i somehow still read 14 books in a reading slump: april reading wrap up


Hello friends!

How are you? What have you been reading recently?

On one hand, I can’t believe April has already ended but on the other hand, thank fuck it’s over. You get what I mean? I feel like I’ve been constantly talking about the fact that April (and probably March also) felt slumpy for me. Books that would take me a couple of days to read, took me a couple of weeks; I wasn’t reaching for any of my books and read fanfiction instead; cried over Heartstopper and then cried over Our Flag Means Death; watched The Nanny. Basically, I wasn’t really doing much actual reading of published books.

But then I binge read a romance series and all of a sudden, I was a reading fiend.

In total, I read 8 fiction books,1 non-fiction book, 4 novellas/short stories and 1 poetry collection. Honestly, a really great reading month when I finally wanted to read! Literally, in the last two weeks of April, I read 11 books in the aftermath of reading those two romance books in an ongoing series. I’ll talk more about them later on in this post! In terms of genres, I read:

𝟷 𝚖𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚢
𝟷 𝚖𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚒𝚛
𝟹 𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜
𝟹 𝚌𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚌𝚜
𝟹 𝚏𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚜𝚢
𝟸 𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚛𝚢
𝟷 𝚙𝚘𝚎𝚝𝚛𝚢
𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗

My average rating for the month was 4.04 which is pretty good! In terms of overall star ratings of the month, I gave:

𝙾𝚗𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝟸.𝟻 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜
𝚃𝚠𝚘 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜 𝟹 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜
𝚂𝚒𝚡 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜 𝟺 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜
𝚃𝚠𝚘 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜 𝟺.𝟻 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜
𝚃𝚑𝚛𝚎𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜 𝟻 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜.

As per usual, this wrap up will just be talking about my thoughts and feelings about the books I’ve read, and not providing detailed summaries about each book I read. That would make this post way to long and boring!

How should we organise this wrap up? Favourite to least favourite of the month? Lowest rated to highest rated? How pretty the cover is? Hmm…I kind of want to do by cover? Just to change everything up? Let’s start off with my favourite covers of the month!


𝓼𝓱𝓮’𝓼 𝓰𝓸𝓻𝓰𝓮𝓸𝓾𝓼, 𝓼𝓱𝓮’𝓼 𝓪𝓷 𝓲𝓬𝓸𝓷

I think my favourite book cover of April is 𝑩𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒖𝒈𝒂𝒓 𝑺𝒌𝒚 𝒃𝒚 𝑺𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒏 𝑴𝒄𝑮𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆. Look at her, isn’t she stunning?! I think it’s the colours; the pink, blue and purple (BI REPRESENTATION FOR THE WIN THANK YOU), and the clouds just add this touch of whimsy…I just really love it.

𝑩𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒖𝒈𝒂𝒓 𝑺𝒌𝒚 𝒃𝒚 𝑺𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒏 𝑴𝒄𝑮𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆 is book 3 in the Wayward Children series and I’ve slowly been making my way through them! It’s even more slower because I have to wait for my holds to come in from my local library! But I’ve been thoroughly adoring each book! 𝑩𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒖𝒈𝒂𝒓 𝑺𝒌𝒚 introduces some new characters, brings back a character who was not alive the last time we saw them, and we also saw our favourite characters from Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. I can’t really say more because I’m pretty sure it would be more spoilery than what I’ve already said! But just know I really enjoyed it. 𝑺𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒏 𝑴𝒄𝑮𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆 randomly writes some of the most beautiful things I have ever read; her commentary on society and societal norms, are exquisite, the friendships that she is creating are excpetional. Whenever I pick up another one of these books, I forget how much I love them.

I rated it 4 stars purely because in comparison to the previous novella in this series, 𝑫𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝑨𝒎𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒌𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑩𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔, it didn’t hit that 5 star feeling for me. But I cannot wait to continue with book 4!!!! I have already placed it on hold at my library!


My next favourite book cover would have to be 𝑵𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝑺𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒇𝒌𝒂. I read this as an eARC but I’ve preordered it and am so excited to physically own this book! I need to annotate the shit out of it. But this cover.

If you have the read the book, the ‘cracking’ and the purple on the book cover is significant in terms of the overarching plot line in the novel itself. I have already written a full length review for this which you can read here, if you want my more detailed thoughts. I loved this book and gave it 4.5 stars.


The next book cover would have to be both of the romance novels that I read because they are adorable! 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒓 𝑨𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑶𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒂 𝑫𝒂𝒅𝒆 were the perfect romance books to read this month.

They are book one and two of an ongoing romance series by 𝑶𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒂 𝑫𝒂𝒅𝒆 and the fat rep in this is actually the best I have ever read in a romance series. I loved them both so so much! I think my favourite is 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒔 only because I loved the banter between the main two characters, Alex and Lauren and their chemistry and the pining between the two of them?! Perfection. I think book three is coming out later this year and I honestly cannot wait! I need to physically own this entire series!!!!! I gave 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒓 𝑨𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒕 4 stars and 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒔, 4.5 stars!


