• Booktastically Amazing

April Bookish Wrap-Up!

Better late than never, right?

*muttering* Seriously, it isn't that difficult to write a post on time, Booksy.

My gosh-

Ciao! Tis I, late Booksy.org. The fact that I literally procrastinated this for about an inch of my life is actually not that concerning.


Considering I always do it.

Badum tssssss.

I- moving on. This month moved at the pace of a high squirrel addicted to caffeine, in other words, I felt as if the world ended, began, and ended again in the span of 30 days. Seriously, it's ALREADY MAY Y'ALL. MAY a in the fifth month of the year. As in, the month before summer. As in one of the many indicators that I should most likely do something with my life apart from fangirling in secret and eating pretzels. Bookish wise, this month was pretty decent, I may say. Lots of rants (as per usual), lots of sleepless nights (I never fail to do so), and lots of mini midlife crises, because the days are going by way too fast and things are amassing crazy level esque.


Frankly, time is being rude. Give me time to read more and do chores, without forgetting schoolwork, actual work, and farm stuff. ~wonderful~

All that mentioned, I feel extra thankful for having so many beautiful friends on this platform and on Goodreads that understand the struggles of living in a life that's... not fictional. Ugh.


*slides on a banana peel* Commencing mission.


{DISCLAIMER: Half of the links are for reviews posted on Goodreads only because at the moment I read it, well, I didn't employ much brain mush into writing a detailed review. They're mostly two-sentence rants}


1. You've Reached Sam by Dustin Thao


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


If I Stay meets Your Name in this heartfelt novel about love, loss, and what it means to say goodbye.


Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.


Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.


And Sam picks up the phone.


In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.


~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


~👑Special thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!👑~


This didn't break me.

And I'm sad about that.


Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐ 4.0


Being the smart, intelligent, soulless being that I am... you would THINK that I have a semblance of something in my head. You know what I have? ~static~ Ergo, why I went into this book LOOKING for a heart-rending, shattering, soul spilling story which would wake me up at dawn in reminiscence of its pain and make me bawl my eyes out.


#superhealthycopingmechanism


When I read a 'sad' story, I expect to be a sobbing mess by the end of it. Which I was. A mess that is. Sobbing, well, depends on how you take the term. There were slight traces of watery liquid which may be venom or tears (we'll never know) in my eyesperes, so of course, my nose was looking like Rudolph the Reindeer. Shout out to that guy, the first thing to make me cry. Thank you.


Read More



2. Realm of Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.


In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.


Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.


To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.


~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


(I'm still high on sleep deprivation, but I'm pushing through)

The fact that I still loved this is a testament of either me being extremely biased or the book actually being great. Either way, I enjoyed it and books these days have a trend of not even letting me do that. #Pettysoulssavemoles


Rating: 😊😊😊😊 4.2


This is called the 'I've re-read this too many times' smile.

*pizzaz*The more you know.


Me: Should I attempt at a biased free review?

Brain: Yes, you totally should. It's the smartest thing.

Me: Okay, I'll do a biased review.


This series is my personal adoration.


Read More



3. The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


The Amazon Charts bestselling author of Last Day delivers a haunting thriller about how far one wife is willing to go to expose the truth—and the lengths someone will go to stop her.


After artist Claire Beaudry Chase is attacked and left for dead in her home on the Connecticut coast, she doesn’t know who she can trust. But her well-connected husband, Griffin—who is running for governor—is her prime suspect.


Just before the attack, Claire was preparing for an exhibit of her shadow boxes, one of which clearly accuses Griffin of a violent crime committed twenty-five years ago. If the public were to find out who her husband is, his political career would be over. Claire’s certain her husband and his powerful supporters would kill her to stop the truth from getting out.


When one of Claire’s acquaintances is murdered, the authorities suspect the homicide is linked to the attack on Claire. As the dual investigations unfold, Claire must decide how much she’s willing to lose to take down her husband and the corrupt group of elites who will do anything to protect Griffin’s interests and their own.


~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


*slow clapping* And once again, great way to start the month.


On to a book slump, I guess.


Rating: 😶😶 2.4


You know those books that stay with you, and you obsess over and basically, would sell your life to have all the editions of that book?


Well, this wasn't that type of book.


This was the type of book which I had low expectations going into and got out with even lower expectations. (how the heck is that even possible-)


In other words, this is going to be a rant.

I hated this so much.


Read More



4. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Moxie girls fight back!


Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.


Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.



~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


(Please bear in mind that Booksy was very irate, annoyed, vexed, infuriated, galled... um... add other synonyms of 'angry' here, porfavor. So we attribute all crazy-sounding spiels to that self. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy this very poor, and very not professional production. Aka, ranting)

Rating: 💀💀💀💀 4.1

Feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

You can still be a feminist and think that guys are decent.

You can still be a feminist and be soft-spoken

You can still be a feminist and be shy

You can still be a feminist and love pink

You can still be a feminist and have soft hair

You can still be a feminist and scream all that your heart desires

You can still be a feminist and listen to music made by guys

You can still be a feminist!

That's what I wanted to tell all the characters in this book.


Read More



5. Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


A young woman survives the Jewish revolt against Rome in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family and forbidden love in 1st-century Jerusalem.


Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family responsibilities and her own desires.


Meanwhile, the growing turmoil threatens to tear apart not only her beloved city, Jerusalem, but also her own family. As the streets turn into a bloody battleground between rebels and Romans, Esther's journey becomes one of survival. She remains fiercely devoted to her family, and braves famine, siege, and slavery to protect those she loves.


This thrilling and impassioned saga, based on real characters and meticulous research, seamlessly blends the fascinating story of the Jewish people with a timeless protagonist determined to take charge of her own life against all odds.


~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


*sees 4.4 average rating. Oh, crap-*

Rating:🤨🤨🤨🤨 3.7


This could've been 300 pages less, and I would've enjoyed it at least a bit more.

And wasted less of my time.


Alas, it was 400 pages of asking myself, 'where's the plot?'. 'What is the point of this?' 'Where are the characters?' And then I realized, oh, there were actual characters in this book, I just didn't see any of them because the majority blended into an unsatisfactory glob of uselessness. Of course, adding to the fact that all of them were really mediocre and the ones that had a sliver (however minimal) of personality, got killed within the first 100 pages (which should've been the duration of the book itself, teehee), leaving me unable to rate the story something higher than 3.7 stars.

Read More



6. Of Sea and Song by Chanda Hahn


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


I killed a man to protect my sisters, and now I am a fugitive. With bounty hunters hot on my trail— willing to take me dead or alive— I’m forced to disguise myself as a cabin boy on the Bella Donna. I should have been safe at sea, but I cannot escape the dangerous feelings evoked by the ship's handsome captain.


For I am Merisol, one of the adoptive daughters of Lady Eville, and to escape my past and save my friends I will make an uncertain bargain with a shady sea witch. The deal sounds too good to be true. What could possibly go wrong?






~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


“𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘢 𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘢.” 𝘐 𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘏𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥. “𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳.”

Um... okay. Well first, you gain some brain cells. Second, you steal some common sense, and third you recollect your missing backbone. Voila! You're a smart person. Oh wait, you wanted something else-

Rating:🤔🤔🤔3.4


𝘼 𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙖 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙨𝙤 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙡, 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙞𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙜𝙖𝙣.

𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝟏- 𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐎𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐧

The director clapped his hands, fumbling with his clipboard at the same time. First day of shooting and my back was already dripping with sweat, harsh lights beat down on the rest of the actors, highlighting their features with a beam of shine. Ugh, I sighed, I was already tired.


Read More



7. Wallflower by Cookie O'Gorman


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Wallflower (wohl-flou-erh): Identifier for someone who is shy and/or awkward. For reference, see Viola Kent.


Seventeen-year-old Viola Kent likes being invisible. Well, not literally, but she's content being a loner, reading her books, and hanging out with the animals at the shelter. She just wants to keep her head down and get through her senior year at Durham High.


Driving Dare Frost to school every day wasn't part of the plan.


And when Viola finds out her dad recruited Dare, his number one player, to be her friend?


Her inner Slytherin demands revenge.


The solution: Get Dare to be her fake boyfriend.


Convincing the star athlete to pretend is easier than she'd thought it would be. The hard part is protecting her heart. With every word, touch, and kiss, Viola's feelings become more real.


The problem: Viola knows she's falling for Dare—but he doesn't believe in love.


This book features two sets of soulmates, one happy pooch named Hermione, so many sizzling kisses and answers the question:


Can a dork and a jock fake their way to true love?


~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~


The answer is yes.

And I’m still going to enjoy every minute of it.

Rating: 🍩🍩🍩🍩4.2


I'm one of those people who physically squeal, swoon and screech when something good happens in a book. (or bad. Depending on how good the bad scene is)

It's a miracle the authorities weren't notified when I yelled: HOLY CRAP, GIRL GET HIM. GET.HIM. OR I SWEAR I WILL.

I think my neighbors are used to it.

I'm so sorry.


Read More



8. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


“Take her out back and finish her off.”


She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.


And that she must run.


In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.









~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~

Hm...


She probably should've died.

Rating: 🙄🙄🙄 3.3

This, unfortunately, didn't hold my love for long.

Since this is a rather short book, I'll keep this... thing, as close to a minimum word limit as possible. *snorts air intensely*


To be honest, I only read this in hope of cleansing myself from romance. Like, straight-up chugging acid. I was sick and tired of lovey-dovey, mushy, musty, and dusty lack of brain cells also known as, falling in love in about 6 paragraphs of knowing each other. So I really went in not really searching for anything wonderful nor overly detailed, in short, I wanted to be entertained.


Which I did. Just not enough for me to give a four-star rating.


Read More



9. Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.


When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.


In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise—all in the midst of an impending hurricane.


Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic—and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.

~𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰~



Personal thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a review! All opinions are my own and if I offend anyone, please let me know, so I can fix it as soon as possible!


I stared at the wall in shock for fifteen minutes after reading this.

I want to cry.

I loved this book. And it terrifies me.


Rating: 😭😭😭😭😭 4.5


Let me just clear up the statement up above. I didn't cry, I outright quietly sobbed. And it was just this bittersweet pain because every story, anecdote, and metaphor in this book came together in one of the most beautiful ways I have ever read about.