April: In Reading


I’m not gonna lie, life came and slapped me on the arse just recently and I haven’t had any time to do anything. I’d just about recovered from getting home from Whitby and now have a massive backlog of books to read as I still had some editing work to finish off.

It feels forever since I read these books so I’ll try my hardest to give a fair summary and opinion of them but I don’t know how accurate exactly I’m going to be without a good root about my Goodreads history but there you go. I’m also avoiding writing up an application for something at the moment (I hate this adult activity more than even doing the dishes) so who knows when this post will be up but so far it’s about five days late… blame the bank holiday, working too hard and rocking a vicious hangover. Ouch.

* Note that it’s actually the very last day in May that I manage to finally get around the finish writing this post. I actually took the pictures and had the draft roughly done for weeks but something quite exciting happened in my personal life that totally delayed everything – woops.

Onto the books:


The Giver By Lois Lowry. Ember, £5.99 from Waterstones.

Another dystopian novel to add to my collection, The Giver is one of those titles that often appears in lists of books that you should read before date ‘x’ so of course it was going to tumble into my TBR pile, especially when it isn’t even that long of a book. Apparently the book is the first in a series (of which you can tell when you finish reading the first book because the story doesn’t exactly end) but I’ve yet to find the others hanging around – but saying that I’ve been from Leeds to Cardiff in the past month and not spied any of my listed books to read on any shop shelves so it might just be bad luck.

This novel follows the story of Jonas as he is appointed to be the next Giver in his society and henceforth must pass on the memories of the past to those after himself and uncovers dangerous secrets about the life he’s been raised to accept during his pupillage. A short and sweet novel about how things aren’t always as they seem, this just felt like a normal YA tale for me and I wasn’t especially gripped from the first chapter but it was a really quick read and I wouldn’t pass up reading the other books in the quartet if I come across them.


Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. W. W. Norton and Company, £7.19 from Waterstones.

When describing this book to people I really struggle with discussing what it’s about to convey how much I think they should read it. My best answer so far has simply been to call it poetic. Not a lot happens in the overall real-time of the story because the book focuses strongly on jumping backwards and forwards between the past and present to explain how a fashion model suffers a life-changing car accident that ruins her face. Basically the protagonist ends up without a jaw (“birds ate my face”) and the book follows her discussing her life before the event and how she recovers.

I think the most powerful part of the story for me is when the main character (who remains unnamed throughout the majority of the book) takes herself to a supermarket after her accident and tries to buy a turkey, after being pent-up in recovery for months on end she is finally confronted by the public and the complications of her new appearance. The passage is perhaps not the most poignant part of the book as a whole but for some reason it sticks in my mind above all others. I really enjoyed this novel and have already found a special place for it on my bookshelf – that’s after a get it back from people whom I’ve lent it to!


Whispers Underground by Ben Aarononitch. Gollancz, £7.19 from Waterstones.

Oh man I love a good Peter Grant novel and I finally cracked on with this one on a rainy afternoon when nothing in my TBR pile appealed to me. I discovered this series well over a year ago when I was trawling through the iBooks store on my iPad looking for something new to burn a birthday giftcard on and I haven’t looked back since I started reading the first book in the series.

Aarononitch writes like JK Rowling but more ‘adult’ and with ten times more wit. In fact I can get over the fact that this series is primarily murder mystery – my all-time hate – and still love reading them. I even went out and purchased three of the books to complete my ownership of the series a couple of months back and have been hiding each of them away for when I’m in a reading slump or want something to cheer me up. YouTuber Tanya Burr has mentioned these books a few times and I would advise you to read the synopsis for yourself and make your own mind up but I will tell you one thing – do not judge a book (or synopsis) by it’s cover. Just because the genre is magic/fantasy doesn’t mean that these books are just going to be another one to add to your collection. Pick them up, read them and see how you feel about them. If you liked Harry Potter and want something to carry on that warm wit that Rowling sews then you’ll want to read the Peter Grant series.

Yes, I know I hardly wrote anything about the books and their plots themselves at all just now… but you should go pick them up and read them yourself instead.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Simon & Schuster, £5.99 from Waterstones.

Oh god the Rosie Project was a struggle and a half to finish. It’s a little known fact that I actually have a little competitive streak within me, so when Sophia of Tattooed Tealady told me she started reading this book I just had to give it a go myself just so that I could potentially beat her at reading it – ha. Nah, not really I’m not that bad, the book had been on my shelf forever since I picked it up in a charity shop and I was bound to start reading it eventually so I just took the chance to motivate myself rather than have it sitting there gathering dust.

This book is about a young man who lives his life in a very particular way until a woman tumbles into his life and changes everything. Think Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory hooking up with Penny – kinda. This story is all a bit of a jumble with some serious heart to it. I’m not really one for romance novels and I really have to be in the mood for them but even though I wasn’t really feeling this book I was glad to continue reading because I knew it had warm humour to it’s core and was written with intrigue and laughter. The main character makes some awful mistakes and it’s like you’re reading a romcom film script between your fingers at some places but that’s not a bad thing. In the end I did quite like this book and something just stops me from picking up the sequel even though I’ve seen it for quite cheap on the supermarket shelves. Who knows if I’m ever at a loose end and fancy a book I know that I can easily tuck into and finish within a few hours I might buy The Rosie Effect because this one wasn’t too bad.


The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Ecco, £5.99 from Waterstones.

So this book was one of those that you couldn’t turn a corner without seeing on the shelf in the supermarket entertainment section or in a bookshop display, it rode the top lists for weeks and weeks and I caved and picked up my copy on a random trip to London for work with a couple of hours to kill before my train home and got an edition with a nice blue trim – which I’ve since discovered picks up scuffs and scrapes like mad when said book is placed in a handbag of any kind. Errrm, not good for someone who is seriously anal about the state of her books when they’re brand new in her hands.

This novel takes place in Amsterdam in the 1600s and follows a young woman called Nella as she embarks on a marriage to a merchant trader many years her senior. As a wedding gift he commissions a dolls-house like cabinet for her to fill and thus, many mysterious things happen around this cabinet.

There are some books that I can pick up and run with but this one wasn’t one of them. I spent a lot of my time reading thinking is this a fantasy novel or a social drama? The cabinet Nella receives and then the mysterious figurines that are delivered to her door by an unknown creator whom she commissions feels like a catalyst for the events that happen in the plot and I get the impression that we as a reader were much more like a fly-on-the-wall during the hectic events of this book rather than a participant.

A lot of stuff happened, some shocked me and some didn’t but overall I wasn’t astounded by this book like I thought I would be. It was a good read overall, but not amazing I’m afraid.

So that was my (very, very late) round up of all the books I read in April. I have just managed to finish reading my goal books for this month so watch this space for a round up (maybe) soon of May.

Blame boys, not books.

Have you read any books recently and have you read any of my list and liked or disliked them – let me know in the comments.