What I Read in April 2022

Happy Friday, everyone!

We have survived April 2022! I don’t know about you, but chaotic doesn’t even begin to sum up my past month…

For one thing, I was constantly running from one place to the next in completely unsuitable clothing – How am I supposed to plan what to wear when the weather keeps going from torrential downpours to snow to scalding heat to hailstorms all within a matter of hours, huh?? – which resulted in me sniffling at everyone and everything with a terrible cold one week and then sporting a truly colorful masterpiece of a sunburn the next.

Some April highlights, featuring: A family bonfire, an unflattering image my evil stalkers friends took of me during a museum trip to Nuremberg (during which we were almost thrown out of the museum because after I accidentally bumped into a valuable old piano, one of my friends proceeded to demonstrate – by bumping into it again – why the piano had made a sound when I’d bumped into it πŸ™ˆ), and an absolutely adorable calf!

For another, I was simply extremely busy. There was all the work I had to do for school, an Easter break filled with people who expected me to socialize with them now that I was finally home, the chaos of trying to keep an eye on the kids while my parents were helping the Ukrainian family who had been staying at our place move into an apartment of their own, a beta read that I’m still in the middle of, and the fact that, for no discernible reason, I’ve just been feeling kind of down lately.

Which, somewhat contraintuitively, means that I’ve actually been reading and watching way more than usual! My coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety and unhelpful spiraling thoughts has always been to cut down on sleep – because if I keep myself occupied with books and movies until I’m so tired that I collapse of my own accord, I won’t have to deal with that period of lying awake in bed where I start overthinking every single decision I have ever made in my life, no matter how small…

(Yes, I realize this isn’t exactly healthy πŸ˜… I’m trying to work on it, I promise!)

Anyway, all that to say: I read quite a bit in April! Some of it was good, some of it was terrible, some of it was mediocre, and some of it was awesome, so yeah – my reading was about as all-over-the-place as the weather. Let’s just say you’ve got a wide range of opinions to look forward to! πŸ˜‚

Dragonfly (Dragonfly #1) by Julia Golding (2/5 Stars)

Had I read it about ten years earlier in my life, I would probably have looked at Dragonfly a lot more favorably. After all, next to unique world-building and a ton of politics, it also features some of my favorite tropes ever, like royalty being out of their comfort zone and a hate-to-love romance!

Reading this in my mid-twenties, though? Well, I’m afraid to say I found it to be the epitome of clichΓ©d and badly written YA fantasy πŸ™ˆ

To defy a common enemy, the book’s protagonists, Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands and Prince Ramil of Gerfal, are forced into an arranged marriage neither of them is particularly keen on. Tashi finds Ramil incredibly rude, and Ramil thinks Tashi is so prim and proper that he tries everything he can think of to offend and be rid of her. Then, however, Tashi and Ramil are kidnapped, and it’s up to them to ensure their countries’ – and their own – futures…

Like I already said, I thought this book was remarkably similar to about a million other YA fantasy novels out there. We had a pretty standard “two teens travel around together and somehow singlehandedly solve a political conflict that has been going on for decades” plotline that no longer really does it for me – especially when no one but the main characters is even slightly fleshed out, relationships go from one extreme to another in the blink of an eye, and the writing might be the worst show-don’t-tell, don’t-infodump, and choose-one-narrative-perspective travesty that I have ever seen in my life.

Ramil felt exasperated; he'd extended the olive branch only to have it snapped.
"Actually, it does matter," Tashi said simply. She was feeling more at peace with the world now that she had done her prayers.

Excerpt from Dragonfly, p. 82

Seriously, the whole book was full of passages like this one! We were constantly being told (rather than shown) about characters’ feelings in extremely repetitive language, jumping from one person’s head to the next in true omniscient narrator style for about five pages, and then jumping back to dual perspective third-person limited for the next five. That and the constant infodumps drove me absolutely insane, and I just couldn’t take the book seriously as a result! Which is such a pity, because I did actually like Tashi and Ramil a lot as protagonists and thought that some of the ideas behind the plot were quite interesting.

