Aly & Inge’s Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2016

Posted April 1, 2016 by Both in Wrap-Ups & Unboxings / 10 Comments

Hello! It seems to be time for our monthly wrap up post again.

Spring has arrived! The world is waking up again and everything seems to be blooming and blossoming. We’ve turned the clock forward an hour. Easter has come and gone, carrying with it a mahoosive basket of chocolate. I just hope we won’t get pelted with mosquitoes and wasps anytime soon. Those guys are jerks.


FU Cancer by Hilaria Alexander // ★★
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // ★★★★
Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood // ★★★
My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul // ★★
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling // ★★★★★
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // ★★★
You’re Never Weird On the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day // ★★★ 1/2
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins // ★★★ 1/2
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini // ★★★
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout // DNF
Rise of the Archmage by Martyn Stanley // ★★★

For a while there, it seemed like I wasn’t going to get any reading done. My depression hit me full-on in the face and I didn’t feel like doing anything. So I turned to Harry Potter, as you do. And then, slowly, things started getting a bit better, and all of a sudden I was reading a bunch of books in just as many days. Seems like it was quantity over quality, though. But I’m happy because Aly’s proud of me for reading ADSOM and TRB. On the other hand, Kara has banned me from her life forever for not finishing her favourite Lux series. So there’s that.


A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab ★★★★
When We Collided by Emery Lord ★★★★
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie ★★★
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski ★★★★
And I Darken by Kirsten White ★★★★★
Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat ★ (DNF)

I am literally so stupidly happy that Inge read two books I recommended and liked them (!!!!) although I’m hoping to make her read The Dream Thieves next month because that’s when the real magic happens. #Pynch.

I’m super psyched at the amount of books I managed to read this month, considering I had even less time than February. Figure that one out. However, it’s been pretty good rating-wise, although I totally ranted and destroyed Captive Prince in my DNF review on Goodreads. Sorry, fans, but it was not my cup of tea at all.

By far, the best book I read this month has got to be And I Darken. If you didn’t know, And I Darken is a Vlad the Impaler retelling, if Vlad had been a girl. It’s described as a YA Game of Thrones, and I couldn’t agree more! It’s so, so, so good you guys, and I have already preordered two copies. It comes out in June, so keep an eye out, because this book will be a hit! Gruesome, bloody and a dark, it’s everything I love in a YA book and more. Not only that, but Lada (aka Vlad) is so unapologetic in her badassery that I championed for her in every chapter. Also: diverse characters are explored, as is Islam and the Ottoman Empire. It’s like a bunch of history lessons made even more interesting by Kirsten White’s explosive writing. SO. FREAKING. GOOD. OMG.


March 1: A List of Feelgood Movies

March 3: The Score by Elle Kennedy // See Aly & Inge Swoon Over Abs

March 6: Stock Up On Smiles #018

March 8: Hagrid’s Love Letters Ter Madame Maxine // A Harry Potter Fanfic

March 10: How to Make Banana Bread Like A Boss

March 13: Stock Up On Smiles #019

March 14: Where I Went

March 17: Red Rising // PAX AU TELEMANUS!

March 20: Stock Up On Smiles #020

March 21: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

March 24: Book vs Movie: The Martian

March 28: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time by Samreen Ahsan

March 30: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater



So this is kind of scary but… I’M ON INSTAGRAM. My friends have officially nagged enough for me to finally cave. Expect lots of books and cats and a few random bits here and there. There’s this photo, for example.


Which was taken at the city hall of Antwerp, as a piece of evidence, really. After two years, I’d made it back to Antwerp. I used to study there and then I got house bound with anxiety and I missed Antwerp a lot. So being able to walk through those streets again was a big achievement for me and so so good. I feel like I’m finally getting out of that mahoosive depression I was in in February, which is good. I just hope I don’t slip back.

I am also working on getting my driver’s license! I’m currently studying for the theoretical exam, so we’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck.


