Wondering what to read now? If you’re looking for book suggestions, look no further! Here are all the hot new April 2020 book releases for you. I’ll let you know what I’ve read, what I can’t wait to read, and what’s getting all the attention this month.
Need to get your mind off of the craziness of the world?
Why not escape our reality and dive into a book instead.
The April 2020 Book Releases are just around the corner! After seeing all the amazing releases in March, I was worried that April would be a letdown. How wrong I was.
Looking through the list of new books out, I was impressed with this month’s selections. From nonfiction to historical fiction and even children’s and fantasy, I picked out eleven of the most-anticipated new releases to review for you.
The highlights of the month:
- A new organizing book from Marie Kondo
- Three historical fiction novels from bestselling authors
- A World War II children’s book
Have I got you interested? Then keep scrolling to see our picks for the best of the April book releases.
April 2020 Book Releases – Advance Review Copies
Divergent author Veronica Roth tries her hand at adult fiction. A decade ago, five ordinary teenagers saved the world from an immense evil called the Dark One and turned them into celebrities. Now, the death of one of them reveals that the Dark One isn’t truly gone.
When I picked up this book, I was hoping for a more grown-up satirical look at YA Fantasy. Setting the story ten years after the Chosen Ones saved the world, Roth does an excellent job showing how complicated adult life is for these childhood heroes. Especially for the main protagonist, Sloane, who struggles with PTSD and has let her relationship with Matt, a fellow Chosen One, coast along. However, when I thought she was being satirical, Roth was really just setting up a typical fantasy story. Sloane, Matt, and Esther end up getting thrown into an alternate universe full of magic where they must fight the Dark One again.
From there, the story didn’t feel original and many of the action scenes were hard to follow. Roth attempts to bring in more thoughtful themes – the fine line between hero and villain – but fails to nuance them enough. In all, I was unimpressed with her latest book, and I would only suggest diehard fantasy fans pick it up.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Nina Ross has the chance for the con of a lifetime. With her Irish boyfriend Lachlan, she travels to Lake Tahoe to scam Vanessa Liebling, a wealthy heiress, out of millions. But it’s not all about the money for Nina, though she desperately needs it to pay for her mother’s illness. Revenge is also on the table; revenge against the Liebling family who drove her family out of town years ago. As the story goes on, you begin to wonder, Who is conning whom?
I loved the interplay between Nina and Vanessa, as the same events are retold from each perspective to change your perception of the story. Although important, the retelling of each woman’s life did drag at times, yet the intrigue between the women kept me invested enough in the story to keep pushing forward.
Unfortunately, the ending lost some of its suspense. I feel like Brown could have extended the last quarter of the book, building to a grand finale. As it was, the backstory took so long that the ending twist was adequate instead of excellent. I wouldn’t consider Pretty Things to be particularly exceptional, but good enough when you just want a standard thriller. A solid three stars for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
You can achieve any goal if you just think like a rocket scientist. Former rocket scientist turned law professor, Ozan Varol shares his habits and strategies to make the impossible actually doable. With fascinating anecdotes from the history of science and NASA, Varol makes keen observations about how you can change your mindset and approach problems in new ways.
Just don’t expect too much self-help advice in this one. The book fails to bring the subject back down to earth, leaving you unsure how to apply the principles in your own life. For that, you’ll have to visit his website, as he reminds you at the end of every chapter (though he fails to mention that you have to sign up for his newsletter). Despite the shameless self-promotion, the insights from the book still made this one of my favorites of the month.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Public Affairs. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein
Decluttering queen Marie Kondo is back, helping you spark joy in your job. With organizational psychologist Scott Sonenshein, she tackles the decluttering process as it pertains to the workplace. Helping inspire you to tidy up your office, Kondo uses her KonMari method to show you that minimalism is just important at work as at home. Combined with organizing advice from Sonenshein to help you get to get your inbox in order and rework your schedule, Joy at Work is a winning collaboration between these two authors. While nothing in the book is shockingly new, reading it will inspire you to streamline your work life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Little, Brown and Company through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
At the close of the Civil War, vivacious fiddler Simon falls in love with beautiful Irish lass Doris. Though they meet for just a moment, Simon swears that he will one day find her again. With a few small nods to her previous bestseller News of the World (which is a book becoming a movie this year), Jiles lures you into her lyrical Western. Although Simon’s journey has its ups and downs, Jiles’s storytelling keeps an even tone throughout, giving you a nice peaceful read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from William Morrow through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
After the Civil War, freed slaves posted “Lost Friends” advertisements, seeking loved ones who had been sold off. During this time, freed slave Hannie goes on an adventure with two step-sisters, daughters of Hannie’s former master. While Lavinia and Juneau Jane are looking for their father’s will, Hannie is hoping to find her long-lost family. In 1987, searching for a way to connect to her students, teacher Benny Silva hopes that diving into the town’s history will spark some interest.
The novel starts slow, but eventually picks up and turns into an endearing tale of the importance of family history. Hannie’s story is the more interesting of the two, revealing fascinating historical details of post-Civil War life. Wingate’s smartest move was to include actual Lost Friends advertisements between chapters. In all, it might not be at the top of my list of the best April 2020 book releases but it holds it’s own as a light historical fiction read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Ballantine Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Book of the Month – April 2020 Selections
Receiving my blue box from Book of the Month Club is a highlight of every month.
Here’s how it works – each month, they pick 5 books and you get to choose one book or skip until the next month. If you want to add any extra books, then you get them at a discounted price.
Each month is usually a mix of new releases and advance copies of unreleased books. If you are interested in joining, you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get a discount on your first book!
Here’s a look at the April Book of the Month selections.
The Most Anticipated April 2020 Book Releases
Sue Monk Kidd
Acclaimed author Sue Monk Kidd imagines a bold narrative about a fierce, intellectual Jewish woman named Ana. Although expected to marry an older widower, Ana instead marries Jesus, who eventually becomes one of the most influential individuals in history. Kidd is a remarkable writer and if she can weave that fine line between respect and creativity, her story could be a new book club favorite.
Popular Christian author and blogger Jen Hatmaker lands among the April 2020 book releases with her new motivational book. Hatmaker wants women to stop pretending and people-pleasing and instead become unabashedly who they want to be. With her five self-reflective categories, she aims to target your underlying motives and help you set aside the expectations of others and lead your best life.
After the unexpected death of her husband, Antonia Vega withdraws from life, just trying to survive. To make matters worse, her sister struggling with mental illness has disappeared. When a pregnant undocumented teenager shows up on her doorstep, she must relearn to connect with the world. I’m curious to see where this short heartfelt tale falls among the April book releases.
Lois Lowry has one of the most-anticipated children’s books releasing in April 2020 with her tale in verse about World War II. She pulls from her childhood in Hawaii and Japan to tell stories of lives lost in both Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Marketed for ages 10-12, Lowry’s latest is likely to be at the top of the children’s awards lists this year.
Micah Mortimer loves his orderly life, that is until his girlfriend gets evicted and a teenager shows up at his door claiming to be his son. With his meticulously organized life thrown into chaos, Mortimer might get just be the push he needs to truly start living. My readers often cite Anne Tyler as one of their favorite authors, so her latest should be a great one to try.
What April 2020 book releases are you most excited to read?