March hasn’t been my best month blogging-wise but in terms of reading, I ended up doing pretty well, having completed 11 books (I am about a fifth of the way through book 12). This month I picked ‘young adult’ books as the genre I would be focusing on, and of the five books on my list (see March plans here), I finished 4 and also read an additional title. So here’s what I read last month.
I started the month off by reading two historical mysteries I had left over from my February list. A Murder in Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey is a murder mystery set in 1920’s Bombay featuring the first woman lawyer Perveen Mistry (based on two real-life first female lawyers). This one I really enjoyed, but others in the group I read it with, didn’t so much. My full review is here. The other was Sovereign by C.J. Sansom, third in the Matthew Shardlake series, which follows Shardlake to York as he is appointed to deal with legal matters when Henry is on progress (Catherine Howard was his queen at this point), and is also put in charge of a prisoner accused of conspiracy. Much darker than the first two books in some ways, but I still found I enjoyed this one a lot (review here).
While not in the order I read them, next I have the three books I read in March via NetGalley. Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay is a ‘sequel’ of sorts to the Alice books imagining Alice’s story at 15 when she has been placed in a mental institution since she doesn’t give up believing in wonderland. But Alice finds a chance to escape once more into Wonderland where she is part of a conspiracy to do away with the Red Queen Rosamund, who grows more and more insecure and beheads anyone who suits her fancy. This is YA so fit with my reading theme as well. This was an enjoyable read but I didn’t find it as absorbing as I’d expected to (review here).
Golden Pavements by Pamela Brown is the third in her Blue Door series featuring a group of children, now teens, who want to set up their own repertory theatre company. In this instalment, they find themselves in drama school, dealing with real world experiences through summer jobs, and preparing themselves to take their amateur theatre professional. (review here).
Finally, from NetGalley, I read The Catherine Howard Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh, which is a Dan Brown type (though not the same kind of writing so those who don’t like DB can safely pick it up) thriller set in the Tudor Age when Catherine Howard was queen. This has a dual timeline with part of the story taking place in 2018 when the contemporary character, Dr Perdita Rivers uncovers secrets, and also following Catherine Howard’s story back in the sixteenth century. (review here).
The YA books I read this March were included The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King by Holly Black, the first and second in her Folk of the Air series which follows a human girl Jude, who with her twin Taryn have been brought up in Faerie after her parents were killed. Having faced ridicule and humiliation from various folk who don’t think well of humans, she wants to prove herself by gaining a position of power. But she does this in a way very different from what she had thought and finds herself amidst the politics, power games, and bloodshed in the quest to gain and hold the throne of Fairie. Both books were really exciting, fast-paced, and really engrossing reads, and I can’t wait to read the final instalment. (reviews here and here).
Divergent, the first in a dystopian YA series, once again surprisingly turned out to be really exciting reading. In a future world, where most people are divided into factions (based on their qualities), Beatrice Prior chooses to join a faction she was not born into. This means going through a set of challenging initiation tests. Alongside, there is something strange going on which may affect the future of the factions, and their world, which Beatrice (or Tris as she becomes) finds herself having to uncover. (review here)
Then I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which was worth all the hype it’s received. This is the hard-hitting story of Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old who witnesses a childhood friend being shot by a white police officer, and must take very hard decisions, and also face the fact that even if you do right, life is not always fair. (review here).
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon takes place in New York and tells the story of Daniel a Korean-American who is heading to an alumni interview for Yale (as his parents wish him to do) and Natasha, a Jamaican immigrant whose family is on the verge of being deported, and who is making a last ditch attempt at preventing this. This traces their meeting, and falling in love during the course of one day, and the changes in their lives as a result. What stood out to be about this book was the way it is written–it switches between first person accounts of both these teens but also takes us in a third thread into the stories of people they meet, interact with or even certain phenomena associated with them and their cultures. (review here)
Lastly, I read Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. Once again, a first in series, this is about Morrigan Crow a cursed child who is prophecised to die on Eventide. But when Eventide comes, she finds herself transported by a mysterious character, Jupiter North, to the world of Nevermoor where she is a competitor to join the Wundrous Society, and might finally have a place to belong to. This was a very imaginative story, and while it didn’t entirely grab me at the start, I did end up enjoying it. (review here)
So those were my March reads. For April, I plan to pick up some 1930s books, besides of course my NetGalley reads. I hope to read The Priory by Dorothy Whipple, The Edwardians by Vita-Sackville West, Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston, Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield, and Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell. Before this, I will finish Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell which was part of last month’s TBR. I also hope to do better with my blogging this month (fingers crossed).
So how was your reading month this March? Any highlights you’d like to share? Have you read any of my March or April reads? Do you plan to? How did you find them? Looking forward to reading your thoughts!