvious homophobia forced on people from zealots, but also strained family relationships and the casual prejudice which was so ingrained in people at the time that there were even moments of it from people who were straight allies.
In short, I think this is my favourite book of the year so far. Music From Another World made me smile, it made me despair over what the LGBTQ+ community had to live through and it really made me want to listen to some Patti Smith!
A TASTE OF SIN BY MAGGIE COX
Another Mills and Boon snuck in this month (we had a huge donation of them at our local community centre book station!). This one was actually pretty good! The usual strong woman meets alpha male with plenty of romance and of course ending in love, but it was a nice easy read that I sped through during a nice long hot bath!
FEATHER BY OLIVIA WILDENSTEIN
I really enjoyed this book. It popped up as a social media advert – I assume because of my recent dip back into YA thanks to the Partials series. Intrigued by the synopsis I dove in and ended up reading it in 2 days.
Jarod is a sinner of the darkest kind. As the leader of the Parisian mob, his soul is a black as his eyes. Leigh is the angel set on redeeming his soul. What neither of them were counting on was each other. Feather is a captivating retelling of Romeo and Juliet and an exploration of what happens when the fate of an angel is tied to that a sinner.
The only thing that never quite settled with me on this one though was Jarod’s age. We are to be believed that at 25 he has made is way to the top of the mob – having inherited it from his Uncle. I assume we are meant to fill in the gaps of how bad he must be to reach that status, but it just never sits true. Probably because Wildenstein still wants him to be a character worthy of forgiveness but it’s a weak link in what is otherwise a really good story.
That being said, it didn’t stop me enjoying the book and there is no doubt I’ll be reading the sequel when it’s released in January!
HOLDING BY GRAHAM NORTON
I really really REALLY wanted to love this but sadly I just didn’t. In a small rural village, a body has been found at Burke’s Farm, and before long the past it back to haunt many of the residents of Duneen.
Although written beautifully in an almost lyrical style, I can’t help but feel that it did not suit the genre or the characters. There were flashes of comedy and a real-life sadness which weaves throughout Holding but there is little of the tension or drama you want from a crime novel, even one as beautifully written as this.
Add that to the fact that you can see the twist coming from around a quarter way through the book, it just feels like Holding takes a really long time to finally get there and when I finally did, I was left a little….dissatisfied. There is no doubt I will pick up another one of Norton’s books as this was really well written but Holding just fell a little short. This could just be me though, as my MIL read this too and absolutely loved it so it is worth a try for a well written lockdown read.
And that’s it! To be fair I think 6 books in a month that has been as dramatic as March is more than enough.
- Books read this month: 6
- Books read so far in 2020: 18
DISCLOSURE: some of these books have been gifted to me in return for my honest opinion which has been provided to the publishers via NetGalley. These books are clearly marked with AD and described as an Advance Readers Copy. The decision to include them on this blog is my own and I am under no obligation to do so.