These are my April 2022 book reviews.
I had high hopes that in April I would be able to read two books a week. Although I came very close, I did not achieve the goal I set for myself. I still got through seven books. That is pretty respectable, if I may say so myself. I squeezed in Reckless Girls the last couple of days, so that actually makes my total pretty impressive. All in all, a great reading month!
The reason I wanted to get through so many is because of the library haul I did early on in the month. Then my reservations became available as well, on top of what I already borrowed. So I wanted to get through as many as possible. I know people always wait a long time to get their hands on newer books at the library. Therefore, I always try my best to return them as soon as I finish reading them.
The month brought me quite a lot of four-star reads, which makes me happy.
That being said, let’s see which books I managed to read this month, and my thoughts on them.
A little side note: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most of my books were rated four stars. On rare occasions, I give a book five stars. Usually, it’s a book I would definitely re-read or one I consider a comfort read. April was very good in that respect, even with only one five-star read.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
This was creepy, dark, and twisted, but I liked it! Can’t say that I loved it, but I don’t regret reading it.
As my second Colleen Hoover book, I really didn’t know what to expect, but once again she doesn’t disappoint. My first book by this author I read at the end of March, so she is still a fairly new author to me. And Verity was a very different style from It Ends With Us.
Struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh accepts a job ghostwriting for famous best-selling author Verity Crawford. The job comes not long after she lost her mother when she was very close to financial ruin. After accepting the offer proposed by Jeremy Crawford and her agent, Lowen moves to Vermont at Crawford’s house, where Verity is lying in her bedroom in a coma.
As soon as she gets there, the house gives her the creeps, and she feels like something weird is going on. She starts sorting through Verity’s notes that she took throughout the years in order to get a sense of how to continue the series she’s under contract to write.
But she discovers a manuscript that seems to be Verity’s autobiography, which is downright creepy. Full of bone-chilling admissions and weird situations, she decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, whom she develops feelings for.
Hoover is a master of storytelling and she makes you get into the minds of her characters. Just like in real life, we tend to believe what we perceive our reality to be. This book proves that the mind is a powerful thing, and Hoover has a way of making her scenarios believable.
I love the type of books that make you wonder and second-guess yourself over and over again.
And to top it off, she got me wondering what happened until the very last page.
A mind-blowing ending to an unbelievably plotted twisted story. Well done, Hoover!
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Very insightful and beautifully written, this novel by Charmaine Wilkerson is a stunning debut. I loved everything about this book. The lyrical writing style, the storyline, and even some of the characters.
Meet siblings Benny and Byron. They’ve been estranged for years, but come together after their mother’s death as a last attempt to honor her wishes.
They are summoned to their mother’s lawyer’s office, where she wants them to sit and listen to a recording she prepared for them. She needs to tell them one last thing she didn’t have the courage to tell them while she was still alive, and her story is rich, yet full of betrayals and disappointments.
I loved this debut novel by Charmaine Wilkerson. It is a different style from what I usually gravitate towards, but it is so well-written and evocative that I couldn’t put it down. Their journey of discovery transports you to a different time, and Wilkerson has a way of narrating that gets you very engaged and absorbed in the characters’ lives.
The countless secrets and memories that are brought to the surface made me get emotionally involved in the story. The way Wilkerson unwebbed the tangled web of lies and deceit made me realize how imperfect relationships are, even though they might seem great on the surface. Just like in real life!
Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey
A gripping debut novel by Canadian Samatha M. Bailey. The writing was very fluent, the storyline flowed, and the plot was complex without making the reader confused. A recipe for a great read!
The book starts with a quick moment on the platform of a subway station that totally transforms two women’s lives. Morgan Kincaid, a social worker who recently lost her husband to suicide is on her way home from work. Nicole Markham, a prominent CEO and founder of Breathe, an athletic brand that is very popular, jumps from the platform. But before she jumps, Nicole puts her baby in Morgan’s hands and whispers “Take care of my baby”.
No spoilers there, that’s how the book begins. But the story that develops and looks back on what led Nicole to that desperate act is what makes the book interesting. I loved the way Samantha M. Bailey brilliantly gave the characters their backstories, and it all untangled slowly but beautifully at the end. Personally, I thought it was well done.
The author makes you feel compassion towards the two women, and anger at the unfairness of all the two heroines had to endure. The plot contained enough suspense, without laying it too thick. Just the right amount, and with an ending that was clever and gave me enough punch to leave me satisfied.
I can’t wait to read her next book, “Watch out for Her ”, which just came out this April.
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
Although I rounded it off to four stars, I would have to say The Sanatorium is more like 3.75 stars for me. Especially when I’m looking back now and comparing it to the other books I read this month. It was still an enjoyable read, don’t get me wrong, but not as great as some of the others.
