Reading Challenge – March Books

Another month said and gone and it’s finally looking like spring (complete with the dreary rain). For your amusement, here are my reviews of March’s reads on my 2015 Reading Challenge (don’t forget you can see them all here).

The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis (Woman Author)
To be completely honest, I read this book, or least I had thought I had, for a book club only to find out that I was supposed to read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton! Two very different books. Lewis’ book highlights the struggles undergone by Jennifer, a woman who sets out to become part of an Amish community. Her passion, drive and religious devotion is highlighted alongside a ‘secret’ she struggles to keep. While Morton’s The Secret Keeper is a piece of historic fiction that follows three people from wartime England to present day. A sweeping saga, Morton’s secret is much more devastating and spans decades. Both are worthy reads. But I think Morton would win in a literary duel!

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (One Word Title)
Annihilation is the first in a trilogy focusing on Area X, a portion of the Eastern Seaboard of America where something has begun to manifest both environmentally and in the human population. The story follows the 12th expedition into Area X, a group of four women dedicated to documenting the area, environment and actions of the others on the expedition. This book completely unsettled me. Reading it made me uncomfortable and unsure of what I was reading, thinking or seeing (at least in my minds eye). Though it started off normally, the deeper you get into Area X, the less you’re sure of; who to trust and what the heck is going on! Annihilation is a great blend of horror and sci-fi; I’m looking forward to Authority and Acceptance.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (a book that became a movie)
Deeply affected by the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed spiraled into a series of poor life decisions; including but not limited to sleeping around and dabbling in drugs. Finally fed up with herself, Strayed decided to make some major life changes; starting with hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (with no training or experience, yowza)! I really enjoyed this book, though I found it difficult to understand some of Cheryl’s poor decisions (she doesn’t go in depth about her mindset during the bleak years). I definitely found the challenges on her 1,000+ mile hike interesting, and at times downright petrifying. Wild is an intense read about loss, pain, learning from your past and believing in yourself.

Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi (based on cover)
After reading Annihilation and Wild, I needed a light, fluffy read and I wasn’t disappointed with Morsi’s Love Overdue. A fun romance set in a library? I couldn’t resist. Love Overdue follows a young librarian, DJ, into rural Kansas where she’s beginning a job as a library administrator. Thrilled by this opportunity, DJ tries to focus solely on her profession and revamping the dark and dingy library but when love strikes it’s hard to resist. I liked this light-hearted love story and was (embarrassingly enough) interested in the library administration focus as well. Win win!

Now that I’m reviewing this month’s books, I’ve realized that they all have one thing in common; the protagonist is on a journey of self discovery. Jennifer, the biologist, Cheryl and DJ are all pursuing their own wants and needs, while some find love and others find monsters, they all find out more about themselves.

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