April Wrap-Up

I read so many good books this month, like damn. It wasn’t even like I was specifically picking books I knew I was going to love, but I just let myself pick up whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and it was such a joy to have so many good books all at once, and ones that I could definitely see being on a top ten this year.

Mini Book Reviews

🌈 LGBTQPIA+ characters
πŸ”₯ BIPOC authors
πŸŒ‘ BIPOC characters

Book of Night | Holly Black
(4/3-4/7) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

That ending, though. I 100% did not know that this was going to be a duology–which, I really hope it’s no more than a duology, the pacing is setup perfectly for a standalone, so let’s not stretch it too long–and though I have some thoughts on that (see between the lines), I am really excited to see how everything shakes out for Charlie & Vince. I truly did not see that plot twist coming, but in such a good way because Black set this up so well that I thought we were going in a totally different direction, and I really want to reread this now because I can already tell it was so glaringly obvious all along. The world-building for this was fantastic, and the shadow magic was hella cool. This was the first book that the new book club I joined picked, and if this is the beginning, I am hyped to see what else we end up reading.

A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon | Sarah Hawley
(4/16-4/18) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was literally everything that I wanted and more. This was the exact mindset that I set out to write in one of my books, that witchcraft is fun, but a little silly sometimes, and mostly just what you need it to be and not what you try to make it into. The accidental summoning of a demon and then fake dating it was literally perfect. Like. Do not come near me or this book because I will defend it with my dying breath, and I am beyond hyped to read the sequel. The smut in it was also fantastic, and I kept having to close it at work and be like, well alright then this is an after work book. I truly adored this.

Year of the Reaper | Makiia Lucier
(4/23-4/25) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Don’t even come near me. I was having some form of literary cute aggression with this book, and I kept physically shaking it because it was so damn good, and I am just UGHHHHH about it. Why didn’t I read this sooner?? I absolutely adored Lucier’s previous duology in a way that meant I was going to love this just as much, and the combination of male narrator in a fantasy world + young kings + trauma + brothers = all my wants & needs checked off, so this was pretty much perfect all the way through. There was not a single part of this I would not defend with my whole heart, and I want, like, seventeen more novels about Cas and Ventillas separately and together. This was amazing, and I need so many more books by Lucier in the world.

The Righteous | Renee Ahdieh πŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(4/9-4/16) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was 100% a three star book until the literal last paragraph because that is my kryptonite. Spoilers ahead because I can’t contain myself when there’s a universe tie-in. When I first figured out David Mitchell was doing it, I just started shrieking, and every author since him has got me ready to confetti bomb all over the place with joy because UGH YES MORE. I love when there are universe tie-ins. The actual novel itself was mostly just fine. It’s giving me Shadowhunters vibes the longer we go, which isn’t bad, it’s just a very been there done that vibe, and while I am excited about the fourth one, I’m also very hopeful that she’s not going to keep dragging it out beyond then. Also, I missed the vampires. It’s what I came for, and it’s not what I got.

The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond | Amanda Glaze
(4/19-4/22) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I really enjoyed this! I definitely will say that it felt very standard in a lot of ways. The characters and plot were all things I’ve seen before, but the writing was spectacular, and I really loved the way that Glaze wove this story. It was interesting to see a deep dive on the Spiritualist movement in/around the 30s in conjunction with the women’s suffragette movement, and I just really loved seeing the characters interact with both of those elements. Plus, twins are one of my favorite things to read about, and I adored Edie & Violet’s relationship. I’ll definitely be reading more from Glaze.

Woman, Eating | Claire KohdaπŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(4/27-4/30) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was so obnoxiously pretentious, but in an Only Lovers Left Alive kind of way, which meant that I was all in. This was exactly what I wanted to be reading, and the second I realized what it was going to be, I was hyped. Literally nothing happens in this, and it’s mostly just stream of consciousness, and the MC is honestly almost unbearable, and I loved it. This is definitely the kind of book that you need to know what you’re getting into, or it’s going to be insufferable, but Kohda’s language was excellent, the mixed race issues were beautifully written, and the vampire lore was very interesting. I did see another review, though, that said “didn’t eat enough men”, and I do agree on that point.

This Blood That Binds Us | SL Cokeley
(4/8-4/9) β˜…β˜…β˜…

This should have been two stars, but I also read most of it in one day, so I clearly enjoyed it, and I’m going to keep it at three stars. I think it’s probably unlikely that I’ll read the sequel, but you never know. It might pop up in a bookstore somewhere while I’m shopping for other things, and I might go eh why not. It wasn’t well written, the characters were very one dimensional, and the plot was Stupid, but the vampires were interesting, and that’s about all it takes for me. My love of vampiric media swings from dumb as dirt to takes itself way too seriously, and this definitely fell in the former category, so it was a vibe.

