April 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

Hi all! 

Welcome to my April Reading Wrap-Up for 2018! Today I am going to be sharing with you all the books I read this month and what I thought of them. It was nice to tackle a few more novels on my TBR as well as complete my Monthly Classics Challenge & the Sassy Book Club pick for April. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

1.) EVERYONE’S AN ALIEBN WHEN UR A ALIEBN TOO BY JOMNY SUN (PHYSICAL BOOK) 

Order a copy here! 

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PLOT: This adorable illustrated novel depicts an alien’s journey to Earth and what he learns about humanity from all of the living creatures he encounters along the way. Jomny is a lonely being, desperate to connect with others and find meaning on a foreign planet. During his short time, he meets a tree starved for friendship, a bear who is tired of others running from him in fear, an egg who is unsure what to hatch into, birds that try to eat the sun, an introverted hedgehog and so much more. Through his observations, we see just how complex others can be and that the need for love and acceptance is universal.

MINI REVIEW: This book was so beautifully put together. I loved all of the cute artwork, typography and simple yet powerful messages woven throughout the story. Despite being just shy of 300 pages, it was a quick and easy read. I finished it in a couple of hours. I read it aloud to my unborn baby and I look forward to re-reading it when she’s a bit older. I feel that the author captured the human condition perfectly. The incorrect spelling and grammar give an innocent feel to the writing. Through Jomny, we learn how to cope with death and be content in our sadness. We learn to enjoy the present moment and not judge others by their outward appearance. We learn that the grass is not greener on the other side and that love doesn’t always need to be spoken to be shown. I recommend everybody read it. It’s a real treasure!

RATING: I gave this 4.5/5 stars.

2.) YOU’RE WELCOME UNIVERSE BY WHITNEY GARDNER (BORROWED PHYSICAL BOOK) – SASSY BOOK CLUB PICK FOR APRIL 2018 

Order a copy here! 

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PLOT: This was our Sassy Book Club pick for April. The live show discussing the novel will be held May 7th, 3:30pm PST on MissSassyKassie’s YouTube Channel.

In this book we follow Julia, a teenage girl who is expelled from the Kingston School for the Deaf after vandalising a wall in order to cover up a slur written about her best friend. Her parents send her to a mainstream public school where she is treated as an outcast for being the only deaf student. Julia’s biggest passion is her art. She loves nothing more than marking up her own town, despite its illegality. In the suburbs, Julia paints on any surface available to her until one day, she notices somebody has started adding to her tags. All of a sudden, she finds herself in a full-blown graffiti war, determined to compete against the anonymous person showing up her work. This is the story of a girl striving to be heard in a world of silence.

MINI REVIEW: I have never read a book with deaf representation before, making this a very refreshing and insightful experience. I also appreciated that the protagonist was a girl of colour with two gay mothers. We definitely need more diversity in young adult fiction. I was a huge fan of the edgy illustrations and unique formatting. It gave the story a wonderful, visual element. I found the writing super simple to read, the story compelling and the main character extremely sassy (which had me laughing out loud). I have never known anybody in my life with a hearing impairment, but from what I can now imagine, it must be extremely frustrating and isolating. I believe the author was very respectful in her portrayal and in my personal opinion, helped provide real perspective to those of us born with healthy, functioning ears. It also ignited a dormant dream within me – to someday become a sign language interpreter…

RATING: I gave this book 4/5 stars.

3.) 1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL (OVERDRIVE BOOK) – MONTHLY CLASSIC PICK FOR APRIL 2018 

Order a copy here! 

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Screenshot from my Overdrive account

PLOT: Set in Airstrip One (formerly Great Britain) this classic, dystopian novel depicts a world under the complete and totalitarian rule of Big Brother, a cult-like figure that nobody has ever seen. Protagonist Winston Smith, works for the Ministry of Truth, a department responsible for propaganda and historic revisionism. Winston’s job involves rewriting historical records that supports the Party’s agenda. In this reality, there is no freedom, privacy or independent thought. Any person suspected of treason is captured, tortured and eventually executed. Winston desires to rebel against the Party by joining a secret organisation known as the Brotherhood. He also begins a forbidden, sexual relationship with a woman named Julia who expresses the same ambition. Together, they meet whenever possible to make love and revolutionary plans. Winston is determined to fight against a cruel government, but who can he trust in a society full of spies?

MINI REVIEW: I had really mixed emotions whilst reading this book. On the one hand, I was blown away by the writing and the concept. It amazed me at just how many things George Orwell predicted for our future (e.g. Big Brother, surveillance devices, media corruption and more). On the other hand, I finished it feeling really depressed. This is not a pleasant novel. In fact, it is quite brutal, violent and confronting. I spent most of it holding my breath, terrified that Winston could get caught at any moment. I understand that is the point of the story – and it was extremely well executed – but I struggled to process the ending and all of the events leading up to it. Having said that, I am very happy to have finally read it. It was so fascinating and kept me hooked from start to finish.

