Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing with you my April wrap up. It’s hard to believe that we’re already into the month of May, but I’m excited for the warmer weather! I had a fairly good reading month in April, but I’m still feeling a bit like I’m in a reading slump since I haven’t read quite as many books as I’m used to reading.
Before I get into the books themselves, lets talk about stats! Of the five books that I finished, five of them were fantasy and one was a mystery. One was published in 2019 and the rest were all 2021 releases, with one being an ARC. My ratings were: two 5 star, one 4.5 star, one 4 star, and one 3.5 star. I finally read something other than an e-book, with three of the books I read being hardcovers! Finally, three books were between 400-500 pages, and the other two were in the 300 page range.
This is a fantasy romance with undead assassins and Pokemon-like creatures that are tamable only by beast charmers. Leena is an exile charmer who wants to earn the right to return home after she was betrayed by someone she loved, and Noc is an assassin with a shadowy past, although we do get glimpses throughout the book of who he was, and it will clearly play a big role in the next book. I really liked the idea of the beasts and the magic was interesting. The part I think I liked the most were the characters themselves, although I do wish the chemistry between Leena and Noc was more intense. I liked the first book enough to immediately order book 2 and preorder the third, in addition to getting a physical copy of the first book (since I read this as an e-book).
This book was making the rounds on the internet before (and after) it’s release, and it was also chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. With all that hype, I had to read it and it lived up to my expectations! This is a thriller about an Ojibwe teen who gets pulled into an investigation after she witnesses a murder. I loved Daunis and learning about her culture, and I just COULD NOT put this one down for long! I thought I knew what was going on, but every time I thought I had it figured out another twist would come along. I highly recommend this one and I think everyone should give it a shot.
Black Water Sister by Zen Cho – ★★★★☆
I was lucky enough to have an e-ARC for this book which releases on May 11th. We follow Jess who moves back to Malaysia with her family only to be haunted by the spirit of her grandmother, Ah Ma. I liked the writing and it was easy to fly through this book. I loved how the paranormal aspects were woven into Malaysian culture, and I wasn’t expecting how dark it got at times. I did like Ah Ma, but she made some choices that I questioned and didn’t seem to truly care about Jess as a person, rather as just a means to an end. I enjoyed seeing Jess grow as a character and how she learned to stand up for herself. This book has a big focus on vengeance which led to the characters getting into some sticky situations. Big trigger warnings for sexual assault and kidnapping.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna – ★★★★☆ .5
I read this book so quickly! I loved the idea of the alaki and the deathshrieks and the way that the two groups were interwoven. I felt so angry for the characters because of the oppression and hate they faced and I enjoyed how Deka and her friends didn’t let the patriarchal society beat them down. The reasons I didn’t give it a full 5 star is because I felt like the romance lacked chemistry and development and I wish the ending wasn’t as rushed, but I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel!
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland – ★★★☆☆ .5
So this was a tough book for me to rate, because I loved the different elements in this book but I wasn’t in love with the book itself and I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t love this as much as I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed reading it and I do recommend this for people who like creepy body horror type books. It was so strange and gave me the creeps (in a good way), but there were too many things left unexplained for me. I definitely know now that I don’t really like open endings and unresolved plot lines. The mystery surrounding the sisters though was so intriguing and I had so many theories, none of which turned out to be true!
What books did you read in April? Have you read any of these books, and if so, what were your thoughts? I’d love to chat!