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April F. (aprillynn) - Reviews

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28 Summers
28 Summers
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/23/2022


4.5 rounded to 5 (the only reason I knocked 1/2 star is because I wasn't totally for Jake & Mal's relationship when there's a spouse and kids on the side).

I LOVED the yearly recap blurb at the beginning of each year, beginning from 1993 and going to 2020... totally nostalgic in going back in time and remembering the big highlights of each year - how much the world has changed in 28 years!

Elin provides an escape to Nantucket in each of her novels, I feel like I'm on vacation (which we all need right now)!


The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 8/20/2019


Solid 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 for storyline creativity!
I loved the uniqueness of this mystery - it was well crafted and extremely outside of your typical mystery novel. You really have to use your imagination to follow the storyline.
One of the downfalls I had with this book was that there were A LOT of characters to keep track of and you will need to constantly check the cast of characters referenced in the beginning of the book - it was almost too much for me to keep up with. The revealed mystery conclusion wasn't a jaw dropper - I was expecting a more shock value as to the "who dunnit" was.
If you are needing a book cleanse of your typical genre, I highly recommend giving this quirky book a try!


All the Broken Places (Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Bk 2)
All the Broken Places (Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Bk 2)
Author: John Boyne
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/22/2023
Helpful Score: 1


A 20 year awaited sequel to The Boy in Striped Pajamas, readers are finally given the view of Gretel's life after the war leading up to present day (told from 2 POV - past and present). While Gretel wasn't always a likeable character, I felt for Gretel as she navigated post war feelings of grief, remorse, fear and culpability living the life of a Nazi Commandant's daughter on the run. It was also an interesting viewpoint into the surviving family members of Nazi's. Are they also guilty of the crimes perpetrated by their fathers?
4.5 stars rounded to 5. I wasn't the hugest fan of the ending.


All the Little Lights
All the Little Lights
Author: Jamie McGuire
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/7/2020


I'm not sure how I lasted 14 hours (A LOT of walking) of this painfully-drawn out-audiobook-with no plot-story. I moved it from 1 to 2 stars because the last 2 chapters finally explained what this book was about with a twist I didn't see coming. Full of teen angst, unbelievable adult character behaviors and cheesy young romance.


An Anonymous Girl: A Novel
An Anonymous Girl: A Novel
Author: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 8/20/2019


I had high expectations after TWBU, but "An Anonymous Girl" fell flat for me. I kept waiting for the story build-up to go some where, but there was no twist or climax that blew me away. I also didn't feel there was any conclusions to many of the story plots (Jess' family, Noah, April's mom).

Not a BAD book, but not one that gave me the "wow" factor Greer Hendricks first book did.

Bonus 1/2 star for a character named April - it's fun to read your name in a book! :)


Beautiful Day: A Novel
Beautiful Day: A Novel
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 9/15/2022


I can't help but hear that U2 song in my head when I read this title... Anyway, the drama in this book was over the top, but I enjoyed all the character personalities and back stories.

The audiobook narrator was perfect at expressing the emotion and changing up character dialect and voice - I will definitely check out more books read by Thérèse Plummer!


Booth
Booth
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/15/2022
Helpful Score: 2


Interesting fiction novel on the family of John Wilkes Booth. I had no idea his family's celebrity status as famous actors and his dad Junius Booth was a modern day Brad Pitt (complete with cheating scandals!) or that his brother Edwin saved Abe Lincoln's son at a train station. So many interesting facts depicting how JWB life was shaped and the effects his actions had on his family as their reputation and legacy was ruined. At times, the book seemed to drag and at 400+ pages was a lengthy read.
I'd love to see this turned into a movie!


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (10th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
Review Date: 3/22/2023


The horrors of the Holocaust from the viewpoint of a Nazi's 9 year old son. As with all WWII novels, I wish it had a happier ending.


Breathe Your Last (Detective Josie Quinn, Bk 10)
Breathe Your Last (Detective Josie Quinn, Bk 10)
Author: Lisa Regan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 1/11/2022


Page Turning Twists & Suspense

Lisa Regan does it again with #10 of the Josie Quinn series. I read this book in a weekend - page turning suspense!


