March & April Wrap-Up Post

Better late than never should probably become my catchphrase with this blog my friends, because not only am I late in putting up last month’s reading wrap-up, I also realized I never did one for March! So buckle up to check out the 36 (yikes) books I finished in March and April:


Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary: After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies–and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

Thoughts: I expected to love this one, but it was just okay. Part of the lovely thing about romances is their predictablity element – you always (for the most part) know what you’re going to get when you read one- but this was almost too predictable. I love rom coms and while that aspect was cute at times, it was overbearing and unbelievable at times. Overall this was a fun diversio, but it wasn’t my favorite romantic comedy I’ve read so far this year.

Readalikes: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, & Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey


Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Summary: It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

Thoughts: I had a lot of expectations going into this one, but they just weren’t met. While the characters and setting are incredibly interesting, the plot didn’t really hold up for me and I feel the author tried to do too much to the point that things weren’t fully explored or developed. The audiobook reader was good, but overall this was a meh for me.

Readalikes: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh, What I Saw & How I Lied by Judy Blundell, & Ruined by Paula Morris


One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary: Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now. This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark. Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare. But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

Thoughts: After loving One of Us is Lying so much, this one was a major disappointment. It was difficult to get into, I didn’t relate or bond with any of the characters, and I found the twist and the ending rather…meh. It was a letdown for sure, but I’m hoping Karen M. McManus’ next title has the One of Us is Lying magic.

Readalikes: The Killing Game by Lucy Christopher, All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick, & Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson


Snapdragon by Kat Leyh

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: Snap’s town had a witch. At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online–after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it’s kind of cool, too.

They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic–and a connection with Snap’s family’s past.

Thoughts: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kat Leyh is my ace superhero. When I saw she had come out with her first solo graphic novel, I had to have it…and boy it DELIVERED. Snapdragon is the sassy, full-of-life heroine I love to see, and the story was both quirky and beautiful. Truly I wish I could read this one for the first time again.

Readalikes: The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag, Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen, & Grace Ellis, & Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu


Test, Vol. 1 by Christohper Sebela & Jen Hickman

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Summary: Aleph Null is a lot of things: An orphan, a human guinea pig undergoing medical tests for cash, a bodyhacker, a hardcore future junkie, and a corporate asset. But now, Aleph is on the run from their old life, in search of a mythical, Midwestern town named Laurelwood-where they’re test-marketing the future with tech that can’t possibly exist yet, and won’t for decades.

From Eisner-nominated Chris Sebela (Crowded, High Crimes) and Jen Hickman (Moth & Whisper) comes the story of a town out of time, full of mysteries, and populated by guinea pigs in need of liberation by the misfit least likely to be their savior.

Thoughts: To be honest, I’m writing this over a month after I read this and I still have no clue what I read. Not only was the story relative nonsense, but I didn’t love the characterizations and artwork…it was like pulling teeth to read. I love Christopher Sebela so I’ll continue reading his stuff, but this one was definitley a miss for me.

Readalikes: Family Tree, Vol. 1: Sapling by Jeff Lemire & Phil Hester, Queen of Bad Dreams, Vol. 1 by Danny Lore & Jordi Pérez, Welcome Back, Vol. 1 by Christopher Sebela & Jonathan Brandon Sawyer


British Ice by Owen D. Pomery

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary: Working for the British High Commission, Harrison Fleet is posted to a remote arctic island which is still, inexplicably, under British rule. As he struggles to understand why, and what interests he is protecting, Harrison learns just how much of the land and its community lies in the shadow cast by the outpost’s founder.

Caught between hostile locals, the British Government, and an unforgiving physical environment, he begins dragging dark secrets into the light, unaware of the tragic repercussions they will cause. And help is very, very far away.

Part noir, part historical mystery, British Ice explores the consequences of colonialism and the legacy of empire.

Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised to like this one. I hadn’t heard much about it before picking it up, and while the story is certainly stilted and strange, I am a sucker for political subtext and the consequences of imperialism (for the “conquerers”). Overall, was it a life-changing read? No, but it is one I will be recommending- it has a little bit for everyone.

Readalikes: Bury the Lede by Gaby Dunn & Claire Roe, The Eternaut by H.G. Oesterheld & Francisco Solano Lopez, & Ronin Island by Greg Pak & Giannis Milonogiannis


The Avant-Guards, Vol. 2 by Carly Usdin & Noah Hayes

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: The Avant-Guards have been on a roll, but when they hit the end of their winning-streak, will these new friendships survive? As The Avant-Guards struggle to move forward, they’ll soon learn just what it means to truly be a team – on the court and, most importantly, off the court. The critically-acclaimed team of writer Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer) deliver the next chapter of the series where every shot counts when you take them with your friends.

