What I Read in April & Semi-Charmed Summer Challenge

I’m a little behind on getting my book post up for April, but I’ve still been reading lots! I read some winners this month, as well as a few duds. It happens and seems to, unfortunately, be happening a lot more recently. But in between the duds were a few gems, so read on to find out what they were! :)

What I Read in April & Semi Charmed Summer Book Challenge / hellorigby seattle book blog

What I Read: April 2015

I Am Having So Much Fun Without You by Courtney Maum – ★★ – This was just not enjoyable. A man has an affair and is whining about the loss of her… until he suddenly realizes how much he misses his wife. This happens just in time for her to figure out his affair, and so he tries to win her back. I did not enjoy the narrator and could not get into this book.

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★★ – I absolutely loved this. It was terribly tragic, but overall a beautiful story of love and loss. Elsie and Ben are newlyweds, married only a short time, when Ben sets off to the drugstore to buy a box of cereal one fateful night and never returns home. Elsie feels something is terribly wrong and discovers a horrifying scene. I know it sounds like I’m spoiling this book, but I’m not as this all happens in the first chapter. It’s definitely worth the read.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – ★★★★ – At first I was a little bored by this one, not going to lie. But then the storyline began to unfold, and I started to get attached to the characters – an overworked mom, a bullied teenager, a genius, geeky math wiz. This family’s life is a car wreck, almost literally, as they try to get their family to the Math Olympiad in another country. I ended up enjoying this one.

Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace – ★★★★★ – Dave and I were listening to this for a few months in the car (yes months, it’s a fairly long audiobook!) This is probably my favorite non-fiction audiobook we’ve ever listened to. The narrator, Peter Altschuler, was amazing. He really was able to capture the feelings and emotions of the people he was describing. If you’re at all interested in Pixar or technology in general, I’d highly recommend this one.

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson – ★★★ – A Hollywood star lands in Little, CA where Carter lives. When Adam Jakes comes to town, his crew sets out to hire a “girlfriend” for him to improve his bad boy image. Carter’s family is in the need of the money, so she agrees. As you can imagine, they magically fall for each other and drama ensues. Fairly predictable, but still a fun YA read.

Pieces of Georgia by Jennifer Fisher Bryant – ★★★ – This was listed as a YA but I felt this was mislabeled. I think it was a little immature for a YA (as the protagonist is 13, but seems much younger.) I’d say it’s more in the middle-grade category, and with that in mind, I think it was a good book and a very quick and easy read.

The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg – ★★★ – This was my book club book for March, and I was bad and didn’t actually finish it in time. I don’t know, this book has an interesting concept, but I’m really not a big fan of historical fiction generally. This is set in 1920s Singapore, and 17-year-old Agnes is struggling to keep her family afloat while their palace is trying to be taken from them.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern – ★★★ – I have mixed feelings about this one. Overall, I thought this was a good book, but I did find the main character, Amy, a teen with Cerebral Palsy, a bit insufferable. Anyways, she meets Matthew, with struggles of his own with OCD, and he becomes her caretaker. When they begin to realize their similar battles, they begin to have feelings for each other. While I liked the relationship, the way she treats Matthew and some of her other teen peers (who just seem uncomfortable with her disability, not cruel as she sees it) in a less than stellar way. Maybe I read it wrong, but it left me feeling a little :/.

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins – ★★★★ – A book that merges three storylines? Yes please. Love these kinds of books, so long as they’re done well. I actually randomly picked this one at the library without knowing a thing about it, and I’m so glad I did. A teen who’s just discovered she’s pregnant, a boy who loves another boy who is HIV+, and a teen girl who’s perfectionist life is catching up with her take the stage in this book. Definitely recommend this to YA fans.

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom – ★★★ – This reminded me a bit of a combination of older movies… I was thinking a lot of Some Like it Hot while reading this. Overall, an interesting book with a lot of scandal and an interesting storyline for a book set in the 1940s, but I can’t say I was super captivated by it. (Think women’s and LGBTQ rights.)

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio – ★★★★ – For those that enjoyed The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (which if you haven’t read yet, I highly recommend!), you will love this. June’s great aunt has passed away and has left her the estate, which includes a beloved bookstore. All is lost with the store, debts and double mortgages, until she discovers communications between her late Aunt and Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon, a beloved children’s story. I couldn’t put this one down!