Kommissar Mozart: Es muss nicht immer Mord sein by Tom Ots (3/5 Stars)

(This book has not been translated into any other languages; the German title means “Inspector Mozart: It doesn’t always have to be murder”)

Kommissar Mozart was our most recent pick for the book club I run with three of my friends. I had never heard of it in my life, but my best friend, who studies medicine, is friends with the author, a doctor whom she met at an acupuncture seminar. Which means she decided our book club would be the perfect way of obtaining an unbiased opinion on the novel, goading us with soppy stories of how badly the author wanted feedback and how we might even be able to invite him to one of our book club sessions, provided our views on the book were not so unfavorable that it would make things extremely awkward.

(Yeah, that last remark might have been aimed at me πŸ˜‚)

Anyway, the novel follows an Austrian police officer who is descended from none other than the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. Inspector Mozart, however, has inherited none of his ancestor’s musical talent… Instead, he has always had a passion for solving crimes, even if his pedantic ways of going about this have always greatly amused his colleagues. After a large-scale bank robbery takes place in his hometown, Mozart sees his chance to prove himself, vigorously throwing himself at a trail of clues that takes him all across Austria and Germany. However, what initially began as an enthusiastic manhunt soon leads to Mozart being very distracted by deeply philosophical conversations about yoga, life, and the 1968 movement…

Overall, I can definitely say that I enjoyed this one enough that my friends don’t have to be too ashamed of my opinions if we do invite Tom Ots to our next book club session. Granted, I wasn’t particularly blown away by the mystery plotline or Inspector Mozart’s personal relationships. Both of those were rather bland. But the political discussions in this one were actually really intriguing, and I loved the self-deprecating humor the book had! Besides, there were just so many wonderful Austrian snide comments at Germans in here that had me snorting!

(Although, Austrians, before you get too complacent, just remember that your country is basically just an even more conservative version of Bavaria… Don’t you dare think that you can make fun of us without retaliation! 😜)

So yeah, while it is by no means a new favorite, Kommissar Mozart was definitely interesting and unlike anything I’ve read before. If you speak German and are craving light crime fiction with a bit of philosophy, history, and a unique voice, this one might be worth checking out!

The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin (1/5 Stars)

(Original Russian title: ΠœΠ΅Ρ‚Π΅Π»ΡŒ; I read Andreas Tretner’s German translation, Der Schneesturm)

What. The. Fuck. Did. I. Just. Read.

Please excuse the language, but that’s just the most accurate way I have of describing The Blizzard 😳 Seriously, I am so glad I decided to read this in translation and not the original Russian, because the plot was so freaking bizarre – think doctor-with-miniature-horses-stumbles-through-a-blizzard-in-the-midst-of-an-epidemic-only-to-find-lots-of-pyramid-shaped-drugs-and-stop-at-a-mill-to-have-hot-sex-with-his-dwarfish-host’s-wife-and-then-encounter-an-enormous-snowy-phallus-in-the-woods-while-wolves-are-trying-to-eat-him bizarre – that, even in German, I was continuously questioning whether I was just not understanding the words on the page. Reading this in Russian would have guaranteed a full-on language crisis!

Anyway, to put it into a bit more understandable terms, the novel starts off harmlessly enough. Garin, a doctor somewhere in Russia, desperately needs to make it to the village of Dolgoye before nightfall in order to deliver a vaccine against a mysterious epidemic. His efforts, however, are thwarted by a raging snowstorm that turns a sleigh ride that should have lasted only a few hours into something much longer and much more sinister…

Overall, this book just wasn’t for me. I went into it hoping to familiarize myself with contemporary Russian literature – Sorokin particularly intrigued me because he has been quite vocal in his criticism of Putin in recent years – but ended up discovering what was simultaneously one of the most absurd and one of the most boring books I have ever read in my life. Except for its overall message and the depressive outlook it portrayed towards humanity, I hated absolutely everything about The Blizzard and I am never, ever voluntarily picking it up again!

If you like bizarre, if you adore unlikeable protagonists, if you’re craving something different – by all means, go for it. After all, my mom, who also read it, thought The Blizzard was “brilliantly reminiscent of Kafka”… πŸ™„ I, however, am never going to forgive my mom for that comparison, and think you would be far better of reading The Metamorphosis than this genitalia-filled wad of nonsensical symbolism.

