Hello readers! I hope your March was wonderful! I had an amazing reading month where I did a lot of readathons, and managed to read 21 books, 12 of which were middle grade books for Middle Grade March.
I also made a post for the 9 books I read for Bookoplathon, which I won’t repeat here, but you can check it out if you are interested. I loved doing that readathon so much, and I haven’t been so successful at a readathon in my entire life.
Before we go any further, I want to disclaim there are affiliate links for Better World Books and Amazon in this post.
Please make sure to give this post a like if you did, and comment down below what your favorite book of March was!
This is the first book in the Pandava series and is sort of a retelling of Hindu mythology. I think if you like Percy Jackson, you will love this series. It is about a girl named Aru Shah, who lives in a museum called The Museum of Ancient Indian Art. She lights a lamp and has to face the demon she releases while doing so.
I think the biggest flaw is one that Percy Jackson also shares. I would love to see the characters actually learning how to do things instead of just knowing. It isn’t a big thing for me, just something I notice.
Trigger warnings: bullying, absent parent, loss of a loved one
This is the 15th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kids series and I can’t even remember the last time I was actually caught up on it. I have been reading this series for well over 10 years now, and this is one of my favorite additions to it. It is about the Heffley family going on vacation in their relatives RV, and is the result of the previous book.
This book opened my eyes to something I didn’t even know existed in the US. This book is about a girl who is half Native American and half white. She wants to find her identity as a Native American person. In the 60’s, child services was removing 3 in every 10 Native American children and placing them with a white family, in an attempt to erase their Native American heritage. It wasn’t until 1978 that the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed, which took away the rights of child services, who were not Native American led, to take away kids from their parents. This was devastating to learn from this story. My own mother was born in the 60’s, and if she were Native American, this could have happened to her. This is something that has affected a lot of people alive today, and I wish it were actually taught in schools in America.
Trigger Warnings: racial erasure, involuntary removal of children from their families, childbirth, cancer, loss of a loved one, racism
This one is a nonfiction memoir about the author. I personally think Woodson should have been more detailed about the events she references from her childhood. I understood what she was referencing, but this is meant to be a middle grade book, and I don’t think a kid would get as much out of it as an adult would.
Trigger Warnings: racism
I absolutely loved this book. I personally think this will one day be a staple in every child’s reading and a children’s classic. I honestly think if you loved Harry Potter, this is the book for you. I don’t support JK Rowling on this blog in any way, but I did love Harry Potter growing up. This wasn’t just a story about a girl trying to find her brother, there was discussion of race and bullying, and a lot of magic. I also loved the trials aspect of it. I have been getting into MG mystery books recently and it reminded me a lot of that. I’m just sad there aren’t more books in the series out yet, but I am willing to wait.
Amari is kicked out of her school for standing up to a bully. She eventually finds a briefcase that invites her to this magical school that her brother used to go to. Her brother is now an adult, and is missing. She wants to find her brother and she has a lot of trouble doing so. She isn’t a popular person, even when she goes to this new magical school, and I think a lot of girls could look up to her. I can’t wait for my own daughter to read this book one day.
Trigger Warnings: missing person, bullying, racism, classism, other prejudices, absent parent
This is an own voices story of a half-Ojibwe Native American boy, who counts the letters in every sentence that is spoken to him. It is never said, but we can infer that he suffers from OCD. This one starts with the MC getting kicked out of school for standing up to a bully, just like Amari in the previous one. His dad also loses his job, and he has to go live on a reservation with his mother, which he has never met. Everyone around him has eventually abandoned him because of his issue with counting letters, but he literally cannot control it. He has to learn to accept himself, and his new life. Grief is also a HUGE topic in this story, so please know that going in.
Trigger warnings: OCD, ALS, terminal illness, death, bullying, ableism, absent parent, mentions of alcoholism, death of loved ones
I just had a random urge to read this book this month and I loved it! This story follows quite a few perspectives in a world where you can be DNA matched to your soulmate. This book brings the question, what would you do if you were matched to someone who didn’t match your sexuality, was chronically ill, dead, a criminal or murderer (or serial killer in this books case), mentally or physically disabled, decades older or younger than you, or not your current spouse? It was an amazing analysis on all those things.
I love the mini cliff hangers at the end of every chapter that made me audibly gasp. This book twisted my emotions, too, and I think only the absolute best authors can do that.
