It has been A WHILE since I’ve done a wrap-up post, but April was a really good month of reading so I thought I’d give it another go. I’ve got so many five star reads to tell you about!
I’ve got a full-length review for this one here. In a nutshell, it’s a sprawling multigenerational saga about Korean refugees in Japan during Japan’s colonization of Korea. It’s heavily character driven, and is about parenthood, family, friendship, sacrifice, racism, and perseverance. It’s an incredibly important and beautifully written tome that I’ve added to my list of all-time favorites. I look forward to reading more of Lee’s work.
I also did a full-length review for this one, which you can read here. Circe is the best book I’ve read this year and another I’ve added to my list of all-time favorites. I’m head over heels in love with Miller’s writing style and have not been able to stop thinking about Circe since I finished it. It is a book I will recommend to any and everyone, but is essential reading for fans of Greek mythology. This left me with a MASSIVE book hangover.
The Scarlet Pimpernel –
This was my book club’s pick for April. Despite the fact that the synopsis sounded really quite exciting, and the reviews were great, I put it off reading it until the last minute. Set during the Reign of Terror, right after the beginning of the French Revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel tells the story of an anonymous band of English gentlemen who rescue French aristocrats from being executed by guillotine by smuggling them out of France. The opening chapter drew me right in, but then things got tedious. Chapters 2 and 3 see the introduction of so many new characters I lost track several times, and the dialogue is really off putting. I almost bailed on it, but didn’t want to miss book club so I powered through and I’m glad I did. While it’s not the best or most exciting book I’ve ever read, it was fast-paced and fun and had a sweet romantic element that I was not expecting.
The Alice Network –
I’m always reading a print book and listening to one on audio. The Alice Network was an audio read for me, and I’m so glad for that. The narrator does an incredible job bringing the characters to life and I would have missed out if I had read it myself. The story is written from dual narratives, one set in 1915 during World War I and the other in 1947 in the aftermath of World War II. Quinn focuses on the role women played during both wars and the book has a little bit of everything; spies, intrigue, adventure, charming Scottish men, and romance, and I loved it. I won’t soon forget the story of Eve and Charlie.
Children of Blood and Bone –
I saw this book all over my Instagram feed and was having some serious FOMO, so I bought it on a whim. I started it the day it arrived and did not put it down unless I absolutely had to (work and parenting) for two days. It’s a West-African inspired YA fantasy told from several different perspectives, that to me felt very reminiscent of The Stone Sky series by N.K. Jemisin (which I also loved and you should read it right now if you haven’t already). I cannot remember being this sucked into a YA series since The Hunger Games and I can hardly wait for the second one to come out. It has all the elements you would expect from a YA fantasy; adventure, magic, angsty romance, bad ass heroines and action, but it also has a diverse cast of characters and a focus on race and prejudice. This one absolutely lives up to the hype. My only complaint is the wait until the second installment.
The City of Brass –
From the moment I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it and was ecstatic to see it as a Book of the Month selection. Despite having a print copy, I ended up listening to the audio version, and once again am so glad that I did because the narrator does an impressive job and it was helpful with the pronunciation of names and places. The City of Brass is a complex fantasy set in the Middle East, full of magic, lush world building and fast-paced adventure. It was a lot more political than I anticipated, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. This is the first in a trilogy and ends on a massive cliff-hanger so read at your own risk.
The Song of Achilles –
Last, but certainly not least is, The Song of Achilles. The minute I finished Circe, I went online and ordered this one. Thanks to Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, I was able to read this in a single sitting. This is Miller’s debut and tells the story of Achilles and Patroclus, the true story, not the Hollywood version with Brad Pitt. I was enamored once again with her writing and got lost in this tale of love and friendship. Obviously, the end of this story has already been written, so I ultimately knew what to expect, but I still cried my eyes out. I loved this one just as much as Circe, but it left me with an ache in my heart. Despite that, it’s one that shouldn’t be missed.
If you’ve read any of these let me know. Did you guys read anything good in April that you want to recommend?