books read and review Apr24

Books read and reviewed April 2024

A few days later than planned, another month has gone and it’s time for my books read and reviewed in April.

I felt like I didn’t read that much, but I’ve got through all my ‘chick lit’ collection on my Kindle (excluding the ones that haven’t been moved into there yet). And I’m now back onto my ‘crime’ folder for a change.

My plan is to work through all of those, before clearing them out and moving all the more recent purchases into the collection folders. I could be reading crime well into September at this rate because they definitely take longer to read than romance or chick lit books. It’s nice to be back reading some of my favour crime authors though.

Books read:

  • in April – 14
  • in 2024 to date – 59
books read and review Apr24

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Here’s a selection of the books I read last month.

The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanaghan

Juno’s heart is shattered when her long distance boyfriend is killed in an earthquake while on holiday seeing family. But there’s more news to take in, and no chance to get answers to her questions. Unable to cope at work, she gets offered the chance of a summer sabbatical staying at a friend’s family getaway in rural Spain.

Will Juno get over her heartbreak, will she start making friends again and open herself up to other opportunities while in Spain.

The unluckiness in love that Juno has had seems never-ending, you want her to get answers, and be able to move on with her life, as well as understanding more about how she fits into her artistic, dramatic Irish family.

The Spanish house feels like the perfect place that we’d all like to escape to, and you’re really hoping that Juno finds her answers by the end of the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Food of Love – Amanda Prowse

Heartbreaking novel about a foodie loving couple with 2 teenage girls. A close family, Freya swears she knows sensible studious Charlotte, and risk taking, loving Lexi inside and out. But when she gets called into school for concerns about Lexi fainting, and a concern over weight loss and running at lunchtimes, she can’t believe her daughter has any issues with food. After all she sees her eating doesn’t she?

So starts their challenge to get Lexi better from her anorexia, to get her eating as she’s getting frailer and iller. Freya’s and Lockie’s marriage rocks as they have different wants to fix their daughter, while Charlotte’s also impacted during her exams, as they focus everything on Lexi.

If you’re parent to a daughter, it’s probably a terrifying and important read, to understand some of what happens when anorexia is part of a teen’s life.

I was holding my breath throughout this book, wanting Lexi to get better. The telling of the story is interspersed with more recent time where the 3 of them are writing to Lexi, their stories and memories of her which makes it more poignant, and keeps you wondering.

A difficult but good read. It feels like it’s actually a real life story, rather than a novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

I really enjoyed The Hating Game, which explores the similarities and differences between love and hate. Between Lucy, nice girl, liked by everyone in the office. Except fellow executive assistance Joshua, who’s grumpy, disliked and scared by most people.

Lucy’s intrigued how someone can be so awful, and Joshua can’t understand why Lucy lets herself be walked over by colleagues just to be liked.

Their repartee and banter between them is fun to see, while their 2 bosses pit them against each other for a huge promotion. Both want to win, but what else will they win…discovering more about each other, in what’s really obvious to most of those around them.

This is a fun book, I found it funny, and I know I’d have been nosy just like Lucy trying to find out what makes Joshua tick, and trying to make him lighten up. Will they manage to make and keep a truce, or will the promotion cause even more troubles.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
books on window ledge florencia-viadana-unsplash
Photo: Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

The Return – Nicholas Sparks

I think I was expecting more from this book. It’s very soft and gently written, with lots of emotion, love and caring throughout the stories of the characters. But I was waiting for the big romantic gesture at the end, and it was a bit of a gentle let down. Still a good story with nice characters, and discovery, but less emotional than I expected for a Nicholas Sparks book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sunrise over Sapphire Bay – Holly Martin

I have a feeling I’ve read one of the later books in this series. But this book is about Aria Phillips trying to keep her family hotel together and running after her dad dies. Her sisters return to help out, as does the gorgeous Noah a regular hotel guest, who disappeared from her after promising her a relationship.

This is a story of love, family, community, kindness, village/island life and their struggles.

It’s a sweet story, and obviously there is a happy ending.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Road to Zoe – Nick Alexander

I’m in mixed minds over how I felt about this book. The story is told from 2 sides, mum Mandy who’s trying to keep her teenage kids safe and loved after their dad leaves them for another woman and family. It tells the story from when everything went wrong with Zoe, their relationships, and how Mandy felt she failed at everything. The other side is from brother Jude more up to date, trying to find his sister, and push his panic attacks over relationships away.

There’s trigger warnings for mental health, anorexia and various other traumatic experiences.

I really felt for Jude and his mum through the book. They really suffered, and it’s quite awful to think that they suffered for one reason only ultimately which we discover as the story moves on.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Miracle on Christmas Street – Annie O’Neil

Heartwarming story of community, friendship, belonging, and throwing off guilt over things that aren’t actually your fault.

Jess moves to Christmas Street wanting to stay in her own little bubble but finds herself being drawn into her neighbours excitement about Christmas, with the street’s own advent calendar of activities from each house.

But Jess wants to bring miserable Mr Winters out of his house, and is determined to fix his relationship with his grandson who wants to meet him, and to get him to be part of the Christmas street celebrations.

At the same time, could there be love on the cards and family reunions for herself and her new Australian friend who’s drawn her out of herself.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What have you been reading or have reviewed in April?

Check out my other months of reading posts.

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