Books I Read in April

 I have really been on quite the reading streak lately! It's a good thing too as my "want to read" pile just keeps growing.  My two favorites this month would be Shadow Box and The Sweetness of Forgetting; both very different stories but I just could not put them down.  All 11 books I've read this past month are listed below though I have already started three more!! 



1.  Shadow Box by Luanne Rice-- I had such a hard time putting this book down to get anything done!  It was a fantastic mystery with lots of twists and turns and storylines.  Claire makes Shadow Boxes and her plan for her latest art show is to out her husband for the monster she knows him to be but someone attacks Claire before her show and she never makes it there.  I can't really do justice in explaining it all but it was fantastic!


2. The Giver by Lois Lowery-- Alec was reading this dystopian novel for school and I thought it sounded intriguing.  I flew through the book in just a few short days.  I did enjoy it.  Jonas turns 12 and meets the Giver.  Jonas becomes the receiver of memories and begins to feel dissatisfied with his life now that he realizes how much has been taken away from them all by the elders of the community.  He sets off to find Elsewhere while also saving a baby the community was set to Release. 


3.  Darkness of Dragons (Wings of Fire book 10) by Tui T. Sutherland-- I really enjoyed the last book in the mini series (within the much larger series!) where Qibli must use his brain to outwit one of the oldest and most powerful dragons in all of Pyrrhia. With the help of his friends they all try to stop the horrible prophecy from coming true and keep Jade mountain and the school intact. 


4. The Tyrant's Tomb (Trials of Apollo book #4) by Rick Riordan-- Apollo, who has been made mortal by his father, finds himself back at Camp Jupiter with Meg.  They meet up with Reyna and go on a quest together to find the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler.   My boys and I have been listening to this entire series on CD whenever we're in the car and like it just as much as all of other Riordan's books.


5. Death by the Dozen By Jenn McKinlay-- In this next book of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries Mel and Angie are participating in a mystery ingredient bakeoff when one of the judges turns up dead.  Mel takes it upon herself to try and solve the mystery. 


6. Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson-- I enjoyed this book about three female West Point cadets going through their second year of training just as 9/11 happens which causes them to take their studies a bit more seriously.  The book then goes on to their post year lives and how the bonds they formed in school link them together... or not.  They do drift apart but then come back together again when it really matters.  A bit slow in parts I did find it interesting to read about West Point and other military procedures but all in all it wasn't a favorite read. 



7. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig-- I wasn't so sure about this story at first but it really grew on me! Nora is depressed and hates her life and when she feels at her very lowest she decides to end it all... only she finds herself in the Midnight Library; a place between life and death.  All of Nora's life choices and the different variations they'd bring lay out before her in neat rows and all she has to do is pick a book and join that life.  Trying a whole bunch of alternate realities, Nora finds that no life is perfect.  I can't say much more without giving away some major plot points but it was a great story that really makes you think about every decision big and small that brought you to where you are now.  


8. I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin-- Samantha is a widow who's only child is leaving the nest, her best friend Katie is facing a cancer diagnosis for a second time, and Samantha is often hampered by a sleeping disorder brought on by stress.  When she discovers that Katie is determined to leave the hospital, go across the country, and pick up her old dog, Samantha offers to go in her place but soon realizes that she's going to need the help of Holly.  Holly and Samantha and Katie used to be best friends and roommates until Holly and Samantha had a falling out-- one that Samantha can't even remember.  Determined to put Katie's needs first Holly and Samantha head out on a trip that turns out like nothing either one of them ever imagined. It was funny, it was sad, it was so sweet and I just loved this story!


9. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams-- A cute little murder mystery book.  Nora is something of a loner and contents herself with her simple life running a bookstore in a quiet tourist community.  When one of the tourists turns up dead Nora finds herself combining forces with the baker, the hairdresser, and the pool lady to play amateur detectives.  When another tourist turns up dead and one of their group is accused of the murder, Nora must work extra hard to uncover the real murderer.  


10.  The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel-- I had no idea how much I was going to love this book until I began reading... it was the most touching story.  Hope is struggling to raise her daughter Annie after her divorce while running her family's struggling bakery after the death of her mother and the slow decline of her grandmother with Alzheimer's.  In short Hope feels like she is drowning and is completely out of hope.  One lucid evening her grandmother hands Hope a list of names and implores her to go to Paris and find what happened to these people.  At first Hope balks at the thought of dropping everything to head to Paris but slowly she begins to unravel a family secret her grandmother has been holding onto for more than 70 years.  Secrets that find Hope questioning everything she ever thought she knew about her grandparents, about who she is herself, about love, and even about life.  It certainly didn't hurt that lots of yummy recipes were sprinkled throughout the book. 


11. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry-- I hadn't realized that The Giver was part of a series until after I read it and then requested book #2... now while I really did enjoy Gathering Blue I can't understand why it's considered part of a series as I see no connection to the first book; maybe the connection will be apparent in later books as it is part of a 4 part series? I don't know...  In this book Kira finds herself facing The Council after her mother dies.  Women in her tribe of hunter/gatherers want to turn her away and take over her land because she is crippled and unable to help with household chores. The Council instead decide that Kira has talents that would be best put to use elsewhere.  



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Comments

  1. that first book, the Shadow Box, sounds wonderful! #MMBC

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    1. It was great! I loved the mystery and reading the story from so many points of view made it feel really well rounded.

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  2. I Thoight You Said this Would Work looks like it would be my favorite from this list! Believe it or not, I tend to read more in the summer out by the pool than I do in the winter months so I’m excited to get reading more! Have a great start to your week!

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    1. I tend to read more in summer too. I am already counting down the days until school ends!!

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  3. I also loved 'The Sweetness of Forgetting'. What a great recommendation. My sons read 'The Giver' at school. #MMBC

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    1. It was such a sweet story and those recipes sounded just fabulous.

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  4. My kids read The Giver but I don't remember if I read it as a kid myself. I agree that Beyond The Point was slow in parts!

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    1. I thought I might have read it myself when I was in school but as soon as I started reading with him I knew I hadn't. It was a short dystopian novel.

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  5. Great reads- thanks for sharing!

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  6. The Shadow Box is one I'd like to read. I'm currently reading Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens, and it's pretty good. I've had to put it down for a little bit because I was so angry with the husband's behavior, lol.

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    1. LOL. I hate when that happens! I do often wish some of the characters would get what they deserve... and get so frustrated when they seem to just keep getting away with it.

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  7. I love The Giver! I need to get a copy of Midnight Library!

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    1. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I feel like I have read some mixed reviews about that one...

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  8. Looks like you read some good books. You know I love mysteries and want to read The Shadow Box.

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    1. I thought that sounded like a book you'd enjoy!

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  9. I've heard a lot of good things about The Midnight Library - it's one of those books I keep meaning to read at some point! I like the sound of the Sweetness of Forgetting too. #MMBC

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  10. Thank you for all the recommendations!

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  11. I want to check out The Sweetness of Forgetting. That sounds really good.

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  12. I really need to read The Midnight Library. I have heard so many good reviews about it.
    Enjoy the rest of your week Joanne. :)

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  13. I have The Midnight Library on reserve at my library, but I love the premise of I Thought You Said This Would Work...

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  14. Quite a variety you have there. Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 25. Pinned!

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  15. I enjoyed The Midnight Library :)

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  16. the secret society book was super cute. i love love loved matt haig's book. so good!

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    1. I am pretty sure I will be reading the next book in the Secret Society!

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  17. I love the cover of The Sweetness of Forgetting. i might check that out this summer.

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  18. I liked the message of The Midnight Library so much, but the way it was told wasn't necessarily for me. I'm a still a huge Matt Haig fan, though.

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    1. I don't think I have ever read any other Matt Haig books.

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  19. My to read list is also growing tremendously! I cannot keep up. I just started reading a Kristen Harmel book, my first by her. My daughter read The Giver in middle school and I've been meaning to read it since I never had.

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    1. I will definitely be checking out other Harmel books.

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  20. Catching up on my belated blog reading. So glad to find this post. I loved The Giver. Have you seen the movie? And was going to suggest Gathering Blue...but you found it yourself. I haven't read it but probably need to you, huh?

    The Sweetness of Forgetting - YES! And also enjoyed The Midnight Library, although I was frustrated with the main character much of the time through the book.

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    1. I haven't seen the movie; well not the whole thing. I did watch part of it over Alec's shoulder when he watched it for school.

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  21. I've read The Giver a couple of times but I never did continue the series. You just reminded me that I want to read The Shadow Box though; need to add that to my wish list.

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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