If you read my previous blog post on my book recap, then you know that April will be getting the blog treatment as well. I will be going back to the video format for May, but if you enjoy this format as well, let me know! This helps me plan when writing my scripts.
In April, I finished two of my reading challenge books, so if you want a full review, you can click on the links attached to the title. I would give more of a recap of the month, but I truthfully don’t remember much of it 😦
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. Can the happy feelings from the past ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?
I didn’t know much about this before going in, but when I began reading it, I can tell that this is something others should read. The book covers what happens to someone who has experienced multiple concussions, and how their mental facilities change. Not only is this an important topic, but because it’s written from the perspective of the young son, we can see how this affects him and the viewpoint he has.
The characters are also a strong point for the story. Not only are they realistic, but they also have a strong range of emotions. Every character reacts to the situation in a way that I can actually see.
However, one of the main negatives was the narrative flow of the story. The book was separated into different parts, one where it focused on life before the full effects of the brain injury and life after. While this would have been good in theory, it played out by having little to no differences between the two states. I actually found myself confused about why it was told in this way.
Overall, I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the topic covered and the realistic characters, but the narrative flow left me a bit confused.
This mystery follows coffee shop owner Clare Cosi, as she works to solve the crime that occurred during New York Fashion Week in her shop. Can she figure out who is the one responsible for the death or will her employee stay in prison?
This book was chosen for my 2021 reading challenge. Because of this, I have a full review of this on my blog that I will link to, so I won’t repeat all of the same thoughts here.
I will say that while the mystery itself was interesting, I didn’t like the heavy focus on the main character’s love life and family drama. The story mentions some issues she is having with her daughter, but it doesn’t tie in with the rest of the mystery. This is the same with her love life. The drama between her and her ex-husband is just meant to make it more “spicy,” and it’s the farthest thing from it.
Overall, I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. While I like the mystery, when it focused on it, the side stories detracted from my overall enjoyment of it.
A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie
Rex Fortescue was sipping tea in his office when he suffered a sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain rye grain. What is that all about? But it was another incident, this time in the parlour at his home, which confirmed Jane Marple’s suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme! Is there a murderer in the family or is someone from the outside finally enacting their revenge?
Once again, I was enraptured by this Agatha Christie mystery. This is one I’ve seen on the TV series first, so I knew who the culprit was. However, I still enjoyed reading as the detectives and Miss Marple pieced together the mystery and all of the revolving pieces.
The format of this story was one of those rare ones where instead of just reading the story from the perspective of the main detective or the police in charge, we also get to see the story from the point-of-view of most of the side characters/suspects.
This leads to one of the main detractors. This one definitely has a lot of red herrings, which is fueled by how suspicious the characters act even when they are alone. Another negative is that it hinges on a character that we don’t get to see too much of unfortunately.
Overall, I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars. It was an enjoyable story, and it renewed my interest in watching the TV series. Unfortunately, the way that it shows off the suspects from their different perspectives isn’t the best.
After the library she works at is closed and reinvented, Nina must decide what to do in a world where libraries seem to be disappearing. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
This book was chosen for my 2021 reading challenge. Because of this, this is another one that I have a full review of on my blog, so I will link to that one as well.
I really like the character and the journey she goes through when it comes to creating her mobile bookstore. The challenges she experiences and her emotional development is really good.
However, one of the things I disliked was the romance angle. Anytime she interacted with one of her potential love interests, I just became bored, and I just wanted to read about her choosing books for the people in the village.
Overall, I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the character and her doing what she loves, but I could have enjoyed it even more with the romance angle.