April was an incredible month for reading, I managed to read twelve books, although some of them were short and I did have Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon to motivate me!
How to Ditch Your Fairy, by Justine Larbalestier
A quirky middle-grade novel about a girl who desperately wants to ditch her car-parking fairy, sick of going round in other people’s cars and desperate for a more interesting fairy. I really liked the setting and the worldbuilding, but the ending wasn’t very satisfying – it reads like the pitch for a series it never became.
Becoming: Sex, Second Chances, and Figuring Out Who the Hell I am, by Laura Jane Williams
A memoir about life after breaking up with the person you thought was ‘The One’. I’ve followed Laura on Instagram for about a year and whether you read her blog, magazine columns, or watch her Instagram Stories I think you’ll like this – it’s pretty much more of the same in a longer format, and fills in her ‘backstory’, so to speak. I got this with my second Audible free trial credit (affiliate link) because after watching a zillion of her Instagram Stories myself, I thought I’d enjoy the audiobook, which is read by the author, more than the print or ebook.
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
I got the complete Sherlock Holmes read by Stephen Fry with my last Audible free trial credit and no regrets! He really is one of the best audiobook narrators out there, although I expected his introductions to each book to be a bit meatier than they are. As for the story itself, I really enjoyed this one and it made me want to listen to the next immediately…
Bloom: Navigating Life and Style by Estée Lalonde
This is the second book by a YouTuber that I’ve read this year and honestly, I think I preferred Lilly Singh’s. It’s very beautifully laid out and a pleasant enough read but it’s not very indepth. I would have liked to know more about her career choices – maybe one day that’ll be covered in a Bloom 2.0.
The Dark Days Pact, by Alison Goodman (thanks to Walker Books for the review copy)
I really liked The Dark Days Club though I thought it was a little slow-paced, so I was highly anticipating this. As I expected, it moved along at a faster speed, and I adored the setting (mostly Brighton). I didn’t have time to talk about this in the video, but I really liked the way this book dealt with gender issues in particular – Lady Helen has to learn to pretend to be a man so she can properly fulfill her role as a demon hunter, and this has ramifications for the way she sees herself and society.
Whistle in the Dark, by Emma Healey (via NetGalley)
I was anticipating this one even more highly! The author’s first book, Elizabeth is Missing, was beautiful and devastating so I couldn’t wait to read this. It was extremely compelling and I rnjoyed it, but I don’t think it will hang around in the back of my mind, ready to pop up at intervals, like Elizabeth is Missing does.
The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
This was a bit of a disappointment after A Study in Scarlet. It didn’t grab me in the same way and I found it a bit of a slog to get through. Plus, the whole plot revolves around colonialism, and some of the character descriptions are quite racist. I was expecting to come up against this at some point in the Sherlock Holmes collection, being well aware of the time period in which it was written, but knowing it was coming didn’t make it any less horrible to hear.
H(A)PPY, by Nicola Barker
If experimental dystopian literary fiction doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, I’d leave this well alone. I consider myself pretty open-minded when it comes to literature, and I’ve even read and enjoyed one of the author’s other novels, Five Miles from Outer Hope. But I didn’t like this. There were some interesting ideas, but it was hard to keep track of them all and even more difficult to make sense of it. In the end, I had to conclude it’s just not my thing.
Regency Buck, by Georgette Heyer
My first foray into the work of the original Regency romance queen – and I probably should have chosen a different book. I loved everything about it, except for the love interest, who is The Worst.
Liar, by Justine Larbalestier
I couldn’t remember anything about this, despite all the controversy over the cover back in the day! I went in with no idea what it would be about and I think that’s the best way to read or listen to it. That said, I think that it will be a Marmite book for most readers – the style is interesting but frustrating.
The Sleeper and the Spindle, by Neil Gaiman
I listened to the full-cast recording, which was a lot of fun, but it’s a very short book and I think I missed out by not seeing the illustrations. As fairyale retellings go, it’s not especially original or memorable.
Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
I really enjoyed this short graphic memoir exploring the love lives of the women in the author’s family, as told to each other over tea.
If you want to support my channel and blog please consider buying one of the above books from Wordery (affiliate link) – free delivery! Alternatively, if you want to give audiobooks a go, Amazon Prime members can sign up for a 90-day Audible free trial and everyone else can sign up for a 30-day Audible free trial (affiliate links). Or even better, go see if your local library has online access to audiobooks! It doesn’t benefit me financially but using your library benefits everyone!