March Wrap Up

March was kind of a weird reading month for me. I read some books that I wasn’t even planning on reading but that I ended up loving. Here’s what I read.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This takes place during Nazi Germany and follows Liesel as a young girl during the war. I have a full review posted so I won’t say anything else but I loved this book. I have had it on my shelves for so long but never picked it up and it wasn’t on my March TBR but it was the first book I read because for some reason I just kept getting pulled to it and I’m so glad that I finally read it. 5 stars. This is also the book that I meant to read in 2017 but didn’t for the 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This follows Henry and Claire as they try to have a life and marriage even though Henry travels back in time at a moments notice. I listened to the audio book for this one and I think it made me love the book even more. I laughed so much and I don’t think that it would have come across so funny if I had been reading it on my own. Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole were amazing. A review will be coming soon. 5 stars. This is also the book about time travel for the 2018 PS reading challenge.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. This is a dark and twisted take on fairy tales and it was amazing. I got this in the March Fairy Loot box and knew that I had to read it ASAP. I will also have a review of this coming up as well. 5 stars.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. This is a thriller about a woman who is writing an article about the restoration of an abandoned girls school where her sister was found murdered twenty years prior. I have a full review of this posted if you want to learn more. 5 stars.

I also participated in the 24 hour readathonbyzoe on BookTube in March. I decided to focus on my shorter children’s classics for this readathon.

Matilda, The BFG and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I don’t think I need to tell anyone what these are about! I had these read to me as a child but I wanted to see how I felt about them now and I still loved them all. 5 stars. Matilda is my childhood classic that I never read for the 2018 PS reading challenge (I never read it myself) and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is my book that is also a stage play for musical for the challenge.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. This was still a great and touching book even now. I still love Wilbur and want a baby pig. I also cried like a baby at the end! 5 stars

Nightmare Mountain by Peg Kehret. This is about a young girl who goes to visit her aunt while her mother is out of the country for work and while there her aunt mysteriously falls into a coma and weird things start to happen. This book I read when I was a lot younger and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to reread it as an adult just to see if my opinion had changed since it is for significantly younger readers. I still loved it and it’s been so long since the last time I read it that I forgot a lot of what happened including who the bad guy was! I’ve read this book multiple times and still was shocked by who it was. 5 stars.

I also read some e-books this month. The Pact by S.E. Lynes. I got this as an ARC from Netgalley so thanks to them and it was released on February 27, 2018. This is a thriller and follows two sisters who have a secret between them and then one of the sisters daughter ends up in a coma. I was excited to read this based on the synopsis but I was really let down by it. It wasn’t much of a thriller and a lot of the story was predictable. I didn’t relate to any of the characters and just wasn’t really gripped by the story. 3 stars.

Forbidden by R.R. Banks. This is a new adult novel. It follows Jude a college professor who becomes involved with a former student named Veronica. Both of them have secrets of a tragic past and Jude doesn’t want to fall in love but then Ronnie finds out she’s pregnant. I really liked this one. There were some surprises and definitely some sweet moments. 5 stars.

Shopaholic On Honeymoon by Sophie Kinsella. This is a short story that takes place after Shopaholc Ties The Knot and before Shopaholic And Sister. Becky and Luke are on their honeymoon that’s suppose to take place over a year and bring them all around the world, but when Luke wants to cut it down to a month things don’t go over so well. Again, I’m really starting to dislike Becky and just want to finish the series and be done with it. I just find her to be so annoying and in this short story she acts like such a spoiled brat and I just wanted to slap her. 3 stars

I read 12 books this month which I am so happy about and for the most part I loved them all. I can’t wait for April reads.

Keep reading…Lola

Book Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a mystery thriller that follows a journalist as she writes a story about an abandoned girls school being restored, which also happens to be on the property where her sister was found dead twenty years before.

