April 4, 2023

March 2023 Wrap Up

I felt like March was never going to end, but here we are in April, so I guess it did. Yesterday, one of my dancers said she had 2 months to get ready for her pom tryouts. Another one said, "Try 1 month. It's May 6. Today is April 2." "It's April already!?!?!?" I feel you chica. I really do.

I read 7 books in March. More than half of these were graphic novels or manga. I'm not mad about it. I made headway in some large books while I fit those quick ones in.

SpyFamily 3

SpyXFamily Vol. 3 by Tatsuya Endo - This series is getting better bit by bit. I told my kid I would at least read until I got to the dog. This one looks at Yor and Loid's relationship and shows Anya figuring out how to earn the Stella Stars she has to get to get in the special class. It also shows how awful the boy is that she's supposed to be getting close to. The thing I have a problem with is that he secretly really likes her so he is mean an terrible. It just promotes that whole "if a boy is mean to you, it means he likes you" mindset that is just exacerbating rape culture.


M Is For Monster by Talia Dutton - This is the first Sequoyah book I read. Frances is a scientist. She accidentally killed her little sister Maura in an experiment, so she attempted to reanimate her corpse. It worked, except that it's not her sister in there. It's someone else. Frances refuses to see that. The "new girl" is called M and tries very hard to be Maura, with the help of Maura's ghost. Until she just can't anymore and has to convince Frances not to deactivate her and try again. It's highly morbid and disturbing. I am not really sure what the Sequoyah team saw in this one, but ok.

SpyFamily 4

SpyXFamily Vol. 4 by Tatsuya Endo - And we finally get to the dog. Isn't that the cutest dog ever? The Forger family is looking for a dog for Anya when Loid is called away to thwart a threat to the minister visiting from the other country. He claims he has bowel trouble and disappears. The bad guys have trained stray dogs and they are planning to plant bombs on them to blow up the minister. Over the course of the book, all the dogs manage to get away except one. One of the dogs saves Anya and they immediately bond. Now, Anya can read minds. The dog can see the future. With the dog's help, Anya can see the bad guy's plans. Loid is with the minister, Anya is with the dog, and Yor is chasing after Yor and beating up bad guys. Between the three of them, they save the minister and each one thinks they saved the day and no one else knows about it. Oh, and the dog is named Bond and joins the family. It's so great. This is the best one so far.


Africa Is Not a Country: Notes on a Bright Continent by Dipo Faloyin - I read this for work. It was fantastic. Not only did i learn a lot about various parts of Africa, I was also entertained. Faloyin is from Nigeria and talks about that a lot, but he also talks about Ethiopia and how that country managed to become the point of all the "fundraisers" in the 80's. "For only the price of a cup of coffee per day, you can save a life." Remember those? Turns out, all those countries are in such a mess because the countries of Europe "colonized" them without ever actually going to the continent and divided them up haphazardly. Then, when the countries gained freedom, they were in mass chaos. Dictators taking over, famine hitting because the water source is in a different country. He even touched on recent situations like #EndSARS which only happened a few years ago. He talks about white saviorism and how it really doesn't help at all. I loved it.

Hollow Fires

Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed - This is another Sequoyah book. This one had a much better outcome than the last one. Jawad is a Muslim 9th grader who made a "jet pack" out of found parts, like 2-liter bottles and trash. When he took it to school to show his friends, a teacher called the police and said it was a bomb. He was arrested at school and led away in handcuffs. Once the police looked at it and realized it wasn't a bomb, they dropped the charges, but Jawad was suspended for 3 days. After that he was called Bomb Boy and bullied in person and on line. In January, he disappeared on the way home from school. Safiyah is a senior at a fancy private school and the editor of the school paper, and also Muslim. She's under fire from the principal for writing about Jawad's disappearance. When someone takes over the paper's page and posts Islamophobic threats, the principal thinks she did it to drum up drama. Other hate crimes crop up and Jawad is still missing. Safiyah is compelled to find him. She doesn't believe he just ran away. On the other hand, the cute white boy, Richard, is acting like he might like her as much as she likes him and she is distracted. It's just so well done. I knew who dun it because the foreshadowing was solid, but it was still a thrilling ending.

Saga 2

Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn - This is a comic series. The main couple and their baby have showed up at his parents' house and they send the babysitter/ghost to another dimension. He goes after her and his mom goes after him. I love the babysitter. The dad/grandpa is pretty cool, too.

Final Gambit

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - I finally finished the series!! Now I have to wait as patiently as possible for the next book from her. The final book kept the surprises coming. Avery is a poor, orphaned, teenage girl, who inherits a multi-billion dollar fortune from a man she's never met, who disinherited his 2 daughter and 4 grandsons. To get the money, she has to live in the house with all of them for a year. If she dies, all the money goes to charity. He also leaves some scavenger hunt clues for them to follow to find out why her. In each book, you find a new reason why her. In the last book, you find out the really reason why her. It's intense. I'm so happy that I finished another series! I feel like that makes 2. Maybe 3. I'm really bad at it.

There you have it. All 7 books I read in March. It felt like such a long month, I can't believe I didn't read more. On the other hand, I read over 3000 pages, so there's that.