Hello again, friends! ‘Tis I, your friendly neighborhood Lila, back at it again with the bookish business! How have ya been? My April’s been…well, it’s been A Month. I’ve been mostly wrapped up with schoolwork and now we’re barreling towards finals week (I had a test last Thursday and then my final exam is this Thursday aaaaaaaaaaa!) and I can’t believe the semester has flown by so quickly! But the good news is that despite my crazy school life, my reading life has been on fire! I’m beginning to get back in the swing of reading just in time for the summer release season, which is pretty exciting! I read some pretty awesome books in April and discovered plenty of new things to add to my favorites list—let’s take a look!
B L O G
U P D A T E S
Big news, guys! My Hardcover Haven Blogspot is up and running again and has been redesigned! Don’t worry, though—I’m not abandoning this WordPress! For now I’ll be crossposting all of my content, so if you find it easier to follow me over there, feel free to do so.
P O S T S
B O O K S
R E A D
scroll over cover to reveal my star rating
Level 4 // Cartomancy // Cards & Fortune Telling // The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman // ★★★★☆
I loved this book! I know it’s been going round that in terms of atmosphere this book is like a Raven Cycle/Riverdale/Stranger Things mashup and…I can’t say that’s incorrect—but I mean that in the best way possible! The Devouring Gray is an eerie, atmospheric, mysterious, and completely gripping must-read!
Level 4 // Dream Interpretation // A Book with Visions or Dreams // Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan // ★★☆☆☆
Unfortunately, this book was a big disappointment. With a drudging pace, a slow and super confusing plot, and cardboard characters, Wicked Saints fell short of my expectations. But maybe the hype machine just got to me and I expected too much? I can’t really say, but whatever it was, this book just wasn’t for me, sadly. Check out my review for more insight as to my thoughts on Wicked Saints.
Level 5 // FREE SPACE // The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid // ★★★★★
Ah! Now we’ve finally come to the new love of my life: bisexual, Cuban Hollywood ICON, Evelyn Hugo! Y’all. I fell hard for this book. This book was not just entertaining, it also meant so much to me and I truly, truly mean that. Words cannot even begin to describe how much I loved this book! Just read it.
The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci // DNF at 25%
I’m so sad this one didn’t work out 😭 I really wanted to like The Savior’s Champion, since I enjoy Jenna’s YouTube channel, but it just wasn’t meant to be I guess. My biggest problem was how slow the book was. There was just so much unnecessary info and dialogue and filler left in the book that caused it to drag. I wish I could say I loved this one, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be…
B O U G H T
A R C S
Thank you, oh publishing gods, for bestowing me with the above ARC!
T B R
Level 5 // Neville Longbottom // Brave Character // Allied by Amy Tintera
Allied is the final book in the Avenged trilogy, which I’ve loved so far, so I’m excited to get to this one! Em (the main character) is a pretty badass and brave character, so Allied fit this prompt pretty well.
Level 5 // Luna Lovegood // Diverse Read // We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
I’ve been a fan of Hafsah’s blog, Icey Books, for years so I was psyched to hear that the book she’d been working on would finally be published! I’m also excited as We Hunt The Flame is a Middle Eastern inspired high fantasy, which is one of my favorite diverse fantasy sub-categories! I have high hopes for this one!
Level 5 // Dobby Is Free! // Free Choice // The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Another debut Middle Eastern inspired high fantasy by a mutual Twitter follower of mine who I’ve known for a while! *cue excited squeals of joy* The Candle and the Flame also looks like an awesome story and I can’t wait to finally read Nafiza’s work!
Level 5 // 1st in a Series/Trilogy // Nocturna by Maya Motayne
Supposedly this debut is a Latinx inspired fantasy about a face-shifter? Which sounds awesome, tbh! Count me in for this adventure! Plus, as the start of a new series, it fulfills this challenge.
Level 5 // Hermione Granger // Empowering // Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
I read Furyborn (the first book in this kickass, feminist high fantasy series) last year and, while I had a few gripes, overall I really enjoyed it. The ending of Furyborn left me with so many burning questions and I can’t wait to see if they’re answered in Kingsbane.