Breakable Things by Katie Wismer (4/5 Stars)

Although I love poetry, I don’t usually gravitate towards reading whole collections all at once. However, I obviously wasn’t going to miss out on something of Katie’s! I’ve been beta-reading her novels for years now, so, I dunno, not reading a book of hers would’ve felt like a most treacherous betrayal of loyalty or something… 🀣

Anyway, maybe part of the reason I loved this so much was because I know Katie so well. This collection of poems explores what it’s like to be in your twenties, what it’s like to work through some of the darker chapters in your life, what it’s like to strive for the happiness you deserve, and realizing how much of her soul Katie had poured into these words made me appreciate them all the more.

But so many of the poems also just spoke to ME. They hit me in the feels right where it hurt most, and I absolutely loved them for it!

they tell you
you're one of the smart ones
but you've only ever looked at
part of the picture

the first eighteen years of my life
are filed away
under glowing report cards
and shiny red letters

and the perfection used to taste
so sharp on my tongue
that I barely know how
to function anymore
without the blood
in my mouth

Excerpt from Breakable Things, p. 47

The only complaint I have is that the collection was very much on the short side. I felt it could have benefitted from additional poems that also made the transitions between different sections smoother – but maybe that’s just me and my absolute inability to keep anything brief myself… Also, some poems just spoke to me a lot more than others! Which is probably bound to be the case with a collection like this, but I still would have wished that all of the poems had blown me away as much as my favorite ones did.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (4/5 Stars)

If you read my post on what I’ve been watching recently, you’ll know that I’ve been severely neglecting my favorite sci-fi shows in order to binge contemporary series (**cough Heartstopper cough**) instead… So, to replace my severe sci-fi withdrawal, the only solution was to consume the genre in book form!

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? follows six teenagers who have been training their whole lives at an elite academy, in hopes of joining a crew of adult spacefarers on a mission to a possibly habitable exo-planet. Competition to get this far was brutal, but even now that they’ve made it, tensions are running rife. After all, being cooped up together on a spaceship for over twenty years is no easy prospect, particularly when each crew member has their own demons to face.

This book, you guys, was a real-page turner! Even though the pacing is rather slow – Do You Dream of Terra-Two? focuses much more on mental health issues than the training and space travel aspects of the mission – I just couldn’t put it down, and was thoroughly invested in the lives of these teens. Especially since all of them were super nerdy! Like, one of them loves math and builds robots, and another speaks loads of different languages. How much more relatable can you get? πŸ₯°

That being said, though, I thought it was a tiny bit unrealistic just how mentally damaged all of these kids were… You seriously expect me to believe they had issues of this magnitude and not one single person objected to them going on this mission? Also, I really would have wanted to see more interaction between the different crew members, particularly as they grew closer over time, and thought the ending felt extremely rushed compared to the slower pace of the rest of the book.

Still, my final verdict is that I would definitely recommend this to YA sci-fi fans!

Vespertine (Vespertine #1) by Margaret Rogerson (3.5/5 Stars)

While I felt very meh about Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens, I absolutely adore her second novel, Sorcery of Thorns. So obviously, I wasn’t going to miss out on Vespertine! Not when there was a chance it might reach Sorcery of Thorns-level epicness!

Well, it didn’t quite manage that. But I still had a great time reading and definitely plan to continue on with the series!

Set in a world inspired by medieval France, with a magic system based heavily on Catholicism, we follow a young, taciturn nun-in-training named Artemisia. It is her convent’s duty to cleanse the dead before they are buried, in order to prevent their souls from coming back to possess and terrorize the living. However, when Artemisia’s home is attacked by possessed soldiers, her only chance at survival is bonding with a malevolent undead spirit herself – a revenant that has been imprisoned in an ancient relic for centuries. Little does Artemisia know that this choice will eventually lead her to question everything she has ever believed in…

And guys, what do you expect me to do when you hand me a fiercely protective, conniving, slightly evil, misunderstood body-sharing undead spirit? I OBVIOUSLY LOVED THE REVENANT AND THE BOND IT HAD WITH ARTEMISIA!! 🀩 Their relationship was so interesting that I wouldn’t have minded reading only about that. Particularly since I thought Artemisia, in all her quiet awkwardness, was extremely relatable as well. Okay, and also because I thought the Roman Catholic magic system involved in the bond was super cool! Although my siblings and I turned out as agnostic as it gets, we grew up in a pretty Catholic family – I’m not even exaggerating when I say that half of my extended family studied theology – and it was really interesting to see how Margaret Rogerson drew on all the different customs and rituals I was raised with to create Vespertine‘s world.

