SLIDER

Quick Lit: April 2018

I read 21 books in April, and I'm chatting about 12 of them (+ two pre-April reads) in today's post. You may remember that I read 30 books in March. I chatted about many of them in my March Quick Lit and then reviewed several individually in April: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi, and the Survivors' Club series by Mary Balogh. I've just got one series review to write and then I'll be caught up on March!

As for April, I've got reviews forthcoming for two more series: Mary Balogh's Huxtable quintet and Laura Andersen's Tudor Legacy trilogy. I binged both and the latter was a new favorite! I also fell in love with My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan, but I plan to do something special to push that book on more people. So, stay tuned!


HOW TO WALK AWAY BY KATHERINE CENTER* | I adored Center's Happiness for Beginners, so I was eagerly anticipating this new novel! I didn't know much about this story before starting (and won't spoil it), but I was surprised by the direction it took. My mom often reminds me that you can't change what happens in life but can control how you react to it. This book exemplified that idea! Despite the heavy story, Center managed to infuse it with a lot of humor (without downplaying the tragedy). I loved the family relationships, the heroine's mindset, and the loveably gruff romantic interest. It felt a bit predictable, but it was engaging and I So Enjoyed It.  

AGAIN THE MAGIC BY LISA KLEYPAS | When Kelly told me about this prequel to the Wallflowers series, I knew I had to check it out for myself. Marcus was my favorite hero, so I was dying to know more about his sisters and their love stories! While the book was immediately engaging and my heart broke for the couple when they're initially torn apart, I hated the hero's quest for revenge and the heroine's inability to be honest with him. I couldn't really get into the romance because I wanted to scream, "GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!" It was a promising story, but I had issues with it the longer I thought about it. I'm So Okay With It but wouldn't re-read it because the angst drove me crazy.

SCARLET, LADY THIEF AND LION HEART BY A.C. GAUGHEN | After tearing through audio re-reads of two series last month, I decided to continue the trend with this favorite that I read back in 2015. I was immediately sucked back into the story, and I loved narrator Helen Stern's performance of Scarlet's dialect. This is an example of what I hope for in a re-read – it was just as emotionally impactful as my first read, and I enjoyed it overall just as much as the first time. The second is still my favorite (by far) and the ending of the third is weak, but I was satisfied overall. If you're interested in a Robin Hood retelling that's an emotional roller coaster, this series fits the bill! I So Loved It.


DATING YOU / HATING YOU BY CHRISTINA LAUREN | After falling in love with Roomies, I wanted to try something else from this duo. I reached for this one and quickly devoured it! Carter and Evie immediately hit it off when they first meet... and then they end up competing for the same job. My favorite thing about the book was the way it explored sexism in the workplace. I couldn't wait for the awful boss to get his comeuppance! But I was also pleased with the hilarious pranks, the hate-to-love vibes, the friendships and the way everything concluded. It occasionally felt a bit slow, but I So Liked It and would recommend it to anyone looking for a romance with workplace drama.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN | I couldn't wait to get my hands on this duo's first women's fiction release, and I had high hopes that it would be a favorite. Things got off to a great start  – I was sucked in to their writing, invested in the characters and a big fan of the Now/Then dual timeline. But as the book built to the "big reveal" of what tore the couple apart more than a decade ago, I had my suspicions on what it would be and was disappointed when I was right. It felt emotionally manipulative, and I strongly disliked the timing of the reveal. I think I'd say that I So Liked It overall, but that's with reservations because I truly did have issues with the plot.

WHITE NIGHT BY ELLIE MARNEY | I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book because I loved Marney's Every series and No Limits. Although the summary didn't appeal to me, I trusted this author enough to give it a shot. Unfortunately, I wasn't the right reader for this story. I still appreciated the writing style, but I had issues with the believability of the characters and the predictability of the plot. I'm not sure if it's because stories involving cults don't appeal to me or just the fact this particular cult focused on sustainability (a topic I have zero interest in), but I would have DNFed this book early on if it was written by anyone else. It pains me to say that I was So Over It.


CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? BY SOPHIE KINSELLA | After finishing two disappointing books in a row, I wanted to read something that I knew would make me happy. And, unsurprisingly, Sophie Kinsella came to mind. I may have read this one years ago, but I definitely didn't remember anything in it. I loved the opening so much – and the rest of the book lived up to the hilarious beginning! The heroine was so lovable, and I totally sympathized with her horror when she realized the stranger who heard all her secrets is actually her company's CEO. So many hilarious and awkward moments ensue! I So Enjoyed It and can see myself re-reading it any time I need a little cheering up.

THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS BY SOPHIE KINSELLA | I decided to just binge Kinsella's standalones, which was a good life choice! Her books require a bit of suspension of disbelief and a willingness to accept some zany situations, but that doesn't really bother me. This one is probably my least favorite of her books that I just read, and it's partly because it's hard to reconcile someone who is (mostly) brilliant at work being so incompetent in their personal life. I know it can be realistic, but it made it hard for me to fully connect with this heroine. There are definitely funny moments, but they were just a little too over-the-top for me. But the book was still cute overall, and I So Liked It.

REMEMBER ME? BY SOPHIE KINSELLA | This book – about a women who wakes up and has no memory of the last three years of her life – felt like a funnier and less dramatic version of What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I think Alice had more depth, but this is what I'd reach for if I wanted to laugh, even as I panicked imagining being in a similar situation. I love how Kinsella uses this story to highlight how "having it all" doesn't necessarily mean you're happy. I couldn't put it down because I was dying to know how the heroine got to this point, and the reveal didn't disappoint. And this romance worked for me, even though we mostly learned about it in retrospect. I So Enjoyed It.


I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER BY SOPHIE KINSELLA | I was pretty sure that I'd read the previous Kinsella books at some point in the past, but I knew I hadn't read this before. And I'm so glad my binge (and Kelly's recommendation) prompted me to pick it up! I think it might be my favorite of the bunch. I loved the heroine, and I was dying over my feels at the ending. I think I sent Kelly a few all caps texts because I couldn't keep my swoons to myself! I thought the book looked long before I started it, but it never felt that way while I was reading. I kept telling myself I'd stop after just one more chapter, but I never did. I So Enjoyed It and re-reading might bump it up to Loved.

A TREACHEROUS CURSE BY DEANNA RAYBOURN | I loved the first book in this series but struggled with the second. I knew this one would determine whether or not I'd continue the series, and I'm happy to report that it far exceeded my expectations! I listened to the audio and immediately remembered why I'm a fan of this narrator. But I soon realized that I was hooked on the mystery, too, and didn't want to stop listening! After my issues with the second book, that was such a relief. I loved the developments between Stoker and Veronica and cannot wait to get my hands on the fourth book. This was such a great addition to the series, and I So Loved It. NOW GIMME MORE.

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN BY SARAH J. MAAS | After finished my previous audio, I couldn't decide what I wanted to listen to next. I'd planned on starting something new to me, but I kept thinking about this book. I decided to embrace the re-read! It's 25 hours long and I started only a few days before the release of A Court of Frost and Starlight, so I assumed there was no way I'd finish in time. WRONG. I listened to this entire book in a day and a half, and I was so sad when it was over. I loved the story even more the second time, and I honestly think this might be my favorite in the series. Maybe? I don't know – it's too hard to choose! But I'm obviously So Obsessed With It.

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

What have you been reading lately?

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