Best and Worst Books of the Month | March 2019

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In an effort to share all of my read books with you, good and bad, I’ll be posting a wrap up at the start of each month. Without further ado, here is my March Reading Wrap Up!

In March I was able to read 13 books, for a total of 4,114 pages.

Here’s what you’ll find in this post:

I’ve categorized each of the books I read last month by final verdict: Buy It, Borrow It, or Skip It. Here’s a little breakdown for you:

  • Buy It: Books I read last month that are totally worthy of being added to your shopping cart.
  • Borrow It: Books I read last month that were good fun and worth a read, but maybe not worth your money.
  • Skip It: Books you shouldn’t bother reading at all.


VERDICT: Buy It

The River
By Peter Heller
9/10 ♥
Buy It

Two outdoorsmen make an end-of-season river run to test their skills. A leisurely pace turns deadly when unforseen circumstances force them to battle not only the elements but their fellow man as well. A Literary Thriller by Peter Heller, reminiscent of John Steinbeck. Stunning nature descriptions and rugged prose are juxtaposed with a thriller’s pace. A must-read for survival fans.

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Inspection
by Josh Malerman

9/10 ♥
Buy It

Josh Malerman’s best work to date. From the author of Bird Box, a coming-of-age tale set in unusual circumstances. Boys are kept in one tower, girls in another. Neither has known about the existence of the other, until now. Though Inspection is not a thriller as the description suggests, it is a Literary Horror that experiments with textures, tones, and structures. Malerman has delivered a novel with a slower pace, though no less captivating. Inspection asks questions of misinformation, loyalty, and trust.

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Romanov
By Nadine Brandes
8/10 ♥
Buy It

An Anastasia Romanov retelling by YA author Nadine Brandes that blends history with fantasy. The first half of Romanov is based largely in historical fact and focuses on the Romanov family in captivity leading up to their execution in the summer of 1918. The second half, however, adds a twist of magic and re-imagines how Anastasia and her brother Alexei may have survived. Brandes’ approach offers values of faith, hope, and grace in this stunning YA historical fiction.
Read My Full Review

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The Things We Cannot Say
by Kelly Rimmer
8/10 ♥
Buy It

A dual-perspective, dual-timeline historical fiction that alternates between a young woman in the Nazi-occupied Poland of the 1940s and a modern housewife looking to uncover her family history. Rimmer’s historical narrative is particularly captivating, yet the way the two timelines connect is what makes this novel such a success.

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My Lovely Wife
by Samantha Downing
8/10 ♥
Buy It

A husband and wife like any other: they fell in love, got married, moved to the suburbs, and had a few kids—then they got bored. How they keep their marriage interesting? Trying to get away with murder. A thriller that makes for an enjoyable, simple, and quick read. Great for the beach or a weekend getaway. 

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The Other Woman
by Sandie Jones
8/10 ♥
Buy It

The Monster-in-Law story you’ve been missing. The Other Woman offers a few twists and turns you may see coming, but that you’ll enjoy watching come to fruition. Another solid 4-star suspense/thriller. Great for a quick read. 

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The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Nancy Drew Book 5
by Carolyn Keene
8/10 ♥
Buy It 

Nancy Drew heads to Shadow Ranch for the summer where a mysterious ghostly horse is terrorizing the fields at night, a mysterious treasure may be hiding, and where someone seems to have it out for the family business. Everything you can expect from a Nancy Drew novel and then some. Note, this is the 1950s rewritten version. 

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Verdict: Borrow It


The Elementals
by Michael McDowell
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

Southern Gothic Horror in 1980’s form by the writer of Beetlejuice. This short horror does house sections that will have you spellbound, though it is the definition of a slow burn. Terror picks up the pace near the end of the novel for an enjoyable close. A middle-of-the-road horror experience with some highly notable moments to round it out.  

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The Library of Lost and Found
by Phaedra Patrick
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

A library volunteer who is always doing favors for anyone but herself sets out on a journey of self-discovery. One day a mysterious package arrives at library where Martha Storm works. It is addressed to her name. Inside is a book of fairytales with an inscription from Martha’s grandmother. Stranger still, the inscription is dated five years after her grandmother’s death. Could everything Martha thought she knew about her family be wrong? A simple contemporary read with its own cozy mystery elements. However, it does lose a bit of its charm by the end.

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Come Find Me
by Megan Miranda
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

Two teenagers—one an alien researcher, one a ghost hunter—are receiving the same mysterious signal. But where is it coming from? And what does it mean? Both of these teens have experienced loss in their family in the past year. Could their loved ones have something to do with the coded message? Under the guise of a supernatural thriller, Megan Miranda offers a book about loss and healing much more rooted in reality than the description suggests.

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Mary Shelley
by Martin Garrett
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

A thoughtful biography about the author of Frankenstein that I used for research in my monthly author spotlight series: 10 Shocking True Facts About Mary Shelley. A wonderful introductory history to those seeking information on one of the seminal creators of the modern horror genre. 

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The Book of M
by Peng Shepherd
5/10 ♥
Borrow It

A post-apocalytipc novel with a great concept, but a crowded execution. In a near-future world a pandemic is sweeping the globe. Man is losing his shadow and with it all his memories. The “shadowless” pose a danger not only to themselves, but also to the remaining unaffected humans. This book shows great promise and has much to offer, perhaps too much. It grapples with a slow pace and clouds the storyline with too many perspectives. Each perspective had the potential to be epic in scope, but all lost out in competition with the other narratives. Great potential, lacking execution. 

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Prefabulous Small Houses
by Sheri Koones
5/10 ♥
Borrow It

A great book for decor and architectural design inspiration, but not for those seeking practical advice. Note, the title says small houses but many in the collection are over 2,000 square feet and area anything but affordable. Still, interesting to flip through and the layouts are helpful for planning.

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VERDICT: Skip It
 

I’m glad to report that this month I didn’t read a single book worthy of a “Skip It” rating.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this March reading wrap up! What book did you most enjoy last month? Leave me a comment below and let’s chat about it!

Note: Almost every book on this list was gifted by their respective publishers in exchange for my honest review. As you can see, these gifts in no way affect my rating. All reviews are 100% honest.

Read last month’s wrap up – Best & Works Books of the Month | February 2019

READ NEXT: Romanov Book Review | YA Historical Fantasy 
READ NEXT: The Book of M Review | Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Like a book on this list? Save it to your TBR on Pinterest, so you can find it again later!

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Bex Skoog

Bex Skoog

Bex Skoog is the creator of the 'Out of the Bex' website, a guide to a more thoughtful life through books and simple living. If she had three wishes they would be for teacups to never empty, to possess an unending supply of classic films, and have access to the world's greatest libraries. Bex lives in Virginia outside of Washington D.C. with her husband and hundreds of stray books.

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