That being said – plot was not Vespertine‘s strong suit. To be fair, I did read most of the book in the middle of the night or very early in the morning when I was extremely tired, so I might’ve missed something, but in my opinion, all of the big “twists” in this book were either not foreshadowed at all or very obvious, making the second half kind of repetitive and boring. The plot just felt so bland that, after a while, I was reading solely for the revenant and Artemisia. Especially since the side characters weren’t really all that fleshed out, either…

Hopefully, though, that will improve with future books, because I really do think this series has lots of potential!

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (4/5 Stars)

What do you do when you feel utterly exhausted, overwhelmed by the amount of work you still have to do, and your thoughts around every life decision you’ve ever made are spiraling like crazy? If you answered a) “take a break and catch up on sleep”, b) “get started on diminishing your workload”, or c) “talk to someone about what’s weighing on you”, then you are clearly a much smarter person than I am. Because I, obviously, did none of those things and instead decided to sacrifice even more sleep in order to read a fluffy romance novel!

Tweet Cute follows two high schoolers living in New York – Pepper Evans, star student, swim team captain, and daughter of the founders of one of the US’s biggest fast-food chains, and Jack Campbell, class clown, less popular twin, and son of the founders of a small local deli. With plenty of schoolwork and extracurriculars to juggle, Pepper and Jack’s lives are already complicated enough, but then Big League Burger steals one of Girl Cheesing’s most popular recipes, sparking a full-on Twitter war with Pepper and Jack caught right in the middle…

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I had mainly picked it up because I wanted the easy-to-digest cuteness that the title already advertised, but what I got was a deeply reflective YA novel that examined things like toxic parent-child relationships, academic pressure – This former super-perfectionistic overachieving student related to Pepper like nobody’s business! – , sibling bonds, and social media. The characters were all well-rounded, extremely fleshed out individuals whose lives I couldn’t help but get invested in, and as I result, I tore through Tweet Cute at an incredible speed!

My only complaint is that I really wish the ending of the book had been a tad less cheesy. Seriously, did everybody have to be so nauseatingly happy with their life? Was it really necessary to have redemption arcs for even the most infuriating characters? With the darker themes that were woven into the rest of the book, I just wish the ending had been a bit more nuanced, too.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (2.5/5 Stars)

Fully titled Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death, Kurt Vonnegut’s most famous work is an extremely unique novel with very poignant messages that really made me think. However, I still didn’t particularly enjoy reading it πŸ™ˆ

After an introduction by Kurt Vonnegut himself, in which the author explains that he has always wanted to write about the bombing of Dresden, we are confronted with the story of Billy Pilgrim, who, as Vonnegut puts it, has become “unstuck in time” after being kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. As a result, we as readers also get to experience Billy’s life in extremely chaotic order, jumping around between his childhood in New York, his time as a soldier/prisoner of war/bombing survivor in WWII Germany, his post-war married life as an optometrist, and his time on Tralfamadore.

If I had to describe Slaughterhouse-Five in two words, it would be “senseless” and “grueling”. You already know everything that is going to happen because Kurt Vonnegut summarizes it in his introductory chapter. Billy Pilgrim is so ordinary that there is nothing very interesting about him. Instead, you see him pointlessly wasting his life, completely traumatized by an event in which countless others were pointlessly killed due to human stupidity. So it goes.

(I swear, if I have to read the phrase “So it goes” ever again in my life, I’m going to scream! I mean, yes, following every mention of death in the book with that line really made the senselessness of war hit home, but it was also incredibly frustrating constantly having to read it!)

Is Slaughterhouse-Five a great anti-war book? Sure. It describes the horrors of war so matter-of-factly and ridiculously that it strips them of any possible glory you could try to ascribe to them. Honestly, reading this now, with everything going on in Ukraine, was beyond eerie.

But my reading experience was anything but great. I just could not connect to Billy. I was so bored by the endlessly cyclic plot that never brought up anything new. I just wasn’t all that emotionally invested, and while I though the message of the book was chilling and poignant, I probably would’ve taken just as much away from the story if it had simply consisted of the sentence “War is stupid and pointless, but humans are also stupid and keep fighting each other anyway.” Adding all of Billy’s alien drama to the story was interesting from a stylistic perspective, but it just didn’t do much for me.

