Hello! Welcome to my new blog series: Snapshot Reviews. In which I give a short review of every book read in the previous month.
In the month of April I read 13 books in total, they will be reviewed in the order they were read, beginning April 8th through until April 30th.
This month I also participated in the O.W.L.S magical readathon hosted by Book Roast on YouTube, and completed all of the prompts for the Mind Medic Career.
Book 1: Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire
Finished April 12th 2020, rated 5 stars.
I absolutely loved this book. I listened on audible and read along when I had the chance. The character development was very in-depth and the way they interracted with each other really gave itself to the atmosphere of the story. Spooky, slightly confusing, morbid and just awesome. Would definitely recommend!
Book 2: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
Finished April 13th 2020, rated 3 stars.
Station Eleven was a thought provoking book (that I probably read at the wrong time…cough cough Covid-19), but I couldn’t help feel a little disappointed. With the way everyone raves about how great it is, I was expecting a more plot focussed story. I went into this expecting a SciFi/dystopian storyline. It ended up being more about the relationships between the people involved, and an exploration of their interactions and the ripple effect of the consequences of their actions. The writing was incredible, it just was not what I was hoping for.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Muggle Studies – A book from the perspective of a muggle.
Book 3: Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
Finished April 14th 2020, rated 4 stars.
In 2006 this was my favourite book, now more than a decade later I thought why not revisit one of the books that reignited my love for reading. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I remembered enjoying it. It’s not as though it hasn’t aged well, it was more that some of the behaviours shown by the main character came across as a little bit unrealistic. It made me laugh to think that 12/13 year old me felt this huge connection to the main character. Of course I did, I thought I was just SO mature. Martha tries to behave so much older than she is, always paying extra attention to the adults in her life. Reading To Kill A Mockingbird, wanting to write “novels” not stories. It’s almost a coming of age story, and I think it does a great job at exploring grief in middle grade children.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Defense Against the Dark Arts – A book set at sea or on the coast.
Book 4: Saga Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Finished April 17th 2020, rated 5 stars.
I can’t say much about this as it’s volume 6 in a series but this was one of my favourite volumes in the series so far. I definitely recommend picking this series up, but there is a lot of nudity, violence and other such adult themes so please be aware of that before you let little ones have a peek.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Transfiguration – A book that includes shapeshifting.
Book 5: Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Finished April 18th 2020, rated 5 stars.
Again I can’t say much about this as it’s volume 7 in the Saga series but this was hands down my favourite volume so far. It had all of the bad-ass alien fighting that we love the series for, with a dash of shock and heartbreak. I definitely recommend picking this series up, but there is a lot of nudity, violence and other such adult themes so please be aware of that before you let little ones have a peek.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Astronomy – A book read at night.
Book 6: Saga Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Finished April 18th 2020, rated 5 stars.
This is the second last volume (that has been released so far) and I was so incredibly thankful for how this one played out. I don’t know how I would have coped if it didn’t follow directly on from volume 7. I definitely recommend picking this series up, but there is a lot of nudity, violence and other such adult themes so please be aware of that before you let little ones have a peek.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Potions (Shrinking) – A book under 150 pages.
Book 7: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Finished April 19th 2020, rated 4 stars.
*Some triggers in this book I think are important to share are rape and body horror.* There were more explicit adult themes than I was expecting (in hindsight I know that it’s very widely talked about but I came into this with little knowledge of what it was about). Overall I thought it was a really well-written book, I will say that I will probably need to read through a second time, just because listening on audiobook seemed to do this an injustice. I could tell there were a lot intricacies that I was breezing over, so reading this with my eyes could have kicked the star rating up to a 5, we will never know.
Book 8: Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
Finished April 21st 2020, rated 4 stars.
The latest book in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. I loved it, I had been waiting for a book that followed these characters again. Down Among The Sticks And Bones was my favourite of all of the previous installments. I loved this sequel, although I flew through it, and all though it was the same length as most of the other books I could have happily read another 50 pages.
Book 9: Normal People by Sally Rooney
Finished April 21st 2020, rated 3 stars.
This was a really easy book to read, it was written really well and I enjoyed listening to the audiobook. I did feel however that it was more an examination of characters rather than a plot heavy story and while I do love character driven books, I wasn’t feeling a strong connection to them, and that brought my enjoyment down in the end because I wasn’t super interested in what was happening to the two main characters. I would read more of Sally Rooney’s work, because her writing was smooth and I couldn’t stop until it was finished.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Arithmancy – Read outside favourite genre.
Book 10: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Finished April 24th 2020, rated 3 stars.
I will admit, young adult paranormal/fantasy werewolves and vampires really don’t rock my world the way they would have 10 odd years ago. This wasn’t a bad book, it just really showed its age. I will continue with the series because it drew me in enough that I want to see what happens, but I don’t see myself giving this series anything more than a 3-star rating.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Ancient Runes – A book with a heart on the cover or title (the leaves are heart shaped… IT COUNTS).
Book 11: On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
Finished April 27th 2020, rated 5 stars.
If you are going to read On The Come Up, I cannot recommend picking up the audiobook enough! My god, this was so good as an audiobook, I absolutely loved it. Having a narrator actually speak, rap and rhyme made this reading experience one of my favourites. I loved seeing more of the world that Angie Thomas explored in her first book (The Hate U Give) but from other perspectives. Seeing how the culture of the different schools and the different neighbourhoods effecting kids in different ways was awesome. I loved this experience so much that I went back and re-read THUG via audiobook as well.
Book 12: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Finished April 28th 2020, rated 5 stars.
This was my second read through of THUG, this time via audiobook. I think this book is incredible and deserves all of the hype it has received. It is hard hitting, funny and so relatable (even as someone who has never had the misfortune of dealing with the kind of discrimination and hate that the characters in this book deal with) I loved being back in this story, especially after listening to On The Come Up for the first time. I definitely recommend reading the two as a pair.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Charms (Lumos Maxima) – A book with a white cover (This version isn’t white, but the other version is).
Book 13: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Finished April 30th 2020, rated 4 stars.
*Some triggers in this book I think are important to share are rape/sexual abuse, grooming of a minor and suicide.* The final book I read in April (and the book that took the longest to finish! I started this on the 12th of April and didn’t finish until 11pm on the last day of April). This was an incredible book, it broke my heart, made me feel sick and had me questioning humanity. This book went to dark places and asked questions of its characters and of the reader that people don’t often touch on. I thought that it tackled a really delicate and taboo subject, to the point where it almost felt as though it was playing devil’s advocate. It made my skin crawl and I had to put it down so often because it was so realistic in its writing. I think it is a fantastic character study and a really important commentary on sexual abuse and grooming, from a perspective you don’t often get to see. It’s not for everyone, that is something I’m sure about. I struggle to recommend this book to my friends and family, only because I know that it’s not a topic people like to think about. I thought it was incredible though, and I think it’s a fascinating read.
O.W.L.S Prompt: Herbology (Mimbulus Mimbletonia) – Starts with M.
That’s it from me this month, even though Covid-19 has been a huge spanner in the works this year April turned out to be a fabulous reading month!