Thoughts: Just like Vol. 1, this was a darling edition. I have a soft spot for it, having played basketball myself, but these characters and this team are so dang ENDEARING. The art is colorful and awe-inspiring, and darn it if I didn’t smile the whole time I was reading it!

Readalikes: Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treimain, & Max Sarin, Slam by Pamela Ripon & Veronica Fish, Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu


Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Thoughts: Yes, I can’t believe it took me so long to read this one either. I was in desperate need of a new audiobook to listen to and this one was available so I finally took the plunge…and it was beautiful. The story is raw, relatable, and sometimes downright heartbreaking, and I just start getting all up in my feels just THINKING about it. Friends, if you haven’t, pick this one ASAP. It is truly a beautiful story of growing up, discovering who you are, and falling in love.

Readalikes: The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, & Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram


Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary: Charming, charismatic, and effortlessly popular, Conrad Stewart seems to have it all…but in reality, he’s scrambling to keep his life from tumbling out of control.

Brilliant, guarded, and endlessly driven, Alden Roth may as well be the poster boy for perfection…but even he can’t help but feel a little broken inside.

When these mortal enemies are stuck together on a cross-country road trip to the biggest fan convention of their lives, their infamous rivalry takes a backseat as an unexpected connection is forged. Yet each has a reason why they have to win the upcoming Odyssey gaming tournament and neither is willing to let emotion get in the way―even if it means giving up their one chance at something truly magical.

Thoughts: My supervisor picked up a physical arc of this book at a recent conference and said “gay enemies-to-lovers at a comic convention? This one screamed Quinn.”. And of course, she was right. I don’t play Dungeons & Dragons or Magic the Gathering, so a lot of these elements of the story were lost on me; the story also lagged at times and bordered on the unbelievable at times. Despite these issues, this is a lovely follow-up to Red, White & Royal Blue and anyone who has ever felt misunderstood, especially in love.

Readalikes: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, & Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde


Big Black: Stand at Attica by Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, & Améziane

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: FOUR DAYS IN 1971 CHANGED THE COURSE OF AMERICAN HISTORY. THIS IS THE TRUE STORY FROM THE MAN AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL.

In the summer of 1971, the New York’s Attica State Prison is a symbol of everything broken in America – abused prisoners, rampant racism and a blind eye turned towards the injustices perpetrated on the powerless. But when the guards at Attica overreact to a minor incident, the prisoners decide they’ve had enough – and revolt against their jailers, taking them hostage and making demands for humane conditions. Frank “Big Black” Smith finds himself at the center of this uprising, struggling to protect hostages, prisoners and negotiators alike. But when the only avenue for justice seems to be negotiating with ambitious Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Big Black soon discovers there may be no hope in finding a peaceful resolution for the prisoners in Attica.

Thoughts: I’m not going to lie, this was a tough and graphic read. I picked it up after reading glowing reviews in library review journals and while it was rough to read at points, it was really illuminating on an event (and the ripples of that event) that I was previously ignorant of. Prison reform is still an issue today so if you would like to learn more about the issues surrounding it, pick up this title.

Readalikes: March by John Lewis, Nate Powell, & Andrew Aydin, Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, & Year of the Rabbit by Tian Veasna


Giant Days, Vol. 1-11 by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, & Max Sarin

Rating: 4.3/5 stars (average)

Summary: Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

Thoughts: People have been recommending this series to me for ages and it took a reading sprint to finally pick it up…and I absolutely devoured it. From page one, I fell deep in love and like with these characters, their shenanigans, the writing, and the art, and I’m sad to see it come to its end soon. Truly when people say read this series- listen.

Readalikes: Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, & The Avant-Guards by Carly Usdin & Noah Hayes


Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want . . . so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence—and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules . . . but being apart is impossible.

Thoughts: I have had this one on the TBR for awhile and at the urging of a friend, and the availabilty of the book for purchase at Loves Sweet Arrow, I finally read it. It was steamy and slow burn, and overall I liked it. I feel the story definitely dragged in some areas, but the characters more than made up for this; I’m excited to see where this series goes.

Readalikes: A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert, Fumbled by Alexa Martin, & The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa


Emma by Jane Austen

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: Emma is young, rich and independent. She has decided not to get married and instead spends her time organizing her acquaintances’ love affairs. Her plans for the matrimonial success of her new friend Harriet, however, lead her into complications that ultimately test her own detachment from the world of romance.

Thoughts: I was disappointed by this one in all honesty. Previously to reading it, I had seen pretty much every film or show adaptation of this story and the sweeping romance was always always presnt in them. However, I really wouldn’t label the book as a romance or the romance between Emma and Knightley as strong; indeed, an author on Twitter recently labeled Emma as an ace/aro spec character and nothing could be more accurate! Nonetheless, I love coming-of-age stories and that is the label most appropriately given to this one.