Elin Warner and her boyfriend are going on a mini-vacation at a luxurious hotel in the Alps, Le Sommet. The reason is to celebrate her brother’s engagement with her old childhood friend, Laure. The hotel they are going to spend their time in was built surrounding some controversy. Years ago the hotel used to be a sanatorium for mentally ill patients that were sent there to get some unconventional treatments.
As soon as they get there, Elin gets some sinister vibes from the property. Although renovated in the latest minimalist style and featuring high-end furnishings, Elin can’t seem to shake off her feelings of unease.
And the next morning, when her brother realizes that his fiancee is missing, Elin can’t help but find her feelings justified.
Pearce’s writing is good, and the setting is awesome, but the storyline was not my favorite. The thought of a hotel that was built on a site that has bad juju would not make me want to spend any time there. I don’t care how beautifully you try to cover up the horrors that took place there, I would personally not step foot on the property.
But it’s a work of fiction, thank goodness! Although the author makes you feel as if you’re right there, feeling the same weird emotions and trying to solve the mystery surrounding the strange events that are taking place at Le Sommet.
I still recommend the book, and apparently, it is the first installment in a new series. From what I hear, the next one is coming out in North America sometime in July of this year.
Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger
This is the third Lisa Unger book I’ve read, and it’s a close tie to the previous book I’ve read by her, “Confessions on the 7:45”. The author wrote a lot of suspense novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide. They are easy-to-read books that will keep you engaged from beginning to end, although they are not mind-blowing.
This book is about the dangers of meeting and falling in love while online dating. Although based on real-life dangers, this work of fiction creeps you out. Same as always, you swipe, you meet, you fall in love, you share your most personal stories, then you get ghosted.
There is a little bit more to the story than that, but that is the gist of it.
Wren Greenwood, a famous column writer/podcaster meets her new beau on an app after her best friend nudges her on. But only a couple of months into the relationship, he disappears.
Like most women, she questions herself: did she share too much too soon, did she do something to deserve his sudden disinterest in her?
I did enjoy the author’s writing style and the storyline per se. What I wasn’t too crazy about is the way she made the characters seem too imperfect. Yes, I know, most people make questionable decisions, but this book was full of them. And I was disappointed because the first part of the book I really loved, but it got spoiled towards the end.
The ending was also not spectacular, which made me take another star off my rating. Do I regret reading it? Not at all, but it’s not one of the first books I would recommend when someone asks for a good thriller to read.
Finley Donavan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
This is a book that I’ve seen everywhere on Instagram for the last year or so. And, I must say, it was totally worth the hype! I loved this light-hearted thriller!
I didn’t really know what to expect going in, to be honest. But it was such a cleverly plotted, well-written, even humorous book at times, that it took me about two and a half days to get through. Very easy to read, the plot kept me on my toes, and at times it made me laugh out loud.
Finlay Donovan is a stressed-out single mom who’s trying her best to keep her life from falling apart. She is a writer that hasn’t opened her laptop in months. Since her husband left her for their real estate agent, actually. While having a meeting in a Panera with her agent, Finlay gets offered an outrageous job after being mistaken for a contract killer.
As unbelievable as the plot might seem, Elle Cosimano delivered a super entertaining mystery that also happens to be very funny.
Finlay is a heroine that is gutsy and hilarious while being very down-to-earth and pragmatic. Some of the decisions she made were questionable, but everything worked out in her favor in the end. I’m not going to say more about it because I don’t want to take the fun out of your reading, but the author has a way of twisting the storyline in a way that gives you a happy ending. If thrillers get those, then this is it!
This is my favorite book I read this month. Light yet highly entertaining, with a little bit of spice. If you happen to be in a reading slump, this book might just help you conquer it.
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins
Although there’s an underlying plot to this aimless story, it’s very superficial. Its execution is mediocre at best, but it’s an easy read if you’re not looking for too much substance. Described as gothic suspense, I didn’t get any gothic vibes from this book at all.
Lux McAllister and her boyfriend Nico take on a job sailing with two young women on a remote island in the South Pacific. When they get there, they meet a couple that was already there for a while. The first few days they all have fun and enjoy the beautiful landscape. But then it starts to become clear that every single one of them is there to escape something from their lives. And eventually, everything comes crashing down, and people start disappearing.
The story started off pretty decent, but about halfway in it started getting weird. Compared to her first book, The Wife Upstairs, this storyline is very weak and predictable.
After reading the synopsis, I kept waiting for something more exciting to happen, but I was disappointed.
Plus, I’m personally getting a bit tired of the closed-room-type mystery, or people being stuck on a deserted island. Not the most original, and not the best presentation either. Hence, just three stars for me.
If you’re into being stranded on a deserted island setting, then go for it. But don’t expect to be wowed by this book. The cover is pretty though!
This sums up my April 2022 book reviews.
This was a pretty decent reading month, and I came out with a couple of favorites that might even be made my top ten of the year. If you’ve read any of these, which ones did you prefer?