Big thanks to my ongoing mental rut and the well-greased elliptical at my fitness center for all the reading motivation and time. I experienced some pretty fantastic books in March…
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle – This book came highly recommended by several friends and I ended up liking it quite a bit. The spin on Romeo and Juliet is unique, and main character Rose was likable. I thought her friendship with Charlie and Olivia was this story’s greatest strength. I loved the unwavering loyalty between the girls. Rob (Romeo), on the other hand, was a total douche. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that the emerging relationship between Rose and “the other guy” was far more romantic.
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren – If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know this isn’t exactly my usual kind of book. But I have to say… I liked it better than I though I would. I was prepared for smut and cheesiness — both were present — but there was also some genuine emotion and a semblance of plot. The stakes weren’t terribly high, but Chloe was a smart, sassy woman with a backbone, and Bennett was reasonably complicated and eventually likable. I appreciated that Chloe didn’t let her cocky boss walk all over her, and Bennett’s arc was enough to leave me satisfied (jeez… no innuendo intended). While I probably won’t read more books of this type, I have to say: I didn’t hate it.
The List by Siobhan Vivian – I was hesitant to pick up this book thanks to the mention of eight (!) narrators in the summary. The mere idea of it seemed really… crowded. But, I’m SO glad I gave The List a chance. This novel was excellent: compelling and relevant and surprising. It was easy to keep track of the eight girls whose names appear on the list because their voices and their stories are all incredibly unique. Similar to the movie Mean Girls and Courtney Summers’s Some Girls Are, I feel like The List should required reading for all girls about to enter high school. Its message is profound without ever trying too hard. My full review is HERE (at YA Confidential).
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I loved this book more than I can eloquently express. I actually considered not reviewing it because it’s so hard to put into words how deeply Eleanor and Park’s story impacted me — I absolutely adore these two. Eleanor & Park is just too incredible not to recommend, so I featured it in a raving, fangirl-ish Bookanista post. You can read it HERE.
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan – I don’t read tons of books classified as paranormal, and I don’t often read books that people describe as “funny,” but Unspoken got so much love during the 2012 Superlatives Blogfest (thank you for the constant mentions, Tracey and Jess!), I just couldn’t resist. Unspoken is funny, but not in a silly, slapstick sort of way. Rather, protagonist Kami is quick and witty, and her motley crew is always up to some sort of craziness in the name of journalistic truth. My favorite part of this story (by far) is the very complicated bond between Kami and Jared, and, to be honest, the last few pages of the book kind of shattered my heart. Cannot wait to read the next in this series, Untold.
Requiem by Lauren Oliver – I liked Delirium a lot, and Pandemonium was one of my favorite books of 2012. Requiem, while very, very good, left me wanting more. Lauren Oliver’s writing was predictably gorgeous, and Lena continued to be a protagonist I could relate to and root for, but the road the romance took in this final installment was not what I was hoping for (totally my personal preference, so if you’re on Team Other Guy, you’re probably hating me right now). Also, the final chapters left me slightly underwhelmed. I wanted more — more emotion, more explanation, more wow. I don’t know… Am I crazy?
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson – This one is not just a military book, nor is it just a cheating book. There’s so much to Quinn’s story: weighty family issues, bullying, genuine (though rather untraditional) friendships, and incomprehensibly difficult choices.The dynamic between Quinn, Carey, and their good friend Blake was incredibly compelling, and Jackson’s writing is lovely, nuanced and authentic and without fluff. A definite recommend. You can find my full Bookanista review HERE.
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley – Lots to like about this novel: the slowly unraveling mystery behind Angie’s disappearance and “the man” who held her prisoner for years, the complex science behind “fragmented” personalities, the ups and downs of recovering from unimaginable trauma, and the complicated preexisting relationships Angie is thrown back into after emerging from captivity. That said, Angie’s lack of emotion (while understandable when factoring in her “alters”) made her occasionally difficult to connect with. Recommended to those who enjoy stories of the psychological sort. My full review is HERE.
Tell me: What’s the very best book you read in March?