It’s time for a look at my April reading life!
It’s time for another wrap-up/haul post — and some fun stats!
What I read:
(each title link will direct you to my review for more thoughts!)
✨ review copy → 💞 buddy/group read → 🔁 re-read → 🎧 audiobook → 🍰 graphic novel/manga
😻 Devour Your TBR theme
- The Bone Cutters // Renee S. DeCamillis: ⭐ → Rough writing, awful characters, a boring plot, and the worst fat-shaming I’ve read in ages.
- Come Closer // Sara Gran: 💞 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → A new favorite in the psychological horror and possession subgenres!
- Dating Dr. Dil // Nisha Sharma: ✨💞 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐ → Not a new favorite, and I had some definite issues with some annoying elements, but it was cute.
- Comfort Me With Apples // Catherynne M. Valente: ✨💞😻 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐ → I’m gonna be honest, this was WEIRD and the writing was a little hard to follow at times, but I enjoyed it a lot. It definitely won’t be for everyone!
- And Then I Woke Up // Malcolm Devlin: ✨ + ⭐⭐⭐💫 → I LOVED the premise of this so much and enjoyed the social commentary (which was painfully relevant to modern events), but the writing lost me a few times with its repetition.
- Smaller Sister // Maggie Edkins Willis: ✨🍰 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → I want every library and every school to put this book on their shelves and get it into kids’ hands. It handled eating disorders SO well and was just a delight to read in general.
- The Saint of Witches // Avra Margariti: ✨ + ⭐⭐⭐ → Unfortunately, I didn’t love this as much as I’d hoped to, but I still recommend it to anyone who enjoys horror poetry and queer, feminist, witchy themes.
- Stinetinglers // R.L. Stine: ✨ + ⭐⭐⭐⭐ → R.L. Stine will forever be one of my biggest comfort authors, and this book reminded me of exactly why that is the case.
- Typhoid Mary // Charlie Dalton: ⭐⭐⭐💫 → Honestly nothing remarkable and I found it pretty predictable, but it was a fun, quick read with a super creepy kid!
- Kingdom of Needle and Bone // Mira Grant: 💞🔁 + ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ → I refuse to pick re-reads for my “favorite of the month” in my wrap-ups, but this was honestly the best thing I read all month and I loved it even more this time than when I originally read it as an ARC years ago. Terrifyingly relevant to today’s events.
And now, for some of my favorite recent hauls:
- Below // Laurel Hightower (purchase; adult horror)
- Sea of Ruin // Pam Godwin (purchase; adult romance)
- The Ones That Got Away // Stephen Graham Jones (purchase; adult horror collection)
- Book of Night // Holly Black (review copy; adult fantasy)
- Wolfsong // T.J. Klunes (purchase; adult fantasy/romance)
- The Hunger of the Gods // John Gwynne (purchase; adult fantasy)
- Anybody Home? // Michael J. Seidlinger (review copy; adult horror)
- The Book of Queer Saints // Mae Murray (purchase; adult horror anthology)
- Summer’s Edge // Dana Mele (eARC; YA thriller)
- The Lightning-Struck Heart // T.J. Klune (audiobook purchase; adult romance)
- Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology // Nico Bell & Sonora Taylor (eARC; adult horror anthology)
- The Gathering Dark: An Anthology of Folk Horror // Tori Bovalino (eARC; YA horror anthology)
And finally, a little life update:
TW: pet loss, grief
As many of you already know, April was a pretty rough month for our family. Early in, we noticed our cat Lotus wasn’t feeling well, so we took her to the vet and found out she was in end-stage kidney failure. We have no idea how long it had been going on or why it progressed so quickly, because she had seemed totally fine just a few days beforehand, but the vet thought, based on her age and history, that it may have been a congenital issue that she’d had from birth and it had just randomly, suddenly worsened. She had a “kidney crash” and we almost lost her, but with the help of my amazing mom (who was a veterinary tech for a long time), we pulled her through and were able to buy a couple more weeks with her. It was the most painful and exhausting two weeks of my life. I haven’t talked to anyone about it much, but we’re talking round-the-clock care, force feeding her liquid food every few hours, daily fluid therapy, meds several times a day, and spending nearly every waking moment holding her and trying as hard as I could to make each second count because I knew in my heart that we didn’t have much longer.
I believe we have multiple soulmates in our lives, and they don’t always come in the human form, and if that’s true, she was undoubtedly one of mine. It destroys me that we only got 6 short years with her, but those years were packed with so much love and I’m so damn grateful for the time we had with Lotus. She was the kindest, most patient, most loving cat you could ever meet in your life: even when she was angry with me for the meds and the treatments and all, she still wanted to be in my arms at all times. Sadly, the gradual decline in her health and comfort levels meant that on April 20th, we had to make the decision to say goodbye, and it hurt like hell.
But, I do have a happier note I can end this sad update on:
***END OF TW SECTION***
I’ve posted a lot of pictures, so if you follow me anywhere else you’ve probably seen them, but a few days after losing Lotus, we were asked by a friend of my mom’s to rescue a couple of 3-week-old kittens (4 weeks old now). We were planning on waiting a while before adopting a new kitten (much less two), but clearly the universe knew something I didn’t, because this timing was better than I thought it would have been and they have been so incredibly helpful in our family’s healing. Not only do they keep me very busy(!), they’re so sweet and affectionate and funny, and they’ve done wonders for my mental health.
There’s never going to be a replacement for Lotus, but I believe this is what she would have wanted. The kittens’ names are Ceylon and Pekoe, and they are the silliest, funniest, cutest little things. I’ll wrap this post up with some photos of them (and our memorial photo we had printed on Lotus’ memory box), and with wishes that May will bring us some peace, rest, and healing. ♥
^ Pekoe is on the left, and Ceylon is on the right
How was your month? What was your favorite book you read or hauled, or what was something nice that happened in your life?
— destiny ♥