Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2016

Hello everyone! Sorry it’s so late, but it’s time for April’s monthly wrap-up! I really have not accomplished as much free reading as I would like this month, especially since my lit. classes have really started setting in the workloads (the wonderful fun of  being an English Major). But including class readings I still managed to read six books this month, so let’s get started!

23272028The first book I finished in April was A Study In Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallaro. This book focuses on the characters of Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, the descendants of John Watson and Sherlock Homes, as they attend a wealthy boarding school. When a student is murdered and they are blamed for the crime, it is up to them to find the real murderer before they can strike again. This book could be best described as a murder mystery with a bit of romance thrown in, and I can honestly say that I was fully invested in the mystery. The story could get a little slow at times, but it immediately picked up and could be seriously suspenseful. The characters were also really well written, especially Charlotte (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a female version of Sherlock Homes before!) It’s also the first book in a new trilogy, so I’ll definitely read the rest!

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Next up we have “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner. Oh my god, this book is absolutely amazing, but it also completely destroyed me. Seriously, major tears were shed over this book. The story follows three teenagers: one the son of a disgraced snake-handling minister who must deal with the effects of  his father’s reputation, one who is obsessed with a fantasy book series, and one who is an internet-famous fashion blogger through their senior year in a small town, and honestly, I cannot do this book justice with just a brief description. All three of the main characters are intensely well written, realistic, and relatable, and you just desperately want to see things work out for them and all around the writing is completely amazing. I will warn you that this one is a serious tearjerker, but it is definitely 100% worth the read.

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The next book I finished in April was actually required reading for my American Lit class: “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. I usually have a problem getting into books I have to read for class since they always tend to range from really sad to terribly disturbing, but I will say that I liked this play more than I usually like assigned readings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still definitely a really sad story, but it wasn’t as horribly disturbing as a lot of the other stuff I’ve had to read for college this semester. I also was actually able to get into the story and feel for some of the characters (I just really wanted things to work out for Laura, even though I knew it was going to be depressing), and the writing style was really easy to read. If you want to read a classic that’s fairly interesting and accessible, this is probably a good place to start.

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Next up we have “Half Lost” by Sally Green, the third and book in the “Half Life Trilogy”. Holy. Freaking. Crap. How do I describe my feelings on this book without going into a spoilery rant. Let’s just say that this book completely 100% destroyed me. It was super well done and intense, and you just really care about the characters, but oh my god, the sheer levels of emotional pain. I am definitely glad that I finally finished this series though (especially because I absolutely love the main pairing), and it’s definitely one I’d recommend. Again, like the other books in the series I will warn you all that it can get really gory, but if you’re looking for a really unique and darker urban fantasy series, “The Half Life Trilogy” is a great one to pick up.

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The fifth book of April was something I had been meaning to read for a really long time now: “The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh. This book is the first in a series retelling “A Thousand and One Nights” and takes place in a land where every night the eighteen year old king, Kahalid, marries a new woman only for her to be found dead the next morning. After her best friend is murdered, the main character Shahrzad volunteers to be the king’s next bride so that she can kill him, but once she learns more about Khalid things start to get complicated. I actually had a few mixed feelings about this book. I really liked the characters and setting, but I had some issues getting into the main pairing. But I definitely want to see where the story is going to go from the ending! I’m currently reading the second book, and it is definitely a fun series.

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Finally, the last book I finished this month was another required reading for American Lit.: “A Streetcar Named Desire” by “Tennessee Williams. I will say that this book is a classic, and is really well written, but it probably isn’t something I’d read outside of class (even though I really should have read it by now as a major theatre nerd). It definitely was a good play, but to me at least the plot was really sad and disturbing, and it just kind of felt like the typical depressing stuff you have to read in college English classes. But that may just be because I’m oversaturated with school right now, so don’t let me discourage you if you want to check it out! Just be warned that the subject matter handles some really heavy stuff.

Well that’s about it for this month’s wrap-up! I think my favorite this month has to be “The Serpent King”, followed closely by “Half Lost”. See you next time, and thanks for reading!

 

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