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April has been a month of SO MANY great books. I could have easily shared 10 April releases in this post, but decided to keep it to my three favorite books. They are all ones that will be in the running for my Best Books of 2022 and the books I’d most like to press in everyone’s hands right now! If you’re interested in the rest of the April books I loved, you can follow me on Instagram at NovelVisits. You’ll also get my reviews in a much more timely manner there.
I hope this spring has been good to you and your family and that you have much to look forward to this summer. I’ll be sharing Beach Bag Books 2022 in the middle of next month and my Summer Preview 2022 at the end of May. In the meantime, April books have got you covered!
In order of publication and nothing more because these are ALL books I loved!
Cover Story by Susan Rigetti (debut)
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Length: 368 pages
My Thoughts: 𝑭𝒖𝒏! 𝑭𝒖𝒏! 𝑭𝒖𝒏! 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑 𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐑𝐘 by debut author Susan Rigetti should be in everyone’s beach bag this spring and summer. It’s one of those books that is pure, unadulterated fun! The story centers around a world class grifter, Cat Wolff, and Lora Ricci, a 24-year old intern working for Elle magazine. Cat quickly has Lora under her spell and eager to do almost anything asked of her. Now, if you’re thinking this sounds a little like 𝘔𝘺 𝘍𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘈𝘯𝘯𝘢 by Rachel DeLoache Williams or the hit Netflix show 𝘐𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘈𝘯𝘯𝘢, you’re absolutely right. There is that premise, but trust me when I say 𝘊𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘚𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 ends up going in entirely different directions.
That’s all I can tell you about the story because it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible. I just want to leave you with two things. First, the entire book is written in diary entries, emails, text messages, etc., making it a very fast read and adding to the fun of the book. Second, I 𝐍𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑 saw the ending coming. I should have, but I didn’t. When you read it (and you need to read it), message me and let me know if you saw it. Grade: A
Thanks to William Morrow Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow (debut)
Publisher: The Dial Press
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Length: 252 pages
My Thoughts: Don’t you just love an incredible story? One that gives you a hangover for days and days? Well, that’s what I got when I read Tara M. Stringfellow’s wonderful debut, 𝐌𝐄𝐌𝐏𝐇𝐈𝐒. From beginning to end I was captivated by this story of three generations of a Memphis Black family, a family dominated by its women, and scarred by its men. It follows the lives of two sets of sisters, and the exemplary matriarch of their family. Nothing is easy for these women, who after lynchings, crimes, and abuse, must learn to survive and thrive on their own.
“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳. 𝘓𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴, 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧, 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬. 𝘓𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬 𝘨𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴. 𝘓𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘶𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺. 𝘈 𝘤𝘢𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘧𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮.”
It’s impossible to read this book and not talk about Stringfellow’s writing. From the opening paragraphs, describing in resplendent detail a true Southern front porch, I knew I was in for a treat. Told from alternating perspectives, I highlighted so many passages, almost swooning over how well she portrayed the sister relationships, and the power she gave to her female cast. Her book was a love letter to Memphis and the women who call it home. I can’t wait to read whatever Tara Stringfellow writes next. Grade: A
“𝘔𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘮 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘵 𝘈𝘶𝘨𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘰. 𝘖𝘳 𝘢 𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳.”
Thanks to The Dial Press for an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: April 12, 2022
Length: 368 pages
My Thoughts: I find it hard to know where to begin when talking about 𝐔𝐍𝐋𝐈𝐊𝐄𝐋𝐘 𝐀𝐍𝐈𝐌𝐀𝐋𝐒 by Annie Hartnett, so I’ll start with the easiest part, I LOVED it! It’s a book that left me hungover and already wanting more from its author. (As did her 2017 debut, Rabbit Cake.) This is a story like nothing I’ve ever read before and a book that will stay with me for a very long time. At its heart, 𝘜𝘯𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘴 is a grown up fairy tale, and don’t we all need one of those now and again?
The story revolves around a family in trouble. Emma is a medical school dropout. Auggie has just finished his second stint in rehab. Their mother is angry at their father for an affair, and their father is slowly dying of a brain disease which causes him to see things, especially animals. There’s a big white dog🐶, a fox🦊, rabbits🐰, deer🦌, rats🐀 and a long dead naturalist. Some are real. Others? Not so much. The whole story is narrated by the collective voice of ghosts watching over their small town from its cemetery. Sounds a little crazy, right? Well yes, but in the best possible way. Remember, fairy tale!
I wouldn’t normally lead with this, but my favorite part was how funny this book was. At times, I was laughing so hard I was crying. I was worried the neighbors would hear and think I’d lost it. With humor, serious topics were woven into the story in the most imaginative ways. Nothing ever felt quite real. Hartnett always kept me a little off balance, never truly knowing where we were headed, and I 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 that. Everything and everyone in the story felt fresh and slightly remarkable. It all made me happy. Remember, fairy tale and remember to add 𝘜𝘯𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘴 to the very top of your TBR list. Better yet? Order a copy…right now! Grade: A
Thanks to Ballantine Books for an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Which have been your favorite books this month?
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Wow, Susie! I have all three of these on my library holds list. Look forward to spending some time outside reading soon. Happy Spring to you.
I recently finished Unlikely Animals and enjoyed it as well. (No review yet for me)
I have Unlikely Animals on my Audible wishlist. I love a good book that makes me laugh outloud.
My favorite book of the month is a tie between The Absolutist by John Boyne and Monogamy by Sue Miller. Both are outstanding.
Okay you have me really wanting to get to Unlikely Animals. I also like novels that can make me laugh. I hope to get to it on audio. thanks!