Book Haul for March // Buying & Not Reading Books

Greetings friends, it’s time for another book haul! March was a difficult month for pretty much everyone, and as a result of the economic status right now I have cut down on my discretionary spending. But this is my second “once in a lifetime economic crisis” of my adulthood. I know how important it is to keep money flowing in the economy if you are able to do so. (This is why economic stimulus bills happen – they want to encourage the injection of funds into the economy.)

Thankfully I am in a much better financial situation than in 2008. When non-essential stores were ordered shuttered to help flatten the curve, I wanted to place an order with my local indie to help support a place that has provided me with a lot of joy. Especially since they almost had to close a few months ago!

As always, I want to reiterate that you do not need to buy and own a lot of books in order to be considered a book blogger or lover. I am quite frugal with everything else so that I can buy books because I love them, but I do not ever want to make you feel bad if you cannot afford to buy books or have poor access where you live.

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Physical Book Haul

Book Haul: March 2020
Not pictured: All Your Twisted Secrets (back ordered)

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Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Publisher: Entangled Teen |  Release Date: June 5, 2018  |  Pages: 370
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling (Red Shoes fairytale, LGBTQIAP+

Dark and Deepest Red coverSummer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

Signed copy! You know those authors who write things you KNOW will be for you, but you haven’t read them yet? Anna-Marie McLemore is one of those authors for me. This is the third book of hers that I’ve bought so far! I love lush fantasy and retellings, so of course this book has been on my radar for some time. I hope to be in the right mood to read this one soon!

Read?

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The Electric Heir (Feverwake #2) by Victoria Lee

Publisher: Skyscape |  Release Date: March 17, 2010  |  Pages: 480
Genre: Young Adult, Science fiction, Dystopia, LGBTQIAP+

ARC Review to come

The Electric Heir coverIn the sequel to The Fever King, Noam Álvaro seeks to end tyranny before he becomes a tyrant himself.

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

Pre-order! This was my favorite read of March, and to be honest I still haven’t been able to find the words to adequately describe how amazing this book and duology is.

Read? ✔️

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Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publisher: Agora Books |  Release Date: February 11, 2020  |  Pages: 304
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Untamed Shore coverRenowned author Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s first thriller, UNTAMED SHORE, is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico which quickly turns dark when a young woman meets three enigmatic tourists.

Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.

Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future.

When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most exciting voices in fiction, and with her first crime novel, UNTAMED SHORE, she crafts a blazing novel of suspense with an eerie seaside setting and a literary edge that proves her a master of the genre.

Signed copy! I was sick with strep throat when Silvia was at Mysterious Galaxy last month just before quarantine began, and I was so sad to miss meeting her since she isn’t in the US often! Thankfully, I was able to order a signed copy and I am excited to pick this noir mystery up (especially after Kate wrote an incredibly favorable review!)

Read? ❌

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All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

Publisher: Harper Teen |  Release Date: March 17, 2020  |  Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Conteporary, Mystery, Debut novel (2020)

All Your Twisted Secrets coverThis thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.

Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

Had I been paying attention to upcoming releases, I probably would have tried to get an ARC of this one. This seems to combine so many beloved tropes and inspiration: And Then There Were None with a Saw feel to it and a dash of Pretty Little Liars to uncover secrets. This book was on back order and hasn’t arrived yet *sobs* but I can’t wait to read it!

Read? ❌

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eBook Purchases (Kindle deals)

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon & Schuster |  Release Date: August 31, 2010  |  Pages: 481
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Romance

Clockwork Angel coverIn a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

This is literally because an ARC of Chain of Gold arrived to my house. I haven’t read anything from the Shadowhunters world; I guess this was a sign from the universe to give it a try. aka I am succubing to Dev & Loretta’s peer pressure. (Also of note, I am following Dev’s reading order, not publishing order.)

Read?

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Bring Me Their Hearts (Bring Me Their Hearts #1) by Sara Wolf

Publisher: Entangled Teen |  Release Date: June 5, 2018  |  Pages: 370
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Bring Me Their Hearts coverZera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

It’s a polarizing book that people seem to love or hate, but Loretta and Jess loved this book, so of course I nabbed it when it was FREE!

Read?

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Electronic ARC Approvals

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publisher: Del Rey |  Release Date: June 30, 2020  |  Pages: 352
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Gothic Horror

Mexican Gothic coverFrom the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico — and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Read? ❌

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Physical Review Copies

Be sure to check out Flapping Pages as I am passing along a few of these to international readers once I finish reading them!

None this month!

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Do we have any books in common? What books should I read first? Let’s talk book acquisitions in the comments, friends!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

46 Comments

  1. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    April 12, 2020 at 8:34 PM

    I really enjoyed Untamed Shore. It isn’t my favorite SMG book, but I love how versatile she is😁

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:00 PM

      Oh, I am glad you enjoyed it! I also own Gods of Jade and Shadow but I haven’t read it yet. I am presently trying to decide WHICH book I should have be my first read, since I also have an ARC for Mexican Gothic.

