Wrap Up: April 2018

Sitting down to write this April wrap up, I just realised that I read 8 books last month! I’m more than happy with that, especially because I read some pretty awesome stories too. Let’s hope it continues through May, which I’m sure it will because I have some exciting books on my TBR including ACOFAS (I’m a bit obsessed with this series bet you didn’t know that – ha!), Onyx and Ivory and Circe. Keep on reading for my April wrap up, it’s all spoiler free!

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So over Easter weekend at the end of March and beginning of April we had a Bank Holiday in the UK, which meant that we had a long four day weekend! Perfect for lots of reading. The lovely Kate from Reading Through Infinity very kindly arranged an Easter Readathon, so of course I had to take part! This was my first Readathon and I had so much fun participating, especially because of the sprints and chatting with other people taking part, and I definitely attribute the fact I made it through four books that weekend to this.

In April, the Readathon continued with To Kill a Kindgom by Alexandra Christo, which I actually read in just one day! I’d heard so many amazing things about this book so I was excited to pick it up. I mean, a YA fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid with a review on the cover that says “For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo”… how could I say no? While I raced through it and was definitely invested in the plot and the characters, I just felt like it was missing *something* but I don’t know exactly what. In terms of its likening to Maas’ books, there was a strong, female character and a swoon-worthy morally ambiguous male love interest, but for me that was where the similarities ended. However, it was an enjoyable read and I would encourage anybody looking for a gripping, fast paced standalone YA fantasy to give it a go. 3/5 stars.

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My next read was another I was really excited to pick up: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This is a book I had only ever read exceptionally positive things about. A retelling of Achilles’s story, this book is of course packed with Greek mythology and while I’ll admit I’m not very up on this subject, it definitely didn’t hinder my time reading it at all. To call my experience with reading The Song of Achilles an emotional roller-coaster would be an understatement; it was exciting, tense, cute, infuriating, informative, fast paced, butterflies-in-the-belly-inducing, awe inspiring and that ending was like a sucker-punch to my stomach. Wow.

Miller has an exceptional talent for writing, each chapter packed with such descriptive writing and world building that they played out like scenes from a film in my mind. There was also gay representation throughout this book, and while I cannot comment on it’s accuracy, I’ve read a lot of reviews that are happy and excited about this portrayal. As I closed this book, I just felt overwhelmed. It’s definitely one of my favourite books of the year so far and I’m so excited to read Miller’s next Greek Mythology inspired book, Circe. As I’m writing this, I just got back from a Circe event where I actually got to meet Madeline Miller – it was awesome! 4.5/5 stars.

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In April, I also conducted my annual re-read of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas ready for my most anticipated book of the year, A Court of Frost of Starlight, which came out yesterday. As I write this on the 1st May, my copy finally arrived this lunchtime and I devoured it in just a few hours! It was everything I wanted and I loved it from beginning to end. I’ll be writing a spoiler thoughts post soon! I Anyway, I always struggle to put into words just how much this series means to me. If you’ve ever seen my Instagram feed, Twitter page or have even spoke to me in person, you probably know how much I love ACOTAR. I found it at a time that was so important for me and it totally changed my reading habits, re-igniting my love for YA fantasy and fuelled my passion for book blogging too. Whilst I wholeheartedly love ACOTAR and ACOWAR, ACOMAF is definitely held a little bit higher in my heart and I wish I could bottle up my feelings and emotions from my first time reading it so that I could re-live it all the time. Saying that though, every time I re-read I love it just as much as the first time! I acknowledge the problematic parts of Maas’ books, and would never say that they don’t exist, but these books are everything to me and so are of course 5/5 stars. Always. Read this for a more articulate description of my feelings.

Next up is a bit of a funny one. I came across  a recommendation for Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson in an ACOTAR group I’m part of on Facebook and after checking out Goodreads I read a review that said it’s like “the budget soap opera version of ACOMAF” by A Page with a View. You best believe I bought that e-book straight away. Wow, that review was accurate. It’s a Fey tale, packed with angst, territorial males, magic, love, war and danger and whilst it was cheesy as, I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it. Sure, some parts weren’t great, but it was a fun and easy read and would definitely recommend if you like fantasy stories about Fey! 3/5 stars.

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The next book I read in April was a sequel to one of my favourite books of 2017, and it was Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones. Last year I read Wintersong and fell completely in love, so when I got the opportunity to review the next in the series, I jumped at the chance! Just like it’s predecessor, Shadowsong was packed with beautiful, lyrical writing, with heavy nods to music throughout the book. Where Wintersong was more a dark retelling of Labyrinth, telling the story of Liesl becoming The Goblin Queen, Shadowsong tells us her journey after this. I did find the pacing to be quite slow in this book, and while it didn’t stop me reading, it became a little hard to get through at times. There was representation of bi-polar disorder in Shadowsong, which Jae-Jones addresses in author note at the beginning of the book. I was so happy to see an authors note that highlighted any trigger warnings for the upcoming stories, I hope to see more authors take note! Whilst I didn’t love this book as much as Wintersong, it was still an enjoyable read and earned 3/5 stars. You can read my full review here.

My final read in April, well more of a listen, was the audiobook of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I first read this series back in late 2016 and early 2017, and completely fell in love. When I saw that the trio were on offer for around £3 each on Audible, I couldn’t resist! I’ve been playing the books on my journeys to and from work, if I’ve been out and about in the car, when I’ve been cooking at home and basically any opportunity. They’re totally gripping and the writing is so visceral that I have no trouble visualising the scenes or characters at all. I love reading about the magic Grisha with the Russian influences, and Bardugo’s writing is impeccable as always. I’m currently halfway through the second audiobook, Siege and Storm, and can guarantee this will take a spot as one of my favourite series of 2018, just like it did in 2016. 4/5 stars.

Phew, that was a looong wrap up! Serious question, do you think I might possible writing *too much* on my blog? I just have a lot to say! I can’t wait to continue reading more awesome books, I feel like I’m in such a good reading place right now. What’s on your TBR for the next month?

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