April already feels like ages ago. Following Easter, I was home for a week and simply enjoyed seeing friends and family at home. I went for walks through nature where spring hit me full force. I went out for photos with my best friend. I drove back to Leipzig with my dad where we put up my closet and I completely rearranged my room. Funnily enough, everything I had inside it already still fits. Plus the closet. And I’m so happy with how my room looks now. Especially because I’m sleeping between my bookshelves now and the first thing I see in the morning are my books.
And then it was bookfair, of course. I only went for a day but I enjoyed being around bookish people and seeing my bookish friends again so much. The rest of the bookfair days I had to work but could still enjoy the atmosphere. I missed bookfair so much during the last years and I’m so glad it’s back.
BOOKS I’VE READ
Shanghai Immortal by A.Y. Chao
Pawned by her mother to the King of Hell as a child, Lady Jing is half-vampire, half-hulijing fox-spirit and all sasshole. As the King’s ward, she has spent the past ninety years running errands, dodging the taunts of the spiteful hulijing courtiers, and trying to control her explosive temper – with varying levels of success.
So when Jing overhears the courtiers plotting to steal a priceless dragon pearl from the King, she seizes her chance to expose them, once and for all.
With the help of a gentle mortal tasked with setting up the Central Bank of Hell, Jing embarks on a wild chase for intel, first through Hell and then mortal Shanghai. But when her hijinks put the mortal in danger, she must decide which is more important: avenging her loss of face, or letting go of her half-empty approach to life for a chance to experience tenderness – and maybe even love.
I enjoyed this one a lot even though the pacing was a bit off. It had magic, silly dialogues, a sweet romance and lots of action. The world building was amazing and I’m looking forward to get back into it in the next book! You can read my full review of Shanghai Immortal here.
To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters
The Regency Vows #3
Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.
With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.
This book was so much fun! So far, it’s definitely my favourite in the Regency Vows series. I loved Emily and Julian’s chemistry and how their relationship evolves from business and fun in the bedroom to love and friendship. I really enjoyed their dialogues and how they learn from and grow with each other.
Der Geschichtenbäcker by Carsten Henn
Brot backen ist fast wie ein Tanz. Teig wird rhythmisch geknetet, die Drehung der Hände, der Schwung der Hüfte geben ihm Geschmeidigkeit. Fasziniert beobachtet die ehemalige Tänzerin Sofie den alten italienischen Bäcker Giacomo bei seiner Arbeit. Eigentlich wollte sie den Aushilfsjob in der Dorfbackstube gleich wieder kündigen. Zu sehr hat das Ende ihrer Karriere ihr Leben aus der Bahn geworfen. Wer ist sie, wenn sie nicht tanzt? Wer wird sie lieben, wenn sie nicht mehr auf der Bühne strahlt? Doch überraschend findet Sofie in der kleinen Bäckerei viel mehr als nur eine Beschäftigung: die Weisheit eines einfachen Mannes, das Glück der kleinen Dinge und den Mut zur Veränderung.
Das Buch wollte ich schon länger mal lesen und habe es mir schließlich als Hörbuch geholt. Ich mochte den Erzählstil sehr gerne, ebenso wie die Figuren, ihre Probleme und ihre Eigenheiten. Giacomo und Sofie entwickeln eine so tolle Freundschaft, von der im Endeffekt so viel abhängt. Sie lernen voneinander und geben das gewonnene Wissen an ihr Umfeld weiter. Die Personen waren nachvollziehbar und gut beschrieben und ich mochte das Buch wirklich sehr gern!
Twisted Love by Ana Huang
Alex Volkov is a devil blessed with the face of an angel and cursed with a past he can’t escape.
Driven by a tragedy that has haunted him for most of his life, his ruthless pursuits for success and vengeance leave little room for matters of the heart.
But when he’s forced to look after his best friend’s sister, he starts to feel something in his chest:
A fire that could end his world as he knew it.
Ava Chen is a free spirit trapped by nightmares of a childhood she can’t remember.
