Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2023

I’ve had a fairly average reading month. Nothing completely blew me away, which is obvious now as I rated pretty much every book I read in March four stars. This has never happened before and it’s actually a little strange. Still better to have a four-star month than one or two. 

The Love Wager by Lynn Painter

Read: 28/2/23 – 2/3/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had so much fun reading this book. Lynn Painter really knows how to write a romance. It definitely isn’t as good as Better Than the Movies, which is now the standard I will hold all romance books to, but it’s really enjoyable. 

ARC Review: The Love Wager by Lynn Painter

Synopsis: Hallie Piper is turning over a new leaf. After belly-crawling out of a hotel room (hello, rock bottom), she decides it’s time to become a full-on adult.

She gets a new apartment, a new haircut, and a new wardrobe, but when she logs into the dating app that she has determined will find her new love, she sees none other than Jack, the guy whose room she’d snuck out of.

Through the app, and after the joint agreement that they are absolutely not interested in each other, Jack and Hallie become partners in their respective searches for The One. They text each other about their dates, often scheduling them at the same restaurant so that if things don’t go well, the two of them can get tacos afterward.

Spoiler: they get a lot of tacos together.

Discouraged by the lack of prospects, Jack and Hallie make a wager to see who can find true love first, but when they agree to be fake dates for a weekend wedding, all bets are off.

As they pretend to be a couple, lines become blurred and they each struggle to remember why the other was a bad idea to begin with.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

Read: 2/3/23 – 6/3/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I wanted a quick read to fill the gap while I waited for my next ARC and this was the perfect book. I’ve wanted to return to Elfhame for a while now and this satiated that need, well kind of, now I just really want to read the series again. Which may be my next re-read, if I haven’t done so already before this is posted. 

Book Review: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue.

Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone. Revealing a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan, his tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective.

Aquicorn Cove by Kay O’Neill

Read: 11/3/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Aquicorn Cove has a super cute art style and the story was very heartwarming. I really love Kay O’Neills graphic novels and I hope they publish more soon. If you want a sweet, quick read you should definitely check this one out. 

Graphic Novel Review: Aquicorn Cove by Kay O’Neill

Synopsis: When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Read: 6/3/23 – 13/3/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This has been a long time coming, I’ve owned this book for years now and I’m pretty sure I included it in multiple to be read posts. Well, I’m happy to say I finally read it and it was pretty good. There were definitely areas for improvement, but I loved this version of the fae. 

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Synopsis: Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious, Rook spirits her away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously wrong in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending on each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

The Cherished by Patricia Ward

Read: DNF 

I do not recommend you check out this book. Within the first few chapters, there were multiple cases of racially insensitive content and a very poor representation of mental health. It was painful to get even that far into the story as the dialogue and plot felt very stunted.

I’m basically only including this here because I like the picture I took and the cover is actually very pretty. What a waste.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Read: 13/3/23 – 14/3/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed this a surprising amount, obviously, I love Alice Oseman, but I’ve only read Nick and Charlie outside of Heartstopper so I wasn’t sure what this was going to be like. But I loved it. It was much darker than their previous works, but I actually liked that. 

The story was super engaging and I love that you get to learn more about some of the Heartstopper side characters. 

Book Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Synopsis: In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Read: 14/3/23 – 16/3/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was another read that I picked because I thought it would be short and quick. Now it was pretty quick, but it was longer than Goodreads was claiming. Which is fine because it only took me a couple of days to get through. 

I really enjoyed the book, which I knew I would because Stardust is one of my favourite films of all time, but I actually prefer the film. Shocking I know. Weirdly, I feel like the film explores the characters with more depth and you get more relationship development. It was really lacking in the book.

Synopsis: Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Read: 19/3/23 – 28/3/23

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve been dying to reread this series for such a long time and I finally got around to it last month. I still love this book so much, obviously, I gave it a five-star rating. I won’t lie though, I was worried it wasn’t as good as I remembered. I’ve got a full reread review coming soon, so keep an eye out for that in the near future. 

Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.

Love and War by Andrew Wheeler & Killian Ng

Read: 29/3/23

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was very cute and surprisingly funny. The way the characters took tug and war so seriously was completely laughable but in a good way. The story wasn’t completely solid, which is why I’ve only given it three stars, but it definitely has potential. 

Graphic Novel Review: Love and War by Andrew Wheeler

Synopsis: Finding yourself torn between two potential boyfriends is tough. Domo is learning that it’s even tougher when you’re trying to win the captaincy of your school’s tug-of-war team!

His competition is Jocasta, a serious athlete who will stop at nothing to prove she’s the best. Can Domo lead his team to victory while he struggles with his feelings for ambitious Gabriel and flamboyant Emil?

Love and War is a queer sports rom-com about how our conflicting passions can pull us in different directions!

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Like this post? Why not read this one too: To Be Watched: April 2023

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