The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch
Ladies And Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning by Jonathan Mahler
One Seriously Messed Up Weekend In the Otherwise Un-Messed-Up Life of Jack Samsonite by Tom Clempson
One Seriously Messed-Up Week: in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite by Tom Clempson
What The Spell by Brittany Geragotelis
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb
Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Socks Are Not Enough by Mark Lowery
Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick
Elephant of Surprise by Brent Hartinger
Dept 19 Battle Lines by Will Hill
Titanic Thompson by Kevin Cook
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Despite a few disappointments - notably Rebecca Stead's Newbery Medal winning When You Reach Me, which was okay but didn't live up to my expectations, and Amy McCulloch's The Oathbreaker's Shadow, in which I liked the plot and setting but disliked almost all the characters - March was a strong month overall. I finally got round to reading books by Andy Robb, Tom Clempson, Siobhan Curham and Brent Hartinger, all of whom have been on my 'to read' list for ages, and all lived up to high expectations. In addition, I read a couple of brilliant non-fiction books - both Kevin Cook's biography of legendary gambler Titanic Thompson, and Jonathan Mahler's stunning Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning, an account of New York City in 1977, were superb.
Book of the Month
Very tough call for third, but Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham just holds off both Jack Samsonite books, the first Geekhood, and Going Vintage on the strength of a wonderful narrator and the really believable relationships she has with her family.
2nd place goes to the stunning conclusion of the Delirium trilogy, Requiem by Lauren Oliver - I loved the ending, and found the entire book to be the best of the three, and one of the best dystopians I've read.
1st, though, was a strong contender for book of the year so far, Department 19: Battle Lines by Will Hill. Every time I read another book in this fantastic series, I'm filled with mixed emotions - joy at having read such a great novel, and despair at having to wait another year to find out what happens next. Thankfully, Will has released three short stories, set between 1917 and 1919, in the Department 19 universe to keep us going!