BOOK REVIEW, CONTEMPORARY, Fantasy, New Adult, RETELLING, Wrap Up, Young Adult

April Wrap Up | 2020 (Re-Uploaded)

Hello bookworms! I’m Nia and today I’m going to be talking about the books I read last month.

I know, I’ve been the worst at doing wrap ups. I’ve been dreading writing them not only because they take so much time, but also because I had a lot of reviews to write since I read a lot of books. I promise I’ll be writing more in the next couple of weeks, but for now I wanted to talk about the most recent reads.

April wasn’t the best reading month for me. I was in a huge reading slump and didn’t feel like reading, and with everything that was going on in the world I wasn’t super inspired to pick up many books, so I played A LOT of Animal Crossing instead. However, I started reading a bit more towards the end of the month.

I also participated in the O.W.L.s readathon, and I can gladly say I completed all my challenges, which was amazing!

Anyways, today I’m going to be talking about the books I read in April. There were some favorites and others that I wasn’t the biggest fan of. Without any further ado, let’s start with the wrap up!

SIDE NOTE: I’m so sorry for having to post it again, but I realized when I clicked on the post that pretty much all the content was somehow deleted, so I’d rather schedule it again that leave it as it was. I hope you didn’t mind it!

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The Wicked Ones | Cassandra Clare

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Celine Montclaire goes to the Shadow Market to escape. She would go anywhere in Paris, or the entire world, to escape the suffering she experiences at the hands of her family. She did not expect to meet Valentine Morgenstern there, or to have him promise her freedom and the heart of the man she secretly loves. On one condition, of course. At the Shadow Market, nothing is for free.

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Chain of Gold | Cassandra Clare

17699853

.25

My review: I have already written and posted a review of this book, so click here in case you’re interested to know what I thought of it!

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Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

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The Land I Lost | Cassandra Clare

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.5

Alec Lightwood, partner of the High Warlock of Brooklyn and father of a warlock child, visits Buenos Aires in the aftermath of the Dark War. When he arrives, he is not welcomed by the Shadowhunters there. He believes it is because of his companion Lily, the head of the New York vampire clan, until a Shadowhunter orphan confides a dark secret to him under cover of the Shadow Market.

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The Betrothed | Kiera Cass

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My review: I have already written and posted a review of this book, so click here in case you’re interested to know what I thought of it!

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The young king of Coroa has never been the type to settle down—that is, until he meets Hollis Brite.

Hollis has grown up at the castle, among the other daughters of nobility who hoped beyond hope that they’d catch the king’s eye. So when King Jameson declares his love for her, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled.

But she soon realizes that along with the extravagant presents and fawning attention, this new life brings outsized expectations—expectations that make her wonder if she’s really cut out for life as a royal.

And when she meets an Isolten stranger with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she starts to wonder: Is there more to life outside the palace walls?

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You Deserve Each Other | Sarah Hogle

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.25

My review: Wow, I did end up loving this book! To be honest, I’d been hearing a lot of stuff about this book and a lot of people were hyping it up that it got me so interested to read it, and the premise sounded like something totally different from what I usually read, so I went into it with pretty high expectations.

To be honest, I really hated the beginning of this book. The writing wasn’t really appealing to me, and the characters were both so annoying, and I guess I didn’t understand why they were together if they hated each other so much. That was the first 20% of the story me feeling like that, and I was contemplating DNFing it, but man, I was so glad I didn’t, because there came a very important point that literally changed the plot of the story and my feelings about it, and I started loving it.

I ended up realizing, I really enjoy make up romances. This was a clear example of that. I ended up later on understanding why the characters behaved like they did, and suddenly they became more flawed and real to me than before. I connected with each of them more, and I found myself rooting for that relationship.

The writing ended up not bothering me at all as I kept reading the book, and once I started to click with the characters, I just couldn’t stop reading. They had such a fire chemistry and dynamics throughout the story, and I really liked the evolution they had not only as individuals but mostly as a couple, because that’s where I could see it the most. I enjoyed the intimacy they shared, and how they started to open up the more they knew and trusted each other, and romance that bloomed between them.

My only complain, if we can call it that, was that I wish there was more romance. Because it was kind of a second chance romance, where they started hating each other’s guts and then they made up, I feel there wasn’t the room I wanted for more romance scenes, but at the same time that didn’t really bothered me because I liked every romance scene that was in this book, but it’s just personal preference.

