Reading in March 2020

05 April 2020

March. What a month it was. March was simultaneously one of the longest and shortest months I've ever experienced, as I'm sure it was a strange month for everyone. You can read all my thoughts and reflections on what's going on in the world in my last post, but today we're here to talk about books!

I have been able to keep up with my reading goal in spite of everything seemingly falling apart around me. While it's been an interesting time for sure, I've been able to find a lot of solace and relief from stress in the books I've been reading.

In March, I finished a total of four books and I decided to DNF one. It's incredibly rare that I DNF a book. I'm a completionist, I like finishing the books I start, even if I'm hating it. I may go into more detail on how I view DNFing books in a later post. But this month, I was feeling so down and needed to pick up something different when one just wasn't doing it for me. The other four books I read, I'm happy to say, were amazing, and I'm so excited to share my thoughts on them!

*I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book is short, but after I got to the half-way point, I could not push myself to go any further. Besides my own personal outside noise distracting me from paying attention, I was just not enjoying it. I could not determine what the point of the story was, or even what was happening. There was no plot from what I could tell, and the jumps back and forth in time were not clear and only confused me more. The writing was little more than rambling reflections. The author kept going on random tangents that didn't seem necessary to propel the story and were distracting. I can't even tell you what it was supposed to be about. I do wish I could have finished it, but I highly doubt my opinion would have changed.
Rating: DNF

This was the group read for Middle Grade March. I'm glad I was able to participate this year, even though I didn't read as many middle grade books as I hoped I would. This was a very fun and unique book. It follows an outcast hunchback boy as he joins on a pilgrimage to collect the relics of St. Peter. The boy hopes that by going on the pilgrimage, he will be healed of his hunchback and can go on to live as a normal boy. I loved the medieval time period and the deep topics that were explored in this book. It was unlike any middle grade book I've ever read. There were some fantastical elements, however, that I found confusing. They added a lot to the story, I just wish it had all been clearer. I also thought the medieval writing style could potentially be confusing for a child to read on their own. But overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you are at all interested!
Rating: ★

I read this book for one of my history classes, just as I had to read its prequel Things Fall Apart during my freshmen year of college. I didn't enjoy Things Fall Apart when I read it, with its brutal, unlikeable characters, but I could appreciate its significance for African literature in America. I could understand its importance. However, this installment in the series did not seem to serve any purpose to me. I was confused with what was going on, since I didn't have much context when I started it. I also found the characters incredibly bland. I did find the conflict that came up between the traditions of the African family and their relatively newfound Christian faith. But other than that, I didn't get much more from reading this story. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you've read it, though!

This was the only other book I was able to pick up for Middle Grade March, and was definitely my favorite book this month! This was such a touching story of a chimney sweep in industrial London and a gift that she was left. I got major Big Hero Six and Iron Giant vibes as I was reading this book, which I can't explain well unless you've read the book. I can't express how much I loved this book. It dealt with such important themes of grief, loneliness, abandonment, trust, and friendship. I loved the readable, yet whimsical, writing style, the lovable characters, and the historical setting. I don't want to say too much about this book, because I feel like it's best to go in blind. However, I will say this beautiful book has solidified Jonathan Auxier as one of my favorite authors!

I was very surprised by this book. I had conflicting feelings the whole time I was reading, but by the end I grew so attached to the story by the end and didn't want to finish it! This historical fiction novel follows the determined and stubborn Stella Fortuna and her many scrapes with death throughout her life. The seven or eight deaths of Stella, however, are only the skeleton of this sweeping family story. It's so raw and rich as it details the immigration and struggles the Fortuna family goes through. It has so many layers to it. The characters aren't always likable, but that's what makes this book feel so much more real. It's very flawed, and I saw shadows of my own family history through this (though I am not Italian in any way). It made me appreciate how the skeletons in a family history can shape who we are, for better or worse. I will admit, this book will not be for everyone, but I loved it despite its messiness!
What did you read in March?


  1. Sweep sounds like such a good book! I haven't read middle grade in a while and really want to read some (though I get most of mine from the library, which is currently not available, haha). Two of my favorite reads were Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (which I think you would like!) and Seeing Voices by Olivia Smit, an upcoming release.

    To be quite honest I haven't been reading much, which is odd because one would think that I'd have more time now than I used to, but apparently I don't!

    Happy April!
    Hanne ||

    1. Sweep is amazing and I wholeheartedly recommend it! I've been trying to get more into middle grade too because there are so many precious gems in childrens' literature, but I totally understand the library struggle. I miss my library so much!

      I hope you're able to read a bunch in April!

  2. I read 3 books total. Which isn’t bad considering. One of them was Dear Evan Hansen (which is based on the musical by the same name). It was definitely good, but not amazing like I’d hoped.


    1. I've listened to the soundtrack for Dear Evan Hansen, and have heard there was a book adaptation. I'm sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. I hope you have a great reading month in April, Keira!