Wrap Up: April 2016


I read 13 books this month, which is a little less than what I usually read each month but I’ve been really overwhelmed by work and the PhD life recently so I don’t feel too bad. I’m still way ahead with my Goodreads goal (currently 29 books ahead) so that’s all that matters right now.


Reading summary header

1. Dreamology – Lucy Keating  4 stars

This was a really interesting and cute read about two people who have dreamed about each other and had multiple interesting experiences together in their dreams. However, they meet in person one day and have to figure out why they’ve been dreaming about each other for years. I liked the majority of this book but thought some of the dream aspects were a little bit unresolved. Things just worked themselves out without explanation and I didn’t like that at all.

2. A Hollywood Deal – Nadia Lee  2 stars

I don’t read adult romance novels a lot because I find that they all sound the same. But I’ve read some of Nadia Lee’s novels in the past and they’ve been pretty entertaining. When I heard that she had a new release, I bought the ebook straight away. However, it was super underwhelming. On top of that, it was like part 1 of the story and ended on a cliffhanger to be continued in the next book, which is something that I don’t think any of her other books have been like.

3. The Winner’s Kiss – Marie Rutkoski  45 stars

This was one of my most highly anticipated series finales of this year. The Winner’s Crime was such an amazing second book that I had really really high expectations for The Winner’s Kiss. It wasn’t as epic and intense as I wanted it to be so I felt a little bit disappointed with it. But I still really enjoyed it and thought it was a great end to the series.

4. The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler  45 stars

The Book of Broken Hearts is about Jude who comes from a Hispanic family. Her father has early onset Alzheimer’s and Jude thinks that the only way to cure him is to restore his motorcycle, which holds a lot of precious memories. However, the only person who can fix this bike is a sworn enemy of her family’s…I can confidently add this book to my list of favourite summer contemporaries. It had wonderful characters and was a really great book about family, romance and resilience.

5. The Forbidden Wish – Jessica Khoury  3 stars

I’ve heard so many great things about this Aladdin retelling and had really high expectations. But this book fell flat in so many different ways for me. I absolutely hated the romance and thought that it didn’t work at all. The plot for me was okay but there were so many things that were just really convenient or ridiculous. I just wasn’t a fan of this one.

6. Exquisite Captive – Heather Demetrios  45 stars

This was a really great book about jinn that I flew through in less than a day. I adored the complex characters in this one and thought the urban fantasy setting was really unique. It was just a super addictive story and I loved the plot so much. It was definitely a much better novel for me than The Forbidden Wish.

7. The Haters – Jesse Andrews  2 stars

This is the second Jesse Andrews book that I’ve read and haven’t enjoyed. I hated Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and this one wasn’t much better. I didn’t really connect with the humour of the book and since the whole book was carried by the humour, I had a hard time getting through it.

8. The Passion of Dolssa – Julie Berry  4 stars

I love historical fiction and when I found out that this one is set in the 13th century, I had to check it out. Religion plays a huge part in this book and initially I had some trouble getting into it because of the themes. The writing style was also really difficult to get into but once I’d gotten past the first 50 pages, I was hooked. The characters were fantastic and easy to love and I absolutely loved the plot.

9. Love, Lies and Spies – Cindy Anstey  3 stars

The synopsis of this book promises a Jane Austen-inspired 19th century story about a young lady who would rather be a scientist than get married and a man who is a spy. However, I felt like this blurb was a bit deceiving because there was almost no science in this book and not as much spying as I would have liked. It was mostly about the romance, which was pleasant to read about, but I was completely underwhelmed because I was expecting so much more from the characters and the plot.

10. Bittersweet – Sarah Ockler  4 stars

This book is about Hudson, a girl who’s a talented figure skater but whose life fell apart when her dad left. Now she’s stuck in her small town, making cupcakes and waitressing at the diner that her mother owns. She’s given the opportunity to get back into figure skating and her life slowly starts to change. I didn’t always enjoy Hudson in this book but I loved her coming of age story and how she developed throughout the book. It had a lovely wintery setting that I love to read about in books (but hate to experience).

