April Wrap-Up

Happy May everyone!

April went surprisingly fast! May is going to be busy, so hopefully that’ll make it feel fast as well. There are only about seven weeks left of the school year! It’s always a difficult stretch to that finish line, but the end is in sight. I’m feeling it, my students are feeling it (and the warm weather we’ve had lately isn’t helping)… But we’re almost there!

April was an okay reading month for me! The chaos I’ve felt in the professional aspects of my life is definitely showing up in my reading, though. I mean this in the sense that I keep picking books up before actually finishing what I’m already in the middle of, so I end up being in the middle of about five books at once… It’s not how I like to read, but at least I’m still reading I guess!

I really enjoyed most of the books I read this month, and I’m hoping to continue that trend in May! May is also AAPI Heritage Month, and normally I would try to theme my reading around this. However, I have a feeling that this is going to be a hectic month, so I don’t want to feel too much pressure to read specific things. I’d rather keep things open and just prioritize whatever interests me in the moment. So we’ll see what happens! I just started Simu Liu’s memoir, We Were Dreamers, so I’ll at least have one book that commemorates that theme.

Finally, I also had a great book haul for Independent Bookstore Day last weekend! I was able to stop by a couple of my favorite local bookstores, and it was so much fun! My awesome finds were:

  • Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • Babel by R.F. Kuang
  • Colombiana by Mariana Velásquez (It’s a Colombian cookbook with beautiful photography and yummy-looking recipes!)
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in April:

To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

Stats and Overall Thoughts:

Books read: 6
Physical books: 2
(Books that I physically own: 2)
Audiobooks: 4

Fiction: 6
Nonfiction: 0
(Long books: 0)

Average monthly rating: 4.0
Top Book of April: When Life Gives You Mangos

*To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

5-star books:

  • When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten (Realistic Fiction, Middle Grade, Audiobook)
    • I always say that young readers deserve to read great books, and this is the perfect example of a fantastically written middle grade book. The writing is exceptional, to the point that it would be an enjoyable read for people of any age – and that includes adults! It explores coming-of-age themes (especially regarding friendship) in a way that will immediately take adult readers back to their own childhoods, and that will be so relatable for any young reader. There’s also a great twist at the end. I won’t say anything other than that to avoid spoilers! I’ll just say that it’s rare that middle grade books shock me, but this one really did! This is a great book that I’d recommend for readers of all ages! Review coming soon!

4.5-star books:

  • Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy by Angie Thomas (Fantasy, Upper Middle Grade, Hardcover)
    • I was so excited when I learned that Angie Thomas would be publishing her debut middle grade novel. Her YA novels are some of my all-time favorites, so I was sure that her middle grade venture wouldn’t disappoint. And I was right! This was such a fun fantasy novel. The stakes were high and I was engaged the whole time, and the characters were fun and well-developed. Full review coming soon!

4-star books:

  • Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz (Historical Fiction, YA, Hardcover)
    • I really enjoyed this one! I especially loved the historical fiction elements and learning about the medical field in Scotland in the early 1800s. The word that comes to mind when I think of how to describe this story is macabre. It’s dark and creepy and surprisingly gory for a YA novel. The pace really picks up about halfway through and it becomes really difficult to put down. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of the ending and felt like the mystery elements were unnecessary and poorly executed. I ended up docking a star for this, but up until the end I thoroughly enjoyed this! While the final moments of the book were a let-down for me, there was still so much about it that I enjoyed that I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel.
  • When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margaret Verble (Historical Fiction, Audiobook)
    • I read this for my book club this month and I really enjoyed it! It’s a historical fiction novel that includes a lot of information about a part of history that I’m not all that familiar with. The 1920s is a popular setting for historical fiction, but 1920s Tennessee is not, so it was really eye-opening for me! It tackles themes of racism and colonization in really thoughtful ways, and the characters are all vivid and well thought out. It’s definitely slow-paced, but I didn’t mind that. I was fascinated and engaged throughout the whole story, and I wasn’t even sure why! I think it’s just because it was so well-written that it’s hard not to be captivated. That being said, I didn’t rate it 5 stars because I thought the ending could have tied some of the threads of the story together a little better, but other than that I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this book, especially to readers of historical fiction!

3.5-star books:

  • A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (Romance, Audiobook)
    • I was looking for something light and cute that would hold my attention, and this definitely did the trick! I felt like the writing was overly corny at times, especially when describing the more serious themes (sexism and racism and their intersectionality). But I didn’t mind the corny-ness during the purely romantic scenes! I enjoyed listening to this, but it was the ending the really dropped the score for me. I just found it to be not totally satisfying and it felt rushed (and maybe even kind of nonsensical). Again, the romance plotline was fine, but it was the other areas of the plot that just felt kind of lackluster to me. I have to say, though, it is kind of eerie that this came out in 2018 and it’s about an epidemiologist, and one of her struggles is that funding is being cut from their work and research… And just a couple short years later, we see the very real effects of the damage done by this! Overall a cute read that I’d recommend for anyone looking for a fluffier read!

3-star books:

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gastón Leroux (Classic, Audiobook)
    • Honestly, it was probably my fault that I didn’t really enjoy this. I had just DNF’ed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and I really didn’t want to DNF two books in a row, so I just powered through. But I really should have given up on this one earlier as soon as I realized it wasn’t working for me. I just found the plot to be tedious, the characters insufferable, and the “mystery” to be obvious (though to be fair, this could be due to the fact that I’ve seen the movie and Broadway adaptations of the story already). Anyway, it wasn’t for me, but it could definitely work for others!


  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Classic, Audiobook)
    • I started this audiobook partially because I actually enjoyed reading Huck Finn in high school, and then partially because the audiobook I had was narrated by Nick Offerman. While Offerman’s narration was indeed fantastic, I just couldn’t get myself to care about the story. In certain ways, it reminded me of Anne of Green Gables (which I loved), but I just didn’t find Tom Sawyer nearly as endearing as Anne. Maybe I’ll try it again someday when I have a little more patience and focus, but for now I just knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.

How did your reading go in April? Any stand-out books to recommend?

Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!

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