Monday, May 2, 2022

Books I Read in April 2022

ARCs clearly defined in accordance with review policy here.
Links to Amazon are affiliate links.


Now that Billionaire men appear to be purchasing every little corner of the Internet, I wanted to go back to documenting my monthly round-ups somewhere other than Instagram. I still pay for my domain name, so why not use it more? Plus, I miss blogging, so if you still update your blog, please let me know so I can go and read it. I'm working on getting my past reads up too, I think I stopped updating during 2019? This should also mean that book titles will be searchable via the search button on the sidebar so if there's a book you're wondering about, just pop the title in and if I've read it, hopefully it'll show up.

I read 8 books in April - four eBooks and four physical books. Review copies are marked (*) and my review policy is linked at the top of this page. 


Sweet Home Alaska by Jennifer Snow* (Published May 24th)
I will have a longer post about this as part of the blog tour in the coming weeks, but for now all you need to know is this: Loads of riding.
Skylar Beaumont, third generation coast guard, has recently returned home to the small seaside tourist town of Port Serenity. Along with her pride and her well-meaning but overbearing Dad, Skylar has to contend with the fella who broke her heart, Dex Wakefield - and the realisation that there's still a spark. 
There is a scene in this book that I need to discuss with someone (an Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, swimming pool, Showgirls level of a scene) so if you read it by all means feel free to pop me a DM because.... HOW. 
Pre-Order: Kindle 

At the Table by Claire Powell*
Nicole and her brother Jamie are in their thirties, and are shocked when their parents Gerry and Linda announce that they're splitting up. Nicole is troubled, and more than slightly hung up on her ex boyfriend, Oliver. Jamie is engaged to Lucy but his heart isn't fully in it - is it cold feet or something else? 
This was so, so enjoyable. The characters seemed so real - Linda, in particular, I loved. There were a couple of little moments with her that I found so touching (buying a new baby gift and realising there were twins, and another part with a bottle of perfume) - the discussions and events in the book all take place around or near some kind of food or drink celebration or routine, from a backyard lunch to a fancy party. It's a slow, quiet novel, but I really liked the way it was written. Props also for not making Priya wholly unlikeable when it would have been so easy to do. A really engaging book.
Buy: Kindle | Bookstation 

Yinka, Where is your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn*
Can I just firstly address that this is currently #1 in the "Religious Romace" category on Amazon - what?! This isn't a religious romance. Some of the characters attend Sunday service, that's it. What an odd category to put it in?! 
Anyway, I've also seen this described as a "laugh-out-loud rom-com" which I would also say is inaccurate. At its heart, this is a story about a young woman who is a bit lost in herself, and doesn't really know how to open herself up to a new relationship without pretending to be everything she thinks men want her to be. It's about struggling with pressure from family, the expectation placed on young women to have it all, the additional hurdles thrown in front of young Black women like racism, colorism, fetishism and lack of representation. It is a love story - but it's not the one you'd expect. I really liked this book and I'd read more by this author. 
Buy: Kindle | Kennys

Hide and Seek by Andrea Mara* (Published August 4th)
I feel a little bad reviewing this so far in advance of the publication date, so I'll be brief and say that this is my favourite book by Andrea Mara to date. It's set in both 1985 and 2018, and centres around the cold case of missing three year old Lily Murphy. Joanna Stedman has just moved into the Murphys old house and becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But shouldn't Joanna be more concerned that people might find out all about her own past? I honestly don't know how you'd even begin to plot a book like this - there are so many characters, all equally interesting and valuable to the story, which weaves together before culminating in a jaw-dropping finale. One to watch out for!
Pre-Order: Kindle | Eason (use THREE15 for 15% off full price items at Eason, not an affiliate)

The Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart Vol 1 (Issues 1-5) by Brian Michael Bendis & Stefano Caselli
Riri Williams (aka Ironheart) will get her introduction into the MCU this Summer with her appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where she'll be played by Dominique Thorne. She is also due to get her own Disney+ series. I wanted to get acquainted with Riri before then, so I bought this collected volume of comics to see what she's like. The story is good - Riri is a child prodigy who builds her own suit of armour and begins her Superhero life with a little help from Tony Stark, now in AI form. Pepper Potts features, as do a few other familiar faces. I have volume 2 ordered, and I'm looking forward to seeing her story play out in movie form. Did the world need a comic about a queer Black teenage superhero written by a white man? Probably not. But the story is good, and there's huge potential to take Riri's story and place it in the hands of someone who can look after it, like Chinaka Hodge, who has reportedly been hired as head writer for the Disney+ series. 
Buy: Kindle | Kennys

The Snag List by Sophie White*
Lindy, Roe and Ailbhe all live in Monteray Valley, an exclusive Stepford-esque housing development. On the surface, all three appear to have it made - Lindy is the mother of a very successful YouTube child star, Roe is finally getting the chance to pursue a singing career after years of putting herself last, and Ailbhe is getting ready to leave the Valley behind for a new life in America with her husband and new baby, neither of which she thought she'd acquire in her early forties. When the three set up a group to discuss minor snags for their builders, they realise that they all have some snags in their personal lives that could do with some attention - but does the truth always set you free? Or could it be your downfall? 
Engaging, witty, funny, relatable, with many issues that affect women today. I really like how Sophie writes modern fiction and I enjoyed this a lot. I think it's a great Summer reading recommendation. 
Buy: Kindle | Bookstation

Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman
This is the first poetry collection in book form by Amanda Gorman, who you'll know as the youngest presidential inaugurate poet in U.S. history. Her poem from Biden's inauguration, The Hill We Climb, secured Amanda's place as one of the brightest, most relevant voices in modern society. This collection adds to that, and forms a really important piece of pandemic literature. Themes of anxiety (pre and post pandemic), isolation, togetherness, racism, fear, hope and feminism are addressed in Amanda's typical youthful, fresh, captivating, yet visceral way. I could honestly leave forty quotes here, but one of the ones that stood out for me was in relation to the shooting of George Floyd in May 2020, from a poem called "THE TRUTH IN ONE NATION"  (my favourite one in the book): 

"A nation's cold pride will kill, 
Choke us on the very spot we shadow.
This is also called Chauvin(ism)."

Buy: Kindle | Eason

The No-Show by Beth O'Leary*
This was one of my favourite reads this month. I've been hit-and-miss with Beth O'Leary's books - some I enjoyed more than others, but this is my favourite of hers so far. 

It's Valentine's Day, and three women have been stood up. 
Siobhan's boyfriend was supposed to meet her for breakfast, but he didn't show, and she is LIVID. 
Miranda's boyfriend left her high and dry (ironic, given her profession as a tree surgeon) for their lunch date and while she's annoyed, she knows there must be a good reason. 
Jane is devastated when her friend doesn't show up after agreeing to be her date to an awkward engagement party, but she blames herself for letting her guard down and trusting him. 

Unfortunately, all three are waiting on the same man - the elusive Joseph Carter. I was fully expecting him to be an absolute toerag, and instead what I got was the loveliest, most bittersweet, heartwarming and heartbreaking story about learning to open yourself up to love and being loved. 

I can't say more than that without spoiling it - I will say, I HATE cheating in books so I had three scenarios in my head for coping with it - while one of my hunches turned out to be right, the getting there wasn't what I was expecting at all and I ended up really liking Joseph. I also may have ended the book with a huge crush on the big tattooed one. I'll say no more. Loved it. 
Buy: Kindle Bookstation

So, there we have it - a nice little collection of great books this month. There wasn't one I didn't like, and I'd recommend them all. If you've read anything good lately that you think I'd like, pop me a comment below or on my Instagram.