Does this make me look like a crazy person?
This is the current state of my nightstand and desk area. Since taking this photo, I added a couple more books to the piles on the desk. Most of these are library books I had checked out prior to the quarantine. The rest are my own TBR books, ones randomly selected off my shelves as well as others that I considered priority books.
Don’t worry—I don’t plan on reading all these books in April. Just the ones on my nightstand. With the quarantine going on, I’m not going to work and my school is virtual for the rest of the semester. I can work as little or as late as I want because I no longer have to work my schedule around a bus. I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading first thing in the morning and last thing at night instead of reaching for my phone or laptop. Plus, allow myself a break on the weekends.
With all the books on this month’s TBR, it’s about time I get on that.
The Winter King and The Summer King by C.L. Wilson
I started reading The Winter King in middle of March and it’s taken me this long to read. Only not because I dislike it. It’s a paranormal romance set in a fantasy world with weatherwitches and other spellcasters. Kham is a princess with storm magic that is married off to the conquering king, Wynter, to establish peace between their kingdoms after war. It was supposed to be a punishment, but Kham finds herself enjoying the unexpected freedom in Wynter’s kingdom.
The beginning chapters dragged, probably why I kept putting it down. Whenever I did get around to reading The Winter King, I enjoyed it. As you can imagine, there is a chapter-length smut, but there is good representation of consent (for paranormal romance). Kham and Wynter have great chemistry and funny banter. She’s a firecracker and he is a big, scary teddy bear. The writing isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s not cringe-worthy either. The Summer King is the companion novel, following one of Kham’s sisters, Gabrielle.
One Night with the Valkyrie by Jane Godman
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Along with The Winter King and The Summer King, I checked out One Night with the Valkyrie and Darkfever after doing a project on paranormal romance for my collection development and management class. I picked up a few books off Goodreads “Best Paranormal Romance Novels.” Darkfever was one of them; it’s about a girl, with the ability to see fae, that travels to Ireland to solve her sister’s murder. As for One Night with the Valkyrie, which is about a mortal man falling in love with a Valkyrie, I found it on the “quick reads” shelf in my library and it happened to go along with what I was wanting at the time.
Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead and the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater are series I had saved on my library wish list for ages. Wanting to catch up on my backlist TBR and read some older YA titles, I chose these two. Shiver, because I want to read Maggie Stiefvater’s older books. Bloodlines, because I want to read the spin-off to Vampire Academy while I still have some lingering positive feelings about the series. Plus, like I said, I really wanted to read more paranormal romance.
Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill
I bought Fierce Fairytales a while ago after reading the poems she contributed in Amanda Lovelace’s The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One. Once I saw her name again in Break Your Glass Slippers, where she wrote the forward, Nikita Gill’s own poetry collection just called to me and would not leave me alone.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
A more recent purchase on this TBR, The Penelopiad is another book I felt drawn to for the same reasons I did Fierce Fairytales. It is a retelling of The Odyssey through the eyes of Penelope. I liked The Odyssey, but Penelope, like many women in Greek mythology, didn’t always get the credit she deserves.
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
The Names They Gave Us is about Lucy, who thought she had it made until her mom’s cancer comes back. The devout daughter of a pastor, for the first time ever, she questions her faith. At her mom’s request, instead of being a camp counselor at the Christian camp she’s always volunteered at, Lucy instead joins the one across the river for “troubled” kids. She unexpectedly bonds with the other camp counselors, and discovers there was more to her faith than she believed.
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
I keep pulling Far Far Away off my shelves, only to put it back on again. Considering I pulled its number from the random generator I’m using this month to pick the books I read (living a little dangerously), I think it’s the universe telling me April is the month I read this book. And I don’t know why I would want to put it off. From the few pages I read, it is told from the first-person perspective of Jacob Grimm, who is a ghost guiding a teenaged boy named Jeremy as he tries to solve a mystery in his small weird town.
What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi
What They Don’t Know is another hard-hitting contemporary. Told in diary entries of two girls tied together by a secret, as one, Lise, tries to help the other, Mellie, as she makes a life-altering decision. Mellie becomes pregnant after being raped and struggles to figure out what to do with the baby while hiding it from everyone else. Lise suspects what is wrong and wants to help, but helping Mellie possibly means exposing a secret of her own.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
April is all about either sad contemporaries or sexy romances, apparently. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an older title with a movie that came out within the past year. After her parents die in a car accident, Cameron Post is sent to live with a strict, religious aunt who, after catching Cameron with a girl, sends her to a “reeducation” camp.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Blood Water Paint is another book that just calls to me from my bookshelves. It is about a real-life seventeenth-century artist, Artemisia Gentileschi. Even as she remains a mystery to the rest of Rome, she is a successful painter by the time she is seventeen. But given the year is 1610, men think they are entitled to whatever they want from women. Only Artemisia refuses to stay silent.
Frogkisser! By Garth Nix
Probably my favorite cover in this TBR, Frogkisser turns the traditional fairy tales on their heads. Princess Anya is on the run from her wicked stepmother’s new husband and cursed with the gift of breaking any curse with a kiss. Along with an eclectic group of sidekicks, she goes on a quest to find a way to save her kingdom.
Uncharted by Erin Cashman
After her mother’s death, Annabeth prefers fiction to reality. Then, she and her dad go visit his friends at their manor house, and her dad goes missing. She suspects the son, Griffin, knows more than he’s saying and becomes even more suspicious when the police start poking around him a little too closely. Annabeth begins her own investigation, but soon finds her concept of fantasy and reality blurring as she finds clues that lead her to believe her father encountered a terrible fate.
Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
A book I’ve wanted to read for years now, Revenge and the Wild is a steampunk fantasy about a teenaged girl named Westie, who has a mechanical arm after being attacked by cannibals as a child. Though adopted by the respected inventor Nigel Butler, she still seeks revenge against the cannibals that murdered her family. When wealthy benefactors approach Nigel to invest in his latest invention, Westie is convinced they are the killers she is looking for. But her mad search for the truth could cost her all she has now.
The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay
The Skylarks’ War is a middle grade novel set during World War II. Clarry sees the good in everyone, even as those around her try to squeeze her into a box she doesn’t want to be in. When her cousin goes missing on the front, that is how she realizes it is time for her to finally break down the doors the world would rather she keep closed.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crawley
Words in Deep Blue is a love story about books and that is all I need to know. In case you want to know more, it is about childhood friends, grief-stricken Rachel mourning the loss of her brother, and Henry, who feels lost after his girlfriend dumps him and his family falls apart. They are reunited when Rachel takes a job at Henry’s family’s slowly failing bookshop and bond over books.
The Witch Boy, The Hidden Witch, and The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag
This is a middle-grade graphic novel series about Aster, a boy that wants to be a witch. But in his family, the girls are witches and the boys are shape-shifters. Despite this, he keeps watching the witchery lessons the girls get and practices the spells on his own, only sharing his secret with his friend Charlie, a girl from the non-magical side of town. When one of the boys in his shape-shifting class goes missing, Aster breaks the gender rules to use his new magic to find him.
Nevermore trilogy by Kelly Creagh
Along the lines of reading more paranormal romance, the Nevermore trilogy is one I have owned for years. I honestly do not know why I ignored it for so long, as it supposedly has connections to the history of Edgar Allan Poe and his works. Cheerleader Isabel and moody writer Verdan are not happy to be paired on an English project together. As you would expect from a novel written in 2010, the boy’s mysterious allure is hard for the girl to ignore and she might be the only one to save him from the madness slowly consuming him.
Cue the overly angsty drama.
Will I read all these books in April? We will find out….