April 2020 Reading Recap

April2020RR

Good-bye April, the shortest month this year. I have gone through a lot of sudden changes, but there are always more books to read. I even discovered two new favorites this month, which feels exciting.

This month, I also interviewed Aleksandra Ross to celebrate the release of her debut novel, Don’t Call the Wolf and I had outlined a plan to improve my craft. I will be saving the craft reads for their own post.

Read Cover-to-Cover in March

TheLuckyOnes

The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson

  • Moving story of two teens trying to survive the aftermath of a school shooting
  • Made me cry tons
  • Takeaway: A book can be about a tragedy without sensationalizing the tragedy

DontCalltheWolf

Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross

  • Young adult fantasy about a shape-shifting lynx queen protecting her forest and a wolf lord trying to find his disappeared brothers
  • Inspired by Polish folklore
  • This month’s interview
  • Takeaway: Integrating flashbacks to raise the stakes

Shorefall

Shorefall (Founders #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

  • Adult fantasy that continues the story of mechanically-enhanced Sancia Grado and her ragtag group of merchants
  • Takeaway: Lightening the load of world-building for impressive pacing

RacetheSands

Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

  • Adult fantasy about a demon trainer seeking redemption in the races and a young woman trying to find her path
  • A new favorite
  • Takeaway: Deep world-building and tight intrigue can be built in a stand alone novel

HEX

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

  • Adult horror in which a village in upstate New York is haunted by a 300-year-old witch her eyes and mouth sewn shut and that’s not even the scariest part of the book
  • A new favorite
  • Takeaway: Deeply emotional writing despite all the horror

QueensofInnisLear

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

  • Adult fantasy retelling of King Lear with some epic characters and conflicts
  • Takeaway: Zero familiarity with the source material did not hinder my enjoy whatsoever

Audiobooks

TheFisherman

The Fisherman by John Langan

  • Widower goes on a fishing trip and discovers the story of eldritch folk horror of the area
  • Takeaway:Incorporating folklore and grief into one harrowing experience

TheNightCircus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  • Late-Victorian tale of magicians and a circus and who’s taking it over
  • Takeaway: Great aesthetic also needs a great plot

WeRuletheNight

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

  • Soviet secondary world fantasy about the first all-women’s flight regiments
  • Complicated girls being complicated
  • Takeaway: How to show a variety of girls without demonizing any of them

TheHauntingofHillHouse

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

  • Group of people are enticed to staying at a haunted house
  • Inspired the Netflix TV show
  • Takeaway: Things are classics for a reason

LongBrightRiver

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

  • True crime novel about a police officer trying to find her sister while a series of murders takes place
  • Takeaway: Complicate families to really build world circumstances

DarlingRoseGold

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

  • Adult thriller inspired by the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, but instead of committing a murder, the abused child get revenge in a different way
  • Takeaway: It’s a good idea to make one character somewhat redeemable

TheGirlFromBlindRiver

The Girl from Blind River by Gale Massey

  • Crime thriller about an aspiring poker player trying to fix some of her broken family’s shadier problems
  • Takeaway: Writing complicated family dynamics in small towns

AssassinsApprentice

Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb

  • The first Robin Hobb which introduces the world of Fitz Farseer and his adventures as an assassin
  • Takeaway: Though this first novel wasn’t for me, I am excited to read all there is

MyDarkVanessa

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

  • Literary fiction that takes an unflinching look into the life of a woman who had been abused by a teacher in high school
  • Trigger warnings: Child rape, child sexual abuse, rape (all on-page)
  • Takeaway: Treating a very difficult subject with care without shying away from horrific elements

ByFireAbove_hc.indd

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

  • Science fiction about twins crafted by Frankenstein-esque monsters who are trying to stop the end of the world
  • Takeaway: Fairy tale writing with a tone that is distinct from Young Adult writing

TheAgeofWitches

The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan

  • Adult historical fantasy taking place in Gilded Age New York and England about a horse girl manipulated by her social-climbing witch mother who is saved by her witch aunt
  • Takeaway: Be very careful when crafting a happily ever after

 

Next month, I’m slowly going to be getting my stuff in order as far as dayjobing goes. I have two beta reads as well, and more time in quarantine.

Until next time,
Jo

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