I’m going to be honest – April was a weird month for me. I spent the rest of the year tearing through books, about 9 or 10 a month. But this month, I hit what felt like a creative wall. Between revisions for “The Runaway Queen,” and starting a new project for Camp Nanowrimo, I had a hard time reading. I also had a sick kid on Book Club night, so I didn’t get to go talk about Rebel Belle last month, which was a real bummer.
I did read a couple of great books, and I also started beta reading through Goodreads, which has been a fun adventure that I’ll save for another post. So while the list is shorter this month, it has some quality reads in it. I also discovered a couple of awesome podcasts during my reading slump that I’ll write about below.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli – This is the next-to-last book I read in April, but the first book I want to talk about, which should tell you something right there. It was exactly what I needed to get me out of my slump. I adored Simon and the whole cast of characters. It was so real and raw and lovely. I’m giving Simon all of my stars. Go buy it here. Go. Now.
The Rose Society (Young Elites, Book 2), by Marie Lu – This is the second book in a series, and has been on my list forever! I just love, love, love the development of Adelina, and the idea that everyone is the hero of their own story, even the villain. It’s full of twists and turns, and is so dark and terrible that it’s amazing. I will for sure finish this series as soon as the last book hits the shelves. You can find it here. She also has a killer Pinterest board for this series that you should check out.
Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice, by Beth Revis – I picked this one up when I went to an author signing in March. Some of it felt a little rudimentary to me, but I did enjoy her chapters on plotting and the charts that she provided. I’m a plotting novice so it’s been interesting to try to put her advice to good use and make my own fun charts. You can buy it here. The Kindle version is only $3.99!
Glass Sword (Red Queen, Book 2), by Victoria Aveyard – To be honest, I didn’t love Red Queen. While it was good enough, it got a lot of hype and didn’t really seem to live up to it. What I can tell you is that I enjoyed this one considerably more. There was something about Mare that drew me in closer – maybe her taking on more responsibility and not playing the victim (as much). I’ll probably finish the series because the ending of this one was pretty impactful and I want to see how it ends. Buy it here to form your own opinions on Mare.
Air Awakens (Air Awakens, Book 1), by Elise Kova – I have a goal for the last half of this year to read more indie books, and this was a great start. It has that classic epic fantasy pacing where it starts out kind of slow, but I still enjoyed it. I love Aldrik (as I do most royal book boyfriends), and Vhalla grew on me as the novel progressed and she became stronger and stopped passing out so much. I am definitely going to read the rest of the series. You can buy the Kindle version for $3.99 here – a steal for a great book.
Podcasts: So I hit this weird wall where I didn’t really want to listen to any audiobooks. I don’t know what was wrong with me. But the plus side is I discovered some pretty cool writing podcasts.
- First Draft with Sarah Enni – YA/MG author interview series, kickstarted by an epic road trip across the country to collect conversations on writing, community, and the importance of place in a creative life.
- Story Grid – Join Shawn Coyne, author of Story Grid and a top editor for 25+ years, and Tim Grahl, struggling writer, as they discuss the ins and outs of what makes a story great.
- Writing Excuses – A fast-paced, educational podcast for writers, by writers. It airs weekly, with new episodes appearing each Sunday evening at around 6pm Eastern Time. The show is hosted by Brandon Sanderson et al.
- I Should Be Writing – This is a show about a writer going from wanna-be to pro. It focuses on the emotional road blocks one finds in a writing career. By author Mur Lafferty.
- The Creative Penn – Interviews, inspiration and information on writing and creativity, publishing options, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship.
If you have a long commute or spend a lot of time with earbuds in, I would recommend any of these to pass the time.
In May, I hope to get back on track. I want to read The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner, and then I have some indie books that I want to finally get to. It’s also time to start working on the second book in my own series, so we’ll see how the month goes!
What did you read in March? Let me know in the comments!