The Monthly Wrap: March

I started my March reading month off with ‘Goodnight Vivienne, Goodnight’ by Steven Carroll. Now this wasn’t a stand out piece of literature to me and I truely put this down to my general lack of knowledge behind T.S Elliot. ‘Goodnight Vivienne, Goodnight’ focuses on the downfall of T.S Elliot’s wife, Vivienne, and her admission to a mental asylum. From bits and pieces I’ve gathered from conversations with other readers and in the novel, a number of T.S Elliot’s early poetry was in fact written about his wife. The beginning of their love story was intoxicating, bubbling and exciting for them both, however soon after, Vivienne (as the novel is mostly from her perspective) discovers that her trust in Elliot is flailing. Elliot divorces Viv as his popularity surges and his illusive relationship with Virginia Woolf grows. Interestingly, the other perspective of this novel is from a police office, who is on a rat race trying to find Vivienne after she breaks out of the mental asylum. She is attempting to change her identity, therefore he continues to find himself coming up short until he reads some of T.S Elliot’s poetry. I would recommend this book to those who love and follow Steven Carrol, as I did really enjoy his writing style. I would also recommend this to lovers and admirers of T.S Elliot’s poetry and his back story, however it does not necessarily paint him in a positive light.

Next I read, ‘Only a Monster’ by Vanessa Len. I must preface that if I were say …. 15 years old, heck I would have LOVED this novel. However, since broadening my reading habits and styles, I did find this a little amateur. I can admire how much of an easy, quick and capturing read this novel is because it only took me 3 days to read. ‘Only a Monster’ I started after dinner one night and found myself flying through it – I wanted to have it finished the following day. Our story takes place in a modern day city and follows the perspective of Joan, who is in fact a monster and the villain of this story – which is quite clever. Early on, Joan falls in love with the hero of this story but he seeks to destroy her as it has been cast as his life mission. Que the haters to lovers and all the action, drama, and fantasy in between. This YA fantasy had great twists and turns, plus a fabulous plot twist that I didn’t see coming – this upped my overall like for the book. I can also admire that Vanessa is an Australian author breaking into the YA Fantasy scene – that takes guts and she has done a wonderful job at the age demographic she’s targeting.

My two half reads for the month of March were, ‘The Cult of Romance’ by Sarah Ayoub and ‘Careering’ by Daisy Buchanan. ‘The Cult of Romance’ is due to hit shelves on the 4th of May 2022.

‘The Cult of Romance’ is a fun young adult romance novel about Natalie, a Lebanese 20 year old young woman trying to understand WHY her best friend has made the unfathomable decision to get married at the ripe age of 21. This was youthful, fun and somewhat relatable due to how modern the author has made the character’s environment. Natalie is certain that love is a sham and cannot see how her bestie is actively choosing to marry a Lebanese boy she met on holiday while in Lebanon – less than 3 months ago! Natalie has be teed up to plan the hens party in Lebanon with the dreadful best man, whom she has never laid eyes on. Travelling to Lebanon for the wedding is also taking up a lot of Natalie’s thoughts and once she gets there, her perspectives on her culture, her family and her best friends new engagement start to change. Admittedly, I read this mostly for work as it enables me to broaden my reading style and recommend to more age demographics. ‘The Cult of Romance’ will sit in young adult fiction but it is a great stepping stone into adult fiction for 16+ readers.

‘Careering’ by Daisy Buchanan sounds so fun and totally up my alley, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it this month. I borrowed this book from my local library and look forward to the day it comes back into my borrowing stack again. Imogen, our main character, reminds me of myself in a lot of ways (aside from the fact that I love my job 😍). She is working full time, writing a blog in between that and trying to maintain the uphill battle of achieving her dreams. Additionally, she is trying to maintain a social and dating life. This book was told from two perspectives, Imogen and Harri. Harri is the leading figure in one of the UK’s most popular magazine copies, yet this company has seen the loss of their head of house and declining profits. Harri’s truely believes after all her hard work, she will be next in line for a big promotion – but it doesn’t come. Imogen idolises Harri, yet neither of their jobs give them back 100% of what each woman puts in. They are both being, bitten, chewed and spat back out again and they’re over it. Harri is offered the opportunity to develop and manage a new blog for the magazine and this is where Imogen comes in. This novel did have me laughing out load at times and I liked the way it was moving, however I just wasn’t ready to commit to the story at this time in March.