Readalikes: Persuasion by Jane Austen, Emma by Alexander McCall-Smith, & The Home & the World by Rabindranath Tagore


Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

Thoughts: After reading Be Prepared, I thought this would be a walk in the park read…boy, was I wrong! This was a bleak and dark tale, but I loved it nonetheless. As always, Vera’s art delivers and this story is perfect for those looking for a spooky cautionary tale.

Readalikes: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks, & The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers


The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: Working as a wench―i.e. waitress―at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Thoughts: I needed a fun distraction read, and this one delivered. Those left wanting after finishing Well Met will love this feminist knight’s tale, and those just in need of some #SquadGoals moments won’t be disappointed either. The romance was developed to my satisfaction and there were some character and story development issues, but overall this is a really fun pick, especially in times like these!

Readalikes: He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander, Well Met by Jen DeLuca, & By the Book by Amanda Sellet


The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary: A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…

Thoughts: After seeing this all over bookstagram, I had to read it; I mean I think it’s an unspoken rule that if it’s enemies-to-lovers, I am contractually obligated to read it. I enjoyed the chemistry between these two characters, and I loved seeing the progression of their friendship and intimacy with each other. There were a few elements that felt over-the-top or underexplored but overall, this was a treat.

Readalikes: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory, The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai, & Faker by Sarah Smith


Giant Days, Vol. 12 by John Allison & Max Sarin

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: It’s never a quiet day at the University of Sheffield as best friends Esther, Susan and Daisy try do regular things like solving comic book shop capers, attending McGraw’s brother’s wedding and Daisy learning to drive OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL DOOMED. Meanwhile, Ed has to have a hard conversation with his girlfriend about her behavior when she drinks and what it means for their future…if they have one.

Thoughts: I’m getting sad thinking about this series ending, but that didn’t stop me from reading the newest available TPB. Spending time with these characters is a dang treat- seriously see above for my glowing review of Vols. 1-11.

Readalikes: Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, & The Avant-Guards by Carly Usdin & Noah Hayes


Heavy Vinyl, Vol. 2: Y2k-O! by Carly Usdin & Nina Vakueva

Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary: SAVE THE INTERNET, SAVE THE WORLD (OF MUSIC)!

It’s 1999 and Chris is living her dream: working at Vinyl Destination by day and fighting for (musical) justice by night (okay, maybe during the day too) in the world’s coolest teen girl vigilante fight club. But when the girls of Vinyl Destination enter a Battle of The Bands – to investigate and, of course, win – they learn that the shadowy corporate masters of the music industry plan to destroy the fledging world of digital music and blame it on Y2K. Now it’s time for Chris and the gang to dial up 56k (or more, pretty please) of justice so they can save the day once again!

Thoughts: This one was kind of a disappointment, sadly. I loved the first book and had high hopes, but for me the story never meshed. It felt really disjointed and confusing, and was a let down; nonetheless I love these characters and I love Carly Usdin, so if another comes out you can bet I’ll check it out!

Readalikes: The Backstagers by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh, Giant Days by John Allison & Lissa Treiman, Misfit City by Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith, Kurt Lustgarten, & Naomi Franquiz


Something is Killing the Children, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV & Werther Dell’Edera

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: IT’S THE MONSTERS WHO SHOULD BE AFRAID.

When the children of Archer’s Peak—a sleepy town in the heart of America—begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see. 

Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it must be done.

Thoughts: Since loving James Tynion IV’s previous work and meeting him at C2E2, I have been trying to get the TPB (trade paperback) copy of the first few volumes of this anticipated series…thanks for Netgalley and BOOM! Studios for making this happen! This story mashed up many of my favorite things: horror, strong female characters, conspiricies, and beautiful art. Seriously, I cannot wait to read more of this series- it’s an excellent adventure for those who love Stranger Things or just want to lose themselves in a beautiful and haunting graphic novel series.

Readalikes: Once & Future by Kieron Gillen & Dan Mora, Outcast by Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta, & Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, & Dave Stewart


Spinning by Tillie Walden

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark.

Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again.

She was good. She won. And she hated it.

For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. It was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But over time, as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the figure skating team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. It all led to one question: What was the point? The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she’d outgrown her passion–and she finally needed to find her own voice.

Thoughts: Since loving On a Sunbeam so much last year, I’ve been making my way through Tillie Walden’s books. This one differs from the others in that it is an autobiographical look at her teenage years, and it was so dang relatable. As someone who struggled with her sexuality (or lack thereof) and played a competitive sport for many years, I could relate so hard to TIllie’s struggles. The monochromatic color palette allowed the story to take center stage, and this was a beautiful haunting ride.

