April 2019 Round-Up

It doesn’t feel like it’s been a month since I was last doing this, yet here we are in May. I finished twenty books in April, not as many as I hoped, and I didn’t manage to complete either readathon, but twice as many as March.

Books Read in April

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The Passengers – John Marrs

Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty

A Whole New World – Liz Braswell

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

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Murder Games – James Patterson & Howard Roughan

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

As Old As Time – Liz Braswell

Twisted – Steve Cavanagh

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The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley










The Humid – Russell Cordner

Circe – Madeline Miller

The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley

Quality DNA by [Martin, Beth]
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Quality DNA – Beth Martin

The Lights – Nathan Kuzack

The Rumour – Lesley Kara

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare

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Demon Seed – Dean Koontz

Legend

The Bad Mother

I Am Not a Serial Killer


I still have reviews for some of these to be published over the next week or so. I’m also still trying to decide the best way to do my monthly round-up.

May Goals

I haven’t finished any of the books from the Avengers Readathon yet, and there are a couple of books that I’m really excited to read this month. Otherwise I’m planning on having a less structured month and reading whatever I’m in the mood for.

I’m only 20 books away from my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2019, so I’m hoping I might be able to complete that this month.


What did you read in April? What are your reading goals for May?

Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.
Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.
Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.
Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.
For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.
These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .

This is the first book I’ve read by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies is still on my TBR list, and I really liked it. This had mixed reviews so going in with no expectations may have helped.

When I started reading this the idea of a retreat sounded quite nice, but I quickly changed my mind. The daily blood tests and five day ‘Transformative Silence’ were enough to put me off.

As the blurb was quite vague I was expecting a murder mystery before I started the book. The plot starts like a typical whodunnit, nine people arrive at a location with no means of contacting the outside world. What’s actually going on is much more sinister.

There is a sense early on in the book that something is not quite right with the retreat, but you’re not sure what. This builds up the tension in the book as you try to guess what’s going on behind the scenes. There are hints that the leaders of the retreat have plans that aren’t being shared with the guests, but I wasn’t expecting it to go much deeper than this.I certainly wouldn’t have guessed what was actually going on.

My rating: 3.5 stars, and I’m planning to move Big Little Lies further up my TBR list.

Review: The Passengers

Self-drive cars are mandatory in the UK and roads are safer than ever before. Eight passengers get into their vehicles, which are then hacked and set on a collision course.
Libby has been selected to be a member of a secret jury who determine whether any road accidents are the fault of the car or human error, and it’s never been the fault of the car. The jury, along with the public must choose which passenger should survive. Each passenger has ten minutes to convince the jurors and the public to vote for them, but they all have something to hide.

This was the first book I’ve read on The Pigeonhole and it was an interesting way to read. It meant that I had to take my time with the book, as it was released in ten parts. This was frustrating at times when there was a cliffhanger and I wanted to read the next chapter straight away. I think if I’d had the entire book I’d have read it in a day.

This book is set in the future where the only cars available are ‘Level 5’, automated self-drive cars, that don’t even have pedals for the passengers to take control. Eight of these ‘unhackable’ cars are hacked, and each passenger told that they will be dead in XX. It’s a really interesting plot idea, as we move closer to a time when driverless cars will be seen on our streets, I think we’ll start to see more books addressing the fears that people have around this.

There’s a lot going on in this book, and it keeps you constantly guessing. As I was reading my opinions on the different passengers was constantly changing as more information about the passengers was revealed. It was clear that as well as the passengers holding things back, the hacker was also controlling what information he revealed to try and manipulate the public’s opinion of the passengers.

Part of what made this book so interesting is that it doesn’t seem farfetched. People engaging with this kind of situation, using social media to vote for who should die, and the mob mentality surrounding it all seem very realistic. Even some of the revelations in the book, around the cars and the government, while surprising, are not unlikely.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a good thriller. Clear your day, get a nice cup of tea and settle in for a good read.

My rating: 5 stars, and I’m going to catch up on the other John Marrs books I haven’t read yet.

Review: In Bloom

Rhiannon’s fiancĂ© Craig is in jail for the murders she committed, and her ex-lover AJ is dead. Everything is perfect, except for the fact that Rhiannon is pregnant with AJ’s baby, and the baby doesn’t approve of her killing. Forced to move in with Craig’s parents, will Rhiannon manage to curb her killer instincts, or will she give into her urges?

I read Sweetpea a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, and In Bloom keeps a lot of the aspects that worked in the first book. I like the chapters that start with ‘kill lists’, we’ve all had those days when we hate everyone who does X.

Sadly that was one of the few things in this book that I enjoyed. I don’t often see female serial killers in media so I was looking forward to this, but I was left disappointed. It took me almost a week to read this, because I just couldn’t get into it.

This book didn’t really have a plot, and didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. I didn’t feel anything when the book ended, and I couldn’t bring myself to care anymore. I just wanted to be finished, rather than reading because I was enjoying it.

My rating: 2 stars, and I wouldn’t read anymore if the series continued.

Reading This Week: 1st April 2019

We’re officialy in April, I can’t believe we’re already a quarter of the way through 2019. Today is the start of the O.W.L.s magical readathon and Unsolvedathon, so I’m making a start on my reading lists.

I’m starting my readathons with We Were Liars, the Disney retellings A Whole New World and As Old as Time, and Murder Games. These are all quite short so should be quick reads to help give me a good start to the challenges. These are also all paperbacks, and I’m on holiday from the middle of April so I want to read these first so I only have to take my kindle with me.

I’m also going to be reading A Good Enough Mother and Close to the Edge on The Pigeonhole. I read The Passengers on the app and it’s an interesting way to read a book, if sometimes slightly frustrating to have to wait for the next part instead of reading it all at once.

What are you reading this month? Are you taking part in any reading challenges or readathons?