I did not do well with the reading challenges I based my April TBR on. Oops.
I guess I did more mood reading than planned reading, which isn’t a bad thing… it just means my O.W.L.S. didn’t go like I thought they would. I still passed 5 subjects, just not the ones I intended to “sit for.” Here is a link back to what I thought I would read this month.
And here is what I ended up reading-
I started the month by finishing up Illuminae (hardcover borrowed from the library) and A Court of Thorns and Roses (audiobook).
I LOVED Illuminae. I had sooo many thoughts and feels. All the feels. I wrote this post when I finished it. Five Stars, no question.
Now…. ACOTAR…. how do I feel about ACOTAR? I enjoyed it. A lot. I really loved all the Beauty and the Beast elements of it. It also kind of reminded me of the relationship of Bill and Sookie (in the books at least, I never watched True Blood) especially when Feyre learns that their meet-cute was less cute and more contrived. And then there’s Feyre’s mistrust to friend to supernatural bond with Rhysand, which reminded me of Sookie and Eric. I have waited so long to read this series and made the mistake of looking for fan art so I am spoiled for a certain plot point… which everyone in the fandom is more than happy with, and is only a minor point of the series… but I was happy with ACOTAR as a stand alone, and so I’m in no rush to continue the series. I KNOWWWWW…. I can hear the ACOMAF groupies sharpening their pitchforks and coming for me. I know.
I also know that I didn’t plan on finishing the Dorothy Must Die Series, or continuing the Red Queen series… but here I am done with one and seriously considering the other. So never say never.
I couldn’t finish Illuminae without devouring Gemina and Obsidio next, so that’s exactly what I did. FIVE STARS to both! All the stars!!! This entire series is so intense and so much fun. My poor husband had to deal with me exclaiming out loud, laughing, gasping, hyperventilating, and otherwise trying to engage him and explain things to him…. he tries, poor thing, he tries to feign an interest and follow along.
The Illuminae Files, as amazing as they are, are not bedtime reads for me. No way. Too intense. I’ve been doing my best to stay ahead of any anxiety triggers that will keep me up all night, so instead of reading those books to fall asleep, I read Wires and Nerves vol. 1, the graphic novel continuation of the Lunar Chronicles. I gave it 3 stars. Actually, 3 1/2 but there’s no half stars on Goodreads and it definitely doesn’t get rounded up to 4 stars in my opinion. I’m torn as to whether I appreciated a quick and easy dose of the story I love, or if I would have preferred a fuller story in a standard novel format. I liked the story. I appreciated Iko’s perspective and identity crisis. But the art style itself was disappointing to me. I realize the series itself is YA, but this felt almost middle grade level…which I do still enjoy reading… but not when you’re continuing a story that’s been established for an older target audience, literally picking up where the novels left off. I think I would have preferred a richer art style, but was still able to enjoy this and will continue on to vol 2.
I read LOTS of Fables this month- volumes 4 through 8. Overall, I’m obsessed with this series. Fractured fairy tales are always right up my alley. A few of the volumes, though, fell really flat for me… my favorite characters went away.. but they’re back now and I’m so glad!
I started playing A Wolf Among Us. Now, I am not a gamer, I kind of wish I was… it would take my nerdness to all new levels… but I am terrible at video games. Still, when I learned there was a game that follows Bigby Wolf and is a prequel to the Fables graphic novels, I HAD to try it. It’s definitely the right game for me. Lots of animated sequences to watch and clues to collect. The whole murder-mystery, crime-solving story line really makes that bachelor’s degree in criminal justice investigative services (that I’m NOT using) worth it.
I listened to All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The dual perspective first person POV is really well done. I loved BOTH characters. And honestly I really related to Quinn- I’ve said things being dumb and naive, and just NOT appreciating the depth of racism as it STILL EXISTS TODAY. The story does a great job at demonstrating the dangers of learned subtle racism. This book made me angry. This book made me sad. As it should. I literally cried during the last chapter. This was a very good book and I hope that middle and high schools assign it. I gave it 5 stars, which may have been generous, but the way it approaches the subject gains it a star that the writing alone might not have. Also, the audiobook narrators did a really good job… for the most part…. there was a nurse that I wish would have been read differently, though.
In March I read The Upside of Unrequited and LOVED it, which means in April I just had to read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I both read and listened to this… which is something I love getting to do- read when I can, listen when I’m busy. I LOVED it. I love the friendship dynamics and the happy supportive family. Yeah there’s a bit of drama (I actually got really upset when Simon gets outed to his school), but it was just a really light, feel-good, cheesy but not gag worthy read. Becky Albertalli is officially an auto-read author. Her books are really good for coming down from something more intense.
On that note, I actually used Upside of Unrequited to help me calm down one night when I felt anxiety and insomnia taking over. The audio was available through my library app and it was exactly what I needed after sitting through a really upsetting church service that, honestly, scared the shit out of me. It was a family member’s church… never again! Yikes. So yeah, thank goodness for Molly and Reid. I loved the book just as much this time as the first time. Five star status maintained.
My book club’s choice for the month was White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi. I’ve really wanted to read Oyeyemi, but I didn’t know quite what to expect. This book was bizarre. At first I didn’t know what rating to give it. I was thinking somewhere between 2 or 3.5 stars, because on one hand…what the fuck was that? But on the other hand… woah. creepy. gothic. oh so visual. I felt like I was reading a nightmare. (Definitely a change from Simon!) It took me about 90 pages to think I might like it. Before that, it was so confusing. The narrative shifts POV without warning, and one of those POVs is the actual house! It’s hard to figure out when exactly things are happening, too. Once Miri goes to college (about halfway through the book) does it finally start to follow some sort of progression that makes sense. It was very surreal.
I don’t watch horror movies, but as I read it I could pause and picture how it would play out on screen, so that was kind of cool. After my book club’s meeting for this book, I realized I am quite enthusiastic about it, and I ended up giving it 4 stars because it gave so much to think about and I know will stick with me.
My last read of the month was a re-read of Ready Player One. This was a five star book for me the first time I read it. while I still enjoyed it, this wasn’t the same cant-put-down-must-finish-in-a-day experience. I’m going to say this was a 3.5/4 star read the second time around.
I started The Slave Players, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway; read the introduction to Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology; and FINALLY read the last two chapters of a Wrinkle in Time to my kids and started reading Redwall to them.
And that brings us to the end of April.
Okay, so O.W.L.S. results. I didn’t read what I thought I would, or even for the same subjects I thought I would.
- Arithmacy- Ready Player One
- Astronomy- Obsidio
- Charms- Fables vol 5- The Mean Season
- Herbology- A Court of Thorns and Roses
- Transfiguration- Fables vol 4- March of the Wooden Soldiers
That’s a pass… good enough.
I feel like I didn’t read much this month. How weird is that? When I get it all down it seems like a lot, but it just didn’t feel like much. I was kind of disappointed in myself for not getting to much of my TBR.
What was your month like?