Show Us Your Books: April 2020

Posted April 14, 2020 by shooting in Book Review / 40 Comments

Show Us Your Books is hosted by Steph and Jana

As usual, I’m going to share some mini reviews of books I’ve read since the last link up, as well as some brief thoughts on books I’ve already done reviews for on the blog! I hope everyone had a great Easter, if you celebrate, and if not, I hope you had a nice weekend! Crazy times, but hopefully books are helping us get through!


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The Fourth Ruby by James R. Hannibal – add to Goodreads 

personal copy; all opinions are my own

I read and loved the first book, The Lost Property Office, so I’m glad the Read the Alphabet challenge gave me the nudge to read this book last month! I really enjoy this middle grade series. It’s a fantasy adventure, with all sorts of historical mentions – which I adore. I liked the first book a bit more, but I’d still recommend these. I definitely want to read book 3!!

Hard Ride by A.M. Arthur – add to Goodreads 

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

This is book no. 5 in the Clean Slate Ranch book series and I’m still loving these books. Hard Ride is about Derrick Massey, who you’ll recognize if you’ve read the rest of the books, and Kendall “Slater” Stamos. Slater is injured and could use a place to rest away from the ranch, and closer to physical therapy, and Derrick could use a fake boyfriend for the five upcoming weddings he has to attend. Enter the agreement: Slater and Derrick pretend to be boyfriends over the summer, attending the weddings together, and sharing Derrick’s apartment. I love a good fake boyfriend trope, and this was a really enjoyable read. I think the secondary characters – many of whom were new to the series – were so well done! Hopefully Arthur will have more books for us at the Clean Slate Ranch.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales – add to Goodreads

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

This book is inspired by the musical Grease. I wouldn’t say it was a re-telling exactly because there is plenty that’s different between the two. The basic ideas are the same though: Ollie and Will have a summer romance, with Ollie supposedly going back to California. Surprise, surprise! Ollie’s family stays and him and Will are suddenly face-to-face again…except Will isn’t out, and Ollie’s well, “only mostly devastated.” It would have been interesting to have both of the boy’s point of views, but we only get Ollie’s. It still works though, as I do think we get enough of Will’s perspective as the book continues.


I found the book to be a slower read in some spots, but I still enjoyed it! Ollie’s voice is great, and I loved him as a narrator. He’ll make you laugh throughout, even as he deals with a dying aunt, Will ignoring him, fitting in, and figuring out his senior year. And yes, you may just cry. I know I got all teary-eyed in parts!


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I started a new feature which I called Fiction/Non-Fiction where I review a novel and a non-fiction book with similar topics. I asked on Instagram for a better title and I got Fact or Fiction, so I’m going to use that next time! For now, here’s some brief thoughts on the two books from the first post-

Go With the Flow by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann – add to Goodreads 

Brief Thoughts: I love that Lily and Karen came together to create a graphic novel about four high school friends who try to make talking about periods and feminie products less taboo. I definitely recommend this book for young girls who are about to have their period, but it’s also great for those who already have one, as it might make them feel a bit more secure about it.

My Little Red Book – Add to Goodreads

Brief Thoughts: While many of the stories felt a bit too similar, I think that’s comforting for some people – periods are normal, as are so many of the stories. I did really appreciate the different ones though!

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – full review

Brief Thoughts: The Invisible Library is full of mystery and suspense – I didn’t always know who to trust, but it made the book just that more exciting! The alternate London was a fun place to explore alongside Irene and Kai, and I loved their burgeoning friendship throughout the book. I always thought this was a YA series, but it’s apparently categorized under Adult.


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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – full review

Brief Thoughts:  I have to admit, despite majoring in English Literature, I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice. However, I was immediately curious about this modern adaptation because it takes place in Cincinnati and I live right outside the city. It was so much fun recognizing the areas Liz visited, or the places they went to eat like Skyline Chili.


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For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More by Graham Tarrant – full review

Brief Thoughts: I love facts about books and authors, and this seemed like a fun one. I’m definitely glad that I had the chance to read it, though it wasn’t my absolute favorite. I’d give it a solid three stars though, so still something worth checking out or gifting to a bookworm!

The Queen Bee and Me by Gillian McDunn (my review includes some fun bee themed crafts to do at home as well) – full review

Brief Thoughts: Meg doesn’t always do the right things, but she gets better throughout the book, which felt realistic to me. It’s not easy to stand up to your friends, or to do the right thing sometimes. She gets there though, and I liked seeing Meg and Hazel become closer.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (check out my review for a giveaway!) – full review 

Brief Thoughts: Hello, Universe is a quiet little book. I really loved that the book shows the perspective of all the middle school characters – there are four. The main one is definitely Virgil though, and then Valencia. I love that this book is full of diversity and it just encompasses the whole story.

There you have it! Have you read any of these? Any you’d want to now read? 

Also, I wanted to let you know about an Annotated Book Exchange I’m putting together to give us something fun to do during these crazy times. You would choose a book for the person you are matched with, read it and annotate it as you go along (write in the margins or use post-it notes) and then send it to your person so when they read it, they have your thoughts throughout. If you want to sign up, you can do that here. I think I’m going to have sign ups end this coming weekend so I can get people partnered up!!

40 responses to “Show Us Your Books: April 2020

  1. I didn’t know Only Mostly Devastated was based on Grease! I’ve been hearing so much about Curtis Sittenfeld lately. And we really liked Hello Universe!

  2. I really enjoyed Hello Universe! Quiet is a perfect way to describe it, and it definitely touched on more than I thought it would while still being relatable and easy to read. Only Mostly Devastated is on my TBR, so glad to see another positive review of it.

    That book exchange sounds like a great idea! One question- how much time would we have to read and annotate the book before mailing it out?

    Dani recently posted: March Reads
    • shooting

      I’m going to try and pair people up this weekend, so ideally, you’d send it sometime by the end of June, but honestly, life is crazy, so take your time!!

  3. I love the idea of Eligible, being a new story like Pride & Prejudice. I feel like many of the classics could use a modern makeover. Maybe that’s a post for another day, my friend.

  4. Aww, I’ve missed reading! I’m gonna have to start again so I can join in on that linkup! :]! I haven’t read an yof these, but will be adding The Invisible Library to my to-read list! :]

    • shooting

      Thanks – I’m trying to do Bookstagram more, so I thought it would be fun to use them on the blog when I can.

  5. I remember when Eligible was super popular a few years ago. I wanted to read it and then realized it was a play on P&P and was like “never mind”. I can’t get into Austen books. I’ve tried so many times!

  6. RO

    Wow! Had no idea you majored in English Lit, which I find so cool because I love that too. That Invisible Library looks very interesting, and I always love your pics so much! Hugs and hope you’re doing well! RO

  7. Only Mostly Devastated sounds really interesting, adding it to my TBR. So does the Invisible Library, which is going on the good ‘ol TBR as well. I’m always a sucker for a book with library or bookstore in the title.

  8. I love the sound of the Grease elements. Fun! Any book that can capture the emotional elements and that feeling of high school sounds like a winner too. And I really liked The Invisbe Library.

  9. Ollie won my heart in Only Mostly Devastated. I agree with you, not a Grease retelling, though it has some elements one could trace back to the film/play. I especially loved the side characters (a la Pink Ladies and T Birds). They were all fully formed, and it could be fun to see more books featuring these characters and their stories.

  10. A book inspired my Grease– how fun, it sounds like it would be cute. I’ve had The Invisible Library on my list for a while now- it’s one I’m sure I’d love, but never think to check for at the library.

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