April: Books I’ve Read Recently

"Books I've Read Recently" is a series where I, Penelope Gomez, will do a monthly wrap up of the books I've read throughout the past month. In this series I will give a brief synopsis of the story and then give the book a rating out of 5 stars. 5 stars being the best and 1 star being the worst!

I will then give a brief description of why I chose to rate a book a certain way.

So without further delay lets get into the "Books I've Read Recently," and as always leave a comment down below and tell me which of these books you've also read, or plan on reading next.

Books I've Read Recently

Shiver, book cover

Shiver Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Wow this book was absolutely STUNNING! This book is a series and the moment that I finished book one I immediately had to pick up book two, that's how much I loved this novel. Maggie Stiefvater did an amazing job of transporting us to the frigid winter woods of Minnesota. The way she described the crisp winter air like it was a living breathing thing literally sent chills up my spine! In this book Sam is a ware wolf. Every winter when the frigid air hits Sam becomes a wolf. He spends all winter pining after the girl he loves named Grace. Every winter he watches her from the tree line in her back yard and yearns to be with her. When the summer heat hits he turns back into a human boy, but he must keep his ware wolf self a secret from the world. The romance in this book was just so cute and instantly heart hitting. Sam and Grace have to fight against the fast approaching winter months and must cherish each and every moment together. This was easily a 5 out of 5 stars read for me, I didn't have to think about it, I just instantly loved this book and its characters. The best way to describe the love in this story is just young love/ first love. This book just hit me in the feels. It wasn't all romance though, there were a lot of suspenseful moments and action scenes. It wasn't all mushy all the time in case you were wondering. This book had a really, really good ending and I was kind of surprised  to find out that this book is a series because I felt like everything got wrapped up nicely at the end of this novel. I had no unanswered questions so I'm curious to see how Maggie Stiefvater turned this into a series... but I'm not complaining because I absolutely loved the plot line of this book and I'm glad that its going to continue.

Bright Young Things, book cover

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star....

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

So I'll be honest I was a little disappointed with this book, only because I adore Anna Godbersen as a writer and most of her books are just so DRAMA packed! This book was a little more subdued compared to her other novels. Yes there was still a lot of drama, but it wasn't as scandalous as some of her other reads.That aside I did really like this book. Its set in the roaring 1920's, there are flapper girls, illegal bootleggers and tons of fashionable parties to attend. This story follows 3 young girls. Cordelia and her best friend Letty have always dreamed of escaping from their small town in Ohio and making their way to New York. Cordelia has just moment's ago MARRIED her childhood sweetheart and decided at the reception that this is the perfect moment to runaway to New York. Ok I guess there was some drama in this novel. Cordelia and Letty abandon her now HUSBAND on the train platform and escape straight to glittering Manhattan. This all happens within the first 5 pages so it's not a spoiler! Along the way there is a lot more shocking reveals and eventually they stubble upon Astrid the queen of flappers in my opinion. She is rich, pretty, witty and incredibly sophisticated. The 3 girls make for a scandalous trio to follow all across Manhattan. I just love anything written in this time period setting of the 1920's. Anna Godberson just brought this time period to life with her amazing descriptions of speakeasies and clothing. It was also really interesting to get a glimpse into the infamous illegal bootlegging lifestyle with this novel. I'm incredibly glad that this book is a series. This book just ended so scandalously that I can't wait for the adventures of this amazing trio to continue.

Scythe, book cover

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

This book was a literary masterpiece! Am I being excessive by saying this... probably but this book was just so incredibly good! In this dystopian novel humanity is so medically advanced that people can no longer die, because nobody can die the population has risen. To combat this epidemic a new job title was created called a "Scythe." basically a scythe has to "Glean" people, also known as KILLING PEOPLE! Each scythe has a yearly quota on the number of people they must glean (kill). There are good scythes who really hate gleaning (killing) people and there are bad scythes who really enjoy it and are basically murderers! The story will delve into those two unique personality types and it was just a really interesting social construct to read about. In this book a Sythe named Faraday takes on two apprentices a girl named Citra and a boy named Rowan. The two will be taught the art of killing, but they are forbidden from ever falling in love...but you know how that never works in YA! This was such an amazing read I loved the subtle romance in the novel, but I also extremely loved the way psychology comes into play throughout the novel. This story really makes you delve in deep and really think about the type of scythe you would make. Also the ending was stunning! I couldn't have imagined a better ending, I was really happy with the outcome. Lucky for me this book is a series so there's a lot more Scythe adventures to come. The moment I finished this book I immediately wanted to pick it back up and reread it again. That's how much I loved this novel, because I NEVER reread anything.

