Books

April Wrap-Up: A blur

Happy April! School is kicking my butt! I’m struggling!

I feel like I have a lot to do at all times.

I have numerous errands to complete this week and I’m just…so tired.

Also, I genuinely do not remember a single thing that happened last month.

Let’s do stats.

April Stats

In April, I completed 24 books and DNFed 7 books.

It was a heavy DNF month, as well as a heavy graphic novel month.

(I went to Pike place for the first time in over a year and made a day of it. I was so happy to see Golden Age Collectables that I went a little wild.)

For my comics-buying spree, I picked up the earliest Lumberjanes volumes, all of the currently-released Adventure Zone novels, Abbott, and Heartstopper vols 1 and 2.

Of the books I read,

  • 64% were fiction
  • 13% were nonfiction
  • 23% were graphic novels
  • 74% were physical books
  • 26% were audiobooks
  • 19% were Young Adult
  • 78% were Adult
  • 3% were Middle Grade
  • 90% were new books
  • 10% were rereads

I’m reading a LOT more Adult than Young Adult lately.

Could it be that my tastes are changing?

When it comes to romance, I much prefer Adult to Young Adult.

Fantasy, it’s the other way around.

I don’t know, we’ll see if this continues.

Storygraph, it turns out, makes a genre bar chart, which is not my preference.

I used their data to make a genre pie chart and WOW IT’S SO MUCH EASIER THAN FIGURING OUT THE GENRES MYSELF.

I vacillated on whether to include comics or not (is it a genre or a format?) and eventually decided it’s a genre.

Genre Pie Chart

Biography: 2.0%
Essays: 2.0%
Science fiction: 4.1%
Feminism: 4.1%
Classics: 4.1%
Memoir: 6.1%
LGBTQIA+: 10.2%
Romance: 18.4%
Fantasy: 12.2%
Contemporary: 12.2%
Comics: 12.2%

I’ve been reading so much contemporary romance. The world has changed.

My average rating for the month was lower than the previous month. I read a lot of Friends to Lovers fiction and I DID NOT LIKE IT.

Star Ratings Bar Graph
25 Reviews

Average rating 3.78 stars

2.0 stars: 1 book
2.5 stars: 1 book
3.0 stars: 5 books
3.5 stars: 1 book
4.0 stars: 12 books
4.5 stars: 3 books
5.0 stars: 2 books

As for moods, I mostly opted for lighthearted reads, though a few reflective books snuck in there somehow.

Read
25 Books, 5456 pages

Moods Pie Chart
Lighthearted: 11
Reflective: 8
Funny: 8
Adventurous: 6
Emotional: 5
Informative: 3
Dark: 3
Hopeful: 2
Challenging: 2
Tense: 1

I guess it was a productive reading month.

Too bad I don’t remember much of it.

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Notable Books

I want to complain about Friends to Lovers because. I. Hate. It.

I know that some people love this trope. I respect that. It’s not for me.

And that’s because I don’t think going from friends to lovers provides enough compelling conflict.

It’s not interesting to me.

The concept baffles me. If you’re friends with someone and the two of you are attracted to each other, wouldn’t it be easier to just…date?

I truly don’t understand what is preventing these couples from getting what they want.

I bring this up because I read two volumes of Heartstopper and a romance called Every New Year.

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman: Boy Meets Boy.

I’m not sure what to make of Heartstopper. It’s a “fluffy” story that plays sexual assault and homophobia for drama.

I couldn’t help comparing it to Check, Please! and finding it wanting.

(I just now realized the tagline of volume 1 references one of the more mediocre queer romances I’ve ever read. I should have seen this coming.)

Every New Year frustrated me because the two leads hooked up every New Year’s Eve but never began a relationship.

Every New Year: Love at Last by Katrina Jackson

The conflict hinged on very simple misunderstandings that happened when the characters were young, e.g., a roommate never passed on a phone message, one character never emailed the other, etc.

If you LIKE THIS PERSON SO MUCH and they WILLINGLY HAVE SEX WITH YOU, why wouldn’t you just…DATE THEM?

A confession: this drawn-out, overly dramatic, friends-to-lovers dynamic was the default in my college friend group. It felt like my friends wasted a lot of time pining and kvetching for the sake of drama. Like, just ask the other person out. Just do it.

If you think I’m exaggerating, MANY of these relationships operated in a weird Not Quite Dating Limbo for LITERAL YEARS. These pairings were considered sacrosanct – crushing on or asking out one of the parties was off-limits, even though the parties involved WEREN’T ACTUALLY DATING. I listened to my friends moan about their beloved (who they weren’t dating) MANY TIMES over LITERAL YEARS only for them to NOT DO A DAMN THING ABOUT IT.

I cannot abide.

Anyway, I read outside my comfort zone and REGRETTED IT.

That’s a lie, actually. I took a chance and found a new favorite.

Well Met touched my heart and made me cry. I listened to 5 hours of the audiobook in one sitting. I skipped CHURCH to finish this book.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Hear me out: an uptight English teacher cosplays as a sexy pirate for Renn Faire.

I’m blushing just thinking about it.

I adored this book. I loved that it delved into the depths of the characters’ insecurities. I loved the Renn Faire setting. I loved the ending. It was perfect.

I would rather not talk about the follow-up. Well Met is a perfect standalone, that is all.

In more positive news, I LOOOOOVED the Adventure Zone graphic novels. I got really emotional during Petals to the Metal.

The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal by #1 New York Times-bestselling creators Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch

These characters are so delightful and well-realized. I can’t wait for The Crystal Kingdom.

A few final complaints:

Last month, I read two 600+-page novels and felt disappointed by both of them.

I FINALLY READ Dreams of Gods and Monsters, the final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

How do I express myself without spoiling the whole thing?

I started the series with the understanding that the status quo (specifically regarding the main romance) would change.

By the end, things were basically the same. I felt like I’d been cheated out of a happy ending for the sake of drama.

You can’t promise a happily ever after only to subvert it and present said subversion as a happy ending. The finale was very bittersweet and I felt too jerked around by the author to appreciate it.

I reread The Golem and the Jinni after writing a Book Betrayal post on it many years ago.

New York Times Bestseller The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Final verdict: I still don’t like it much.

I could write an essay about why (and I might.)

Here’s one sticking point (and it’s a spoiler):

[spoiler]

I expected an epic slow-burn romance. After 600 pages, the book ends on a Maybe Ever After! The main couple didn’t even kiss!!

THANKS FOR NOTHING.

[/spoiler]

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That was April.

May is off to an okay start. I’m reading some books I quite like and I have Oreo O’s cereal.

Maybe I’ll remember more this coming month.

3 thoughts on “April Wrap-Up: A blur”

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