The Bone Way | Holly J. Underhill 🌈
(4/23-4/26) β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was fine. I really would have loved if it was twice as long and actually dug into the worldbuilding, but, given that it was a novella, it was just fine. There were a lot of spaces that were not explored beyond a passing sentence or two, and the pace was very fast, but the characters were interesting enough to hold my attention, and I liked the reimagining of Orpheus and Eurydice in both a queer and magical world.

Film/Television Reviews

I’ve wanted to watch House of Hammer for a while now, and it’s right up Erin’s alley, so we watched the first episode together, and my goodness, but I feel like I’m going to get cancelled for saying this–did Armie actually do anything wrong? Because it sounds like he was pretty explicit about what he wanted, was then given permission to do those things, and is now hated because his partners realized, after that granted consent, that they didn’t want those things. Which is not the problem here, everyone is absolutely within their right to look back on something they’ve done and realize it was not for them. But to demonize someone because they’re interested in a community that isn’t widely accepted, that you’ve given them permission to partake in–it just left a bad taste. I watched through the second episode in the hopes of seeing literally anything that might have made sense for Armie’s absolute destruction in Hollywood, and while his family definitely sounds awful, it doesn’t really sound like he did anything other than publicly discuss being in the BDSM community.

Yes, I know, I also can’t believe I haven’t watched What We Do in the Shadows before now. I started it while I was reading this month’s trash vampire book, and I spent an entire Sunday switching between bad vampire books and stupid vampire television, and it was fantastic. I don’t have a ton to say about this that hasn’t already been said because it’s as hilarious and wonderful as people have said, and I’ve been powering through it while meal prepping, so it’s been great to have.

We also watched Mary Shelley, which we’ve both been wanting to watch for a long while, and we had very similar reactions to it. It wasn’t bad, but we also will definitely never be watching it again. It was trying to be a Jane Austen movie, but appealing to an audience who has never heard of Mary Shelley and wants to romanticize her mostly toxic relationship. They also chose actors who really reminded us of Rob Pattinson and Andrew Scott, and I feel like, if they’d just cast those two actors, the whole thing would have been better, but alas. This was mostly subpar, although Elle Fanning did a fantastic job.

This Month

This month feels like it absolutely flew by. Like, how is May? How am I going to Scotland in two weeks? Where in the world has the first half of this year gone? I think part of it is that I’ve been teaching a lot, whether it’s because I’ve been subbing or because I didn’t have YTT or Maine for three weeks in a row, so it felt like I was at the gym a lot. However, that means that I’ve been climbing a lot, and I have been crushing some really hard 5.9s and working a lot on a few different 5.10s. There’s even a 5.10 overhang that I feel really good about, and though I haven’t gotten over the overhang, I am comfortably holding onto the hold over it, and I just need to figure out my feet. But I’ve been feeling very successful with climbing lately, and my classes have been wonderful, so the physical part of my life is a huge A+ right now.

I’ve also been teaching a few poses that I’ve barely even glanced at in the last several years, like hero’s and side plank and twists. Now that we’re a couple years into healing with my chiropractor, I feel like I’m getting to a point where I can understand how my body is feeling while I’m attempting poses like twists, so I can actively teach them and be safe at the same time.

We had a company event in the middle of April, too, and though I don’t have a whole group picture from it, I do have our stoop kids picture from when half of us went to get ice cream and sat out on the curb together. We went to Level99 in Natick, and it was so much fun. I think I definitely prefer Boda Borg because I like being able to do multiple rooms inside of something rather than just quickly running through one room, but the amount of different types of things that were available at Level99 was really cool. It was also just so much fun to be with the boys out in the world in a way we haven’t in a while, and it got me so looking forward to our BBQ coming up.

I don’t have a picture of this yet because it’s not done, but I got more work done on my tattoo, too! I’m headed up to Maine at the beginning of May, and we’re doing a kind of boudoir tattoo photoshoot, so I’m hopeful to have a picture of it soon. I had two appointments a week apart to try to finish it, so we’ll see it if I’ll actually be able to share it soon, but I am so pleased with how it’s coming along. I was going to say that this is probably the biggest tattoo I’ve gotten, but I worked on my space arm for a year, sooooo I think it’s just that it’s half my back, and I was not expecting it to take this long, but several of my appointments have had to be cancelled for various reasons, so I thought it was going to happen faster just because I’d tried to schedule it that way, and instead, it’s May, and we’re only just now finishing it. Which is totally okay! I’m not mad at that. I just thought I was going to be able to show people a lot sooner.

Anywho, it was a very busy, wild month, and I feel like I’m missing things as I’m typing this out, but so much has happened, and May is going to fly by, too, but you’ll actually get a little more blogging out of me in May because I want to document Scotland, so there’ll be three extra posts from me this upcoming month!

One response to “April Wrap-Up”

  1. mphtheatregirl Avatar

    Been wondering the same thing- how is it May already

    All year, I was looking forward to April- the month of Aladdin and the Parish Retreat; at the beginning of the year, all the plans I was aware of were by April


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