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu – ★★★ – In concept, I thought this book sounded super interesting. Life by Committee is a secret society where you tell a secret, and you receive an assignment. For your secret to be safe, you then must complete the assignment. Sounds like the makings of an interesting storyline, right? Overall, I was just disappointed as I didn’t find that to be true. Oh well.

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne – ★★★ – Honestly, this was not a book I enjoyed, however I did think the storyline was creative and the overall writing wasn’t bad. It’s basically a dystopian novel set in Mumbai about a woman who sets off on a journey, and another woman from a different time period who does the same. Not what I was expecting, but it may be of interest to those who like futuristic dystopian novels set in foreign lands.

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff – ★★ – I just couldn’t with this one. I didn’t make it too far before homophobic language was used (referring to something as “that’s so gay”) as well as just a deplorable writing style. It reminds me of how kids used to talk… in the late 90s and early 00s when they didn’t know any better. Considering this was written by a grown man fairly recently, I just had no interest in continuing to read it.

Semi Charmed Summer 2015 Book Challenge / hellorigby seattle book blog

Semi-Charmed Summer Reading Challenge

I’ve also decided to jump back into one of Megan’s challenges… which I’ve never completed. Oops. Fingers crossed this time I finish! ;)

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (440 pages)

10 points: 
Read a book you have never heard of before. (Just go to a shelf and pick a book based on the cover, the title, whatever you want!)
Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer (384 pages)

10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you’ve had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (400 pages)

10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso (256 pages)

15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.
The Martian by Andy Weir (384 pages)

15 points: 
Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)
Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes (392 pages)

15 points: Read a book with “light” or “dark” in the title. (Or “lightness” or “darkness.”)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (531 pages)

20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title.
Paris was the Place by Susan Conley (368 pages)

20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.
Dewey the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter (277 pages)

25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad Series) by Tana French (429 pages)

25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long. — Submitted by winter finisher Kristen from See You in a Porridge.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (525 pages)

30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it’s worth the most points!)
Model Misfit by Holly Smale (356 pages)

My Reading Challenge Updates

Total Books this month: 14
Total Books read this year: 52 / 150
Total Books Read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge: 5 / 12
Total Books Read for the e-Reader Challenge: 2 / 10 | (Points: 8)
Total Books Read for the Semi-Charmed Summer Challenge: 0 / 12
Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

What have you been reading lately? Anything you recommend or don’t recommend? I’d love to hear about it!

34 thoughts on “What I Read in April & Semi-Charmed Summer Challenge

  1. Lindsay

    Hi Jenn,

    As always when I see your book posts I think, “Damn! That’s impressive! 14 books?!” I must ask, what is your reading routine? How do you find the time to read so many books so quickly each month? I want to make more time for reading, so any tips would help.


    1. Jenn Post author

      Audiobooks are my (not-so) secret! I listen to a lot of them while I’m driving, cooking in the kitchen, doing laundry, and sometimes at work. I also read during my commute, if I’m not driving anyways! :)

    1. Jenn Post author

      Yeah, what is up with that?! Oh well, there were definitely some good ones this month too so I guess it works out. ;)

  2. Kristen

    well i just added several of these to my list :) i felt the same way about one plus one, i’m glad you liked it in the end though :)

    1. Jenn Post author

      Oh no, don’t be ashamed! I listen to most of these while I’m doing stuff around the house or during mindless tasks at work. ;)

  3. Alyssa

    Wow you read a LOT of books in April. Kudos. A coworker actually just mentioned Creativity Inc. to me the other day (more from the standpoint of fostering a community-centric workplace) and I added it to my list of books to read. Glad to hear you recommend it, too!

  4. Mai T.

    I’m reading Goodnight June by Ellen Hopkins and I highly recommended it, too. You’ve read so many books!

  5. Kristin K

    I feel enlightened by some of the books you’ve outlined! Better get started reading them!!!
    I am bookmarking this page, so I remember the books!!!

  6. Michelle S

    I like seeing what others are reading for inspiration. I’ll have to look into these books more.

    1. Jenn Post author

      It was really good, I’d definitely recommend it! Thanks for the luck… think I’ll be needing it to finish this time! ;)

  7. Julie

    I have a few more books to add to my “to read” list now! lol! I thought One Plus One took a little while to get started too, but once it did I really liked it.

  8. Chelsie

    I haven’t read any of these ones, but I’m putting Forever Interrupted, Catching a Fallen Star, The Moonlit Palace and Tilt on my to-read list!

    1. Jenn Post author

      Awesome! So glad you found several to add to your list! You’ll have to let me know what you thought of them too. :)


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