The Circle by Dave Eggers (4/5 Stars)

Despite its extreme popularity, I wasn’t actually planning on ever reading The Circle. I’d heard it was set at a fictional company, and if there’s anything I find incredibly boring, it’s business… πŸ˜… However, I then discovered that The Circle was the only book listed in the introductory text to utopian and dystopian fiction in my 11th graders’ school textbook that I had not yet read…

(The others, in case you’re curious, were Thomas More’s Utopia, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.)

And of course, perfectionist me suddenly deemed it necessary to have read ALL of the books mentioned in that text. I mean, we were due to start that dystopian unit a week from now! What if one of my students read that text, wanted more background info, and I hadn’t read the one novel they wanted to know about? It would be a travesty!

So, I read The Circle. And, gosh, I was so pleasantly surprised!

The Circle‘s protagonist, Mae Holland, is a young college graduate who has just landed the job of her dreams at the world’s most powerful internet company. Everything at the Circle is modern, interconnected, simple. There are apartments on campus so employees don’t have to suffer the annoyance of daily commutes. Everyone has a company-owned social media account that is meant to encourage you to actually get to know your colleagues outside of work. Online identities are merged into one simple package, so you don’t have to bear the burden of remembering 50,000 different passwords. Dazzled by it all, Mae is more determined than ever to earn her place at this company, hoping to eventually bring the benefits of the Circle to everyone.

The dystopian world portrayed in here felt so eerily plausible that I just could not put the book down! I stayed up thinking about it ages after I’d finished, reflecting on totalitarianism, worrying societal trends, my own relationship to work and social media…

Honestly, the scenarios portrayed in The Circle were so interesting and thought-provoking that the book even managed to make me forgive something I usually never, ever forgive – characters with barely fleshed out personalities and relationships. Quite frankly, the character development in this book sucked big time. Mae is one of the biggest Mary Sues I’ve ever read about, and her friendships and romantic entanglements in particular had me rolling my eyes because they were so badly written. Weirdly enough, though? – I didn’t care. At least not that much. I never thought I would ever make a statement like this, but I guess there’s always a first time: The world-building in The Circle was so phenomenal that it more than made up for characterization deficiencies!

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer (5/5 Stars)


There are simply no other words for it. The Darkness Outside Us is sci-fi at its finest, confronting the reader with adventure, mystery, morality, humanity, science, complex characters, and one of the most unique plots I’ve seen in a very long time. I’m serious, guys. You have to go read this!

Set in a distant future, after war-ravaged Earth has received a distress call from a mission sent to colonize Titan, The Darkness Outside Us follows two spacefaring teenage boys from enemy nations, forced to work together by countries who don’t have the resources to stage a rescue of their own. But their spaceship, the Coordinated Endeavor, holds plenty of secrets, and soon, it’s no longer a certainty whether Ambrose and Kodiak will be able to complete their mission…

Honestly, the less you know going into this book, the better. Anything I could possibly tell you about why I loved it so much would be a tremendous spoiler, so you’re just going to have to read it yourself if you want to discuss details… Just know that even if it seems like a pretty typical YA spacefarer story at first – and one with an incredibly annoying, spoiled, and horny teenage protagonist at that – it is anything but. This book has absolutely insane twists up its sleeve, and I guarantee you, there will come a point where you will become so hooked that you can’t put it down.

Go read this! Especially if you’re a sci-fi fan, I fail to see how it could possibly disappoint you!

(Also, can I just say that The Darkness Outside Us deserves major bonus points for being basically the only book I’ve ever read with realistically written violin playing scenes? πŸ₯°πŸŽ»πŸŽΌπŸ₯°)

With all the chaos going on in my life, I didn’t do quite as much blog hopping as I would’ve liked this past month. Still, there were plenty of fantastic posts out there, so here are some of my favorites!

