Reading Wrap Up 04: What I read in April

Hello! Remember that time life got totally crazy and I completely ignored this blog? So do I. I'm pleased to say that things are slowing down a bit now that summer has hit. April and May were filled with a very busy season at work (#higheredlife) and so many birthday/graduations/anniversary celebrations. May felt like one long party and my introvert heart is ready to chill out with book this month.

Here's what I read in the month of April:

I kicked off April by reading Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. This was one of those books that I picked up every time I saw it at the bookstore or library but never ended up taking home. My mom treated me to a copy when we were at the bookstore and I immediately dove in. I had mixed feelings about this one. I really loved some essays and other ones I did not connect with at all and found them so tangential that I wasn't really sure how we ended up there. I did really admire how she took a lighthearted approach to mental health and found her to be quite funny. Overall, I'm glad I finally checked her work out.

Next up was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. After such a litfic heavy March, I was itching for something a little more fantastical that I could get lost in. This book definitely let me get lost in it, and was also a little silly. I ended up half reading this one and half listening to it on audio during my walk to/from work because it was such a beast. My favorite part about reading this book was the group text that started after I convinced two of my best friends to also read this. It was a real flashback to college when we all read Twilight and loved/hated it. I don't know that I'll be picking up the next two books in this series anytime soon, but this one was refreshingly out of my normal reading material.

After being immersed in the world of witches, I picked up Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll. This was a super cute, super light YA read. I recommended this one to anyone who asked for a few weeks after I read it because it was just so heartwarming. Taking place in a small southern town in Alabama and following the friendship of three unlikely friends, this one tackled the themes of friendship, race, feminism, mental health, and addiction. Doris, Nell, and Grant have been brought together by their summer jobs at Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells items from luggage that has been lost in transit and left behind. I thought the writing in this one was spot on and wasn't too 'sweet' like YA can sometimes be.

I then picked up The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. After finally reading Love and Others Words in March, I was eager to check out their new release (plus, it was blowing up on #bookstagram). My complaint with romances is that sometimes they are too slow or repetitive or the characters lack depth. I loved Ethan and Olive and I feel like Christina Lauren have a real knack for writing characters that you are interested and invested in. I'm looking forward to eventually checking out some of their other work. If you're looking for a way to while away a lazy weekend afternoon, look no further!

My second to last read of the month was I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott. Reading this book was pure joy. Reading Mary Laura Philpott's I Miss You When I Blink is like sitting down for coffee with your older, cooler, wiser sister who makes you feel better about life and being a human. I loved the anecdotes that Philpott shared in this collection, all her insights, her humor, and her way of making things seem all right. This was a really enjoyable, quick read for me.

I finished off the month with the highly anticipated Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. I had been eager to get a copy of this and was excited to buddy read it with Mariah (@layoversandliterature) and Kara (@kara.reads). It was fun to buddy read because we all had different opinions of this book, so being able to share those while reading made it even better.

I love a good story that dives deep into a character's life and this one dove deep into multiple character's throughout the story. Centered around two men who meet when they are partnered as young cops on the NYPD force, the story follows their lives and families as their paths simultaneously stay entwined but also diverge from each other. I was definitely mourning the passage of time in the character’s life in this one. The story covers the span of about forty years between two families and I found myself so invested in these characters that when years would pass by in the matter of pages, I was genuinely sad to see them age before my eyes. This is an important one about family, blame, forgiveness, love, loss and defining moments in life and it’s 100% worth checking out. This one went straight to the top of favorites this year.

What were your favorite reads of the month? Or let me know if you plan to read any of these!

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Additionally some of the books above were generously gifted to me by publishers. All opinions, however, are my own.

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© 2019 by Michelle Martin