Overall, this book was a roller coaster ride for me. I had such high expectations that at first were crashed, but as I kept reading I became more and more engages with the story and the characters, and ended up really enjoying You Deserve Each Other. I had some good laughs, and I admit I cried a little bit (but we’re going to ignore that).

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

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The Risk | Elle Kennedy

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Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.
That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

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House of Earth and Blood | Sarah J. Maas

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★.25

My review: A review will be published shortly on my blog, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts!

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Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

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Girl, Serpent, Thorn | Melissa Bashardoust

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My review: I have already written and posted a review of this book, so click here in case you’re interested to know what I thought of it!

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There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

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From Blood and Ash | Jennifer L. Armentrout

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.5

My review: A review will be published shortly on my blog, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts!

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A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

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Corrupt | Penelope Douglas

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.75

Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.

Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

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Hideaway | Penelope Douglas

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BANKS

Buried in the shadows of the city, there’s a hotel called The Pope. Ailing, empty, and dark, it sits abandoned and surrounded by a forgotten mystery.

But you think it’s true, don’t you, Kai Mori? The story about the hidden twelfth floor. The mystery of the dark guest who never checked in and never checks out. You think I can help you find that secret hideaway and get to him, don’t you?

You and your friends can try to scare me. You can try to push me. Because even though I struggle to hide everything I feel when you look at me–and have ever since I was a girl–I think maybe what you seek is so much closer than you’ll ever realize.

I will never betray him.

So sit tight.

On Devil’s Night, the hunt will be coming to you.

KAI

You have no idea what I seek, Little One. You don’t know what I had to become to survive three years in prison for a crime I would gladly commit again.

No one can know what I’ve turned into.

I want that hotel, I want to find him, and I want this over.

I want my life back.

But the more I’m around you, the more I realize this new me is exactly who I was meant to be.

So come on, kid. Don’t chicken out. My house is on the hill. So many ways in, and good luck finding your way out.

I’ve seen your hideaway. Time to see mine. 

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Kill Switch | Penelope Douglas

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WINTER

Sending him to prison was the worst thing I could’ve done. It didn’t matter that he did the crime or that I wished he was dead. Perhaps I thought I’d have time to disappear before he got out or he’d cool off in jail and be anything but the horror he was.

But I was wrong. Three years came and went too fast, and now he’s anything but calm. Prison only gave him time to plan.

And while I anticipated his vengeance, I didn’t expect this.

He doesn’t want to make me hurt. He wants to make everything hurt.

DAMON

First thing’s first. Get rid of her daddy. He told them I forced her. He told them his little girl was a victim, but I was a kid, too, and she wanted it just as much as I did.

Step two… Give her, her sister, and her mother nowhere to run and no fuel to escape. The Ashby women are alone now and desperate for a knight in shining armor.

But that’s not what’s coming.

No, it’s time I listened to my father and took control of my future. It’s time I showed them all–my family, her family, my friends–that I will never change and that I have no other ambition than to be the nightmare of their lives.

Starting with her.

She’ll be so scared, she won’t even be safe in her own head by the time I’m done with her. And the best part is I won’t have to break into her home to do it.

As the new man of the house I have all the keys.

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Imagine Me | Tahereh Mafi

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.5

My review: A review will be published shortly on my blog, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts!

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Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

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More than Maybe | Erin Hahn

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My review: I was pretty exited about this book, because the premise sounded pretty good and I’m always a fan of stories that feature music, so I was pretty intrigued by More Than Maybe. Overall, I ended up enjoying the story and the characters, though not as much as I expected.

Something that happened to me while reading this book was that it took me longer than I anticipated to finish it. I started it and everything was fine, and I was enjoying the story and the characters, but there came a point where I put it down because I got stuck at some point. There was nothing wrong with the story, but I guess nothing interesting was happening hence why I did it.

Once I picked it up again, I wasn’t as engaged in the story as I was before. I was still liking the plot, but something was amiss and I couldn’t point it out.

Something that I really enjoyed about More than Maybe was how important the music was within the story. You could tell how much these characters cared and relied on it, and how everything revolved around it, which was one of my favorite parts. I really enjoyed how the author combined music and dancing and wrote the descriptions.

