By: Cait Marie
Hello! This is my first book haul for Functionally Fictional!
Now, for those who have never heard of a ‘book haul,’ it is basically a discussion about the books you have bought or received the previous month, books you read, and books you want to read the following month. Typically these are done at the beginning of each month, so April’s book haul will be about March’s books. They’re also usually done via video, but until I get our Booktube channel up and going, I will be doing them here!
To start, let’s talk about reading goals. I have been using Goodreads for about five years, and I always participate in their Reading Challenge. The Reading Challenge is where you set a goal for the number of books you want to read that year. It then keeps track of your numbers and tells you how well you’re doing. Of all those years, I’ve reached my goal once. Yeah, you read that right. I reached it once, with 30 books. That’s not even that many compared to most people out here in the book community.
Last year, I set a goal of 40 and only read 22. I was in a horrible slump! That slump ended near the end of the year when I began reading Sarah J. Maas’ books. I’ve been in a reading craze since. At the beginning of the year, I set my goal as 30 again, thinking “surely I can reach that again.” Well, by the second week of February I had already read 11… so I bumped my goal up to 50. According to Goodreads, I’m still four books ahead of schedule. I might set a personal record this year!
Alright, so March was a little slower than the first two months of the year. I only finished three books. They are:
- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. This is the first in what, I believe, is to be a duology. It’s set in a dystopian society of sorts, where there are these girls with the power to manipulate appearances. In this world, everyone else is born with grey skin and straw-like hair, so they pay the Belles to make them look however they wish. Camellia wants to be ‘the favorite,’ or the Belle who works in the palace for the royal family. She soon starts to discover secrets in the kingdom, and things are not as they appear.
- This book is fantastic! It is so beautifully written. I love that this book started off so pleasantly and then grew into something so intense. You can read my full review here. I cannot wait for the next one, though I have no idea when it is coming out.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi. This is the fourth book in the Shatter Me series, which I read all of in February (including the two novels). This series wins the award for the fastest I have ever been sucked into a series. It really kept my attention throughout the whole thing too. I can’t say too much without spoiling the rest of the books, but I will say that this series is about a girl in a dystopian society who has a lethal touch. The government is military-run now, and they want to use her as a weapon. This has everything a good YA Dystopian series needs: a power-hungry government, a rebellion, a love interest, and an awesome side character who deserves more “screen time.” Yes, I am referring to Kenji.
- I loved Restore Me so much! I read it within a week of its release, which is something I haven’t done in a really long time. I loved the rest of the series, but this book was like a whole other level. It is definitely my favorite so far! It’s so intense, and there are so many connections and reveals! I think I audibly gasped at least five times. And the end!! Such. A. Cliffhanger! I need the next one now!! Review on this book and the rest of the series coming soon.
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Abertalli. This was actually a reread, as I had read it a couple times before. This is a coming of age, coming out story about 17-year-old Simon Spier. He has been emailing another closeted guy from his school, they become close while keeping their identities a secret, and then Simon’s emails are found by a fellow student who then blackmails him.
- You all know my feelings about this book. If you are new to this website though and know nothing about me… I’m obsessed. To say the least. It is the most feel-good book I have ever read and it is my favorite stand-alone book of all-time. If you want to know more about my thoughts, check out my full review here.
- I will be finishing The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine very soon. I am at the very end and love it.
- I decided to give audiobooks another chance and have listened to over half of A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I’ve always struggled with paying attention to audiobooks and things of that nature, but I’ve found that I can listen to one while laying in bed at night (especially since I don’t sleep anyway). Plus, I’m loving this book! It’s been on my tbr since it was released last year, and it definitely lives up to the hype.
- I plan on rereading the three A Court of Thorns and Roses books by Sarah J. Maas. A Court of Frost and Starlight is being release on May 1, so I want to be “prepared.” You know, because it’s not like I’m obsessed or anything…
- Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Abertalli is being released April 24, so I will be reading that as well. I am super excited for this spin-off of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I loved Leah in the book and cannot wait to have a new book specifically about her.
- I have started the Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch. I really like the first one so far, so I plan on finishing those books this month.
- I will be reading A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage. I received a copy of this book from Open Books publishing, at the request of Susan, so I will be reading and reviewing it soon.
- I also want to read The Cruel Prince by Holly Black,
- The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
- and one of my new comic books!
I know this is a lot, but I read multiple books at a time. Due to being in a wheelchair and needing assistance, I often have to get in bed before I’m truly tired. Because I can’t physically hold a book while laying down, I read eBooks on my phone. Therefore, I always have at least one being read during the day and a different one at night. Plus, I’m very determined to conquer some of this ever-growing pile. I have multiple piles of “books to read next” going, and it is getting a bit ridiculous.
Now, while March was a slow reading month, I did buy and receive a ton of books! In total, I got 19 books. Because there are so many, I’m just going to list them:
- Heartless by Zizi Cole
- A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales by C.L. Cannon
- Afflicted by A. Maslo
- Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
- Book of Souls by Steven L. Smithen
- Harvester of Souls by Steven L. Smithen
- The Parlour: All Access by Cheri Marie, Carissa Laryea, Kelsey Jensen, Ava Danielle, Jillian Elizabeth, Jaime Russell, Angie Brocker, Barb Shuler, Robin Laine, Alexis R. Craig, Chasity Gaines, Jezebelle James, and Lindsey Taylor
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
- Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
- Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
- The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- A Glimmer of Hope by Steve McHugh
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
- Sink by M.E. Rhines
- Eternal by W.J. May
- Sinful Cinderella by Anita Valle
- A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage — received from Open Books publishing
My sister and I also got 24 comics and a manga book while at Comic Con this past weekend, but I’m going to save those for my next haul. I plan on reading a majority of them and the books listed above soon, hopefully.
What are you reading? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!