What I Read in April 2017

For the month of April I was able to finish five books.  This is the most books I’ve read in a long time, so expect some more full reviews in the future!

Here’s the list of what I read:

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
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Kingdom Keeper: Disney After Dark (Book 1) by Ridley Pearson
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My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
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The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: 2nd Edition by Susan Veness

As you can see I had a bit of a theme this month with two books focused on Disney World.  I’ve really been wanting to plan a second trip lately and decided that perhaps reading about the parks could fulfill my need to be there.  I’m planning to fully review both the first Kingdom Keepers book and The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World soon.

I think for obvious reasons I decide to pick up and read Thirteen Reasons Why because of the hype the series has been getting.  I actually picked this book up during a massive haul I did at Book Outlet and got it for less than $5, so I couldn’t pass up that opportunity either.  I enjoyed the book and have just started the series which is far more detailed than the book; so this might be a very rare case were I like the TV show better than the novel.

My favorite book I read this month is My (not so) Perfect Life. It was exactly what I was looking for and craving to read lately.  I’ve never read Sophie Kinsella before but I know a lot of people like her and I’d like to read something else of her’s again soon.  If you have a favorite Sophie Kinsella book please comment below, I’d love to check it out!

Happy Reading,

Meghan

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Winter Garden: Book Review

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“To those who are here, those who are gone, and those who are lost.” — Kristen Hannah, Winter Garden

Title: Winter Garden

Author: Kristin Hannah

Published: February 2, 2010

Genre: Contemporary/Historical/Fiction

Reading Format: Kindle book

Summary:

Meredith and Nina Whitson have always had a very cold relationship with there mother Anya. The girls only warm connection with their mother came in the form of the Russian fairy tales Anya would tell them as children. When their beloved father passes, his last request to Nina is for her to have her mother retell the fairy tales to the girls.  As Anya reluctantly begins to tell the tales again her daughters learn more about her past than they ever have before and what seemed like an impossible relationship between mother and daughters starts to form.

Review:

One of Kristen Hannah’s other works is my all time favorite books, The Nightingale. I love Kristen’s writing and how she expands upon the different relationships the characters have with one another.  While Winter Garden did not surpass my love for The Nightingale I still found this book to be a good read.

The setting of Winter Garden .  I will say the book has a slow start to the actual fairy tale parts that Anya tells to her daughters. Because this does take awhile I felt that the end of Anya’s fairy tale was rushed and too much of the first 100 to 200 pages are devoted to the build up of the stories without actually devoting a lot of time to tell them.  Other than that Winter Garden was a good book. I learned some stuff about Russian history I’ve never known about and its made me want to look into other historical fiction set in Russia.

Winter Garden is also a very emotional read.  Much like Kristen Hannah’s other books, the author really plays with the readers heart strings with Anya’s story.  At times the characters themselves can be a bit irritating, at least that’s how they made me feel. This was especially true with Meredith’s need to control everything while also claiming to do it because she want’s to make everyone happy.  In truth when I think about the story line that takes place in “present time” (story takes place in the year 2000 in Washington State and also in Leningrad, Russia during World War II), I could have actually done without it completely and had it focus only on the Leningrad parts. Even with that said I’d still recommend Winter Garden, if you like World War II history but would like a mix of family drama then you should read this book.

Rating: 3.85 stars out of 5

Happy Reading,

Meghan