Below are my thoughts on my March Reading Challenge choices…

Girl on a Wire: The cover is fantastic! Eye-catching and immediately conveys what the story is about. Absolutely loved it. Really enjoyed the story too, although I read it a long time ago and, unfortunately, didn’t take notes. (When I read, I often take notes on my phone’s note app. How about you? Do you take notes on the books you read?) This was a circus redux of Romeo and Juliette (the main character is Jules; her love interest is Remy). Fun fact I remember: the MC is a tight rope walker who idolizes Bird Millman, a real life high-wire performer who toured with Barnum & Bailey/Ringling Brothers back in the day.

Caraval: This was exactly what it was pitched as (The Night Circus meets The Hunger Games) with one caveat – to me, the feel of it (tone, style, etc.) was more similar to Kiera Cass’ The Selection. Initially, I put this book on hold at my library, but it took a while to come in so I bought the digital version for my Kindle. Then, when I was only a couple of chapters in, the print version arrived at the library for me, which gave me a chance to compare the two. (I’ve been doing more of that lately – reading two different versions of a book at the same time. Do any of you do this? I talk to a lot of readers who go back and forth between print and audio versions, depending on whether they’re in the car or not.) My thoughts? Formatting matters. This is a book with lots of letters and a map. Best to experience it in print! 🙂

Writers are illusionists who work in words.”

—Greer Macallister

The Magician’s Lie: The print version I bought a long time ago, but I also read parts of the digital version, which I checked out of the library via OverDrive. This book toggles between two timelines – the present, where a magician is being questioned by a policeman about the death of her husband, and the past, which tells the story of her life. In the book extras, Macallister was asked how she melds historical facts with a fictional story. I loved her answer. She said her intent was to “integrate history in a way that enriches and expands the story” but she didn’t want to feel “hidebound by exactly what happened to whom and when.” Hear, hear! It was interesting seeing how she worked in real people, tricks, and events like Adelaide Herrmann, the Bullet Catch, and the Iroquois Theater fire. Also worth noting: along with the central question (did the MC kill her husband?) there were other small mysteries that propelled the narrative forward. My favorite was whether or not Arden was capable of real magic. Was that question answered? You’ll have to read to find out. 😉

How about you? Did you read anything good in March? I hope so!