Hello again, dear readers. This month, April, was an interesting reading month for me. I fell head over heels for several books and spent a good deal of time enjoying stories, but quantity-wise I didn’t do so well. I must say, although it took me far too long to recognize the importance of quality over quantity, now that I have learned that lesson I truly enjoy reading and stories at an entirely different level.
Anyway, my interesting reading month has lead to variety among the books I am sharing with you today…and now let’s get to it.
Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas | 4 ★ | 2021
Well, I finally did it, I read one of Angie Thomas’s books, and it was surprisingly good. I truly did not expect to become so hooked on Maverick’s story.
CR was fast-paced and incredibly engaging. The writing was fine, but honestly not very remarkable. What hooked me was the characters and their stories. They were truly wonderful to read about.
I very rarely read books that are solely from a male POV and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Maverick’s voice and perspective. 🙂
Anyway, CR was good, and I just might have to give THUG a chance too.
TW/CW: Gun Violence, Unexpected Death, Sexual Content, Drugs, Teen Pregnancy, f/f relationship, Language | Genre(s): YA
The Lost Manuscript – Cathy Bonidan | 5 ★ | 2019/2021
TLM is one of the somewhat rare books that I closed with a sigh of pure happiness. I must say, this year is shaping up to be a much better reading year than last year. This was a lovely story, sweet and satisfying, perhaps a bit like the book equivalent to a blueberry muffin.
It was oddly inspiring, in a quiet way – I am now determined to write a book entirely made up of letters and emails. A younger me would have dismissed this book without a thought, but older me (ha, that sounds ridiculous) fell in love with the characters and story.
There is something about reading a book originally written in another language, and set in another country from a local’s POV, that simply feels exciting, and special.
CW/TW: Nothing truly of note, but recommended for older readers | Genre(s): Contemporary, Adult Fiction
The Thief of Blackfriars Lane – Michelle Griep | 3 ★ | 2021
This book has been on my tbr for months and even made its way on to my most anticipated releases list for January-June, therefore I had high expectations.
I enjoyed the story, it was fast-paced and engaging. The relationship between the MCs was fun and enjoyable to read about.
Ultimately though, this book just didn’t do it for me. The characters and storyline just felt slightly lacking somehow.
TW/CW: Minor Violence | Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Dearest Josephine – Caroline George | 4.5 ★ | 2021
DJ is a not only the second highest-rated book on this list, it is the second book told largely through letters and emails.
The characters of DJ were lovable, wonderfully real and quite interesting – for some reason Josie reminded me of one of my closest friends, which made me love her all the more, and Oliver is total sweetheart.
DJ felt wonderfully creative and was simply a lovely read, one of my favorite books I have read so far this year.
TW/CW: Death of a Parent, Underage Drinking | Genre(s): YA, Split-Time Story
Sandra Day O’Connor – Joan Biskupic | 2006
Biskupic delivers an interesting look at O’Connor’s life and career, heavy on career, light on life.
Although I cannot say that I exactly enjoyed reading this, I certainly learned a great deal about O’Connor and the context that she made her decisions in, as well as the immediate impact of her decisions. The more I learn about O’Connor, the more I find her life both remarkable and fascinating.
Genre(s): Non-Fiction, Biography
Blood Water Paint – Joy McCullough | 4 ★ | 2018
After reading McCullough’s other book, I immediately requested BWP from the library. I expected to be wowed, saddened and angry, shockingly enough, BWP lived up to my expectations.
The writing, alternating between long sections of verse and short chapters of prose, was beautiful and powerful. Artemisia was incredibly talented, and her passion and strength were inspiring.
BWP is definitely a tough read, content-wise. Artemisia’s pain leaps off the page and hits the reader squarely. I loved how McCullough wove the stories of other strong women into BWP.
My one real complaint is how most of the characters, other than Artemisia, are minor and unmemorable.
TW/CW: Rape, Death/Gore | Genre(s): YA, Historical Fiction
Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading or watching?