Wrap-Up: April 2019

For some reason April was a very messy reading month for me. I didn’t get to all the books on my TBR, which was a shame, but I did read enough to sat ahead of my reading challenge. These are the books that I did get to…

The Raven King (All for the Game #2) by Nora Sakavic

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The second book in the All for the Game trilogy follows on from the events of The Foxhole Court, following Neil and the rest of the team as the begin their season after the changes of the last book. Revolving around the fictional sport of Exy, a bastard cross between hockey and lacrosse, you can really feel Sakavic’s love for the game, and it makes me love the game too. I didn’t think this was a good as the first book, the writing was a little messy and the plot lacked a focus but I am excited for the final book.

The King’s Men (All for the Game #3) by Nora Sakavic

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The final booking the trilogy definitely picked things up again, and that’s for a couple of reasons. The first was that the romance, the slowest-burn romance known to the word, actually picked up a bit, but also the plotting was so much better than the previous book. The crazier elements of the plot, because it is a little far reaching sometimes, really worked because I felt that the characters were so much better thought out. I do wish it was a little shorter, I think all three book could have been better balanced in that way, but this made the whole trilogy worth it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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This was one of those books that I thought I’d never finish, and then suddenly I only had ten chapters to go. It was a perfectly fine fantasy, but save for a couple of moments, it wasn’t one that made me want to keep reading. All of the aspects that others adored just didn’t appeal to me. I love Shannon, but I’m not going to tell you that I loved this book when I didn’t. The use of mythology was interesting, and the plot was well developed, though I struggled to connect with most of the characters. I’ve seen comparisons to Tolkien, and I didn’t much like Tolkien either, so maybe this just isn’t my type of fantasy, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be yours.

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

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In a renewed effort to complete this series this year I’m kicking things off with a big ol’ re-read. Did you know the last time I read this book was in 2015? Well, this is my fourth re-read and this book never gets old. Every time I read The Lightening Thief I just find myself falling in love with Percy’s story all over again. Riordan’s melding of Greek mythology and contemporary America is stunning, and the older I get the more I appreciate how seamlessly he does it. I can only hope that if I ever wrote an urban fantasy novel, both genre’s would work together as perfectly as these do. I finished my re-read in a day, perfect for April’s YA Bookaholics Read-a-Thon, bring on Sea of Monsters!

Once and Future (#1) by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

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Once and Future is a sci-fi gender-bent King Arthur retelling, wherein a girl called Ari becomes the 42nd reincarnation of the eponymous hero, and was absolutely hilarious in the best way. If you like Percy Jackson and the Olympians (I can’t speak for Heroes of Olympus) or the Martian then you’re probably going to like this. It was full of humour, and a ton of diverse characters with excellent LGBTQ+ rep, which is also own-voices. It was clear that the authors were in control of the King Arthur plot, rather than facing their own plot to suit the myth, which was impressive to see. The only negative thing I have to say is that the sci-fi element was not as strong as it could have been, or should have been. Believe me when I say that I am hyped as hell for the sequel, coming in 2020.

Enigma Variations by Andrรฉ Aciman

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My love affair with Aciman is over a year old now, having first read Call Me By Your Name last February, and I can finally say that he has a book to rival it. Enigma Variations looks at five times that our narrator fell in love over the course of his life, and how each was a different kind of love, and he was a different kind of person. It resists a lot of the same themes from CMBYN but from a different perspective, once that has more permanence as we get to see our narrator at different stages in his life. Aciman’s prose is lyrically stunning, and I truly believe that this is a book everyone should read, maybe not everyone will like it, but everyone should read it at least once in their lives. I know that I will read it many more times in the future.

Mad, Bad, an Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce by Colm Tรณibรญn, read by the author

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This non-fiction book takes a look at the fathers of three Irish authors, and how these men influenced their works. I hate to say it but I think this is the first time that I really think my rating would have been higher if I had read the book, and not listened to the audiobook. I even wanted to give it three stars for that reason, but that would really be fair to rate it on maybes, would it? I found the structure of this book very confusing, potentially exasperated by the audiobook, and it’s not accessible if you’re not familiar with the authors. As a result I ended up really enjoying the stuff on Joyce and Wilde but found it hard to connect at all with the other third of the book. It has made me want to read more literary non-fiction though, so that’s definitely a positive.

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan

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As you can tell it took me a lot longer to re-read this second book that it did for the first, but I’m gaping to put that down to the fact that I The Lightening Thief like the back of my hand. Sea of Monsters was still fun, and the quest aspect was different enough from the first that it still felt fresh, despite probably being the most similar to the first book. I have a real soft spot for Hermes, though I don’t know why, so it was great to meet him, though I thought that I could have done with more of a certain blonde half-blood. The book finished off with a bit of a twist that leads on to the third book, which I’ll probably get to next month.

I also read The Bride of Lammermoor for my Narrative and Nation class, which concludes my MA seminar reading. But fear not, because I started my dissertation reading this month and read Tender is the Night.

What about you? What did you read this month? Have you read any of these books and what did you think? Do you tend to stick to your TBRs?

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