2014. Fiona’s sister Deb was murdered and dumped in the sports field of an abandoned girls school twenty years ago. Someone has bought the property and plans to restore it so Fiona decides to write a story about the restoration. She wants to find the person who bought it and find out why they want to reopen it. While touring the school with the son of the woman who now owns it, Fiona is there when they discover a body down in a well. The young girl has been down there for 60 years and is believed to have been a student. Now Fiona wants to dig deeper and find out who this girl was and what happened to her. She is also starting to wonder if her sisters boyfriend, who is in prison for her murder is actually guilty of the crime.

1950. Katie, CeCe, Roberta and Sonia are living at Idlewild, an all girls school in Barrons, Vermont that is meant to house troubled girls. They are roommates and close friends, almost like sisters. They all dream about leaving the school and having freedom. One day, one of the girls is leaving to go on a family visit, hoping that these relatives will take her in. She never returns to the school although she was seen getting on the bus back to Idlewild. Her suitcase is later found in the woods, but the school and police decide that she has met a boy and run away with him.

The girls also believe the stories about the school being haunted by a girl named Mary Hand who shows you the one thing that you don’t want to see. She wears a black dress and a veil and roams the property. The story is that the teenage Mary got pregnant but was too scared to tell her parents. On the night that she gave birth, her parents found out abd helped her with the delivery, but the baby died and they took it away and buried it in the garden. Mary was distraught and thought her parents killed her baby and one night they locked her out of the house on a cold night and she ended up freezing to death.

This was almost like four stories in one. You have 1950 Barrons, Vermont and Idlewild school. Four close friends and one day one of them leaves for the weekend and doesn’t come back. Then you have 2014, Fiona is looking into the restoration of the school and still grieving twenty years after her sister was murdered and dumped on the property, which is also where a body is found, of a young student who has been in a well for 60 years. You also have the haunting ghost story of Mary Hand and what happened to her or if she is even real. And last, there is also the mystery of what really happened to Deb in 1994 and if the guilty party is really paying for his crime.

First, I loved the whole ghost aspect of the story. I love stories about ghosts and hauntings and all that stuff. I enjoyed watching this story unfold and finally find out what happened to Mary and whether she was real or not. I would love to have a novel just about this.

Second, I also really loved the 1950s flashbacks. I don’t know what it is but I love novels, especially mystery thrillers that have flashback chapters. I loved getting to know the four girls and the reasons that they were sent to the school in the first place.

Third, I love that it takes place in Vermont. That is where I was born and raised and where I still live. It’s rare that Vermont is mentioned in books, let alone a while book taking place there. Barrons from what I have been able to find out is a fictional town but the novel also mentions Burlington quite a few times, Fiona even goes there to investigate things. I live in Burlington so that was incredibly cool, in my opinion.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. The girls from 1950 were a fun bunch if girls. They made me laugh at some things they did. I also felt for each and every one of them when they told their stories. Most of the girls in the school shouldn’t have been there, but their families didn’t know how to deal with them so they just shipped them off for someone else to handle. I loved getting to know Katie, Sonia, CeCe and Roberta. I felt for Fiona. She loved her sister so much and her life was drastically changed when she lost her. She didn’t know what to do with herself and she still lived in the past and grieved for Deb every single day. I enjoyed the relationship that Fiona and her father had. He had been a journalist as well and they just clicked so well. I also liked the romance between Fiona and Jamie, although at times I thought that Fiona was a little cold with him or in the way she thought about their relationship.

I enjoyed the current story as well. I wanted to know what happened to Deb and what the deal was with someone buying the school that had been abandoned for so long. I went on the ride right along with Fiona. I was surprised by every new thing that she uncovered and I tried to piece everything together right along with her. I was very satisfied with the outcome in the end.

This novel really threw me for a loop at times. I honestly wasn’t expecting the ending for Debs story. I really thought it was going to end a different way. Mary Hands story wasn’t really all that surprising but I still enjoyed it so much. The murder of the Idlewild girl was such a shock to me for some reason. I really thought that I knew what happened and why, but the truth really wasn’t what I was expecting. The end was also a nice surprise, I didn’t see that coming at all. I really loved how everything came together and all the lose ends were tied up. The ending was perfect and I couldn’t be more satisfied.

