How is it already May?? I feel like April flew by and I’m not ready for it to already be the fifth month of 2022. We’re already almost halfway through the year! Still, with as fast as the month went, I still somehow managed to one of my best reading months of the year, so far. Dare I say, one of my best reading months ever. I managed to read 19 books last month. NINETEEN BOOKS! That is definitely a new personal record! On top of that, I also have 5 five star reads. Like, what?!
I fully credit two things for how great my reading was last month: rediscovering the wonderful world of audiobooks and the incredible Magical Readathon hosted by G @ Book Roast. Seriously, I had so much fun participating in the Orilium Spring Equinox round of the Magical Readathon. I managed to complete all the classes my character needed for her chosen calling, plus six additional side quests. G did a fantastic job of building a creative and fun readathon and I’m excited to participate again in the fall!
Alright, enough stalling… let’s talk about all the great books I read in the month of April.
- Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick: I read this for a The Write Reads blog tour and found myself loving this creepy middle grade horror! If you’re not a fan of spiders, I would maybe steer clear. Otherwise, this was a fast-paced, properly spooky story that had me on the edge of my seat. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman: The printed version of Amanda Gorman’s incredibly compelling inauguration speech was just as moving as watching it live. It was profound; a rallying cry for a country that was finally getting a smidge of hope. And that’s what the tone of this poem was, overall… hopeful. I adored it. ★★★★★
- Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica: This was my first Mary Kubica book, but it certainly won’t be my last! I loved this twisty, suburban mystery. I thought the characters were intriguing and the twists had my mouth hanging open! There was one plot point that felt a little out of left field, but, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. ★★★★
- Scorpica by G.R. Macallister: I was given an e-ARC of this book on Netgalley. I knew nothing about it until the publicist emailed me, but, once I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read the book. I’m glad I gave it a go, too, because I ended up being sucked into this world! Slow on plot, but tons of great character building, which I love. And all the tangled political maneuverings were a definite bonus, as well. You can find my full review here. ★★★★
- The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: This contemporary romance was SO STINKIN’ CUTE! I mean, it dealt with some heavier topics, like emotional abuse and stalker behavior, so know that before diving in. But the romance between Tiff and Leon was absolutely everything I could have wanted and more. They are so cute and made this book a joy to read. ★★★★
- The Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie: I was truly in my audiobook era during April and used that mojo to try and catch up with a Poirot readalong. Still not quite there, but I did manage to read two last month and they ended up being two of the more enjoyable ones! This was probably my favorite of the two because I enjoyed the set up much more. A little sad that Poirot wasn’t a big part of this book, but, overall, I had a ton of fun with it! ★★★★
- Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie: This was the other Poirot novel I read in April and, though I enjoyed it, it definitely wasn’t as good as Three Act Tragedy. I do love a locked room (or plane, in this case) mystery and this delivered! My only sticking point with this one was that the big reveal felt so underwhelming. There was more Poirot in this one, though, so he made up for it. ★★★★
- May Day by Josie Jaffrey: This was another blog tour read, this time for the first place winner of last year’s Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA). I can see why this book won first place because it was a wild ride! Who knew that all you needed to do to get me to like a vampire novel was to make the vampires detectives 😂 This was a gruesome and intricate mystery that definitely left me wanting to pick up the next book. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- Beast by Matt Wesolowski: Having decided to jump back into the Poirot readalong, I figured I might as well finish the books for a different readalong, as well. I started reading the Six Stories series last year with a group of bookish friends and found I really loved it! These books are based around a fictional true crime podcast that re-examines old cases. I love that they are a blend of thriller and horror and Beast is no exception! Definitely check trigger warnings before going in, but this was an incredible read. ★★★★
- The World Maker Parable by Luke Tarzian: This book was weird but I liked it? I mean, I was confused for most of the book (and it’s a very short book) but I still found myself completely enthralled by the tale. Even if I didn’t quite understand what was going on, haha. I read this for a blog tour, as well, so you can read my full review here. ★★★
- Deity by Matt Wesolowski: After rating each book in this series a solid four stars, this one finally managed to jump the hurdle to a full five stars! I give full credit to the fact that this is the first book in the series that I consumed via audiobook. It added an element to the narrative that just blew me away! Again, check trigger warnings before going in to this one, it certainly goes to some dark places. It absolutely had me in it’s grip from start to finish. ★★★★★
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: I finally got over my nervousness and read this book! And I’m happy to report that all the hype is well and truly deserved. This book was INCREDIBLE! The world-building is immaculate, the character work is flawless, and talk about keeping the reader engaged from beginning to end. There were several moments where my jaw was on the floor. I really had to fight to overcome a book hangover after finishing this one. Simply marvelous! ★★★★★
- Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oseman: Another reason I read so many books last month is that I caught up on the Heartstopper series in anticipation of the Netflix show. Which I still haven’t watched because I just haven’t had the time. If it is half as cute as this graphic novel series, I know I’m gonna love it! Technically, I’ve already read volume two (and part of volume three) online, but I loved revisiting Nick and Charlie in the physical copies. ★★★★
- Demon by Matt Wesolowski: I finished a series, y’all! Kind of. I’m not 100% sure there will be more books in the Six Stories series, but this is the last one that is out currently. I listened to the audiobook once again and, honestly, that’s just how I’m going to consume any other books that might be coming out. The audiobooks are just so well done! Loved this thriller/horror mix, once again, though the end left me feeling a little meh. It was unsatisfying but I think that’s the entire point of the story, so I can’t be too mad about it. ★★★★
- The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf: This was the Middle Grade Marvel read for last month and it was an interesting one! I loved the reading experience. The book was well written, with an engaging plot and intriguing characters. There were certain things about the book, though, that left me feeling a bit… ick. The relationship between the titular girl and ghost had a moment where the ghost was tormenting the girl because she had dared to make a friend that wasn’t him. And she ended up just… forgiving him. It just didn’t sit right. Overall, though, I did really enjoy this spooky tale, just wasn’t a fan of how the ghost’s behavior was kinda swept under the rug. ★★★★
- Heartstopper Vol 3 by Alice Oseman: My favorite of all the volumes of Heartstopper so far! This volume really dives into some serious issues and it also shows us the love that is growing between Nick and Charlie. It’s beautiful to see heavy topics tackled in such a sensitive way. And it was even more beautiful to see such a wonderful representation of a healthy LGBT+ relationship. Nick and Charlie will forever have my heart. ★★★★★
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: My heart was already tender from reading Heartstopper and then this book came and stomped all over it 😭This is another read where I totally understand the hype. This was phenomenal. I mean, it ripped my heart out and made me a weepy mess, but I loved every second of it. The writing is beautiful, the flare added to the myth of Achilles and Patroclus sublime, and it further cements Madeline Miller as one of my favorite authors. ★★★★★
- Wildlife by Jeff VanderMeer: I picked up this short story for a Magical Readathon quest not fully knowing what to expect. I’ve never read anything by Jeff VanderMeer, though I’ve wanted to. This short story about a woman escaping from a violent past in her father’s old house was… odd. But the kind of odd that I thoroughly enjoy. The ending was strange and open ended, which made me wish this was a full length novel because I wanted more. Still, I had a great time with this and it was a super quick read. ★★★★
- Heartstopper Vol 4 by Alice Oseman: I ended the month with the most recent volume of Heartstopper. Though I didn’t love this one as much as volume three, it was still an incredible read! It’s definitely the heaviest of all the volumes, so far, but I think Alice Oseman deals with the topic of mental health with grace. And, of course, I always love watching Nick and Charlie together, even when they’re going through some tough times. It’s sweet to see how much they truly love each other. ★★★★
Book of the Month
As you can see, I read a lot of amazing books last month. Even so, there is one clear winner in my mind. The Book of the Month for April is…
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
What more can I say about this book? Well, a lot more but I’m still trying to wrangle all my rambling thoughts into something coherent enough for a proper review. That’s only what this book deserves! I am completely blown away by this story and I can see why it won the Hugo award. Now I’m eager to continue on with the series!
22 Books in 2022:
I managed to knock off two books from this TBR! I really need to get crackin’ on the stack, though because there are still quite a few left 😬
- The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
12 Friends, 12 Recommendations:
Again, I read two books off of this TBR, as well! I’m doing much better with this goal and think I’m on track to finish it up by the end of the year. Also, y’all give some great recommendations!
- Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
- The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Popsugar Reading Challenge:
- Two books set in twin cities or “sister cities”, book two (The Flatshare)
- A book set on a plane, train, or cruise (Death in the Clouds)
- A book about or set in a nonpatriarchal society (Scorpica)
- A Hugo Award winner (The Fifth Season)
- A book with the name of a board game in the title (Beast)
Read Your Shelf Challenge:
- A book by an author who has written at least 22 books (Three Act Tragedy)
- An author who’s name begins with two initials (Scorpica)
- A book with two people on the cover (Heartstopper Vol 3)
- A book with two perspectives (The Girl and the Ghost)
- A book you’re reading for the second time (Heartstopper Vol 2)
- An author whose first and last initial are the same (The Song of Achilles)
- A book with two love interests (May Day)
- A book recommended by two people (The Flatshare)
- A book that’s been on your TBR list for at least two years (The Fifth Season)
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge:
- Read a queer retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, folklore, or myth (The Song of Achilles)
How was your reading in April? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!