11. Hate is Such a Strong Word – Sarah Ayoub  4 stars

This book is one that every Australian teen should put on their radar. It has such a strong message about culture, ethnicity and racism. In this novel, the main character, Sophie, lives in a tightknit Lebanese community in Sydney. She attends a Catholic school where everybody is Lebanese and everybody’s family knows each other. She feels completely stifled by the old-fashioned rules and traditions that her family imposes upon her and is struggling to be heard. I absolutely loved Sophie’s character and how she transformed and blossomed throughout the book. It was a highly enjoyable read.

12. The Rose and the Dagger – Renee Ahdieh  45 stars

I’ve been looking forward to this sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn ever since I finished the first book and it didn’t disappoint. I went into it without any expectations as to what would happen next and was really delighted by what I read. I thought the characterisation was really strong and, although the plot wasn’t as intense as I would have liked it to be, I really enjoyed everything… and even shed a couple of tears. I’ll have a full review up for this sequel in a couple of days!

13. Honor Girl – Maggie Thrash  4 stars

This is a graphic memoir about Maggie Thrash’s teenage years and her first crush on a girl. It was a really lovely and honest story that I felt really connected to. The artwork was great and I could reread this one over and over. I’ll have a full review up on Happy Indulgence next week.


Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell  5 stars

I could never get sick of rereading this book. It was just as relatable and adorable this second time around and I love Rainbow Rowell so much! I can’t wait to read her next release (or you know… finally read Eleanor and Park).


Dreaming the Enemy – David Metzenthen

I just couldn’t get through more than 50 pages of this book. This is a historical fiction novel about the Vietnam War, which is something that I’m interested in but don’t know a whole lot about. Unfortunately I couldn’t get past the writing style and confusing plot. I had no idea what was happening and it was too much of a struggle to keep going.


I posted four Top Ten Tuesdays this month:

How many books did you read in April and which was your favourite of the month?


21 thoughts on “Wrap Up: April 2016

  1. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    Great reading month, Jenna! Are you going to adjust your Goodreads challenge? 😛

    I’m just at the beginning of The Forbidden Wish so I’m sad to hear that it didn’t work for you! So far the genie already seems too convenient/powerful to me, so I’m hoping it’ll get better soon… but in other news, glad to hear that TRATD didn’t disappoint! That I think is my most anticipated release of the year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I think I’ll probably adjust my Goodreads goal when I’ve completed the 100 books. Don’t wanna challenge myself too soon XD

      Hope you’re enjoying The Forbidden Wish. I know most people have loved it… I’m probably the black sheep. But yeah, the jinni was just all-powerful and there didn’t seem to be any rules when it came to her power. The whole book just wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be… I hope you enjoy TRATD. I know you’ve been looking forward to this one for a while! It was super good and didn’t disappoint 😀


      • Reg @ She Latitude says:

        Yeah, rules/limitations are very important when it comes to magic powers – otherwise the whole story loses the conflict. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it, though. 😦

        That’s good to hear about TRATD! I just got my copy last night but I’m planning to read it in one go, so I’ll probably only get to it this weekend. ❤


  2. A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

    Seems like you had a great reading month! I mean thirteen books?! I need to know what you’re eating!
    Glad that you like The Rose and the Dagger as I just got it today and I can’t wait to start it! Have you considered that maybe Jesse Andrews’ writing style isn’t for you? That sometimes happens. I’m too scared to read any of his books because they get such mixed reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Haha maybe I just literally devour my books? I probably shouldn’t joke about that… Kinda disturbing. Oooh I hope you enjoy The Rose and the Dagger. I thought it was a really good sequel. There were some gaps and I think it would have been better as a trilogy so that some things could have been developed a bit more but it was a pretty satisfying ending. And yeah, I don’t think I’m going to read anything else by Jesse Andrews. His writing and humour just isn’t for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

        That statement is completely normal for us bookworms so I’m not calling any government forces on you yet 😀
        The reviews so far have been really positive so I can’t wait to get stuck into that world again.
        That decision is probably the best! You can’t force yourself to like something you wont.


