April Wrap-Up

Books of April

Saying goodbye to my best reading month since last July! I read 17 books; 2 of which were re-reads and I somehow managed to read 3 Book of the Months (whaaat). It was a month full of some excellent reads and a few that I plan to read again.

The Great Gatsby – 5 ⭐️

Darling Girl – 5 ⭐️

Fake – 4 ⭐️
Lessons in Chemistry – 5 ⭐️
Memphis – 5 ⭐️
The Newcomer – 4 ⭐️
Our Little World – 3.5 ⭐️
Olga Dies Dreaming – 4 ⭐️

Historical Fiction
Forest of Vanishing Stars – 5 ⭐️
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – 5 ⭐️
Take My Hand – 5 ⭐️

The Favor – 3.5 ⭐️
I’ll Be You – 3.5 ⭐️
Last to Vanish – 4.5 ⭐️
The Resting Place – 3 ⭐️

Island Time – 3 ⭐️

𝐓𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐏𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝: 5,452
𝐀𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 4 ⭐️⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣𝐅𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐬: Darling Girl, Take My Hand, Memphis & Lessons in Chemistry (I cannot choose just one)

Here is a quick review of my favorite April books!

DARLING GIRL by Liz MichalskiLESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by Bonnie Garmus

I was genuinely mesmerized by Darling Girl. I wanted to read it, but I didn’t want it to end. I’d put the book down and instantly start thinking about the story again. It was a dark book, and Peter Pan is certainly not the good guy — the characters all take on a different persona than the original tale. The reader is given a different look into them — they’re dirty, addicted, and very flawed. They are no longer the Lost Boys of Neverland. But, the world that Michalski created was magnificent.

I know I keep talking about the author’s small details, but they were exquisite. From the ‘damaged’ Christopher Cooke, the small feather tattoos on a back/shoulder, the mentions of green and silver colors, and sparkly wings adorning a performer at a party. It was simply perfection.

Pages: 337Buy Here
I’m not going to lie; I thought this was just another romance story I was not in the mood for. But, I was so very wrong. I’ve seen comparisons of Lessons in Chemistry to Eleanor Oliphant (which I didn’t like) and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (which I loved), and I can see the connection. The writing style/dialogue was delightful to follow that I tuned everything out and just read along with Elizabeth, Mad, and Six-Thirty.

There were a plethora of issues at the heart of this story, and sadly, many of the problems are ones that women face today, especially women in STEAM. I could not wrap my mind around Elizabeth’s being so talented, but everyone kept trying to put her in a box and tell her what to do. It was truly baffling to me. I thought of my grandmother, trying to start her career during this same era.

Pages: 386Buy Here
MEMPHIS by Tara StringfellowTAKE MY HAND by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Memphis follows four black women from the same family as they navigate through the complicated history of our country; the deaths of Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Echol Cole, and Robert Walker, the 16th Street Baptist Church Burning, WWII, and 9/11. There is so much history packed into this 245-page debut that I had to take several moments to reflect on Stringfellow’s writing.

While I did feel some attachment to Joan, Miriam, and August, something about Hazel drew me in. She was my favorite character in the story, and I could have read an entire book dedicated to her life. Her love for her husband and their deep appreciation for one another moved me to tears on several occasions.

Pages: 252Buy Here
Knowing that Take My Hand is based on a true story made the events of this novel all that more horrific to me. I was appalled, heartbroken, and outraged at the treatment women, specifically, those of color, received throughout this book. Mass sterilizations? It sounded like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale – my mind could not wrap around something so inherently reprehensible.

For the last 200 pages, I felt like I was walking a tight rope of bitterness and hope. I was all over the place with my emotions. Reading as Civil said goodbye to the two girls who had helped shape her, knowing (as the reader) that she would not see them again for 40 years, was unimaginable. The ending was a perfectly illustrated example of the power of friends who turn into family and redeeming lo

Pages: 320Buy Here

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