March Book Wrap-up

Hey guys I am so excited to share my March Wrap-up. I feel March ended up being a pretty good month for me. I ended up getting a lot of books in. I ended up enjoying the majority of the books I read. So let’s dive in!

Before She Knew HimBefore She Knew Him By Peter Swanson

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
Pages: 320 pages
Publication Date: March 5th 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .

My Thoughts: So this was my first Peter Swanson book. I have been wanting to read a book by him for a while. I am so glad I finally did. I ended up really enjoying this. I don’t want to say too much about this book without spoiling anything. I overall was into the story the whole time. There were certain things that were discovered early on but the story was still kept me engaged. I never felt bored which I feel can happen sometimes when things are discovered early on in the book. I will be checking out more from Peter Swanson.

The Art of LosingThe Art of Losing By Lizzy Mason

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Publication Date: February 19th 2019
Publisher: Soho Teen
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her younger sister, Audrey, hooking up with her boyfriend, Mike—and she abandons them both in a rage. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma. Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her ex-boyfriend (who is relatively unscathed) has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend who’s recently out of rehab and still wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as Audrey awakens and slowly recovers, Raf starts to show Harley a path forward that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Thoughts: So last year I got to do a tour of Bloomsbury. There is where I found out about this book. It just sounded really interesting and dealt with a topic I feel you don’t see much in YA so I was excited to pick it up. Overall I ended up enjoying this book. I liked seeing how the topic of alcohol was dealt with. You even had talk about teens in rehab and them dealing with addiction. Plus the author admits at the beginning of the book she took experiences she dealt with and put them into this book. I thought that was very encouraging to see. I recommend you guys check this one out.

My Squirrel DaysMy Squirrel Days By Ellie Kemper 

Genre: Non Fiction, Humor, Memoir
Pages: 240 pages
Publication Date: October 9th 2018
Publisher: Scribner
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Meet Ellie, the best-intentioned redhead next door. You’ll laugh right alongside her as she shares tales of her childhood in St. Louis, whether directing and also starring in her family holiday pageant, washing her dad’s car with a Brillo pad, failing to become friends with a plump squirrel in her backyard, eating her feelings while watching PG-13 movies, or becoming a “sports monster” who ends up warming the bench of her Division 1 field hockey team in college.

You’ll learn how she found her comedic calling in the world of improv, became a wife, mother and New Yorker, and landed the role of a bridesmaid (while simultaneously being a bridesmaid) in Bridesmaids. You’ll get to know and love the comic, upbeat, perpetually polite actress playing Erin Hannon on The Office, and the exuberant, pink-pants-wearing star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

If you’ve ever been curious about what happens behind the scenes of your favorite shows, what it really takes to be a soul cycle “warrior,” how to recover if you accidentally fall on Doris Kearns Goodwin or tell Tina Fey on meeting her for the first time that she has “great hair—really strong and thick,” this is your chance to find out. But it’s also a laugh-out-loud primer on how to keep a positive outlook in a world gone mad and how not to give up on your dreams. Ellie “dives fully into each role—as actor, comedian, writer, and also wife and new mom—with an electric dedication, by which one learns to reframe the picture, and if not exactly become a glass-half-full sort of person, at least become able to appreciate them” (

My Thoughts: I am a huge fan of Ellie Kemper. So when I heard she was writing a memoir, I was very excited. I had gotten approved for the e-arc but I knew I had to listen to this on audiobook. It ended up being such a fun read. Ellie had me laughing and having a good time. I liked getting to know her better. I got to hear her talk about her experience in The Office, Bridesmaids and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I felt her book was very open. I’ve read a couple celebrity memoirs and sometimes they’re closed off with the information they share which is very understandable. There are just times you want that dirt. Anyway, if you’re a fan of Ellie Kemper, check this out.

Last Call at the Nightshade LoungeLast Call at the Nightshade Lounge By Paul Krueger

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, New Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 288 pages
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
Publisher: Quirk Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school.

But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out that evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and rum lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a “real world” job beckons?

This sharp and funny urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and grown-up readers of Harry Potter. Includes 14 recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore.

My Thoughts: So this book wasn’t on my radar until I saw that it was the pick for Dragons & Tea Book Club hosted by Melanie @ Mel To The Any and Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills. The moment I read the line in the summary for magically mixed cocktails, I was sold. I had never read a story like this before. Badass bartenders who fight monsters, how cool is that. It was really enjoyable. I do plan to read more from this author.

Neverworld WakeNeverworld Wake By Marisha Pessl

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction
Pages: 328 pages
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim – their creative genius and Beatrice’s boyfriend – changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft – the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world – hoping she’ll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death.

But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions.

Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers… and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.

My Thoughts: So this book ended up being one of my most anticapted reads for last year. I read Night Film by Marisha and loved it. So when I heard she had a new book coming out I was excited. I am sad to say this one just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t really get into the book until about the half way mark which is a shame. I am trying to find the words to describe it but I can’t. After reading other people’s reviews the best way would that things ended up happening differently then I expected. This was my buddy read Jenna @ J.K. I’m Exploring, Luna @ Bookish Luna, and Amy @ Tomes with Tea.

Ace of ShadesAce of Shades By Amanda Foody

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy,
Pages: 411 pages
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

My Thoughts: So this actually was a reread for me. I wanted to read it again before I picked up King of Fools. I just wanted a refresh of it. This ended up being one of my favorite reads of last year. It was so nice being back in the world of New Reynes. I didn’t realize how much I missed these characters so much. I was so happy I decided to pick it up again.

My Review

Long Way DownLong Way Down By Jason Reynolds

Genre: Young Adult, Poetry, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 306 pages
Publication Date: October 24th 2017
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.

My Thoughts: I randomly decided to pick this book up. The story sounded really interesting and I wanted to know more. I have to say Jason Reynolds does a great job with narrative verse. I’m not very into poetry but Jason Reynolds is such a great storyteller he doesn’t need to say too much to get his point across. The whole time I was in suspense about how it was going to end. I can see myself listening to this again in the future. Also I highly recommend picking this up on audio. Jason Reynolds has the perfect voice for listening to. I already can’t wait to listen to more audiobooks by him.

A Study in CharlotteA Study in Charlotte By Brittany Cavallaro

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary, Retellings, Fiction
Pages: 321 pages
Publication Date: March 1 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

My Thoughts: I’ve had this book out for a while from the library. I am happy to say I finally got to it. I’ve never read the original Sherlock Holmes but I have seen the movies. I really enjoyed them. So I decided I would check this out. I ended up really enjoying this. I did like how it brought up topics not talked about as much in YA books. I also enjoyed the characters a lot. I have the second one out from the library as well and I can’t wait to pick that one up. I am excited to continue on with the series.

King of FoolsKing of Fools By Amanda Foody

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: April 30th 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

My Thoughts: Wow this book took me on such a wild ride. I ended up enjoying this one so much. It was such a great way to continue on with the story. Plus I loved learning about old characters and meeting a bunch of new ones as well. This book does not disappoint. I need the next book right now. I will have a review coming for this soon.

Have you guys read any of these books? If so what did you think? What books did you guys end up reading March? I would love to hear from you!

Bookish In Bed

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