March Reading Wrap-up

Updated: May 17

BOOKS I READ

1. THE FLATSHARE - Beth O'Leary ✩✩✩✩.5

Tiffy and Leon share a bed... and they have never met...


After breaking up with her (horrible) boyfriend, Tiffy needs a flat, cheap and fast. Leon, who is working night shift needs some extra cash. Sharing a flat sounds like the perfect solution. Tiffy can have the flat by night and during the weekends. Leon can have the bed by day while Tiffy is off for work. Sounds perfect, right? Right...?


I rarely pick up a book in the romance genre, and now I wonder why. Because. I. Loved. This. Book. The synopsis gives you the feeling that this book will be cute and fluffy, but it isn't. This book deals with some heavy topics (psychological abuse) and the author succeeds in carefully handling this topic without making is seem less problematic than it is. Tiffy and Leon are both very lovable characters. Although Tiffy has been mentally abused and her self-confidence is almost completely gone, she still remains true to herself. She demonstrates this through her exuberant clothing style and she does not let her friends' or colleagues' opinions change this. The way Leon deals with Tiffy's eccentric personality and her deep emotions is heart warming. Can there be more Leons in this world, please?


I listened to the audiobook narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune. There voices pulled me into the story and definitely helped me falling in love with in this book.

2. SKY IN THE DEEP - Adrienne Young ✩✩✩✩✩


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.


I participated in the Behind The Book Readalong, hosted by the author herself. And I am so glad I did. I already was a big fan of this book, but now it has become one of my all time favorites. Being an aspiring writer it's so motivating and inspiring to learn about an author's writing process, and his/her emotions and experience during this process.

I have never annotated a book as much as this one. This paperback is a well loved book

now.


Adrienne Young's writing style is so poetical and emotional and that is one of the reasons I am a huge fan of Sky In The Deep. This book reads at high pace, but Adrienne knows how to describe an expression, a feeling, an environment with just one sentence and makes you feel like you know that world and the people inhabiting it.


I felt really connected to Eelyn, even though I am not like her at all. She is fierce and strong, a real badass, but also so loving and protective of her loved ones and that makes her so likable.

Oh, and don't get me started about Fiske. I have a new book boyfriend. My history in book boyfriends is really short, so he better feel honored.


Lastly, Sky In The Deep is one of few books that have made me cry, even when it was a reread...

So please, go read it (and let me know what you think!). I can recommend both the audiobook and the physical book.


Read my review about the companion novel THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK here: Blog Post: January & February Reading Wrap-Up | Goodreads.

P.s. I am so excited for Adrienne Young's new book FABLE that will come out in September 2020!



3. SKYWARD - Brandon Sanderson ✩✩✩✩


Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

- Goodreads


Skyward is the first book in the Skyward series, and my first Brandon Sanderson reading experience. I did a buddy read with Margaux (@readers_and_dreamers_kingdom), one of my fellow Belgian bookstagram friends.


Diving into this story, I had high expectations. I wasn't a fan of the prologue and it took me a few more chapters to be pulled into the story,but I got hooked.

The main character Spensa is seventeen years old, but she acts much more immature in my eyes. I pictured here as a fourteen-year-old. Because of this I had a hard time connecting to Spensa. However, the secondary characters were so well written (I loved M-Bot!) that they made up for my disappointment in the main character.

The story is rather slow, but it really built up in the end. I had almost 50 pages left when I actually had to go to bed, but I just couldn't stop reading, so I had too few hours of sleep that night. The life of a bookworm, right?

The ending also made me really curious for the next book Starsight, so I hope to read that soon!


I have to admit that I had expected more from Brandon Sanderson, but I'm told that I shouldn't base my opinion on his YA work. So I still have high expectations for The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1), that's waiting for me on my shelf.



4. THE CAGED QUEEN - Kristen Ciccarelli ✩✩✩


Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. Roa and Essie called it the hum. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered.

Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen. Only as queen could she save her people from Firgaard’s rule.

Then a chance arises to right every wrong—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa discovers she can reclaim her sister for good.


All she has to do is kill the king.


The Caged Queen is the second book in the Iskari trilogy, a companion novel to The Last Namsara. I loved The Last Namsara (Blog Post: October Reading Wrap-up | Goodreads), but I didn't enjoy this one as much. It has nothing in it that I liked in the first book (dragons, an interesting love story, a likable protagonist...). Kristen Ciccarelli did create an interesting world, with its own mythology. I liked the old stories in between the chapters, both in The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen.

The Caged Queen also has a strong female lead again, but her strong personality was annoying at some times. The dialogues felt often superficial and immature. These are two reasons that made it hard for me to connect with the characters. And with no connection to the protagonists, I find it hard to really enjoy a book.


So even though I was a little disappointed in the second book in this trilogy, I have no regrets at all for buying this trilogy. Even though the UK covers are stunning as well, I decided to buy the Dutch covers. The covers and the art at the inside of the dust jackets are so gorgeous.




5. HEARTSTOPPER - Alice Oseman ✩✩✩✩


Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more...?


This graphic was just way too cute. Both protagonist are so loveable. At tiimes I just wished I could step into those drawing and hug them.


I love that the author has drawn this graphic novel herself. This way the novel is truly like she envisioned. Combined with the simple, loose drawing style makes the story feel so personal.







BOOK I DIDN'T BUY


Usually I have a section 'books I bought' in my monthly reading wrap-up posts, but I haven't bought a single book this month. I am so proud of myself! I am trying to reduce the to-be-read stack on my shelves. I decided to share my progress with this difficult task. So here we go:


Beautiful template from @laurasloaninglibrary.


I added the numbers of January and February as well, but I have started this task in March. So let's hope I manage to lower the total number a bit every month! I have unloaded a stack of books in December 2019 so I won't have any books to unload soon...


Enjoy your reading time!


Love,


Janne

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