Bookish Post – April 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

Number of books read: 9
Number of rereads: 0
Number of physical books: 2
Number of ebooks: 3
Number of audiobooks: 4
Number of ARCS: 4

5* reviews: 3
4.5* reviews: 0
4* reviews: 2

March started out pretty slowly because of my birthday. It’s always the way. Suddenly I have loads of social events to fit in and I end up not reading as much. But, thanks to a few quick audiobooks, I managed to get my number up. I also didn’t have a bad month in terms of ratings. Mostly pretty good and nothing as bad as February.

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY BY BONNIE GARMUS

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.

Like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (‘combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride’) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Read my review.

A KIND OF SPARK BY ELLE MCNICOLL

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her and her autism, and make her voice heard? 

A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy.

Read my review.

THE CARETAKERS BY AMANDA BESTOR-SIEGAL

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

In a smart Parisian suburb, in the wake of the Paris 2015 terrorist attacks, an au pair is arrested after the sudden and suspicious death of her nine-year-old charge…

The truth behind what happened is unravelled through six women: Geraldine, a heartbroken French teacher who struggles to connect with her vulnerable students; Lou, an incompetent au pair fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Holly, an anxious au pair who yearns to feel at home in Paris; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother’s attention; and finally, Alena, the au pair accused of killing a child.

All of them play a part in nine-year-old Julien’s death…

For fans of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Caretakers is a compulsive and gripping read about who takes care of children, the yearning for belonging that extends beyond the homes left behind, and issues of identity, privilege, and class in both American and French culture.

Read my review.

IDOL BY LOUISE O’NEILL

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

For Samantha Miller’s young fans – her ‘girls’ – she’s everything they want to be. She’s an oracle, telling them how to live their lives, how to be happy, how to find and honour their ‘truth’.

And her career is booming: she’s just hit three million followers, her new book Chaste has gone straight to the top of the bestseller lists and she’s appearing at sell-out events.

Determined to speak her truth and bare all to her adoring fans, she’s written an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager, with her female best friend, Lisa. She’s never told a soul but now she’s telling the world. The essay goes viral.

But then – years since they last spoke – Lisa gets in touch to say that she doesn’t remember it that way at all. Her memory of that night is far darker. It’s Sam’s word against Lisa’s – so who gets to tell the story? Whose ‘truth’ is really a lie?

‘You put yourself on that pedestal, Samantha. You only have yourself to blame.’

Riveting, compulsive and bold, IDOL interrogates our relationship with our heroes and explores the world of online influencers, asking how well we can ever really know those whose carefully curated profiles we follow online. And it asks us to consider how two memories of the same event can differ, and how effortlessly we choose which stories to believe.

Read my review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Daisy’s hero is Florence Nightingale, and she hopes to one day become a nurse just like her. But as a girl growing up in the East End of London in 1912, it seems like all her future holds is dropping out of school to work a tough job in a factory for very little money.

Then Daisy meets the suffragettes, who are fighting for the rights of women and the poor. They show her that she might be able to achieve her dreams after all. But being a suffragette is dangerous, and Daisy must risk getting in trouble with her dad, neighbours and even the police if she wants to do her bit.

Perfect for fans of Opal Plumstead and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

Read my review.

YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY BY AKWAEKE EMEZI

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime:

Feyi is about to be given the chance to escape the City’s blistering heat for a dream island holiday: poolside cocktails, beach sunsets, and elaborate meals. And as the sun goes down on her old life our heroine also might just be ready to open her heart to someone new.

The only problem is, she’s falling for the one man she absolutely can’t have.

Read my review.

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZON: DESERTED ISLAND DIARY VOL.1 BY KOKONASU RUMBA

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Join your favorite characters from Animal Crossing™: New Horizons for all-new adventures in this official manga!

Read the gag-filled adventures of four goofy residents living among the Animal Crossing™: New Horizons characters. Includes a bonus Animal Guide with game tips!

From the Back Cover

Join your favorite characters from Animal Crossing (TM): New Horizons for all-new adventures in this official manga!

THE MYSTWICK SCHOOL OF MUSICCRAFT BY JESSICA KHOURY

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series.

Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create magic.

So when Amelia botches her audition, she thinks her dream has met an abrupt and humiliating end–until the school agrees to give her a trial period. Amelia is determined to prove herself, vowing to do whatever it takes to become the perfect musician. Even if it means pretending to be someone she isn’t.

Meanwhile, a mysterious storm is brewing that no one, not even the maestros at Mystwick, is prepared to contain. Can Amelia find the courage to be true to herself in time to save her beloved school from certain destruction?

Read my review.

HOURGLASS BY KEIRAN GODDARD

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

The second time you came, we went from bar to bar to bar. It made the city feel smaller. Like a map we were folding to the size of a stamp. We were good at that. We could have fit an entire universe inside a matchbox.

Love builds up little by little and that’s why it makes people reach for words like root and sediment and other words to do with rocks and trees. But what about the dismantling? Does it happen that way too? Because it feels like it is happening much, much faster. And I am reaching for words like landslide and like wave and like storm …

Exquisitely crafted, wildly imaginative and as darkly funny as it is moving, Hourglass is a revolutionary love story. It turns time upside down, combs the intimate wreckage of heartbreak for something universal, and asks what it means to lose what you love.

Review coming soon.

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