What I Read In March feat. How Am I Actually Doing?

This year’s reading is… going.

I’m going to be changing how I do these wrap-ups in honor of 2018. I write super, super long reviews of all of these books, and I don’t always need to reiterate those reviews.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I LIKE TALKING ABOUT? MY FAVES AND LEAST FAVES. So those will get looooooooots of extra content. The rest of this wrap-up will just be discussing my reading patterns and speed.

—Books I Read This Month—

—Let’s Analyze These Books—

Total Books: 21
Arcs 🌺: 11
New Releases: 0
Series 🌲: 6
Novellas etc 🍃: 6
Reread 🍁: 1
Audiobooks 🎤: 6
★☆☆☆☆: 0
★★☆☆☆: 1
★★★☆☆: 7
★★★★☆: 6
★★★★★: 7

Oh boy. I hit all my technical goals for the month with this one, but only reading 11/21 arcs is way less than I want in a month where my list of maybe-read-this-in-March was 98% arcs. I’ve also noticed I don’t read many new releases each month, and I think I might want to fix that. I can do better.

—DIVERSITY RECOMMENDATIONS—

I think a big problem in the book community is that the diverse books we’re all looking for are out there, they just don’t get very much attention or spotlight. In fact, whenever I mention diverse books, I’ll get a slew of comments saying “but none of those books exist” when they clearly do, you just have to look. So here’s a basic listing of rep in case you’re looking for something specific. [I don’t know if I’ll continue this but I like doing it for now!]

KEY
🏳️‍🌈 lgbtq lead / major side chars
☀️ lead characters of color
🌸 neurodiversity, disability, trauma

 

  • ☀️ [asian love interest, subverts slut tropes] Always Never Yours
  • 🏳️‍🌈🌸 [genderless and socially anxious robot lead and diverse sides] All Systems Red
  • 🏳️‍🌈 [lesbian lead and bi ex, no romance] We Are Okay
  • 🏳️‍🌈🌸 [sapphic main romance, lead with social anxiety] Style
  • 🏳️‍🌈☀️ [anthology with all lgbtq leads, many poc] All Out
  • 🏳️‍🌈 [major m/m couple, not happy] Time Was
  • 🏳️‍🌈🌸 [unlabeled sapphic bipolar lead, sapphic main romance] Black Iris

—BOOKS I ACTUALLY HATED AND DNFs—

I hated basically nothing this month. So here are my DNFs, I guess? And okay, ONE rant.

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon | DNF

I don’t understand why y’all have such a deep and everlasting hate for this book but that being said, I have gone from Liking this book to Not Liking this book over the eleven days I have been reading it and am no longer interested in completing. the Drama is just so obviously there and the romance is going down a super obvious trajectory. and this is despite beginning with the most adorable Meet Cute Idea ever, maybe. points for that one line about Snobby Atherton Kids because i go to school in Atherton and honestly? the mood.

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You by Caroline Kepnes 🎤 | ★★☆☆☆

Oh look. Here she is. The rant of the century. You is a book I should hypothetically like because it is a fucked-up book with awful lead characters and I love that. But unfortunately it’s also – and don’t kill me, I’m going to explain – not very good. This is a book about a stalker, with one interesting twist: he narrates. The issue is that the ENTIRE BOOK is based off this gimmick and it is four hundred twenty fucking pages and Nothing is done with the premise. But okay. That’s not even the main problem here. My main problem is with Caroline Kepnes’ purposeful failure to develop side characters and intent to make everyone as flat as possible so she can manipulate the audience. Um, okay, what else? Love the only gay character masturbating to photos of her girl best friend, that’s very cute and not the epitome of the predatory lesbian trope at all. [Straight people who think they’re edgy for being homophobic are actually boring and that’s the tea.] Also, the narrative – not the unreliable narrator, the actual meta-narrative of the book – is very clearly implying that food allergies and chronic illnesses are all made up, and that was kind of fucked up. This totally should’ve ended with the reveal that the Love Interest knew what was up with the stalker and was trying to kill him the whole time, because I literally think it was building up to that revelation. Whatever. It wasn’t a good book.

