April proved to be a month of surprises in my To-Read pile. Books I thought I’d love (Wither, The Mermaid’s Mirror) turned out to be a bit under-whelming, and books I’d felt luke-warm about when I started them (Divergent, Tangled) turned out to be far more entertaining than I would have guessed. Without further ado, here’s April’s Reading Wrap-Up…
Wither by Lauren DeStephano – Gorgeous writing. Just as Rhine and her sister wives were subtly brainwashed into accepting their bizarre, oppressive situation, I was disturbed by how “okay” I became with it. I liked the relationship between the sister wives, but I was a little skeptical of some of the world-building. There wasn’t much explanation given for why things were the way they were.
Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala – I feel so lucky to have heard Holly speak at an author panel a few months ago. She was lovely, just like this book. Tell Me A Secret is a story of teen pregnancy, changing relationships and growing up. It reminded me a lot of Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere, both in the quality of writing and tone, which is to say: I loved it.
The Mermaid’s Mirror by LK Madigan – I enjoyed the beachy, atomospheric setting and all of the supporting characters, but I wanted to like Lena, the protagonist, more. I thought she behaved selfishly at times, and I wanted her relationship with Nix to be more developed. The writing itself was excellent though, and I look forward to reading Madigan’s Flash Burnout.
But, I’ve raved about it quite a bit on both Twitter and here on the blog, (most notably HERE) so I wanted to take a moment to feature another book that brightened my April… Tangled by Carolyn Mackler.
From Carolyn Mackler’s site: Paradise wasn’t supposed to suck. Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean. Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all. It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting. It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn’t have to be a jerk just because people think he’s one. It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences. And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise…. From confused to confident and back again, one thing’s certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.
First, isn’t the cover delightful? Still, I can’t tell you how many times I picked this book up at Borders over the last year, then put it back down in favor of something flashier, more profound, or hookier. Last week, though, I lucked out and found it marked down at a store closing sale and snatched it up.
So glad I did! While Adult Katy thought this book was adorable and highly entertaining, Teen Katy would have absolutely treasured it. Tangled is so authentically YA, from the subject matter to the voice(s). The issues aren’t super heavy, but I found them to be right in line with what real teenagers are dealing with today.
Tangled is a quick read, broken up into four separate parts, told by four very different narrators over the course of four months. My favorite section was Dakota’s because I love male protagonists and he’s fantastic. Not exactly likeable at first, but he certainly redeems himself by the story’s conclusion.
Carolyn Mackler writes with startling honestly. I found her style both refreshing and engaging. If you’re looking for a book with genuine characters and a story that’s equal parts heartbreaking, steamy, laugh-out-loud funny, and touching, please do check out Tangled.
What’s the best book you read in April?