Books, Reviews

April Books Recap

I am so happy to get my reading groove back this month! I got access to NetGalley and have been approved for some delightful Advanced Reading Copies! I didn’t love them all but I loved being able to read it in advance! All in all, I read 11 books in April! Let’s dive into what they were.

Below is the straightforward rating system I use:

✰✰✰✰✰Loved it & had a profound impact on me!
✰✰✰✰Loved it!
✰✰✰Liked it!
✰✰Disliked it!
Hated it!

The Hero’s Way
by Tim Parks

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I read this book with a lot of anticipation. I love Italy, I love hiking, trails and history. The premise of the book seemed very promising: the author and his wife tracing the footsteps of Garibadli and his men. 

It’s a fascinating subject if you’re into that particular topic. Turned out that my interest in Italy or hiking or history wasn’t enough to keep me interested in this book. 

I do wish there were more visuals though I got the cheekiness of the author suggesting we open up Google maps. 

I think if you don’t have an interest in Garibaldi and the Italian unification to begin with, this book will do little to lift your enthusiasm on the subject. However, if said topics are out your alley, then this book will be also!


Invisible Girl
by Lisa Jewell

Rating: 2 out of 5.

*SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW*

I wound up feeling borderline angry after I closed this book – predominately because I felt I wasted a few hours of my life. 

The book started OK for me and about 1/3 of the way it garnered at 2 star rating for me & although around the last 1/3 of the book I thought I may wind up with a 3 star, instead I had to dissuade myself from giving it a 1 star. 

Here are my reasonings:

In a thriller, I need someone dead. Period. If no one is dead, what is even the point?

The reveal of who it turned out to be & the little “hint” at who else it may have been were so boring and so anticlimactic that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. 
The Harrison angle was just too “oh come on” for me. I wouldn’t much rather it be revealed that it was in fact Roan or even Josh! 

The only character you end up feeling anything for at the end is Owen because at least he recognizes his behavioral problems and takes steps to fix them. 

Other than that, this was not a good mystery/thriller. 

Super disappointed!


Finlay Donovan is Killing It
by Elle Cosimano 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It took a little while to get into, but once you did, it flew by pretty quick. 

The storyline is far-fetched, but that’s ok. The writing is witty and humorous, and even entertaining at times. Enough things are happening for you to keep wondering “who did it.” 

But like many contemporary mysteries, the Who did it falls incredibly flat! You’re just left wondering… 🤔🤔🤔

The epilogue left you with something interesting to ponder on, which I appreciated!

All in all, it has enough intrigue for me to want to read the sequel. 


World Travel
by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really wanted to love this book a lot more than I did. While I enjoyed the destinations covered, the food discussed and the witty comments from Bourdain himself, it felt a bit awkward to have an attempt at a “guide” in the midst of it. It should have either been completely eliminated or done in more detail. The lackluster info about getting around the city/country felt like I was just being fluffed by the author and as if it was a check mark he could tick off. 

Still, who doesn’t enjoy a book on food and travel?


Beach Read
by Emily Henry

Rating: 3 out of 5.

After several heavy reads, I needed something lighthearted, so I picked up Beach Read from my shelf. 

Firstly, I will say that it served its purpose – it was predominantly lighthearted. 

Secondly, I will say it has way too much sex in it, and that’s probably not true by romance book standards, but as a person who reads mostly thrillers/mysteries, adventures and nonfiction— intimacy is not a big part of my reading life. So I cringed through much of it. 😂 

Thirdly, I will say these two were constantly drunk; I don’t know how they got anything done 🤷🏽‍♀️

Overall it was a mix between eh and “has potential.” 


Such a Quiet Place
by Megan Miranda

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’ve only read one book by Megan Miranda before, The Last Guest, and I quite enjoyed it. As a result, I was ecstatic to get the chance to read an advance copy of her latest book! 
I’ll get straight to the point.

Here’s what I enjoyed about the book:

  • Fast-paced, I love me a good fast-paced mystery/thriller
  • Intriguing storyline; the book had me captured from the start in a way that made me want to continue to read. I basically read this book in two sitting (would have been one of the daily happenings of life didn’t get in the way).
  • Unreliable protagonist; love me a protagonist I’m not sure I can trust!
  • Other unreliable characters; this kind of character-driven plot lets you continuously wonder where you’ll end up and whodunnit?

