My Month in Books: What I Read March 2020

Books read in March 2020

March was a hectic month to say the least. But with all the stress that came in March, I did often use books as a means to escape and distract. Perhaps too much. At times I was juggling four and five books at a time! So, here are all the books I finished in March and my non-spoiler thoughts on them.

Read my February reading wrap-up.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The first book I read in March

My first book of the month was The Maze Runner. Honestly, this wasn’t something I was dying to read. But it was available on my book app and thought to give it a go. Years ago I watched the movie and liked it but not enough to watch the rest of the movies.

My feelings were pretty similar with the book. It was a fun, entertaining read but I have no desire to continue with the series. There’s nothing bad about this book whatsoever, just not something I’m dying to continue with.

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

This was my second attempt at reading this book. The first time I just didn’t connect to it and gave up. Now, I did finish the book but my feelings remain the same, I was bored reading it and didn’t connect to the characters or the storyline. Well actually, the first maybe 30 to 40% of the book I was interested in. But then it started to drag for me.

Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s translated so it loses some of its magic it has in its original language. The characters didn’t grip me much and the plot also struggled to hold my attention as I continued.

Rating: 2/5 stars

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

My favorite book I read in March

Now on to my favorite book I read this month. Perhaps one of my favorites for the year? I’d heard about the Ember in the Ashes books for a while and I just now picked up the first. It was fantastic. The world, the writing, the characters. Just great.

Helene is my favorite. She deserves better. Laia is definitely my least favorite of the main characters and her storyline kind of bores me. But Helene and Elias make up for it. Although the romance and where it’s headed isn’t my favorite, after days of thinking on it I have to give it 5 stars.

Rating: 5/5 stars

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

My least favorite book in March

Gosh, where do I start with this book. I don’t want to just go all out and slam this book, but Beatriz has to be one of the worst characters I’ve read about in a long time. Selfish, self-centered, naive, immature, self-righteous… yeah. Hard pass.

Rating: 1/5 stars

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

The next book I read was this monster of a book by Sanderson. I read the first of his Mistborn series last month and really enjoyed it. Now, I turned to this YA sci-fi. Sci-fi isn’t a genre I typically gravitate towards and I was definitely intimidated by the size of this book. But I thought it was a fun read.

Not sure if I’ll continue, but that’s only because I’m not that interested in sci-fi. But even knowing that, I still enjoyed reading it. So if you like sci-fi more than I do, I definitely think you’d love this one.

Rating: 3/5 stars

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A new favorite series

I enjoyed the first of the series that I immediately got the second. And again, I really enjoyed this one. Sabaa Tahir may be one of my favorite new discoveries because I just love her writing style. I do think I enjoyed this book a little less than the first. In fact, I was wavering between a 3 and 4 stars. The ending was definitely a 4 but overall this one didn’t grip me as much as the first book.

I loved being able to follow Helene more in this book. The reason why I was struggling with the rating at first was because the plot was largely focused on Laia’s storyline and since she’s not my favorite character, that was a bit of a drag. Still, I can’t wait until the last book releases.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Uh… don’t even know what to say about this one. Still not quite sure I know what I read. It was weird… The main character was so shallow and juvenile but then together with this dark and more mature setting/story she was in just didn’t seem to mesh. It was like the main character wasn’t meant for the story.

Rating: 1/5 stars

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Can you tell I enjoyed this series? I went from not reading a thing by Sabaa Tahir to reading three books within a month. Of the three, this one took me the longest to get into, but it was still such a solid book. Fun fact, the first book was marketed as a standalone. That being said, none of these books feel like filler books. They each have a great story to tell.

Again, I’m so glad I picked up this book and discovered Sabaa Tahir. Now I have to count down the days until the last book comes out.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is another author I’ve heard a lot about while watching Booktube videos. For some reason, I just felt like I’d really like her books. There are several books of hers I want to read but I started with Six of Crows, the first in a duology. For the first half of the story I found it entertaining enough but wasn’t really invested in the plot. In fact, I kept forgetting what was happening.

However, the characters are definitely the selling point of this novel. And by the midpoint/end I was interested in what was going to happen to them, which made me more interested in the plot. I thought the characters were very well thought out. This is part of Leigh Bardugo’s “Grishaverse” meaning she has many novels/series set in the same world.

I’m not sure if I should have read other books (like the Shadow and Bone series) before this one. Either way, I’m going to continue with this series and want to read more of this author’s books.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The only classic book I read in March

Overall, I think classics are a bit… overrated. Or, moreso if you dislike a classic, people pounce on you and act very condescending. With claims you “just don’t understand it” or “need to read it again… carefully.” I’ll admit, the writing style for many classics are harder for me to digest or connect with. And although I don’t think classics are necessarily the best of the best, there is a part of me that wants to find classics that I love.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

After enjoying Rebecca, I decided to try another one of Daphne du Maurier’s books. And I’m happy to report I liked this one also. Again, I really enjoyed that her writing style wasn’t as convoluted as I find many classics. Also, the story was just entertaining. It’s a mystery/romantic gothic novel.

Definitely in the mood to read more gothic novels and more classics.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Since I had to wait for the second Six of Crows book to be available in my library, I decided to listen to Leigh Bardugo’s first adult novel. It’s set on a college campus which really interests me and I wish there was more of.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the story very engaging nor the main characters. While reading, I felt like I wasn’t retaining what was happening. Perhaps I read this at the wrong time and need to be more focused. But a common critique I’ve heard is that the beginning wasn’t very exciting to readers. Still, something intrigues me to want to continue when the author writes the second book.

Additionally, due to the non-linear storyline, perhaps the audiobook wasn’t the way to go. I wouldn’t be opposed to re-reading this one.

Rating: 2/5 stars

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The last book I read this month has been on my TBR for a while now. This one I was sure I was going to like and whew, I LOVED it. The atmosphere, the characters, the storyline. If you’re a mood based reader this book is perfect for October/Halloween time. Fun fact, before hearing of this novel I had a seed of a story idea that takes place in 1920s New York and involves magic. So when I heard of this story, I was like, WHAT?

All in all, this was a great story. I loved Evie, Theta, Memphis and even Sam (although let’s not start about his introduction to the reader). It was very dark and spooky. Can’t wait to read the second book.

But WHY oh WHY did they change this great cover to those newer ones? Who was in charge of that decision, we need to talk.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Those are all the books I read in March. A lot of it was in the last two weeks. Mostly thanks to having to self-isolate due to COVID-19. How did your reading month go?

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