Hi Everyone! Hope you’re feeling okay. I’m starting to feel a little restless and stir-crazy now with how long the lockdown in The UK has been going on for, and it’s definitely impacting my mental health for the worse. I’ve noticed I’ve started turning to books as an escapism from this and I’m reading a lot for me.
This month I read twelve books, which is a little nuts for me – I’m reading far more this year in lockdown than I usually do. According to Goodreads I read a total of 4898 pages, and my average rating for the month was 3.5.
All photos link back to the book’s respective Goodreads pages.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (3 stars)
This was the first book I finished this month and possibly one of the most confusing sequels I’ve ever read. I read ‘A Curse So Dark and Broken’ last month and really enjoyed it, I thought it was a brilliant twist on A Beauty and The Beast retelling – but this, this was weird. This had nothing that I enjoyed in the first sequel and it kinda read as a completely different series. There were aspects I loved such as Tycho and other new characters introduced, and I really enjoyed learning more about Grey; but other apsects like already established characters fell flat and they didn’t even feel like the same characters. I mean Rhen’s character arc was completely destroyed and I found myself growing to hate him after I had grown to love him in the first book. It was confusing and I hope Kemmerer redeems herself with the final book in this trilogy.
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu (4 stars)
This is the first book I finished this month for my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends‘ series, and the first book in that series that I really enjoyed. This a YA historical fiction novel with some fantasy elements that focus on the story of Nannerl Mozart, Worfel Mozart’s elder sister, who was just as talented as him but the world unfortunately never got to know her music. The story focuses on feminist themes and family relationships in particular and was a good read. Read my full review here.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (5 stars)
This one is a re-read, and one I’m so glad I decided to pick up again as it reminded me why I loved it so dearly. ‘Nimona’ is a fantastic graphic novel with fun characters who bring forth complex ideas of the morals of good vs. evil, and a storyline full of mystery that will leave you second guessing everything. This book is really the embodiment of all good things in life: dogs, pizza, ice cream etc. It’s something I’d recommend everyone to pick up not matter what your tastes in fiction are.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab (4 stars)
I really enjoyed this book from Schwab and thought it was a fantastic YA fantasy. The world Schwab built was fascinating and unlike any else I’ve ever read and the writing is enthralling and you do feel like you’re walking the halls of The Narrow and The Archive with Mackenzie. The characters were also brilliant and I loved every single one of them (hardly surprising because I always love Schwab’s characters). It’s also worth noting that this book deals heavily with grief – the pages are dripping with it and it’s dealt with brilliantly, it’s never forgotten or shoved under the rug. Overall, a great piece of work and it’s a shame it’s not recognised like Schwab’s later work. Read my full review here.
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (3 stars)
Unfortunately this book had one great, big, stinking flaw: it had little to no development. I felt like our characters weren’t developed in any way and the world building skidded to a stop – we didn’t learn anything more and I was desperately hoping we would after the first book. However this book was saved for me by the plot twists, which not everyone liked but I did, and the exploration and discussions surrounding not only mental health but empires in history. Overall though this book fell into the same trap many second books in a trilogy fall into: it’s a filler book. Read my full review here.
Audiobook: Lanny by Max Porter (4 stars)
I read this as part of my ‘Waterstone’s Book of The Month‘ series, and it’s not one I would have picked up if it hadn’t been for that series, but I’m really glad I was forced to! This is a fantastic mythical telling that focuses on the life of one young boy, Lanny, in an English village that the creature Dead Papa Toothwort has watched over for years. It’s an enchanting tale and not like anything else I’ve ever read. I also highly recommend that if you do pick this up to listen to the audiobook as it’s captivating and the narrators do such a good job. Read my full review here.
Descendant of The Crane by Joan He (4 stars)
I went into this book not knowing a lot about the plot or the concept, and then I was taken on an absolute roller-coaster of a plot. This really focuses on political warfare and deceit and there are so many twists and turns in here – some you can see, others you will not. It’s a very complicated but absolutely stunning book and I’m very impressed by the fact it’s a debut novel. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like there will be a sequel when there definitely should be a sequel to this! Read my full review here.
The Queen’s Assassin (The Queen’s Secret) by Melissa De La Cruz (1 star)
This was also a book I read as part of my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends‘ series. I actually had to change my rating of this book from a two to an one star after writing my review because I realised how much I hated it. This book had potential to be a solid YA fantasy but brought up tired tropes we’re sick of seeing in YA, and also somehow managed to fill a few hundred pages full of nothing. In a book you usually want to have at least a plot or some character development, and ideally both, but this book managed to have neither. I honestly can’t really remember the plot and both of the characters had little personality – honestly I’m not even sure what I read. Read my full review here.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (4 stars)
I read this as part of my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends‘ series. There was something about this book, and I’m not entirely sure what it was that sucked me in. I usually don’t enjoy zombie/the undead concept, I think it’s a bit a tired trope but this felt new and exciting. I really enjoyed the characters, they were all very distinct, and I think that paired with the history and commentary on American society really elevated this beyond a ‘zombie book’. It’s definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who is even slightly interested in it.
Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland (3 stars)
I read this as part of my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends‘ series. I wanted to love this book as much as the first one, but unfortunately this didn’t connect with me in the same way. Whilst this was still an enjoyable read I find it to be slow and repetitive at parts and I definitely had to force myself to read some of the chapters. As well as that the character’s didn’t feel as distinct as they did in the first book and I thought their voices became a little lost.
Ignite The Sun by Hanna C. Howard (3 stars)
This was a book I acquired through NetGallery. This is the first ever arc I’ve read so it was very exciting for me! I did enjoy this, I thought it had an interesting concept and whilst it was a concept that was similar to a lot other YA fantasies it did bring it’s own twists. I really liked the world-building and the mythology and it was fast paced with some action thrown in there too. However, my main problem with this book lies in how some things were introduced to give the characters a ‘get out of jail free card’ as it was clear the author had written herself into a corner.
When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman (4 stars)
This was a spontaneous reread for me, I wasn’t meant to pick it up but I’m glad I did. I remembered why I loved this book so much in the first place, because it makes me feel so much – I laughed and shed a tear or two throughout this. It’s truly meant to be a celebration of life with all the hardships and the good that comes along with it. Winman is evidently a very talented writer and I think I’ll be picking up more by her in the future.
I feel like I should also mention that this month I dnf’d ‘The Doll Factor’ by Elizabeth Macneal, you can read about why here.
April wasn’t a bad reading month for me, my average rating was higher than it was in March and I read a total of twelve book. How was your reading month?