May 2, 2024

April books.

I'm back with more books sooner than expected because I've been reading more this month. Some are audio but that counts. Plus, we've got a fun new book link-up to join! 

Head over to one of these blogs and share your current reads. 

The World After Alice by Lauren Aliza Green 3.5 stars

This was sent to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I liked this story. It'd make a great movie. There's lots of back and forth in time and there are no, in my opinion, likable characters. It works but it's depressing. I can't say much without giving away spoilers but my Goodreads review has spoilers if you want to go over there. The only thing I'll complain about is that the author really liked her thesaurus. That will jump out at you right away and is *not* a spoiler. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 2 stars

I am the last person to read this and I decided I would try it out and see what all the hype was about. I ranted on Instagram last week. I have a lot to say. Basically, I was intrigued and pulled into the story immediately. I enjoyed the main character at the beginning. The premise (a version of Beauty and the Beast) was somewhat interesting to me. However....Maas started throwing around the word "glamour" and I started having flashbacks to 2008 and I saw green forests and Volvos and vampires in this story (iykyk) when it's not actually about vampires. ACOTAR is about fairies....I thought "glamour" was specific to vampires. 

Essentially, by the end of the book I was convinced that Maas had taken Twilight + The Hunger Games + maybe a little of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and whipped it into a fantasy series of sorts. That didn't work for me. It seemed like a recreation. I did finish the book though with some heavy skimming toward the end.

And she really liked the phrase "my bowels turned watery" and I'm not sure why she used it so many times.

Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena 5 stars

I listened to this in two days. I really enjoyed it. I don't usually jump for her books immediately but they don't really let me down. I'm not sure why I don't read all of her novels right away. It's a mystery with many layers. Lots of lying. Maybe some unreliable narration. I kind of predicted the ending but it was a good ride getting there. 

Well to the Core by Robin Long 4 stars

If you already follow Robin and her Pilates company, most of this isn't new. But her approach is motivating and made me realize I don't have to do-it-all in a season where I'm at the edge of barely functioning. (Seasons change and hopefully this one is almost over.) And when anyone says "oh you're thin" (I don't condone's awkward) or, my favorite, "do you run?", I always feel dumb if I say I do pilates. But this is ALL I do at this point. I wish I had time to walk every day but I don't. I can usually do 15 minutes of pilates though and it makes a difference. 

Her podcast is really good too, so I recommend it. 

If you're looking for a balanced way to even out your habits and your health, this is worth a read. I've followed her since 2014, so I knew I'd get to this eventually. It was released last fall. 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

I don't really "rate" kids' books. But this is going to be an unpopular opinion: I loathe this book. I, as an intermediate teacher, managed to avoided it for several years. I knew I wouldn't like it. I don't do animal stories. I especially don't do sad animal stories. But, when I moved into a new school, I inherited 50 copies and an already-bought novel study so I had to do it. It's a 300+ page slog of depression and sadness. And if you look up the story of the real Ivan, that'll make you sad too. I don't think the kids disliked it but it was way too long to hold their attention and the chapters aren't numbered so it was really hard to give them reading to do because I'd have to use a range of pages and it just didn't work. There was a lot of violence and animal abandonment and adult themes. I'm not going to do it next year.

And I feel pretty vindicated knowing I've been right about how *I* would feel about this book all along :)

However, I also found the movie on Youtube and we watched it after finishing the book. The movie is great! Wells watched it too. I would recommend that as a stand-alone, 100%. 

Did not finish:

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

Funny Story by Emily Henry

These two books are exactly the kind of movies I would pull up to watch on Netflix. They would hold my interest. They would maybe even make a cute series. But I know exactly how they end. I just don't know the exact path the author will use to get there. So I enjoy the start of them and I can appreciate the set up and then...I lose interest. They are too tropey for me. I want to watch them. I don't want to read them. So it's not them, it's me. 

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