It feels weird to be talking about my April books on May 20th … but here we are.
Last month, I read seventeen things totalling 4171 pages. April was definitely the month of the graphic novel (thanks Hoopla), I read eight of them, as well as six contemporary romances and three fantasy novels. A vast majority of the books I read in ebook format (11) and I listened to 2 audiobooks. Most of the books were published 2010-2015 (7), one was published 2000-2009, four from 2016, three from 2017 and two from 2018.
Overall, it was a really great reading month. I had five 5-star reads.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
These guys are responsible for two of the graphic novel series I loved this month. Their books are full of humour and interesting characters, the art is amazing. I will definitely be reading any projects they take on in the future.
The Wicked + The Divine
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.
The underworld/death gods from various pantheons come back as pop superstars — and someone is killing them off. A whole culture has sprung up around the gods, fansites and festivals, there is even a tower built for them. I love it! I’ve been meaning to read this series for some time, then I discovered my library had it via Hoopla. Go library! Warning, there is definitely some adult content in these books. I read volumes #1-4 last month and will definitely be continuing. Highly recommend!!
I read the final two volumes of their series. While I liked the way it ended, I was left wanting more. I am definitely going to be checking out earlier volumes in the series which feature different authors. What makes these books is the characters and their dynamics with each other.
I had first heard about Lumberjanes from Cece on the BookTube channel ProblemsofaBookNerd. Then, as often happens, I was shelving books at work (I work in a public library) and came across the first volume. We follow this group of friends at a summer camp when weird stuff starts happening. The art is amazing, the humour is spot on and it is a comic series about a group of female friends. Noelle Stevenson, one of the creators of this series, is also responsible for Nimona, which I loved last year. I definitely plan to pick up more volumes and highly recommend it.
Now onto the novels …
I read a grand total of nine novels last month, 6 were contemporary male/male romances, 1 paranormal romance, and 2 fantasy novels.
#Junkie and #Rev by Cambria Hebert
These are the first two books in the GearShark Series which follow Drew and Trent. This series follows the author’s #Hashtag Series (which I now plan to read), you do not need to read one to understand the other. This is a friends-to-lovers romance done right.
Drew and Trent are best friends, Drew is an IT guy by day and an indie car racer at heart. Trent is a college senior, football player, and president of his fraternity. I love that their friendship never disappears, even after they become lovers. Trent makes a comment at one point about how it can switch on a dime, they go from making-out to hanging-out working on their cars. Also, while Trent comes to identify as gay, Drew refuses to put a label on himself.
When Drew is offered his big break with his racing, he refuses to keep his love life secret, even though Trent is willing. I found that really refreshing.
Special note also needs to be made about The Family. These are the characters who are from the #Hashtag Series. For those who are familiar, Drew is Ivy’s brother and Trent played college football with Roman and Braedan. I love The Family! The dynamics between the group is amazing. I love how supportive they are of each other.
Overall, really good books, excellent slow-burn romance. Piece of advice, make sure you have a copy of #Rev before you get to the end of #Junkie, trust me…you’ll want it.
Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward
I finished this book because of the side characters. The main romance kinda made me cringe.
For those familiar with the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, in this book, we follow Rhage. Rhage falls into the paranormal romance alpha male trap. This is an archetype I do not find attractive. There are a number of instances when Mary, the female protagonist, tells Rhage to back off and he doesn’t. They try to justify it by having him cursed by an inner monster, but that does not make it okay in my opinion. It does not make for good romance. This book has hints for the next instalment surrounding Zsadist and Mary’s friend, Bella. It does not look much better.
What redeemed this book was John Matthew and Tohr. John Matthew is a mute orphan who is unknowingly going through the change to become a vampire. He meets Mary through a helpline and through her Bella. She introduces him to the Brotherhood. He ends up becoming a ward of Tohr and his wife, Wellsie. I loved the dynamic between Tohr and John. I think John is such an interesting character both by being mute and an outsider being brought into the Brotherhood. His chapters were definitely my favourite.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
This is the second instalment in the Wayward Children Series, which is a series of novellas focusing on children who have gone through portals into other worlds and are then thrust back into our reality. As with Every Heart a Doorway, I listened to his one in audiobook. Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a prequel, we follow twin sisters Jack and Jill from Every Heart a Doorway on their portal adventure. The world was beautifully constructed, inspired by gothic horror, I was getting Dracula and Frankenstein vibes. It amazes me how much McGuire manages to pack into such a short novella. This is a complex story. Both Jack and Jill grow into their new roles. there are a cute romance and a great conversation about gender expectation. The book isn’t even 200 pages and yet I never felt as if any storyline did not have enough time.
The third book, Beneath the Sugar Sky, is at the top of my TBR. I can’t wait to see where McGuire is going to take us next.
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
This is the fifth and most recent instalment in the Alpha & Omega Series. In preparation for its release, I reread the previous four novels on audiobook. I ended up listening to this one as well, thanks to my library. Holter Graham does an amazing job of the narration. If you are thinking about giving this series a try, I highly recommend that format.
Yes, I do still plan to do a series review. I have it half written, I just need to streamline my thoughts (right now it is a babbling mess).
Overall, Burn Bright was a great addition. Not my favourite, but still really good. I SO did not see the ending coming. This book takes place entirely in Aspen Creek and it was great to see all the side characters again. Bran has left town, and Charles is in charge of the pack. This led to some interesting dynamics. Great read!
So that, finally, is everything I read in April. What did you read? Are there any sequels you are eagerly anticipating?