Books I Finished in April 2019
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This is my first 5 star read of 2019 which seems kind of crazy since it's already April and I've almost read about 30 books. But I am a bit stingy with my 5's and there was no denying that Delia Owens deserves a 5 for this masterpiece. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale is one of my favorite WWII books due to it's creativity and writing style. After I read that, I knew I had to read more of her books. I finally listened to Between Sisters and although it won't be making my favorites list, I really enjoyed this story of familial love. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: We all make mistakes, but for Meghann Dontess the terrible choice she made some years ago cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Meghann is now a highly successful attorney, and has put all thoughts of love completely behind her – until she meets the one man who believes he can change her mind.
Claire has fallen in love for the first time in her life, and as her wedding day approaches she prepares to face her strong-willed older sister. Reunited after two decades, these two women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
This was an amazing piece of true crime and investigative journalism. What made it even more amazing is that not only do you get the story of a serial killer, you also hear about it from a fascinating woman obsessed with finding the killer in a non-biased, factual manner. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Although this book was very well-written, I found it hard to believe it deserved the Pulitzer and I was not awed or shocked by the story line. In fact, I found myself bored many many times and skimming just so I could finish it sooner. Again, although I liked the flow of the writing, the story itself was all over the place and there really wasn't a plot. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.
QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?
ANSWER: You accept them all.
When the Dead Have it Easy (The Veil Diaries Book 7) by B.L. Brunnemer
I've been reading this series since the beginning and was so excited for this book to come out as the romantic plotline was expected to move forward. So far, I think this is one of my favorite of the series as the writing really made you feel all the emotions with the characters and it becomes a bit deeper. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: My name is Alexis, Lexie to most everyone. And I’m a Necromancer. It’s not as much fun as it sounds but that’s not the problem this time. I haven’t seen anyone but Miles in the last month since New Orleans. Talking on the phone? Yeah. Well, except for Zeke. A few text messages was all I’ve gotten. Until now. We’re going on the guys’ yearly climbing and camping trip. With all of our secrets out, the tension between everyone is high. Everyone is pissed at each other and I’m just trying to keep my head above water. But it’s time for a decision. Who am I going to be with? Will I end up with anyone? Will our family stay together?
Books I’m Currently Reading
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I’m listening to an audiobook of this classic and am definitely entertained so far, even more so than The Three Musketeers, which I wasn’t expecting. However, this book is looooong and is taking a while to get through, I’m about halfway now.
Synopsis: In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I love V.E. Schwab’s books (Vicious is my fav so far) and I really enjoyed the first book of this series, A Darker Shade of Magic. So far, this book is just as good as the first in the series and I can’t wait to read what happens.
Synopsis: It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games--an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries--a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
Books I Was Reading Last April - 2018
Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
I had been so excited about this book, especially with so many 4 and 5 star reviews, but was definitely disappointed. I believe what had so many people loving this story was the fact it was based on a true story and it was based in Italy during WWII, however the writing itself was bad so I cannot give this higher stars or really recommend it to others. Click on the book cover for the full review.
Synopsis: Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.
In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.
Men Explain things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
I wish I could say I enjoyed this book, I was hoping I would but I just did not. The topic seemed great; feminism and a simple statement of Men Explain Things to Me. Yes, I will relate to that, all women will relate to this! But the book was poorly written and lacked so much in terms of the topic. Then, the author goes off on these tangents that so loosely relate back to the topic it was like she forced it just because she wanted to mention it. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters
Polaris (Stardust Series Book 5) by Autumn Reed and Julia Clarker
I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed in this series' final book. I thoroughly enjoyed how the story was unfolding in the other 3 and 1/2 books, but this one seemed rushed and not as well thought out. Overall, I'd definitely recommend the series, especially to those who are slightly obsessed with the RH genre like I currently am, but I do wish this book was more like the others to keep it on the same high note.
Synopsis: "We want you to choose all of us." Unsure how to react to Knox’s simple but life-changing declaration, Haley focuses all her energy on the guys and her Zenith training, hoping the rest will fall into place. Still, as her love for Knox, Theo, Chase, Liam, and Jackson deepens, she worries their connection won’t be enough. When an unexpected encounter magnifies her fears, she realizes she'll have to make a choice after all. Will Haley find a way to accept her unconventional relationship with Team Jaguar, or will she risk losing them forever?
The Bear and The Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden
Oh man, this is one of my favorites ever and I wish I was reading it for the first time all over again this year! I was beyond ecstatic that I happened across this book from a blogger and from their review decided to give it a try. The lyrical prose adds to this beautifully written story that enchanted and mesmerized me. Click the cover for more.
Synopsis: At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo has written these dark and twisted "retellings" of some classic fairytales, while creating a few new fairytales. Although haunting, each of these short stories is stunningly written and kept me entertained on every page. Click the book cover for more.
Synopsis: Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price. Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.