RATING: I gave this book 3.5/5 stars.

4.) THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS (BOOK #5 OF THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS SERIES) BY RICK RIORDAN (AUDIO BOOK)

Order a copy here!

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PLOT: This was the fifth and final book in The Heroes of Olympus series. As usual, I don’t wish to spoil the plot. If you would like to learn more, please check out my January 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

MINI REVIEW: This was such a great ending to a fantastic series. After five books, I found myself very attached to the characters and was quite sad to part with them. I felt like Rick Riordan tied everything up nicely. I also appreciated the subtle links into two of his other series: The Trials of Apollo and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard . All in all, I have no complaints or critiques. It was a very enjoyable and funny journey.

RATING: I gave this 4/5 stars.

5.) THE WRATH & THE DAWN (BOOK #1 OF THE WRATH & THE DAWN DUOLOGY) BY RENÉE AHDIEH (PHYSICAL BOOK)

Order a copy here!

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PLOT: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am in love with this gorgeous cover! This captivating duology is inspired by the fairytale: A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride every night only to have her executed at sunrise. Protagonist and heroine Shahrzad, volunteers to marry Khalid so she can outwit him and avenge his victims…which includes her best friend. However, Shahrzad survives to see several dawns with an astonishing revelation: she is falling for Khalid. Within this mysterious kingdom, Shahrzad discovers that not all is as it seems and the murderous boy-king she initially despised, has a tormented heart in need of saving…

MINI REVIEW: Every review I have read on this book has received a 5-star rating. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I wouldn’t go that far. My favourite aspect of this story was the writing style. It was so beautifully vivid and descriptive. I could almost feel the warm desert air and taste the sweet fruits Shahrzad is given daily in her chamber. The mystery of Khalid kept me intrigued and wanting to know more. I, like most people, loved Shazi’s sassy nature. She was not afraid to speak her mind and demand equality amongst a male-dominated kingdom. I wouldn’t say I was blown away but I will recommend this duology to others for the enchanting Aladdin vibes alone

RATING: I gave this 4/5 stars. 

 6.) CODENAME: CHIMERA BY JAKE AND KATE PERSY (ELECTRONIC FILE)

Purchase a copy here! 

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Screenshot from the electronic file sent to me by the authors  

PLOT: The body of a millionaire (Morris Peterson) is found in the streets of New York on the eve of a major auction. Upon his corpse is a book on Greek Mythology, opened to a page about a mythical beast called a Chimera. Enter Kevin Kris, a kung fu extraordinaire and private detective, determined to solve the mystery. Kris soon discovers, along with his assistant and friend, that the last thing Morris saw before he died was a Man-With-No-Face. Who is this horrific figure and how does he tie in with a stolen, precious locket rumoured to carry a deadly curse? Be prepared for adventures, puzzles and a shocking twist! 

Check out the cool book trailer created by the authors! 

MINI REVIEW: I was sent a copy of this book for free by the authors in exchange for an honest review. Just shy of 200 pages, Codename: Chimera was a very easy and fun read full of action and adventure. I loved the dramatic style of the murder mystery and the various locations visited throughout the story. There were a few issues I had with the writing style; in particular the grammar. For example, too many exclamations marks were used and I found the dialogue to be quite unrealistic but all in all, it was very compelling with a great twist I didn’t see coming. I would recommend this novel to anybody who enjoys solving riddles and the genre of crime. Thank you to Jake and his partner Kate for sending this my way. Much appreciated! 

RATING: I gave this 4/5 stars. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. May is going to be a huge reading month for me as I will be taking part in the The Disney Read-A-Long – My TBR! as well as trying to complete my usual challenges. See you then!

Peace & Love xoxo

This post contains links to my Book Depository Affiliate which helps fund my blog, I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own

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11 thoughts on “April 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

  1. Finally you’ve read 1984! I have to agree with your sentiments about it. It IS a highly depressing book and while I read it I didn’t feel all too positive about the ending. But it does raise very relevant points about the world we live in today.

    I LOVE the alien book and am re-reading it right now. I was a bit let down by the ending though….it seemed oversimplistic and maybe I just didn’t get that part of the book 😂 Hope you are well my friend 😊❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend! I’m glad you share my sentiments about 1984. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it just didn’t leave me feeling good. I understand what you mean about the alien book. Perhaps a few more re-reads may uncover hidden layers we missed? Cannot wait to see you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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