I gave The Broken Girls 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who loves mystery thrillers or a good old ghost story.

Keep reading…Lola

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a historical fiction novel set during Nazi Germany and is narrated by Death.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for so long but never picked it up. For some reason I spent days looking at it and completely ignored my March TBR and picked this up first. I LOVED it. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this. What have I been doing?!

I thought the whole concept of having Death be the narrator was so different and surprising. I think it really made the story more powerful. I wasn’t even bothered by the spoilers in earlier chapters of what happens in the end for some characters. I just thought it was such a unique way to tell the story.

I loved the friendship between Liesel and Rudy. They kind of had a love/hate relationship but they were always there for each other when it counted and they loved each other in a way that they didn’t love another person. It was such a cute time whenever they were together. I even found myself laughing during some of their time together.

I enjoyed the relationship that developed between Hans and Liesel. He really stepped up as a father and was very supportive and patient with her. I even liked the relationship Liesel had with Rosa. Rosa could be harsh and sometimes cruel, but I think that in her own way she really did love her and did the best she could.

I also really liked Max. He added something special to the story. The Hubermann’s wouldn’t have been the same without him I don’t believe. I also think that he had a profound impact on Liesel and on the life that she would eventually have.

I liked all the historical facts and how they were used throughout the book. The whole thing seemed to be thoroughly researched and I really felt like I was there sometimes. The author did an amazing job at making me feel all the feels. I laughed and cried. I was happy and sad. I was surprised, shocked, horrified and heartbroken.

I think one of my favorite things about The Book Thief was all the book talk. I loved that books played such a big role in the book and in Liesels life. I loved the moments she shared with the mayor’s wife.

This book quickly became a favorite of mine and one that I can see myself rereading multiple times in the years to come. I highly recommend everyone to read it if you haven’t already. Definitely 5 stars for me.

Keep reading…Lola

March Subscription Boxes

These are the books I got in sub boxes in March. This month I received my last BookCase.Club box for a while. I need to get my TBR down so I’m taking a break from sub boxes for a little bit.

Book Of The Month:

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. This is about the disappearance of a woman and all the secrets that are revealed while trying to solve the mystery of what happened.

My Thrill Club:

In The Valley Of The Sun by Andy Davidson. Travis does bad things to women. One night he meets a pale girl and wakes in the morning all blood and weakened, with no memory of what happened the night before.

The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson. This takes place at the end of the nineteenth century. There’s Daoism, ghost hunters, spiritual visions. I’m not clear on what this book is about exactly but it seems interesting.

The Last Winter is the DVD from this month. It stars James Le Gros and Connie Britton. The movie follows a group of oil scouts in Alaska. Evil stalks the group and things turn deadly.


The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis. Maggie has been blind for six months and has turned rebellious, leading to her having a probation officer. One day, she can see again, but only 10 year old Ben, who might just show her that losing her sight doesn’t mean she’s lost everything she’s ever dreamed of.

Pawn by Aimee Carter. Kitty can be a III and live in misery or she can be a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. If she choses to be a VII, she will be surgically transformed into the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. She’ll also have to stop the rebellion that Lila secretly promoted and died for, but it’s one that Kitty believes in. The cover is so pretty and the book underneath the dust jacket is so amazing. I love it.

I can’t wait to get into some of these books.

Keep reading…Lola

February Fairyloot Unboxing: Twisted Tales

I splurged and got the February Fairyloot box because the theme was Twisted Tales and I just had to have it. It’s pretty pricey so it definitely isn’t something that I’ll get all the time, but let’s get into what was in the box…

The Witch & The Ginger Bread House Socks. These are so cute and are inspired by Hansel and Gretel. I think these are so cute.

