Wrap-up: April 2018

April was such a stressful month for me, I literally have no idea what happened during these 30 days. Since I had so much work to do for uni, I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted to but those books that I did manage to read, were absolutely wonderful, I think I gave five start to all of them. So these are the books I managed to read in April:

  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Winternight Trilogy #1)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • The Curse by Jina S. Bazaar (Roxanne Fosch #0.5)
  • Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazaar (Roxanne Fosch #1)
  • The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co. #2)

I also managed to reread some of my feel-good novels from the lovely Joss Stirling and these two were the ones I picked:

  • Angel Dares by Joss Stirling (Benedicts #5)
  • Summer Shadows by Joss Stirling (Benedicts #6)

Since I wrote full reviews on most of these books, I won’t get into too much details. Besides all of the books listed above I also read some short stories from Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories by Diana Wynne Jones. Now, I started reading this collection at the beginning of the year but something just seems off about it, I honestly have to struggle to finish a story. I adored the Crestomanci short stories but these are just weird and not my cup of tea. I only have one left, but it’s a pretty long novella, so it will take me some time to finish.

My lovely Benedict brothers brightened my too-dark days and I’m really glad I bought the entire series. I just keep going back to them and when there’s nothing left, I read fanfiction. I normally don’t read fanfiction but this series is the exception and I even wrote two stories myself, about my favourite Benedict brother, Victor. Honestly I have no idea why I’m so obsessed with this series. *sigh*

May is going to be even busier than April so I probably won’t have time to read as much. That’s okay, though, I will catch up during the summer. Now if I had to pick my favourite book of last month, I’d probably pick Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society though I also adored The Bear and the Nightingale. But Guernsey just broke my heart and I know this book will always have a bit of my soul.

Speaking of this absolutely stunning novel, my bookish friend Samanta and I (https://samyinbookworld.wordpress.com/) started our very own book club! And this was the first book we read together. We’ll write a joined post on it somewhere in the (hopefully near) future. And we already decided on what our next read will be. Now we just need to find the time to start reading it.

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Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time. (blurb taken from Goodreads)

 

This book is a classic example of a good plot turn wrong. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t DNF-ed it at the beginning, I was probably hoping it would improve (spoiler alert: it didn’t) but this was such a waste of my time, I grow frustratedΒ  when I think about it. The plot sounded really interesting to me because it reminded me of Outlander and I saw such good reviews on Goodreads, I thought to myself, this must be a wonderful book. IT WASN’T.

The characters were seriously under developed, even the main two characters, Julia and Mariana. You basically don’t know who these people you’re reading about really are. The book is classified as a romance novel but there is hardly any romance there. Sure, you have the story set in the past, but you basically jump from two people meeting for the first time directly to the you-are-my-true-love part. It didn’t make any sense.

The ending was totally unexpected and again, DID NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. If you choose to encorporate such a big plot twist, then you need to add some hints or at least don’t do it on the final page. Come on. What was the point of everything else then? I always prefered Iain to Geoff but the ending just made me angry.

The historic background is a joke. There is some, but very little, historical descriptions which this book desperately needed. The writing style was plain and simple, nothing special. It ruined the story (which was already bad) for me. The dialogue of Mariana and Richard was just weird. I get you’re trying to be historically accurate, but it came out just plain weird.

The story has so much inconsistencies and loose ends. It held potential but it disappointed me a lot. I was bored while reading it. I wanted to learn more about everything and all I got were vague remnants and impressions. Honestly, I don’t know why this book has such a high rating and why people love it. The story doesn’t work well at all, the characters are flat and boring, the plot line is all over the place and the language is that of a high school writer. This will be the first and the last Susanna Kearsley novel I ever read. Diana Gabaldon is a goddess compared to her.