Monthly wrap ups

April wrap up

I had two weeks off work in April which significantly helped me to finish nine books, which amounted to a remarkable 3,421 pages. Just imagine how many books I could read in a year if I didn’t have to work.

Usually I’d launch straight into things but I need to explain how this wrap up post is going to be a bit more condensed than usual. I didn’t keep a draft going through the month as I really wasn’t in the writing mood, and the thought of having to write it all out now is quite frankly terrifying. I do want to give feedback on the books though so I’ve decided to go with a bullet list approach using my reading journal entries. In chronological order then…


  • We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
  • YA fiction set in Seattle
  • Relationships, friendships, possible end of the world
  • Warnings for previous attempted suicide, drug use, violence and attempted rape
  • Found it amusing that I finished it on the same date as the asteroid was due to collide/pass by
  • “The best books… talk about things you’d always though about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone.”
  • Goodreads rating = 3 stars


  • All ABout Mia by Lisa Williamson
  • YA fiction set in Rushton
  • Family, friendship, identity
  • Not keen on Mia’s excessive underage drinking
  • Can identify with the frustration of not having/knowing your ‘thing’
  • Mia certainly makes flawed choices
  • Pretty gross description of labour
  • Not as enjoyable as the author’s debut novel
  • Goodreads rating = 3 stars


  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Historical fiction set in Paris, Saint Malo and Zollverein
  • Family, science, survival
  • Warnings for violence and rape
  • Beautifully written
  • Everything about young boys being trained as soldiers is sad and horrifying
  • Like how Marie-Laure’s reading of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea mirrors the situation she faces
  • Altogether a masterful piece of work
  • Goodreads rating = 4 stars


  • My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson
  • YA fiction set in New York
  • Romance, family
  • Modern-day gay Cinderella retelling
  • Likely stereotypical approach to drag queens but Coco is still fierce/fun
  • Some issues regarding eating disorders, alcoholism, slut shaming and homophobia
  • Struggled to believe in Chris and JJ’s relationship – most takes place behind the scenes
  • Goodreads rating = 3 stars


  • The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell
  • Non-fiction set in Argentina
  • The relationship between humans and animals
  • Love the voice of Juan Salvador
  • Many funny moments e.g. Juan going up and down stairs
  • The section on how animals/plants have paid the ultimate price for human ‘progress’ is hard-hitting
  • “The pain of parting is the toll demanded by Fate for all the joy brought to us by loved ones.”
  • Goodreads rating = 4 stars


  • Doctor Who: The Time Lord Letters by Justin Richards
  • TV show companion set across all of time and space
  • Letters from the Doctor to people he’s encountered over the years
  • Quite nice design mixing photographs, illustrations and ‘letters’
  • Letters tie in with episodes/story arcs
  • Some of the typefaces are a little hard to read and not always consistent for each incarnation
  • Not much in the way of new information
  • Goodreads rating = 3 stars


  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • Middle-grade fiction set in Paris
  • Secrets, automata, films
  • Gorgeous illustrations
  • Includes movie stills and drawings by the real-life Georges Melies
  • “I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts… so I figure… I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
  • Goodreads rating = 4 stars


  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • YA fiction set in the USA
  • Race, police brutality, family, relationships
  • Narration and dialogue come across genuinely
  • Warnings for violence and domestic abuse
  • Well-built characters and family interactions
  • Really made me realise how privileged I am
  • Can understand the hype/why it’s important
  • “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silents in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
  • Goodreads rating = 4 stars


  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • YA fantasy set in Prythian (geographic outline based on UK)
  • Magic, power, romance
  • Loosely based on Beauty and the Beast
  • A little tropey/predictable
  • Warnings for violence and gruesome injuries
  • Don’t really feel the pressure of Feyre not escaping/surviving as otherwise the trilogy wouldn’t exist
  • A good enough start to the series – intrigues as to what happens next
  • Goodreads rating = 3 stars

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