April Book Roundup.

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I know last month I said I had a good reading month, but compared to April, I really didn’t. During April I read nine books! Seriously, nine! I’m so amazed by the fact that I managed to get through that many books. It doesn’t happen very often.

That means this post might be a little long, but very insightful!

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Read:

Demonosity – Amanda Ashby. Easy. ★★★★☆

A book with a love triangle.

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Ashby’s books are always a good read, and this one was no exception. It was a fun adventure with a realistic protagonist who is put in an interesting situation. There are demons and magic and sword welding knights. Cassidy is a reluctant warrior against the demons who are trying to gain possession of the ‘Black Rose’, and great and terrible power. She is approached by Thomas, a 14th century knight who projects his consciousness forward in time.

I really enjoyed how the paranormal and supernatural was portrayed in this story. Ashby has a talent for making everything seem fresh and original. It was a really easy book to read, and not particularly complex. But sometimes that’s just what you need.

 “[Cassidy] gritted her teeth and pressed the blade into her leather-gloved hand so that the point was facing her. Then she drew back her arm before throwing it forward. Once she released it, the metal blade spun as it flew through the air before landing harmlessly on the sodden leaves that covered the dark, damp dirt, nowhere near the apparition of Thomas.”

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum. Easy. ★★★☆☆

A banned book.

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I read a lot of ‘classic’ novels this month, and I quite enjoyed this one. It was short and sweet, and stood up to the standard I had in my head. What I really enjoyed about it, is that there was character development and a goal for the protagonist. Dorothy wants to get home to Kansas; simple as that. She makes some pretty interesting friends along the way, and I really liked them because they’re diverse and quite fleshed out.

“I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart.”

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A Little Princess – Frances Hodges Burnett. Easy. ★★★★★

A book set somewhere you always wanted to visit.

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I absolutely loved this novel. I’ve been watching the movie based on it for years, and finally decided it was time to check the book out. I got this gorgeous hard cover ‘Puffin in Bloom‘ copy at the beginning of the year and have been wanting to read it ever since.

Sara Crewe is a wonderful young female lead. She’s smart, kind, and has an incredible imagination. She weaves beautiful stories for the other girls at the boarding school, particularly about being a princess. Even when tragedy destroys her comfortable life, she takes it in stride and makes the best out of her new circumstances.

“’Whatever comes,’ she said, ‘cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.’”

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll. Easy. ★★★☆☆

A book you picked solely because of the cover.

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Our first bookclub book(s)! (Our review can be found here) I didn’t enjoy these all that much, which is disappointing. The first book, being entirely a dream, didn’t really go anywhere. As I mentioned above, I like character development and characters having goals. Neither of those things happened in either book. But I also understand that’s not the point. They’re really quirky adventures, which I will probably read to any kids I have in the future.

I honestly think I would have enjoyed the first book more if I’d read it as a kid, but I just didn’t like ‘Through the Looking Glass’. It didn’t have that little something the first book did. And Alice managed to be five times more annoying, getting into arguments with absolutely everyone she came across.

“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”

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Stardust – Neil Gaiman. Easy. ★★★★☆

A book that is more than 10 years old.

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I bought this book because of it’s movie also. And I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed the movie, if not more because it gave details and context where the movie didn’t. It was also slightly different to the movie. Mostly in little ways but particularly in how it ended. It was a little anticlimactic in the book, but I liked it.

Tristan was an interesting character, and I liked the development of his relationship with Yvaine. It was an incredible fantasy world, with so many  original concepts, such as fallen stars taking a human form. It was a great introduction to Neil Gaiman’s work, and I’m thinking of looking up more of his books.

“There is a proverbial saying chiefly concerned with warning against too closely calculating the numerical value of un-hatched chicks.”

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Wrong About the Guy – Claire LaZebnik. Easy. ★★★★★

A book published this year.

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The moment I got this in the mail, I started reading it. It’s a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, and it was spot on. Ellie is a fresh incarnation of Emma, in a believable situation which mirrors the Regency Emma. I don’t want to give too much away about how she adapts it, particularly seeing as it just came out, so I won’t say much more.

Just that I absolutely loved Ellie’s transformation. It was realistic and entirely believable.

“‘Don’t worry,’ Grandma said to her. ‘I already had the condom talk with her.’ ‘And I endured it without complaining,’ I said. ‘For that alone I should get one night without a curfew.’ Mum laughed some more and gave in.”

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Animal Farm – George Orwell. Medium. ★★★★☆

A book with non-human characters.

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I first read this book in high school, and really liked it. It’s such an interesting way to comment on politics, and it does such a brilliant job of satirising the Socialist/Communism philosophy of the Stalinist Soviet Union.

Basically, a farm full of animals revolts against their human ‘jailers’, and establish their own society. They are soon betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, who in turn begin to morph into humans. It’s all incredibly clever and definitely worth at least on read.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson. Easy. ★★★☆☆

A book more than 100 years old.

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I got this cheap from a local bookshop. It’s only about 90 pages long, and a pretty quick read. It was alright, but a little boring. Certainly an interesting concept, and particularly for the time it was written (1932). Though it does make me wonder why we’ve adapted the whole change into Mr Hyde deal, into Mr Hyde being a huge hulking monster. After all in the novel he’s a smaller younger figure, who’s perhaps a tad crazy.

“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm. ”

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Currently Reading:

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21 Proms – Multiple Authors.

This is 21 short stories about Proms. Not much else to say about the premise, except that I haven’t enjoyed all of the stories so far.

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Another month down.

– Gabi

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