Trigger warnings: serial murders, murder of a pregnant woman, attempted murder of a pregnant woman, kidnapping, gaslighting, terminal illness, death of a loved one, cancer, gore, death during childbirth, infidelity, mentions of divorce, torture, mutilation
I received this book as a gift for my birthday back in 2019, which is in March, so I had it for exactly two years before reading it. I have seen the movie, but I don’t think it did this book justice. Wonder has 8 parts, 3 of which are Auggie, and the other 5 are people in his life. For instance, his friends, his sister, and his sister’s boyfriend. I thought it was an interestin contrast between all the characters versus Auggie’s. Auggie struggles with fitting in because he looks different, and all the other people around him seem to struggle fitting in without having anything visibly wrong with them. We got to see Auggie’s struggles, but also see how he is so loved and adored by the people around him. His family is well off financially and he is well loved. I know a lot of people didn’t prefer the ending, as it might be unrealistic, but I don’t mind.
trigger warnings: physical illness, ableism, bullying, anxiety
So, this book is about a woman, who was a nurse during WWII. The book starts when the war is over and herself and her husband are going on a second honeymoon in Scotland. They haven’t been around one another in five years because of the war. She was a nurse, and he was a soldier. She ends up traveling back in time around 200 years, and the plot goes from there.
My biggest issue is that this book GLORIFIES domestic rape. I have a few exerpts from the book shared on my Twitter, if you would like to see what I am referencing here >> https://twitter.com/Allibookgiraffe/status/1372944827478859785
This book glorifies rape. I don’t care if you try to say it is “historically accurate,” which is what I keep seeing in reviews on Goodreads. Why is this one of the only things that is? It makes my skin crawl to read sex scenes where the MC continually says no, and then Jamie, “the love interest” does it anyways.
I was told this was a romance novel. WTF is sexy or romantic about raping your spouse?
This books is showing men that they can continually push their spouse for sex and get what they want, and it shows women if they don’t want to have sex with someone, they will eventually like it if they just cave in.
I will also mention there is a scene where Jamie beats the MC with a belt, and that is just blown over as well. I wanted to like this book, but I just couldn’t do it. The only redeemable character is her original husband back in the future.
I have been reading the Hannah Swenson series now since December. It was my first read right after the Bookoplathon, and I just think this series took a turn for the worst. This book always had some ableist language in it. I always dismissed it because these books were published in the early 2000s. My critiques don’t include anything about any plots in the books, if you want to read my thoughts below, it is spoiler free.
I don’t think I will be reading any more books in this series, due to all my issues with it, that I can’t ignore. This book really upped the series game with using the word retarded, which has been used before in previous books, but again, I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt.
In addition, there is a scene where the MC’s sister is dating a new person. She says his name is Raj (this spelling might be wrong, as I listen via audiobook), and Hannah assumes he is Indian based on his name, then internally says she doesn’t approve of biracial relationships. Raj was actually short for Roger, and the man turns out to be white. Either way, that is just a gross thought process. Even in the early 2000s, I don’t think this way of thinking is okay.
The MC also decides in this book that she is fat. She is constantly dieting and body shaming herself. She has not once in the previous books mentioned her weight. At this point in the series, she is dating two different men, so I don’t see why she thinks no one likes her because of her weight. One of her boyfriends specifically tells her he likes her body the way it is, and she still keeps thinking she is fat and ugly. As a plus sized person, I think it is so wrong to equate your size with being ugly. I might be plus sized, but I don’t think and have never thought I was ugly.
My last issue also started in this book. Hannah is suddenly OVERLY critical of every woman around her. She internally criticizes people’s speech, which she never did before. HOWEVER, my biggest problem is the slut shaming. Someone is in her shop and mentions being cold, and she tells her if she had more clothes on, she wouldn’t be cold. She also internally slut shames a lot of women. This is another thing she NEVER did in a previous book.
I sadly will not be continuing this series, no matter how much I will miss it. Hannah changed so much in this book, and I don’t know why the author would make her MC such a judgy and overall terrible person.
I almost didn’t fit this book into this month. I overall enjoyed reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but it was not my favorite book. I loved the angels and magical aspects of the book, along with the Hamsa’s on the hands. I have been getting into paganism in 2021, and I recognized a lot of the crystals and things the characters referenced. I am really excited to see more in this world.
Trigger warnings: homelessness, absent parents, violence
This book was a solid 4 for me, until I got to the ending. I knew the synopsis of this book before reading it, but I don’t think I truly understood what it meant. I have now read Way of Kings, The Final Empire, Elantris, and Warbreaker, and I can say my favorite is Warbreaker, but I still really enjoyed this one. I’m not making the mistake of waiting until the very end of April to read the next one!
Trigger Warnings: mentions of death, death, death of a loved one, absent parents, mentions of rape, slavery, homelessness, abuse, gore, prostitution
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