Although this next one is quite simple, I think the simplicity creates such an impact when you see it. The book cover for 𝑨𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒚 𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒂𝒔𝒉𝒂 𝑩𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒏. Look at it. Isn’t it so engaging? It has this level of…horror? I can’t quite put my finger on it, all I know is that it captures your attention and you want to know more. I loved this novella. I gave it 5 stars and is a contender for one of my favourite books of the year. This was so small and packed such an intensity, such a punch, that I was left reeling after I read it. It is such a little gem and it is not getting enough hype online! It is written in a sort of non-linear narrative, fragmented, observing the micro and macro aggressions the unnamed narrator has to deal with as a Black British Woman with a twist. It’s about the legacy and trauma of colonisation, racism in Britian, mortality and human existence. It was brilliant, utterly brilliant.


Okay, the last book cover that I would say is a favourite of the month would be 𝑲𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝑴𝒚 𝑵𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒆𝒍 𝑴𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓. I gave this book a full 5 stars and I talk more about this book in this post where I read the 5 books on my physical tbr that had the highest average rating on Goodreads. The book cover is beautiful – Chanel, in the centre, staring at us. It is truly eye-catching! I loved this memoir, although it was exceptionally hard to read at times. Trigger warnings for sexual assault, rape and sexual violence. Also cyber bullying and all-round misogyny and sexism.


𝔀𝓮𝓵𝓵…𝓪𝓽 𝓵𝓮𝓪𝓼𝓽 𝓼𝓱𝓮 𝓽𝓻𝓲𝓮𝓭?

Let’s talk about the more mediocre book covers.

𝑴𝒖𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑶𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝑬𝒙𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑨𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒂 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒆 is just a very average book cover but a really fun murder mystery. This is the third book I’ve read by𝑨𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒂 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒆 and I’ve realised that I quite enjoy her Poirot mysteries! I like the way they are written and I love seeing how everything comes together at the end with Poirot’s signature showcase of evidence. It was fun and engaging and I actually read most of it on the train to and from the city! I think that also added to the experience! The ending was also incredibly good! But I do want to point out that 𝑨𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒂 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒆 will randomly place racist or prejudicial dialogue or descriptions that kind of feels like it comes out of nowhere. The way that the Italian character in this book was described was at times, uncomfortable to read.

ALSO, I read the first few chapters of this as the audiobook and I did not like it. The Kenneth Branaugh audiobook was not the best – I don’t know if it was because I listen to my audiobooks on slightly faster speed, but character accents changed throughout the story? It was so strange! I ended up rating it a solid 4 stars. I think the next 𝑨𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒂 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒆 book I pick up will be 𝑫𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑵𝒊𝒍𝒆!


The next meh book cover would have to be 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒐𝒏 𝒃𝒚 𝑮𝒊𝒐𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒊 𝑩𝒐𝒄𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒊𝒐. It’s a fine book cover – my eBook was just a Penguin classics edition so it is average in terms of aesthetic appeal. But the book itself? Absolutely wild and hilarious! I had so much fun reading this book and I highly recommend reading this as an audiobook to have the full experience. I actually wrote an entire blog post about 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒐𝒏 which you can read here! I ended up giving this 4 stars!


Let’s talk about book three in what is becoming one of my all time favourite fantasy series. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒐𝒏 𝑹𝒆𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒏 𝒃𝒚 𝑹𝒐𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒕 𝑱𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒂𝒏 was absolutely fantastic, a full 5 stars. 𝑹𝒐𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒕 𝑱𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒂𝒏 writes so phenomenally, so beautifully, and constructs characters with such depth – he continues to blow me away. In terms of the book cover, I do like it.

This is one of those that I do like the look of but it doesn’t really give me much, if that makes sense. I wish I had to old-school editions of this series with the characters on the covers because they look awesome. I won’t talk anymore about my love for this book because it is going to have it’s own dedicated blog post soon for episode 3 in my ongoing Wheel of Time series (read episode 1 and episode 2 here) so make sure to wait for that!


𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒙𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝑬𝒔𝒕𝒊 𝒃𝒚 𝑶𝒅𝒚𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒖𝒔 𝑬𝒍𝒚𝒕𝒊𝒔 is another book cover that I think could have done better. I have to admit that I don’t know the meaning of the symbol on the front cover (please let me know if you do)!

I feel like the meaning is completely obvious). I think the colours are average, the font is also average – it just doesn’t capture the eyes. It is not an arresting book cover! But the content inside, the poetry written by 𝑶𝒅𝒚𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒖𝒔 𝑬𝒍𝒚𝒕𝒊𝒔 I have to say, is so stunning. Again, I have written more about this poetry collection here, in the blog post where I talk about reading the 5 books on my physical tbr that had the highest average rating on Goodreads, so please go check that out! I gave this 4 stars and it was quite an emotional read for me.


