April TBR

April TBR

Hey, guys! So I’ve managed to drag myself out of my food coma (seriously, eating no chocolate for the whole of Lent has been a struggle and I have more than made up for it today) for long enough to put together my TBR for this month. Last month turned out to be a good one–although I didn’t get everything on my list read, I got through a total of 30 books, thanks (again) to the Manga Madness Readathon

But, what did I read from my TBR?

  1. Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels – Gwen Hayes.
  2. Making a Tinderbox – Emma Sterner-Radley.
  3. Bitten by the Alpha – Annabelle Jacobs.
  4. My Dark Knight – K. A. Merikan.
  5. The Golden Hairpin – Qinghan CeCe.
  6. Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 1 – Sui Ishida.
  7. Alpha – Bridget Essex.
  8. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle.
  9. Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy – Noelle Stevenson.
  10. Attack on Titan, Vol. 1 – Hajime Isayama.
  11. In the Blood – Hailey Turner.
  12. Fix Your Damn Book! – James Osiris Baldwin.
  13. Shattered – Sloane Kennedy.
  14. Die Farben der Magie – Terry Pratchett.
  15. My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World’s Most Notorious Murderers – Helen Morrison, M.D.

9/15! And most of them were pretty good, too.

Romancing the Beat and Fix Your Damn Book! are both really useful books if you’re looking into writing novels of your own. Romancing the Beat is a lot shorter than I was expecting; it explains the beats you should be hitting in romance novels to make sure you’re satisfying your readers. However, the advantage of the book not being too long is that there’s no real extraneous fluff and you can just get down to it and start trying to make it work. Fix Your Damn Book! was actually a re-read (I thought I never finished it before, but I had) but it’s still full of a tonne of useful information. I’ve taken notes and I’m planning on using it as a guideline for editing the novel I recently finished–I’ll let you all know how it goes! 😉

Making a Tinderbox is a super-cute F/F story about a lady (Elise) who, when ordered to marry a prince, escapes with the help of a local villager, Nessa, and goes with her to start their lives in a city. They live together and fall in love and it’s adorable. There’s a mystery afoot, too, with strange packages appearing at their new address, but really my favourite part of this book, aside from Elise and Nessa’s relationship, was the side characters they meet throughout their stay in the city. I’d love to see more books set in this world with a focus on these characters, but this one was great and I’ll be keeping my eye out for any more releases by Emma Sterner-Radley.

The fourth book in the Regent’s Park Pack series, Bitten by the Alpha is just as good as the others. Admittedly, I need to re-read the others (I remember the broad strokes, but reading a lot of books means I forget the fine details), but this one is just as hot and exciting as I remember the others being. Bitten by the Alpha centres around Cam, the alpha of the Regent’s Park Pack, and Gareth, one of his betas. Gareth’s been in love with Cam for years, as it turns out, but Cam has enough to deal with–as well as feeling guilty about loving anyone aside from his late wife, he has to bring what’s left of P-Pack into his pack in a way that won’t end up destroying them all. Loved this book and the surprise added member to the pack turned out to be one of my fave characters. (Also I hope that character gets their own book, even if that does mean Jacobs starts moving in a new direction.)

My Dark Knight is… an interesting one. And I mean it definitely is an interesting book. But it is also marketed correctly–it’s a dark romance, and it’s certainly twisted. This book is the second in the series, focusing on Knight and his online enemy, the Count, who idolises the serial killer from the first. The Count turns out to be Elliot, who Knight finds himself attracted to, and various antics ensue. This book is also long and covers a lot of ground, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. There were parts of it that were… concerning, but overall it’s pretty good and I’m sure, after a couple of months, I’ll decide to read the third book, too.

Onto something lighter: Lumberjanes, Volume 1. This series looks sooooo cute (with a side of weird darkness) and I can’t wait to get my hands on another volume. The Lumberjanes seem to be a variation of female scouts and keep encountering strange phenomena on their retreat, solving problems using their team’s variety of skills. Loved the artwork in this; it works perfectly with the tone, and the characters were amazing, too.

For the Manga Madness Readathon, I had two books on my list to start me on new series: Attack on Titan, Volume 1 and Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1. Attack on Titan was incredible (which I kind of knew it would be). I’ve seen a few episodes of the anime, but getting through thirteen volumes of the manga means that I passed the stuff I knew quickly and started discovering more and more. The story is absolutely fascinating and also inherently creepy (the idea of giants roaming in and eating people?? ugh!) and the relationship between Eren, Misaka, and Armin is amazing. But the development of the other characters is what makes this manga compelling and made me keep coming back to read more. I like the art style of this, too; it’s a little different to what I’m used to, but it makes the contrast between the titans and the humans way creepier.

Tokyo Ghoul was a manga I thought I’d like a lot more than I did. The concept is interesting: ghouls eat humans and they live among us in secret; Ken goes on a date with a girl who turns out to be a ghoul and wants to eat him. Fine. But somehow, in delivering, it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I’m not sure what it was, so it’s probably just that the manga isn’t for me, but I’m unlikely to read any more volumes of this one.

And I finally finished Die Farben der Magie last night! Yay! This has been a tricky one to read in German (especially because Pratchett likes to go off on tangents, which I love, but also can make it hard to follow in another language), but I’ve enjoyed it and I’m moving onto the second Discworld book this month.

What else did I read this month?

