Is it just me, or has everyone been saying that March lasted a thousand years while April went by in three seconds?
I’d like to say that I feel the same way, but actually: I don’t. Every single month passes by in the blink of an eye for me. 😂 No kidding, at this rate, I’ll be an old woman before I know it, because time passes by SO quickly for me… Anyways, April was a month of highs and lows. But overall, I’d call it a good month—it was my first full month in quarantine (I’d like to say that I miss the outside world, but I don’t), and my second month of summer break, aka freedom!
I say this with all the seriousness I can muster: I do not feel like a real human being anymore. I fall asleep at about 1 or 2AM, wake up at 9 or 10AM, eat breakfast, watch shows, listen to music, scroll through Twitter, maybe do something productive like reading or blogging, and then the cycle just repeats! I mean, I’m not complaining—I wouldn’t trade the free time I have right now for anything, but it’s so weird that the days are passing by in a blink.
But I have something exciting to announce: I was planning a WIP in April!! I used to actively write fiction when I was younger, but stopped because of reasons too complicated to explain right now. However, I’ve always wanted to write a story of my own, and last month I finally decided to start planning one! I haven’t made much progress because creating a whole new world and lore from just your imagination is HARD (the woes of wanting to write fantasy 😫), but hopefully I can proceed to the outlining stage by the time May ends.
ALSO, I finally cried because of a piece of media!!! My entire life, I’ve been waiting for a book, TV show, movie, anything to make me shed tears, because nothing has until now. Well, in April, I decided to watch this Korean movie called A Werewolf Boy thinking it’d be a cheesy paranormal romance, and boy, was I wrong. I got so invested in the friendship between the two main characters, and when the end came, I couldn’t stop a couple tears from falling. No spoilers, but in the ending, someone made a Choice, and it broke me. Hours after finishing the film, I was still contemplating why they decided to do that.
I wrote a mini life update in the middle of April, and you can just check that post out, because the rest of what I have to say in this section, I already said in that post. However, that thing I said about cramming all of my hobbies into three months of summer break no longer applies. I received word from my school that “distance learning” will start in August!!! (School usually ends in March and resumes in June for me 😭😭) I can’t tell you how happy this news made me. 😭💖 Five months is more than enough to write, schedule blog posts, and read. 🥺
Hahaha, remember my ambitious April TBR? Well, I didn’t complete it as expected. I was planning to read 20 books, but instead I read 12 books.
BUT, for the record, I could’ve done so much better if I hadn’t decided to give up near the end of the month. In the last two weeks of April, I was a literal reading machine. I was spending hours listening to audiobooks on 2x speed just to cross more books off of my TBR, and suddenly I couldn’t take it anymore. Reading was becoming an activity that I had to force myself to do, which I never want it to be. I decided to take a break from reading, because just the thought of picking up a book was filling me with dread.
On the bright side, I participated in two readathons this month, the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and the Stay Home Reading Rush, both of which I successfully completed my TBRs for (though I’m still a little salty that I couldn’t finish the “read a book in the same room” prompt from the Reading Rush, due to my inability to read a book in one sitting). Books I read for the Magical Readathon will be marked with ✨, and books I read for the Reading Rush will be marked with 🏠.
April’s average rating was also an improvement from February and March! I had more 4-star reads, and even found my first 5-star book of the year! However, I attribute the higher average rating to me being more lenient, and not to the quality of the books I read actually getting better. 😬
Before I finally shut up and tell you which books I read in April, I wanna announce that I’m trying out a new format for the reading section of my wrap-ups! Instead of putting my star rating and one or two sentences about what I thought about the book, I’ll be implementing a “Should you read it?” format. Hopefully, telling you whether—in my humble opinion—these books were worth reading or not will give you a better idea of what I thought about them. The titles of the books will link to my Goodreads review. 💖
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
Should you read it? Um, honestly, I think you can pass on this. It isn’t the worst book in existence, but myself and other people I know of got bored while reading it. I felt like first person POV would’ve worked much better for it than third person. Plus, it seemed like the male and female protagonists only fell in love because they’re in a YA novel, and god forbid a YA book have no romance. I think the only person I’d recommend this to is someone who REALLY wants to read about Korean mythology, especially Korean mythology mixed with modern-day Seoul.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Should you read it? Ignoring the fact that you probably already have: yes. While I kinda had to force myself through this book, I feel like it was stronger plot, character, and worldbuilding-wise. I don’t like how J.K. Rowling writes characters though—they seem to only have one personality trait, which is emphasized over and over for comedic effect. 🤷🏻♀️ I also wish she’d write about Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s feelings more. They seem like characters, not real people. And I know they ARE characters, but I want the people I’m reading about to feel real and three-dimensional. However, I probably shouldn’t judge too harshly because 1) this is a middle grade, 2) writing standards were probably different at the time this was written, and 3) the HP stans might come for me.
