April 12, 2021

March Books 2021

The Lovely War by Julie Berry DNF

This was my first did-not-finish of 2021. It made me sad that I couldn't power through. I didn't hate the idea and I was pretty intrigued by the first few chapters. I just couldn't with the YA love story and then the WWI frontline aspect. I was bored and I feel like WW history is just so overdone that I can't do it anymore. Ugh. I probably made it 100 pages? I don't remember. I just know I had other books to read so I stopped. This wasn't a writing issue or a book problem; it just wasn't for me. I think I had just come off a historical fiction book (The Four Winds) and I couldn't stomach another one. I take my HF in very small doses these days. 

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Very good. I would even classify it as very, very good, but cannot give it 5 stars. I picked up on the twist earlier than I was probably supposed to? 

But the writing was great, it popped from POV to POV just enough to keep you motivated, and it did go a little over-the-top at the end. But still, great thriller/mystery. 

I mentioned that I was on the wait list since November, which is a little ridiculous. I couldn't get it from Net Galley, I couldn't find it at my local library, and I had to wait for the ebook from the Carnegie Library system I'm still registered through in Pittsburgh. I don't know that it was worth that wait, but it was a good book if you have it available. 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I kept thinking of the book Dear Fahrenheit 451 while I was reading F451 and how that author said she didn't like F451. (I *was*, however, reminded of how God-awful Dear Fahrenheit 451 was because I grabbed the ebook this month as a refresher. Oh my gosh. It was terrible. It was like a bad memoir. It had nothing to do with ANYTHING and was just equivalent to a series of blog posts or IG stories. Turns out, she did like F451. She was just being dramatic in her titling and, probably, should have to pay Bradbury royalties.) 


F451 was disturbing to an infinite degree. It's not a long book but it's not an easy read, necessarily. I wanted more of Clarisse. This book was also a lesson in visualization. It was really hard to picture the setting and some of what was happening. 

Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

I think a close-read of Thomas Sowell is important and I did this one on audio. It's very textbook-like, which is fine, but I listened to it over a period of weeks. 

I will say that it was interesting in that the basic claim Sowell makes is that culture, not ethnicity, influences our behavior. The cultural norms and idiosyncrasies make subgroups what they are. Location plays a huge role in this. The first few chapters, especially, were fascinating. 

Every Last Fear by Alex Finley

I don't get what was so great about this book. It was overdone. The technology piece, the intertwined relationships, too many POVs that didn't quite go together, characters that begged you to root for them (I get it. Maggie was smart and tenacious. Stop.)... I felt like I was being beat over the head with character development tactics. No one was particularly unlikeable but, man, there was a lot going on. The parts that bothered me the most were probably the scenes with Matt's friends. They were just placeholders, caricatures, or...I don't know. Ganesh seemed like a decent person and then he was only used when money was involved or needed? Why did the author turn him into Kumar from Harold and Kumar? It was so unnecessary. 

There was literally more going on in this book than in any other I've ever read. I read a list on Goodreads of all of the topics covered; by the time you get to homophobia, tornado, and dementia, you're like Oh my gosh, all of that IS in the book. It's one giant face-palm moment. 

I'm totally not one to randomly label things as racist, but many Goodreads reviewers had some serious issues with the racism in this book. Just throwing that out there. 

I liked Agent Keller's sections but the way her husband was always her "sounding board" was ...odd. Not to mention illegal and unethical. Idk. I understand I'm in the minority and that's fine. It was just really, really tragic as a story. And the author, at the end, mentions they got the idea sitting on their balcony in NYC, and I thought You mean you got the idea from smashing together Serial and Making a Murderer? It was kind of like 2-3 different books wrapped into one. In other words, I thought it was a mess. (And where does the title come from?)

Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering

This was a thriller, with unreliable narration, packaged into a book that really was character-driven. It had a little bit of everything in a good way, not in a messy way. Multiple timelines in a way that wasn't confusing. It was actually really sad in a few ways so I'd stick a trigger warning on it (I can tell you why if you want). It was just really GOOD. I couldn't put it down. The writing was good. No plot holes. No extremely unnecessary characters. 

It was basically the opposite of Every Last Fear. 

I'm having Goodreads issues lately. It never updates books in a consistent way so I'm constantly cross-referencing what I post on IG with what my goal is currently set at on Goodreads. It's pretty annoying. Has anyone else noticed this? I've found I can't trust GR as a failsafe for recording books. 

I've actually read 19 books up to the end of March and I had to check on IG to make sure they were all in there because GR was telling me I'd only read 15. Honestly, I posted more books on IG that I read over the last week and my numbers still don't match up. Clearly this is why I don't do any kind of accounting work. Counting and recounting books is annoying. It shouldn't be this difficult. 

Linking up with Show Us Your Books!


  1. I need to go through my books - I feel like I've read the Confession on the 7:45 but I cant remember - LOL - I hate when I do that

  2. I had the Lovely War and Every Last Fear as DNF. I want to read the Thomas Sowell book based on just the title alone. Thanks for the reviews. I feel like GR is having issues too. I've started writing them down to make sure I keep a record for my book posts.

  3. I liked Every Last Fear but I did mention the representation of Mexico and Mexican people in my review because it was something an Insta friend pointed out and I completely agreed. Looking back, it really does have more racism and problematic aspects too.

    I did like Confessions on the 7:45 as well, though I guessed some twists beforehand too.


    1. It did seem like they verrrry unnecessarily placed Every Last Fear in Mexico so they could...make the locals hard to deal with? I don't know. That author set up a fiction bingo card for us.

  4. My rememberer is a bit broken but if I recall correctly Lovely War had a Greek God element to it? That intrigued me but like you, I can't do too much historical fiction or war stories in a row. Too Good to be True sounds really interesting. I love unreliable narration when it's done well, so definitely adding it to my TBR.

    1. Your rememberer is correct. That was in interesting part. I couldn't invest in what the gods were invested in so it became kinda meh to me.
      Too Good to Be True was fascinating to me. I couldn't put it down. It was just an unfortunate combo of events in that story.

  5. Really eclectic list. I appreciated your review of Confessions.

  6. The Lovely War is on my to read list. I've heard such good things so I want to give it a try. I enjoyed Confessions on the 7:45.

  7. I think I'd like to read Fahrenheit 451 some time, but getting caught up on my TBR does not seem doable anymore. LOL Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month!

  8. I haven't heard of Black Rednecks and White Liberals but it sounds good. I think I'm going to add Confession on the 7:45 to my summer reading list.

  9. I loved the Alex Finlay.

    I am done with WWII books.

    I liked Confessions on the 7:45.


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