March: It’s a Wrap

Another month has gone by already. Seriously, where on earth is this year going?? I have finally remembered to post this sort of on time. Wooooo go me! I had little excuse this month. Yes I went away, but I was back a week into the month, and I kept a more careful track of what I actually read, which made it easier to round up and actually see what I enjoyed this month!

This month has been a little slower than the previous 2. My reading rate has slowed, and although I have kept up the reading variety and read some things I really enjoyed, I also read some absolute garbage! I finished A Series of Unfortunate Events

  • A Cuckoo’s Calling Robert Galbraith | 01 Mar 17 – 04 Mar 17 | Hardback | 5 Stars

I left if far too long to read this book, and only (finally) picked it up as it was available from the library on my cruise. I feel like that’s not a conventional opening to a 5* review, but hey ho.

I loved it. It has nothing to do with my love for JK Rowling, it’s just a bloody good book! The characters that have been created are rich and detailed, and refreshingly normal(?), and legitimately flawed.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two leads. It’s so different to the often cliché relationships in book between male/female characters, and between boss/assistant.

The story is strong and appeals to the detective lover in me, and I shifted through it too quick. There is a healthy amount of assumption, and the main character is pieces everything together in a really brilliant way.

  • This Man Jodi Ellen Malpas | 18 Feb 17 – 09 Mar 17 | Paperback | 2 Stars

OK, I read this as mindless rubbish before I went away, and since I got back. It is fairly rubbish, but that kind of rubbish where you know you are going to have to continue reading the others; partly to see how bad they are, and partly because you need to see if they can possibly improve or do something new.

  • Beneath This Man Jodi Ellen Malpas | 10 Mar 17 – 15 Mar 17 | Paperback | 1 star

I try really hard to avoid giving scathing reviews for books, as I am always impressed when an author has put their work out there. That said, this book has pushed me to finally hit the 1 star review button.

I think, if I am being honest, I am just reading this series because I have started it and need to finish it, and because I get a deep satisfaction about sitting, moaning, and ranting about it to my housemate. Because that is all I did right throughout.

It’s not just that this story is poor, it’s that is diabolical. I don’t like the characters. Jesse is controlling in an unattractive way, and has every personality trait we are raised to avoid. Ava is a wet, weak sponge, who absorbs Jesse’s shit, had no moral fibre whatsoever, and is a pathetic excuse for a female lead. The time frame over which the story takes place is beyond unrealistic….I am not joking when I say I could go on and on.

Yes, I clearly have issues with the writing, but for me, the editor has to shoulder a large amount of blame. The book barely feels like it has been proof read. There are many instances where sentences don’t make sense, and there are whole sections of the book which are either repetitive, or just plainly shit.

Worst bit, I know I will read, and probably hate, the last book in this trilogy.

  • This Man Confessed Jodi Ellen Malpas | 15 Mar 17 – 17 Mar 17 | Paperback | 2 Stars

Well, there was no chance this could have been worse than the previous installment in the trilogy, so it had that going for it straight off. And unlike the previous two books, stuff happened in this. A lot of stuff. I mean, most of it was bloody ridiculous, but it still happened.

I have to start by saying that I still like pretty much none of the characters, and my pig-headed stubborness is what drove me to complete this series. The characters improve marginally, mainly because the pregnancy bomb that strikes half way through means they have no choice but to be slightly less irritating.

I liked the action, because who doesn’t like holidays, weddings, honeymoons, car crashes, scandal, twin pregnancy, and truth bombs?

But still, the time line is borderline farcical, the characters have no redeeming qualities in a bad way, and the story is crap.

  • Chew Vol#2: International Flavour John Layman & Rob Guillory | 18 Mar 17 – 19 Mar 17 | Graphic Novel Paperback | 5 Stars

I’m addicted. This is bad. Very very bad. For my purse at least.

Chew is everything that I could ever want from a graphic novel. I love spies, police, and detective stories. I love a good murder mystery or unsolvable crime. And I love the added dimension that is provided by the flesh-eating cibopath element.

Nothing more that I can say other than a must-read.

  • The Grim Grotto (ASOUE #11) Lemony Snicket | 10 Feb 17 – 19 Mar 17 | Hardback | 2 Stars

This took way way too long to read for what is a crucial instalment of a children’s series that I really like. I couldn’t remember it at all from my first read, which probably says a lot in itself, and I didn’t really like any of the characters.

The evil characters are still wonderfully evil, and the Baudelaires are still enjoyably miserable and insanely intelligent, so yes there is that, but it is the side characters that I find unbearable in this one.

