What? March is over already? Hard to believe, but I’m more than a little excited to make my way into warm weather reading! This April I anticipate awesome new releases, as well as my annual spring book kick. Let’s get those spines a cracking! Until then though, let me reflect on the so-so reading month that was March. Though books finished were few and far between, one of those read was absolutely fabulous. I could gush and gush about it all day, so that’s what this post is unofficially dedicated to! So with that being said, let’s cut to the books!
Firstlife stands out as a solid quasi dystopian, made stronger by its distance from the genre’s peak. Gena Showalter’s newest trilogy will definitely deliver for fans of Alice in Zombieland, as it retains the same fast paced action and razor sharp dialogue. The world, while flawed and lacking in certain areas, is a good backdrop for the story. Perhaps most unfortunately, the moral choice of Troika vs. Myraid (the realms people decide to live in for their afterlife) is a gray area Showalter made increasingly black and white as the story went on. And that watering down of the plot really underlines my biggest issues with this book. It’s consistenly okay, but never breaks into the territory of being something more. I would have loved to see a deeper exploration of protagonist Ten’s conflict (she’s being forcibly pursued to choose between the two realms), but alas no such thing happened. Very entertaining at any rate, and worth picking up if you don’t expect to much from an otherwise enjoyable read.
I was lucky enough to review Vigilante for its pre-release blog tour, and let me just say this is one you’ll want to check out. Though Exit, Pursued By a Bear remains the best book I’ve read dealing with rape culture and its implications, Vigilante proves to be a powerful read and all too timely contemporary. As I mentioned in my full review, Kady Cross’ YA debut bares many similarities to The Female of the Species– in many respects they’re practically the same book. However McGinnis and Cross have a radically different voice, setting Vigilante apart as the stronger read in my opinion. It’s very graphic and violent, with blunt writing that cuts straight to the point. Where Female had several other threads weaving throughout the narrative, main character Hadley’s revenge plot against her best friend’s rapists is center stage the entire book. At times this did make the story feel a bit simplistic, but it did aid in pulling back the shelter readers otherwise might have had. The ending is abrupt and leaves some bigger themes unfinished, however the rest of the story more than makes up for it. Highly, highly recommend!
I would’ve given 3 stars to the compulsively readable piece of fiction that is Antisocial, but knocked it down to 2.5 thanks to the awful ending. But first; the positives. Let me just say, Jillian Blake can hold a readers attention. The dustjacket description of Pretty Littles Liars meets WikiLeaks is about as accurate as they come, and the actual mystery more than lives up to the comparison. I could not put this book down, and sped right through it after an otherwise lackluster month of reading. The characters are decent, not particularly memorable but decent nonetheless, however I can see some readers finding fault with Blake’s less than 100% accurate portrayal of a character with anxiety. Similarly, there’s a semi love triangle that I felt really served no purpose here, and would have liked to see cut. In fact, Blake’s thrown together attempt at romance is what sunk this story for me. It forced Blake to throw together an ending that would connect all the lose ends, at the expense of consistency, or the confines of the human imagination. Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. But if you like those crazy twist endings (and maybe even if you don’t) I’d check this one out when it hits shelves in May.
What did you read in March? Are you interested in checking out any of the books I mentioned? Let me know in the comments!
-Keep Calm and Read On