  • Phoenix @ Books with Wings wrote a wonderful review of Alice Oseman’s Loveless. I have next to nothing to add to the conversation because Phoenix has pretty much said it all! 😊
  • Lila @ Hardcover Haven gave us a carefully curated list of #OwnVoices Middle Eastern books to check out for Arab American Heritage month. Thanks to Lila, I am now not only eyeing some of these recommendations very greedily, but also learned a ton about Lebanon, the country where part of Lila’s family is originally from! πŸ‡±πŸ‡§
  • ZoΓ« @ Reading by the Moonlight covered Roald Dahl in her most recent installment of Spotlight On, a series that gives us a bit of background on famous authors’ lives. As a massive Roald Dahl fan – I’ve loved his macabre humor ever since I was a child and have read every single one of his books – I obviously adored this! 😍
  • Line @ First Line Reader not only wrote posts on two of my favorite books this past month – Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Errand and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale – but also celebrated her three-year blogiversary by analyzing which of her posts were the most popular. I absolutely adored this for two reasons: 1) I’m a huge nerd and find statistics like that beyond fascinating, and 2) I got links to even more excellent content to read! πŸ€—
  • Emily @ Frappes and Fiction wrote what might be my favorite discussion of hers yet, in which she provides an in-depth analysis of problems surrounding cancel culture. I found her points extremely thoughtful and highly recommend you go check this one out! πŸ€“
  • Riddhi @ Whispering Stories wrote a hilarious post on book genres as school teachers! I’m still trying to figure out whether I should feel personally attacked by this πŸ€”
  • Ambre @ One More Bookdom did the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag, an all-time favorite of mine. I just love all the tea, okay?! 😁 And boy, did Ambre spill some – I feel like my unpopular opinions are very tame in comparison – so if you speak French, I highly recommend you check this post out!
  • Ash @ Ink Words and Ash created The Trope Tag, giving us an opportunity to pair some of our favorite and not-so-favorite literary tropes excellent book recommendations! I am really looking forward to doing this one, but since we all know that it can take an eternity for me to get to my tags, I thought I’d already give it a shoutout here! πŸ™ƒ
  • Megan @ Behind Her Books completed her first year of working as a bookseller and gave us some really interesting insights into her job! Honestly, I’m kind of jealous! 🀩
  • Maria @ The Character Study somehow managed to do what I was incapable of and gave us coherent thoughts on Netflix’s Heartstopper adaptation that went beyond her gushing about how good it was πŸ₯°πŸ€©πŸ˜‚ Like the show, I obviously absolutely adored this post!
  • Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat wrote a really insightful discussion on how to balance quality and quantity while blogging. As a someone who has mastered neither, this was both reassuring and extremely helpful! 😊

And that was it for today! Let me know down below how your own April went and whether you’ve read any of the books I mentioned here. If you have, do you agree with my verdicts? I would love to chat in the comments!

35 thoughts on “What I Read in April 2022

  1. Rachel says:

    Naemi omg i’m sure the poor museum staff had an heart attack when you and your friend went on a piano bumping spreeπŸ˜‚
    ahhhh you read Tweet Cute!! hmm well the happily-ever-afters overload is sort of characteristic of emma lord and i actually adore them!! i must know, was this your first Lord book??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel says:

      oops the comment got sent before o was done soo a continuation if you will!
      you might have just convinced me to read the darkness outside us with all your glowing praises!! (its high time too, considering i haven’t read a SINGLE sci-fi this year and it used to be one of my favourite genres)
      and i’ll be checking out all those fantastic posts you have linked!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • abookowlscorner says:

        AND OMG YES, RACHEL, READ THE DARKNESS OUTSIDE US!!! 🀩 If you’re a fellow sci-fi fan, I think you’re going to love it! Particularly since you also like mysteries! πŸ˜‰


    • abookowlscorner says:

      They certainly weren’t very pleased with us, that’s for sure! πŸ˜… But at least in my case, it was an accident!!! Honestly, when my friend decided to reenact it and museum security swooped down on us, I just about died of mortification! Why are my friends like this??? 😫

      And yes, Tweet Cute is the first Emma Lord book I’ve read! At least, I don’t recall ever having read anything else… πŸ€” Do you have a favorite you would recommend?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel says:

        When you get the chance is my personal favourite by emma lord!! (and it was also the reason she has become one of my favourite authors)
        but if you are not a huge fan of everybody getting happily ever afters,, you should probably not read the last few pages of when you get the chanceπŸ˜… but the rest of the book is AMAZING

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          I guess I’ll have to see if I can find a copy of When You Get the Chance somewhere, then! πŸ€— And who knows? Maybe if I already know I should expect a super cheesy happy ending, I won’t be that disappointed when there isn’t as much suffering as I’d hoped… 🀣 Besides, maybe all the happiness will eventually help me become less cynical? (I highly doubt it, though πŸ™ƒ),


