April Reading Wrap-up and Goal Check-in
1. Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc (253 pages) (Nonfiction) (5 ⭐️)
This book discusses disability representation in fairy tales both historically and more currently. I picked this up because it was recommended by one of my favorite booktubers (BooksandLala) and because, as I've mentioned before on this blog, I am a fairy tale fanatic. The book addresses the ableism that is rampant in fairy tales and how this has played a role in the way society views and treats people with disabilities. I took a lot away from this both as a writer of fairy tale inspired YA fantasy novels and just as a person existing in this world wanting to be more empathetic.
Read if: I firmly believe everyone should read this as it's eye opening and will make you more conscious of the way you treat others.
Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3732344949
2. Bone Crier's Moon by Kathryn Purdie (YA Fantasy) (453 pages) (4 ⭐️)
Bone criers (women who ferry the souls of the dead to the afterlife) must face an initiation in which they seduce and kill their true loves. This was a reread for me to prepare for reading the recently released sequel. The novel is great for fall as it features ghosts and not so great for the claustrophobic reader as a major setting are catacombs. One of the protagonists, Sabine, is one of my all time favorite characters. The book's greatest strengths are world building, pacing, and writing already established relationships. It's weaknesses are its use of insta-love and plot conveniences.
Read if: You want a YA fantasy featuring some fierce females and lots of action.
Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3911042281
3. Bone Crier's Grace by Kathryn Purdie (434 pages) (YA Fantasy) (2.5 ⭐️)
The sequel to Bone Crier's Moon and picks up immediately following the events of the first novel (see above). Compared to the first one which I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel was a major let down. The issues I had with Purdie's writing of relationships was exacerbated, the first half of the plot felt like a clone of the first novel, and the author contradicted her own world building. The only things semi-saving this novel were the action scenes and the plot in the second half of the novel as well as how the story wrapped up.
Read if: Just read the first book and then use your imagination as to what happens after its cliffhanger. It's a fun exercise in imagination and inevitably less disappointing.
4. Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar (288 pages) (Nonfiction) (5 ⭐️)
Written by a documentary filmmaker who became obsessed with the mystery, The Dyatlov Pass Incident is when nine experienced Russian hikers disappeared in the Ural Mountains in 1959. The book documents his investigation into what happened to them. As with Disfigured I got this recommendation from BooksandLala. The book's structure, which alternates between a recount of known events leading up the hiker's demises and Eichar's own research and journeys to Russia, is engaging. Eichar is committed to the facts and gives the story back its human element rather than sensationalizing things.
Read if: You're looking for a solid book on the case.
Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3925231153
5. Night Film by Marisha Pessl (592 pages) (Adult Mystery) (3.75 ⭐️)
Disgraced reporter Scott McGrath blames elusive horror filmmaker Stanislaus Cordova for his misfortune. When Cordova's 24 year old daughter Ashley turns up dead he decides to investigate in the hopes of exposing a dark truth about Cordova as revenge. In many ways it was a thrilling read with its unsettling atmosphere, the dynamic between the three main characters, and the way mixed media was incorporated. Unfortunately, the book's protagonist is incredibly problematic. He's transphobic, racist, and misogynistic. Therefore, I can't recommend it as it is offensive and could trigger lots of people.
Read if: You're looking for an adult version of the A Good Girl's Guide to Murder series (and don't think the contents will be triggering/upsetting to you).
Full Review (if you're still interested): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3933872344
6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (288 pages) (Adult Sci-fi) (5 ⭐️)
A down on her luck, depressed woman (Nora Seed) decides to end her life. When she does she ends up in an in-between place known as the Midnight Library where she gets the chance to experience her life over and over again but each time she made a different choice that altered her path. This book was so important to me, someone who suffers with mental health conditions including depression. It's well written and has a message of hope without trivializing depression. It's a new favorite of mine.
Read if: You want a phenomenal novel with accurate mental health representation.
7. What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer (88 pages) (Poetry Collection) (4⭐️)
This collection contains poetry about womanhood, marriage, and motherhood. I think Baer is a good poet and there were some standouts in this collection. However, I don't think I'm the target audience. Yes, I am a woman, but I couldn't relate to the poems about being a wife or mother as I am neither and have no desire to get married anytime soon or to ever have children. As a poet myself, though, I can appreciate the style and word choice if not the content itself.
Read if: You're a wife and mom or a child looking for a good Mother's Day gift.
My 5 Favorite Poems: First Love, Moon Song, Ode to My Desire, Little Miracles, Back to School Shopping (the best one)
8. Well Met by Jen DeLuca (316 pages) (Adult Romance) (5 ⭐️)
Emily is spending the summer in the small town of Willow Creek taking care of her niece after her sister was injured in a car accident. She volunteers in the town's annual Renaissance Faire where she meets the uptight Simon and an enemies-to-lovers romance ensues. I'm generally not an enemies-to-lovers fan because the romances often feel under cooked. This one, however, was an exception as the chemistry between Emily and Simon was off the charts.
Read if: You like Hallmark movies but wish they were steamier.
Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3955108120
9. The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis (348 pages) (YA Fantasy) (5 ⭐️)
In the dust filled land on Arketta there are girls who live in welcome houses, forced to pleasure men. When one of them (Clementine) kills a patron she, her sister (Aster) and their friends (Mallow, Violet, and Tansy) flee in the night. This novel was recommended to me via a book recommendation serivce (more on that in a later blog) and they hit the nail on the head. I liked the uniqueness of the world, the characterization (particularly of Aster), and the fast paced, gun totting adventures.
Read if: You want a wild, wild (west) adventure.
Full Review: Coming soon to the blog!
TOTAL PAGES READ (APR): 3,060 (avg. book length: 340 pages)
TOTAL PAGES READ (YTD): 11,462 (avg. book length: 358.19 pages)
AVERAGE STAR RATING (APR): 39.25 ⭐️ (4.36 avg. rating)
AVERAGE STAR RATING (YTD): 133.75/160 ⭐️ (4.18 avg. rating)
1. Read at least 60 books
I read 9 books in April. This means that I have read a total of 32 books this year. I'm officially over halfway to my goal and according to Goodreads 13 books ahead of schedule.
2. Have at least one book a month be a reread
I completed 1 reread in April: Bone Crier's Moon by Kathryn Purdie. This means I completed my goal for the month.
3. Read at least 1-2 adult books a month
I completed 3 adult books in April. They were: Night Film by Marisha Pessl, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, and Well Met by Jen DeLuca. This means I met my goal for this month.
4. Read at least 10 nonfiction and/or poetry books
I read two nonfiction: Disfigured by Amanda Leduc and Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar and one poetry collection: What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer. To date I've read 3 nonfiction and 2 poetry books putting my goal at 50% complete.
5. Post a blog every weekend unless ill and/or recovering from surgery
I posted a blog every Saturday this month meaning I completed my goal for the month.