April Reading Round-Up

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I know I probably say this every month - but April seriously flew by. I feel like I blinked and suddenly it was May. Is it just me? 

But, at least the weather is FINALLY starting to feel like spring. Here in Chicago, I think the high is supposed to be close to 80 degrees. Which feels like summer to me... but I'll take it over the snow and freezing weather we had most of April! I'm not one to complain a ton about winter taking forever to leave, because we're in Chicago. It could potentially snow in May sometimes. Yet... even for me this was a bit much. This was one of the coldest Aprils we've had in a long time. 

ANYWAY. Onto books. I started seven books and finished six, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed them all except for the one I didn't finish. Which, I suppose I do genuinely enjoy most of the books I read, since as time has gone on I've gotten a good sense if I'll like something or not when I pick it up. 

Some notes on how I do wrap ups: I don't include plot summaries because the publisher can summarize them much better than I can. If you want to know the plot summary, I've left an Amazon affiliated link in the book title so you can check it out. I rate books on a 1-5 star scale. (1= worst book ever why did I read this?; 2= did not enjoy; 3= this was good!; 4= I really liked it! 5= OMG LOVED THIS IT'S THE BEST EVER!) For the most part, you're going to see 3-5 star ratings from me and not a lot of negative simply because if I don't like a book, I'm not going to finish it.


A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove #1) By Tessa Dare

  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 4.5 Stars

For the last few months I've seen a lot of my book friends talking about Tessa Dare and how her books are SO GREAT. I downloaded this one, the first in her Spindle Cove series FOREVER ago, but haven't picked it up until now. 



I was literally laughing out loud at moments in this book. It's this awesome opposites attract/battles of the sexes/could be labeled hate-to-love romance in Regency (I think) England. The hero and heroine were both fantastic and really sexy. It was feminist, had disability rep (our hero was wounded in a war), a fun cast of side characters I can't wait to get to know in future books, and I love the setting of Spindle Cove where women go when they don't fit in "normal" society and can learn to accept themselves for who they are and build confidence. 

I can't wait to continue with the series!

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  battle of the sexes, opposites attract, historical fiction, soldiers, feminism, steamy romance
  • Trigger Warnings: amputation and explosion

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J Maas (Re-read)

  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rating: 4 Stars

And I'm continuing my re-read of the Throne of Glass series in preparation for the final book coming out in October! (Sob.) I'm basically a mess when it comes to reading this series. Even though the intense stuff hasn't happened yet, I read a single chapter in this first book and I'm ready to cry because I'm seeing all of the little pieces Maas has been putting together and all that she's built up. I read it and I'm like "MY PRECIOUS BABIES YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S COMING." 

Are her books flawed? Yes. But I just adore them still and I'm unhealthily attached to these characters. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  assassins, high fantasy, epic fantasy, love triangles, rags to riches, competitions, political intrigue, action/adventure
  • Trigger Warnings:  starvation, slavery, torture, loss of parents, violence

Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy #1) by Jaqueline Carey (Temporary DNF)

  • Genre: Epic Fantasy
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Rating: NA

This is the one book I didn't finish. At first, it was a temporary choice because there were other books I wanted to get to and I'd go back to it when I was done with those. However... the more I think about it, the more I lose interest.

Which, is incredibly disappointing for me. I've heard such great things about this fantasy series. It's about courtesans and assassins, this big epic fantasy world, it's sexy and unique, there's a strong female leading character etc. All of these things are things I enjoy in books! But the whole book I was kinda... meh.

The world, characters, and plot definitely have their interesting moments. But I still found myself bored and waiting for something to happen. Then something would happen and I'd be really excited... but then it was anti-climatic. I'm all for character driven books, and not always plot driven. I also know with these long epic fantasies, you need to be patient and a lot of times you get a big pay-off in the end. But when plot points you've been waiting for for over 500 pages arrive and it just is "meh," that doesn't give me much hope for the following 400 pages. (No, I'm not exaggerating, this book really is that long.)

I haven't given up complete hope on this book yet. But, we'll see if I get back to it. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy:   slow burn plot/romance, epic fantasy, character-driven, BDSM (kind of... I thought it was super tame for all of the warnings I got about that particular element of the sotry)
  • Trigger Warnings:  pain, torture, violence, negligent parents, BDSM moments, sex as religious expreience

Second Chance Charmer by Brighton Walsh

  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 3.5 Stars

After being disappointed by Kushiel's Dart, I went to one of my new go-to authors for something light and fun. Enter Brighton Walsh's newest book! It just came out in March or April and it was exactly what I needed.

