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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

April Wrap-Up

Updated: May 11, 2019

After a Meh-March an Amazing-April was just what the doctor ordered, and sure hell it delivered with some great ones. I read 9 books in the month of April, of which only 3 got less than 4 stars. One of them made me feel like a teenager again, two of them took me by complete surprise and the last one got a second chance and made the best out of it… Without further ado, let’s get into the books. Books Read:

1. The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi

Setting the bar extremely high from the start, my first read of the month was already a 5 star one. The Gilded Wolves is one of those novels that reminds me again why I still pick up YA-novel at age 22. It’s been compared to Six of Crows a lot, and although I was sure that this could only set me up for disappointment, the comparison held true for me. A fantastic heist-novel with a twist, with a diverse cast of characters that I came to absolutely love. Read my full review here. Rating: 5/5 stars

2. The Unfinished World and Other Stories – Amber Sparks The Unfinished World is a short story-collection that is often mentioned in the same breath as By Light We Knew Our Names by Anne Valente, one of my favorite collections of last year). Although I can see the comparison, I didn’t enjoy this collection as much ash Anne Valente’s work. There were one or two I really enjoyed, but as a whole, this collection and I just didn’t click. I wrote a short review on Goodreads that can be found here. Rating: 2/5 stars

3. Ghost wall – Sarah Moss

Ghost wall is the newest release by UK author Sarah Moss, who wrote one of my all-time-favorite novels The Tidal Zone, so I had high expectations going into it. This was a very short, but very strong novel about a dysfunctional family, obsession and the destructive power of group-mentality, all set against the décor of an iron-age reenactment camp. I initially gave it 3.5 stars, but later bumped it up to a full 4 stars, as it’s the kind of book that stays with you for a while, and needs some “digesting-time”. Full review can be found here. Rating: 4/5 stars

4. The Language of Dying – Sarah Pinborough After Ghost Wall, the next shorter book I picked up was bit of a disappointment. The Language of Dying is a novella that takes place over the span of a few hours, as a woman wakes by the bed of her dying father and muses over the years, weeks and days leading up to this moment. If you’ve been here for a while you know I read a lot about grief and as such, I have become perhaps hypercritical of them. After having read so many great ones, The Language of Dying was a well written account of such hours, yet it didn’t quite set itself apart from other books on the topic. Full review can be found here Rating: 3/5 stars

5. City of Woven Streets – Emmi Itaränta

The first major surprise of the month came in the form of City of Woven Streets by Emmi Itaränta. It’s a little known fantasy book by a Swedish author, that has received quite mixed reviews, but the premise sounded so intriguing to me that I really wanted to give this a try. Although I felt quite lost for the first ca 75 pages, once I got into the story I fell in love with the dreamlike quality and the fascinating world. It isn’t a perfect book, but I had an amazing experience with it. Full review to come Rating: 4.5/5 stars

6. Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories – Kelly Barnhill Another short story collection, this time by the author of the widely loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon, that I approached with high expectations based on reviews from other readers I trust. Although I liked this collection better than The Unfinished World, it still wasn’t quite a new favorite for me. Again, there were 3 stories I really enjoyed, and 5 that didn’t quite click with me. Full review can be found here Rating: 3.5/5 stars

7. Sight – Jessie Greengrass

This book entered my radar on the recommendation of Jen Campbell, an author and booktuber I adore and trust completely on her recommendations. However, I also knew that this was one of the most polarizing novels of 2018, and as such I went in with caution, bordering on trepidation… I was (again) surprised in the best possible way. Having read it, I can understand how it's the kind of book that one either loves or hates: more inner monologue than coherent plot and often more musings than novel. I, however, am on the love—side. A stunning homage to mother-child-relationships that managed to move me, resonate with me and break my heart at times… Full review to come Rating: 5/5 stars

8. The Secret of Nightingale Wood – Lucy Strange The Secret of Nightingale Wood is a middlegrade story that blurs the line between reality and fantasy in the inner world of a young girl coping with recent tragedies in her family. If you know me, you know that these are my favorite types of middlegrade novels, as for some reason, they always seem to cover so much more depth than first meets the eye. This was no different. Covering themes of mental illness in the 20th century, grief and having to grow up too quickly, whilst simultaneously evoking vibes of classics like The Secret Garden and Anne of Greengables: this was a joy to read. Full review to come. Rating: 4.5/5 stars

9. Arcadia – Iain Pearce Last but not least in April, I finished Arcadia by Iain Pears. Honestly, I’m not sure how to describe this yet, other than “smart”, as that’s the main word that keeps popping into my head when I think about it. My brain needs a little time to process all that happened in this almost 700-page unit of a book, but I can already tell that this is the type of book I really want to talk to other people about. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your opinion. Personally, I really struggled to get into it at first, but I did end up enjoying it in the end. Full review to come. Rating: 4/5 stars May TBR

My May-TBR is a little more fixed than I’m used to, as I suddenly had a lot of library-reservations coming trough all at once. As such there are 6 books I have to give priority to in the month of May. Luckily there's quite a variety of different genres, so I can still pick and chose a little based on my reading mood.

- The Silence of the Girls – Pat Barker

- If we were Villains – M.L. Rio

- White is for Witching – Helen Oyeyemi

- When the Crawdad Sings – Delia Owens

- The Comet Seekers - Helen Sedgwick

-The Devouring Gray - Christine Lynn Herman

- The Girl Aquarium - Jen Campbell

You can of course follow my progress during the month on my Goodreads, or await next month wrap up. I wish you all a happy reading month, and hope to see you back soon!


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