But despite her broken past, she’s never stopped seeing the beauty in the world…including the heart beneath the icy exterior of a man she shouldn’t want.
Her brother’s best friend.
Her savior and her downfall.
Theirs is a love that was never supposed to happen—but when it does, it unleashes secrets that could destroy them both…and everything they hold dear.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would but here we are. I enjoyed Alex and Ava together, I loved how friendly and happy she generally is and how grumpy Alex is, except when it comes to her. The romance was just so on point and good and hot, I just wish I could ignore the rest around it. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the plot.
Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli
Imogen Scott may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.
She’s never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. She knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. There’s Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, who helps keep Imogen’s biases in check. And then there’s Lili-newly out and newly thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.
Imogen’s thrilled for Lili. Any ally would be. And now that she’s finally visiting Lili on campus, she’s bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen’s all in.
Even if that means bending the truth, just a little.
Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she’s told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero-not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.
Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with. . .
This book hit me right where it hurt. It’s relatable and personal and definitely my favourite Becky Albertalli book. I loved the many discussions about being queer and queer life, the characters and their friend group, how they all went through learning processes. Read my full review of Imogen, Obviously here.
Der letzte Satz by Robert Seethaler
An Deck eines Schiffes auf dem Weg von New York nach Europa sitzt Gustav Mahler. Er ist berühmt, der größte Musiker der Welt, doch sein Körper schmerzt, hat immer schon geschmerzt. Während ihn der Schiffsjunge sanft, aber resolut umsorgt, denkt er zurück an die letzten Jahre, die Sommer in den Bergen, den Tod seiner Tochter Maria, die er manchmal noch zu sehen meint. An Anna, die andere Tochter, die gerade unten beim Frühstück sitzt, und an Alma, die Liebe seines Lebens, die ihn verrückt macht und die er längst verloren hat. Es ist seine letzte Reise.
Dieses Buch habe ich ebenfalls gehört. Es ist kurz und erzählt vom Leben des Komponisten Gustav Mahler. Auch wenn der Schreibstil eher distanziert war, konnte ich nicht umhin, mit Mahler und den Personen in seinem Umfeld zu fühlen. Die Emotionen kamen gerade deswegen sehr gut an. Das Buch ist informativ, unaufgeregt, aber nciht langweilig und ich konnte es locker bei einem längeren Spaziergang durchhören, ohne dass ich danach sofort damit abschließen konnte. Ich habe noch immer keine endgültiges Fazit oder eine endgültige Meinung dazu gefunden.
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
Usually I stay clear of romance books featuring kids because I just don’t like children in romance books very much. But I was very positively surprised by this one. I liked the character development from both Gavin and Thea and how they grow closer again. I also liked their life as a family and how the children had such a big place in their story (yes, I’m probably most surprised about that). Generally, I enjoyed the book a lot and liked the idea of romance books helping struggling people.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple – they go together like bread and butter, gin and tonic, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. Except, now they don’t.
They broke up six months ago. And they still haven’t told anyone.
Which is how they end up sharing a bedroom at the cottage that has been their yearly getaway with their best friends for the past decade. For one glorious week they leave behind their lives, drink far too much wine and soak up the sea air with their favourite people.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth. The cottage is for sale so this is the last time they’ll all be together here and they can’t bear to break their friends’ hearts. So, they’ll fake it for one more week.
It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses).
But how can you pretend to be in love with someone – and get away with it – in front of the people who know you best?
Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean
Tokyo Ever After #2
When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.
Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.
But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?
Not Here to Stay Friends by Kaitlyn Hill
Sloane McKinney feels like a background character in her own life. But this summer will be different, because she’s spending it with her childhood best friend, Liam Daniels, in her dream city, Los Angeles. Sure, she’s surprised to find that Liam just happens to have had a Hot Guy glow-up since she last saw him, but so what? A little attraction won’t ruin her plans for their fun—and completely platonic—reunion.
