April Wrap Up

I had planned on reading a lot more this month but I didn’t expect for the quarantine to change what I wanted to read. I’ve wanted to read a lot more light books and middle grade is perfect for that. I got a chance to read several middle grade and YA books this month and have decided that it’s best for me to stick with genres that I love. Click the links to read my full review of these books.

Big Lies in a Small Town

I decided to listen to this one on audio while following along with the book and I’m glad that I chose to do this. The very detailed descriptions of this book lend themselves well to an audiobook, I really enjoyed relaxing and trying to see the story. The narrator for this book made it easy to listen to and it was a soothing listen during these weird times. I also liked how there was one narrator but she goes along with each of the girl’s personalities so you can tell who is speaking.

The Big Finish

Be prepared to cry, a lot.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this book since it started off pretty slow but was pleased to find how attached I was to each of the characters at the half way point. I was also worried because at one point it seems like the days would be repeating themselves and I cant stand that. I was pleased to find each day brought something new for everyone.

I really loved all the characters that are introduced throughout the book whether the story revolves around them or not. I like the way that the relationship that Duffy has with Carl is played out and how it informs the relationship he feels the need to have with Josie. I really enjoy how Duffy forms a team to save Josie from herself and its so sweet watching as how each person on that team has a different role to play in Josie’s life.

Tunnel of Bones

I decided to listen to this one on audio since I had read the first book of this series in that method. The narrator in this series has a nice soothing voice which makes this book easy to listen to when I want to tune out the world. Something else that is great about listening to this series rather than reading it is how quickly I can get through them, it makes you feel like you are getting through a lot reading in a short amount of time.

I like how events of book one are referenced often throughout the start of this book so you know it is going to be building off of that story. I like that this is true sequel but you probably could also read it as a stand alone. While things from book one are referenced they are still explained clearly enough that you would understand if you haven’t read book one.

Once a girl, always a boy

As someone who is transgender, it was nice to watch Jeremy’s family struggle to understand him. I tend to get frustrated by my family not understanding my gender or sexual identity and seeing all of Jeremy’s family react and learn gave me a new perspective. It taught me to give people some time to learn, especially the people who I know are trying and to listen to why they’re struggling with things related to my gender and sexuality.

This was a great book to be able to read during this stay at home order because it made me feel understood. This book uplifted me in moments that I was struggling with because living at home with a family who uses my legal name and misgenders me without having an escape from it gets rough. This book was a constant reminder that I decide my identity and even when others don’t see me that way my identity remains the same.

The Extraordinaries

It took me a while to get into this one as there are a lot of characters to keep track of. I had a hard time remembering which character is which and the relationships that they have with each other. Once I got past that and was about six chapters into the book I just couldn’t put it down. It’s like each of these characters have their secrets and you need to read to find out what they are. The characters are so sweet and the friendship that they have with each other is so caring and loving.

Something I really enjoyed was how you feel that you solved the mystery early on but this book keeps you invested because you have to know if your suspicions are correct. I love that at no point was I 100% sure that what I was suspecting was correct. The best part of this whole thing was the twist in the book that is close to the end and everything you thought you knew is twisted. I loved the whole book and the ending was great, cant wait for more.

Here in the Real World

Something that I look for when reading middle grade is that the characters read their age. If I am going to recommend books to middle graders I want them to be able to relate to the characters and the things that they are going through. I have several cousins that are in the middle grade age range and love being able to recommend things to them which is why I read this genre.

I really enjoy the level of imagination and wonder that was included in this book. The book is recommended for grades 3-7 which is ages 8-12, and I think that the level of imagination and wonder that these characters have is great for that age. I like how these two kids are the outcasts of their age group and don’t feel like they fit in anywhere. This lack of belonging strengthens their friendship with each other and makes these two kids understand each other better.

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