The next one might get some of you angry. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒆𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑲𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒚 𝑱.𝑹.𝑹 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒌𝒊𝒆𝒏, in my opinion, has a very average book cover in terms of the edition that I have. It’s fine. It could be better. It doesn’t really do anything for me. But the book itself?! Really surprised me. I talked more about my experience reading this book here so make sure to check that out – but I had low expectations when going into this one in the aftermath of reading 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑻𝒘𝒐 𝑻𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒔 which I didn’t like that much. However, the second half of this book was truly amazing. The culimation of this trilogy was spectacular to read and I am so happy I did! Also, Bilbo. I love him so much that I was tearing up every time he was mentioned or when he was on page. I gave this 4 stars! It’s also quite nice to finish some series that I have been reading for a couple of years!


𝓲𝓽’𝓼 𝓷𝓸𝓽 𝓰𝓲𝓿𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝔀𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓲𝓽 𝓷𝓮𝓮𝓭𝓼 𝓽𝓸 𝓰𝓲𝓿𝓮

I am sorry to do my girl Ms 𝑵𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒊 𝑺𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒉 dirty but…the cover for 𝑹𝒐𝒄𝒌 𝑯𝒂𝒓𝒅 is not good.

I honestly kind of hate it.

Look at it. I don’t like it. I really don’t. It just gives cringe. It is not sexy or hot in any way. I hate it.

But! I enjoyed reading this one! I gave it 3 stars. I think this is technically book 1 in the 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐝 romance series since this was how we get the spin-off series from 𝐑𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐊𝐢𝐬𝐬 to 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐝, if that makes sense. So I read this first. I don’t think you need to, but I did. I thought this was fun, adorable, kind of very much the norm for adult romance. I am a sucker for boss/secretary romance even though in real life THIS WOULD BE VERY PROBLEMATIC UNLESS YOU HAVE HEALTHY COMMUNICATION AND BOUNDARIES BECAUSE OF THE POWER DYNAMIC INHERENT IN BOSS/EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIPS. But in Romancelandia, it’s cute. There’s pining. It’s adorable. I recommend it if you want a really easy romance novel that you can read in a day.


The second last worst book cover of the month would have to go to my collection that includes 𝑷𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒖𝒔𝒌𝒂 𝒃𝒚 𝑳𝒆𝒐 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚. Another Pengiun classics edition, which is horrible, I just think that the vibes are off. I understand why we have this dark, grey sort of picture because it’s 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚 and its russian literature, so it makes sense.

But it could have been better. I also want to say that I do love the Penguin classics editions and I am pretty sure it’s my largest classic edition collection on my shelves because I do love them but this…does not give what it needs to give. The story also did not give what it needed to give. I gave it 2.5 stars which I think is my lowest rating I have ever given 𝑳𝒆𝒐 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚 which is slighty shattering since I do love his writing so much. But this short story was boring even though it was incredibly tragic? It was a weird combination, I have to admit.


The absolute worst book cover of the month is definitely the collection of short stories that included 𝑭𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝑯𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑳𝒆𝒐 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚. LOOK AT IT. WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING WITH THIS MAN WHO LOOKS KIND OF LIKE JONNY LEE MILLER????? I HATE IT HERE. I literally can’t stand looking at it. I CAN’T, DON’T MAKE ME.

The story itself was interesting, actually. It reminded me of his other short story, 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑲𝒓𝒆𝒖𝒕𝒛𝒆𝒓 𝑺𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒂 as it centres marriage and how tumultuous it can be for couples. Especially for couples like our characters, Sergey and Marya, who had such a huge age gap that it was kind of disgusting. I know that it would have been the norm back then, but now?! If a 17 year old wanted to marry a 36 year old, I would be worried. What happens is what you would expect a young girl marrying a man who is wanting to settle down in the coutnry and live out the next stage of his life – they wanted different things. Marya wanted life and adventure, other people and parties and Sergey wanted peace. You watch as their love turns from passion to hate to indifference to a sort of platonic love. It was a story that made me think which is what I enjoy from 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚 but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. 3 stars.


Okay, so that was incredibly fun to write! I hope you enjoyed it!!!!! Talk to me in the comments – what was your favourite book cover of the month, and what was your favourite book of the month?

Thank you for all of the support recently! I am so thankful that I can scream into the void about my thoughts and feelings about books, and people are actually reading!

Until next time, happy reading!

All the love,

allie

xx


𝓽𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓻

𝓲𝓷𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓰𝓻𝓪𝓶

𝓰𝓸𝓸𝓭𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭𝓼

𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝔂𝓰𝓻𝓪𝓹𝓱

7 thoughts on “i somehow still read 14 books in a reading slump: april reading wrap up

    1. highly HIGHLY RECOMMEND BOTH OF THEM!!!!!! Murder on the Orient Express was so fun!!! I read Death on the Nile and omg it was also great! xx

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  1. Hey! That image on the cover of the Axion Esti looks like a depiction of a seraph. The seraphim are said to be among the top hierarchy of angels, near God’s throne, six-winged.

    Liked by 1 person

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