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Springing into April with Books | April Wrap-up

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Hello Book Lovers!

Can you believe it's already May? I sure can't! Nonetheless, this month we hit 9 books!! I'm on the come up and am glad to be getting back into the reading saddle. With that being said, I will be giving condensed reviews of each read again, but if you would like me to elaborate on any reads, just let me know in the comments down below! Ok, this month's books were: Normal People by Sally Rooney, Shatter Me and Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Honeymoon Prize by Melissa McClone, Beach Read by Emily Henry, A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler, 1984 by George Orwell, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur.

Normal People by: Sally Rooney

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Whew! You still with me? OK, so let's begin with Normal People. I purchased this book on a whim, when I found out it was being made into a Hulu series, and read it on my Kindle without much context on what this book was about. With that being said, Rooney truly is an incredible writer. Many of the pages I read were raw and telling of the author's ability to write with vulnerability and hard truths about society. Marianne and Connell were definitely a toxic couple, but they had tender moments. They were not the most likeable characters, but I still wanted them to end up alright. Overall, the book's ending is what caused me to drop 2 star ratings from this book. Another reason for the dropping of the stars includes the fact that Marianne's health and well-being were't as addressed in this book, at least not as much as I would have liked. Oh, and one more thing! This book's ending felt like we were cut-off mid-chapter and left me quite irritated. How can you end a book like that? Anyway, this book was a 3.5 out of 5 stars for me, but I still had a good time reading it, until the end.

Shatter Me & Destroy Me by: Tahereh Mafi


Up next, I will be doing Shatter Me and Destroy Me together because they were grouped together in the ebook I purchased. Shatter Me is the first book in this series, and Destroy Me is a novella from the perspective of the villain (and potential love interest?) of the first book, Warner. Now let me just start by saying, wow, the writing style was not my favorite. I almost considered not finishing this book because of it. BUT, the love triangle was one of the few that exist, where I don't know who the heroine will choose. Is it bad that I almost want it to be Warner? Regardless, I'm hooked and might have to read this series as a guilty pleasure, but it's still a 2 out of 5 stars from me.

The Honeymoon Prize by: Melissa McClone


The Honeymoon Prize, was also more like a novella than a full novel, but it was definitely a cute, quick-read. A friends-to-lovers romance that has to do with a fake marriage and a reality show honeymoon in Hawaii. Intrigued? You should read it! It's quick and won't take up too much time. A 2 out of 5 stars for the lack of development in this novel, but still fun!

Now for my Book of the Month picks for April: Beach Read and A Good Neighborhood. Both of these reads were fantastic and had me thinking about them after I put them down.

Beach Read by: Emily Henry


Beach Read was truly everything I needed from reading this month and more! This book comes out May 19th, but if you want it early, you should check out Book of the Month, you can get your first book for $10 with my referral.

This book is a story about January and Gus. January, an accomplished romance writer, is going through some tough life events as of late, and decides to move from NYC to Michigan for awhile until she's back on her feet. Gus, her next door neighbor and college arch-nemesis, is an accomplished literary fiction writer whose signature book element is the lack of happy endings. They challenge each other to write in their opposing genre categories; and a bet ensues with Taylor Swift references and visits to ex-members of cults. This book was so much more than a romance, it had authentic characters that had realistic conflicts and a romance that was built on friendship and understanding first. The love story of January and Gus was worth every page! 5 out of 5 stars!!

A Good Neighborhood by: Therese Anne Fowler


A Good Neighborhood, broke me and had me gasping at the last couple of pages. You will not guess how this book ends! Heartbreaking, raw and beautiful. Although my heart broke, I learned a necessary truth about the realities of our justice system, when it comes to race and prejudice. I don't want to say much on this book because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, but it was good. If you are a fan of Little Fires Everywhere, which I am, this book would be a good one to put on your TBR.

I thought it would be problematic for a white author to attempt to write about the black experience. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find that because the town is the narrator, it was easier for the author to express her opinions regarding the issues in the book, without it seeming controversial to me. If you read the book or are going to, can you give me your opinions on white authors writing about the black experience? I'm curious to see how you all feel about this. 4 out of 5 stars from me, mainly because it was a slow build, but once get into the plot, you won't stop until you finish!

1984 by: George Orwell


"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." - George Orwell, 1984

Holy mother of 1984! George Orwell, you know your way with words. Why have I not read his stuff before this point?! This book will have me thinking about it for years to come; and, will be accompanying Fahrenheit 451 and Jane Eyre among my favorite books of all time!

Although, I am not going to lie to you; Orwell's long-winded explanations of the history of this dystopian society slowed down my reading progress a bit at the end there. But, well worth it! Even the slower bits were incredible and had me mesmerized in thought. Can you guess what I gave this? A 5 out of 5 stars you say! Then yes, you would be right!

Howl's Moving Castle by: Diana Wynne Jones


I read Howl's Moving Castle for a book club my friends and I started this year, The Secret Ingredient Book Club, and was surprised by how immersive this world was! With that being said, I still feel that this book would have benefitted in being a collection of short stories, rather than a novel. The book felt like many vignettes strung together to attempt to make a full vision of a novel, that left the reader feeling unsatisfied and wanting more. Great concept, weak execution. Overall, I actually prefer the movie to the book, I know I was shocked too!

Because this was a children's book, I thought it would be fun to read it to my cousins Christopher and Lesley. They enjoyed the sassy characters and loved seeing them come to life when we watched the movie after we finished the book. Calcifer was a fan-favorite! The book ending felt a bit rushed to us and the movie felt more complete. With that being said, I still had fun with this book, so for that I give a 3 out of 5 stars!

Milk & Honey by: Rupi Kaur


Milk & Honey is the last book to finish off this wrap-up and it was a great way to end. Kaur's poems are very raw and vulnerable, and although people call her work overrated, I applaud her for putting a piece of herself out there. I love the above passage from her book, and look to it often for a reminder that I am so much more than my appearance. This book is a quick read, but it's a great way to get you reading and feeling inspired, so for that I give it a 4/5 stars.

And that's all from me folks, see ya next month for the May Wrap-Up:)

Keep it Authentic


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