Readalikes: Tomboy by Liz Prince, This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki, & Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash


Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary: Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it’s too late.

Thoughts: After moderating the Ace/Aro-Spec Rep in YA Lit panel (which you can view here), I had had HAD to read the authors’ works! First up was Linsey’s most recent novel and while I’m not a regular fantasy reader, this one gripped me! Not only did Linsey portray asexuality in a beautiful and authentic way, but the characters were so richly described and grown throughout the story. Truly this was a marvel, and I would die for both Annette and Emilie, I assure you.

Readalikes: Diamond City by Francesca Flores, We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, & The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski


Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up in the 1990s as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.

So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends at home and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily. And worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to—her mother.

Then one day Robin’s mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.

Thoughts: This had been on my TBR before it was even released but due to the pandemic, I wasn’t able to get my hands on it before the library closed! Thankfully it became available on my library’s ebook service and I devoured it in one sitting! This is the kind of story we need to be reading right now- reading Robin’s experience immigrating to the United States and the struggles she faced helped to put some things into perspective for me, and anyone who has ever felt out of place for whatever reason will relate. It is a beautiful coming-of-age story enhanced by simple yet gorgeous illustrations, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.

Readalikes: I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib, Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, & American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang


Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir & Sarah Andersen

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary: The three meet here, at Cheshire Crossing–a boarding school where girls like them learn how to cope with their supernatural experiences and harness their magical world-crossing powers.

But the trio–now teenagers, who’ve had their fill of meddling authority figures–aren’t content to sit still in a classroom. Soon they’re dashing from one universe to the next, leaving havoc in their wake–and, inadvertently, bringing the Wicked Witch and Hook together in a deadly supervillain love match.

To stop them, the girls will have to draw on all of their powers . . . and marshal a team of unlikely allies from across the magical multiverse.

Thoughts: Okay so after I read this, I expected rave reviews on GR…and that wasn’t what I found. Many people seem upset with the portrayals with these much beloved lit characters and honestly…I don’t get it. This book had me laughing out loud, furiously flipping pages, and just was a really good distraction! I loved how Andy aged the characters from when we are familiar with them and let them out to play so to speak, and honestly I loved this one (and I’m not sorry about it). Also I love Sarah Andersen so having her do the art sealed it for me.

Readalikes: Little Witches by Leigh Dragoon, Gwenpool by Christopher Hastings, Danilo Beyruth, & Gurihiru, The Wendy Project by Melissa Osborne & Veronica Fish


We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Summary: At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

Thoughts: We Set the Dark on Fire had me hooked in the first few minutes of the audiobook. Tehlor Kay Mejia’s world-building, combined with her flawed characters and their development, this book was a delight. What kept me from giving it a full five stars was a bit of a lag in the middle and near the end of the story and a few minor character things, but with an ending like this? I can’t get my hands on the sequel fast enough.

Readalikes: Internment by Samira Ahmed, A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, & Crier’s War by NIna Varela


Heartthrob, Vol. 1: Never Going Back Again by Christopher Sebela & Robert Wilson IV

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: Callie was born with a bad heart. After it ruined her life, she went looking for a miracle: a heart transplant. Now she s got a brand new heart, but she s still stuck with a crappy job, crappy boyfriend, and crappy prospects.

Enter Mercer, a mystery man who gets Callie s heart beating like crazy. As her behavior changes and their flirting deepens, Mercer reveals he s her heart donor. Only Callie can see, speak to, and touch him – and he s in love with her, a love she feels just as strongly.

A master thief when he died, Mercer offers to teach Callie his criminal ways and how to turn them against her old job and kick off a nationwide crime spree. Hunted by the FBI and popping heart meds to stay alive, Callie will find out that nothing s as scary as two people in love with nothing to lose.

Thoughts: After not enjoying Test, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but I was delightfully surprised! Between the many Fleetwood Mac Rumours references (a guaranteed way to my heart) to the fast-paced adventures and character development, this one was a winner!

Readalikes: Bone Parish by Cullen Bunn, Jonas Scharf, & Alex Guimaraes, Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky, & Human Target by Peter Milligan, Javier Pulido, & Dave Stewart


I know you’re all dying to know my top picks for each month so here they are: Snapdragon by Kat Leyh for March and Something is Killing the Children, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV & Werther Dell’Edera!

I’m never going to forget to do a monthly wrap-up post after having to prepare this beast! What did you read and love in March and April? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Until next time…

One thought on “March & April Wrap-Up Post

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