Kaitlyn Luckow


March Reading Wrap-Up


March was another great reading month for me! I didn’t have as much time to read as I would have liked, but I was able to read a lot of shorter pieces, such as poetry collections!

Without any further ado, here are all of the books that I read in March:

Tap Out by Edgar Kunz (3 stars)

This collection focuses on the daily trials of a working class, blue-collar family in America. 

His storytelling was well done and his descriptions were very detailed. However, all of the poems seemed to wander off without any definitive point or end. Which, perhaps was the poet’s intention, but it left me wanting more from this collection.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (1 star)

I have a lot of thoughts about this book. 

I liked Hollis’ voice and I appreciated her sharing the stories of struggle in her life. 

However, I thought that the messages in this book were surface-level, a little ignorant, and even a little dangerous. 

Her discussions on body image, romance, and even substance abuse were super troubling to me. Her overall message was that you can choose to be happy, but this overlooks anyone who may suffer from depression or who is less privileged than her.

You can read more of my thoughts here and my thoughts on toxic self-help.

Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao (2.5 stars)

*thank you so much to Delacorte Press for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Before I get into this book, it’s important to note that the author pulled the book from its original publication date to make edits to address accusations of racism in the book.

The controversy started after a plot point of slavery in the book that brutalizes black characters. While I can see where people may see this, I quite frankly don’t see how this story was any different than other YA fantasy stories that are out there (ie. Rue from The Hunger Games).

Overall, this was an average YA Fantasy novel. It’s about a princess who’s been framed for her own father’s murder and she has to trust a conman to clear her name.  There were a lot of expected tropes and the writing was rough at points (especially regarding the descriptions of things). I rolled my eyes at some cheesy lines.

All of this being said, I did read this in one sitting and was engrossed the whole time. I think that younger readers first diving into the world of fantasy will find this story enjoyable.

Publication Date: Unknown

Where Does the Dark Live by Natalie Meagan (5 stars)

Thank you so much to Natalie for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Natalie has created a stunning first book of poetry in “Where Does The Dark Live” where all of her poems are also hand-drawn.

It reads like a bedtime story full of hope and warning. It lifts up while still keeping us on the ground. 

She has a great relationship with words and plays flawlessly with rhyme and sounds. These poems are just begging to be read to others and shared with all.

Publication Date: April

Pre-order here

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns In This One by Amanda Lovelace (3.5 stars)

This is probably her best collection yet; it focuses on the myth of the mermaid, sea, and stars. I loved how she explored trauma so powerfully and beautifully. 

Some poems I found to be great while some I questioned why they were put in at all if they lacked so much substance. 

The last part of the book was comprised of contributing poet’s works, which I thought was really nice and worked perfectly with the message of this series.

Dreamland by Sam Quinones (5 stars)

This is a book of non-fiction, journalism that looks at the past 15 years in America and how drugs and addiction have changed the country. It covers every single aspect from black tar heroin in Mexico and its way to large and small towns. On top of that, it looks at the push of Oxycontin by pharmaceutical companies and how that created an epidemic.

The amount of interviews and reporting that went into this book just astounds me. Absolutely amazing. Although this book was now written a few years ago, it is still definitely worth a read. 

I think that Quinones does a great job at excluding bias in this book, while giving all of the facts. It’s a dense book for sure, but one that should be read. 

Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days In Transition by Julia Kaye (3 stars)

Julia Kaye wrote a diary of comics during her gender transition. This is a super important book to have in the world. I would so highly recommend this to any trans individual who wants to feel like they’re reading a warm hug.