Monthly reading wrap up – April 2021

I don’t know about you all but April felt a bit too long, like it just went for way too long. I don’t know. It was a slow month for me. It wasn’t practically the best month – we are battling the horrific implications of the second wave in India, and then we also experienced a massive earthquake some mornings ago, followed by multiple aftershocks. Honestly, I’ve been going to sleep fearing for me and my family’s lives.

The saving grace was the Shadow and Bone show that released on the 23rd of April. It brought some semblance of normal and happiness into the otherwise dire and mundane days.
Despite these, I did manage to continue with my reading. If nothing, the books kept me sane and engaged throughout. I might not have had a great reading month but it was good enough. Managing to read fifteen, here’s a list of them all with mini reviews accompanying them.

1. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta | Goodreads | 4 ⭐

This book had been on my TBR since it came out and I finally listened to its audiobook on Storytel. I enjoyed it! It was a really fun and exciting coming-of-age YA contemporary about a mixed-race gay teen grappling with his identity and growing into his best self. Listening to the audiobook was very fun because it was narrated by the author themselves. I think it’s the kind of book that you’d like to read on a light summer day, for fluff and joy.

You can check out the full review here. Also, using my link can get you a Storytel subscription for ninety days at just Rs. 375.

2. Monstrous Devices by Damien Love | Goodreads | 3 ⭐

Middle grade adventures are always fun to read and curl up with. So was this book. While not enough to keep me hooked throughout, as I did get a little bored in the middle, I still think MD had a very interesting plot. Monstrous tin robots, twisty reveals and a young boy in the midst of an adventure with his grandpa – it is one hell of a journey, not kidding. I think this book will appeal more to young readers but also those who enjoy a little youth adventure and magic.

Check out my full review here.

3. Cheer Up by Crystal Fraiser | Goodreads | 4 ⭐

This graphic novel was so fun. Quick and with vibrant art, I finished it in one sitting and was left with a wide smile on my face. Sweet love, friends-to-estranged-to-lovers is the kind it follows. I would have loved to see more of the cheering montages, which was the theme that the book was about primarily. But it overall focuses on important themes, has a great trans and lesbian rep, talks about body positivity too – so definitely pick it up! It’s just adorable!

4. Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young | Goodreads | 2 ⭐

When I read Girls with Sharp Sticks last year, I though it was a great thriller with a very unique plot. I really enjoyed the first book. However, I think a sequel wasn’t entirely necessary. At least, not a trilogy. GwRH was an okay book, in my opinion. I didn’t really feel that excitement that was there in the first book, and it just dragged a lot. A lot of unnecessary filler plotlines that I couldn’t bother about. It was just okay.

5. Girls with Rebel Souls by Suzanne Young | Goodreads | 2 ⭐

This was the last book in the above-mentioned trilogy and honestly, I could have done without this. It was such a letdown and I hated the kind of propaganda that it tried to portray – the kill all men energy was, in my opinion, a little disturbing and misleading in the name of feminism. As the second book, this one dragged too with unnecessary fillers, although the loose ends do meet up well. Still, the characters that I so enjoyed in the first book just had a complete change and became too YA-y. I just didn’t like this book as much as I was hoping too.

6. Toffee by Sarah Crossan | Goodreads | 3 ⭐

I wasn’t really expecting much from Toffee, if I’m honest. Last year I read one of Crossan’s works and loved her writing style. Similarly, the writing in Toffee was amazing too. So poetic and seamless and simply exquisite. She has a knack for explaining the minute emotions and details in very profound manner. While I didn’t care for the story in Toffee, I commend the themes that were portrayed.

7. Kill Creek by Scott Thomas | Goodreads | 2.5 ⭐

The blurb for this horror thriller is extremely intriguing – four horror authors in a supposed haunted house and then things start happening. That’s precisely why I picked it up for a buddy read. And well, we weren’t really sold. At least, I wasn’t entirely. It fell very flat and for 60% of the book, nothing much really happens. It is supposed to be horror but I really didn’t feel horror of any kind. Only in the last 40%, something little takes place and that too, is rushed. We don’t really get to delve into the why and how and reasons, which bothered me and drew me away from the story. The ultimate end twist was very nice and clever though, and that was my favorite. However, if I was bored throughout, only a great end cannot make up for it.

8. In Deeper Waters by F. T. Lukens | Goodreads | 3 ⭐

This book was such a fun read. A queer coming-of-age story set at the sea, filled with magic and friendship. I liked the world that the author created and how they worked around it. Majority of the story was set at sea and battling monsters (literally haha). I loved to see the character growth of the MC. The romance wasn’t the strong suit for me and I really didn’t like the way it got so cringy at the end. It was the very typical YA ‘I will die for you because I love you’ kind of thing that happened, which I’m not really fond of. Otherwise, I enjoyed this book.

