Oh look, the last of March’s reviews!!!
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell – 4* – finished March 15
I’ve seen a lot of love for this book, and since I like Rainbow Rowell and also needed to read a graphic novel to check off some challenges, I decided to give this one a whirl. The artwork is pretty adorable and I loved the background story with the escaped goat!! I always enjoy stories that are set in the country, and this one definitely had that going for it. While the story was a bit simplistic, it was still perfectly fun and happy.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – 5* – finished March 18
What can I possibly say about this book that hasn’t already been said? I first read this book probably when I was 9 or 10 and have read it countless times since then. I love absolutely every page – the warmth, the honesty, the humor – Montgomery writes people so well – even small characters are still perfectly sketched in just a few sentences of description. Despite the fact that I’ve read this book so often, it still got me all choked up on multiple occasions. This book is a classic for a reason, and it’s crazy to think that this was Montgomery’s first published novel!
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin – 4* – finished March 19
A lot of mixed feelings on this one that I can’t completely get into without spoilers. Overall this was a very engaging read that really pulled me in and made me want to keep reading. However, I did feel like in some spots the tension was lacking. I also wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, but since it did technically make everything work I’m okay with it. Overall while I enjoyed reading this one, it didn’t particularly make me feel like rushing out to see if Heaberlin has written other books.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – 5* – finished March 26
(Did I really go almost a week without finishing a book?? No, of course not. I read a truly dreadful “Regency” romance and also struggled through half of another book before bailing on it. My reading stats are partially low in March and April because of so many DNFs!)
If there is some way that you’ve never read this book, you DEFINITELY should. And I highly recommend knowing as little about it as possible, because if you know nothing, the ending will blow your mind. It’s a twist that has been used since, but Christie was one of the earliest pioneers of this concept – sooo good! Christie’s writing is strong enough that even though I’ve read this one several times, and obviously know the twist, I still greatly enjoy seeing how she carefully sets it all up, giving us clues and hints as we go along. This is one of her finest books, and a hallmark of the genre.
Hot Ice by Nora Roberts – 3.5* – finished March 30
I’m haphazardly working my way through Roberts’s backlog because it’s so easy to find her books everywhere! This one was a romantic suspense, a genre she usually writes really well (and that I greatly prefer to her paranormal stories). This one felt VERY 80’s but was still fun for a one-time read, despite the somewhat high body count, and the fact that just because the baddy went to jail in the end, I was NOT convinced that he would stop trying to avenge himself! Still, when I’m looking for a fun romp of a read, Roberts rarely disappoints.
White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry – 4.5* – finished March 30
Regular visitors here know that I have a huge soft spot for Henry’s work, which I read over and over again as a child. Over the last few years I’ve been revisiting her books, and have been pleasantly surprised to find that most of them hold up well as an adult. Part of it is immense charm of Wesley Dennis’s illustrations, and White Stallion is no exception. Dennis has a brilliant knack of sketching emotions, and also understands that just as no two human faces look alike, animals all of different looks to them as well – thus his horses and dogs especially become distinct characters on the page, even in a book like this one where theoretically a bunch of large, white horses should all look basically the same.
The story itself is delightful as usual – a young boy, growing up Vienna, loves the stallions and yearns to become a rider. Based on a true story, as most of Henry’s tales are, eventually this young hero overcomes the odds and learns the discipline of riding these magnificent horses.
When I was in high school, the Stallions toured through my city and we went to see them – it was genuinely indescribable. It’s amazing how long this breed of horse has been around, performing their almost-magical feats of agility.