  2. Evelyn

    April 12, 2020 at 11:42 PM

    I hope you end up loving them all!
    I recently read All your twisted secrets, and really enjoyed it!
    (www.evelynreads.com)

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:01 PM

      Thank you Evelyn, and I am so excited to read that one once it arrives!!!

  3. Lois @ My Midnight Musing

    April 13, 2020 at 7:28 AM

    I’ve read one of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books and adored every minute of it. I keep meaning to read more of her books and Dark and Deepest Red sounds right up my alley. I hope you enjoy the books. 😀

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:03 PM

      I also have a copy of Blanca & Roja but I haven’t read it yet. Dark and Deepest Red sounds so good and I am looking forward to reading it.

  4. Nikki Swift

    April 13, 2020 at 7:45 AM

    All Your Twisted Secrets looks so good! That is one of my recent purchases as well.

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:04 PM

      I know, it sounds so good and I’m itching to read a copy! Not sure when it will arrive though given it was backordered before coronavirus really got bad nationally. Hope you enjoy it when you read it!

  5. Tiffany @ Read By Tiffany

    April 13, 2020 at 9:31 PM

    OMG I’m so jealous that you got an ARC of Chain of Gold but I’m also secretly happy because that means you’re starting The Infernal Devices trilogy #YAAAASS #MWAHAHHAAHA I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it because this is definitely one of my favorite series!! (no pressure) This was such an amazing haul!

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:07 PM

      OMG this may be the best reaction ever, hahaha! I am such a completionist, so coming into a vast world with so many books is nothing short of daunting, I don’t know if I would do it without this push from the universe!

  6. Ngoc

    April 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM

    YES OHMYGOSH YES, PLEASE READ CLOCKWORK ANGEL ASAP!!! I’ve read all of Cassie’s books & I still think that The Infernal Devices is her best work, so you are in for an amazing time! No pressure at all 😉

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:09 PM

      NO PRESSURE, EH!?!?!?!? I promise I will get to it soon, I am working on two arcs and then succumbing to peer pressure for Crescent City first. but s o o n

  7. Brittany

    April 14, 2020 at 9:47 AM

    Great Haul!! The cover of Dark and Deepest Red is gorgeous <3 I hope you like all the books you got! And its awesome that you are able to support smaller bookstores right now!!

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:11 PM

      Thank you so much, Brittany! I definitely am glad & fortunate that I am able to buy a couple of books a month to help support my local indie right now. So thankful.

  8. Mere

    April 14, 2020 at 10:49 AM

    Awesome haul! You’ve got some I am definitely interested in reading!!

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:13 PM

      Thank you, Mere!

  9. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    April 14, 2020 at 11:34 AM

    Fantastic haul! I loved The Electric Heir, such a fun book!

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:14 PM

      The Electric Heir is SO GOOD. I am still not over it! I started trying to write a review yesterday and it’s just incomprehensible word vomit right now.

  10. Jamie @BubblyBooks

    April 14, 2020 at 1:37 PM

    I also bought Bring Me Their Hearts and hope to read it this month! Great haul!

    1. Kal

      April 14, 2020 at 7:14 PM

      I was so excited to pick it up, and I hope we like it Jamie!

  11. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    April 14, 2020 at 7:33 PM

    Ahhhh happy to see you got Clockwork Angel! I personally really enjoyed TID so I’m hoping you will as well when you get to it. I adored Bring Me Their Hearts – it’s full of sass and snark set in a fantasy world where I’m pretty sure there’s blood involved but I don’t think actual hearts were cut out like I was hoping (wow, I was dark).

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 12:30 PM

      Everyone has been so excited for me to pick up Clockwork Angel & the Shadowhunters books, even people I didn’t know were fans. APPARENTLY I BEEN MISSING OUT lmao. I’ve heard amazing things about Bring Me Their Hearts too… so I’m glad I nabbed the ebook when it was free. I like dark! muahahaha

  12. Kate

    April 15, 2020 at 6:34 PM

    I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOUR ARC OF MEXICAN GOTHIC SDNSDKASDASD

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:49 PM

      Ahhh Kate, I;m sorry you weren’t able to get one!!! I am excited to dive into it soon; just trying to decide if I want to read that one first or pick up the other two books of hers I own but haven’t read.

  13. Bec @ bec&books

    April 15, 2020 at 8:57 PM

    Mexican Gothic looks SO GOOD. I’ve seen it pop up before but only just now read the synopsis. Love love love!

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:56 PM

      DOESN’T IT!?!? And the cover is also stunning; I can’t wait!

