Reading Round-Up: April 2018

book reviews reading story novel fiction adult

When I set my New Year goals for 2018, a reading challenge wasn't initially on my list, so I was a little late to the party when I decided to embark on one this month. Better late than never though, am I right? Delving into a novel always helps me to recharge my batteries, so I have now set myself the goal of reading 24 books this year. I always find that  reading round-up style posts from my fellow bloggers keep me feeling so motivated to pick up a book of my own as I discover so many titles that I had never previously considered. That's exactly why today's post is my very own version of this! I'll be sharing a selection of the very varied novels I've tackled already this year, as well as a few books that are on my TBR list. It is also an extra special post as I am participating in my first ever weekend book blitz with Neverland Book Tours, featuring Krysten Lindsay Hager's Can Dreams Come True?. There is a giveaway associated with the book tour at the end of the post so keep an eye out for that! But for now, let's explore my recent reading list!

I Am Traitor by ★★★☆☆

At the end of the world, who can you trust? I Am Traitor tells the story of Amy Sullivan, an ordinary teenage girl whose world is turned upside down by, you guessed it, an alien invasion. The extra terrestrial visitors to Earth seem to have a pretty odd invasion strategy, however. They are abducting  teenagers: metal arms reach to the earth and pluck young people from their homes. After her friends and brother are taken, the usually quiet and reserved Amy decides to join a resistance movement in an attempt to save the world. She makes it on board the alien spaceship and finds more than she expected - her crush is there as well... I really enjoyed the alien invasion parts of this book, they were really action-packed and compelling, but the romance aspects? URGH. When Amy was in her boy-crazed state, it all felt very cliché, it was obvious that the author was an adult trying to write from the perspective of a lovelorn teenage girl so it just didn't feel natural. I did approve of the ending though, it wasn't your stereotypical happy ending which I felt was a good fit. This was decent for easy reading but I wouldn't reach for it again.

i am traitor book review young adult fiction

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas ★★★★★

I read the first book in this series by Sarah J. Maas back in February after my friend Tabitha sent it to me as part of our Blogger Book Nook book swap. While I definitely enjoyed the opening novel, it was absolutely nothing on book two. There are not enough stars on the planet for the second instalment in the series! I was OBSESSED. I read the entire thing (600+ pages) within 48 hours. ACOMAF picks up where the last book left off, Feyre is back in her Prince Charming Tamlin's house and wedding plans are in full swing - but her heart isn't really in it. When disaster strikes as she's walking down the aisle and she's whisked away, perhaps Feyre isn't as upset at being stolen as she will allow herself to admit... This book is a total emotional rollercoaster. Feyre slowly but surely comes to terms with everything she faced in the last book and begins to learn a lot more about herself and about the love and relationship she really wants. All of the main characters undergo impressive and believable character arcs and the magic isn't broken even for a second. And the emotional tension? My word. I have never become so invested so quickly. I will definitely read this book again and again.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas ★★★★

Which book did I start immediately after finishing A Court of Mist and Fury? You guessed it, I moved straight on to the third one in the series. In this instalment, Feyre's world is threatened by war  and she needs to ally with the other High Lords of Prythian to defeat him. This isn't as easy as it sounds, however, especially considering one of them is her ex-lover... This book had a lot to live up to after the brilliance of the previous instalment but unfortunately, it didn't quite deliver. As always with Maas's writing, I absolutely loved the vivid word descriptions, but when two of the main characters (I won't tell you who) die in the big battle at the end yet are brought back to life by a deus ex machina, I really felt that one of them ought to have remained dead, just to make it a bit more hard-hitting. That everything was hunky-dory in the end felt like a let-down. Nevertheless, I am still very invested in the characters and I have pre-ordered my copy of the fourth book in the series which comes out next month.

can dreams come true krysten lindsay hager review book fiction

Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager ★★★☆☆

Cecily is the epitome of the girl next door; shy, sweet, and lacking in confidence. When her self-assured aspiring actress friend goes along to audition for a part in her favourite musician's latest music video, Cecily goes along to offer support, never dreaming that she herself could make it on screen. However, the casting director finds in Cecily exactly what he is looking for, and so does Andrew, her pop star crush... It's easy to see where this book is going from the opening chapters. As soon as Andrew is mentioned, the reader expects him to show up in town and sweep Cecily off her feet, which is precisely what happens. I don't necessarily see the predictability as a bad thing, however, as the book is well written and keeps you engaged throughout. Some of the characters such as Tanna and Harlow were difficult to differentiate from one another, but Cecily was relatable, charming and likeable. I would describe this book as the teen-appropriate version of a Lindsey Kelk romance; perfect for a light and frothy summer read in the sunshine! I would recommend it to any fellow fans of young adult fiction.

The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk ★★★

If there ever was a book to make you feel uncomfortable, this, right here, is it. The story follows bridegroom-to-be Kemal through 1970's Instanbul as he plans his wedding to the beautiful and accomplished Sibel. Everything looks like it is going Kemal's way when one day, he stumbles upon an estranged relative: eighteen year old Füsun. Although Kemal is much older, the pair become lovers. Kemal falls head over heels for Füsun and when she eventually rejects him and disappears, he is totally lovesick, resulting in his engagement to Sibel falling apart and his business suffering. After years of  obsessive stalking, Kemal tracks down Füsun and infiltrates her family home, despite the fact that she is now married. Eventually Kemal engineers his own marriage to Füsun through sheer manipulation alone, before she is driven to a truly terrible deed. You cannot help but feel for poor Füsun throughout this entire story, Kemal is genuine in his love for her but the actions which this love inspires are nothing short of possessive and stalkerish. This book was a very interesting exploration of the human condition of love and I would recommend it, but I think that most readers will despise the protagonist as much as I did. If you decide to read this tale for yourself, you'll realise the significance of the museum in the title too...

a little life book review novel fiction

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen ★★★☆☆

I might offend a few hardcore Austen fans when I say this, but her writing just isn't for me. I first read Pride and Prejudice at age 16 for GCSE English Literature and I didn't really enjoy it all that much. However, I had chalked this up to my relative inexperience with "real" literature at the time. I assumed that if I went back to Austen when I was older, I'd appreciate it a bit more. I know now that this isn't the case, though. I think it reflects less on Austen's skill as a writer and more on the fact that the conventions of the time period are very tiresome to me. The women are so naïve and drippy, and I find them immensely irritating. The characters spend their time having insipid conversations about contemporary social airs and graces whilst sitting in a parlour, or sitting in a ballroom, or sitting in a carriage. Yawn. I prefer my women with a bit more spirit than Catherine, the protagonist of this novel. Give me a bit of Virginia Woolf any day, I don't think I'd reach for an Austen novel again.

Books I want to read (a condensed list!)

  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: The lovely Hels gifted this book to me a few months back and although I did start on it, it sort of fell by the wayside. I've heard such amazing things about it that I definitely need to make more of an effort though. 
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: I really want to go and watch the film for this book which is currently in the cinema. However, I feel like I ought to go and read the novel first just so I don't have the character's faces already in my mind if I go to read it afterwards!
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: Again, the hype around this book has been HUGE! I have come across so many glowing reviews that I can't not pick up a copy for myself. I am currently waiting on this being delivered to my local library!

    A giveaway to celebrate the Can Dreams Come True? tour

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    What is on your TBR list at the moment? Share in the comments below!

    Until next time,

    A x

    Check out my April Advertisers!