  2. Ambre says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post! I haven’t read any of the books you read, but I hope I will one day read Vespertine (I really liked Sorcery of Thorns but haven’t read the other yet)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You’re welcome! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, in spite of your questionable opinions on Harry Potter and Suzanne Collins πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

      And I really hope you enjoy Vespertine if you do decide to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meena Green says:

    My favourite line of this whole post; if you adore unlikeable protagonists.
    That was brilliant haha This was a great post with many good reviews and interesting books, I will not be picking up the Russian one as I do not adore unlikeable protagonistsπŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. saima @ storieswithsaima says:

    I hope your anxiety settles soon and that you get some more sleep!! I’m glad your had a good reading month – Tweet Cute is such a good book and sooo sweet and uplifting. And I’m glad you liked Do You Dream of Terra-Two! I took a break from the audiobook because of its slow pace, but I’ll have to continue it one day!

    Hope your May is going well πŸ’›πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Saima! πŸ’™ I’m working on the sleep thing and am definitely no longer as much of a zombie as in April, so I guess there’s progress! πŸ˜‚

      And I’m so happy you loved Tweet Cute too! I could definitely use the cheerful vibes, and Pepper was just such a relatable protagonist! I mean, she’s a blogger who likes swimming; how could I not love her? πŸ₯°

      And yeah, I can imagine the slow pace of Do You Dream of Terra-Two? might be a bit exhausting in audiobook form! Audiobooks already always take me so long to finish that slow pacing might make me even more impatient… πŸ˜… But I really hope you enjoy it once you decide to continue!

      Anyway, a great May to you as well! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maria @ The Character Study says:

    I’m sorry your April was not the best, I hope this month will treat you better!

    I’ve read a grand total of zero of the books you talked about, but I reaaaaaalllyyyy felt you on reading a fluffy romance as therapy, it’s an instant serotonin boost πŸ’• Also, you saying that my post about Heartstopper was coherent feels like an accomplishment because I really did feel like I was only rambling when writing it πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Maria! πŸ’™

      And lololol, yeah, trashy fluff is just the best sort of therapy! πŸ₯°πŸ€£ There’s a reason why most of the romance novels I have thus far encountered were read during exam time… πŸ˜‡ They’re just so easy to get through and instantly cheer you up!

      Also, trust me, your Heartstopper post definitely counts as coherent! (I mean, did you read the chaos I came up with? πŸ˜‚) Even if there was a bit of rambling – which I think there has to be when you’re reviewing a show as awesome as Heartstopper – it was still very organized and informational and full of pretty graphics (😍), so I’d say your feeling of accomplishment is well deserved!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Line @First Line Reader says:

    You read the weirdest books sometimes πŸ˜‚ I mean, I almost want to claim that The Blizzard can’t be a real book, but I trust you. And I think I will trust your opinion on it πŸ˜„

    And I’m still sorry you didn’t like Dragonfly 😬 However, it was interesting hearing why. I probably would have hated it too if I read it today.

    You convinced me about The Darkness Outside Us though! Even though I’m not the biggest fan of spacey sci-fi, I’ve had more luck with the YA ones since all the technical stuff doesn’t throw me off as much in those πŸ˜… And my library actually has the ebook πŸ€—
    I’m more undecided on The Circle. It sounds very interesting but it sounds like it’s dependent upon me excusing those things that normally (like you say) are inexcusable. I don’t know if I’m able to do that πŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, in my defense, I didn’t know it was gonna be this weird before I read it!! I thought it would be an introspective, atmospheric story about a doctor traveling through the woods, but apparently, I got much more than I bargained for… πŸ˜… But, I mean, you did like all the weirdness in The Starless Sea and Piranesi, so who knows? Maybe the fact that The Blizzard is about a million times more insane would actually make you love it! 😜

      You’ve made me feel really accomplished at my success rate of pushing The Darkness Outside Us, though! 😁 I’m excited to see what you think, because, as you know, I absolutely love spacey sci-fi and could be a bit blinded by that… πŸ˜‚ But I really, really liked everything else about it, too, especially when I got further into the story and started figuring out what was actually going on. The book made me think so much!! πŸ₯°