  3. Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl says:

    Oh my Jenna. 13? That’s like my dozen already. Hahaha.

    Now I’m really curious about Sarah Ockler’s books. Somehow she has been popping on my timeline lately. I should probably give her a go soon, with your ratings enough to convince me. ^^

    Have a happy May! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Haha I think Sarah Ockler’s books have been getting a bit of hype recently because they’re finally being released outside of the US. We only had two of her books out in Australia and the rest weren’t available in physical or digital editions. I’m so glad we get to read them now because they’re such wonderful books! I highly recommend them all but The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is my favourite ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Keionda Hearts Books says:

    HOLY CRAP! 13 BOOKS?? That was quite an eventful month! I’m lucky if I’m able to read 5 a month and then you’re working on your PH.D and everything! My hat comes off to you guh! Keep up the great work! I loved all of your mini reviews! They gave just enough to make us want to read them or to make us want to stay away instead! ❤ Thanks girl! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Thanks Keionda ❤ The PhD life is tough but I have quite a bit of flexibility in my schedule which helps a lot. I love doing my mini reviews in my wrap ups because I want to share all my thoughts even if I don't end up writing a full review.


  5. Nick says:

    You’re rocking it, Jenna! I mean you’re studying for your PhD, blogging at 2 blogs and reading all the books. You’re my hero!
    I must re-read Fangirl too! It was such a great book! 🙂
    Have a great May as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      The PhD life is pretty exhausting but I have a lot of flexibility when it comes to my schedule, unless there’s a deadline in which case *dead*. You and Nereyda are so good at pumping out blog posts, which makes you girls my heroes 😀 Some days I get Jeann messaging me saying “uh Jenna… there’s an empty spot in the calendar… Will your post be ready by tonight?” HAHA XD


  6. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    29 books ahead – you are truly amazing Jenna! I’m so glad you enjoyed the majority of your books. I definitely know how you feel with The Winner’s Kiss but a shame to hear about The forbidden wish! I know Aila loved that one! And you’ve definitely intrigued me with Exquisite Captive – I can’t believe I thought it was a NA book all this time because of the cover. Hate is Such a Strong Word definitely looks like a contemporary that I’ve been waiting for with multiculturalism in Australia. So glad to hear you loved Honor Girl too – the artwork just wasn’t for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Haha I think Exquisite Captive does give off some NA vibes. It’s set in Hollywood and this girl is a slave to some rich dude. Definitely some NA vibes there 😀 But it’s a lot better than that. I was pretty surprised by how good and addictive it was. And the urban fantasy setting was awesome. I definitely recommend Hate is Such a Strong Word. It’s so relatable to all Aussies and was extra relatable to me since it’s set in Sydney and I knew the places that were talked about in the book.


  7. Ksenia says:

    Don’t even ask me about the number of books I’ve read in April. I’m a slow reader as it is, and with my current hectic and busy real life I manage only listen to audiobooks during my commute. I enjoyed The Forbidden Wish and looking forward to read the second installment; so glad to hear you like it more. Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler is on my tbr like forever; as well as The Book of Broken Hearts. Thanks for remaining me about this author. Also why do you hate to experience wintery setting? There so much fun in winter. Probably I’m just saying it because it’s spring in Russia and I’m looking forward to summer warm days.

    Also Joye comment, I actually was wondering the same thing myself. LOl. Especially about beady eyes and a languid-looking arm. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Hahaha I just don’t really like the cold. It doesn’t get very cold in Australia so when I go to places that are super cold and snow during winter, my system kind of just shuts down 😀 I love reading about wintery settings though (as long as I don’t have to experience it myself).


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