Happy Tuesday team and how are you all today? I’m very surprised that we’re already into May but happy that the first May bank holiday is fast approaching. So you know, it’s all about the good and the bad today! Without further ado, shall we jump straight into my latest book update? This one is all about my April reads. Spoiler, there are some great reads in today’s post!
April Reads #1 – The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
I’ve been the biggest Katherine Rundell fan for a few years now, ever since I read her first novel The Rooftoppers. A beautiful tale that instantly reminded me of classics like The Little Princess and Eva Ibbotsen’s glorious books. Unsurprisingly I adored her latest novel, a stunning tale set in the Amazon rainforest and following a group of children who have to work together to get back to civilisation after their plane crashes. From page one you’re instantly immersed in this Amazonian world and heading on a glorious adventure. The descriptions are so vivid that you can see the rainforest and Amazon river as if it were right in front of you. And Rundell somehow manages to make the fear and hope palpable on every page. It’s really incredible. I adored this book.
April Reads #2 – The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Power has been out for ages and has received incredible reviews from day one, as such I refused to pick it up until I really, really wanted to read it. As I know what I’m like. If something’s getting amazing reviews and has incredible buzz I invariably hate it! I think that’s because I build it up too much in my head and it can never meet my high expectations. Thankfully I left it long enough with The Power as I really enjoyed it. I did find it slow to start with but at about 50 pages in I was hooked. This is a really timely tale about what would happen if women suddenly came into an incredible power that allowed them to hurt and even kill people with a touch of their hands. How would their power change them, how would they rule the world and what would society be like. It’s such interesting examination of feminism, power and equality and I loved that it was told from multiple perspectives. Definitely worth the hype.
April Reads #3 – A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
I’ve had book one of this trilogy on my Kindle for ages thanks to a 99p deal a few years ago and I’m so pleased I’ve finally read it as it’s just brilliant. It tells the tale of a thief and a magician trying to save the world as we know it by hopping into lots of different alternative versions of London. Who can they trust and will they have the power to save everything they hold dear? It’s so good, and also hilarious. I definitely had a book hangover after finishing this one. Also, this is the first time I’ve regretted my book buying ban this year as I couldn’t download book two straightaway. Woe is me.
April Reads #4 – Let Me Lie by Claire Mackintosh
I’m a big fan of Claire Mackintosh’s thriller’s and this one was so good. I was hooked from page one and I could not finish it fast enough. I love how you never know who to trust in Claire’s books and that you’re faced with twist after twist after twist. It tells the tale of Anna whose parents both killed themselves within weeks of one another, or did they? A year after their deaths she is sent a letter saying that it was murder. Was it? And if so can she find the truth about what happened? Who can she trust? And is she perhaps in more danger than she could ever imagine? So, so good.
April Reads #5 – Drink, Eat, Run by Bryony Gordon
I love Bryony Gordon and thinks her honesty is so refreshing. Her book about her mental health, Mad Girl, was one of my favourite reads of last year, so I was eagerly awaiting her newest book – out in May – which is all about her journey from non-runner/alcoholic/heavy smoker to marathon runner. Again Bryony’s written a supremely honest and inspiring book. However I didn’t feel like I learnt a lot about her journey that I hadn’t heard about in her newspaper column or podcast, which was a shame. But it’s still super inspiring and reminds me how good it feels to get outside and get running.
April Reads #6 – The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
I was very excited to start Sally Green’s new series and I was not disappointed. The premise of demons with smoke with special powers is super intriguing. The book is instantly gripping, thanks to an enthralling demon chasing sequence at the start. I raced through this book, I think mainly due to the short chapters from multiple character’s perspectives. The five main characters are all so different – some likable, some not. Annoyingly at times it felt like this book was just a set up for the next book, which I know has to happen at the start of a series, but still I wish it had more of its own resolved story. However this is still a great book and I’d highly recommend. I can’t wait for book two – there’s so much potential for what could happen next!
April Reads #7 – The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This book was simply incredible. It was equal parts harrowing and hopeful. Beautiful and horrific. It’s a tale of true, incredible love, under the most unimaginable circumstances between two incredible humans. This book was unputdownable. I read it under 24 hours.
This fictional tale is based on the incredible true story of Lale, a hero, who was sent to Auschwitz near the start of the war. While they he fell in love with a fellow prisoner and also become the tattooist of the camp. He was responsible for tattooing every prison on their arrival. Because of this job he was given some perks – extra food, more freedom, his own room and as such he could share some of his good fortune with others. From sharing his food, getting medicine for the sick and even asking favours from the guards. The things he did to help others are incredible and it’s such an inspiring read. To know that people like Lale existed and helped others even when he was going through a horrific time is so inspiring. You must read this book.
April Reads #8 – Monster Orphan Spy by Matt Killeen
Monster Orphan Spy is a YA book about a Jewish teenager who is orphaned and then rescued by a strange spy who turns her into a spy and sends her into a Nazi boarding school. It’s a little far-fetched, but the levels of detail about Nazi Germany is incredible and you can tell a lot of research has gone into this. Sometimes the writing was unnecessarily descriptive and long, but overall it’s a good read. I think this is helped by our main character, Sarah, who is a well written, feisty character. I did enjoy this book, but definitely felt it could have been better.
So there we go, those are the books I read in April. Definitely some very good reads! Tell me, what was your favourite read of the last month?