Wow, I can’t believe we’re already three whole months into the year. It doesn’t feel like that much time should have passed. Now, that’s not saying it hasn’t felt like that much time but I guess I just feel as though we’re somehow zipping through 2018 much more quickly than we got through 2017. I think, in a way, I can attribute some of that to the fact that I was pretty depressed last year. There was a lot going on that just made me feel rather dejected about the world and in recent months we’ve had some pretty amazing people come forward and demand that the world do better.
I’m really proud of it.
There’s something truly wonderful about feeling as though true progress really has a chance at being made. Whereas the loss of Bernie Sanders as a candidate for President completely floored my ability to feel good about any effort I made to improve the world, as though every single thing I ever did would be met with failure anyway, the inspiring and amazing students from Parkland and the wonderful women who began the MeToo movement have managed to restore my hope in a lot of things.
I’m managing to do a lot more with this blog than I ever really thought I would do and I’ve got a monthly readalong going which has been a true blast to host. We’ve already read two books together, more or less, and that’s been truly exciting for me. And speaking of the Reader Fox Readalong, if you don’t know already we’re reading The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown, an exceptional Peter Pan retelling for the month of April, so if you think you might be interested in participating, definitely drop by the Sign-Up page and enter your name in.
March was quite busy for me and so I only managed to read fourteen books this month, but that’s still more than I read last year so I’ll take it. I’m pretty far ahead in my reading challenge, which is thoroughly exciting. How are you guys doing, by the way? Let me know in the comments!
The March Read List:
Okay, so this first book is kind of a silly one because it came at a time where I was contemplating adding all the children’s books I’ve read to my Goodreads and, as a teacher, I read quite a large number of children’s books (often more than once). So I’ve decided to count the ones that I’ve read at least four times in my reading challenge and here on my blog. The first being The Real Story of Stone Soup by Ying Chang Compestine which was actually rather amusing. It’s told from the perspective of a very unreliable narrator who believes his nephews are incredibly lazy and make him do all the work, however, if you take one look at the illustrations you’ll see that this Uncle is the one lazing about and falling asleep when he’s meant to be working. Narcissistic and gullible, this narrator makes for one amusing storyteller. 🌟🌟🌟
I’ve made a few comments about The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp after reading it. I hated the main character immensely, but the book itself I was rather impressed with. It’s certainly not my cup of tea, but at the end of the day it was exceptionally well written and the main character, while a ginormous douchebag, was incredibly realistic. I felt that this was a character I could really meet somewhere. And he was somewhat redeamable, making an end decision to do the right things. But I dunno, something about him just pissed me off. Either way, well done Tharp. Well done. 🌟🌟🌟
Hahaha, Brooding YA Hero was such an amusing read. I’ll admit, it dragged at points and it’s definitely hard to be inside the head of a character like that for too long, but it was hilarious. Brooding YA Hero by Carrie Ann DiRisio is a wonderful satire that pokes enormous amounts of fun at the problematic, annoying, emotionally distant and sometimes rude or cruel boy who uses is brokenness as an excuse and is somehow always given the benefit of the doubt by the love interest. He may treat her terribly, but of course, she can fix him. The most important piece that this book brings up, though, is the lack of diversity we so often see in main characters and if nothing else, I appreciate this book for not merely making fun, but actually presenting a commentary on the things wrong with books that have been written in the past. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
What About College Anyway? by Betty Patterson was a great idea, but it wasn’t exactly executed in the best way. It’s definitely important that kids know about college and it’s even more important that they look forward to and actually want to attend. But I feel like we should also make it a point to be clear about what it all means. College is expensive and college is important. And unfortunately it doesn’t always mean you can decide to be whatever random thing you feel like. And, I dunno, I just kind of hate the lie that adults perpetually give children that they can be anything they want when they grow up because it’s just misleading and kind of hurts the kid when they grow up. 🌟🌟🌟
I loved The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. This is a pretty old book that sort of serves as one of the beginnings to fairytales and fantasy and all that. It’s a pretty marvelous book. And, wonderfully, it doesn’t perpetuate some idiotic notion that the boy must always save the girl that we see so damn often sometimes in fairy tales or books from the past. Irene actually saves Curtie, instead! I had a lot of fun reading this, possibly because I was really fond of the movie when I was younger, but ultimately I’m just really glad I read it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Wildcat by JP Harker was one of those books that could have been really good but had a fair number of problems. I detailed them all in my review and therefore won’t mention them in excess here, but I’ll say that I did enjoy the characters and the story. I did not enjoy so much the unrealistic trauma plot and the occasionally counterintuitive portrayal of female characters, especially when they were supposed to be feminist. I also don’t think this book could really be considered a Young Adult novel, though it was presented to me as such. It’s a shame that the problems existed within the book because without them it could have been excellent. Also, it’s got a gorgeous cover. 🌟🌟🌟
