Quick Lit: April 2020

April was a great reading month for me, and I finished 15 books. I wrote a longer review for Memory-Making Mom by Jessica Smartt, and one of my April reads was the first book in a series that I'll write about in a separate post. But today I've got mini reviews for nine of my April reads + some quick thoughts on four re-reads at the bottom of the post! If you enjoy this feature, check out other readers' reviews at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

THE HONEY-DON'T LIST BY CHRISTINA LAUREN – When I first discovered Christina Lauren, I thought I'd found a new favorite author(s). But lately, I've realized that their books have been hit-or-miss for me. The premise of their latest release sounded hilarious, and I did enjoy certain elements of it. I liked the idea of a fictional version of Chip and Joanna Gaines who were terrible and can't stand each other off-screen, but they were more fleshed out than the main characters. As a whole, the book felt very rushed and undeveloped. For the first time, it felt evident that this duo is releasing books very quickly. The romance was so forgettable, which is a problem for a book billed as a romantic comedy. I was just So Okay With It and am disappointed by how much it lacked. So meh!

BEACH READ BY EMILY HENRY* – This book wasn't on my radar until I spotted a rave review of it on Instagram, but I still decided to request it for review. I'm so glad I did because it quickly became one of my favorite reads of the year! When I first started it, I was intrigued but not immediately invested. But the more I read, the more I loved it! I loved the the backstories of the hero and heroine, fell for their quippy banter, and thought the premise worked so well. The storyline involving the heroine's father was so moving, and I loved how Henry explored whether we can know our parents fully. Another favorite aspect? The heroine and her best friend. I am so here for books celebrating strong female friendships! It was a lot more emotional than I expected, and I'm So Obsessed With It.

THE KINGDOM OF COPPER BY S.A. CHAKRABORTY – After refreshing my memory of The City of Brass (thanks, Recaptains!), I was ready to dive in to this sequel. Y'all, it was even better than the first! That's an accomplishment since so many series have a lull in the middle. I was more engaged in the action in this book and didn't have any issue with the pace. And because I was more familiar with the world, I didn't find it as difficult to follow. I still loved the political maneuverings, and I thought the time jump at the beginning of the book worked really well. One of my favorite things about the book is that I truly don't know how everything will be resolved in the end – both with the overall conflict and with the relationships between characters. I So Enjoyed It and can't wait for the conclusion!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE BY GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN – Since I enjoyed this duo's first and second book, I couldn't wait to dive in to their third! It has very short chapters and alternates between the heroine, Shay, and the Moore sisters. You know there's something unusual about the sisters – and Shay's burgeoning friendship with them – but can't quite figure out what's going on. The last part was the most exciting – tense, fast paced, and delivered some real surprises. But I had more questions about it the more I thought about it once I was done. I'm not entirely sure the story made sense once the thrill of reading had faded. I So Liked It because it was a fun reading experience + just right for my mood, but it was my least favorite of their books so far.

THE RIGHT SWIPE BY ALISHA RAI – I couldn't decide what to read next, so I started browsing my library's audiobooks. The cover of The Right Swipe caught my eye, and the premise sounded fun. So, I decided to take a chance on it – and am so glad I did! The audio experience was delightful, and I loved that it had two narrators since it had both the hero and heroine's point of view.  loved how it featured dating apps and modern dating has changed because of them. The diversity in the story was great, and I loved the added depth with the discussion of football's effect on the brain and how women are often treated in the workplace. It was a fun contemporary romance, and I So Enjoyed It. My complaint? The sex scenes were too detailed for me, personally.

GIRL GONE VIRAL BY ALISHA RAI – In The Right Swipe, we're introduced to the heroine of Girl Gone Viral. Based on what we learn of her in the first book, I knew I'd be starting this book immediately. I needed to know more about her! What happened in her past that led to the woman she is today? This book slowly reveals her story, and I wasn't disappointed. The romantic situation in this one felt very friends-to-lovers, which worked for me. Although, once again, I would have preferred a more closed-door romance. The heroine goes viral when someone live-tweets an innocent conversation that looks like a meet cute, and I adored how the author used that setup to discuss privacy in the age of the Internet. I So Enjoyed It, and am so glad I took a chance on this series.

THE DOLL PEOPLE, THE MEANEST DOLL IN THE WORLD AND THE RUNAWAY DOLLS BY ANN M. MARTIN AND LAURA GODWIN – I don't read many children's books these days, but I couldn't resist the appeal of a book about a family of dolls coming to life when their human owner isn't around. These are the kind of books I would have adored as a little girl! And even as an adult, I found all three books incredibly delightful. The illustrations throughout, by the talented Brian Selznik, just added to their charm. In the first, Annabelle Doll searches for her missing aunt and makes a new doll friend, Tiffany Funcraft. In the second, Annabelle and Tiffany accidentally end up at their owner's school and have to deal with a bully. In the third, Annabelle and Tiffany run away from home to protect another doll. All three were very quick reads for me, and all earned a So Enjoyed It. They brought a smile to my face and made me nostalgic for my childhood. It's magical to imagine your toys having a life of their own, and authors Martin and Godwin perfectly captured it. I can't wait to read these aloud to my boys one day!

I re-read four books in April. While browsing my unfinished Audible books, I got the itch to re-read The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. I just re-read them last year but found myself craving a return to this world. I hadn't listened to them on audio before, so I was excited for that experience. The first book, Finnikin of the Rock, is narrated by Jeffrey Cummings but the second and third, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn, are narrated by Grant Cartwright. I am so glad the narrator changed! Cummings wasn't terrible, but I didn't really enjoy listening to him. Cartwright, on the other hand, was a delight to listen to and made me love these characters even more. I'm So Obsessed With It, of course! If you want to know why I love them, check out my re-read review from last year

In addition to that series, I also re-read The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I adore the book, and the forthcoming sequel, The Heir Affair, definitely tops my list of most-anticipated 2020 releases. When I got a copy of it to read for review, I knew I had to go back to the beginning first. The Royal We was just as delightful as I remembered! It was my second re-read via audio, and I love narrator Christine Lakin. If you love modern royalty, this book is for you. It's a perfect example of fiction with real-life inspiration, and I'm 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?


  1. If you loved The Doll People, I highly recommend looking up the series The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh. It’s one of my favorite childhood series. It’s about a family of life-sized real dolls, that try to stay hidden living among humans. It’s unlike any other series I’ve read.

  2. I absolutely loved Beach Read! January, Gus and their story just really resonated with me, and I still think of that book so fondly. And I really want to check out Alisha Rai's series!


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