Which books are worth the read and which should you skip? Find out what books I’ve been reading lately and whether I recommend them.
I know April isn’t over, but so far this month has been the worst reading month I’ve had since I started blogging.
Although I normally finish 8-12 books a month, my reading numbers are surprisingly low at only 5 books finished so far. Though, I’ll likely finish another two before the month is out.
While the number of books I read doesn’t really bother me (it’s not like it’s a competition), the quality was the most disappointing aspect of my month. I was disappointed by all three of the new releases I read this month.
Luckily, I’m really enjoying Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. I am completely hooked by this fantasy series about a cocky teenage assassin who holds the fate of the world in her hands.
I went on a purchasing spree while I was traveling this month, so hopefully my May selections will be more up to snuff.
Scroll down to hear my thoughts and, as always, be sure to let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading lately!
April 2023 Reading List
When the grandmother who raised her ends up in the hospital after a fall, Jess rushes back from London to Sydney to take care of her. While going through her grandmother’s house, Jess discovers a true crime book, following the suspicious deaths of a mother and her children on Christmas Eve in 1959. As any journalist would, Jess begins to look into the mystery and the surprising connections to her family’s history.
I absolutely love Kate Morton’s books and was thrilled to read her latest historical mystery. The book started off well, if a bit slow, wrapping you into the last day of the Turner family. Did Mrs. Turner really poison her children and herself? What happened to her missing baby? I was initially captivated by Morton’s writing, but with a quarter of the story dedicated to a book within a book, Homecoming was just too long for me. By the time Morton started wrapping up the mystery, I wasn’t nearly as invested as I wanted to be and just wanted the story to end.
A single mom and a former detective, Mickey Gibson is trying to balance life with two small children and her work for ProEye, a global investigation firm focused on tax and credit fraud. When a woman pretending to be a colleague sends Mickey to investigate a vacant home, Mickey discovers the body of a former mob boss who was in Witness Protection. Soon Mickey is caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with an unknown woman who has a deadly endgame in mind.
With plenty of twists and turns and strong female protagonists, I thought I would love David Baldacci’s latest standalone psychological thriller. Instead, I found I was forcing myself to pick it up and constantly checking how much I had left. I just couldn’t get into the convoluted narrative and found the story dragging too much. An underwhelming read that doesn’t showcase Baldacci at his best.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Two years after their spouses are killed tragically, DC philanthropist Sloane Chase is ready to settle down with Senator Whit Montgomery. When Sloane needs a routine hip replacement, they hire Athena as a home health aide. Instead of getting better, Sloane gets sicker and she begins to suspect Athena might be there to replace her.
Liv Constantine’s domestic thriller was a good, but not quite great, read. The narrative keeps you constantly on edge as things get worse and worse for Sloane. To the point where you honestly don’t think there is any way out of it for poor Sloane. This slow-burn mystery required too much suspension of disbelief for me to fully enjoy, but did have some fun twists and turns.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Ballantine Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
From the Backlist
Sarah J. Maas
In the third book of the Throne of Glass series, Celaena Sardothien must explore her fire magic in order to learn more about how to defeat the Wyrdkeys. With the help of the Fae prince Rowan Whitethorn, Celaena is forced to navigate her Fae abilities while memories of her childhood arise. Meanwhile in Adarlan, Prince Dorian tries to manage his magic with the help of Sorscha, a royal nurse, and Chaol must decide his loyalties when Celaena’s cousin Aedion arrives, one of the King’s generals who is secretly working with the rebels. I found Heir of Fire just as thrilling as the previous book and cannot wait to see what happens in the rest of the series.
Sarah J. Maas
Celaena Sartdothien has finally embraced her birthright as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before claiming her throne, Aelin must return to Rifthold one last time to face her past. Not only must Aelin rescue her cousin from execution and confront Arobynn Hamel, the King of the Assassins, but also face her former lover, Chaol, and decide if there is any way to save Prince Dorian.
With another excellent entry in the Throne of Glass series, I’ve been impressed with how well Maas has been able to keep the series thrilling, pushing new narratives and characters instead of just repeating the plot of the first book.
Kiki Clark is my amazing behind-the-scenes assistant, my real-life best friend, and a beauty unboxing YouTuber. And the best benefit of working for Booklist Queen: free books to review!
A book about a book, written by a book, showing us to not judge a book by its cover. This children’s book is a lovely and funny read that might give you the courage to write your own story. Richard Ayoade is always clever and entertaining with his dry witty style. I loved it and would highly recommend for both children and adults.
Responding to an urgent plea from a troubled family friend, the Earl of Wrexford journeys to Oxford only to find the reclusive university librarian has been murdered and a rare manuscript has gone missing. Although part of a series, Murder at the Merton Library also works as a stand alone mystery.
In addition to its well-done mystery, I enjoyed the regency era scientific advancement research the characters were involved in. However, like most historical mysteries, I didn’t enjoy the unrealistic aspect of the Regency era characters constantly critiquing everyone else for not holding modern ideals. Yet, the book as a whole was interesting and well-written, and I may even go back and read some of the previous books in the series.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
When a body is found in the parking garage at The Pinnacle Hotel, Evelyn has to find the killer on her own before she’s checked out of the hotel—this time, for good. I quite enjoyed following along with the agoraphobic hotel heiress as she comes across clues seemingly by pure chance in this fun, light, silly mystery. Although it is part of a series, you can read it as a standalone as well.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
A self-help book like no other, James Acaster decided instead of letting you help yourself, he will help you. In this humorous look at social media, Acaster replaces every online activity with a real world equivalent, helping you see the downfalls of social media. With expert delivery, I highly recommend picking up the audiobook narrated by Acaster himself.
In the early hours of a cold February morning in 1891, the murdered body of Frances Coles was discovered beneath a railway arch in London’s Swallow Gardens. The nature of her wounds, the weapon used to inflict them, and the murder site itself were clear indicators for many that London’s most famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper, had returned.
In this nonfiction true crime book, Kevin Turton dives into the mystery of Frances Coles and the possible connection to Jack the Ripper. Turton’s take: Frances’s murder was not connected. While it felt like Turton was using the Ripper name as a brilliant, yet annoying, marketing strategy, I still enjoyed this interesting book.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Pen & Sword through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
I always seem to have multiple books going at once. Here’s a peek at what I’m currently reading.
My To-Read List
What’s up next for me? Before I let you go, here are a few of the titles I’m hoping to get through this upcoming month.
Be sure to come back next month to see which ones I read.
Which Books Did You Read in April?
What books did you love this month? Which books can you not wait to read? As always, let me know in the comments!
More Book List to Enjoy: