March: Books I’ve Read Recently

"Books I've Read Recently" is a series where I, Penelope Gomez, will do a monthly wrap up of the books I've read throughout the past month. In this series I will give a brief synopsis of the story and then give the book a rating out of 5 stars. 5 stars being the best and 1 star being the worst!

I will then give a brief description of why I chose to rate a book a certain way.

So without further delay lets get into the "Books I've Read Recently," and as always leave a comment down below and tell me which of these books you've also read, or plan on reading next.

Books I've Read Recently

I Heart You, You Haunt Me , book cover

I Heart You, You Haunt Me  by Lisa Schroeder

Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl gets boy back...
..sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him,
unless she's dreaming.
She can't hear his voice,
except for the faint whispers in her mind.
Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here.

The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with.
He's back from the dead,
as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

In this book we follow a 15-year-old girl, named Ava whose boyfriend Jackson has recently passed away in a tragic accident. This book basically starts out at Jackson's funeral and follows Ava in the aftermath of his death. This book follows Ava through her grieving process. I felt like a lot of the emotions Ava was feeling after Jackson's death were pretty universal when it comes to losing a significant other. She feels guilty for his death and tortures herself with endless 'What If' scenarios. She dreams of Jackson and is desperate to have him back in her life. She is severely depressed and is constantly looking for signs that Jackson's spirit is still around watching her. I felt like this was a really raw and accurate representation of 'Grief.' I really loved this book because I feel like a lot of people can probably relate to this character and her inner most thoughts. Lisa Schroeder did an amazing job of capturing feelings of grief and putting them down onto paper. This book is written in short verse and takes place in the span of a few weeks after Jackson's funeral. It was an incredibly quick read and I was hooked from beginning to end. It also had a very hopeful ending, which I appreciated.

Beautiful Wild, book cover

Beautiful Wild by Anna Godbersen

You are invited to set sail on the maiden voyage of the SS Princess of the Pacific in this historical romance.

Vida Hazzard can see her future: aboard the heralded “Millionaire’s Ship of the West,” she’ll charm the young scion Fitzhugh Farrar, resulting in a proposal of marriage.

But Vida didn’t plan on Fitz’s best friend, Sal, a rough-around-the-edges boy with a talent for getting under her skin. Nor did she anticipate a hurricane dashing their ship to pieces, along with her dreams.

Stranded on an island with both Fitz and Sal, Vida is torn between the life she’s always planned for, and a future she’s never dared to want. As they desperately plot a course for home, Vida will discover just which boy can capture her wild heart—and where her future truly lies. 

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

This book was definitely for readers who love novels by Kierra Cass. This book reminded me a lot of her romance novels, in the sense that there was a love triangle and the way her characters always follow their hearts and everything seems to turn out okay seamlessly. It was all rainbows and butterflies and very easy-peasy. How this book managed to be rainbows and butterflies I'll never know because basically in this book we follow Vida, a rich socialite, who is hell bent on catching a millionaire named Farrar's attention. She daringly follows him on a cruise ship in order to get closer to him. Things are going just as Vida had hoped when suddenly, much like the Titanic, this cruise ship decides to sink. Everyone must evacuate and Vida ends up on a deserted island with a few survivors including the millionaire and his "Butler," Sal. This was the start of a very chaotic romance, especially with one of the survivors on the island being a popular gossip columnist among the elites. Vida must protect her reputation and get a marriage proposal before being rescued from this deserted island. I was extremely happy with who she ended up with. Was this book predictable? Yes, but it was still worth the read. I love anything written by Anna Godberson, so I will say I'm a bit biased.

Mint Chocolate by Mami Orikasa

Mint Chocolate Volume 1, book cover
Mint Chocolate Volume 2, book cover
Mint Chocolate Volume 3, book cover
Mint Chocolate Volume 4, book cover

When Nanami finally gets a chance to meet her mom’s new husband and his son, the last person she expects to see is one of her classmates, Kyouhei Suzumura. Not only is her new stepbrother cool and completely unapproachable, but even worse—he’s the crazy-hot guy Nanami’s been crushing on for months…! Only time will tell how Nanami’s unexpectedly forbidden romance will play out…

My Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars

This manga was an incredibly slow version of Marmalade Boy from back in the day. Basically, much like that manga, we follow a teenage girl named Nanami whose mother has recently decided to get remarried. The man who marries her mother also has a teenage son named Kyouhei. Turns out the two teenagers go to the same high school and have had secret crushes on each other for a long, long time! Both teenagers must learn to navigate their new families and keep their feelings at bay, because they are both now step siblings, not just classmates. This whole plot line was just so incredibly MESSY! Nanami has ZERO emotional qualms about being in love with her now step brother. Luckily, one of them, Kyouhei's last two brain cells rub together and decide it's wrong for them to be together. Does that decision last? No, but at least someone tried. I only read the first four books in this manga series, and I have to say I'm just not sure it's even worth the read. Their parents were just incredibly clueless the entire time. This book series wasn't awful... I just don't think it was well thought out, like at all. This book was just messy from all aspects and not even in an entertaining way. I would just skip this series. If the plot line sounds interesting I think Marmalade Boy was a much better and more thought out version of this series, I don't even think the characters were very well developed in this series if I'm being completely honest. They don't even delve into why the characters fell for each other at school before this marriage. This series was just a miss for me.

Hatsu Haru by Shizuki Faujisawa

Hatsu Haru. 1, book cover
Hatsu Haru. 2, book cover
Hatsu Haru. 3, book cover
Hatsu Haru. 4, book cover

Playboy Kai knows his way around girls' hearts, but when he has a run-in with tomboy Riko, he may be in for more than he bargained for! Riko clearly doesn't fit Kai's usual type of girl: she's short-tempered, scary, and can (has) easily beat him up. There's no way a rough and tumble girl like Riko is capable of a delicate feeling as love! So imagine his surprise when he finds out about her secret, one-sided crush... But it's none of his concern, right?

My Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

This book series was interesting, but I completely lost interest at around book 3. In this book we follow Riko who is secretly in love with her teacher. Her teacher and her grew up in the same neighborhood, and as a toddler her teacher used to babysit her after school when he was still in middle school. He views her as more of a little sister, which makes her feelings for him very complicated. The thing that really peaked my interest about this series is that it's told from a male's perspective. This story is told from Riko's classmate's perspective, Kai. Kai is a huge player and has a different girl to date for every day of the week. Only Riko who has absolutely zero interest in him has captured his affection. This manga was so funny because Kai is not used to being rejected and it was fun to see this romance play out from his perspective. I haven't really read many romance manga’s from a boy’s perspective, so that was nice to see. The thing that sort of slowed down my interest in this series is that there were just A LOT of characters and as a reader I had to follow each of their love interests when really I was only interested in Kai and Riko's situation. This manga is about 13 volumes long and I think I'll have to power through all of the side characters’ relationship just to find out what happens with the main characters... I don't know if I really care enough to read this entire series. I think this series just lost me rather quickly and I probably won’t continue it.