Hi everyone! Happy May!
I hope that everyone is doing well. April was an eventful month – between ramadan and Eid and work, it was a lot. Somehow I still managed to find the time to read, and much more than I expected! I read 8 books and 3 manga volumes, and I enjoyed most of them! There was only one book I rated 5 stars in April, but you can’t win them all.
★ Fantasy ★
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Gosh what a book. I loved reading about the complicated familial relationships and the magic in this story. It jumped between current day with Orqueadia’s grandchildren as they try to uncover her secrets, and Orqueidia’s life as she grows up and the turmoil she experienced. It was such an interesting novel that I really enjoyed.
A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft
This was a buddy read with the lovely Maddie, and it was so much fun discussing this with her! Allison Saft blew me away with this novel because I adored it – the grumpy sunshine dynamic, the way complicated family ties were written, the important topics of alienation and discrimination, and the overall world and magic. It was all so well written and truly a fantastic novel.
Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon ha Lee
The audiobook for this was lovely and very engaging, and the story was so interesting. It was a unique take on mecha and automatons, which were “brought to life” through artists and special paint (think coding but make it art).
The novel ended up turning into a fascinating tale about revolution and war, told through the perspective of a simple painter who just wanted the freedom to pursue their passions. While I wasn’t fond of many of the side-characters, I loved the main character (how wonderful it was to see a nonbinary character in a sci-fi/fantasy setting!) and overall thought it a great novel.
Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I was so happy to receive this ARC because I love SMG’s other novels, but this one was… just not for me. SMG delivered with wonderful writing, but I wasn’t very interested in the plot or the characters very much. I do wonder if I had read the original, Doctor Moreau, that I would have enjoyed this retelling more. But overall, it mostly fell flat for me.
Small Beauty by jia qing wilson-yang
A really touching novella about family and grief and identity. While the pacing felt off at some places because I didn’t know the direction the story was going, it was all in all a very touching read that made me genuinely sob at the end.
Alone With You In The Ether by Olivie Blake
I buddy read this with my bestie Cossette, and it was such a lovely read. It was very intense and different from other contemporary romances I’ve read, but that made me enjoy it more since I didn’t know what to expect. Regan and Aldo were both such fascinating characters in their own right, and it was so interesting seeing how their minds worked, and their interaction together were so fun to read.
★ Manga ★
Hibi Chouchou by Suu Morishita
It was such a joy to continue with this manga because it’s just so so cute. I’m really enjoying reading it and seeing the romance bloom – it’s very fluffy and uplifting and a really easy read. I’m looking forward to finishing the series off this month most likely.
The Family Plot by Megan Collins
I needed an audiobook to listen to during my off-time and this one was just great. I enjoyed the mystery and the suspense, along with all the family drama. I will admit I was not the fondest of the side characters – the Dahlia’s siblings – so they did sour my mood listening to it, but overall it was very enjoyable.
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
This was one of my anticipated releases because I loved Alkaf’s other novel, The Weight of Our Sky, and this one definitely delivered. I love mysteries, and this one was so fun because of its setting – a Scrabble competition is a surprisingly tense setting for a murder mystery to take place.
I loved the suspense and how it explored grief – it highlighted how people grieve differently, and that grief is not something you can “get over”. Our main character still struggles with the death of her best friend and pushes herself to not only compete in the competition but also solve the mystery behind her best friend’s death. It was just so good and one I would highly recommend.
- Naemi wrote a wonderfully extensive post about the Storygraph buddy reading feature, and also discussed the pros and cons of buddy reading
- Maddie posted about new releases by Muslim authors and had some super pretty graphics to match
- Kate shared some sequels that didn’t fall victim to second book syndrome – which is so real and I’m so glad to see so many interesting series’ on the list!
- Bertie shared some fantasy/sci-fi novels with autistic characters for Autism Awareness month
- Yesha celebrated 5 years of book blogging, and shared some really useful tips and advice about blogging!
April was Ramadan so I spent a lot of time reflecting and focusing on myself – which proved to be difficult sometimes when I was stressing over work or family commitments, but overall it was a lovely month. I also got to go to The Atlas Six London Library event and get my copies of TA6 signed, as well as meet Olivie Blake herself, which was super fun!
I also made a bookstagram account! I’m planning to post now and then. If you have any booksta advice please do share – and let me know your bookstagram account so I can follow you!
I don’t have any definite plans for May other than to spend time with friends since I didn’t get to see them much in April. I also hope to get through at least one book in my backlist, and also some ARCs! I may have requested and been approved for more ARCs because I just thought they sounded so interesting, and I’m eager to jump into them.
Thank you for reading!
Let me know how your April was!