Friday, April 28, 2017

Best Books of April

Spring is here, bringing plenty of time to sit outside and read. Since it's the last Friday of the month, it's time to tell you all about the great books I read this month.




First up is this fun book from one of my co-writers on my upcoming book Best. Night. Ever. I love Alison Cherry's writing, and I know you will, too!



In Willows vs. Wolverines, pranks are the name of the game. But Izzy's desire to fit in has her telling a bit of a fib about her brother. When her cabinmates won't take her prank suggestions seriously, she tells them that her brother is the king of pranks, having earned a reputation as a legend. The pranks were off-the-hook fun in this one, but there's also an underlying message about the cost of popularity and the importance of honoring real friendships.

Next up is this fun read by a rare specimen in children's middle grade fiction: a male author. Not only is Brooks Benjamin's title captivating, but check out this eye-catching cover!



My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights introduces us to Dillon, a lovable seventh grader who just wants to dance. It seems everything is working against him in reaching that goal, though, including a dad who wants him to play football. But he sees his chance when he hears about a very important audition and his friends sign off on him giving it a shot. Of course, there's a catch--after his audition, he's supposed to speak out against the cause. I love the fact that this MG book shows just how difficult and athletic dancing really is. You'll be hooked on this one from the first page!

I was reading Beth Ellyn Summer's blog before she sold her first book. So you can imagine how excited I was to be able to load it onto my Kindle earlier this month!



In At First Blush, we meet Lacey, who takes us along on an internship at a fashion magazine. Lacey is a beauty vlogger on YouTube, where she offers makeup tutorials. Her internship gives her plenty of one-on-one time with a famous pop star named Tyler, who seems to have a crush on her. Books like these take me back to adolescence, when I loved reading books about young girls who go on big-city adventures. I only wish it had been around 30 years ago!

I was excited to read the next book from the moment I heard the premise. Karen Helene Walker has gathered a group of highly-talented authors to reflect on aging.



I actually learned from Still Me, and I'm not so young myself! The overriding theme of this book is that no matter how old you get, you don't really feel that age. Writers battle the war between missing their younger skin, joints, and vitality and embracing the comfort they feel with who they are. These essays are inspiring...and they make you realize you have a lot to look forward to. As one author quoted, considering the alternative, aging isn't too bad at all!

By now, I know that when I download a Medeia Sharif book, I'm going to love it. She's not only prolific, but she's megatalented. Her latest book is an intense thriller with a premise that draws you in.



Girl Without a Face is my favorite kind of thriller: the kind that keeps you guessing until the end! At the beginning of the book, Destiny gets into a car accident that leads to amnesia. Over the course of the book, though, we begin to see that some ominous clues and we start to realize things aren't as they seem. It just takes Destiny a little longer to realize it. A riveting read no matter what age you are.

What's the best book you read in April?

18 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed "Still Me..." I just had a birthday and was a bit disgruntled about the number I turned - the essays helped me remind me what to focus on instead.

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    1. It's funny--there's a song by Rick Springfield called "Celebrate Youth" that's pretty astute. He sings about seeing the older woman looking at the younger woman while the younger woman is looking at the child. No matter what age, there's someone older than us looking wistfully at the age we just turned. Unless we're in our 90s--and then everyone younger than us is just in awe that we've lived to such an age!

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  2. These all sound great. I'm tempted :)
    Among the books I read this month, I gave in in read a Sherlock Holmes Book, Hound of the Baskervilles. I'm trying to read more vintage mysteries, especially form the pre-1960 era, the Golden Age.

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  3. Another great month. Good luck to all these authors. I read Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. It is not new but her writing is sublime

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  4. All good books! I love the theme in 7th grade life in tights. Especially being a mom of two little ones. Is Girl without a face YA? I will have to check it out. I love suspense so much :)

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    1. I just saw it is YA! Yay!

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    2. Yes, both Girl Without a Face and At First Blush are YA.

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  5. Another great bunch of books!!!

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  6. A great list of books. I have Medeia's novel and the anthology waiting to be read. Looking forward to them. I love everything of Medeia's that I've read, and the anthology speaks to me, cause I'm there. :)

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  7. I love your book reviews, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing these!

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  8. All the covers are so pretty I just want to look at 'em forever.
    I just read Lizard Radio. Quirky dystopian camp story about gender and lizard people and trust.

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  9. Still Me and Girl Without a Face sound great! Actually, the others sounds great, too.

    I've read a bunch of great books in April, some of them are Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (YA), My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, and Amerika by Kafka (though that one makes me cringe).

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  10. Girl Without a Face sounds pretty neat, so I definitely want to grab it. I'm still in suspense mode and have finished The Black Widow by Daniel Silva, No Man's Land by David Baldacci and Ring of Fire by Brad Taylor. These spy and suspense novels were so well researched that it made you wonder if they have ESP, or have real insider info most of us will never know. In many instances it was super eerie, and kep me page turning all day! Hugs...

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  11. Stephanie, your books are very popular at our library. So glad to find your blog. One of the books I read this month is Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig. It's told from the point of view of an autistic foster child who keeps trying to run away from her loving foster home to go back to a neglectful and abusive mother. It sounds like it would be sad, but the story is filled with humor and love.

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  12. Sounds like some great reads.

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  13. Sounds like some good reads!! Thank you!

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  14. I think At First Blush is my kind of book. :P
    Thanks for sharing this list. I'm yet to finish all books of Narnia still. It kept me preoccupied last April.

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  15. Hi Stephanie - thanks for sharing April's books ... I think Karen's anthology will be an interesting read - and yes it's better to be aging than anything else! While Medeia's book I'd love to read sounds rather gripping ... cheers Hilary

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