Kickin' It: April 2023 Wrap Up

Friday, April 28, 2023

Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you a list of all the books I read this month, some amazing books coming out next month, and sometimes even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books. April was a good reading month. I read quite a lot and enjoyed almost everything I read. Overall, I completed 20 books. Here's what I read:

City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer (4 stars): This was the most chaotic book I've ever read in the best way possible. It follows a coward, living in a city of literal nightmares. It gives Welcome to Nightvale vibes right from the start. I can't wait to read the sequel.  

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson (3 stars): My expectations were a little too high with this. True crime-obsessed protagonist falling for her next door neighbor sounded great but it took me a long time to get into the story.

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson (3 stars): I read an Enchantment of Ravens when it first came out and while the writing was gorgeous, almost otherworldly, the book just wasn't for me. Unfortunately, I felt the same about this one. 

Windfall by Jennifer E Smith (3.5 stars): This follows a boy who wins the lottery and how that changes the relationships around him. While I've enjoyed previous books by Smith much more, Windfall was a solid YA contemporary. 

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn (5 stars): This is the forth installment of the Veronica Speedwell mysteries. I have adored each and every book in this series and this one is no exception. 

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead (4 stars): This is also the forth installment of the Bloodlines series, the spinoff series of Vampire Academy. While I thought the beginning dragged a bit, the end made up for it with edge of your seat action. Can't wait to read the fifth book!

The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell (3 stars): I'm not sure what it was about the audiobook of this, but I found it difficult to stay focused with it. The structure jumped several years with different timelines every chapter and it was hard to keep everything separate from each other. I want to try again, reading the book physically, but for now it will remain 3 stars.

Well That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto (4 stars): This one was so fun! The author of Dial A for Aunties brings her laugh out loud humor to this YA contemporary romance. 

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (3.5 stars): I've wanted to read this nonfiction book for a while so I'm so glad I was able to fit it in this month. It had some interesting bullet points about happiness but most of the information wasn't anything new. It did frame goals and resolutions in such a way that I want to try that specific structure for myself. Overall, a good and informative read!

Being Mary Bennet by JC Peterson (4 stars): When I first started this, I had a bit of trouble warming up to the protagonist, Marnie. Yet as she grew, I found I adored her journey of self acceptance. It was a lovely story and I'm excited to read Lola at Last, the companion novel to Being Mary Bennet

Atonement by Ian McEwan (4 stars): This has been on my shelf for a long time so I'm happy I finally picked it up. The writing was really lovely and the story was heart wrenching. I can definitely see why this is so widely loved. And now I can watch the movie adaptation!

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton (3 stars): While I adored the setting of Medieval Times, my expectations may have been too high for this one. 

A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria (4 stars): I really enjoyed this one! It had plenty of my favorite tropes. Plus, it showcased both a great romance and strong family relationships. Can't wait to read the next book in this series!

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen (4 stars): I didn't know this one was a Pride and Prejudice retelling first going in. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I adored the elements of Jane Austen coupled with a baking competition. It was so lovely, a perfect read for spring!

Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah (3.5 stars): This was a sweet memoir of Mah's time in France. While I was expecting more food and less memoir, I still enjoyed getting to learn more about the French culture and her life as an expat in France. 

Slammed by Colleen Hoover (2 stars): I love slam poetry so a romance that incorporates slams sounded fantastic. Plus I've enjoyed Hoover's work previously so I thought Slammed was going to be a great time. Most scenes were terribly cringy. And I found that the high school student and teacher romance is just not a plotline I enjoy to read.

The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith (4 stars): This one has been optioned for a film so I made it a priority to finally get to it this year. While the three volumes in this bind-up got quite repetitive, reading them one right after another, it was still a fun book.

The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis (3 stars): I feel like this book is meant to be more of a collector's edition and less of a book you read. However, in attempt to read all the books I own, I read this from cover to cover. The content reads like a textbook. Yet, the handwritten notes from the characters of the Mortal Instruments series were my favorite part. It makes me want to reread all of Clare's books again!

Until the Beginning by Amy Plum (3 stars): Science fiction/dystopia novels aren't really my thing. However, the survival elements with fun action sequences and magic make this series definitely worth the read if you haven't read this one yet. 

Maybe This Time by Kasie West (4 stars): The structure of this was so clever; the book is divided into sections of several catered events where the two characters interact and their romance develops throughout the course of a year. It was such a cute book!

A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand (5/9/23): I am still working my way through Legrand's Furyborne trilogy, but I definitely want to pick up this new release. This will be Legrand's debut adult fantasy and I know it is going to be amazing!

Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban (5/2/23): A semester at sea. Twists and turns. A murder on a cruise ship. That's what sold me on this. All authors have to do is put a bunch of characters in an isolated setting and the protagonist has to uncover the mystery-- I'm there.

The Immortal Games by Annaliese Avery (5/11/23): I saw this one getting some early buzz on TikTok and it sounds fantastic! A YA fantasy romance that follows Ara as she plans to get her revenge. It is marketed as The Hunger Games meets Lore. Since I adored both of those, I know I am going to love this!

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

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