Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Books Lately - April 2022

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I finally feel like I am back in my reading groove, but don't want to jinx it. Life changes and then covid, I am a different reader than I was 3 years ago. I'm just trying to go with the flow and not force anything. Anyone else a different reader now vs pre-covid?

fictional memoir
Heather recommended this one to me and I’m so glad! It started a bit slow for me and I was worried I wouldn’t love it as much as she did, but then all of a sudden I was hooked! I laughed, I cried. I loved the characters. Love the way the story is told. So unique. Such a wonderful and enjoyable read. Highly recommend.
bookish enemies to lovers romance
This is definitely my favourite from this author, everything about it worked so freaking well. I loved the writing, the story, the characters. The characters are just super well developed and I felt like I really knew them. I just loved everything about this book, I loved that it wasn’t just a romance in the sense that we smoosh two people together and watch them fall in love, but also about their backgrounds, their families, their issues, compromises, and of course, all the fun little notes and odes to books for us book lovers.  Received from Netgalley.
just what the title says
I found this both fascinating and terrifying. Loved it and highly recommend. I think if you have no desire to eat less meat or read information that goes directly against everything you currently do, it's not the best book for you. I’m not perfect by any means, but I already lean towards plant based, so it was fine for me. I still eat fish, and I love chips and ice cream. I’m sure the information shared in this book is cherry picked to support his overall idea, so again, if you are against it, you will most likely find evidence to prove you are right and he is wrong, and ner ner ner you don't have you be a vegan. My suggestion is probably don't read this book then. 
fake relationship academic setting
I don’t know why I put this one off so long! I think I read a few not so great reviews from strangers and listened to those instead of listening to people I trust and normally follow blindly book wise. When I finally got to it, I could.not.put.it.down. I adored it. I started with the audio, but I read much faster than I listen so I quickly switched and ignored all other life responsibilities until I finished. I loved the characters, they were so fun and interesting. I loved the writing, the story, the pace. Everything worked perfectly for me. I thought it was original and different. Highly recommend to romance fans if for some reason you’ve not already read it!
middle grade fantasy book, men in black mixed with harry potter ish
This was so good! Amari is a great main character, the world building is fantastic, the pacing done well, loved the writing, cannot wait for the next one. It’s adventurous and fun, such an enjoyable read, highly recommend.
historical fiction, deadliest female sniper
After loving The Rose Code with all the love in my book heart, I was champing at the bit to get to this one. I had high expectations. It mostly met them – it’s fascinating, well written, paced well, love how it is based on a true story. I love Kate Quinn’s writing style, how she writes about very serious and heartbreaking things while also throwing in some light hearted moments. I feel like I’m really in the book or living these things with her writing. I didn’t love it as much as The Rose Code, but that one was just breathtaking so not really this book’s fault. I still recommend her books overall, and the audio narrator is one of my favourites.
Oh Finlay. She reminds me of Stephanie Plum, but a little more capable. I thought this one was just as fabulous and fun as the first, maybe a smidge less just because I had no real expectations for the first. I still thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the hijinks the characters get up to. I will definitely read the next in this series when it comes out, and I recommend these books for anyone who wants something a little lighter than your standard creepy mystery/thriller. These books are just plain fun.
her second memoir/collection of stories
I really enjoy Gabrielle Union's books. I love how honest she is and how she talks about tough topics. she just seems so humble and raw and makes me think about things I never would have before - like her character in bring it on, which is all I really knew her from before reading her books. I don't think I’m cool enough to be her friend, but I really admire and enjoy her as a person (well, the person I 'know' from her books).
one man stands three women up, romance ish
Now, if you’ve read a romance or two you know there’s no way it can end with any of the women ending up with the guy, unless things aren’t what they seem. Well, obviously I won’t say what happens, but I do think it was interesting and wrapped up well. I related to one of the women more than the others, really liked another, didn’t feel much of anything for the third. I was super upset by something that happened and I’m still sad about it. But overall I liked it. Some people may not love that it’s tagged as a ‘romance’ what with the 3 heroines, it is hard to invest in a couple when you don’t actually know who you should be investing in. A good ‘beach read’.
family secrets
This one was gifted to me, sounded interesting enough but the reviews weren’t amazing so I kept putting it off. Sometimes a book is better than the synopsis makes it seem, but sometimes the opposite happens. This synopsis for this one was like when a movie trailer shows you all the good bits but also a few deleted scenes. Luckily I’m not one to re-read the synopsis right before I read a book, so I went in with no real expectations, but I understand why others got cranky/disappointed. It wasn’t edge of your seat thrilling, or emotionally gripping, or heart-wrenching. It was fine, I didn’t hate it, it was a perfectly fine way to pass the time.
boarding school in australia, parallel past and present lives, abandonment
There are a few authors that can do no wrong in my eyes. Melina Marchetta, despite our rocky beginning (being forced to read her books in high school), is… or was… one of those. Mostly still is. I think. I had high expectations for this one because of how much I’ve loved her other books, but I was very confused in the beginning, nothing is explained and nothing makes sense. It is all quite confusing, but not in a way that you end up understanding and loving. By the end, I was definitely invested, but I hated that it took me so long to get there. I did love the bits of home, especially kings cross, but yeah. I wanted to love it and I just didn’t. It was fine, but if you’ve never read one of her books, please don’t start with this one.
mystery, domestic drama
I am definitely biased when it comes to Australian authors/books, certain things will bring me so much joy that I can't help but love the book a little extra. I didn't love this one as much as The Good Sister, but it was still a great read and couldn't wait to see how it all played out. I found all the characters well written and the whole idea fascinating, really appreciated the whole doubt thing that I can't go too into without spoiling. The only issue I had was this - I had the ebook and audio (love the narrator!) and the ending was different. I deleted the book when finished and when I told Heather the differences, she was curious and I tried to redownload but obviously it had been changed. Which is fine, but frustrating because I do think the things taken out of the ebook really added to the story. Received from Netgalley.

I feel a little mean putting this one down here, but I just don’t have anything good to say about it. This was my first by this author and unfortunately, I did not love it. Lots of characters, none of them likable or relatable or that I cared about even one little bit. It was all over the place. I felt like it wanted to be spooky and tense, but the tension never really builds because the main character never really finds anything out, just bumbles along. I listened to the bulk of it while driving a couple hours somewhere and back again, so at least I finished it quickly. I’m not sure if I would have if I hadn’t been driving or if I’d had to actually read it. Overall, meh, and it wasn’t a hit with the rest of book club.

Linking up with 
Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

The only real reading goals I have this year are to read books I already own, and also try and read more aussie/kiwi authors. So far, I have read 18 books I already owned (prior to Jan 1st), 2 of which were rereads so not sure they really count. I would love to get it to like, 50 by the end of the year. As for aussie/kiwi authors, only 5 so far. Need to do better there.

Anyway - out of these books, I would recommend The Spoon Stealer, but also all the others if they sound like your jam.

How are you doing on your bookish goals for 2022, if you made any?