Ah! Happily by Chauncey Rogers. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this one in a few of my recent posts as the blog tour is just starting and I only recently finished my review. Oh, the struggles of being busy. This book was fantastic. I loved so much about it. It was creative and original. The characters were lovely and I honestly just couldn’t put this book down. I have to say that this is one of my most favorite Cinderella retellings, and I’m rather fond of my Cinderella retellings. If you haven’t read it, believe me, you’re going to want to. This book comes out April 3rd, so pretty soon! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Ugh, I’m really not sure why Bella Forest had to come up with such a brilliant idea for a book and fail so miserably in the execution. The first book in the series, The Gender Game, holds so much promise and even starts off in a rather intriguing way. But it somehow quickly flops and it’s all because the characters don’t ever really seem to fight the stereotypes, but instead end up conforming to them whilst simultaneously stating that the extremism is wrong. And, I’ll give it this, the first book is actually pretty good. I was really impressed with it. But, as I’ve delved further into this series, I don’t really hold it in as high a regard as I used to. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Lost in the Reflecting Pool by Diane Pomerantz was hard to read. You leave this book feeling overwhelmed, a little uncomfortable, and sad but happy all at once. This book details the true story of a woman’s struggle with her abusive husband and her diagnosis of cancer. It’s well written and engaging, but it does certainly leave you emotionally drained after reading it. While I think this is a book worth reading and believe that it definitely helped the author, I will definitely say that this could be triggering and isn’t for everyone. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I just didn’t like Everless by Sara Holland as much as I thought I would. I don’t think this book really deserved the hype it got. Everless was riddled with very dull moments and I never felt any connection to Jules, Roan, or even Liam (and to make it all worse, I spent all last month talking about this book and I had to go through to find his name because I forgot it). Honestly, the only character I cared even the slightest amount about was the villain because she was pretty damn awesome. Everyone else sucked. Except for perhaps Jules’ dad, but he was barely around anyway. So, I dunno. In Time executed the concept way better and I really don’t see myself reading the sequel. I gave it points since the villain impressed me, but I couldn’t care less about all the rest of it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Gender Secret by Bella Forest was terrible. Honestly, I just wanted to throw it away. And, as I mentioned above, the first book was pretty good. But this follow up just completely destroyed it. I think the most frustrating piece is the fact that this book’s premise is all about dealing with the issues of genders and how people can take gender issues to the extremes in terms of what they believe about each one. On one side of the lake, women are treated like property. On the other side of the lake, men with even slight aggressive tendencies are taken away and locked up. Uhm, cool. But are we going to address these things? Nah, we’re just gonna take the two main characters and throw them into dangerous situations while giving them sacrificial and overprotective complexes. I just couldn’t. The characters in this book are the most insufferable, annoying, stereotypical characters I’ve ever read. I wanted to scream every single time they pulled the “I’m going to protect you” crap. It was just bad. 🌟🌟
Next up! Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This book was pretty good. It wasn’t my favorite. I wasn’t majorly impressed by it. There were certain things that I didn’t care for. But all in all, this book was definitely worth reading. And I’m incredibly glad that it exists. I’m not ashamed to admit that I liked the movie a lot more, but ultimately there’s so much good in this story and I had a good time reading it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’m honestly so upset that Layover was as bad as it was. I had really wanted an interesting story about step-siblings who fell in love and had to deal with the serious repercussions of that. I mean, it’s not easy to move in with this kid because one of your parents married their parent and develop feelings. It’s not easy to be in a situation where you’ve got this other person who is now technically a part of your family even though it doesn’t really fit the way your feelings do. And, admittedly, I wouldn’t know what that feels like but I’ve always found the situation somewhat fascinating. There have been movies and tv shows that I grew up watching that brought these thoughts to my head and I just really want to see one that actually deals with the situation rather than just flirting around it. I mean, I could reference Drive Me Crazy, Life With Derek, and Cruel Intentions just to name a few times this issue has come up in film and I don’t know…I’m just so curious about the human response to a situation like that. Layover by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer just didn’t fit the bill. 🌟🌟
And the award for the best book of February goes to:
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo (but really, Jill Twiss).
This is a children’s book. But it is a groundbreaking and important one. Not only does it address the fact that the sexuality one has is okay, that you can love whomever you love no matter what gender they happen to be but it also addresses the fact that in order to improve the world’s situations and take care of those who think they have the right to govern our lives is to vote people who infringe upon the rights of others out of office. And this is such an important thing for young children to be aware of because I was never aware of it and more and more I find that the world sucks because people don’t get out and make their voices heard because they’ve been pushed, as I was, to believe that they can’t make a difference.
Well, they can. And gay bunnies can get married because of it. I could go on about how amazing this book is forever, but I think I’ll just leave it there. I’ve already bought the audiobook (which has Jim Parsons and is friggin beautiful) and I’ve bought two copies of the physical book, though unfortunately, I won’t be getting them for some time due to the fact that John Oliver didn’t anticipate how many copies they would actually manage to sell. Well, I’ll be sure to post on here when I get those beautiful books in the mail. I may even post my niece opening it because her birthday is coming up and I think it’s the best gift ever. Until then, I guess we can just watch the wonderful animation over again.
Reviews I Wrote in March:
And that’s all for this month! Whew, that post took forever. How many books did you read in March? How’s your reading challenge going? Do you think you might participate in the Reader Fox April Readalong? Let me know in the comments! Happy reading, everyone!