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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

April Wrap-up pt.2

Updated: May 11, 2020

Welcome to part two of my April Wrap-Up, in which I’ll discuss the 6 books I read outside of the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon, as well as my reading plans for May. I’m trying to keep this as brief as possible, as many of these books either don’t need much explanation, or have a separate dedicated review already uploaded.

  • Harry Potter book 2,3 and 4

I’ll mention these together, and only briefly for obvious reasons. After reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone for the O.W.L.s I couldn’t stop there, and decided to continue the series. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve reread these now, but this was the first time ever that I did so through audio, and I thoroughly enjoyed that new experience. Stephen Fry is the perfect narrator for these books, and does an incredible job of brining to life every single one of the characters. Short thoughts about all of them can be found on my Goodreads.

As with the previous books, this also was a (third time) reread for me, as I plan to read the recently published sequel Man’s 4th Best Hospital soon. I won’t go into too much detail here: this book is a classic and needs to be read by everybody who is, or aspires to be a doctor (in training). It’s dark, cynical, flawed and varies between being utterly hilarious to disturbingly relatable. Full review can be found here. Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods – Matt Bell I really didn’t get along well with this fabulist magical realism novel. I have a full review up here, in which I discuss exactly why that was. I always feel bad for giving out one-star reviews, but in this case, I truly felt there was no other way to describe how much I disliked my experience with this book. Rating: 1/5 stars

Lastly, and by far my favourite of the ones mentioned here was Kings of the Wyld. I didn’t even realize how bad I needed this kind of book in my life, but man did I so… The best way to summarize this novel is: a bunch of middle-aged, out-of-shape dads abandoning their home-body lives to relive their glory days in order to find one of their daughters, who is in trouble. And of course the subsequent chaos of ass-kicking, cracking of aged-joints and inappropriate dad-jokes that follows... With a set-up like that, there was equal potential for hilarious greatness and utter cringe. Thanks to Nicholas Eames’ confident style, great action-scenes, surprising subversion of tropes and a colourful cast of characters that I completely fell in love with, this was better than I could have ever hoped for. I’d highly recommend this to any fantasy-fan out there, looking for an original mix of your classic high-stakes action with a D&D-like band of characters, and a good sprinkle of dry humour. I’m almost sad that the sequel Bloody Rose will follow a different band of characters, but I have faith in Nicholas Eames to create a similarly dynamic group for this story, and can’t wait to pick that up next. Rating: 5/5 stars

May Wrap Up

With the amazing reading month that was April, I’m of course hoping to keep that momentum throughout May. Instead of doing an ambitious, fully outlined 12-book-TBR like for the O.W.L.s, I’m going to go off what I feel like in the moment. The exception are the 5 books I’m pledging for May’s Believathon; a map-based readathon all about middle-grade books hosted by Gavin from How to Train Your Gavin. A link to his video in which he explains everything you need to know to participate can be found here. I only recently found out about this readathon via Basically Britt’s channel, and i thought this was a perfect opportunity to get some middle grade books in, as those aren’t often the first books I reach for, but I’ve found many a gem there in the past. I had to forage the ebook-app from my library quite a bit to find the right books to fit these prompts, but I think I did an okay job of getting a selection I’m excited for. You will notice that there’s one too many prompt, based on the map: that’s because I haven’t decided between My Jasper June and Walk Two Moons yet, so I created my route in a way that I could decide last minute which I felt most like reading at the time.

  1. Poachers Pocket Inn – Read the First book in a Series A Pinch of Magic – Michelle Harrison All I truly know about this story is that it’s about the Widdershin sisters trying to break a family curse affecting the women in their family for generations. Apparently magical adventures ensue in this spellbinding start to a new middle grade series. I’m quite curious to find out more, and as this book literally inspired the prompt, I found it only fitting to read it as my first book.

  2. Wonderfalls – Read a book featuring a disability The Distance Between Me and the Cherrytree - Paola Peretti Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely. Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play soccer and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed.

  3. The Deepwoods – book published before 2000 Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech (published in 1994) Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Salamanca tells a story to pass the time about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. Despite her father's warning that she is "fishing in the air," Salamanca hopes to bring her home. By drawing strength from her Native American ancestry, she is able to face the truth about her mother.

  4. The Mermaid Lagoon – a female bond My Jasper June – Laurel Snyder The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone. Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.

  5. Orion Found – Read a sci-fi or a book to do with space The Girl who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill I had to stretch the limits of this prompt a bit, as because my library is closed, my selection of available middle grade books is limited, and this was the closest I could get to fit. The Girl who Drank the Moon is about a witch who accidentally feeds a little girl moonmagic (hence the space-element), granting her extraordinary powers. I don’t know too much else about it, other than that it’s a favourite within the community that I still have yet to read.

  6. The Book Keepers Strong Hold – the next book in a series I honestly haven't decided yet what to read for this prompt. I will propably go with either A Sprinkle of Sorcery (sequel to the aforementioned A Pinch of Magic or with The Secret of White Stone Gate by Julia Nobel (sequel to The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, but I will decide later based on what I feel most like reading.

That concludes my April Wrap-up and (partial) May TBR. Once again, I hope you are safe and well out there, and on a lighter note, I hope you enjoyed the same great readingmonth that I did. As always, you can follow me on Goodreads to stay up to date with my day-to-day reading. Otherwise, I hope to see you all next month! Happy reading!


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