March 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! Happy April!

I have read quite a bit in March, so I won’t be babbling on for too long about the books. I will link my full reviews to all of them that I’ve written, and if you would like to know my detailed thoughts on any of the other ones, just drop me a comment down below and I’ll post one on here.

Time for stats.

  • Number of books read: 13
  • Number of pages read: 4969
  • Average star rating: 3.3
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 43
  • Books read: 10
  • Current physical TBR: 35
  • DNF: 1

As you can see, I am trying to get through my physical TBR at the moment. It doesn’t help I’ve ordered 5 books in the last couple of days.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This book just didn’t work for me at all. I expected a story about regular people in a world full of the chosen ones. I guess what I expected would’ve been quite bland and boring – because in reality, these kids, though without superpowers (well, all but one) still get into some supernatural shenanigans. I didn’t much care for the characters, nor did I like the plot. Somehow, the bland and boring still very much applied.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I’ll be posting a full review closer to the publication date – it releases in the UK on the 20th of April. It was just my kind of a story, even though the format of it (told in short stories/vignettes from different POVs) might not be what I reach for usually. I loved it and it took me completely by surprise.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harris

This was a nice and breezy middle-grade about 3 sisters and a family curse. It took me a good few chapters to get invested in the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Charlie is hands down my favourite character – I laughed out loud a few times reading the scenes with her.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

I expected a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid. Why? Because I read Lost Boy and that’s what it was – a horroresque retelling of a story we know. This wasn’t quite either. I still liked it, as Christina Henry is a skilled writer, but it just wasn’t what I wanted from the story, going into it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

The longer I sit on this book, the more I want to lower my rating. Havenfall was a cover buy. I didn’t have huge expectations going in but the idea of a magical inn connecting different worlds was fantastic, and it sounded like a good time, especially with the mystery element promised in the blurb. I am quite disappointed, even though my expectations were low. This book did nothing new or exciting, it was your middle of the road standard YA fantasy and I’ve had my fill with them by now… to bad, because it had potential.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Continuing on the last thought… Legendborn was so much different and a reason enough not to give up on the YA fantasy genre. It did remind me a bit of The Mortal Instruments at the start, but it blossomed into something different, intricate and well developed and written. Honestly, it was heaps of fun and I really enjoyed the story. It’s a King Arthur retelling, too, which is always a plus (or is it, since the last few I read I either DNFed or hated).

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I’ve seen EVERYONE rave about this book. I caved. I picked it up expecting to also love it. And although the first third or maybe half was interesting and promising, in the end the book became more of a self-help kind of book full of long winded cliches. I understand what Haig tried to do, but that’s what I wanted from him, I’d pick up his non-fiction.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Full review here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

I talked a lot about Swanson recently, and I’ve mentioned I like his writing even though it follows a certain formula I very much expect from thrillers. Well, this one was COMPLETELY different and… I’m impressed. It wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me, but definitely the best book I read by the author so far. It was smart and twisty and just overall really well done.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

In March I also picked up a non-fiction. I’ve been wanting to read Everyday Sexism for a long while now. I think it’s always relevant. I listened to it on audio, but I feel like have I read it physically I would’ve skimmed many parts. Don’t get me wrong, the book is important and like I already said, still very relevant, but the way it’s done is incredibly repetitive. The book makes very few points, but manages to make up in length by repeating them every so often. I read non-fiction for educational purposes, obviously, but I learnt nothing I haven’t already in my nearly 28 years of being a woman.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This was my first Ruth Ware, and incidentally also her first book, and it didn’t knock my socks off, but I did enjoy the writing and so I will be picking up more by the author. I’ve been in a thriller kick and it satisfied the craving, but I found the characters incredibly unlikeable and the plot quite predictable. Still, not a bad read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

I have many bad things to say about this one, but I’m choosing positivity today. I didn’t like The Iron Trial and I won’t be picking up the rest of the series. I know middle grades written in the last 10-15 years sometimes suffer from the Harry Potter syndrome, but this one tried just a bit too hard for me, and the countless similarities were too much.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Yet another thriller in this wrap up that I quite enjoyed. I read thrillers to be entertained and a bit unsettled and My Lovely Wife delivered in both cases, though significantly less in the latter. It was fun, though, and I’d like to pick up more by the author, because I found the writing quite engaging.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

And these are all of the books I read in the month of March.

How was your reading month? Did you read any new favourites? How’s your Goodreads challenge going?

Thank you for reading!

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson – A Review

Hello! Every Vow You Break releases tomorrow in Ireland and UK, and next week in the US, which means it’s time for a review!

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson
  • Publication date: March 18th 2021
  • Publisher: Faber Faber
  • Genre: Thriller

Abigail Baskin was in her early twenties – working two jobs to make rent on the crummy apartment she shared with two strangers, saddled with crippling student loan debt, and nursing a secret desire to become a novelist – when she met Bruce Lamb.

A freshly-minted tech millionaire from Silicon Valley, Bruce is completely genuine, completely generous, and completely in love with Abigail. On their third date, he told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Six months later, he asked her to marry him. It was a fairytale romance.

But now, three days before the wedding, Abigail had a received an unsettling email. And she has no idea that this email signals the beginning of a nightmare she may never escape.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m very rarely blown away by thrillers and I’ve accepted that a long time ago. I’ve read from Peter Swanson in the past and enjoyed the writing and plot, so I was delighted to receive and arc of this book.

Every Vow You Break is about Abigail, who’s about to marry a millionaire and ends up having a one night stand on her bachelorette’s weekend away. She decides to move on and forget about it until the day she leaves for her honeymoon and finds out the man she slept with has followed her and her husband. What follows is definitely NOT what you expect.

Or maybe it just wasn’t what I personally expected from the book. I am usually pretty good at calling the ending early or halfway through, and the predictability of the plot is not something I dislike in thrillers, because being able to predict things means it all makes sense. However, that also usually means that even though it might be enjoyable, the read won’t score anything above 3-4 stars.

Every Vow You Break falls into the 3 star category, because even though it surprised me, I didn’t find it too believable or… thrilling. I definitely liked the first 3/4 of the book more than I liked the ending. Abigail was an interesting protagonist and I quite enjoyed her voice. The plot itself was promising, I really liked the idea and the direction it took until the very plot twist. And the honeymoon destination, though nice on the surface, was honestly quite unsettling, with it being an island cut away from the world, with no mobile phones and largely populated by men.

Swanson’s writing didn’t disappoint. I’ve noticed similarities in the structure of this book and the other novel I read by him, The Kind Worth Killing, and I quite enjoy the way he tells stories and his plot twists. It does make the read more predictable, as you expect plot twists at certain points of the book, but I don’t think it’s something thriller readers mind.

Overall, this was a fun, quick read and although I enjoyed it, I wish it did some things differently. If you liked other Swanson’s books, I’m sure you will enjoy this one just as much. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thank you for reading. Will you be picking up the book once it releases?