*falls into bed and refuses to ever get up again*

Hoo-boy, March was a beast of a month. Remember how I said I had a week off work? Yeah, I ended up bed-bound the entire week with the flu, bronchitis and other germs. I was not amused. After that, I ended up on an almost fourteen-shift rota, including the bank holiday (I hate the holidays so much now, but I hope you all had an awesome Easter! And if you don’t celebrate Easter, I hope you had a great weekend anyway!) and I have only now managed to sit down and catch up on everything I missed online.

However, it’s been a pretty good month regardless of extra shifts. I received my first ever FairyLoot box (which was AWESOME and will write more about it next month with Inge!), broke my book-buying ban a grand total of three times (I hate myself, really) and re-subscribed to World of Warcraft only until I can buy a HD TV and can then spend all my time playing Skyrim. Because PRODUCTIVITY.

I also received a bunch of books from different publishers, which was awesome! Here’s a list for you guys to devour:

Penguin Random House:

And I Darken by Kirsten White. (The UK ARC cover is so awesome guys!)
The Half Bad trilogy by Sally Green.


The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski.
Whisper to Me by Nick Lake.
The Leaving by Tara Alterbrando.

Both And I Darken and The Winner’s Kiss were so good they made me cry on multiple occasions. I’m sure other cool stuff happened this month, but I can’t, for the life of me, think. My brain is mush. Is it nap time yet?

How was your month?


10 responses to “Aly & Inge’s Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2016

  1. Ah all these gorgeous books are giving me hope in YA Fantasy (I guess it comes under this genre?). AND I DARKEN SOUNDS SO COOL, just the whole idea of Vlad as a girl, and oh my gosh something dark in YA?! I’m in. (Yeah, so it helps a little that the history of the whole Dracula thing is being explored as well). I am a historical fiction lover. It’s brilliant.

    • Aly

      UGH I KNOW! I’ve been dying to read dark YA AND IT’S FINALLY HERE!!! *screeches in excitement* And I Darken is definitely a book you’ll enjoy, I think!

  2. Oh Inge, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had a rough month! I’m so glad that Harry Potter has helped you out of it. It’s always comforting going back to an old favourite. Antwerp looks absolutely beautiful, good luck on the driver’s license, it’s definitely the most rewarding thing!

    Aly, it sounds like And I Darken was completely brilliant! That’s super exciting that you loved it so much! I can’t wait to read The Winner’s Kiss and I hope you are feeling better.

    • Aly

      Hi Jeann!

      Thank you! And I Darken was amazing, I’m trying to push it on as many people as I can. It’s definitely worth reading! I hope you like The Winner’s Kiss — as someone who was on the fence for the first two books, I can’t stop raving about the last one. 😛

      Have a great month!

  3. You two girls certainly know how to read. I’m impressed with how many books you both whizzed through! I love seeing your photos on instagram Inge, and I was so glad when I saw you made it to Antwerp! Hope your driving license is going well and everything 🙂 (The idea of driving scares me like crazy. I’ll just keep clinging to my cycling handlebars, thank you very much.)

    Also, Aly – it really must’ve been hard pushing your way through so much work. BUT YOU DID IT. And therefore, you rock <3

  4. Aww Inge, I’m sorry you haven’t had such a great month – I really hope your April is fantastic! <3 You read so many books – wow! Harry Potter is always a good idea, I really want to read the Raven Boys as well as Isla and the Happily Ever After! 🙂

    And ooh, I see you got the Half Bad trilogy, Aly! I also got sent them and I finished the last book a few days ago and I LOVED the trilogy. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

    • Aly

      I’m currently reading the first one, and I’m LOVING the writing! Although poor, poor Nathan. My heart bleeds for him.

  5. That’s amazing about making it to Antwerp, Inge! And it looks very nice. 🙂 Good luck with the license!

    And ALL THE YES for A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows, obviously. How are we supposed to wait for the sequel!? I keep wondering whether I should read The Raven Boys (basically whenever Cait mentions it, which is all the time), but I didn’t like Shiver that much? Like, I didn’t hate it, but I also just wasn’t compelled to keep reading.

    • Aly

      I wasn’t a huge fan of the Shiver trilogy, but I remember really liking the first book. I think Stiefvater’s writing improved with TRC. AND YES YOU SHOULD MOST DEFINITELY READ IT RIGHT NOW.

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