April reads have treated me well. I have read 7 books and two short stories this month (7th book and the short stories are not pictured on this photo).
1. A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas
This book has so much hype around it, it's really quite ridiculous. I checked it out of the library because I wanted something quick and something that I could be sure I was going to like. Boy was I wrong! The hype on this one did not hold up for me at all. I am happy for all the people who adore it, but I saw no appeal whatsoever.
To start off, I think this is advertised in a wrong genre. I was expecting a high action ya fantasy with a badass heroine and some romance woven throughout. What I got instead was - a very slow, soft-erotica new adult romance based of Beauty and the Beast, sprinkled with some action.
Now let me tell you about all of the books that this book has reminded me of.
1. Beauty and the Beast (somehow I did not know that it was a retelling of it, of sorts, so it came as a surprise).
2. When Feyre was given a riddle I instantly thought of Gollum from The Hobbit.
3. Her sisters? Straight from Cinderella, or just any fairytale that has three sisters in it. HOWEVER, their redemption was very satisfying. Especially Hesta's!
4. Feyre is thrown into the labyrinth to fight the worm. Hmmm, where have I read something like this before? Percy Jackson, The Goblin King and lots of greek and roman mythology.
5. There was an event at the end of the book which reminded me very strongly of Twilight (although I haven't read that, I just know what happens).
6. Rhys and the dark that surrounds him. Anybody else thought of Darkling (Shadow and Bone)? No? Just me? Alright then.
7. Fae world and their descriptions. There was nothing new here. If anything I was instantly reminded of book 4 of Dresden Files: The Summer Night, in which Spring Court, Summer court and other courts are present. Fae are not real. So when you build a world with Fae in it, you could make them anything you want them to be. Why go the beat route of what other books have already done?
I thought that ACOTAR seriously lacked in the originality department. But where it lacked in that, it made up in brutality of the fight scenes.
2. Dying to read by Lorena McCourtney
I picked it up at a library because the name caught my eye and I was in a mood for a quick book.
This turned out to be a clean and cozy little mystery novel. Nothing new or spectacular, but very pleasant and easy. With a few laugh-out-loud moments. I did figure out the twist with the first hint though.
The main character, Cate, had few of very relatable qualities, so I liked that. I can see this book being a staple in a mystery-book-club of sorts, as it had that cozy feel that older ladies would enjoy a lot.
3. In other lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
As I already did a full review on this book, I will keep it very short. To read the extensive review please follow this link :
In other lands was not at all what I expected it to be. Instead of a high adventure fantasy book it was a fantasy surrounded coming-of-age-story. The book touched a lot of important issues: racial, gender,political, sexual and even though I did not care much for the execution of these issues, I liked the book for being blunt and fresh about them.
4. Ruin and rising by Leigh Bardugo
For me Ruin and Rising was a perfect end to the Grisha trilogy. I guess I always have a slight fear that the last book of trilogy will suck (as it often does for many series), but this one delivered.
I would recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy. As a bonus, Grisha trilogy is sprinkled with slavic traditions. I loved that so much, as I am slavic myself.
This is now my favorite trilogy up to date. I enjoy Bardugo's writing immensely, and at this point I will read pretty much anything of hers.
I wrote a review on the whole trilogy and you can access it here:
5. The Tailor by Leigh Bardugo
A short story that focuses on Genya and the reasons behind the choices that she makes in Grisha trilogy. As I adore Genya I really liked this insight on her character.
Wouldn't recommend it on its own, as it meant to be an addition.
6. A darker shade of magic by V.E.Schwab
I really loved about 75 percent of this book. Have to say that the ending disappointed me a little bit. It just felt too easy, too rushed, too optimistic? The whole book was very brutal (so brutal!) So having everything work out perfectly in the end just felt unnatural. But I am definitely curious to see what will go wrong in the second one.
I also liked Lila a lot in the beginning, but as the book progressed she seemed less like a thief and more of just a kleptomaniac. With an unexplainable thirst for killing.
Would definitely recommend, I enjoyed Schwab's style of writing a lot.
7. From sand and ash by Amy Harmon
This book I cannot rave enough about. I think this was my favorite read this April. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this book is as sad as it is beautiful.
From sand and ash is set in WWII, Italy. It follows lives of two people, Eva and Bianco from the time that they were children. Eva is a jew and Bianco is a catholic priest. Their journey and the journey of those around them in such tragic times is completely riveting.
For me it was a magnificent, although heartbreaking, 5 star read. If you are not big on romance, don't worry, I am not either, but From Sand and Ash has so much more to offer.
For full review please go here.
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I loved the fact that even though this is supposed to be a retelling, about 90 percent of the material was original.
I enjoyed reading Cinder a lot. I did feel like there should have been more explanation about the race of Lunars, why they are on the moon and why they are not friendly with Earthens, but since this is only a first book of the series, I am sure that more answers will come with time.
I enjoyed Cinder as a protagonist. She was funny, she was strong, and most importantly not whiny (as for some reason a lot of teenage protagonists are). Iko was a nice little addition as well.
The writing is very pleasant and there were few very nice plot turns and the ending obviously left me wanting more.
9. Glitches by Marissa Meyer, a short story.
Glitches is a short story that gives the reader a look into Cinder's first days of life with her new "family". It is pretty sad, but provides a few nice insights. Once again, wouldn't recommend it on it's own, as it meant to add to the story, but as an addition it's perfect.