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Should you read it? While I think Vicious is better, this sequel didn’t disappoint! V.E Schwab is still the queen of alternating timelines, complex characters, and intricate character dynamics. I love the superhero universe in this series! I gave this 5 stars despite some problems I have with it, because I’ve decided to lower my standards a little. 😗✌🏻 // buddy read with the best 🌸
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Should you read it? Maybe? I didn’t fall in love with it, but I see how others could—and they have. I mean, this has a 4.44 average rating on Goodreads! I think it’s the only book I’ve ever read set in Alaska, and I like that it shed light on the privilege that people who live in cities have. However, I stopped being invested in the main couple after they got together, which is a bummer, since they were the only part of the book I genuinely cared about. I also wasn’t a fan of the fact that the love interest constantly poked fun at the main character for dressing nice and wearing make-up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!!
The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
Should you read it? Yes, this was definitely an improvement from The Bone Witch! Objectively, everything about this book is decent. I just have some personal issues with the worldbuilding. I also could not care less about one of the major characters. (Fox can choke.)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Should you read it? If you like in-depth, impressive and/or creative worldbuilding, probably not. But this had great characters and a thrilling plot! You probably won’t regret it if you give it a try!
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Should you read it? Definitely! It was very atmospheric (perfect for the wintertime), and steeped in Russian folklore and history. Vasya is also a prime example of a strong female protagonist.
The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
Should you read it? Yes, for 1) the #ownvoices autism rep, 2) the complex sibling relationship, and 3) the story of a broken boy finding family and safety. But be warned that you’ll probably cry if, unlike me, you have a soul. 💖
A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
Should you read it? I want to say yes, because the messages of this book are SO powerful… but I liked pretty much nothing else. The writing was a slog to get through, and I felt like the romance was unnecessary and unrealistic, considering what the main character had gone through.
But, technically, this book made me cry? I didn’t cry because of anything that happened in it, but because I accidentally remember bad memories similarly to how the protagonist does. So whenever she remembered bad things I remembered bad things too. This might actually be the first book I ever cried in, haha.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Should you read it? I won’t deny that this book is thick AF, but I think it’s worth reading anyway (just don’t read it if you don’t like long books). The worldbuilding is extensive but surprisingly easy to grasp. This is also a female-centric fantasy featuring a sapphic romance, which is a breath of fresh air, because the fantasy genre is famous for being saturated with straight white males.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Should you read it? Yes! It was kinda slow and for a book about a dangerous horse race, it lacks a sense of urgency. But because of that, you really get to know and care for the characters. It’s also very atmospheric!
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Should you read it? I really don’t know how to sort out my feelings for this book!! There were things I liked, things I found weird, and things I didn’t like. If you’ve read this, please check out my Goodreads review so that we can discuss, hehe. But to answer the question of whether you should read it, I think: yes. I’d consider this a filler book, but it had good things going for it, and the ending is a great set-up for the finale. // buddy read with a legend 🌿
Good news: April saw a spike in my stats!! I don’t know what I did right, but I’m super grateful for the improved engagement. I also posted the long overdue Caitlin Reads Part 2, and I did not expect so many people to say good things about the series. I can’t express how happy I am that you guys like my “reading vlog in blog format” experiments! 🥺
Bad news: I will never be good at consistently replying to comments and blog hopping. 🤦🏻♀️
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And that’s it for this wrap-up!! Hopefully, I’ll be more active on the blogosphere in May (you know, post more than four times in one month), but no promises because I just started watching The Untamed, and I’m fully planning to get obsessed with mdzs.