March Books

 I was so lucky to read another great dozen books this month.  I am going to have the hardest time picking favorites this year!  


1. The Nanny by Lana Ferguson-- I signed up with NetGalley nearly a year ago but this is the first book I have actually downloaded and reviewed. I thought it was a really adorable story; though I do have to warn you that it is definitely racy.  I didn't mind though since it worked in the context of this cute little love story.  Cassie is desperate for a job but can't see going back to her old job at OnlyFans when she stumbles upon a job for a full time live in nanny. Aiden, her would be employer, turns out to be a drop dead gorgeous chef and while Cassie can see that living with him and his daughter could be trouble for her she just can't resist.  Though Cassie would swear that she's never met Aiden before, something about him does remind her of something... she just can't place her finger on what or where she might know Aiden from.  I did think this was fairly a predictable story, but the chemistry was off the charts and the whole cast of characters was great. 


2. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin-- I had zero clue what this story was about when I saw it was available on my Libby app but I had been seeing lots of fellow bloggers rating it rather highly.  I really enjoyed this story about Sadie and Sam-- two friends who met as kids, came back together again during college, designed a fabulous hit video game together then struggle with life, love, friendship, fame, and tragedy.  It was sad and sweet and maddening and set up quite differently from stories I am used to reading or listening to. 


3. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang-- I loved this book and read it in just under 24 hours.  It was the cutest rom-com ever and so different from the usual boy meet girl meet- cute.  Khai is on the autism spectrum and fully believes he is incapable of feeling love so he's decided to be alone. His mother, however, has a completely different plan and goes to Vietnam to pick a wife for him.  She brings over Esme with the promise of one full summer in America and a wedding and green card at the end if she can love her son.  The by play between the two main characters is just adorable and Khai's family is wonderful and so sweet.  But like any good love story it is filled with angst and misunderstandings and plenty of forgiveness.  It was such a sweet story and I loved how fierce and determined Emse was. I had no idea this was part of a series but I'm definitely going back to read book 1 and will pick up book 3 as well! 


4. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt-- This was a truly adorable story but it was one of those that I had such higher hopes for after reading what feels like every review calling it "the best book!"  I hate when high expectations make a book fall a bit flat for me when I know I would have been touting it's praises if I had gone into it blind.  I did enjoy this adorable story and thought it was just sweet.  With a few overlapping stories it's not the easiest book to summarize but I'll try.  Tova has been working at the aquarium ever since the death of her husband and loves all the sea creatures but she has a special affinity for Marcellus the octopus. Cameron finds a photo in a box of his mother's things that his aunt gives him and he's determined to track down his dead beat father. He finds himself in town and working at the aquarium where he meets and befriends Tova.


5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang-- I went back and read the first book in the series. It was just as cute as book 2.  In this book Stella is struggling to connect with others because of her autism spectrum disorder. She especially struggles with dating and because her parents are pressuring her to get married and have kids this weighs on Stella. When one person nastily suggests she find gets professional help, Stella latches onto that idea and hires a male escort named Michael to teach her all about sex and about being in a relationship. Unsurprisingly, the two fall in love and yet misunderstandings galore cause them to nearly lose one another.  


6. The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang-- This third book in the series is much darker than the other two.  After reading the author's note in the back it is totally understandable but it did make it a bit harder to read. Anna is a violinist that is struggling to play music and keep it together when her long time boyfriend suggests they give an "open relationship" a try.  Hurt and angry, Anna decides to have a one night stand just to show him.. and turns to the tattooed, motorcycle driving bad boy Quan.  Only it seems like Quan might be more perfect for her than Anna ever imagined. But unless Anna can learn to speak up to her family and be herself around more than just Quan she's going to lose everything... and nearly does.  


7. Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson-- I was looking for a Newbury award winning book for my 52-book challenge and found Freewater. I was sucked right in!  12 year old Homer has fled the plantation with his younger sister in tow. They find themselves deep in the swamp amidst a society of former slaves.  I loved that this story was loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the United States-- this was one part of history that my history books never taught us! 


8. One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan-- When Grace's husband announces that he's had an affair and is unhappy during their 25th wedding anniversary dinner on Valentine's day, Grace feels like her whole life is ending.  She flees to Paris and it turns out spending a summer in Paris is just what she needed. Audrey is just out of school and has no plans to go to college after struggling with dyslexia for years and feeling like an utter failure.  Fleeing her less than perfect home life she answers an add looking for a store clerk for a French bookshop-- despite not knowing any real French or liking books at all. The two meet and become unlikely friends after a few rough starts.  Audrey teaches Grace how to lighten up and live a bit more in the moment while Grace teachers Audrey about love, friendship, commitment, and even a fair bit of French too.  It was a really sweet story.  


9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas-- Starr lives in a very poor neighborhood but attends a private school in the fancy suburbs so she never quite feels like she fits in in either place.  One night while attending a party in her own neighborhood her childhood friend is shot right in front of her at the hands of a police officer.  Khalil's death makes national headlines and Star is caught between wanting to speak out about what she saw but also wanting to stay in the shadows and not draw any undo attention to herself or her family. It is a beautiful, thought- provoking, powerful book. 


10. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau-- This dystopian novel made me think of a merging of The Hunger Games and Divergent. It was so good and I had such a hard time putting it down!  Cia is thrilled when she's chosen as part of the testing. Her community hasn't had a candidate in years and Cia has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps and going to the University that all those who past the testing are allowed into.  However, on the eve of her leaving her father tells her of nightmares he's had his whole life and that going into the testing she shouldn't trust anyone.  Much more rigorous, dangerous and even downright deadly, Cia does all she can to pass the testing keeping her father's warnings in her head while still trying to make friends. 


11. A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon-- I'm not usually a fan of revolutionary war books but I needed a novel that set during war time but not WWI or WWII; when I saw this as a Kindle first option I thought it would fit the bill perfectly.  I ended up really enjoying this story A LOT. Deborah Samson is a young girl when she is delivered to a new family to work as an indentured servant . She dreams of schooling and adventure and freedom.  20 years later she disguises herself as a soldier and enlists in the Continental army. I was so shocked to read the author's note in the back and find that this was very loosely based on a true story!  I can't even imagine what it took to live and fight among men back during that time period with muskets and bayonets and supply shortages galore. 


12. The Unseen World by Liz Moore-- Ada is raised and homeschooled by her single father she calls David.  David is a scientist working in a lab at a prestigious Boston college but Ada begins to notice little slips of her father's memory.  By the time she is 14 he is completely taken over the early onset Alzheimer's and Ada's taken in by one of David's colleagues.  She spends the next couple decades of her life trying to uncover her father's secrets-- little inconsistencies that pop up in conversations she has with him--like the sister he mentions, the accents that emerges, and the name he starts to call himself. It was a very slow start to the book and I nearly set it aside quite a few times as a DNF-- BUT, I am so glad I kept at it because it really was such unique story. 



I'm going just fabulous on my 52 book challenge too!  This time of year it's so easy to tick off books but towards the end of the year I'll have to start being much more intentional about what I pick for some of the categories. 


Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, 





Comments

  1. I really liked the Unseen World as well! A couple of the other ones you mentioned here have me piqued. Thanks for the reviews. You are a reading machine ;).

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  2. Great list-thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. The Testing sounds interesting!

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    Replies
    1. I am reading the 3rd book in the series right now and am really enjoying them all.

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  4. I loved all of the Hoang books and agree on The Heart Principle being harder to read!

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  5. I love how this challenge works. And thanks for such a variety of books,
    OXOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  6. I'm glad you enjoyed Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. I have Remarkably Bright Creatures on my TBR list. I should add it to my holds soon, as I haven't read fiction in a while.

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  7. I know what you mean about books living up to the hype. I felt that way about Carrie Soto and actually didn't finish the book! Thank you for all the good recommendations. I can't wait to check out Huong and also the Newbury book.

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    1. I haven't even attempted Carrie Soto... I've heard such diverse opinions on that one but just seem to instinctively know that I am not that interested in tennis.

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  8. Surprisingly, I haven't read any of these! But, I do have the Remarkably Bright Creatures on hold for my Libby...several months away! I should just go to the library to see if they have it!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. Yes! There are some books that are so popular it's hard to get them.

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  9. Joanne, you've read a lot of books for March! I will add some of these to my list.

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  10. What an awesome reading month!! Thanks for linking up with me. I have Remarkably Bright Creatures this month for one of my book clubs.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  11. I started The Kiss Quotient last month and then I stopped and returned it because I couldn't get into it. Maybe I need to try it again!

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    1. In all honesty the Bride Test was my favorite! Try that one; you can totally read it as a stand alone novel without having read the first one.

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  12. Good list. THe Hate you give is meant to be great. Not 100% sure I'm up for it at the moment. I find the news out of America at the moment a bit much...

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    1. I always find the new to be a bit much so I rarely (if ever!) listen to it... not the best way to deal with it but pretty much the only way I know how!

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  13. Hi Joanne, my daughter has recommended Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow although she hasn't given much away. You have quite a few books I think I would like so thanks for sharing with us at the WOYBS link up. You are doing well with the 52 Book Club Challenge. My little squares are starting to fill although I don't really need any encouragement to read LOL :) Take care x

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    1. Thank you! I am loving watching those little boxes fill up and try to intentionally pick 2-3 books each month for the challenge; but I do love that this early in the year I find that even more fit into some of the categories quite by accident!

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  14. I really need to get on board and download that cover thingie you're all using - it looks great and I'm having a massive case of FOMO lol. Thanks for linking up...

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    1. LOL! I joined the Facebook group just to have access to that.

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  15. Hi Joanne, I like the way the 52 Book club challenge makes you be more out- there or selective with books you're choosing to read, and then finding you've actually enjoyed them more than you thought you would is a bonus! A great haul this month. Thanks for sharing with us for WOYBS.

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  16. I have missed you. Have fallen so far behind on blog reading and commenting. But I have missed you, missed seeing your photos, your delicious breakfasts on the back porch, the books you are reading, the cards you've made. I am glad to be reconnecting with you.

    So glad to see your review of Freewater. I am heading right to the library's online site to put a hold on it. Sounds very good. Pinned several of the other books you shared, too. Bride Test sounds fun and I have wanted to read the 'Samson' book for a long time. Thank you for reminding me of it.

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