April 2021 Wrap Up

So April was another good reading month for me, particularly with the quality of the books as I had a whole host of top tier reads. I was loving life working my way through all of these!

For the first time ever I actually set myself a little TBR which I posted over on my instagram. I did this purely to keep myself accountable as I really need to start working through some of the physical books that I already own as opposed to my newest purchases or random choices from the various subscription services/library. Overall it worked really well! Here’s a look at the books I set myself the task of reading:

I wasn’t exactly hard on myself content wise, choosing books that I really thought I was going to love so I had a better chance of sticking to this list. I also only chose 6 so that I had some extra time to mood read some other books that caught my fancy and boy did I ever run with that. I have managed to finish all of these except for House of Earth and Blood which I only started on the 01/05 so I’m going to read that before anything else I’ve picked for May.

So, lets have a look at how everything I read worked out shall we!

3 Star

Starting off with a very mixed bag of genre’s! The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner was one of my most anticipate releases of the year and I found it to be a delightfully feminist novel about women through the ages looking after themselves and each other in the face of some very difficult experiences. 

Set across split timelines we follow Caroline, an American woman on a solo trip to London after a shocking discovery overturns her married life and Nella and Eliza, who run an Apothecary in the 1700’s that was soon to be embroiled in what will forever be known as the Apothecary Murders. 

I did prefer reading the historical side of this novel more than the present day as I found that to be the more intriguing story with the higher stakes keeping me on the edge of my seat. There was just something about the premise of an Apothecary doling out poisons to women with men they quietly needed to get rid of that made for a fascinating read. The dual timelines where handled really well though with the story of the Apothecary being revealed from the past and present simultaneously in a way that added a lovely dose of mystery. 

As for Show Me by Neve Wilder, if any of you saw my March Wrap up you’ll know I went on a bit of a binge read of a fair few of Wilder’s books so when this appeared on my Kindle recommended as a new release, I couldn’t not pick it up. It’s a continuation of the series so far and again follows two different characters within the same group of friends. This is Sam and Jessies story and while it was alright, it just missed the mark a little for me in comparison to the earlier books in this world. I also don’t think I gelled with the subject matter as the two characters end up making porn videos together and I just wasn’t all that interested. It was saved a little by the chemistry between the characters that Wilder writes so well.

Which leaves us with House Of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski which is more of a 3.5 stars. I’m going to do a full review for this which I will link here when it’s done but boy oh boy this was one hell of a complicated book. First of all, it took me almost 2 weeks to read which is a shocking amount of time for me to spend on a book but I felt that I really needed to pay attention to every word I read and as large sections of this are essentially an academic paper, it was slow going. What I will say here is that this is a book I will probably spend the rest of my life puzzling over as I try to figure out what on earth it is that I’ve read. There are literal forums online of people’s research into sections of this book and their theories over what it all means.

I feel like every time I talk about this book or try to explain it to someone, I get intrigued all over again so I wouldn’t be surprised if the rating goes up over time for me. It’s an experience I’ll give it that!

4 Star

A Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout is the third book in the Blood and Ash series and was a book that I was obsessively checking Amazon for after it’s release date so I could finally find out what happens at the end of book two. I have a full review for it on the way which I will link here but I will say this is the first book in the series that let me down a little. If it hadn’t been for another explosive ending in which absolutely everything happened, this would have been a 3 star read for me. It’s just getting a little repetitive in the way the two main characters interact in their relationship. Honestly if I would have read ‘I’m not worthy of you’ or ‘you’re so strong, I’m in awe of you’ one more time, the book would have been out the window. I have high hopes for the next book though!

Silver In The Wood by Emily Tesh was an absolute hidden gem. I’d seen it around and picked it up on a whim when I spotted it on Scribd and I’m really glad that I did.

There is a local legend that a Wild Man lives in the woods at Greenhollow. He never leaves and people rarely see him. He is said to be a fearsome guardian of the forest. 

Tobias is the Wild Man in question, spending his life protecting Greenhollow from threat and the humans from the dark things that dwell in the woods. He speaks to no-one but his cat and the friendly Dryads that live in the trees alongside him. He has lived this way for many years but when Greenhollow Hall gets a brand new, rather charismatic owner in the form of Henry Silver, Tobias feels a change brewing as he is forced to find his humanity again. 

This was a lovely whimsical tale based on the legend of the Green Man and it was beautifully told. The tale was steeped in folklore and it was lovely to read from Tobias’ perspective as Tesh manages to weave not only his timelessness but his calm soothing personality into every inch of her writing. 

I loved seeing him experiencing the human puppy that was Henry Silver and slowly starting to open himself up. The was a romance here but it was extremely subtle and it didn’t take anything away from the true nature of the story. 

It was a wonderful take on such an underrated piece of folklore  and the characterisation is a massive credit to Tesh. What she manages to achieve here with such a slow meandering narrative even in the midst of all the action really brings the story of the Green Man to life.

5 Star

I just had to read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo before the new TV series aired on Netflix as soon as I heard the crows where included right from the get go. You can see my full review for Six of Crows here but it’s safe to say I absolutely loved this duology! I fell so in love with this group of criminals and by far preferred this to the original Shadow and Bone trilogy. It did take me a little while to realise why everyone hyped this series up so much but by the end of the first book I was getting it. Crooked Kingdom however was excellent and it gave me everything I wanted from these characters and this world. Fun fact, it was also the first book to make me shed a tear in absolute years!

Next up is Docile by K. M. Szpara which I do have a review for here. I had series issues not writing an essay about this book but as just a brief hint, I thought it was phenomenal. It is a whole experience as a reader that really brings you into the story and Szpara has a knack for completely messing with your perceptions as your reading. A masterful debut and I will recommend it to everyone until I am blue in the face. It does come with a whole host of trigger warnings and is by no means an easy read but honestly, I wouldn’t let that put you off. It’s gritty, dark, explicit and choc full of trauma and the aftermath of trauma in an unflinching examination of human nature. I’ll shut up about it now!

Finally a Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L Armentrout which is the second book in the From Blood and Ash series. After the way the first book ended there was a massive scope for some character growth and world building within this book and I thought it delivered everything nicely. The relationship between Poppy and Hawke is as steamy as ever and although in reality the whole contents of this book actually take place over a short period of time I didn’t think it needed cutting down any. Armentrout has a way of ending every chapter right in the middle of the action which makes her books ridiculously hard to put down. I ended up reading this in 2 days straight during the middle of the week so clearly my sleep was sacrificed! Worth it though.

Not a bad reading month at all! There are definitely some books in here that will stick with me for years and managing to finally get to some of the books that have been sat on my shelf for months was really satisfying!

After the success of this mini tbr I have done the same thing again for May to see how I get on. I’ve kept it to 6 books so there’s no pressure but hopefully I won’t end up with another 2 week book like House of Leaves was so I should get through this lot ok *fingers crossed* with plenty of time to mood read to my hearts content.

I’m also hoping to get around to a little bit of a blog re-brand/update that I’ve had planned for a while during May so keep you’re eyes peeled for that!

Do TBR’s work for you? Let me know what you’re planning to read this month.

See you in the next one folks,

Jen x

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