March 2020 Round-up

Here we are again, the end of another month. And what a month March has been! Coronavirus, social distancing, self-isolating, lockdown and no toilet roll (I’m still confused as to why it was toilet roll that people decided to hoard.) Amongst the chaos I have not done a lot of reading, I actually read double the amount of books in January! I’ve tried my best to read a little everyday though and keep going so I think I have enough books to do a roundup! Being in lockdown is surprisingly stressful so I’ve found it quite hard to settle down and read- does anyone relate? Either way life goes on and so do my monthly roundups. THE BOOKS MUST GO ON.

BOOK OF THE MONTH: Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

What I liked about it: a disaster situation, very appropriate for the current world climate! Gripping. Distinct viewpoints. Atmospheric.

What I didn’t like about it: nothing really, it is well rounded.

My favourite character: Alyssa, she did her best in a hard situation and never abandoned her brother

Position in series: 1/1

Genres: young adult, science fiction, climate change

THE RUNNERS UP:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What I liked about it: The glamour, the gayness, how gripping it was. The drama, the mystery and that incredible ending.

What I didn’t like about it: I wasn’t that attached to Monique who was one of the two main characters. A littler more time with her might have improved this, but it might have just taken away from Evelyn which I definitely don’t want.

My favourite character: Evelyn Hugo herself, of course. I do have a soft spot for Harry though.

Position in series: 1/1

Genres: historical fiction, romance, drama

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

What I liked about it: I had fun reading this, the enemies to lovers trope, the tension and the fairy-tale feel.

What I didn’t like about it: I needed more of the sassy crew. Just endless sassy crew.

My favourite character: Lira probably, although I am quite attached to THE ENTIRE CREW.

Position in series: 1/1 sadly

Genres: young adult, romance, fairy-tale retelling

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

What I liked about it: the deliciously descriptive writing, the tension, the immersive intensity.

What I didn’t like about it: the fact that women were ever burned as witches.

My favourite character: Maren, that naïve old soul.

Position in series: 1/1

Genres: historical fiction, LGBT, awesome

In conclusion, I have read a lot of standalone novels this month and they were awesome. If you’d like to try something slightly different, I read both A Smuggler’s Path and A Noble’s Path by I.L.Cruz this month and they were great fun, slightly chaotic fantasy. Remember to wash your hands and stay inside, I hope you’re all well and if you want to talk about anything feel free to message me! Let’s hope April goes a bit better than March 🙂

Dry Review

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

I first saw Dry in Waterstones months ago, and I was super excited when it finally came into the library! I don’t know if this is a good idea or a bad idea, reviewing a disaster scenario book given the current circumstances, but at least this one is climate-change related not pandemic related, right? Either way if you want a break from coronavirus related news and want to lose yourself in a completely different disaster, Dry is a great option.

Dry follows the actions of a girl, Alyssa, and her younger brother as they navigate life immediately after the taps run dry in South California, with no signs of water coming back soon. The story follows multiple viewpoints, each one added in as Alyssa meets them. She ends up forming a group with her next-door neighbour called Kelton, a badass girl named Jacqui, a rich boy named Henry and her younger brother. The story is told chronologically, day by day, with snapshots of random other people interspersed throughout to show what is happening elsewhere. The viewpoints of Alyssa and her companions are all first person, whereas the snapshots are third person, distinctly marking them out and making sure you stay focused on the important characters. The book is divided into parts and each part is a different stage of their journey, which breaks up the story nicely.

Within a few pages I was wishing I had read this book sooner! Neal and Jarrod Shusterman have written a brilliant book together, I’d love for them to write more. The book begins with a really interesting concept that is made more engaging by how possible it is, to the extent where I was slightly freaked out by it. With climate change getting worse by the day, running out of water might be real in the future and the way it plays out in the book seems very realistic. I genuinely flinched when someone disturbed me because I was so absorbed in the book, it was tense and dramatic and I never knew what was going to happen next.

The writing kept me on edge, with distinct viewpoints and the ability to evoke mood vividly, whether it be in a fight or a relaxed car drive. I could not stop reading and I didn’t want to, especially as the chapters grew shorter towards the end as they built to the climax. The ending was heart stopping, but followed with a little of the aftermath. I am a big fan of being shown the consequences of the story on the world and characters and I prefer it not to be in an epilogue because the epilogues are often removed whereas I want to stay with the characters I’ve got so attached to. Would I survive this book? Yeah, I’d be in the UK!