Hi friends, and happy Sunday!
So, I inadvertently and accidentally took a four-week break from blogging. It wasn’t planned, nor even wanted, but it just kind of happened.
Hence why this April Wrap-Up is coming to you mid-May.
Somewhere during the last week of April and the first few weeks of May, my motivation for just about everything up and left, leaving me completely out of the loop. I couldn’t bring myself to pick up a book, even after I reached for some of my favorites; writing a blog post seemed like a far-fetched dream; and I was even getting bored by my cult-classic tv shows and movies, turning them off halfway through. Getting anything done, and being proud of what I accomplished, was some calculus equation I had no hopes of solving. I felt diminished and, frankly, I felt unmotivated to even attempt to regain my recently departed motivation.
But here we are, mid-May, and I’m determined to get out of this terrible slump I’m in. April started off pretty well, and I’m committed to getting back to that. So, without further ado, let’s wrap up April.
If self-isolation is good for something, it would be clearing off your TBR, right?
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir-★★★☆☆. I was so happy to finally check this book off of my TBR. I honestly have been wanting to read it for ages, and I really enjoyed it. The complexity written within each character, even the minor ones, was nothing short of wonderful. I was entranced by the pull and fight you could see within a few of the characters as they tried to determine if their personal future was more important than their empire’s future, and vice versa. That internal struggle was everything I’ve ever wanted. The reason for the three stars though was simply based on the fact that I was hoping to love the characters more than I did!
The Guest List by Lucy Foley-★★★★★. Okay, this book was MARVELOUS. Insane, really, I genuinely can’t talk about it without spoiling anything, but it’s a mystery that follows a private wedding taking place on a secluded island and someone is murdered. Because of the nonlinear timeline, you find that out on the first page. But the catch is, you don’t know who died and you don’t know who did it. Go read it!!
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows-★★★☆☆. I feel like when My Lady Jane first came out, it really made a huge splash in the book community. From booktubers to bookstagrammers, it felt like everyone had read this book. And, I’ve got to say, I’m really happy that I’ve finally read it. I will take a historical fiction book with heavy feminism themes any day. I just would have loved to see a stronger ending for this story and these characters. Maybe that just means that I need to read the sequel?
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella-★★★☆☆. This was another warm-hearted, great read! Mental health is the main theme coursing through Finding Audrey, and I really loved how it was represented within the characters themselves. I thought it fairly realistic, and it was a fun and easy read!
Me by Elton John-★★★★☆. I’ve mentioned it before, but some of my all-time favorite music are the tunes that came out of the 70s and 80s; And Elton John is one of my all-time favorite artists from that time. I’ve really come to love and enjoy reading the biographies of people I admire/am interested in because it gives you a whole new perspective. You’re able to learn new things that may not have been uncovered in news articles or interviews. And, with musical biographies in particular, I find that I learn more about the songs and albums than I ever could have hoped to. I loved Me in particular because Elton John didn’t only share his highlights; he shared his lows and his regrets, and I honestly just felt like I gained a better knowledge of him as an artist.
Finding Perfect by Colleen Hoover-★★☆☆☆. Colleen Hoover will always be a guilty pleasure of mine. I used to live and swear by her books years ago, and now they’ve turned into books that can either get me out of a slump or they’re books I can consume in one sitting. I never extremely love or extremely hate her books, but they’re just easy and I can’t stop reading them. That said, I don’t think that in this point of my life I would recommend a Colleen Hoover book to another reader, but they’ll probably always be a solace for me
(even if they’re super problematic).
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver-★★★★★. I could scream about this book from the rooftops as if my life depended on it. First, not that we judge a book by it’s cover, but this cover is beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the story on the inside. I loved this book not only for the story it told, but what it can be for some of its readers. Focusing on a nonbinary character and written by a nonbinary author, we’re able to read from a perspective that we don’t get that often and I loved every minute of it.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab-★★★★★. I’m very very late on finally starting this series. I’ve actually owned the book for a little while now, but I’ve just now picked it up. And may I just say that Kell and Lila are fantastic characters, and I really just want to be their friends. The story itself was constructed so well; as someone new to the high fantasy realm, I was never once confused. Or, if I was, it was never a big deal. I understood the story and where the characters wanted to end up and why, and I loved it. This book deserves to be widely read for so many reasons but, if anything, read it solely for the magic that Schwab created. Wow.
Currently reading: I actually just finished a book called Freddie Mercury: A Life in his Own Words, a book in which two editors came together and complied Freddie’s interviews to create a timeline of his time as the front man for Queen. It was an incredible read but, don’t worry, I’ll definitely gush about it in May’s Wrap-Up.
Onward. It’s no secret here that I’m a big Disney fan. Like, major Disney fan. And, if there’s one good thing that has come out of everything closing down is the fact that movies that were meant for theaters are now available on streaming services, like Onward. Genuinely, I didn’t think that I would fall in love with Onward as much as I did. I thought that it was just going to be a cute and enjoyable story about loving the family that you do have. I didn’t expect to become attached to the characters and to be crying by the end of it. The story itself broke my heart and filled it at the same time, and I related to the characters far more than I ever expected to. This has easily become one of my new favorite Disney movies.
The Schitt’s Creek Finale. I’m so sad. I’m so, so sad. How am I supposed to watch a TV show without David Rose now? Or how am I expected to love a sassy sister character that doesn’t say “ew David” every two seconds? Joking aside though, this show was incredible and I’m heartbroken that it’s over. It was sarcastic and witty and fulfilling in every way a TV show should be, and you’re seriously missing out if you haven’t watched it yet.
The final two Harry Potter movies. This has been a long time coming. I started my Harry Potter journey a solid two years ago, when I read the first book for the first time, and that journey has finally come to a bittersweet end. The Deathly Hallows movies were wonderful and everything I wanted them to be. I had a whole lot of thoughts about them though and, luckily for you, I wrote them all down in this post if you’re interested.
Potterless. Because I’m sad about my Harry Potter journey ending, and based on a recommendation from a wonderful friend, I have been sucked into the Potterless podcast. Considering the podcast is just a guy documenting his first time reading Harry Potter as a 24-year-old, I couldn’t relate more even if I tried. Bonus points of reliability for the million Vine references.
Ellyn over at Allonsythornraxx recommends books based off of your favorite Disney movies. Again, I can’t get enough of Disney movies, so I will surely be binging some of these recommendations!
Margaret from Weird Zeal, as a supporter and employee of an independent bookstore, shares how we can helps independent bookstores in a time when the stores have shut down. I particularly fell in love with this post because it shows that even in a time when it feels like we have very little control, we can still support the businesses that mean a lot to us.
Clara at the bookworm of Notre-Dame recommends three musicals to listen to this spring. I personally love listening to musicals, and Clara always has the greatest recommendations for the season! I will also always openly support anything in regards to Dear Evan Hansen.
Sophie from Me And Ink wrote the most lovely post about what the world would look like if Hufflepuffs reigned. As a proud Hufflepuff myself, I loved seeing all of the reasons why the world would be so fantastic if we ruled.
I want to take another quick second and apologize for going MIA for four weeks. I’m attempting to work through this slump and find my motivation again because I’m desperately missing the book blogging community. But, in the mean time, thank you for your patience and for sticking around! ❤️