February Wrap Up/March TBR

Hellooooo. Today I’m going to discuss what I read in February and what I want to read in March. Remember in my January wrap up that I said I wanted to read five books per month? Well already in 2015 I have failed that goal.

February was a rough month for me, reading and otherwise. I felt bogged down with schoolwork, SAT prep, and extracurriculars for the majority of the month (if I have time later today I’d like to write another post about all of that). Therefore, reading was sidelined and even though I did read sporadically I only got a few chapters or so into several books. But without further ado, here is what I “read” in February.

February Reads

1. I’m technically in the middle of Cress by Marissa Meyer, but haven’t read any of it since I began it in January. It’s the third book in a sci-fi, dystopian fairytale retelling series and while I love the series and this book so far, it felt too big and chaotic to get into in February.

2. I began Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta because in January I was on a high fantasy kick. It’s taking awhile to get into, but it’s beautifully written and I am enjoying it so far. However, I made less progress than I wanted to because the stress and craziness of this month left me yearning for quick, easy reads.

3. I continued reading Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan for the first half of the month. I was reading a story before bed whenever I didn’t have a novel I was in the middle of in January and it was nice to feel like I was still reading by continuing the trend in February. However, once again I put it down because sleep became more rare and thus more precious as the month went on.

4. I began God Loves Ugly by Christa Black, which is a nonfiction book I included in my 2015 TBR post. It is wonderful and I think it’s a book that every girl should read. Again, following the trend of this month, I did not finish it.

5. I began AND FINISHED(!!!!!!!) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We’re reading this in my English class and I fell in love with it immediately so I read ahead and completed it. This novel is definitely a new addition to my all time favorites list and I already want to reread it.

6. I read my first Hemingway piece this month and I’m excited to read more. I read (and completed! though it’s only three pages) Ernest Hemingway’s short story, Hills Like White Elephants. It’s public domain, so you can read it here. I recommend using SparkNotes or another analysis to help discern the piece’s meaning.

So, as pathetic as it is, that is all I read (or attempted to read) in February. Now, on a more optimistic note, here is what I aspire to read in March.

March TBR

1. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
My friend Grace over at Words Like Silver hosts a Teen Classics Book Club at a local place every month and I have been a really, really bad member the past few months. I haven’t finished the chosen book since November and I need to get back on track! This novel is our March pick, and after getting a tiny taste of Hemingway in February, I’m looking forward to reading it.

2. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
In case you didn’t know, I was selected to be a routine contributor for Lit Up Review, a book blog run by a group of teens for other teens (but anyone who loves YA will love it!). They host a spotlight book club every month and this contemporary romance that deals with suicide is the pick for March. It’s already being made into a movie with Elle Fanning and is said to be reminiscent of The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

3. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
I watch a lot of BookTubers (YouTubers who dedicate their channels to books) and they all RAVE about the Mistborn trilogy. I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson but I’ve heard nothing but good things about his work and all of his books get high ratings on Goodreads. This is a high fantasy series that I am dying to finally get into in March!

I know, I know, my reading goal is five books a month but I only listed three. That’s because I want to give myself some room to mood read. I may want to finish up the books I began in January/February. I may want to read more contemporaries or maybe more high fantasy. I have a shelved, ongoing TBR list, a stack of library books, and several new releases that I might want to pick and choose from. So I haven’t decided what other 2+ books I’ll read in March, but hopefully I will meet my reading goal this month.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you read in February or what you’re planning to read in March!

xx. Martha

January Reading Wrap-Up

One of my reading goals for 2015 (which I still haven’t written a post on) is to read five books each month. Not an average of five books a month, not 60 books this year, but five books every month. In the month of January, I read a total of six books. In the past, January has been one of my biggest reading months of the year; I usually clock in with 10+ books. But I got off to a slow start and didn’t begin reading my first book this month until January 15th. C’est la vie. Here are the books I finished this month, followed by a brief recount of my thoughts.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Synopsis | I loved this book. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2014, but sadly I didn’t get to it until this year. It reminded me a bit of the Throne of Glass series in terms of the way it made me feel. I finished it the same day I started it. It’s a fantasy novel and I think it’d be great for people looking to get into the genre. I had very high expectations for this novel and it amazingly surpassed them. This was a great start to the series and I can’t wait for the sequel to release in July. | My Goodreads Review 5/5 stars

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis | This is the third book in the Throne of Glass fantasy series. If you saw my Top 15 post, you know that this was the number one book from my shelves that I wanted to get to in 2015. I did, and my mind is BLOWN. This book was outstanding, just like the other books in the series and I was so, so happy with it. I literally cannot wait for the fourth installment. The Throne of Glass series is one of my all time favorites and I highly recommend picking up these books. | My Goodreads Review 5/5 stars

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Synopsis | This is the third book in the historical fiction/fantasy trilogy, His Fair Assassin. I was slightly disappointed because I expected so much from this book- the first two installments are two of my favorite books. I didn’t think this one was as good as those, but I still enjoyed it; it was by no means a bad book. This trilogy is about the French duchy of Brittany in the 15th century and each book follows a different female protagonist, each an assassin and handmaiden/daughter of Death. I definitely recommend it and the fantasy elements are minimal and realistic to the times. | My Goodreads Review 4/5 stars

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
Synopsis | This is the third book in the paranormal, mythology-based Everneath trilogy. The premise is loosely based on the Greek myth of Persephone, but it’s far different than other young adult retellings I’ve read. I usually despise paranormal romance books for many reasons (I need write a rant post sometime), but I found this trilogy very enjoyable. It was a fun, easy read that made me laugh and that I didn’t have to take very seriously. It’s quick and teenager-ish and I embraced its typical paranormal romance qualities, although it stood out to me because it in some ways defied the normal cookie cutter format of the genre. I think anyone who loves paranormal romance will get a kick out of this trilogy and maybe even some people like me who dislike the genre. | My Goodreads Review 5/5 stars

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Synopsis | This is the second book in the paranormal/supernatural Mara Dyer trilogy. After reading the first book, despite really liking it, it took me over a year to pick this one up because these books are such heavy reads for me. It’s dark, creepy, eerily reminiscent of a horror story. Technically, it’s a paranormal romance series, so naturally I have my issues with it. But I do really like the series, and I liked this book- it’s completely different than anything I’ve ever read. I haven’t purchased the third book yet. I for sure want to read it but after completing this installment, I felt exhausted and drained. Who knows, maybe it’ll be another year before I finally finish off this trilogy. | My Goodreads Review 4/5 stars

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
Synopsis | This is a standalone contemporary novel. It follows a main character named Anika who is half Romanian who lives in Nebraska with her mom, two siblings, stepdad, and two step-siblings. She has a witty and humorous voice, drily detailing her life as a 10th grade student. She deals with popularity, racism, nativist sentiments, petty theft, love, and friendship. While I didn’t give this book as high a rating as I usually give, I did enjoy it. I thought it was realistic, truly unfiltered. I do recommend it because I think it contains important messages and it is well-written and fun to read. | My Goodreads Review 3.5/5 stars

Overall, I really enjoyed the books I read this month. I started reading fantasy again (now I’m on a kick), read a few paranormal books, and even managed to squeeze in an entertaining contemporary. I also began Cress by Marissa Meyer, but put it down because I wasn’t in the mood for it. And throughout the month, I’ve slowly been working my way through Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan. I finished four of the books on my Top 15 TBR list for 2015. And I surpassed my goal of five books during the month. I have no idea what I’m going to read in February, but I’m excited for a new month of reading!