      And yeah, it was a real bummer that The Circle didn’t have better character-development πŸ˜• It would have been beyond amazing if it had! Although I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed it even without that and would still recommend it just for its dystopian ideas alone. I’m actually thinking I might have to try the movie soon, to see whether they improved on the characterization stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        I do like weird but what’s stopping me from being into The Blizzard is you writing this: “stop-at-a-mill-to-have-hot-sex-with-his-dwarfish-host’s-wife-and-then-encounter-an-enormous-snowy-phallus-in-the-wood”.
        That doesn’t seem to have a lot in common with Piranesi or The Starless Sea πŸ˜… There’s just something off-putting by overly sexualized books written by men…

        A book that can make me think like The Darkness Outside Us is way easier for me to take a chance on 😁 There could be a chance of me reading it in June already…

        There’s a movie of it? (Should I know this? πŸ˜…) If you watch it and say it’s good, I might just watch that then. Simple characters aren’t as big a problem in movies as in books because at least I don’t have to read their boring thoughts too πŸ˜… But I would still hope the movie did it better.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Yeah, the heavy sexual symbolism was definitely one of my “favorite” aspects of The Blizzard as well πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ I mean, at least Sorokin used it to make his main character more despicable and thereby satirize the corruption in Russian intellectual society, but was so much of it really necessary??? 😳 I probably felt more uncomfortable reading this book than I did during that sex scene Fitz had with Jinna, so yeah… steering clear even if you like weird is probably not the worst idea πŸ˜…

          Also, Line, you have just made me feel so much better about how uninformed I always am regarding anything relating to the film industry because The Circle movie is a huge blockbuster starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks that was talked about everywhere a couple of years ago πŸ˜‚ So do you need to know about it? Probably not, unless you want to appear super mainstream πŸ˜‰ But I’ll let you know what I think if I do watch it! Amazon Prime has it, so the chances are actually quite good…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Line @First Line Reader says:

            Definitely not reading The Blizzard then 😬

            I now vaguely remember something about an Emma Watson movie that I heard about once and then never again πŸ€” Maybe it was just me blocking it out because it wasn’t Marvel πŸ˜… I’m probably more mainstream when it comes to series. And I’ve just cancelled my Amazon Prime so I probably won’t watch it until you say I have to.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Suhani says:

    hEy an enchantment of ravens isn’t that bad 😭😭😭 though I must disagree with you and claim that a sorcery of thorns is TERRIBLE HAHAHA , but vespertine seems so cool either way, like that cover seems to be taking on a much darker tone and I’m in love already???😍

    AND I NEED TO READ TWEET CUTE NOW OMG!! It seems too adorable not to read ahh.
    i have to check out the posts you’ve linked, they all look so intriguing!!

    adored this post and hope you have a great mayπŸ’–πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      In my defense, I didn’t think An Enchantment of Ravens was awful! I just didn’t find it particularly mind-blowing, either… πŸ˜… Sorcery of Thorns, though? THAT BOOK IS AWESOME!!! 🀩 I’m sorry, Suhani, but you are gravely mistaken about it being terrible! 😜 But yeah, Vespertine dedicated has a much darker premise, so if you like dark, gothic vibes, this one might be for you.

      And yes, Tweet Cute was adorable! And plus, one of the main characters has a semi-secret blog, so… how could I not relate? 🀣 I’d definitely recommend it if you’re craving fluff! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sher says:

    Greetings from Manila! πŸ™‚ I stumbled upon this list while researching for my July 2022 tbr. You had a lot of interesting reads last April! Having recently finished The Circle, I agree with a lot of your thoughts on the book. For one, it’s indeed eye-rolling to even try to include romantic aspects on Mae’s life when the author did not give enough justice to it (a little superficial for me, in a sense). Also, it’s a dystopia that can also be realistic which makes it even frightening. Most importantly, I had lots of reflections on privacy and the private sector taking over the ‘duties’ of the state. Following your blog from now on! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Welcome! πŸ€— I’m happy to have you here and hope you were able to find some July reading material!

      And gosh, I agree with literally everything you just said about The Circle! The dystopian aspects and how it forces you to reflect on the dangers of social media are fascinating, but the “romance” was beyond cringe-worthy πŸ™„ Like you said, there just wasn’t any depth to it, or anything involving Mae’s emotions, really… Still, the whole premise of the book was so intriguing that I couldn’t help but love it anyway! πŸ₯°


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