April Book Reviews

I promised earlier in the year that I would blog monthly about what I’ve been reading and share my book reviews. I’ve left this one a bit late but April wasn’t a busy reading month for me. We spent two weeks overseas and normally I read a lot when I travel, but not this time! I still read two crackers and one that was a bit rubbish. Honesty is my policy!

april reading

Grave Mercy by Robyn LeFevers

I adored this book when I first read it and I decided now that book three of the series has been released I’d go back and begin again. The His Fair Assassin series covers a variety of genres – YA, historical, fantasy, paranormal. Grave Mercy is the story of Ismae, a young woman raised by an abusive father in rural Brittany in the 18th century, who flees to the Convent of St Mortain and is trained as an assassin by the sisters who reside there. Her work takes her into the court of Brittany and the political manoeuvring and intrigue surrounding the ruling family.

If you love a book about a tough heroine who also has a softer side, or you enjoy a novel with a historical back drop, this one is for you. Don’t miss the sequels – Dark Triumph (equally excellent) and Mortal Heart (I cannot wait to read it.)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

This was a super quick read that I enjoyed a lot. I confess I don’t know a lot about Mindy Kaling’s comedy work and I’ve never seen the US version of The Office but I’d heard good things and I read this in a day over the Easter weekend. I find memoirs hard to describe as generally you choose them based on whether that person interests you.  Mindy is funny (as you’d expect) but not overly hilarious but she isn’t writing comedy material, it’s about her life. I found myself nodding along with many of her stories and anecdotes and I liked that she keeps things fairly light. The end section of the book is a bit tacked on and out of place, but overall a good beach read and a definite must if you are a fan. I’ve since watched the first series of The Mindy Project (very fun viewing) and I’m looking forward to reading her follow up book Why Not Me.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

I’d just finished Mindy Kaling’s book and I thought another memoir from a young Hollywood woman wouldn’t be much of a departure. Well, I was wrong.

It’s not that I didn’t like it. I did. In parts. I love Lena Dunham’s show Girls and I love how she has been so successful at such a young age. But…I just didn’t relate to her at all. I don’t mind oversharing, I don’t mind gory detail. But everything was so affected. She was just so into herself.  I chatted to a friend of mine about it and she said “but Ros you are the wrong generation!” I’m not sure, I’m only six years older that Lena Dunham.

So would I recommend this book? Sure if you are interested. It’s a series of chapters about her childhood into her early 20s. I wished there was more about her trajectory from dead end retail job to successful screen writer with her own TV show on HBO but there was not much about that. Maybe you might connect with one of her stories, I’m sure many have. Just not me.

That’s it- just three books for April. Several more on my night stand though. I’m currently reading A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry for book club. I won’t get it finished in time for the meeting but I’ll finish it hopefully by the end of the week. Sewing is a main theme of the book which is great! I’ve also started The Girl on the Train but it hasn’t gripped me yet.

What are you reading?

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8 thoughts on “April Book Reviews

  1. Hm, interesting. Now I want to read Lena’s book to see if I fee the same way. Because I do love Girls.
    I just read 1Q84. Murakami. Again. Weird as. Bit slow. But not bad. It’s about people slipping into a parallel universe to 1984.
    Then I powered through book 2&3 of the Maze Runner. Loved it. Not fabulous literature, but compelling read. 🙂
    I finally read the sequel to the Rosie project & was also a bit disappointed. Definitely not as good as the first part.
    Now I’m reading a thriller by Schätzling, who wrote ‘The Swarm.’ Did you ever read that one? Fascinating.
    Just bought Bossypants. Heard it’s really good. Maybe you need to add that to your ‘funny American women books’ streak that you started. 😉

    1. Loved The Maze Runner, I read it last year, so I’ll definitely have to check out the next ones. Did you see the film? I haven’t yet but have been meaning to. I agree about The Rosie Effect, I didn’t end up finishing it. I read Bossypants a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, Tina Fey is one of my faves. Next on my funny girl list is Yes Please by Amy Poelher and in a similar genre I’ve also recently started listening to Meshel Laurie’s podcast The Nitty Gritty Committee.

      I hope you read Lena’s book so we can compare notes! Thanks for those other suggestions 🙂

  2. Thanks for the reviews. I’m always on the lookout for a good book. I just read the girl on the train and it took me a while to get into it, especially as the main character is such a mess. But I ended up forcing myself to put it down at three am a few times, so it picks up

    1. Yes Hayley I think that is exactly why I’ve had trouble getting into The Girl on the Train – the main character is soooo depressing. I’ll keep persisting!

  3. Thanks for these – it’s always interesting to hear what other people think of books you’ve read, and to get recommedations!

    Haven’t read Grave Mercy, but will def. look it up now. I have read both of the memoir books and enjoyed both of them, especially Mindy’s. Lena’s I found interesting, but definately got the “all about me” vibe, which I guess is what I should expect from a memoir so I’m not sure why I didn’t enjoy it as much. Like you, I would have been more interested to read about her career then the early adulthood experiences that seemed to make up the book.

    Am interested to know when you think of Yes Please if/when you read it as I read it just recently, and found it kind of boring – just a series of random chapters that bounced all over the place in terms of chronological order. This would have been fine if I found the random topics interesting or relatable or even funny, but I didn’t. Mainly I just found it boring…

    Currently reading The Rosie Project and enjoying it, but not loving it as mush as I expected to – am finding it hard to get invested in the story, but a friend has told me she liked the second half better, so I’m hoping this changes.

    1. Hi Emma, interesting about Yes Please, I will have to reserve it from the library and see what I think! I agree about the Rosie Project, the second half is more interesting but then I really disliked the sequel and didn’t bother finishing it. Ros x

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