Level 5 // Wizard Chess // A Book with a Contest // The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
I began reading this book at the end of April and so far, I’m really enjoying it! It does feature a competition as one of its plot points, so I can use it to check off this category when I finish!
M O V I E S / T V
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
Let me tell you, I am NOT a cartoon person (I haven’t watched one since I was a kid)…but this one somehow managed to worm its way into my heart. I didn’t watch the original She-Ra but I’m a fan of Noelle Stevenson’s work, so when I heard she would be writing and animating for the reboot, my interest was peaked. So finally I watched some of it and…I love it! It’s super cute and full of girl power and I feel like it’s just the kind of show I would’ve loved as a kid. Is it the most “complex” show? No. But something about its bright colors, lovable cast, and girl-power plot ensnared my inner child and what can I say? I’m in love.
M U S I C
S E L E C T E D S N I P P E T S
“Young & Rude” by Abir // Abir is this awesome Moroccan-American pop/R&B artist I recently discovered and I just can’t get enough of her music! In particular, I’m a big fan of her single “Young & Rude.” It’s fresh, wild, and darn catchy to boot! Definitely give it (and all her music) a listen!
“Paradise” by Khalid // Khalid released his new album, Free Spirit, and honestly the entire album is pure gold. So, naturally, I had a hard time finding a favorite off of the whole thing. I managed to settle on “Paradise,” which manages to sound all at once moody and breezy and laid back. Definitely a gem on a gem of an album!
“bad guy” by Billie Eilish // This is just an all around fun song! I love the sly bad girl edge that the song has—it reminds me of a femme fatale character. I’m loving Billie’s new vibe!
“Best Part” by Daniel Caesar ft. H.E.R. // I’m not usually a sucker for gentler love songs but this one got me. I’m totally in love with this sweet, soft duet! It sound like a peaceful morning spent with your loved ones and it gives me the most calm feeling ever.
L I F E S T Y L E / O T H E R
Alex And Ani Arrowhead Expandable Necklace
I got this cute expandable arrowhead necklace from Alex And Ani and I’m in love with it! It’s a little smaller than it looks online, but that’s fine with me since I’m not a fan of bulky jewelry anyway. It’s really beautiful and because it’s silver with a hint of gold, it goes well with everything! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten nice jewelry and I’d forgotten how nice it can be. Isn’t it funny how a nice piece of jewelry or clothing can make you feel a little more confident?
L I N K S
- As part four of their series, The Book Bratz collected responses from adult YA readers on why they still read YA
- Jeann and Aila at Happy Indulgence discussed The Tiger’s Daughter and books with hurtful representation
- Lauren at Bookmark Lit talked about balancing different forms of entertainment
- Elizabeth at Redgal Musings shared her favorite tropes and why she loves them
- The girls at Regal Critiques have moved to Wordy And Whimsical
- Krysti at YA & Wine talked about ARCs and Galleys
- Carrie from Cat on the Bookshelf guest posted on Perspectives of a Writer about graphic novels she loves
- Krysta at Pages Unbound Reviews asked where are all the international YA authors?
- Ilsa at A Whisper of Ink wondered if we really love the content we’re creating and consuming
- Pages Unbound Reviews spilled seven ways to revive old content and drive traffic to it
- Megan at Ginger Mom and Company gave us 85 (more) blog post ideas
- Kaeley at Spoilers May Apply mulled over romanticizing conflict
L I F E
Oh, Life…Life was very up and down through April. I had some good times, some bad times, some very “meh” times—overall it was a very mixed bag. I did manage to score a 96% on my math exam, which I’m super proud of! I also had some fun times just hanging out with friends. Also, a good childhood friend announced she’s getting married this June and I’m so happy for her and super excited, as I’ve never been to a wedding before! Looking ahead, the beginning of May will be full of tests, as that’s when finals fall for me. But after that I’m free for the summer! I already am looking into making some fun plans and I can’t wait to see what’s to come!
T E L L M E A L L A B O U T I T
- How was your April?
- Are you looking forward to May
- What did you read in April and what are your thoughts on what you read?
- What’s on your May TBR that you’re excited for?