Thursday, May 2, 2024

April 2024 Book Review

 How are we 1/3 of the way through 2024? Time is flying by, and I had another great month of reading!

This month I read 12 books bringing my total for the year to 46. I read some thrillers, 2 memoirs, historical fiction, romance, fantasy, and a couple of re-reads - something for everyone.

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden - My BFF has been raving about Freida McFadden for months and gave me this book to read. It was a fast-paced, quick thriller read about a woman whose just gotten out of prison and takes a job as a live-in maid to a family that seems perfect...but are they? I enjoyed this BUT it is too similar to another thriller I've read and loved, and I don't want to say more to spoil it. Fun and I'll continue with the series, but it left my brain when it was over.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus [audiobook] - this was a re-read for my in-person book club. I enjoyed it just as much the second time!

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree - I expected to NEVER read this but several readers I respect told me it was delightful, so I gave it a try. This follows a mythical creature who leaves a life of being a sellsword to open a coffee shop. Cute but I didn't find myself eager to pick it up, and I don't see myself reading any others in this series.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson - Who doesn't enjoy a good old-fashioned who done it? A girl in HS is doing her senior project about a murder in her town and how she doesn't think the guy accused of the murder did it. I was really invested in this story and liked the pacing a lot. The ending felt a little far-fetched, but I plan to keep going in this series.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  by J.K. Rowling - I am LOVING this re-read with Paige! She is just as obsessed as her brother and sister were at the time. It is so special to be sharing this with her!

Swift & Saddles by Lyla Sage - A cheesy little romance set on a ranch in Montana and part of a trilogy? Sign me up! Not the best book ever, but I like that these characters had some mental health struggles - I enjoy when an author makes the characters more developed and real.

The House of Hidden Meanings by Ru Paul [audiobook] - I knew next to nothing about Ru Paul, and I thoroughly enjoyed his memoir. He seems like someone who is a treasure to be friends with. He has experienced A LOT in his life and seems to be in a really good place because of it. Loved it! 

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez - This is the 6th book I've read of Abby Jimenez, and she continues to be an author I can always count on for a good rom com with some extra substance to it. I really enjoyed these characters and this story. Trigger warnings for child abuse/neglect.

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave - The only book I've read by Laura Dave was The Last Thing He Told Me, so I wasn't sure what to expect here, but this was so different in a good way! Sunshine is a YouTuber of a cooking channel who has lied completely about her past and someone hacks her social media accounts and tells her secrets - she loses her job, her home, and her husband all in one day. I don't know how I'd classify this book, but it doesn't matter because at the end of the day, it was just a GOOD book.

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson - Wow oh. This book was so incredible but so hard. It follows the story of an enslaved woman who is sold to a slave trader where she becomes his 'wife'. The author researched real people for this story, and it's beyond devastating and made me ask myself some really hard questions like 'How far would I go to protect my children?' This is a really important read, and while it was so hard, it was so incredible. Trigger warnings galore.

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken - I know next-to-nothing about Ukrainian history, and this story of Stalin's forced famine was heart-breaking! The author's grandmother grew up in Ukraine and part of the main character is based on her. That took the story to another level for me and I really enjoyed it!

The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin - I read The Sun Does Shine about 2 years ago, but I didn't pay attention to this woman being the co-author of the book. Well, this is her memoir about being a drug addict who went to prison, loses custody of her kids, and how she is able to come out the other side and become a ghost writer who wrote books with Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama! I couldn't put this down. Sometimes I would get so mad at the terrible decisions Lara was making, but she was completely honest about all her bad choices. She was so raw and vulnerable, it was such an amazing and inspiring read!

This was a pretty solid month for me - several 5 star reads - and an average of 4.04 - this is the highest I've had in a while!