Kickin' It: April 2022 Wrap Up

Saturday, April 30, 2022


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 probably the worst reading month I have had all year. While I completed a ton of books, there were several two and three stars. Honestly, by the end of the month, I feared a complete reading slump, but I have been powering through my current reads so far. Overall, I was able to complete the month by reading a total of 21 books. Here’s what I read in April:

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse (3 stars): I’ve seen a lot of reviews say how this was dreadfully slow. While I didn’t think it was slow, I think the atmosphere made the entire book. It was fine, but I was hoping for something a little more scary and less investigative mystery.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy (4 stars): This was a lovely new adult romance. I couldn’t help but think that if I was still in college, I would have probably given it 5 stars. However, it was super cute and I would love to continue reading the rest of the series.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (3 stars): I am quite disappointed at these turn of events. When McQuiston first announced this upcoming release, it was being marketed as a sapphic Kate and Leopold reimaging. Kate and Leopold is one my favorite movies of all time so my expectations, especially after loving Red, White, and Royal Blue, were at an all time high. While I can see the Kate and Leopold-ness of it, I just think this one missed the mark for me.

My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper (3 stars): This was a rather short memoir that I have had on my radar for a while. It was cool to get some behind-the-scenes of Kemper on the set of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. However, overall, it was just fine.

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (2.5 stars): I loved Dumplin’ back when it released so I was expecting to love this. The premise was so promising, especially bringing a plus-size girl to the forefront on a Bachelor-esque television show. However, the entire romance fell flat and all the interactions the male lead had with the other contestants felt so genuine, leaving this grand romance feeling incredibly fake.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson (2 stars): I am not really into thrillers. I rarely read them but I read and enjoyed Eight Perfect Murders when it came out and thought I’d give Swanson’s latest release a try. It wasn’t great. All of the characters were unlikable, which I wouldn’t have minded except readers are meant to be rooting for the protagonist. This was supposedly meant to be feminist-focused, but the story came across incredibly slimy and disgusting. On top of that, it was dreadfully predictable. ☹

All Fired Up by Dylan Newton (4 stars): All Fired Up is the perfect book for the summer. Newton’s lovely writing coupled with amazing characters makes this book fantastic for fans of romance. You definitely do not want to miss this cute read (it releases in May)! I am so excited to read more from Newton in the future.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (3 stars): I had high hopes for this one and they just weren’t entirely met. I’m going to continue reading the series and hope they get better.

Better Together by Christine Riccio (2 stars): I was stoked to read Riccio’s debut last year but after reading all the negative reviews on it, I thought I would wait until this one released to try out this one instead. And the writing wasn’t for me. The minuscule fantastical elements had no place in the plot except to be disgustingly convenient. The premise sounded so promising with a Parent Trap-esque plan, but it turned out to be too far-fetched with two unlikable characters. It just wasn’t for me.

The Fine Print by Lauren Asher (4 stars): Set in a Disney World-esque theme park, where the Imagineer falls for the CEO. This was so much fun and adorable! I initially picked it up because of the cover, but I am so excited to say that I loved this. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (3 stars): Just like thrillers, I rarely read mystery. However, The Da Vinci Code is a classic, isn’t it? Plus, my mother recommended it to me and how could I say no? I didn’t not like it, but it wasn’t for me. I found the story to drag quite a bit.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney (4 stars): This one was like a breath of fresh air. It was a fantastic high school romance that focuses on completing a list of to-dos. I really loved the discussion about race in this as well. I can’t wait to read Goffney’s next book.

Stroke of Midnight by K. Webster (3 stars): I found this for free on Apple Books and was like, “why not?” It was an okay romance. However, the stepbrothers’ obsession with their stepsister was so disturbing that I doubt I’ll ever pick up the sequel.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken (4 stars): I adore anything Greek mythology so I knew I was going to love this. It started off extremely slow but by the end, I was invested in the characters and their mission.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (3 stars): I have tons of classics I want to read someday and I was happy to finish one of them. This is supposed to be a comedic science fiction book. While there were some funny parts, it was a little too nonsensical for me. I didn’t quite understand it.

Wicked Villains Shorts by Katee Robert (3 stars): This was fine. I finished the Wicked Villains series last month and decided to read through all the short stories of the series. 

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (5 stars): You know those books where you just read it at the right time, the time you needed that book the most. I feel like Chasing Lucky was one of those books. It came into my life at the time I needed it and I connected to it on such a personal level. Jenn Bennett is a phenomenal contemporary author and I can’t wait to read her next book.

Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall (4 stars): This was such a lovely picture book. It brings awareness to a major historical event and gives readers a message of hope.

A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood (3 stars): I was excited to dive into this one because the author lineup seemed so star-studded and fantastic. Yet, most of the stories in this anthology felt unfinished. And while I enjoyed getting a fictional dramatization of real-life stories of strong women, it felt like I needed to know more about them within history in order to better enjoy the short stories. 

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (5 stars): My love. My heart. This was fantastic and I am obsessed.

Fated by Alyson Noel (3 stars): I feel like I would have devoured this series when I was in high school and now, I just felt indifferent to the whole thing. It was a bit slow and the fantastical elements seemed underdeveloped and rather stereotypical. I own the rest of the series though, so I will probably pick up the rest of the books someday.

A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy (5/31): A YA romance set at a theme park? Yes, please!

See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon (5/3): The author that brought you the 5-star reads of Today Tonight Tomorrow and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This comes a time loop romance. I am completely sold; can’t wait for this one!

Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta (5/12): I read Atta’s gorgeous book written in verse, The Black Flamingo, and it was the highlight of my year. This one is also written in verse, following Mack falling in love with two people! It’s going to be good!

How was your April? Did you read any amazing books?

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