  1. Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence – Tsugumi Ohba
  2. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
  3. Attack on Titan, Vol. 2 – Hajime Isayama
  4. Attack on Titan, Vol. 3 – Hajime Isayama
  5. Attack on Titan, Vol. 4 – Hajime Isayama
  6. Attack on Titan, Vol. 5 – Hajime Isayama
  7. Attack on Titan, Vol. 6 – Hajime Isayama
  8. Attack on Titan, Vol. 7 – Hajime Isayama
  9. Attack on Titan, Vol. 8 – Hajime Isayama
  10. Attack on Titan, Vol. 9 – Hajime Isayama
  11. Attack on Titan, Vol. 10 – Hajime Isayama
  12. A Man Like You – Waje
  13. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 2 – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
  14. Attack on Titan, Vol. 11 – Hajime Isayama
  15. Attack on Titan, Vol. 12 – Hajime Isayama
  16. Kiss Him, Not Me! Vol. 1 – Junko
  17. Attack on Titan, Vol. 13 – Hajime Isayama
  18. Royal Servant – Chungnyun
  19. Raising a Bat – Jade
  20. Caste Heaven, Vol. 1 – Chise Ogawa
  21. Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1 – Yūsei Matsui

As you can see, all of my extra books this month were manga/webcomics/graphic novels, and most were read as part of the Manga Madness Readathon. I’ve already talked about Attack on Titan, so let’s take a quick look at the others:

  • Death Note

I’m still enjoying this, but for some reason, I’m not compelled to read from one volume straight to the next. I might read more of this later this month; I’ll definitely read more for the next readathon. Ultimately, I’m interested to see where the story leads but I’m not itching to find it out right now.

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Since I heard that new, darker reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch was coming, I’ve been interested in reading the comics–and these are certainly a lot darker than the TV show I remember watching as a kid. I like that part of them and I like that Salem is still in them (he’s everyone’s fave, right?), but, maybe because of the length, I feel like the story is not as in-depth as I’d like it to be. This is available on Kindle Unlimited right now, however, so I might stick with it for more of the Madam Satan storyline and see how it goes.

  • A Man Like You

This is a Korean webcomic, still ongoing as far as I can tell; I read up to chapter 51. The story centres around two college students: Go Siwon, whose dreams are being invaded by the handsome, mysterious Kang Jinha. The two men seem to have shared a past, not that Siwon can remember, but this past eventually begins to bring them together. The story certainly gets melodramatic in places (and dark, too), but it’s a good read and Waje keeps the sexual tension simmering for a long time. Nice art style, too, especially when they’re in the dream world.

  • Kiss Him, Not Me!

I only read one volume of this, but it was really fun. Serinuma Kae is a high-school student and a fujoshi, a girl who likes fantasising about boys getting closer to one another. After her favourite anime character dies, she loses a tonne of weight, becoming more attractive–and then the hot guys at her school ask her out. This is pretty hilarious, though I can see it turning into a high-school dating comedy, which I’m sure will be fun but wasn’t what I was looking for. Still, I’ll read more of it at some point–Kae is great.

  • Royal Servant

This is another webcomic and one with a really slow start. I wasn’t sure I was going to continue with it at all, but then the story kicked in and it became a hell of a lot more interesting. Kyon becomes a servant to the royal blood (kind of like a vampire, I think) Lucaon, who hates servants; Kyon falls in love with him. At first, this is a bit tiring, but as the world building starts to kick in (and Sihan and his servants become more prominent characters), the whole story comes together. I am very excited to read more of this, because it seems like a big development should be coming, so I highly recommend it.

  • Raising a Bat

Another Korean webcomic, and I enjoyed this one (it’s also completed, yay!) but somehow I feel like it was lacking a lot of what I wanted going in. Park Min Gyeom has a disease where his body creates too much blood; when he meets Kim Chun Sam, a half-vampire who can only exist on human blood, he offers to feed the vampire. This leads to friendship, and eventually a blossoming romance, but (obviously) obstacles line the way. A lot of the story was fine and made sense, but some of it didn’t resonate with me; I think the author was trying to address Min Gyeom’s mental health, which was interesting, but meant that a lot of his issues were very internal and weren’t driving the action as much. There is also way less about Chun Sam’s being a vampire than I expected–that aspect of his life could be completely removed and this would still likely stand as a story. That being said, I loved the artwork for this and hope that I can find more of Jade’s work.

  • Assassination Classroom

This was the dark horse of the month–and I absolutely adored it. It’s about an alien who blew up the moon and says he’ll blow up the Earth in one year unless he can be assassinated–by the students he’s teaching. It’s hilarious. It’s also cute and a little dark (this may be a theme of what I like) and just so great. I can’t wait to read more of this.

Final Manga Madness Readathon total: 18 volumes, 184 webcomic chapters.

Phew! Well, if you’ve managed to get through that list, here’s my TBR for April:

April TBR

  1. The Golden Hairpin – Qinghan CeCe.
  2. Alpha – Bridget Essex.
  3. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle.
  4. In the Blood – Hailey Turner.
  5. Out of the Ashes – Hailey Turner.
  6. Shattered – Sloane Kennedy.
  7. How We Survive* – Michele Notaro.
  8. Rescuing Heart – Michele Notaro.
  9. The Book of the Year – James Harkin, Andrew Hunter-Murray, Anna Ptaszynski, Dan Schreiber.
  10. Nocturnes* – John Connolly.
  11. Night Music – John Connolly.
  12. The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals – Jeannelle M. Ferreira.
  13. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 3 – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
  14. Das Licht der Phantasie – Terry Pratchett.
  15. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print – Renni Browne and Dave King.

* These are re-reads.

That should keep me more than busy enough for this month. What’s your April TBR? Let me know if you’ve read anything from mine, too!

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