I wrapped up my reading month with ‘You and Me on Vacation’ by Emily Henry. This novel by Emily and her other, ‘Beach Read’ have been on my TBR for a while now. Therefore, as soon as I saw ‘You and Me on Vacation’ become available at my local library, I jumped on board. I will be posting a full book review on this light holiday read quite soon, therefore I cannot give too much away πŸ˜‰ What I will say is that this was exactly what I needed when I grabbed for it! Poppy and Alex are the best of friends and for years they’ve have taken budget friendly holidays together. These holidays are the pinnacle of each of their stressful jobs/lives/personal expectations, and something they dedicate to just the two of them. As grow as individuals, their relationship also changes and feelings develop, but neither is likely to admit or acknowledge how they feel – until this summer … when everything changes πŸŽ†

What did you read and love in the month of March? Was it a brand spanking new book, or one off your long awaited TBR pile? πŸ’¬ Comment below …

2 thoughts on “The Monthly Wrap: March

  1. Thanks for sharing, Mel. I’ve been waiting for this! (I didn’t want to pressure you by asking when you would write about your March books). I love that you read outside of your comfort zone so you can connect to more customers with recommendations. I haven’t started Beach Read. If I love Beach Read then I’ll have to try You and Me on Vacation. My TBR list is so big (with both books I own and books to find) that I have to try Beach Read first. My last couple of books were light and fluffy so I won’t be reading Beach Read next. My priority is 3 books I have on loan from the library – Something Else by Alicia Thompson (a possible romance between 2 men set in rural Australia), Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers by Alison Pouliot and Tom May and a book you have probably seen at Collins Bookshop – Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate by Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe (the book I’ll be starting in the next day or two). The books I read so far in April are: Cruising Through Calamity by Bev Aisbett (a no-nonsense and direct book about dealing with anxiety caused by covid or other life events), Love In Theory by Elodie Cheesman (I wanted to love this book but sadly I almost hated it. 1 – 2 stars out of 5 from me), Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake (my new favourite recent read. I loved it and will probably re-read when I get the 2nd book in the series. Re-reading is rare for me.) and the first book I read in April is The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock (a solid 3 stars from me.). My March reads were A Flicker in the Dark for our Collins Crime Fiction Book Club (I rated it 3 stars but we will talk about it in a few days, Yay! I’ve missed you all.), V.W’s A Room of One’s Own (Finally, loved parts of it but I couldn’t finish during March, maybe another time), Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker (5/5 stars. An excellent read in my opinion), Where The Crawdads Sing (Loved this. I, too, loved reading about Kya’s life in the marsh. The author wrote beautifully about nature so it makes sense that Deliah was previously a wildlife scientist. I didn’t give 5 stars, 4 rather. Thank you very much for recommending this one a while ago at a bookclub meeting. I’m just being fussy giving it 4 stars, it really deserves 5 for enjoyment.), American Dirt (4/5 stars, great reading) and The Appeal by Janice Hallett for book club which I gave 2 stars. This one wasn’t for me either. The other books I read in March on my list are ones I think I mentioned to you in a previous comments on your wonderful blog posts. Hopefully I haven’t doubled up. A few of my recent reads were on my TBR list (Farmers or Hunter Gatheres, The Other Side of Beautiful, A Room of One’s Own, Emma in the Night, Crawdads) and most of them were on display at the library, catching my attention and slipping into my library bag for a holiday with me – Delilah Green, Wild Mushrooming, Something Else, Cruising Through Calamity, Love In Theory). I think the library displayed LGBT+ books on the shelf ends while Mardi Gras was on. I was hoping the library would do it because I’ve been meaning to diversify the romance I read. I thought I might have been a bit late to the library after Mardi Gras but I found 2 LGBT+ books on the book ends to satisfy my needs. Woohoo! Lucky Me! Anyway, see you soon at the book club meeting Mel πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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