Hello friends! I’ve come to love writing these wrap ups not only because they’re fun, but also because they remind me that it is the end of the month when time has pretty much lost its meaning. 😅 Don’t judge, I’ve been cooped up inside for weeks – one of the most exciting moments of my month was buying a puzzle, and then instead of making me happy it made me so angry I wanted to burn it!? Rude. Who knew that puzzles are so difficult!? 😅
Either way, I survived the month, Sabrina survived the month, and today, we’ll be sharing what we did, what books we read and what posts of yours we loved during April.
Perhaps surprisingly, I actually have a couple of things to mention this month. First, it was my sister’s birthday on the 19th so we had a nice day going on a family bike ride and getting takeaway from one of our favourite restaurants for dinner. There was a crazy number of people on the bike track – I guess everyone is trying to get their outdoor exercise in before the cold weather truly hits. I think it’s definitely hit by now. I’ve also had a few video chats with my friends which has been really nice and started watching Elementary and the new season of MasterChef Australia.
Other than that, I have been playing Spyro (which is what this whole paragraph is going to be about, so feel free to skip it if you’re not interested, lol). I bought the Reignited trilogy some time last year, but had an unfortunate incident with the game eating my save file that has stopped me from touching it for a while. I think I figured out the cause of the issue, and though I can’t fix the problem, I can avoid it happening again if I’m careful. I’ve been enjoying the game so far – it makes such a difference being able to change the camera view with the mouse compared to playing on the Playstation and having to wait for it to catch up. I’ve almost finished the first game in the trilogy, and then I’ll be on to my favourite: Gateway to Glimmer!
Honestly, life has been pretty damn boring recently. I’ve been staying in the house and only wandered out to the garden, or for a short walk. It really is a blessing to live in a small town these days, because it’s pretty normal for the streets to be empty, and now with the lockdown there are even fewer people out and about. I’ve been keeping in contact with all my friends, but it sucks to not be able to meet, or not even know when we’ll be able to meet.
That said! I did some things I’m pretty happy with or proud of! I’ve been doing well in uni – although, I’m about ready to sucker punch one of my professors. Also, online learning, especially without, ya know, actual classes because the professors lack the necessary technology, is absolute shit. A good thing is that I set up a home office for myself at the beginning of the month, as seen in my tweet below, and I’m really proud of how it looks. (The bookshelves were there already, but I re-organized the rest of my room to put the desk there as well.)
Also! I’ve slowly been getting more and more into The Magnus Archives during the last two-three months, and oh my god, the past couple of days? I can hardly stop listening to it. I love the characters SO MUCH, and the story has me on the edge of my seat. I’m only on episode 94, so don’t spoil anything, but ahh, I would love to talk about it! So, let me know if you’ve listened to it? (I did spoil the ships for myself, and I’m ready for them.)
I read 22 books in April, and my average rating of them was 4.13 – so I’m pleased both quality and quantity-wise. 🥰 I discovered quite a few novels that immediately jumped to my all time favorites list, and there were no crushing disappointments at all!? I have so many books I want to highlight, so just… bear with me. 🙈
Oh, but before that! I participated in two readathons this month, the Stay Home Reading Rush and Read A Little Romance, and I managed to complete my tbr for both. 🥰
The Top Three/My New Favorites:
✨ Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer was exactly what I needed. It was such a beautiful, emotional novel, and the characters!! You guys, the characters were so damn lovely; I just wanted to give them all a hug. If you love novels about friendship, family, and if you like a good romance, Call It What You Want is for you.
✨ Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales is the softest book ever!? The thing is, it deals with important, hard issues, as one of the main characters is scared to come out as bisexual, but it is made soft and wholesome by the wonderful cast and lovely friendships. Also, all the Grease elements made me so gleeful! Such a wonderfully written retelling.
✨ The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim is a heartbreaking novel about depression, family and culture, and it’s something you should 1000% add to your TBR. I’ll be posting my review of it and of Only Mostly Devastated soon, so! Stay tuned!
Other Incredible Novels
✨ A Madness of Sunshine is Nalini Singh’s mystery/thriller debut, and y’all, it’s such an incredible novel! It’s a small town mystery that takes place in New Zealand, and while I did guess some of the twists, others managed to surprise me, and I loved the gradual development of the plot and the characters. 5/5 stars!
