February and March Reading Highlights

Last week, I announced my goal to share the top books I’ve read this year in a series of blog posts. I originally thought this could take a couple of months – I mean, I’ve read over a hundred books so far this year! But then I started combing through my ratings. Turns out that while I read a respectable number of titles in February and March, there weren’t many that elicited a strong response from me. In fact, there were only a handful that stood out:

February

  • Half Bad by Sally Green – YA Fantasy – Riveting story – I loved the choppy and unusual start to the book. Written in second person (which I’ve rarely seen) and with evocative imagery, it draws you in and makes you want to know more. Then, to see the main character mistreated by everyone except family (and even then, some family still treats him like crap) you find yourself rooting for him throughout the book. Very good read – so much so that I had to immediately check out the next book in the series!
  • By Your Side by Kasie West – YA Contemporary Romance – This book had me at ‘locked in a library’ – but surprisingly, the library incident didn’t affect the story in the way I anticipated. Instead, I found myself ensnared by Autumn’s anxiety disorder and Dax’s mysterious background. I felt that the romance played less of a part than in West’s other books I’ve read – partly because Autumn herself was torn between two boys. Despite the love triangle and disappointing lack of bookish appreciation during the library scene, I enjoyed the story and would highly recommend to fans of the YA contemporary genre.

March

  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – YA Fantasy – Excellent fantasy with a swoon-worthy romance. I love the strong female lead, and the INCREDIBLE writing. Her prose is like reading jewelry, seriously beautiful.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – YA (NA) Contemporary Romance – This is one of my favorite books ever. Cath was incredibly easy to identify with, and the cast of characters surrounding her provided a foil for different aspects of her personality. The romance was utterly adorable – and rather realistic. The whole book is pretty realistic, actually, complete with the inevitable mistakes and repercussions that come with new adulthood. Highly recommended, especially for extroverts who want a glimpse into how introvert minds work. 😉
  • The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson – YA Contemporary Romance – EXCELLENT book. Stuffed with oodles of sarcastic humor and a hate-to-love romance, I adored every second of this book. Even better, while there were a few predictable plot twists, there were a few that blindsided me out of nowhere. But seriously, the best part was the banter. So. Much. Banter. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard reading a book.

See what I mean? Out of twenty-seven books read, I only rated five (five?!) as five stars. Granted, these five are some serious gems: I’ve already read three out of five more than once. In fact, I read The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You three times.

Honorable Mentions

  • Half Wild and Half Lost by Sally Green – YA Fantasy – I’m bitter because I like happy endings, and I didn’t like how the trilogy ended … but for those that like their books a little bittersweet, this is a series for you. I’m personally not a fan of the whole ‘Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers who die to be with each other’ trope … yeah. Spoiler alert, I guess.
  • The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo – YA Fantasy – I really enjoyed this series, but not quite as much as I loved her Six of Crows duology. Honestly, I think a huge part of my problem is that I fell in love with the Darkling, and he’s (spoiler alert) not the hero. 😛
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – YA Contemporary Romance – Okay, I really enjoy romances that start out with anonymous letters/notes/emails (in this instance, emails) because I feel it gives the characters added depth – yeah, it’s a lot of ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’ but I think it’s a bit more organic, like dialogue. And the inevitable misunderstanding/drama when they learn the identity of the mystery writer is always a plus. Especially in books like this one, where the drama is relatively low key. Very cute but also thought provoking (the main character deals with the loss of a parent and the subsequent moving on with life).
  • Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer – YA Science Fiction/Graphic Novel – The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is because I’m not a huge fan of the art style. I love the story and the characters … just not big on traditional comic-book type drawing. I’m more of a manga girl … but it’s still a great graphic novel! I can’t wait to read the rest. 😀

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