What might, however, is that Liam has been roped into working for his producer dad’s new teen reality dating show, Aspen Woods’s Future Leading Lady. Liam figures Sloane can still hang out with him on set while he fetches coffee for the film crew, or whatever it is that production assistants do. Except it turns out the show is one contestant short . . . and Sloane is the perfect last-minute addition.
Once cameras are rolling, the whirlwind of dating teen heartthrob Aspen Woods feels way more real than Sloane expected, and Liam doesn’t exactly enjoy watching it all unfold. But it’s behind the scenes where the drama really picks up. . . .
Because wanting to kiss your best friend? That’s a plot twist neither Sloane nor Liam ever saw coming.
Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland
Darling Seabreak cannot remember anything before the murder of her family at the hands of House Dragon, but she knows she owes her life to both the power of her Chaos Boon and House Kraken for liberating her from the sewers where she spent her childhood. So when her adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle, Darling vows to save him–even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon.
Talon Goldhoard has always been a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon, bravely leading the elite troops of his brother, the High Prince Regent. But lately his brother’s erratic rule threatens to undo a hundred years of House Dragon’s hard work, and factions are turning to Talon to unseat him. Talon resists, until he’s ambushed by a fierce girl who looks exactly like the one his brother has painted obsessively, repeatedly, for years, and Talon knows she’s the key to everything.
Together, Darling and Talon must navigate the treacherous waters of House politics, caught up in the complicated game the High Prince Regent is playing against everyone. The unlikeliest of allies, they’ll have to stop fighting each other long enough to learn to fight together in order to survive the fiery prophecies and ancient blood magic threatening to devastate their entire world.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto
Wedding photographer Meddy Chan has always wanted to make her overbearing family happy. And there’s nothing they want more than to see Meddy happily married.
But when Meddy accidentally kills her blind date that they set her up on, she calls her meddlesome aunties to help her. Although hiding a dead body is going to be harder than they thought, especially when their family business has its biggest event yet – and at a hotel that just happens to be managed by Meddy’s ex boyfriend, Nathan, aka the one that got away.
Bee my Humble Love by Anna Konelli
Ihre Karriere retten – an nichts anderes denkt Julie, als sie von Love Brand gefeuert wird. Um ihren Job zurückzugewinnen, geht sie einen Deal mit dem Konzern ein, der sie für drei Monate auf die schwedische Farm Humble Bees & Teas führt. Dort wird sie von keinem anderen begrüßt als Oscar Morrison, bekannter Bienenschützer sowie Widersacher der Firma. Zuerst hingerissen von der jungen Frau, die er mit Honig im Haar zwischen zusammengestürzten Regalen seines Hofladens findet, stellt Oscar schnell fest, dass er sich geradewegs den Feind in sein Heim geholt hat. Dazu gezwungen, unter einem Dach zu wohnen, kommt er Julie näher, als er sollte, und gelangt zum Grund ihrer Seele. Während sie in ihrer Stille einem Schwarz-Weiß-Bild entgegenblickt, sieht er eines voller Farben. Eines inmitten eines sanften Summens, das in ihren Herzen widerklingt und Julie begreifen lässt, wie viel sie verloren hat. Und wie viel mehr sie noch verlieren könnte …
ON THE BLOG
- Shadow and Bone Staffel 2: erzählerischer Reinfall by Sabine @ Antiheldin
- Let’s Be Wild von Anabelle Stehl & Nicole Böhm by Jennifer @ Lesen in Leipzig
- Blind Date With an Underrated YA Book by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
- Profiting off Pain: Why I dislike So Many “Sad” Books by Malka @ Paper Procrastinators
- Pick a Spring Aesthetic, Get a YA Book Recommendation by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
- Warum “Jana, 39, ungeküsst” eines der Mut machensten Bücher ist, die ich je gelesen habe by Ivy @ Ivy Booknerd
- Spring Book Recommendations by Caro @ Bookcheshirecat
How was your April? Did you do anything exciting? Do you love spring as much as I do?
Until next time,