Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2023

April has felt both incredibly short and long. It feels like the things I read at the start of the month were in another lifetime. No wonder I read so much last month. Almost every month say far this year has been in the double digits and that’s pretty impressive if you ask me.  

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Read: 29/3/23 – 3/4/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This one had been a long time coming and honestly I was actually a little disappointed with it. I spent a lot of the book being confused about what was going on because I couldn’t remember anything, so it’s partly on me. This world is still absolutely stunning though.

Book Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber

Synopsis: A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale . . . all games must come to an end.

Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson

Read: 1/4/23 – 5/4/23

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am completely in love with this series, which is weird to say because it’s about murder and stuff, but my god is it good. I’m really having to hold back from reading the last book because I don’t want it to be over yet, but at the same time I really want to know how it ends. 

Book Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Synopsis: Pip is not a detective anymore.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.

The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Read: 5/4/23 – 10/4/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is another one that’s been a long time coming. I talked about wanting to read this in 2020, but never actually got around to it. Well, I randomly decided to read it in April and it was pretty decent. I loved the witty characters and their relationship was cute. 

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Synopsis: Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Julieta and the Romeos by Maria E. Andreu

Read: 10/4/23 – 12/4/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Books about writers are always fun and this one had little end chapter sections with the main character’s story. It was super cute and I liked the different relationships. Review coming on the 4th May!

Synopsis: Julieta isn’t looking for her Romeo–but she is writing about love. When her summer writing teacher encourages the class to publish their work online, the last thing she’s expecting is to get a notification that her rom-com has a mysterious new contributor, Happily Ever Drafter. Julieta knows that happily ever afters aren’t real. (Case in point: her parents’ imploding marriage.) But then again, could this be her very own meet-cute?

As things start to heat up in her fiction, Julieta can’t help but notice three boys in her real life: her best friend’s brother (aka her nemesis), the boy next door (well, to her abuela), and her oldest friend (who is suddenly looking . . . hot?). Could one of them be her mysterious collaborator? But even if Julieta finds her Romeo, she’ll have to remember that life is full of plot twists. . . .

The Princess Companion (The Four Kingdoms #1) by Melanie Cellier

Read: 11/4/23 – 14/4/23

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I reviewed this recently and I don’t really have anything new I can say about it. The storyline was interesting, but the narration was not great for me. Unfortunately, that really affected the experience for me and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have if I read it myself. 

Audiobook Review: The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier

Synopsis: One dark and stormy night, lost and alone, Alyssa finds herself knocking on the door of a castle.

After a lifetime spent in the deep forest, Alyssa has no idea what to expect on the other side.

What she finds is two unruly young princesses and one very handsome prince. When Alyssa accepts the job of Princess Companion she knows her life will change. What she doesn’t know is that the royal family is about to be swept up in unexpected danger and intrigue and that she just might be the only thing standing between her kingdom and destruction.

This retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, reimagines the risks and rewards that come when one royal family goes searching for a true princess.

Danger and romance await a woodcutter’s daughter in a royal palace.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean

Read: 15/4/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a great adaptation of the original novel. I actually think you could read just this and still fully comprehend what the story is about. I’m actually planning to continue the series because I now remember everything from the first book.

Graphic Novel Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean

Synopsis: When Jacob Portman was a boy, his grandfather regaled him with stories of his fantastic life at Miss Peregrine’s home during the Second World War, even sharing photos of the remarkable children with whom he resided. As Jacob grew up, though, he decided that these photos were obvious fakes, simple forgeries designed to stir his youthful imagination. Or were they…?

Following his grandfather’s death – a scene Jacob literally couldn’t believe with his own eyes – the sixteen-year-old boy embarks on a mission to disentangle fact from fiction in his grandfather’s tall tales. But even his grandfather’s elaborate yarns couldn’t prepare Jacob for the eccentricities he will discover at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children!

They Hate Each Other by Amanda Woody

Read: 13/4/23 – 23/4/23

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This was a delight. I went into it not expecting much as I’ve never heard of the author (always a big mistake) but it was such a great read. It explored a lot of hard hitting topics, but also had a lot of beautiful moments of happiness. Review coming on 6th May!

Synopsis: Jonah and Dylan get along like oil and water. Until a fake dating ploy gives them new perspective, and they realize that “falling for your enemy” isn’t as impossible as it seems.

There are plenty of words Jonah Collins could use to describe Dylan Ramírez. “Arrogant,” “spoiled,” and “golden boy” to name a few. Likewise, Dylan thinks he has Jonah accurately labeled as an attention-seeking asshat who never shuts his filthy mouth. Their friends are convinced Jonah’s and Dylan’s disdain for one another is just thinly veiled lust—a rumor that surges like wildfire when the two wake up in one bed after homecoming. Mutually horrified, Dylan and Jonah agree to use the faux pas to their advantage by fake dating. If they can stay convincing long enough to end their “relationship” in a massive staged fight, they can prove their incompatibility to their friends once and for all. But the more time they spend together, the more their plan begins to fall apart—and the closer they come to seeing each other clearly for the first time.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Read: 21/4/23 – 23/4/23

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Another delightful read. I’d wanted to watch the film for a really long time, but I like reading the book first so I finally did that. I actually really liked both, especially as they had a few differences. I’d say I enjoyed the book more as the mystery of Blue was less guessable, but both were great.

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Princess Princess Ever After by K. O’Neill

Read: 26/4/23

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This was super cute, but it was also really short. The pacing was a bit too quick and it was difficult to follow what was happening at times, but I had fun reading it.

Graphic Novel Review: Princess Princess Ever After by K. O’Neill

Synopsis: “I am no prince!”

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.

Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what happily ever after really means — and how they can find it with each other.

All the Dead Lie Down by Kyrie McCauley

Read: 23/4/23 – 28/4/23

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

In the past couple of years I’ve really been getting into mysteries/thrillers and this was a pretty good one. It has a real Bly Manor vibe to it and I loved that. The creepiness was a slow build, but it came to a pretty epic conclusion. Review coming 9th May!

Synopsis: The Sleeping House was very much awake . . .

Days after a tragedy leaves Marin Blythe alone in the world, she receives a surprising invitation from Alice Lovelace—an acclaimed horror writer and childhood friend of Marin’s mother. Alice offers her a nanny position at Lovelace House, the family’s coastal Maine estate.

Marin accepts and soon finds herself minding Alice’s peculiar girls. Thea buries her dolls one by one, hosting a series of funerals, while Wren does everything in her power to drive Marin away. Then Alice’s eldest daughter returns home unexpectedly. Evie Hallowell is every bit as strange as her younger sisters, and yet Marin is quickly drawn in by Evie’s compelling behaviour and ethereal grace.

But as Marin settles in, she can’t escape the anxiety that follows her like a shadow. Dead birds appear in Marin’s room. The children’s pranks escalate. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, leaving mutilated animals in its wake. All is not well at Lovelace House, and Marin must unravel its secrets before they consume her.

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