Two Can Keep A Secret, book cover

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

I'm not sure if I just couldn't concentrate on this book... or if this book just made zero sense! This book starts off with two twins moving into their mom's small town nicknamed MURDER LAND. Right from the start the way Karen M. McManus describes this small town and its inhabitants I got cheesy 90's horror movie vibes. I thought for sure this book was going to be bloody, with murders happening left and right. Karen M. McManus honestly had the perfect book setting for a really good thriller, but that just wasn't the case with this book. It was honestly incredibly slow paced. Only like one person died in this book and it was super anti-climactic! In this book the main character Ellery's mom also had a twin but was murdered multiple years prior to them moving back. For some random reason Ellery decides that she is going to solve her aunt's cold case and starts out on a mission of finding clues and interrogating people. This murder mystery was highly illogical, this 17 year old girl just happened to piece this incredibly old cold case together! Every time she found another clue it was just TOO EASY! As a reader I was just expected to believe that a group of Detectives couldn't solve this case but miraculously a 17 year old girl who has only been in town for less than a month can solve it... not likely! Anyway every time a character was being interrogated, I found myself having to go back and reread things multiple times because I couldn't remember who this "key witness" even was, just all of sudden they were being questioned and I didn't even know how they had found this person. ...I did not like this book. It just made zero sense, but I'm giving it 2 stars because I just absolutely loved the setting of, "Murder Land." It was an incredibly good setting, but it just didn't go anywhere.

The King of Crows, book cover

The King of Crows by Libba Bray

After the horrifying explosion that claimed one of their own, the Diviners find themselves wanted by the US government, and on the brink of war with the King of Crows.

While Memphis and Isaiah run for their lives from the mysterious Shadow Men, Isaiah receives a startling vision of a girl, Sarah Beth Olson, who could shift the balance in their struggle for peace. Sarah Beth says she knows how to stop the King of Crows-but, she will need the Diviners' help to do it.

Elsewhere, Jericho has returned after his escape from Jake Marlowe's estate, where he has learned the shocking truth behind the King of Crow's plans. Now, the Diviners must travel to Bountiful, Nebraska, in hopes of joining forces with Sarah Beth and to stop the King of Crows and his army of the dead forever.

But as rumors of towns becoming ghost towns and the dead developing unprecedented powers begin to surface, all hope seems to be lost.

In this sweeping finale, The Diviners will be forced to confront their greatest fears and learn to rely on one another if they hope to save the nation, and world from catastrophe...

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I am so disappointed with this book! This was the last book in "The Diviners" series by Libba Bray and I had been waiting for 3 whole years for this book to be published! This was my most anticipated book of the year and it was honestly such a let down... This book is THICK! This book is so thick but absolutely nothing of importance happened in this novel. I felt like a lot of it was just "filler" and this book could have easily been condensed into 300 pages vs. the almost 600 pages that it was. It was although interesting it was incredibly slow paced and the ending was very anti-climactic. Everything does get wrapped up in a nice neat little bow, but I was so disappointed with that ending!! I don't want to give any spoilers away, but that ending just left me wanting more. I kept asking myself, "was that really it?" I felt like I wasted my life waiting for this book to come out. It was a very unfortunate ending! I will say I'm glad at how things ended with Evie and Sam, I totally ship them as a couple but I know fans of Evie and Jericho are going to be disappointed. I am giving this book 4 stars just because I absolutely adored this series from the very beginning, so I am glad to finally have an ending to it. This book was a little more spooky than the past books in the series but I still think book 1 The Diviners is my favorite, nothing can top book 1. Also I'm a big fan of the audiobooks, so if you don't feel like tackling a 600 page book the audiobook version is amazing!