What I’m Reading: April edition (plus the #TakenWithTAKEN winners)

How on earth is it May already?! I swear, April passed by in the time it takes to blink.

If you follow this blog, you know I’ve had a super busy month, and that didn’t leave much down time for reading. Here are the three books I read in April:

Natalie Whipple’s TRANSPARENT, which I was lucky enough to get my hands on early. The story follows Fiona McClean, an invisible girl forced to work for her corrupt father–spying, stealing, etc–until she flees to a small town with her mother in hopes of escaping a life of crime. While trying to carve out a new life, she makes new friends and begins to feel “seen” for the first time. But the question remains: can she stay hidden from her father or will he hunt her down?

Despite the supernatural powers, this novel still feels rooted in reality, and I think this is what I liked most about it. (Sort of like how the UNEARTHLY series is as much about a girl’s coming-of-age as it is about angels.) The friendships Fiona forms, and the complex relationships she has within her immediate family, are endearing. Her struggles with confidence and school feel authentic. Above all, Fiona is relateable. I can’t think of a single teen that doesn’t feel invisible at least once during those high school years, and I imagine Fiona’s predicament will speak to them. For a book filled with superpowers, this is not action-packed. But I liked that. It’s about the characters, and how their lives overlap and impact one another. This comes out in just a few weeks, so be sure to check it out!

 

Bridget Zinn’s story has been circulating the interwebs the last few weeks, but in case you missed it, here’s the short version: Bridget’s dream was to be published, but she lost a battle with cancer in May of 2011, at the age of 33. Her debut, POISON, released in March of this year.

After a vision in which she sees the princess as the kingdom’s undoing, potioner Kyra attempts to assassinate her with a poisoned dart. But she misses. Now a fugitive and on the run, her race to track down the princess and finish the job takes Kyra across the country, where she is pursued by the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. While this all sounds intense, I have to say that, simply put, this story is adorable. The stakes are high, but the tale brims with light-hearted moments and humor. There’s a dashing love interest. An adorable pink pig that is “supposedly” skilled enough to lead Kyra to the princess. And potions. Lots of magical potions. This is a sweet read, fantastic for readers who want a breezier, happier fantasy.

 

Elizabeth Noriss’ UNBREAKABLE just released a few days ago, but being late to the party, I only just picked up its predecessor, UNRAVELING. This story kicks off in high gear, with the protagonist, Janelle Tenner, being struck by an out-of-control pick-up truck. Miraculously, she does not die, but it is somehow resuscitated by Ben Michaels, a boy she’s never looked twice at in school due to his loner (and “stoner”) status. But why and how he saved her is the least of Janelle’s concerns once she stumbles across some of her FBI father’s files–mysterious murders where victims seem to suffer radiation, plus a countdown mechanism alluding that the world may end in mere days.

There were a lot of Veronica Mars meets X-Files vibes to this–action, mystery, detective work, etc. I’ve also heard comparisons to Fringe, but I haven’t watched that show, so I can’t speak to it. Regardless, this is a fast-paced mystery, where readers will continually wonder who is telling the truth and who is lying. The countdown headings on each chapter contributes to an addictive read, and the nearly 500 page novel seemed to fly by. Another nice touch, for me personally, was the ending. Major conflicts are resolved, but things do not end in a perfect bow. The characters are left to make difficult choices, battling between what their hearts want and what is right. Thriller and sci-fi fans should check this one out.

That’s it! Short and sweet for me this month. But what about you? What did you read in April?

And now, time to announce the #TakenWithTAKEN giveaway results! The following ten people will be receiving fancy TAKEN swag packs:

Jaime Arkin
Nikki Ramsay
Jessica Reid
Liz Parker
Krista Rogers
Kate Fahey
Katie O’Shea
Kayla Whaley
Kelsey Knupp
Kierra Determan

And the grand prize winner, who will receive a book from every PubCrawl author, plus a cute tote bag and an annotated ARC of TAKEN is…..

Katy Upperman!

I swear, Katy has the best giveaway luck of anyone I have EVER met. Random.org loves her.

If you see your name above, stay tuned. An email will be coming from me shortly.

Lastly: a big thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. I loved seeing your photos so much, I started a dedicated #TakenWithTAKEN pinterest board. While there are no longer any prizes to be won, please don’t stop sharing these pictures! They make me smile. :)

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