I have no idea what happened in April. Like…it is all a blur. I am trying to figure it out and nothin’.. I am surprised that I even got any books read. But I guess I did, lol. How are you doing in your Goodreads challenge? I feel like I am a little behind, especially compared to previous years, but that makes sense I suppose. Anyway, here is what I read in April!
The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace – The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.
Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world.
Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.
Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?
What I thought: Well, I think I was expecting more from this book. I liked it, but it just kind of went on and on.
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent – Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.
Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle’s escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.
What I thought: Well, this had so much graphic stuff and language in it.. I wish I was the kind of person that could stop a book once they started. I kind of enjoyed reading about her happier times, but even still.. it was a hard book to read.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass – Former slave, impassioned abolitionist, brilliant writer, newspaper editor and eloquent orator whose speeches fired the abolitionist cause, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) led an astounding life. Physical abuse, deprivation and tragedy plagued his early years, yet through sheer force of character he was able to overcome these obstacles to become a leading spokesman for his people.
In this, the first and most frequently read of his three autobiographies, Douglass provides graphic descriptions of his childhood and horrifying experiences as a slave as well as a harrowing record of his dramatic escape to the North and eventual freedom.
Published in 1845 to quell doubts about his origins — since few slaves of that period could write — the Narrative is admired today for its extraordinary passion, sensitive and vivid descriptions and storytelling power. It belongs in the library of anyone interested in African-American history and the life of one of the country’s most courageous and influential champions of civil rights.
What I thought: Wow.. I don’t know why I haven’t read this before now, like in school or something! I think everyone should read it! Very powerful..
Mercy Rule by Tom Leveen – Danny’s parents yanked him from the art school that let him wear a kilt and listen to bands that no one’s heard of. Now he’s starting sophomore year at the public high school–the one with the gymnasium at the heart of the building and the glorified athletes who rule it all. The smart thing would be to blend in, but Danny has always been about making statements.
Brady just wants to get out. Go to college, play football, maybe reach the NFL. He definitely wants to stop waiting for his deadbeat mother to come home, sleeping on park benches, and going to bed hungry. But first he has to lead the team to the championships. It all adds up to a lot of stress. So who can really blame him when he and the football team turn their aggressions on the new freak? Even the quarterback needs to blow off steam sometimes.
Coach turns a blind eye to his players’ crimes–because this year, they’re going to States. But maybe if Coach had paid more attention they could’ve caught it before it all happened. Maybe it could’ve been avoided.
With quick cuts between a large cast of unforgettable characters, and razor-sharp plotting, Tom Leeven takes readers on a countdown to an inevitable, horrifying act. This gripping novel offers an intense, smart perspective on the tragic, toxic mindsets behind the celebrated American sport and the monsters it creates.
What I thought: Another wow.. Such a timely read, really. Tom Leveen is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorite books by him. I love the way he makes characters and stories alike just so real. I am usually not a fan of so many different main characters but it really worked in this book.
A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett by David Crockett – Even as a pup, Davy Crockett “always delighted to be in the very thickest of danger.” In his own inimitable style, he describes his earliest days in Tennessee, his two marriages, his career as an Indian fighter, his bear hunts, and his electioneering. His reputation as a b’ar hunter (he killed 105 in one season) sent him to Congress, and he was voted in and out as the price of cotton (and his relations with the Jacksonians) rose and fell. In 1834, when this autobiography appeared, Davy Crockett was already a folk hero with an eye on the White House. But a year later he would lose his seat in Congress and turn toward Texas and, ultimately, the Alamo.
What I thought: I was kind of looking forward to reading this but I was pretty underwhelmed. I guess it would be different. Still informative and glad I read it, but…eh.
So, that is what I read in April. Have you read anything great lately? Let me know!!