Well, April was an excellent reading month for me. I finished reading all the books I’m reviewing in May…and their reviews.
Books Read in April: 35
Books Read for the Year: 99/200
Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:
Finding Your Way Back to God, by Dave Ferguson (spiritual). This wasn’t quite what I was looking for, but I enjoyed the real-life stories.
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë (classic). It’s been a long time since I read this…and I loved it all over again!
Perennials, by Julie Cantrell (TBR). Okay, I’ll just say it: I loved this book! Well-done Southern fiction is my jam. And this was well-done. I sympathized so much with Lovey. This book made me laugh, cry, and remember everything I love about the South.
A Shadow Bright and Burning, by Jessica Cluess (TBR). I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit, and I’m looking forward to reading more.
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys (TBR). This was just kind of “meh” for me. Too many POVs, for one thing. And the time with each character was so short, I never really felt comfortable in their heads.
The Secrets They Left Behind, by Lissa Marie Redmond. A thriller about a cop who goes undercover as a college student to catch whoever is behind the disappearance of three female college students. I enjoyed this a lot!
How to Have a Better Relationship with Anyone, by James Hilt (review forthcoming). This is a solid read, with a very relatable voice.
Miss Austen, by Gill Hornby. This is the story of Jane Austen’s sister, what it was like living with her famous sister, and her struggle to keep the family reputation intact. A good read, but not really a cheerful one.
Copycat Killer, by Laura Scott. I love faith-based books and romantic suspense novels, so combining the two should have been a win for me. However, I found this to be insta-love with the faith aspect barely mentioned…and the main murder mystery barely mentioned as well.
The Stolen Letter, by Paige Shelton. A woman who thinks she was a queen in a past life. A plot to close a bookstore secretly for nefarious purposes. A murder investigation. This was a fun read, even if I hadn’t read the first four books in the series!
Truths I Never Told You, by Kelly Rimmer. Long-hidden family secrets come to life in this quiet family drama.
The Engineer’s Wife, by Tracey Enerson Wood. PT Barnum was my favorite character in this historical fiction novel and I enjoyed the look at the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, but the main characters weren’t entirely sympathetic for me.
Braised Pork, by An Yu. Okay, I’m not going to lie: the only reason I finished reading this was because it was so short. Thee was some magical realism in this, but the whole thing seemed kind of pointless. Creative name, though not really related to anything.
The Stone of Sorrow, by Brooke Carter. I enjoyed this Icelandic (sort of) fantasy, with Norse myths and legends come to life. A little more character development would have been nice, but it was a decent beginning to a new series.
The Queen of Paris, by Pamela Binnings Ewen. This is the story of Coco Chanel during the great war, and I have to say, she was pretty self-absorbed and oblivious of everything but her own concerns.
The Golden Flea, by Michael Rips. This is so far outside my wheelhouse—but I totally enjoyed it! It’s about the Chelsea Flea Market and the people and treasures found there, and ended up being absolutely fascinating.
My Name is Tani…and I Believe in Miracles, by Tani Adewumi. The inspirational story of a family who fled Nigeria for asylum in America, and their youngest son, who became a chess champion after less than a year of playing.
Feels Like Falling, by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I actually liked the secondary characters more than the main characters, and their interactions made the book a fun read. Gray was pretty spoiled/oblivious to reality, so I wasn’t a big fan of hers, but this is an easy read.
Seven Endless Forests, by April Geneviebe Tucholke. This is set in the same world as The Boneless Mercies, which was a fantastic read! I enjoyed this a lot, but the ending felt really rushed.
The Summer Villa, by Melissa Hill. I enjoyed reading about vacationing in Italy…but two out of three of the main characters were pretty self-absorbed and unlikable. This also seemed a little too good to be true, frankly. I mean, who really falls in love with a gorgeous Italian man while on vacation…and it’s mutual? That’s possibly every woman’s fantasy, but it isn’t reality.
Sugar and Vice, by Eve Calder. This was a fun cozy mystery, and I intend to go back and read the first of the series since I enjoyed this one so much.
Finding Balance, by Kati Gardner (review forthcoming). Loved this #ownvoices YA read!
The Secrets of Love Story Bridge, by Phaedra Patrick. This was a solid read, but I wasn’t in love with it.
Her Hidden Hope, by Jill Lynn (review forthcoming). This was an excellent inspirational romance! Sometimes they can feel a bit preachy, but this one does not fall into that category.
The Paris Hours, by Alex George (review forthcoming). to be honest, I didn’t care much for this. Or, I should say, I’m neutral. I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters, so it was hard to care what was happening to them. And it felt really sloooow.
This is How I Lied, by Heather Gudenkauf (review forthcoming). The idea that 1995 was 25 years ago kept tripping me up here, as half the story was set in 1995, the rest in the present-day. I didn’t really like any of the characters, so I wasn’t a huge fan of this. And the sister is crazy!
Breath Like Water, by Anna Jarzab (review forthcoming). I LOVED this! I don’t know a thing about competitive swimming, and only slightly more than nothing about bipolar disorder, but I was entranced by this novel from the first page.
Carolina Breeze, by Denise Hunter (review forthcoming). I love this series of wonderful inspirational romances!
Her Amish Suitor’s Secret, by Carrie Lighte (review forthcoming). This was a sweet, enjoyable romance, although there were a couple of things that made me question the portrayal of Amish life. However…that could be my own ignorance talking, and I liked this.
On Ocean Boulevard, by Mary Alice Monroe (review forthcoming). I loved the sea turtle and conservation aspects of this, but I didn’t have much connection with the characters, except Cara. I do love Southern fiction though!
Sister Dear, by Hannah Mary McKinnon. (review forthcoming). So…this didn’t end like I expected, which is good. But I disliked all the characters, so there’s that. These people are not right.
Of Silver and Shadow, by Jennifer Gruenke (review forthcoming). This was an excellent fantasy read!
The Summer Set, by Aimee Agresti (review forthcoming). I enjoyed all the Shakespeare, but…these characters read more like young teenagers that 40-somethings. Selfish, willful, no consideration for anyone besides themselves…and everyone was sleeping with everyone else. (Not that I’m saying teenagers do all that, but these people were completely immature and vapid.)
Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey, by Abigail Wilson (review forthcoming). I enjoyed this murder mystery mixed with lots of family drama.
Valentine, by Elizabeth Wetmore. I read 25% of this, but…it was a little too dark and gritty and depressing for me right now, especially considering current dark events. Definitely my issue, not the novel’s.
Queen of the Owls, by Barbara Linn Probst. I think I made it about 10-15% of the way through this, but the voice was too depressing for me to slog through. Just not a good fit.
Bubblegum, by Adam Levin. Just no. That is all.