One of the wondrous things in this series is that everything is extreme. Whether it is how horrible some of the henchmen are, or how dyer the situations the children find themselves in, or how extraordinarily gifted they are. So, when a set of characters are some what bland and boring, it takes a way a lot of the edge that the series carries.

I feel, unlike a lot of the others, it didn’t really add too much to the story either. Yes, we’re briefly introduced to a new character who becomes important, but I feel like I could have skipped it out and not really felt like I had missed anything (Sunny’s near death experience aside!)

  • Chew Vol#3: Just Desserts John Layman & Rob Guillory | 19 Mar 17 – 21 Mar 17 | Graphic Novel Paperback | 5 Stars

There really is no denying that this series is weird. Whether it is the lead character storing severed toes in his freezer for his latest squeeze to find, or the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to genetically breed fricken (frog-chickens), this story just keeps on giving.

Things are looking up for cibopathic federal agent Tony Chu, and I kind of love the contrast between a nice blossoming relationship, and the ridiculous premise the story hangs on.

Escapism at its best.

  • The Penultimate Peril (ASOUE #12) Lemony Snicket | 21 Mar 17 – 24 Mar 17 | Hardback | 5 Stars

This penultimate instalment in the terrible and unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire Orphans is undoubtedly my favourite.

In this story, the Baudelaires grow, and mature, and begin to understand the fine line between good and evil, treachery and sacrifice, truth and lies, and they begin facing difficult and morally ambiguous decisions that add an extra dimension in their already complex lives.

I like the simplicity of a Hotel built around the Dewey Decimal System. Yes, I love books, so that probably has something to do with it, but it is both brilliant and ridiculous in equal measures, and throws up stupid upon ludicrous scenarios that the children have somehow not encountered yet.

It also provides the perfect setting for all of the characters, both good and evil, that we have encountered throughout the series in one place. It shows the breadth of evil they have had to overcome, but also shows how much good they have come across and just how many kind and honest people that have been supporting them through – even if they didn’t realise it.

Yes, it is ridiculous, and yes, it is unfortunate, but I feel like it brilliantly encapsulates this in a way the previous 11 instalments didn’t.

  • The End (ASOUE #13) Lemony Snicket | 24 Mar 17 – 30 Mar 17 | Hardback | 3 Stars

I both like and loathe this book in equal measures, hence the sitting on the fence star rating.

Let’s start with the likes. I really like how the morally ambiguous setting and situation that the Baudelaire’s find themselves in make them question themselves, the (supposed) adults in the various scenarios, and also every decision they have made leading up to the island.

I like how the story unfolds, hints at more of their parents past, and also lays the path for them to have a potentially normal, or unfortunate life, depending on your take on their particularly unpleasant journey.

I loathe the amount of un-ended stories, floating questions, and contradictions that are left or come to light by the end. The revelation of the mother in relation to the narrator and the characters has been both supported and blindly contradicted throughout, and we are left with no answers about what happened to the characters such as the Quagmires, and everyone else in the Hotel Denouement.

Books read: 9 | Ave. Rating 3.33

Well, I may have slowed down, but I am shifting through my books at a fairly nice rate, and my challenge to read 52 books is going to be surpassed less than halfway through the year. The only problem this month, I have been left with a couple of books that I am struggling to finish. Let’s hope I see the light at the end of the tunnel and knock some long standing books from currently reading to read. There is also a readathon called Tome Topple, which is dedicated to reading books over 500 pages in length, so that should allow me to shift through a couple of my longer unread books.

What have you been reading?

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11 thoughts on “March: It’s a Wrap

  1. It seems like everyone is rereading ASOUE! And I’m glad the last one in that trilogy wasn’t as bad. I actually really liked a cuckoo’s calling, which surprised me cause I didn’t like casual vacancy. Hopefully next month is even better!

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    • I wanted to re-read it before the TV show came out, so I got the early ones in before Netflix bingeing and then I ended up reading the lot! I do have a real soft spot for them!
      Oh dear Lord that was a bad series, I think I was rant reading by the end just to complain about them!
      I really enjoyed it as well, I am reading the second one The Silkworm for Tome Topple later this month 🙂
      Thanks, I hope it is too! Happy reading

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      • I want to reread them before I see the series, but I haven’t even gotten around to getting the first one 😳
        Im also still contemplating doing Tome Topple because I have a couple books I have to get to ASAP that aren’t tomes 😦

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      • I find they appear a lot in charity shops and what not. My housemate and I both have sets that have been collected from places like that.
        I was a little bit hesitant, because I have read the first in a few series that I want to continue and I have some books I just really want to read that are shorted. It starts on Friday and only lasts for 2 weeks, so I figured it was worth it to try and concentrate on a few of my longer ones first.

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