Read it in…April

Holy Moses it’s May. Somehow even with a crazy month I knocked out eight books. EIGHT. BOOYAH! There was a nice mix of light reading and also some MAJOR page turners. Can you say page turner if you’re reading on a kindle?

In April I read:
Books I read... April | Perks of Being a JAP |

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J. B. West. I reviewed The Residence in my I Read it in… January post how I’m super interested in the inner workings of the White House. When I saw Upstairs at the White House pop up for super cheap you bet I one-click-bought it! J. B. West was Chief Usher of the White House from the Roosevelt administration (latter Roosevelts) through the beginning of the Nixon administration. I liked reading about his relationships with each First Lady and how each White House ran during those times – it was nicer hearing it from one point of view rather than the different perspectives that make up The Residence. Also amazing how each First Lady was so different from one another and how they tried to change how things were run at times but ultimately the staff did (most things) their way. Overall Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen – Holy shit you guys. This book was amazing. I described it to a friend as a cross between Room and Gone Girl. It’s about this little boy who was born and lives in a basement. He knows there is an outside world but he and his family never venture out. His family is also horribly disfigured from a fire and as the plot thickens you find out the reason behind each of these things. The twists and turns of this book were crazy! I was sucked in from the very first page and the rest of the book is like a roller coaster that continues to go up and down and loop around and turn you this way and that until it finally ends. Overall Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty. I had read and listened to two Liane Moriarty books previously (What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret) and enjoyed them both so I was eager to give The Last Anniversary a try. The book was really enjoyable but very predictable. I knew the plot twist chapters before it was revealed but I still really enjoyed the story and the characters. Overall Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Favorite Husband by Pam McCutcheon. I thought the premise of this book was really cute when I read the description, “After five years of being lost in the Amazon, archaeologist Chaz Vincent has finally come home to his wife, Kelly, only to learn that she has had him declared dead. When he attends his own funeral, Chaz finds out that Kelly married another man just that morning. Now she has to choose between them. Who will be her favorite husband?” It seemed like a light, chick-lit book and it was. Immediately from the beginning you knew who she was picking though and after awhile I got annoyed at how all of the friggen characters were up in each other’s business and wanted Kelly to just pick the right one already! Overall Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy. I almost forgot about this book! Not because it wasn’t good but because it was an actual, physical book so I wasn’t reminded of it on my Kindle! I got this book from Blogging for Books and once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down! It takes place during the height of the Underground Railroad and is a fictional tale of Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown and how she became a mapmaker for the cause. The story weaves back and forth between Sarah Brown’s life and the life of Eden Anderson who lives in present day and winds up moving into the house once own by Sarah’s family. I did think the book should have been called The Mapmaker’s Daughter because it mainly focuses on her but I’m not the author. Overall Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oceanswept (Oceanswept Trilogy Book 1) and Undertow (Oceanswept Trilogy Book 2) by Lara Hays. I started this trilogy and now I am SO MAD THAT THE THIRD ONE ISN’T OUT YET!!! The books follow the story of Tessa who is on her way to St. Kitts with her father to rule the colony for the British. Her ship is downed by a hurricane and she is thought to be the only survivor on her father’s ship – only to wind up captive on a pirate ship. She soon takes up with Nicholas, a pirate on the ship, and they join efforts to get her off the boat and get him a new lease on life. This story had me captivated from the first few pages and then I got sucked into the second book, went to download the third and OMG IT’S NOT RELEASED YET. I had to take a few deep breaths when I realized. Now I’ll just have to settle for watching Black Sails to get my pirate fix. Overall Ratings: 5 out of 5.

The Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling. The Hogwarts Library consists of Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. This set is really cute. Light reading for sure. I really enjoyed how they put in “notes” from Harry, Hermione and Ron in Fantastic Beasts – I wish they did that in the other books as well. But really I’m glad I got this because the boxed set looks really nice next to all seven volumes of the Harry Potter set on my bookshelf. Overall Rating: 4 out of 5.

Honorable Mention – I figured I would also list any books that I started and could not finish. There are some people who cannot put a book down once they have started it even if they hate it – I am not one of those people, life is too short!

I could not finish Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax. Good lord was this book boring. I was so excited for it too. It is a fictional account of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a real woman who was involved in the early frontier of studying basic human behavior – using children as the test subjects. She has an affair with her boss and it all goes downhill from there. My exact review on NetGalley was, “I’m sorry I could not finish this book. It was so long winded and took forever to get to a plot line.”

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  1. Oh, man, Light of the Fireflies sounds riiiiight up my alley. Adding it to my list!

  2. I’m writing down Upstairs at the White House and Light of the Fireflies to add to my want to read list!

  3. I’ve not read any of these! Adding to my list.


  4. Wow, you got a lot of reading in…. I am impressed. Thanks for the reviews!


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