The Hinterland candle from Wick And Fable. The scent notes are Oakmoss and Tea Leaves. This candle is inspired by the Fairyloot book this month. The author helped create the candle saying the woodsy scent represents the Hinterland and the tea leaves represent the main character.

Poisonous Apple Luxury Bath Salts are by Little Heart and are inspired by Snow White. The artwork was done by Till & Dill and the bath salts are vegan.

The mug is designed by Aunjuli Art and has images from different fairy tales including Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel And Gretel and The Frog Prince.

Woodmark by Ink And Wonder inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. These bookmarks are printed on sustainably sourced wood.

Fairyloot book mark that matches the March spoiler card.

This is the other side of the mug.

The February Fairyloot book is The Hazel Wood Melissa Albert. It comes in a cute little black Fairyloot drawstring bag. The book is signed by the author. You also get a letter from the author herself which I think is so cool. This cover is also a Fairyloot exclusive.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is filled with dark fantasy. It’s described as an urban Grimm fairytale. The Hazel Wood follows a character named Alice, whose grandmother was the author of dark fairytales. Her grandmother dies and her mother is abducted and Alice has to travel to the Hinterland to find out what happened.

All items in this box are exclusive to Fairyloot and I’m so happy that I got the chance to get my hands on them. I am also so excited about the book because it’s one that I have wanted to read and I can’t wait.

Keep reading…Lola

March TBR

These are the books that I want to read in March. I only have 3 here because I have some coming in the mail that I’m hoping to get to as well.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. This was my February Book Of The Month pick and I can’t wait to read it. It follows a woman who, twenty years after her sisters death, starts to look into the all girls boarding school that she was attending at the time.

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn. This was my January BOTM pick. It follows a woman who is a recluse. She hasn’t left her apartment and she likes to look out her window. One night she sees something happen while looking in the window of the apartment across the street and she has to leave her house to get to the bottom of it, when it starts to look like nobody believes her.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I can’t wait to read this one. It’s a dark fairy tale and it just sounds so great. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I’m so excited to pick it up.

Those are the books that I’m hoping to read in March.

Keep reading…Lola

February Wrap Up

These are the books that I read in February. It’s not as many as I read last month but I did read all the books that I wanted to and an extra one so I’m happy with that.

Meet Cute by Various Authors. I really enjoyed this anthology about the first time these couples meet. The only thing is, I want a full story for most of them. These are just first meetings so you don’t know anything that happens after and I want to know. I have a review of this posted if you want to know a little more. I gave this 5 stars.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. This was such a cute story. It was pretty predictable but I loved the romance and the journey they took to find each other. I also gave this 5 stars.

26 Kisses by Anna Michels. I liked this book a lot. There were things I enjoyed, like the friendships and the romance. There were also things that I didn’t enjoy, like how the main character acted sometimes and the things she did to fulfill this summer plan. Over all it was still good and I gave it 4 stars.

Alex, Appeoximately by Jenn Bennett. I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t think that I would like it as much as I did because you know by the synopsis who Alex is, but the story and how they came together was so cute and amazing that it didn’t even matter to me. There were so many sweet moments throughout the book and I just devoured it. I gave this one 5 stars.

The One Memory Of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. Unfortunately, this is a book that I just didn’t really care for at all. I loved the idea of the story. The fact that I’ve heard it described as a YA 50 First Dates is what made me want to read it in the firrst place. It started out slow and was really hard for me to get into and then I found myself at times skimming through the pages. This one just fell flast for me and I was really disappointed because I had such high hopes. I gave this 3 stars.

A Shroud Of Tattered Sails by Scott William Carter. This is the fifth book in the Garrison Gage series. These books keep getting better and better. This one follows Gage as he tries to uncover the mystery of a woman who washes ashore with no memory of who she is. This had so many twists and turns and just these little things that you don’t see coming. If you love mysteries you should definitely check this series out. I gave this 5 stars.

Those are the books I read this month. I’m so excited for my March reads as well. What are you hoping to read?

Keep reading…Lola