The Seven Books I Read in April

April seemed to go by in a flash! It was a great month of reading for me. I read some books that I had been anticipating and some that had been on my shelf since the end of last year! If you’re looking for a book to throw into your beach bag, I suggest Under the Southern Sky! If you’re looking to get lost in a good mystery you should pick up Good Girl, Bad Blood! Those were two of my favorites this month. I’m already looking forward to some good books in May. I started reading The Push, but ended up DNF’ing it because it was really triggering.

As always, you can see my latest reads on my bookstagram account @enw_reads (I share ALL things books there!) and on my Amazon Shop page! If you have any book recs, send them my way! I would love to hear what you have read recently in the comments. Thanks for stopping by! april reading list life with emily-3

The Seven Books I Read in April

UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY by Kristy Woodson Harvey | Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process. Parker hasn’t been able to move forward since losing Greer and he knows if he wants to keep a part of her, he has to do something with those embryos. Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think. review: As a fellow North Carolinian, I have quickly become a big fan of Kristy Harvey over the last few years! Each spring I look forward to reading her latest book and each one transports me to a spot on the NC coast!  Under the Southern Sky has such a great premise with lovable, unique characters. I really adored both Amelia and Parker and found myself rooting for them throughout the entire book. They were so well developed that I felt like I was reading about two friends. This book is a bit more heavy as it deals with IVF and abandoned embryos, but Kristy wrote about the subject with such emotion and care. I really enjoyed this one and it would be the perfect book to pick up this spring or summer. rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig | Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? there are an infinite number of books and each book tells the story of a different reality. Would any of these other lives truly be better? Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place. review: The Midnight Library has been everywhere since being released and my sweet friend Allie purchased it for me after she read it! This book has a slow and steady pace, but it really made me think and while reading it I found myself reflecting over my life and decisions I have made. I think this is a book that people will either love and relate to or not connect to at all, depending on where you are in your life. While I liked the overall message, I wish there had been *more* – more depth, more exploration, and more character building. It makes for a quick read and would recommend reading this book, but I do think it was a little overhyped. rating: 3.5 out of 5 ⭐️

GOOD GIRL, BAD BLOOD by Holly Jackson | Pip is not a detective anymore. With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her. But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh. The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late? review: After reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel! It’s not often that I think a sequel is just as good as the first, but it rings true with this series. I really liked that we got to see Pip grow and evolve in this book. I also enjoyed that we got a subplot that gave an update on the mystery from the first book. Much like the first book, I loved the addition of media – like podcast transcripts, DMs, and text messages. These really help add an element to the plot and lend to offering different perspectives really well. Since this is a sequel, they do need to be read in order and don’t work as standalone! If you’re a true crime podcast fan, definitely grab this series. Both of these books are highly captivating and will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very end! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry | Poppy and Alex. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since. Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong? review: Last year I read Beach Read and had mixed feelings on it, but decided to give Emily Henry’s newest book a shot! I can say that without a doubt I liked this one a lot more than Beach Read! I really enjoyed getting to know Poppy and Alex. They are both complex characters and are at crossroads in their lives where they are vulnerable. Their vulnerability and imperfections paired with their banter made this friends to lovers trope even more enjoyable to me as we got to know them and their relationship with one another. I do wish we had gotten more of their relationship in the book though. It was endearing at first that they were skirting around telling each other how they felt, but it got a bit old the further into the book it went! That said, my other gripe is with the way she titles her books. Beach Read had nothing to do with the beach and this book really didn’t make sense until the last 20 pages! I had a few people share the same sentiment with me when I chatted about it on instagram! If you’re looking for a book to add to your spring list, give this one a shot. rating: 3.5 out of 5 ⭐️

THE HUNTING WIVES by May Cobb | Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless. Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control. review: I was intrigued from the very start with this book! The Hunting Wives was just plain fun to read and they’re definitely not hunting what you may think…these women are on the prowl. It’s quite scandalous! This book starts off as a suburban drama and then a murder happens and you’re thrown into the investigation of housewives. It makes for a lot of drama, a good mystery & a great premise. The characters were unreliable and unlikeable and they kept getting into situations that were like train wrecks, you couldn’t help but flip the pages and keep reading! This story is fast-paced and there are plenty of twists and revelations to keep things interesting. If you’re a fan of Real Housewives and Big Little Lies, you’re sure to like this one! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

WHEN THE STARS GO DARK by Paula McClain | Anna Hart is a missing persons detective in San Francisco. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in. review: Paula McClain is known for her book The Paris Wife, so when I heard she was making a foray into the mystery genre, I was intrigued. This is a beautifully written atmospheric, slow building story. Anna’s story is both devastating and powerful and we learn about her bit by bit throughout the book, which had me on the edge of my seat. I really loved all the dimensions and layers within this book – I felt a wave of emotions as I read it. While this is a bit of a slow build, it’s beautiful writing really lends to telling this story well. If you’re a fan of crime procedurals and authors like Lisa Gardner, you’ll enjoy this one. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

THIS CLOSE TO OKAY by Leesa Cross-Smith | On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.  Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets. Alternating between Tallie and Emmett’s perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge’s edge — as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with in her own life. review: After seeing a lot about this book I chose it as my April book club pick. I so badly wanted to like this book but I just…. didn’t. I was looking forward to the exploration of mental health through this book and thought it would be a great book for discussion, but it left me wanting for more. It was a s-l-o-w book with weird pacing for me and I felt I could never connect or relate to the characters. I think the thing that bothered me most about Tallie and Emmett were their lack of boundaries for each other. I mean, they had *just* met, yet both of them crossed extreme boundaries with each other, which I found odd, especially since Tallie is a therapist. This seems to be a polarizing books and some may relate while others do not. rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️

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Leave a Reply


  1. Lizzie wrote:

    I was actually looking into People We Meet on Vacation. Loved hearing your thoughts on these!


    Posted 5.4.21 Reply
  2. Melissa wrote:

    you have the best recommendations for new reads.

    Posted 5.4.21 Reply
  3. These all sound so great! I’ve been trying to read more before bed so I’ll have to add some of these to my list. Xx.

    Posted 5.4.21 Reply
  4. Stephanie wrote:

    I’m glad you at least got a chance to read The Midnight Library and People We Meet On Vacation – even if you didn’t love them quite as much as I did. As far as the titles go, PWMOV has a better title in the UK: it’s just called You and Me On Vacation. That title makes WAY more sense, if you ask me!

    Posted 5.5.21 Reply
  5. The only one I had read is Midnight Library and I gave it a 4/5 so similar in thoughts to yours. It wasn’t my favorite book, but it was great to read and I love the perspective of thinking of alternate universes. I need to add a few of these into my mix now!

    Posted 5.6.21 Reply
  6. SO thrilled that you loved Under The Southern Sky- thanks for reading! xo, Kristy

    Posted 5.6.21 Reply
  7. The Hunting Wives sounds like an interesting read, thank you for sharing such a great roundup!
    xo Jaimie

    Posted 5.6.21 Reply
  8. Amanda G wrote:

    Thanks for sharing these! I think it’s safe to say we share similar taste in books, I have quite a few of these on my tbr list so it’s great to read your thoughts! A Girl’s Guide to Murder just came in and I can’t wait to dive into it!

    Posted 5.7.21 Reply

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