April Round Up

It’s the beginning of a new month so here are the books I completed in April along with the mini reviews.
My book buying ban is continuing, partly because I don’t have much spare money and mostly because there is a global pandemic and I’m extra vulnerable. Also the bookshops are all shut anyway and I’m not going to amazon.
It’s also the OWLS so I came into the month with a set reading list. Click here to find what I planned to read for each subject

Received for review/ARC – 2
Library/borrowed – 2
Bookcase; owned before Jan 2020 – 6
Kindle; owned before Jan 2020 – 1
Audiobook; owned before Jan 2020 – 1
New (bought in 2020) – 1
Bought just for a challenge category – 

‘No’ is for a book that don’t fit into any of the criteria and an N/A on the ones where I’ve already used the matching criteria.

Pages read: 3941

  1. iRemember
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish and Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    This was a really interesting high concept sci-fi thriller. It looks at the impact memories have on the person we are and what it would mean to have perfect recall as well as the government owning your memories and therefore your personal history.
    Full review to be found here
  2. The Beast of Babylon – Derek Landy
    OWLS – Potions (Under 150 pages)
    Popsugar –  N/A
    Flourish and Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    I was going to read one of the other 50th anniversary short stories for this subject but a couple of pages in a I realised I recognised it and had read it before so I changed to the 9th doctor story. This one is set between Rose saying no to travelling with the Doc and him coming back to say the TARDIS also time travels. For 114 pages it’s got more twists and turns that you would expect and kept surprising me. For any Who fans I would definitely suggest picking this one up, it’s not going to take you long to read and you’ll enjoy it.
  3. Grief is the thing with feathers – Max Porter
    OWLS – Care of Magical Creatures (beak on the cover)
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish and Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    Going to be honest here, I bought the audio for this ages ago because it was on the daily deal and I’d heard some decent things about it. Listening to it this month was only because it fit the criteria and it was short (only 2 hours/ 148 pages), I knew it was abstract and about grief/loss but didn’t really know anything else. And looking back at it nearly a month after listening to it I’m not sure if I can tell you much more. It’s a really clever story and much more abstract than I was expecting or normally read with a number of chapters from the POV of Grief/The Raven. I am glad I read it though and not just because it fit the criteria, although I’m not sure I’ll read any more by the author.
  4. The Love Hypothesis – Laura Steven
    OWLS – Muggle Studies (Contemporary)
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish and Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder- No
    I love Laura Steven’s duology ‘The Exact Opposite of Okay/A Girl Called Shameless so when she said her next book would be a queer rom-com romp I was more than a bit excited. And I was right to be excited. It’s so good and looks at consent, science, coming-of-age, and friendship. This was everything I thought I wanted and more and can not recommend it more as a fun read. It’s a very different tone to Exact Opposite which is fuelled by anger but filled with as many jokes and geeky references.
  5. The Tower – Anne Marie Ormsby
    OWLS – No
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish and Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    This is a really suspenseful paranormal thriller which kept my attention the whole way through. It showed London in a great light and although it’s not my normal genre I really enjoyed it and kept trying to guess what was going on. It’s a short story (at only 110 pages) and every word was used well.
    Full review here
  6. A Good Girls Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson
    OWLS – Astronomy (read mostly at night)
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish and Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    When I picked this up before bed I planned to only read a couple of chapters. What actually happened is I looked up and it was past midnight and I’d finished. Ooops. It’s so good though and the second one has just come out so I might need to invest in it sooner rather than later…
  7. The girl the sea gave back – Adrianne Young
    OWLS – Defence against the dark arts (set on the sea/coast)
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    I bought this one in September (I know the exact date because it was just before I saw Come From Away) and it was mostly because I liked the cover and the synopsis sounded interesting. It’s got Vikings and seers and old fashioned battles as well as confusion over who the ‘good guys’ are before you realise that neither side is that great. I don’t know if I’d read it again but I’m glad I read it now, it’s not bad but I had to push myself to keep reading or to pick it up more than once. It just wasn’t for me.
  8. Havenfall – Sara Holland
    OWLS – Transfiguration (Shapeshifters)
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    I’m so glad my sister got a proof of this book, it’s so good and kept me gripped on every page. Havenfall is an inn where various worlds meet and every year there is a summit to discuss various treaties and to make sure that the worlds are safe for the next 12 months. When Maddie has to take over running the inn due to her uncle becoming ill things don’t look great as the shut door to a world of shape shifting monsters is starting to open. This book and series deserves to be picked up from the masses and become the next best thing.
  9. Warbreaker – Brandon Sanderson – BUDDY READ
    OWLS – Charms
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    This is one of Sanderson’s stand alone fantasy novels in the Cosmere universe. I read it for the first time about 4 or 5 years ago when I started it again I realised I’d forgotten the characters names but that I remembered the the magic rules (magic and breaths). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Sanderson has a skill with world building that is very rarely seen, he knows how to write worlds and magic and politics and different races, it doesn’t feel like a dump when he find out how the different worlds work. For someone who has the skill in writing epic fantasy series stand alone stories can sometimes feel too dense, but this isn’t one of them. It’s one of Sanderson’s best and really explores divinity, royalty, magic and politics. Plus 2 out of the 3 POV characters are women, they are both strong in their own ways but completely different to each other rather than being generic ‘strong female’.
  10. Brittle’s Academy: Charlie makes a discovery – Lily Mae Walters
    OWLS – N/A
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    This is a really fun, cute story about how Charlie’s first day of secondary turns into something magical. It might not have been filled with thrills and massive adventures but it was filled with small moments that made the day feel real. Even if he was testing for a magical school that he didn’t know existed before the tests started. Full review to be found here.
  11. Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
    OWLS – Divination
    Popsugar – Yes (Published in birth month – April)
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    I’ve cried at 2 books in my memory, this book increased that number to 3. I don’t know what else to say apart from it’s beautiful and tells the story of two broken people (Juliet and Declan) coming together through anonymous letters and emails.
  12. More than we can tell – Brigid Kemmerer
    OWLS – Herbology
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    Changing my Herbology book to this one was one of the easiest choices I made in April. This one is about Declan’s best friend Rev who has a VERY dark past (trigger warning for physical and mental abuse from parents). It didn’t make me cry but it was very close. Like many I found Brigid Kemmerer through ‘A Curse so Dark and Lonely’ but I’m so glad that I bought her other book from YALC last year.
  13. Such a fun age – Kiley Reid
    OWLS – Arithmancy
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    My sister described this book as “21st Century version of ‘The Help'” and managed to get a proof of it (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love her job). I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. This book revolves around 2 women, one older white woman who employs the younger black woman as a babysitter. There’s racial and class issues and lots of white saviour-ness that made me feel very uncomfortable. Because of course the younger black woman needs help and guidance because she’s in her 20s and doesn’t have a ‘proper’ job or career. Definitely worth the read.
  14. I hold your heart – Karen Gregory
    OWLS – Ancient Runes
    Popsugar – N/A
    Flourish & Blotts – N/A
    Read Harder – No
    I knew this book was going to be a difficult read, it’s about a teenage relationship that turns controlling, obsessive, and abusive. Both of Karen Gregory’s previous books are difficult and deal with different issues but this one is even more so. It’s worth the read if you’re able to deal with the subject. I really enjoyed how it happened slowly and how each small step is easy to miss and felt ‘sensible’ especially because there is the POV of both the abused and the abuser.

One thought on “April Round Up

  1. Thanks for these monthly round-ups – a great summary of reading and it gives me plenty of reading ideas. I just need to get reading more myself…

    Like

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