The Castaways
The Castaways
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 83
Review Date: 1/11/2022
Helpful Score: 1


I liked the narrator for this audiobook, but 13 hours is a long listen - this book could've been shortened with less descriptions of food / meals and trips (and there were a lot). There was also too many characters (4 couples / 8 people) which made it hard to keep them straight. As usual with Elin books, there are affairs and unnecessary drama, but I was interested to learn the fate of Greg and Tess.


The Children's Blizzard
The Children's Blizzard
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 1/10/2024


2.5 stars, it was okay. There were too many characters with unbelievable behaviors and the story jumped from so many POVs. Loosely based on an actual blizzard of 1888 which hit the plains and killed many school children. Thankful for modern weather reporting and conveniences we take for granted.
t/w: child death


The Collected Regrets of Clover
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Author: Mikki Brammer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 7/25/2023


A great debut novel about grief and life's last moments of regrets, advice and confessions. I thought the book was insightful, if not a bit slow with characters I had trouble connecting to. The last 40 pages made the whole book for me.


Counterfeit
Counterfeit
Author: Kirstin Chen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 10/17/2022


BOR-ing.


Dangerous (Outcasts, Bk 1)
Dangerous (Outcasts, Bk 1)
Author: Minerva Spencer
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 11/15/2021


Historical romance is my guilty pleasure and this series did not disappoint! Featuring a storyline with Sultans, Harems and Pirates; it was an exciting change of historical romance pace full of romance and adventure!


Darling Rose Gold
Darling Rose Gold
Author: Stephanie Wrobel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/17/2020


I read an arc of Darling Rose Gold and was disappointed. The book was depressing with unlikable characters. There were several side stories with no relevance to the storyline, I felt like I was all over the place. The ending was unsatisfactory.


Demon Copperhead
Demon Copperhead
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 3/22/2023
Helpful Score: 2


4.5 stars, wonderfully written yet a tad too long - by the end I just wanted to finish the story. A glimpse into poverty, foster care, and addiction, Demon Copperhead is a character I will not forget. I have never read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens or a Barbara Kingsolver novel, so I went into this just knowing it had great reviews and it did not disappoint.


Dial A for Aunties (Aunties, Bk 1)
Dial A for Aunties (Aunties, Bk 1)
Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 1/11/2022


The most outlandish book I've ever read; this book was NOT what I was expecting when I heard all the buzz about it. From a nonchalant murder to an over the top cover up of a corpse at a big wedding venue with all around unbelievable characters - if you don't mind unrealistic stories, then you might like this wacky book.


The Diary of Mattie Spenser
The Diary of Mattie Spenser
Author: Sandra Dallas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 180
Review Date: 10/17/2022


Adult version of the Little House on the Prairie series. Written in diary format, it was very heartbreaking what Mattie endured during her homesteading time in Colorado after marrying quickly and traveling west. A very quick read.

T/W: Child Death, Abuse, Murder


The Dinner List
The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/23/2019


After a slow build, the ending had me wiping tears from my eyes. Such a powerful story about those who we treasure in life and what their impact means to our past, present and future. Sabrina is out on her birthday dinner, the guest list includes 5 people of her choosing that invite - dead or alive (a question we should all ask ourselves). While we don't know the details of Sabrina's 5 people up front, it's a developing knowledge we obtain with the turn of each page. I really enjoyed the short chapters and the character development as it pertains to Sabrina's relationship with her 5 dinner guests.
This book provides such a deep insight, it will have you wondering who your "top 5" would be and most importantly, why?


Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 6/26/2023


A quick audiobook listen (5 hours) in Dolly's thick southern accent and infectiously happy personality on how she got inspiration to write her 3k+ songs (I did not know she wrote that many) and it seems that all of them are her "favorite" :)
This audiobook was more in an interview format, Dolly talks a bit too fast at times for my midwestern ears to understand and her music is a bit too twangy for me, but I just love her bubbly personality and good heart!


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