NEW FAVES YOU NEED TO READ 

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee  🍁🎤 | ★★★★★

This was my second time reading this and wow I think I love it even more? This book is fucking hilarious. Also, I love that the theme is basically you do not need to be cured of your disabilities to be an important person and you’re still whole. And I am Emotional about putting queer people back into their historical narratives and I’m pretty sure Mackenzi Lee is too. I love her. I love this book. Please read it. It would’ve gotten top spot if it weren’t a reread.

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The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner | ★★★★★

This is a weird weird book. And maybe not in a good way. But let’s be real – there are parts of this novel that I deeply powerfully loved on a level that I have not felt with 75% of literature. And I respect that. Ignoring the confusing bits, and the fact that none of it really makes very much sense [Faulkner is a brilliant writer but also a demon] this is a really interesting and brilliant novel about the demise of the South, and especially the demise of Southern whitehood.

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All Systems Red by Martha Wells | ★★★★★
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells | ★★★★★
Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells | ★★★★★

This novella seriess dabbles really explicitly with the idea of being human and trying not to be human. Murderbot lives in a world where it cannot be considered fully human, and as a result, it shuts itself off from other humans and tries to avoid group dynamics altogether. And as a result, I love the character of Murderbot so much. Any of you who know me know themes like this are totally my thing, and this novella series really just nailed it for me.

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All Out by Saundra Mitchell, Ensemble 🌺 | ★★★★★

What this meant to me is something I discussed in my Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue review — this is historical fiction about people who don’t get historical fiction. People love to declaim about how the historical fiction genre doesn’t need diversity because, apparently, the only people who existed “back then” were white, straight, and abled. But unfortunately for those who don’t like it, people like us have always existed. Seeing representation like this in historical fiction is seriously new and it means the fucking WORLD to me.

the standout stories to please please read:
Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Burnt Umber by Mackenzi Lee
Molly’s Lips by Dahlia Adler
Every Shade of Red by Elliot Wake
The Girl with the Blue Lantern by Tess Sharpe
Walking After Midnight by Kody Keplinger
Three Witches by Tessa Gratton
The Inferno & the Butterfly by Shaun David Hutchinson
Healing Rosa by Tehlor Kay Mejia.

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Black Iris by Elliot Wake | ★★★★★

I never wanted to be saved. I wanted someone to follow me down into the darkness.

I don’t… really have words for this book? It’s deeply fucked up and all the characters are awful and I still… really liked it. With some plot twists I’m pretty sure I was physically incapable of figuring out, a really terrible and badass lead character, a sapphic romance that I don’t know what to even think about [I LOVE] and a gorgeous ending that hits Every Single Note I Love, I basically adored this.

THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! Are any of these on your TBR? Any you hate? Any you love? Let me know down in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “What I Read In March feat. How Am I Actually Doing?

  1. I’m so glad that All Out seems as good as it looks! And two stories in the ace spectrum! I cannot believe. I was kind resigned to the fact that probably there was going to be nothing about the ace spectrum. I’m glad is not like that. BUt I would have loved to see at least three instead of two. Plus some aromantic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would’ve loved one with an acearo lead. #emo

      I do think this one is 98% happily-ending romance stories, but like… there could’ve been one with just a strong friendship focus? I don’t know. but YEAH the fact that there was a sapphic ace protagonist especially I was like… wow never seen this before but I love it

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened to the Gentleman’s Guide in March and I was so happy to read/hear it again. I love history so much and absolutely love how we can tell the stories of real diverse people. Mackenzi Lee just makes me so happy. And I CANNOT wait to read All Out!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so happy to find someone that read Always Never Yours already, and enjoyed it! I got lucky enough to read it and I absolutely LOVED it as well, it was adorable and bold and made me smile a lot.
    I have to admit that I am really curious about your full review and thoughts on All of This is True. That book sounds so intriguing and fascinating and… well, I just want to know why you didn’t think it was that good? I’m really curious, haha 🙂
    I hope you’ll have a fantastic April and happy reading 🙂 ❤

    Like

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