Hi loyal reader! I’m sorry for having abandoned my blog for so long, but I’m finally back. I haven’t posted a wrap-up since March, but I figure it might be nice to share all my reviews of my past reads anyway, and I’d like to have all my reviews in one place, so I’ll be posting my long overdue wrap-ups over the following days. I might also post some more elaborate reviews of books and series I loved. Please bear with me, you might find some nice recommendations!
Without further ado, let’s just start with my April reads!
Marissa Meyer – Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
This was again a fun, quick read. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Scarlet, the second book in this series. That’s because the plot was just a little too messy, Cress annoyed me a little, and this is the kind of book in a series which is necessary to connect all the dots, but where nothing really gets resolved. I’m hoping for Winter to be better!
V.E. Schwab – A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
This was, I think, the best book in this trilogy! It was suspenseful from the start, and the characters got even better. However, something in Schwab’s writing makes me feel distanced from the story, it doesn’t draw me in.
Reesha Goral – The Servant Boy: A Rags to Riches Novel
This book really wasn’t for me… I was hoping it would be a refreshing read and I hadn’t read a book like this in quite some time, but now I know why. It’s just not my genre. It felt overly dramatic to me, and the whole poor boy becomes a rich man seemed mainly a bit cliché and unrealistic.
Herman Koch – Makkelijk leven
Well, this book was annoying! It’s a novella written as a gift for the Dutch book week. Often, these books are a little off, because authors are under pressure to write something good and they need to keep it short. This book wasn’t just a little off, it lacked a lot: a plot, a main character who gets you even a little invested in the book, or if all else fails: a comical element. The main character is a middle-aged man who writes self-help books but is himself in desperate need of one. When his daughter in law comes to him to tell him his son has hit her, he fails to call his son out on it because it’s his favorite son and he doesn’t like his daughter in law. I can deal with a morally wrong and/or unsympathetic character. If, and only if, there’s a reason for it, or it’s somehow ironic/funny. This isn’t, it’s a nice try that wasn’t worked out very well.
Neil Gaiman – Stardust
This was a really fun read! I saw the movie years ago, but I didn’t remember much of it, except for the market and the fallen star. So it was fun to dive into the story! And of course Neil Gaiman never disappoints:) The only criticism I have, is that, even though it’s not a long book, it still felt a little long at times. It would possibly have worked even better as a novella.
Stephanie Perkins – Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
This was definitely better than the second book in this series, Lola and the Boy Next Door! However, where Anna and the French Kiss felt fairly mature for a teenage romance novel, this didn’t. There was a little too much high school drama for me to really be able to relate. It was nice enough though, because Isla and Josh were both cute, loveable characters.
Jen Wilde – Queens of Geek
I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I loved it from the dedication until the last letter. It’s definitely one of those ya contemporaries that are the exception on the rule, and are genuinely good! It has three really loveable main characters, and especially Taylor was very relatable for me. The setting is amazing for any geeky fangirl, but the whole nerdiness is not necessarily the central point of the book, but more of a means for people to be able to make peace with who they are. The book is anything but superficial, and definitely one that will stick with you for a long time.
Kasie West – By Your Side
This is a really light read, and I guess it’s cute enough, but I didn’t much like it. Especially Autumn, the main character, and her friends annoyed me. They were just these typical, immature high school kids and I couldn’t relate at all. Also, I was hoping for a bit more book love in this book because of the whole spending the night in a library premisse. Instead, Autumn really isn’t a reader and resolves to watching tv?!
Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
A big part of this book consists of a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but a lot of suspense and original world-building is added. I won’t give any spoilers, but when I reread this book, I viewed both Tamlin and Rhysand entirely different, and I don’t understand how I didn’t see it before. At times, Maas’ writing does get overly dramatic, and I was annoyed by all the prejudice between humans and faeries. But overall, I do enjoy this series.
Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
I’m glad I reread this book, because I forgot a few things and now I’m even more looking forward to ACOWAR. I love Rhysand, but I do have to admit Feyre annoys me with her immature behaviour a lot of the time. Another thing that I noticed this time around, was how the book spoke of high fae and lesser faeries, which seems really offensive, especially since it doesn’t feel relevant to the story. It’s a suspenseful book, and I like it, but it definitely has its flaws.
Hanna Bervoets – Fuzzie
Hanna Bervoets is one of my favorite Dutch authors, so I’m always excited when she releases a new book! She usually examines interesting hypotheses, and this time she wrote about little furry balls that talk to people in a way that seems like they understand them. It is a very interesting premisse, I think, because it questions what people look for in a relationship and what they need to not feel lonely. Bervoets is a great writer and she’s especially good at writing from different POVs. Her characters feel real, and I love how not everything is explicitly put into words, because it gives the reader the opportunity to interpret things in their own way. There were, however, two things I missed in this book. The first is suspense. Some of Bervoets’ other books are almost thriller-like and this premisse could have combined well with that! Secondly, I missed more detail about the fuzzy balls. In the end, they’re not the book’s central point, but more of a means to follow the different characters. This is done well, but I still would have liked to see more of the balls themselves.
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)
This book has some of my favorite scenes, most of which aren’t in the movie, so it’s always great to reread it
Rick Riordan – The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1)
For my review of The Lost Hero, click this link!
Diana Gabaldon – Outlander (Outlander #1)
I’m really conflicted about this book. Its premisse of a woman travelling back in time shows tremendous potential and possibilities, but Outlander did not live up to them. It was really long, but not a whole lot happened. Gabaldon could have written about many interesting parts of the time period, but instead chose to just portray it as very violent, full of abuse. And all the violence doesn’t even serve a clear purpose. It’s like Gabaldon got carried away by writing a lot of abusive scenes, and forgot to pay attention to some of the major plot lines. For example, Claire finds a woman who’s gone back in time as well, but you don’t get to know much about that, even though that would have been really interesting. Also, the start of the book, before Claire travels back in time, is rather short. Because of that, you don’t get Claire’s dilemma when it comes to Frank and Jamie. I did like Jamie, however, and I enjoyed the majority of the plot, so I am still curious to see what happens next.
Brigid Kemmerer – Letters to the Lost
This book tried to be too many things. I think it could have been good, should it have focussed on one or two big themes instead of so many different ones. As it is, it doesn’t serve any of its purposes, because there’s not enough attention on any one of them. Aside from that, the romance was really forced. Kemmerer tried to show that people aren’t what they seem at first sight. But why? Of course they’re not. Then, in trying to show us this, she comes up with a crazy prejudiced main character, who keeps jumping to the wrong conclusions but keeps telling herself and others she’s really not prejudiced. This gets old very quickly. The book feels like a cliché novel that is trying so hard not to be that it feels forced and uncomfortable reading it
Rick Riordan – The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2)
Read my review of The Son of Neptune here!
I ended up reading 16 books in April, which is pretty much average for me (I know, me crazy). My favorites were Stardust and Queens of Geeks, two reads I would highly recommend! I even did a giveaway for two copies of Queens of Geeks a while ago, that’s how much I liked it. Coming from someone who doesn’t generally love ya contemporary, I think that’s saying something.