Without giving too much away, here is what I didn’t enjoy as much:

  • The climax, for me, it wasn’t enough; that’s all I’ll say
  • Some of the “b” storylines — the smaller reveals were a disappointment

I expected to be really blown away by the reveals, ending, etc. but I wasn’t. It fell short for me and I know part of that is because I read SO many thrillers that it now takes a LOT for me to be “wow-ed” by any of them.

I gave it a 3-star because while it is enjoyable to read, it wasn’t enough for me to love it which would’ve rendered a 4-star. 

But, if you enjoy thrillers and aren’t super picky like me, then you should be able to enjoy this one. 


Deep Survival
by Laurence Gonzales

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love reading and watching documentaries about disasters – I can’t articulate why that is. So, this book was right up my alley! 

I found the connection between the situations we land ourselves in, the will to survive or give up and connection of the human psyche to be incredibly fascinating! 

The touches on disasters ranging from mountain climbing, fires, plane crashes and even the twin tower attacks. It is both immensely intriguing and absolutely terrifying. 

It kept making me wonder if I would survive or die if caught in any of these or any other disasters. I can’t say I know the answer. 🤷🏽‍♀️

The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 star is because sometimes I felt like the anecdote and the lessons learned weren’t hashed out very well. It left me feeling incomplete. However, I now have a wide range of past disasters that I want to read more about! 

I will say that this book is NOT for everyone. 


Ride: Cycle the World
by DK Eyewitness

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This makes for an excellent coffee table book. The “wish I was a cyclist” in me was thrilled with the routes and destinations covered in this book. It’s not super in-depth, but books like this don’t have to be. If you’re a rider, it is for you!


Evil Under the Sun
by Agatha Christie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Evil Under the Sun is written in the quintessential way only Agatha Christie can write. 

All Hercule Poirot crimes are solved in the most interesting ways, and we loved how it all unfolded and the way Poirot pieces it all together. The writing is clever, funny and oh so English. You are transformed to another time period, and you’re happy to go along for the ride. 

I was surprised by whodunnit and the revelations that came with it. 

Side note: it is so funny to read dialogues that allude to the idea of “things were better when we were younger,”; which is so universal it stands the test of time! 

Although the book is short, it still takes some time for the actual crime to happen. Christie likes to set up the characters in her books because all of their backstories become important as the story unravels, so be patient — the good stuff is coming! 

This was the April @thewanderingbookworms book club pick & it was an excellent choice!


The Refugees
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A series of essays about refugees, some immigrated when they were children, some in teens and some in adult. The complexities , vulnerabilities and diversity in the stories were so touching and often heartbreaking. Beautifully written!

As an immigrant, there were so many aspects of the different stories that resonated deeply with me. It was a reminder that even though we, as immigrants, have very unique experiences that are only our own, so much of what we experience as a community, irrespective of where we migrated from is the same.

We’ve lived on food stamps, we’ve struggled with culture shock, we’ve worked hard to overcome discrimination. No matter where we came from, we all have had some version of the same experiences.

This was the March/April @spiritednavigators book club pick and an excellent choice! 


Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up
by Alexandra Potter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I need to write a review of this book and it will def be mentioned in one of my upcoming What I Think I Say podcast episodes because NO book could have come to me at a more timely manner. 

I’m not 40-something (yet), I’m not looking for love or marriage, I didn’t just come off a broken engagement & I am not renting a room at someone else’s place, BUT…!

So so so much of what she goes through, feels, articulates and DOES were hand-in-hand with my life and I had the MOST delightful time reading this 500+ page book. Because THIS book is all about adulting. 

Also, I bookmarked amazing quotes THROUGHOUT the book!

P.S. it is HILARIOUS as an audiobook if you prefer that. 


If you have Instagram and would like to follow my account(s), I would be delighted!

Total Book Count: 33

Looking forward to reading more lighthearted books next month!

Happy Reading!

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