When it comes to the characters, I have nothing bad to say about them, but I wasn’t blown away either. I think the relationship between the two main characters was actually pretty well done and smoothly written, and the romance wasn’t insta lovey and took its time to develop, which is something that I always appreciate, but I guess I was expecting much more from them. The characters weren’t super complex and there were certain relationships with the side characters that felt too convenient sometimes.

Still, I think it had a really cute romance and the evolution of the characters was done pretty well, so I can’t really complain, but there were times when certain things felt a bit repetitive and I wished to have seen something different.

Overall, I think More than Maybe was a cute contemporary. Lately I haven’t read many YA contemporaries, so maybe that was one of the reasons why I wasn’t super in love with this book, but it still was a very fluffy book that featured music, so kudos to that.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

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Empire of Dreams | Rae Carson

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.75

My review: I have already written and posted a review of this book, so click here in case you’re interested to know what I thought of it!

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Even though Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name and a veiled past, she’s about to be adopted into the royal family—by Empress Elisa herself. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress’s greatest rival blocks the adoption, and Red is left with no family and no future.

Grieving and lost, but determined to find her place, Red hatches a daring plan: she will prove herself as a recruit for the world’s most elite fighting force, the legendary Royal Guard—something no woman has done before. But it’s no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red and her new friends—and maybe some new enemies—to save the empire. If they can survive recruitment year.

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Thorn | Instisar Khanani

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.5

My review: I have already written and posted a review of this book, so click here in case you’re interested to know what I thought of it!

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A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

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Of Silver and Shadow | Jennifer Gruenke

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.75

My review: A review will be published shortly on my blog, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts!

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Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.

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Beach Read | Emily Henry

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My review: I was so excited to read Beach Read because I’ve adored the other book I read by Emily Henry, so when I knew she was writing a romance I immediately added to my TBR, so I was so happy to have an ARC of this book. And I have to say, I ended up absolutely adoring this book, and it has become one of my all-time favorite romances.

To be honest, I went into Beach Read expecting a lighthearted, fluffy story, but it ended up being much more heart hitting than what I anticipated. I think there was a good balance between the fluff and the darker scenes, which is something that I really appreciated. The beginning was funny and I found myself laughing out loud at some points, but as you dive deeper into the story, it becomes much more complex and serious.

I really enjoyed the balance between plot and characters. I’ve read a few stories like that and realized that those tend to be my favorites, so I wasn’t surprised I ended up loving this book as well. The plot was so interesting to follow and so fast paced, and I didn’t get bored at all, and the characters made the story stood out to me and made the book much more gripping.

Like I was saying, the characters were an absolute blast. I fell in love with each of them throughout the story, and connected with them much more than what I anticipated. I think they had such a great balance between them, and I adored how slow burn and angsty the romance was. They both has such amazing chemistry, and you could tell that while reading it, and the dynamics between them were *chef’s kiss* beautiful.

And surprisingly, this romance has become one of my favorites. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did, but I think Emily Henry is such an incredible writer when it comes to romances, and I hope she’ll publish 30 more romance books in the future, because this girl will be picking up each single one of them. I don’t know, because the characters seemed so real and complex and had such great chemistry, and the pacing of the story was pretty well done, the romance was so well done, and there wasn’t a major difference between the before and after they got together, which sometimes happens in angsty and slow burning books.

Overall, Beach Read ended up being one of my favorite books of 2020, and I absolutely adored everything about it. The characters were so flushed and complex, and the chemistry and interactions between them were so well written, that I cannot say a bad thing about it. I will be for sure re-reading it in the future and annotating it.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

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What books have you read lately and which one has been your most and least favorite? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “April Wrap Up | 2020 (Re-Uploaded)”

  1. Oh you made me want to finish the Dark Artifices but I was really underwhelmed by Lady Midnight so I don’t know… I might pick Chain of Gold though since I loved The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. I’ve also read Shatter Me but I was kind of disappointed by it… Maybe the next books are better? Anyway, congratulations for reading so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually really enjoyed The Dark Artifices, but you don’t need to read them to pick up Chain of Gold, so if you’re interested in the premise I’d recommend you to pick it up😊.
      I think for me the original trilogy in the Shatter Me series was the best, because even though I really enjoyed Restore Me, I just wasn’t the biggest fan of the last two, but I still think it’s one of my favorites for the meaning it has to me😀.

      Liked by 1 person

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