March Wrap-Up 2018

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*Image not mine

March was a decent reading month for me with 6 books; 4 audios, a graphic novel and a regular novel. I also DNFed (did not finish) a book.

As I go to the cinemas quite frequently, I decided to add in another section where I talk about the films I saw. I also added a section for book events I’ve attended.

The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

What Happened

By Hillary Rodham Clinton

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4 Stars

Hillary Clinton’s account of the 2016 election shed light on how things ended up as they did, featuring insights into what went down with Bernie Sanders, Russia’s interference, the emails, Trump, and the rampant racism and sexism within America. Hillary lays down the facts in a plain and (for the most part) understandable way, making it accessible to the general public.

That said, it is taken for granted that readers are familiar with the American political system. As an Australian, that was not the case for me – though I have watched West Wing, which helped more than you’d anticipate.

Though I had the option of reading the physical version of What Happened I decided to listen to the audio instead. That it was narrated by Hilary was important to me (plus, the hardback is a brick) and while her voice isn’t necessarily the most engaging, it did grow on me and I would recommend it.

Overall, I found What Happened to be an interesting, important and enlightening read.

Unicorn of Many Hats (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #7)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

This series brings me so much joy. Everything is pure and hilarious and it’s my everything. Family, friendship, awesomeness. The art style is also great. I have no doubt I will be rereading this series soon.

Obsidio (The Illumunae Files #3)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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5 Stars

Obsidio is a masterpiece; it is all I could have wanted and more. The characters, the plot, the messages… I loved it all.

Obsidio is surprisingly political and has a large focus on the ramifications of war. But more than anything, it showcases the complicated, multifaceted nature of humanity.

Though I could go on forever, I will simply say this: everything ties in together, AIDAN is the best, the girl power is real, many emotions will be felt, perspective is everything & Amie and Jay are evil geniuses.

Read it, listen to it, and force it upon your friends because The Illuminae Files deserves all the hype and more.

The Belles (The Belles #1)

By Dhonielle Clayton

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3.5 Stars

I have several mixed feelings about this book.

I really liked the world and the social commentary that is subtly woven into The Belles. I found Sofia to be complex, dynamic and intriguing. I also enjoyed how dark the story got and the underlying discussion of ethics.

That said, on a more surface level I wasn’t particularly a fan. Though I bought and understood Camellia’s naiveté, she wasn’t a particularly compelling character. I wasn’t a fan of the romance, finding it a bit lacking (and the hint of a love triangle? No that you). I feel like I would have enjoyed it better if there was no romance and instead just focused on Camellia and her sisters.

Overall, while I found The Belles to be an easy read with an interesting social commentary, it wasn’t the book for me.

No Way! Okay, Fine.

By Brodie Lancaster

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3.5 Stars

No Way! Okay, Fine is an interesting look into feminism, pop culture, misogyny and sexual harassment from an Australian plus-sized woman.

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1)

By Madeleine L’Engle

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4.5 Stars

A Wrinkle in Time is a wonderful read starring pure, loveable, cinnamon roll characters. It’s filled with friendship and family. Not to mention, there are actual adults present!

A Wrinkle in Time subverts expectations and stereotypes. It demonstrates that the standard school system doesn’t work for everyone, you don’t have to understand something to accept it, and it’s okay to be vulnerable, emotional, to cry – girl or boy.

Though first published over 4o years ago, A Wrinkle in Time is still relevant and enjoyable today. If you prefer audio books, the narration on this one is excellent.

Note: If you have read and loved A Wrinkle in Time, you’ll likely also love the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente (Goodreads | Review).

Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline

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Did Not Finish

I got 50 pages in and decided that this was not the book for me. From what I could tell, the world seemed fairly interesting but I really didn’t care about Wade or anything else. I’m also not into 80s pop culture so I found the endless trivia incredibly boring. Maybe I’ll pick this up another time but I highly doubt it.

Movies

Red Sparrow

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I was really hoping to like this, but it definitely fell flat for me. While the use of music was good, I was bored and didn’t care about the characters or their situations. I went into the film expecting it to be more political, with less nudity and at least some chemistry between the characters. As it was, I was disappointed. If I had gone alone, I likely would have walked out of the cinema part way through. Would not recommend.

A Wrinkle in Time

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I loved this movie so much. The actors were amazing (and diverse!), the visuals were stunning and the music excellent. Though different to the book, I loved this interpretation. It was contemporary, the messages were great and the story tight. I just wanted to hug everybody… There was also a Hamilton quote. I feel like I connected more with Charles Wallace in the book (that’s not to say the actor was bad) while I prefer the movie version of Meg. Overall, though both are great in different ways, I think I actually prefer the film to the book.

Tomb Raider

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I went into Tomb Raider with incredibly low expectations and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. While I wouldn’t call it a favourite, I did really enjoyed it – even more so as I think back on it. I really liked Lara as a character; she gets emotional and scared, she has flaws, and she is the embodiment of perseverance and determination. I also really appreciated how there was no romance but instead a focus on family and camaraderie.

Events

  • Tin Heart Book Launch
  • Obsidio Book Launch
  • The YA Room’s Book Talk: The Belles
  • CBCA Middle Grade Panel

Other Notable Points

  • I went ice skating for the first time. I’m not particularly good at it (in any sense) but at least I didn’t fall over or cling to the walls too much.

Blog Posts

Let’s Discuss!

How was your March?

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If so, what are your thoughts on them?

Have you been to the cinemas lately? If so, what did you see? What did you think?

Did you discover any new favourites? Books, movies, TV shows…?

Please comment below and feel free to link me to your March Wrap-Up or latest post.

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