✨ Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai: A few years ago, I tried to read Hate To Want You by Rai, but I could not get into it. Nothing wrong with the novel, but it was way too angsty for my taste. I needed a novel with two non-white protagonists for Read A Little Romance, though, and Girl Gone Viral was one of the few I could find, so I decided to give another chance to the author. And I loved this book – it was soft and wholesome, and it made me so happy. I quickly read the first book in the series, as well, which was good too, but less so. Anyhow, 5/5 for Girl Gone Viral.
✨ The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend is a novel I’ve heard literally nothing but great things about, and I have to admit, it is a magical, entertaining novel. I loved the characters and the setting – it made me so nostalgic for when I was a child. Oh, and if you’re into audiobooks that’s the route I recommend taking. 4/5
This month has been a pretty good reading month, though I will admit I have been in a slump for about a week at this point. Is that because I have been dedicating more time to playing video games and watching tv than reading? Probably. The highlight was participating in the Stay at Home Reading Rush where I managed to read four books in four days, despite having extreme doubts that I’d be able to do it. Anyway, here’s my thoughts on some of the books I read:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
This book was excruciatingly slow, even more so because I was enjoying the writing and the setting so much. I feel like I didn’t get to really know any of the characters except ‘Zachary Ezra Rawlins’ and Kat (who was barely even in it!). It also had such a sad overtone – I really wish I’d got to experience the setting in its glory days rather than the rundown mess that is was in the story. Of course, it was still enjoyable as a mess, but it felt like I was missing out. I gave it 3/5 stars.
The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert
I read another book by this author earlier this year, and I must admit I enjoyed this one quite a bit more. Something about the writing style worked better for me this time around. I still struggled with the pacing though – I wish the surprisingly intense section near the end of the book had been explored further. Still, I gave this 4/5 stars.
Lanny by Max Porter
This was probably my most surprising read of the month and it’s turned out to be a new favourite. It’s a literary fiction book with elements of fabulism that explores the lives of people in a small town. Sort of. I don’t really know how to explain it, lol. It had some beautiful writing and I loved some of the characters. I was super happy with the ending as well as I had been worried it wouldn’t turn out in a way I’d be satisfied with – it did though! 4/5 stars.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Despite this not being my lowest rated book in April, it was definitely the most disappointing to me. I went in hoping for an interesting alien story, but instead it was mostly focused around political consequences to stupid actions by a small number of people. It was told through audio transcripts, and while this worked for the most part, there were several instances where other formats would have really elevated the novel – particularly the action scenes, which actively suffered. There were still parts where I was engrossed with the story, I just feel like it could have been so much more interesting to me if it had taken a different approach. I ended up giving it 2.5/5 stars.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
I know – I keep saying I don’t like war books and I went and picked up a war book. In my defence, this book actually takes place after the war is over and it was forced upon me by my mum. It’s told through a series of letters, which turned out to be quite fun and kept me turning the pages. Surprisingly, I think the characters were actually well-developed through the letters, and I even found myself crying a little bit due to them. Still, there were moments where the letter format hindered the storytelling and the pacing got strange near the end. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.
IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
- Anna @ Reads Rainbow shared a starter pack of LGBT Novels Available on Scribd.
- Belle @ Belle Can Read shared the pros and cons of book twitter.
- Margaret @ Weird Zeal shared her favorite comforting movies and her favorite male characters.
- Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Reads shared 12 Cosy and Heartwarming YA Contemporaries
- Sophie @ Me & Ink discussed morally grey characters.
Because in our experience reviews tend to do worse than, well, any other type of post, we will also be highlighting our favorite reviews of each month from now on.
- Caro @ Bookcheshirecat reviewed It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
- Dini @ Dini Panda Reads reviewed The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
- Kat @ Novels and Waffles reviewed Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
- Margaret @ Weird Zeal shared 47 thoughts she had while rereading The Hunger Games
- Marie @ Drizzle @ Hurricane Reads reviewed The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park
- Tasya @ The Literary Huntress reviewed Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
How are you doing? How was your April? What was your favorite book of the month? How about your least favorite? Have you listened to The Magnus Archives?