march reads

March was a blah reading month for me. I didn’t love anything I read and I actually stopped a book entirely 150 pages in which I never do. I abandon a book only if I truly dislike it otherwise will forge on – I don’t think I abandoned a book in all of 2020! Here’s a round-up of what I read (excluding the book I didn’t finish).

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. 4/5 ⭐️  “Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.” 

I had selected this as my February Book Of The Month selection and was really excited and it did not disappoint. Easily my favorite book of March. Really compelling characters with a fascinating mix between past and present day. Just went I thought I found a place to put the book down it pulled me back in to keep reading. I highly recommend this one! 

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The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman. 2.5/5 ⭐️ “Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

This book was a light and easy read which I was in the mood for but it lacked substance and some of the characters blind spots and decision making was bewildering and unbelievable. I just couldn’t get swept up in the belief that any one present day would genuinely believe that they were cursed. Too unbelievable for me but the backdrop of Italy was nice place to escape to.

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American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. 3.5/5 ⭐️ “It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American.”

Started off loving this book but about half-way through it lost steam for me. Some parts moved at a glacial speed while others were glossed over with rapid pace. I did love the suspense and strong female protagonist though and recommend it if you like action books.

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Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer 1/5 ⭐️ “Agnes Murphy Nash is in big trouble. When she returns home one evening only to find the locks changed on the gates of their mansion, the security guard breaks the news: her famous producer husband has filed for divorce. And he’s not going to play fair. Trevor Nash wants custody of their tween daughter, Pep, but only for the sake of appearances. And Agnes can’t let him win. With the help of her ex-con sister, a Hollywood psychic, a ballsy female lawyer, and a host of friends and “frenemies,” Agnes realizes that when he changes the locks, she needs to change the rules. But a crisis can lead to opportunity, and for Agnes, this gigantic betrayal brings her to a crossroads that will have her asking herself what she really wants out of life, who she really wants to be, and which man she really loves.”

Honestly, I hated this book. I wanted to jump ship on it many times but given that I had already given up one book this month I powered through. The protagonist was so unlikable and the writing style was extremely jarring. I think the author was going for a spunky and witty writing style instead came across as forced and flat.

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