Goodbye April, and hello May!
Happy Sunday bookworms. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Here we are again to wrap-up another month. April was a crazy month for me for many reasons: I attended TWO book festivals, read lots of books to prepare for those festivals, redesigned my blog, and was out of town 3 weekends out of the month. Because of this craziness I didn’t get much up on the blog in April, BUT I can promise you that May is going to be awesome 🙂
Since the end of the month fell on a Sunday this month, I decide to combine my weekly wrap-up into this monthly wrap-up.
I did pretty well with my April TBR if I don’t say so myself. Out of the 8 books I was hoping to read, I finished 6 of them and started 1 other. I’d call that a success. In April, I read a total of 12 books…
*Book titles link to Goodreads
» Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb
*Part of my Ohioana Book Fest TBR
Summary of feelings: I’m really conflicted over this one. On one hand, there were many great aspects about this middle grade book, but on the other I think the author may have been a little too ambitious with all the “heavy topics” that she included in one book. With all these “heavy topics” plus the alternating timeline, this book felt very busy to me. This book had some good things going for it: themes like friendship, family, and community. I also really liked the portrayal of growing up in a catholic school, as it brought me lots of nostalgia.
» The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
*Part of my Ohioana Book Fest TBR
Summary of feelings: I really adored this book. At the core, The Seventh Most Important Thing is about not judging others, but it is also a story of loss, grief, guilt, and friendship. I had no idea this book is based off of true events, though I won’t share which parts because it is better going in not knowing until the end like I did. I think this would be a wonderful book to use in a classroom setting.
» The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett
*SOKY Book Fest TBR
Summary of feelings: The Magician’s Assistant is about loss, grieving, and family secrets, and less about getting on stage and assisting a magician… I would label it more of a “journey to self-discovery” kind of book. While I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, it did end up falling short in the end. I think my main complaint is that I felt like the book was building up towards a climax, but it never came. I was also anticipating a profound resolution at the end, but again it never came… I just didn’t feel satisfied when I came to the end.
» Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth by Jennifer Chiaverini
*Part of my Ohioana Book Fest TBR
Summary of feelings: I really enjoyed how Chiaverini chose to tell John Wilkes Booth’s story through the eyes of the women who “knew” and loved him best. I was familiar with Mary Surratt’s side of things, but I had never read about John Wilkes Booth’s parents & siblings, nor his (alleged) fiancé’s side of things. Fates and Traitors is a slower paced novel with LONG chapters. There were parts of this book that were a little dense due to a lot of “info dump” and filler details going on, but overall my attention was held for the majority of this book. I would recommend this book to historical fiction lovers, but caution those who don’t typically read within the genre.
» White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Summary of feelings: I have no idea what my feelings are about this book. Fitch is a beautiful writer! Her writing is so lush and poetic. HOWEVER I wonder if it was a little over my head and if I missed what the author was trying to say in some parts… but I did enjoy this book! If you are a fan of poetry, I would highly recommend this one to you!
» Pillage by Obert Sky
*Part of my SOKY Book Fest TBR
Summary of feelings: This one was not my cup of tea. I had a hard time connecting to the author’s writing style… it felt a little too basic, even for a middle grade read. The storyline and characters were cheesy and cliché if I’m being honest. I contemplated DNFing it a few different times, but ultimately decided to stick with it to see if things picked up.
» Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Summary of feelings: This was such a unique and heartwarming read. Quirky characters are my absolute favorite, so Willow Chance is a new favorite. If you liked books like A Man Called Ove, The One-in-a-Million Boy, and even Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, I think you’d enjoy this one. This is one of those books where there isn’t much going on plot wise, but it’s more about the characters and relationships.
» love, and you by Gretchen Gomez
Summary of feelings: I finally got the chance to pick up Gretchen’s (@ChicNerdReads ) poetry book! This is such a raw & honest account of what it’s like to be in the clutches of a toxic relationship. I feel like I was given personal access into Gretchen’s soul. I will have a review up soon 🙂
» Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
Summary of feelings: I had no idea this was actually a short story… had I known I probably would have read it much sooner. I think the print version is 55 pages? The audiobook is only an hour long. I don’t tend to like short stories because I like to spend time with the story and allow for character development, I don’t tend to get that in a short story or collection of short stories. I also don’t typically read romance books, or books where the romance is the central plot. I was very hesitant going into this book. Surprisingly enough, I actually enjoyed it. I think this could have definitely been a full length book though, and wish it was.
» Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Summary of feelings: I know lots of people didn’t care for this book, but I actually enjoyed it. The way this book is laid out reminded me a bit of the TV show Lost, in the sense that the event happens first, then we go back and forth between the present and the lives of the characters leading up to the event. Now, I wouldn’t say this book is a “thriller” in the traditional sense. Since the book focuses more on the characters and their back stories, I would say this book felt more like a mystery. We know the “what” but now we need to know the “who” and the “why.” Despite it not being an action packed read, I still would consider it a page turner. I’m sure some people may have been disappointed with the ending, but I actually liked how everything panned out. The scariest part about this is that I could totally see this happening in real life, which is terrifying to think about. It was all very believable.
I would caution people to NOT read this book on a plane lol
» Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Summary of feelings: This book gave me Fox and the Hound (minus the hound) feels. What a beautiful story about a boy & the love for his pet fox. If you enjoyed books like Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Shiloh, then I would recommend this book to you.
»The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
I became a fan of Kristy Cambron after reading her WWII historical fiction books: The Butterfly and the Violin and A Sparrow in Terezin. The Illusionist’s Apprentice is less historical fiction and more cozy mystery. I am just not a cozy mystery fan. This book was set in the 1920’s , but I didn’t really get enough of that “roaring 20s” feel. I also didn’t really feel a connection to the characters or the love story. I enjoyed reading this, but I think I prefer Cambron’s WWII historical fiction to this. I would recommend this one to cozy mystery fans.
I am now 50% through my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 90 books this year. I would really like to hit 100 books, but I also don’t want to put so much pressure on my reading, which is why I set my goal to 90. I’m just going to keep on chugging along and see how it goes 🙂
Top 5 Wednesdays
*These are posts I read over the past week or so
» CW @Read Think Ponder shares some book reviewing help → Stuck? Prompts for Writing ‘Positive’ Book Reviews! #1
» Ashleigh @A Frolic Through Fiction asks if you are loud and proud about your blogging status →Let’s Talk: Do you wear your blogger status proudly?
» Cait @Paper Fury talks about blogger guilt → 10 Things #BookBloggers Should Absolutely Not Feel Guilty About
» Aimal @Bookshelves & Paperbacks shares some adult book recs for the YA reader →Adult Books for YA Readers
*These are articles I read over the past week or so
*I’m dying. Seriously.
*I got Charlotte! I knew it!
*Just call me Scarlett Cameron Winchester
Which books did you read in April?
Have you read any of the books I read this month? If so, what did you think?
Comment below and let me know 🙂