You can read a full review here.

9. House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland | Goodreads | 3 ⭐

I picked this book up on a whim because the cover was too pretty to miss. Lol. Did I like it though? Uhh, I don’t know, really. It was a weird book and I wasn’t satisfied. At least, not with the turn of events at the end. It starts out so well and proceeds with a consecutive suspense filled aura. However, it was the end that truly threw me off. I was kind of guessing it from first few chapters but I really didn’t think that it’d be the truth haha. The end twist, climax or whatever it is was just weird and a cheap trick that I have seen being used in a lot of fantasy / horror shows, stories. I personally am not fond of it. However, I did love the writing style of the author and think that their narration is very beautiful and vivid. The book might have a few triggering elements so do keep that in mind (blood, gore, death).

10. The Passengers by John Marrs | Goodreads | 4 ⭐

This was my first John Mars and he did not disappoint. It was a rather slow burn thriller with enough twists and action to keep me hooked; I ended up finishing it within a day haha. I can’t say I loved it entirely but I did enjoy it and had a great time. Mars dealt with some really hard-hitting and important themes in this book through a science fiction outlook. It honestly terrified me of Al and the internet world after reading it and left me contemplating about the information I was sharing online. I loved the book because of that. The end climax wasn’t my absolute favorite and I thought it could’ve gone differently. It kind of dragged and at the same time, was too short at the end. The build up was very slow so at the end, we didn’t really get enough depth. Despite that, I think thriller fans will enjoy this!

11. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads | 5 ⭐

This was my third time reading this book and it still remains one of my favorite books ever. I loved it so much and even after three reads, the writing and plot and characters and their individual stories never fail to amaze me. I love this book so much ah!

12. The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan | Goodreads | 2 ⭐

This book was another case of interesting blurb but disappointing story. I was expecting a little more from this book, considering it dealt with fame and consequences of it. But the story was rather blank and the characters rather one dimensional. I didn’t like any of them, and for seventy percent of the book I kept waiting for something to happen. Even when it did, it was just brushed aside and took stage for a short time. I didn’t like that, how things were taken care of later. I also hated Rose and practically all of the characters, so there’s that. Honestly, so much could have been done with this story and I was just disappointed that the possibilities weren’t explored.
(tw: suicide, sexual assault)

13. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart | Goodreads | 2.5 ⭐

A hyped book that went into my TBR and left me disappointed. Again. It’s a fantasy and I don’t always do well with fantasies so I’m not even complaining. But with all the hype surrounding this book (not that much either, but still enough), and that beautiful cover – I was really expecting more. But what I got was half baked world, poor character and world building, dual POVs that legit sounded the same with no personality distinction, side characters that I couldn’t care less about, lousy plot filled with YA clichés. And on top of all that, whatever alliance the blurb promises happens for only two chapters and then we already see the events happening out smoothly. Haha. Urm what? Like, if you promised me an enemies-to-alliance story, give me that? Give me more banter and show me what the enemies are planning behind each other’s backs? Give me something other than them meeting once, planning and then executing the plan out in the very next chapter. I mean, come one. And that alliance also happens after almost 60% into the story, the first half just simply dragging. It was boring, I was annoyed and it just wouldn’t end. It kept on dragging and dragging with little chapters at the end and I just somehow kept skimming because I wanted to get over with it.

You can read my full review here.

14. The One by John Marrs | Goodreads | 4 ⭐

Second John Mars book and I can see his writing style. Yeah, literally. An ensemble of characters from the nobody to the popular, rich, all with their nasty secrets. Same as in The Passengers. Here though, it dealt with DNA soulmate matches. And how it can go wrong. Scary. I enjoyed reading it and though it was a much faster plot than Passengers. The storyline is extremely unique and exciting, dealt with very nicely by the author. The individual polylines here do not necessarily add up but they matter. I didn’t really bother about a few of the individuals but liked some. At the end, I think it’s a stellar thriller and great for lovers of the same, as well as beginners of the genre.

15. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads | 5 ⭐

Ah, what a great book to end the month with, right? My absolute favorite duology and this was my third reread and I love it even more than the first time. Honestly, from chapter 39, I just started crying and couldn’t well see through my tears, and I was just an emotional mess. But its okay. Its okay, yeah.

So, these were my April reads. Do you spot any favorites, any similar reads, any on your TBRs? Honestly though, I think, not bad. I have read nearly sixty books till now, which I think I’m really proud of. Not all the books have been rewarding but I’ve found quite a few favorites this year already. I’m a huge mood reader so I’m excited to see what my moods will lead me to read next month in May.

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