April Reading Wrap Up (2020)

Here are the books I read in April that were not part of the O.W.L. Magical Readathon, for those reviews, check out last week’s post.

As always all covers are from Goodreads and please share your recent reads with us!

Now, on to this month’s books:


The Mountain and the Sea by Kwame Dawes, Paula-Anne Jones (Narrator)

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊ ◊

I was expecting this Audible Original to be a spicy love story in Jamaica, but spoiler alert, this isn’t that spicy.

This is about a middle aged widow who finds a man naked in the road before a storm and takes him back to her personal island while the storm passes and his memory returns.

Obviously there is a slow romance that develops between the two, but I was very disappointed. The romance is not that exciting and most of this book is just exposition about the main character’s life up to this point. The romance is much less on the forefront than I would have liked, and the pacing of this book is strange, even though it isn’t very long.

If you want a slow burn romance that is more about the main character’s midlife crisis, then this may be a good book for you. Maybe I am just not the right audience, since this is about a middle-aged woman.

In my opinion, the ending is not satisfying at all, and I was left feeling like I wasted my time.

I will say, I am very happy with the narrator’s performance. The accents and emotion that Jones portrays is really fun. The narration is the reason I finished this book.


To Build a Fire by Jack London

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊

I have read this story before, but I read it this month for my American Literature class.

I remember thinking this story was interesting back in highschool. Reading it now, as an adult, I feel like it is quite drawn out and boring.

I found myself thinking, “get on with it” while the narrator was just looking at all of the surroundings, and the scenery was being described in great detail.

Additionally, the toxic masculinity in this one is quite annoying, even if the character does seem to learn his lesson in the end (if you’ve read it, you know that doesn’t really help though).

If you are into high stakes survival stories that take place in the icy wilderness, then you will probably enjoy this story (and the next one I will talk about).

This kind of story, character, and tone are just not for me personally, but this is a very interesting piece of American Literature. Not the worst thing I’ve read for school by far.


The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊

I also had to read this for my American Lit. class. I don’t really have any strong feelings about this story. It is interesting and I can’t think of anything that bothered me about it.

With that said, it is a bit boring. I felt a lot longer than it is while I was reading it. This isn’t the most painful thing that I have had to read for school by any means, but my life wasn’t really changed by it either.

If you like survival based stories with themes of friendship and near-death experiences, then you may like this story. It isn’t very long and is a nice classic to have under your belt, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I would say this is a summer read, based only on the fact that it takes place on the ocean after a shipwreck.


The Goophered Grapevine by Charles W. Chesnutt

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊ ◊

This is the last book for this month that I read for my American Lit. class. It is about a man listening to an ex-slave tell a story (story inception I know).

There isn’t really anything outright wrong with this book, but it is a part of history that is kind of sensitive and sad to think about. I generally read happier things, but that is just my personal preference.

The one thing that did bother me about this book is the writing. I am really not a fan of writing that heavily integrates accents, because I personally find them distracting and even hard to read. This book really changes up words for the sound effects of an accent, which is fine, but really hinders the reading experience for me. I had to reread many of the sections just to understand what was being said, which lead to me not realizing what I was reading as a whole. I ended up reading it twice then just looking at a summary online. I could just be a bit thick, but still I think the writing is the issue for me.

I do think the narrative style is quite impressive though, so that is a bonus.

All in all, not a bad story. I didn’t hate it or love it, but it just isn’t for me personally.


Weathering With You by Makoto Shinkai (DNF)

This is going to seem super crazy, but I actually DNF-ed a book for the first time since starting my website. I will probably make an entire post about this later, but just know that I was that bored. I read half of this book before deciding it wasn’t worth the time. It is exactly like the movie, except the issues with the movie are more exposed in book form.

This is one of those rare occasions that I will not even claim to try again in the future, because I will probably never pick this book up again. If you like this book, then I am very happy for you, but I just couldn’t do it. I did not care about the characters or the plot, and the exposition for this story lasts until more than 25% through this book. This story is not worth that much exposition! And I mean boring exposition, not crazy world building or anything that could make me invested in the story/characters.

I am picking up your name. Another Side: Earthbound instead of this book.

I am still so shocked that I couldn’t bring myself to finish this book… I never totally abandon books after I’ve invested so much time.

Year in Books:

46 /100 Books Read (46%)


9,088 Pages Read


Average rating:  4.4 / 5 stars

[These are the numbers for the year, up to this point.]

Books I read but did not finish:

Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb

I have been slowly making my way through this book both physically and on audio, because I don’t really feel the need to rush. I really enjoy the story and characters, so I am taking my time with this book. I do feel bad that I have dragged this through my TBRs and Wrap-Ups for the last few months, but in this case, it is a good thing. I am really enjoying this book.

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

I meant to read this book for O.W.L.s but as you probably saw, that did not happen… I only read a few pages of this book before I realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it without rushing through it. So, I am going to do my best to get to it this month.

Also of note, I am buddy reading this with a book friend, whom I met through the O.W.L.s readathon, so I am really excited to get to talking all the bookish things. I will now forever associate this book and The Bone Houses with said reading buddy, which is a really good feeling (I don’t generally have a lot of people in my life who read the same books as me, even though I am a librarian lol).

What did you read this month? What was your average rating?

Don’t forget to check out Part One, from last week (the books are better, I promise) and watch for my next post on Monday!

-Knight of Cups ❤

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