April & May 2024: Monthly Wrap-Up

If I had to describe my April and May in one word it would be: busy. In two words (since it’s been two months), I’d have to say: very busy.

Not that I’m complaining. It wasn’t busy in an unbearable way by any means. But I did find myself always doing something. And there wasn’t very much downtime in between.

(All I can say is I’m very grateful to the invention of audiobooks and my long commute for giving me the opportunity to read at least a few of the books on my TBR. 😅)

My first attempt at making pizza on the BBQ 🍕
Book mail 📬
The view from my window on my May Long trip home ✈️

Books Read:

One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | This gothic fantasy was actually really good! I picked this one up because I kept seeing it everywhere online. I was a little hesitant because sometimes those recommendations don’t work out for me. 😅 But I really enjoyed this one! The romantasy aspects were pretty classic, but executed very well here.

Two Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | I think this is one of the few times where I found the sequel to be equivalently good as its predecessor (if not maybe even better?). I liked the additional perspectives and storylines added to this one. They added some dynamic to the story and helped flesh the novel out more.

A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | This was such a beautiful, haunting tale. Mixing elements of gothic horror, fantasy, and dark academia, A Study in Drowning was a truly unique read that stuck with me long after finishing. The writing style was gorgeously lyrical and the setting was so ominously foreboding. I highly recommend it!

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas | ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | This book was good, and had a lot in it that I really enjoyed… but I couldn’t help feeling like it could have been shorter. (And the romance was meh? 🙈) Manon and Lysandra really carried the story. I will accept no slander towards either of them. They can do no wrong in my eyes.

Don’t Want You Like a Best Friend by Emma R. Alban | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | While this book took a little bit of time to get the plot rolling, once it did, it was impossible to put down! The romance was so sweet and steamy. 💜 The ending did a really good job setting up the sequel as well. My full review to come soon!

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | I just adore the Emily Wilde series. I have been having so much fun with it. This sequel offered everything I hoped it would, and definitely set things up very nicely for the third installment. I can hardly wait!

Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | I read this one as a buddy read with my fiancée, which was so much fun! While I did guess the ending, I still had a great time. Listen for the Lie is a fast-paced, attention-grabbing mystery/thriller. It’s sure to be a hit for fans and newcomers to the genre alike.

In the Shallows by Tanya Byrne | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | A hauntingly beautiful sapphic romance turned mystery. Read my full review here.

Kill Joy by Holly Jackson | ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | Given that it’s been a fairly long time since I read AGGGTM, it felt a little jarring to jump back into Pip’s narrative, but I heard the news about the TV show adaptation, and felt like it was the right time to read this novella. Kill Joy was short and sweet in just the right sort of way. It definitely hit harder after having read the entire series, and I highly recommend reading it in that order!

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | Wow! I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to become obsessed with this novel. GtN is equal parts sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and gothic horror – Muir and somehow makes that completely unexpected mash-up of genres work? This story is super unique and the narrative is just super fun. 😎

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | My mind? Blown. My heart? Will never recover. I was definitely apprehensive when starting HtN because the narrative is very different from its predecessor. But please don’t let that stop you, because this sequel is SO. GOOD. For a good 60% of the book I was so high on my horse thinking I had guessed the plot twist… Let me tell you, I had guessed maybe the one, most obvious twist – and then had my jaw on the floor during the rest of the climax.

Next Month’s TBR:

I have already started reading Nona the Ninth and am once again being sent into a whirlwind of emotions. I have no clue what I am going to do once I finish this book. How am I supposed to wait for Alecto the Ninth? I’ll just be here, spiraling until then. 😵‍💫

I’m also planning to continue the Throne of Glass series, which I have been slowly making my way through. Next up is Empire of Storms. I took a little bit of time after reading QoS to decide if I wanted to do the often recommended ‘tandem read’ of EoS and Tower of Dawn. In the end, I decided against it. I just think it’s too much switching back-and-forth for me to keep track of and I’m worried it will impact my pacing while reading. (I also don’t hate Choal? Idk, he’s on thin ice. But I’m willing to have him redeemed in my eyes? We shall see…)

I didn’t do the best job at reading the ARCs that I planned to read in April and May. So, Compass and Blade, and Late Bloomer are once again on my TBR for June. Honestly, I just got super busy and sidetracked these past few weeks (and started to fall into a bit of a reading slump – though The Locked Tomb series definitely relieved that)… These books both sound right up my alley, so I am still pumped to check them out.

How was your spring?

What are you looking forward to this June?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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