Happy Wednesday, my fellow book nerds!
Last July, I truly started to interact and get involved within this wonderful book community. Ever since then I’ve been exposed to amazing friends, terrific opportunities, and more fantastic books than I could ever imagine reading. And the more involved I get, the more I try to push myself to “catch up” for lost time. While last month was great for posting, April was great for reading. I read 10 books in April, which is a personal best for me. Now, I know that’s like a ridiculously small amount in comparison to some of you juggernauts out there (#Goals), but we’ve all got to take baby steps and this is a huge leap for me. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into my double-digit April 2018 Wrap Up!
April Reads (Full RsTC):1) Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – 4 STARS
“Some children are just born bad, plain and simple.” While that might be true, there’s nothing plain or simple about this emotional thriller centered on a 9-year-old girl who murdered a 3-month-old baby. Allegedly. This debut, which I’ve wanted to read for ages, has a really strong voice, addictive pacing, and an ending that’s worthy of a therapy session. For real, if you’ve read this send me a message because I needed to discuss this yesterday!
2) The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata – Reread 4 STARS
This was actually my fourth selection of the month and was returned to for some relief from the month’s heavier reads. Although it’s lengthy (about 670+ pages), this sports-based, marriage-of-convenience story is everything I’m looking for in a mindless read. This also might be the slowest slow burn of the slow burns, which makes that “finally” moment extra enjoyable.
3) Final Girls by Riley Sager – 3 STARS
This was my first #ApThrill read of the month, and unfortunately, it didn’t live up to its potential. And that’s a shame because it had EVERYTHING going for it: eye-catching cover art, killer marketing, and a topic that practically screams for attention from slasher film fans. And while it was highly readable, Final Girls didn’t start delivering its semi-predictable twists until 3/4ths of the way in, which toed the line of “too little, too late” with me. Plus the major reveal was a total cop out that left me wanting.
4) It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne – 4 STARS
It’s been over a month since I read this YA contemporary, and I’m still not sure how to express my thoughts. I love the cover. I love the concept. I love the countless movie tie-ins. I love that this ended how it should have and that it subverts several romance tropes. However, I still don’t LOVE it. Does that make sense? I enjoyed the whole story until the very end. And even though I know the ending was necessary, and real, and NEEDED, I still feel torn. I think it’s actually quite eye-opening how conditioned I’ve become to certain narratives and for that alone I think it deserves your time.
5) Relentless by Karen Lynch – 3.5 STARS
If we were playing “one of these things is not like the other” it wouldn’t take you long to point out the lone paranormal fantasy amongst the sea of contemps and thrillers on my list. And the strangest thing is I have NO CLUE how I acquired this book. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know why I own it. And I can’t even tell you WHY I was lured into reading it this month. I just picked it up and went in blind, and Lord was I ill prepared for what I would discover. First of all, this is apparently book 1 of a 6-deep series — a time commitment I did agree to. Second, I wasn’t expecting every supernatural creature known to man to make a cameo in this 280-page book!! Vampires, werewolves, fae, elementals, vampire hunters, gobels, trolls, hybrids, stereotyped villains, kitchen sinks, and more grace this YA’s pages! I suspect it was to lay the foundation for the journey ahead, and I’ll have to keep you posted if I end up continuing on with this series.
6) Law of Moses by Amy Harmon – 4 STARS
This is my second Harmon novel, and after completing this beautiful book, I can honestly say that I’ve fallen even more in love with her distinctive writing style. Harmon’s stories always address a central theme and message, which make her books something to be experience and felt — rather than simply read. Her lyrical writing style is engrossing, emotional, and delivers betters twists than certain thrillers I read this month. I don’t want to say too much for spoiler purposes, but click the link above to see if this duology is for you! Also check out my review of Harmon’s The Bird and The Sword to get a better vibe on the magnitude of her talent.
7) Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas – 3.5 STARS
taboo standalone had everything I’ve come to expect from Penelope Douglas books: relatable heroines, snarky banter, angst, steam, some…we’ll call it memorable ;)…scenes, and enough sage advice to balance out all the drama. And while this won’t land in my Top 3 reads of P.Doug’s, I did drop ALL of my responsibilities until the final page was read. If you’re looking for an age-gap read, give Birthday Girl some love.
8) Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi – 3.75 STARS
I don’t know if it was the cover art, the hype I overheard at NTTBF, the Texas setting, the texting-into-love plot, or the tattooed lead (read: it was probably the tattooed lead) that made me enjoy this story most, but enjoy it I did! I know a lot of people are harping on this for being “too negative” or “too angsty,” but guess what? People feel that way. They’re allowed to feel that way. And your first year of college — or any big transitional year — is an understood time to feel that way. This diverse NA contemporary addresses a lot of trigger warning topics (anxiety, depression, sexual assault, etc) with only one seemingly thrown in. For that, I lowered my rating, but still think it’s a great summer read.
9) ARC: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart – 2.5 STARS
“Your character isn’t static. It’s an adaptation.” Y’all I’m just not sure E. Lockhart novels are for me. There’s no doubt that she’s a talented writer, but I’m just not feeling the love when it comes to her books. With We Were Liars I felt robbed of the “amazing twist” everyone raved about because I saw it coming from a figurative mile away. However, I was invested enough in the characters that I shed a few tears before leaving Beechwood. With Genuine Fraud Lockhart took a different path. The journey was no longer about nailing the twist as much as discovering WHY the twist takes place. And because you’re looking for the why instead of the what it didn’t really deliver like I was expecting. Maybe if I stopped getting hyped for her books going in I’d like them more. Who knows.
10) ARC: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson – 5 STARS
“Who knew necromancy could make you so popular?” Y’all this charming little book completely caught me by surprise. I was intrigued by the synopsis and cover art, but never expected to fall so hard for the laugh-out-loud story I found within its pages. There are so many positive things I could say about this own voice standalone, but the thing I’m still fangirling over was Mila’s snarky narrative. I cannot stress how much it felt like I was listening to an audiobook while reading this Heathers-esque ARC. Mila’s voice felt SO authentic it was like I was just gabbing with a shade-slinging girlfriend. From the show choir hate to the witty one liners and character evolution — except for you know who — this tale of redemption and friendship truly is a must read. ALSO it came out on my birthday, so #twinning!
ALSO (x2) this was my first EVER buddy read and I was spoiled because I got to do so with the fabulous Destiny! Read her awesome review here!
So again, reading was definitely the highlight of this month, which means I was super neglectful to my blog. However I’ve been pretty good so far in the month of May so hopefully I’ll balance the two soon. Here’s what went down in April:
1 Book Haul: March 2018 Book Haul
1 Book Tag: Book Blogger Test Tag
1 Wrap Up: March 2018 Wrap Up
As you can see April was my best month yet for reading!! Not only in terms of the number of books I checked off my list, but also in terms of my average star rating. This month my reads averaged 3.73 stars, which is the highest it’s been so far this year.
In addition to reading 5 books on my backlogged TBR, I also read 2 recently acquired books, my first reread of the year, AND I got 2 ARCs off the list! Seems like an ideal mix to me!
Have you loved/hated/meh’d any of these books? What books are you diving into this month? Let me know below!
And, as always, Happy Reading!