It's not my favorite book of hers (that goes to Tessa Ever After) but it's everything you'd want in a Brighton Walsh novel. SUPER sexy, fun, and a dual POV narrative. My one big critique is that I wish we had seen more of the couple with their relationship, and not just the sexy times. For me, for the sexy times to work, I need to see that the couple has an actual relationship too. We know they have one because they were high school sweethearts, but because that was in the past we didn't get to see it on page as much. But, I was convinced by the end so I guess that's all that matters. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: This kind of reminded of a Sweet Home Alabama type of story where they were high school sweethearts, he was a bad boy, it takes place in the south, etc. 
  • Trigger Warnings:  abandonment, negligent parents

Given to the Earth (Given #2) by Mindy MicGinnis

  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Format: Hard Cover
  • Rating: 4 Stars

This is the sequel to Mindy McGinnis' other fantasy book, Given to the Sea. Out of Mindy McGinnis' books I've read, Given to the Sea wasn't my favorite. However, I love this author and want to support her, and it was interesting enough that I wanted to know what happened next. Honestly, I think I liked this second installment more than the first.

Maybe because she got more into the stride of writing fantasy? Maybe it was because I knew more of what to expect from this author when it came to fantasy? Who knows. But I really enjoyed it. I liked where each of the characters went ("like" being used loosly because some of the end completely broke my heart), I liked the direction the story went, and how it was mostly about a people simply needing to learn how to survive when their land is failing them. Yes, it had the political stuff, but that wasn't the main focus the way it is in other fantasy books. It was much more focused on the character development which I appreciated. 

Also, don't judge Mindy McGinnis' books because they're young adult. A majority of her readers and fans are actually adults. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: character-driven fantasy, shorter fantasy, 
  • Trigger Warnings: rape culture (although that theme was not as prevalent as it was in the first book), mental illness, cheating and affairs, violence, harm to animals

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) by Becky Albertalli

  • Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
  • Format: Hard Cover
  • Rating: 4 Stars

With the first book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda being one of my favorites EVER, it's probably no surprise the sequel, Leah on the Offbeat was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. 

It did not dissapoint!

I loved seeing all of my favorite characters in their senior year preparing for their futures. THE PROM DINNER WAS LITERALLY ONE OF MY DREAMS FULFILLED. I loved how Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was the musical the characters were in because that too was my musical my senior year of high school. I also loved that Leah got to be in the spotlight! (Bi-sexual rep!)

The reason why this book is four stars is because compared to Becky's other two books, I didn't enjoy and relate to this one quite as much. Also, I felt the beginning was a bit scattered, and the ending rushed. However, compared to other books of the same genre I'd give this 4.5-5 stars.

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  young adult contemporary, coming out stories, high school seniors thinking about the future, cute/sweet romance, any of Becky's other books.
  • Trigger Warnings: racism... and I can't think of any others

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J Maas (Re-Read)

  • Genre: New Adult Fantasy
  • Format: Hard Cover
  • Rating: 4 stars

In preparation for the novella coming out May 1st (today!!!!) that is the bridge between the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy and the spin-off books, on a whim I decided to re-read the trilogy to catch up. Because apparently I don't have enough Sarah J Maas in my life.

I liked this book more upon my re-read of it than I did the first time. Which, I've learned happens a lot with Maas' books. Not that I don't enjoy them the first time, but for some reason when I go back it's even better. 

That being said, it's a good conclusion to the trilogy and I like where everyone ends up. But at the same time, there could be more. Which is ridiculously vauge, but it's the best way I can describe it. With certain elements it's like Maas goes for something, and then backs off just slightly. Even if it totally rips our hearts out, sometimes I wish she would really GO FOR IT. 

I know... that probably doesn't make any sense. But it's the best I can do at the moment without giving away spoilers. Haha. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy:  Sarah J Maas' other books, romance, sexy times, fae, war stories, squad goals, a lot of shippable couples, epic and high fantasy
  • Trigger Warnings:  war, violence,  not great diverse representation, PTSD, breaking of bones, abusive romantic relationship

What did you all read in April? Anything you think I'd like? Have you read any of these books? If you've read Kushiel's Dart, is it worth my finishing?

Also, if you're buying some books - check out this offer from Barnes and Noble, good May 9-15, 2018!

Like what you read? Consider buying me a coffee