Tales & Tiger Lily: March 2021

My sister joined bookstagram as @talesandtigerlily. Her name is Caroline, and Tiger Lily is her adorable pup. Since she's discovered a love of reading, I've had the best time talking about books with her. Be sure to check out her introduction post to get to know her better. Once a month, you get a new installment of Tales & Tiger Lily. In each post, I'll list everything she's read the previous month + reviews of three of her favorites.

Recapping the Rest of Caroline's March Reads:
First Comes Like by Alisha Rai | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
Shipped by Angie Hockman | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
Well Met by Jen DeLuca | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 
Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 • Review
Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailer | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 • Review
Good Neighbors by Sarah Lancaster | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
I'm So Effing Tired by Amy Shah | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 • Review
Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 • Review
Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

One of Caroline's March favorites was Dear Emmie Blue – one of my 2020 favorites that I pushed on her (and still haven't blogged about). She hadn't reviewed it yet, so I'm featuring the next book on her list instead.

Her top three from the month:

“Everything is broken and messed up and completely fine. That is what life is. It's only the ratios that change. Usually on their own.” 

Sorrow and Bliss tells the story of Martha, a woman who knows something is wrong with her. Her husband Patrick has loved her since he was fourteen, and all he wants to do is make her happy. He just can’t figure it out how to accomplish this.

The narrative moves back and forth in time as we uncover Martha’s past, and I wanted so badly to figure out what would happen in her life. Will Martha get help? Will she heal the relationships around her? Will she and her husband stay together? I could not put it down because I was soooo invested in her. It’s no secret Martha is suffering from something. Although she is difficult and stubborn and harsh, I loved her like she was my own sister. 

I cannot even begin to describe my love for this book. I called my sister after I cried reading the ending. We both had so much to say about it! The dry British humor, the writing, the character development—it was a masterpiece! 

Sorrow and Bliss is the ultimate portrayal of how people are connected to each other. No matter what you are going through, your words and actions affect other people. Relationships matter. I know it’s fiction, but I haven’t read a book so real and raw in a long time. I felt every single emotion at once. I think the title was perfect. When I closed the book I felt those two things: sorrow and bliss. 

It could easily be my favorite book of 2021 – that’s how much I loved it. You have to add this to your list, and read it as soon as you can! | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

“Now, I'm not the kind of girl to gush over weddings but the marriage part–the idea of two flawed people being somehow perfect for each other, the odds of finding another human who can tolerate your specific brand of shit, and whose shit you can tolerate too—I think that's pretty special.” 

Out of Love is a story told in reverse. It begins with a young woman boxing up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings, preparing to see him one last time. Each chapter takes you further back in time to the start of their relationship. 

This wasn’t really a love story to me. It was more an in-depth look at the protagonist, her anxiety/depression, her views about herself and life. I loved getting to know her, and I could relate to her in many ways (we don’t know her name). It is a look at grief and what to means to lose someone. I love how the main character loved her home country, Ireland, and I could tell some of her sadness resulted from not being home and with her family. 

It gave me Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine mixed with Sally Rooney vibes. I think some of you would absolutely love this one! I highly recommend it. It Is one I will be thinking about for awhile. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5

Dark Horses tells the story of fifteen-year-old Roan Montgomery. She is an equestrian prodigy, coached and ruled by her abusive father. Outside of the stables, his power takes a very horrifying turn. Roan tries to compartmentalize her life, focusing on her riding ambition, but how can she function when she has no one to protect her? 

This is ultimately a survivor story. Roan is strong, resilient, and determined. She has little time for a social life, and she is viewed as a “snobby horse girl”. She is not nurtured by her family. Her mother is an alcoholic and lets the abuse happen. It made me so angry for her. As she develops a relationship with a boy her age, things start to change. She becomes more aware of her reality. 

For those of you who liked My Dark Vanessa or The Comeback, this one should be on your list. I will say it was more uncomfortable to read because the abuse was at the hands of her own father. It was disturbing yet powerful. I was rooting for Roan the whole way. 

Susan Mihalic actually taught therapeutic horseback riding, and I thought that made the book even more special. It was such a powerful story to tell. Most child victims are abused by a parent. How devastatingly sad is that? So even though Dark Horses was hard to read, it happens to children every day. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

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