  14. Jenna @ Falling Letters

    April 16, 2020 at 11:45 AM

    I did the same thing! I’m also very selective about which books I purchase, but I also wanted to support a local store, debut authors, and give my TBR a boost since library closure = limited access, haha. Dark and Deepest Red was actually one I preordered with Christmas money. I preorder maybe four or five titles a year? Generally I have to really love the author or have already read the book to preorder but I made some exceptions this time given the circumstances. For my ‘pandemic order’, I preordered Ghost Squad (haven’t read), A Wish in the Dark (read), and The Deck of Omens (haven’t read). The indie bookstores in my city are actually doing quite…most are offering free delivery to your door, which is pretty neat, haha.

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 2:04 PM

      I’m so glad you’ve been able to place some orders to boost authors & indies at this time! Have you read Dark and Deepest Red yet? I am really excited to pick it up, but I’m currently only in the mood for mysteries haha. I want to hear your thoughts on Ghost Squad once you’ve read it, Jenna!

  15. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    April 17, 2020 at 2:30 AM

    What a fantastic haul, Kal <3 I adore The Electric Heir and this duology as a whole so, so much, it's such a stunning read! <3 I can't believe I haven't read anything by McLemore just yet. I'm so curious about the writing and stories they tell and I've heard incredible things about all of their books. I'm hoping to get to them sometime soon! 🙂

    1. Kal

      April 22, 2020 at 12:18 PM

      I honestly can’t stop thinking about The Electric Heir, the book and duology just like… lives in the recesses of my soul for all of time. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, too! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the McLemore books if you decide to pick them up — I am also curious and excited!

  16. AhanaRao

    April 17, 2020 at 5:00 AM

    Lovely list. Omg I loved Bring Me Their Hearts and I’ve been wanting to start up on Cassandra Claire’s series since FOREVER. Happy reading Kal! Be safe!

    1. Kal

      April 22, 2020 at 3:18 PM

      Ahhh, so glad you enjoyed Bring Me Their Hearts!!! And yea… the sheer volume of books in Clare’s series is so daunting!!!

      1. AhanaRao

        April 23, 2020 at 4:31 AM

        Thank you! ♥️♥️😍
        Oof ikr ????

      2. AhanaRao

        April 25, 2020 at 4:12 AM

        Ooof ikr? *hides*

  17. Haley

    April 19, 2020 at 7:16 AM

    I was lucky enough to get an eARC for All Your Twisted Secrets and I really enjoyed it! My preorder won’t be in until June, so, I’ll be waiting alongside you! I really am interested in Mexican Gothic but I still have to read her book Gods of Jade and Shadow lol, great haul!

    1. Kal

      April 22, 2020 at 10:35 PM

      AHHH, I am glad you enjoyed All Your Twisted Secrets! My copy finally shipped out, hopefully it arrives soon and I am still in the mystery mood when it gets here. I also need to read Silvia’s other books… I own 2 of them oops

  18. bookishgiuls

    April 22, 2020 at 6:41 AM

    Kal omg we need to talk about All Your Twisted secrets!!!!

    1. Kal

      April 26, 2020 at 1:41 AM

      YESSSS!!! My copy finally shipped, so hopefully I can read it soon so we can chat about it!

  19. Jothany

    April 22, 2020 at 10:26 AM

    I want to read All Your Twisted Secrets sooo bad. I need it!!

    1. Kal

      April 26, 2020 at 1:42 AM

      I hope you can read it soon, Jothany!

  20. Maude

    April 23, 2020 at 12:36 PM

    Mexican Gothic sounds really good ! I read dark and deepest red last week and while it was a nice read, I don’t think it was the right fit for me – but I did enjoy McLemore’s writing !

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 1:39 PM

      I am so excited for Mexican Gothic, the cover artwork just screams to me! I’m sorry to hear that Dark and Deepest Red wasn’t the perfect fit, but I am glad you enjoyed their writing!

  21. Michelle

    April 24, 2020 at 12:10 AM

    Ohh you still have a nice haul! The only book I know from this list is Dark and Deepest Red, because I got it for myself a while ago. I still haven’t read it though.. so there’s no telling if I actually like it. I’ve really wanted to read The Fever King though after everyone has been so excited for it. Seeing you like The Electric Heir so much, I should probably get a copy of it.. right 😉

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 1:40 PM

      Quality not quantity was the theme for March, haha! We should try to buddy read Dark and Deepest Red! You definitely should read The Fever King it is such a powerful and beautiful book and the sequel is just as amazing. It’s hard-hitting and tackles difficult topics, but I treasure them and the characters.

  22. Stephanie

    May 5, 2020 at 2:24 PM

    Clockwork Angel is such a good book. I hope you like it! I loved The Infernal Devices series! I just bought myself a copy of Ruthless Gods. I’m trying to get myself to read 3 books on my TBR/at home for every book I buy now since my income is super limited. I miss being able to just drop a load of money on books. Haha

    1. Kal

      June 2, 2020 at 6:07 PM

      Ahhh, so many people adore The Infernal Devices and I hope I love it too! Your buying/TBR method sounds promising — how is it working for you? I feel like whenever I try to limit at all, I go harder than unrestricted. Why is my brain like this?

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