Kickin' It: April 2018 Wrap Up

Friday, May 04, 2018

Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you reviews you may have missed, other awesome bookish things, and even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books. April was an okay month for me, in terms of reading. In terms of other things, it was fantastic! Back in February, I applied for the Columbia Publishing Course (a 6-week intensive program educating students the ins and outs of everything publishing related) and found out their decision early this month. I got in; they accepted me! I am so excited, looking forward to such an amazing opportunity this summer. Seriously, everything else paled in comparison to that great news. The books I read weren't amazing. Only one of them got 5 stars which, out of 10 books, is unfortunate.

Every Thursday from March 1st to May 24th, Jackie, my friend, and I discuss A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It would be awesome if you joined us and read along too. And, to top off that cake with whipped cream, we are giving away a paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner. So, be sure to follow along and enter to win the book!

Here's my April:

A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan (3 stars): Ugh, I wanted to like this, I really did. A retelling of Sleeping Beauty sounded absolutely amazing. However, the romance was a major put off and the protagonist was constantly putting herself down, which made for such annoying prose.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (4 stars): I, accidentally, read Off the Page, the companion novel, before reading the first book. However, the book does not spoil much for Between the Lines. The format in the physical copy was so unique and I adored the concept of Night at the Museum meets books. It was such a fun book!

Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (4 stars): This can't be the end of the series, right? I need more of The Lunar Chronicles series. I've adored seeing the gang in the graphic novel and I hope Meyer continues with this format.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (4 stars): I'm trying to read a few more classics this year and so far, it's been a success. I enjoyed this one and would love to give it a reread in the future. There's just so many things to dissect and ponder over.

Finding It by Cora Carmack (4 stars): The conclusion of the Losing It series was a surprise. While the other two novels are set at college, this one takes a trip around Europe. And you know me and my travel romances, I love them! As much as I loved this one too, I found it was a bit of a rip-off to Chasing Liberty.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (5 stars): The only 5 stars in the bunch and, yes, it does deserve it. I was nervous to start this one because the hype is so daunting but it was such a fantastic read. The characters were so great, the plot was amazing. I'm hearing mixed reviews for Sandhya Menon's latest but if it is on the same level as When Dimple Met Rishi, I am most definitely on board.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4 stars): Bring on the nostalgia. Growing up, I watched the movie adaptation on repeat. In reading some classics, I knew I couldn't pass this one up. It was a bit different than the movie and the book didn't have that magical ending I was expecting. However, I enjoyed it immensely. A Secret Garden is next, of course.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern (3 stars): I saw the movie adaptation years ago and purchased the book way back when. However, a warning to all: the movie has very little to do with the book. I would categorize the movie as a travel romance, where the book is a grief-struck contemporary.

The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith (2 stars): As much as I adored the history mixing with fiction here, I thought it to be a little much. Henry seems to know almost every significant character throughout history from Virginia Dare to JFK. The plot spans centuries and the story becomes muddied under piecing fact with fiction. It was impressive but very tedious.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (4 stars): I don't tend to read mysteries but when Jennifer Donnelly writes a book, you know it's going to be good. And good it definitely was. It's a in-depth mystery that takes place in historic New York City.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (review): Despite having some issues with stereotypes and a misplaced target audience, I did enjoy Between the Lines. The novel is both simple and sweet.

Alone by Cyn Balog (review): Alone by Cyn Balog is perfect to read during a storm with all the lights off. The setup of the main plot does drag a bit but when readers finally enter the main story, they are in for a real treat.

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell (8/7/18): A gender swap of Robin Hood? That sounds awesome!

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: My friend keeps recommending this one to me. I am a bit hesitant because it's adult fantasy and quite long but I'm going to give a go and see how I like it. (There's also 6 books in this supposed-to-be trilogy - and commitment is scary but I'll try it.)

My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris: I adored choose-your-own-adventure books growing up. It's about time they start making them for adults too :) Can't wait to see how many adventures I can go on!

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch (5/8/18): This is a companion novel to last year's book, Love & Gelato and this time, we're venturing to Ireland!

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (5/15/18): I'm grumpy about this one already and I haven't even read it. It's just I wasn't prepared for that ending of King's Cage, and there's no way to prepare for what's to come in this one either.

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma (5/15/18): This sounds like the perfect summer read about a less-than-prefect love life and film camp and it just sounds like such a great time!

It was a quiet month for movies. I have been working my way through season 5 of Once Upon a Time and I finished it. It wasn't left on a horrid cliffhanger like most seasons so I have since moved on to watching season 5 of Elementary. I rented two movies from my local library: Pitch Perfect 3 which wasn't the best but I enjoyed the songs, and All the Money in the World which unexpectedly did not drag at all. The movie was fantastic, especially since they re-shot 22 scenes in 8 days a month before the release. And I was able to see Avengers: Infinity War on opening weekend and was surprised to find the theater not crowded at all. I was expecting a mess from all the ensemble casts but it surpassed my expectations and I really enjoyed it. Can't wait for part 2 though, I need them to fix that ending please.

infinity war avengers GIF

How was your April? What books did you read? Did you watch any shows / movies?

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  1. Congratulations on getting into the course! That sounds so fun.

    I loved Infinity War, I need to know what happens!