April 2016 Wrap-Up and Favorites

It’s May already. We’re almost in the middle of the year. Time sure flies by. So much happening in April. I read a satisfying amount of books. I even managed to find a favorite book. I watched quite a lot of movies and TV shows. I watched some of the 87th Academy Awards nominees such as Brooklyn, Carol, The Danish Girl, and Spotlight. With movies and TV shows, I can watch them while doing other things at the same time. I can’t do that with books, except audiobooks which I’m not used to. I have to finish my thesis this semester so I’ve been working on that bit by bit. It took most of my time in April so I cut back my reading time. Anyway, enough with the chit chat and let’s start with the books I read in April.

Books Read in April

Splendor Splendor – Anna Godbersen ( ★★★★)
I started this book on March but finished reading it on April. I really enjoyed this series. It took me quite a while to finish Splendor only because I’ve spent most of my time catching up on Criminal Minds lately. I used to think that this series is about Elizabeth Holland and the people around her when it’s actually about her younger sister, Diana. Ironic, because that’s exactly what people around the Holland sisters perceive them. In the first book, Diana felt that her sister always overshadowed her. But in this book I can see that she’s grown so much because she’s brave enough to pursue what she actually wants despite of what the society think. It’s also interesting to see how Diana always sees New York people as a conservative society and they would never understand her; when nowadays we like to believe that New Yorkers are modern and sophisticated people.
an improper proposal An Improper Proposal – Patricia Cabot (★★★.5)
An Improper Proposal is an adult historical romance written by Patricia Cabot or Meg Cabot. This book is different from her popular series The Princess Diaries, though. An Improper Proposal is much more mature (as it’s an adult book). It has graphic sexual and violent scenes in it. Since it’s historical, there are many views and traditions that would seem backward to us now. Like how Payton’s behaviors are unladylike and unacceptable when she’s only trying to speak her mind. I love Payton. She’s brave and she knows what she wants. This book is funny, Meg Cabot funny. If you’ve read any of her books you’ll understand what I mean. Nevertheless it’s a fun romance novel. I really enjoyed reading this book.
The Silver Kiss The Silver Kiss – Annette Curtis Klause (★★★)
The Silver Kiss is an urban fantasy young adult novel. It’s a ‘love story’ between a teenager and a vampire. I used quotation marks there because I don’t think that their relationship can be called love. But they do have a deeper connection than friends I guess. I’ll talk about it more on my review, which will be posted early in May.
No Rest for the Wicked No Rest for the Wicked – Dane Cobain (★★★)
No Rest for the Wicked is a supernatural thriller novella about Angels. Except the Angels in this book are set on a mission to wipe out human race. It was a quick and enjoyable read. I won’t talk about it much because I’ve written a whole review post which will be up later this month.
Paper Girls Paper Girls Vol.1 – Brian K. Vaughan (★★★★)
I’ve read Y: The Last Man which is a graphic novel series written by Brian K. Vaughan and loved it. It’s brilliant. I was excited when I got the chance to read a copy of this graphic novel from Netgalley. Paper Girls is a graphic novel series about four newspaper delivery girls in 1988 who discover the most important and exciting story in their town. It’s only the first volume so it serves as an introduction to the world and how things work in this series. There’s nothing much to the plot except questions, a lot of them, which need to be answered. Like what‘s really going on? My God, I was hooked. I wish the second volume out soon because I need it. I love the color tones used in this graphic novel. It uses vibrant colors yet they give enough somber moods to emphasis the grim situation the characters in. I’m just excited about this new graphic novel series and can’t wait to read the next volume.
Athena Athena: Eureka – Erlin Natawiria (★★)
Athena: Eureka is the first book in the second part of ‘Setiap Tempat Punya Cerita’ series. I’ve read all of the books in the first part of the series. Each book is kind of hit or miss for me. Some I like and some I don’t. Sadly, this one falls into the miss category. I had hope for this book because it has a promising setting. There’s a lot to explore or things in the setting that can be used to enhance the story. Take the Greek mythology, for example. True, the author used it, but only as a fun fact or trivia. The main character told a story about her twin brothers which btw reminds her of Dioskouri. That’s it. One thing that I noticed in most Indonesian contemporary books, instead of giving a detailed description of the characters’ physical features; the authors tend to just throw famous actors’ or actresses’ names to tell the readers what the characters look like. I said most; not all of them do this, but when I found it in books, it irritates me. Because when I read a book, I want the author to give me ideas, and then let my imagination take the rest of the work. You want the readers to relate to the characters in your book. That’s what make the readers sympathize with your characters. So when someone tells you that a character is a double of Angelina Jolie, well that’s too bad cause I’m not Angelina Jolie. I can’t relate to that. It also kind of makes the story feels like a fan fiction, the author’s fantasy of said actors or actresses. Not that fan fiction is a bad thing. But it is bad when you don’t actually promote your writing as one. I enjoyed reading the part where Widha and Nathan travel together though, which is why I don’t give this book less than two out of five stars.
The Dead Returns The Dead Returns – Akiyoshi Rikako (★★★★)
The Dead Returns is a supernatural mystery novel. I’ve read Rikako’s other book, Girls in the Dark, and I loved it. That’s why I was so excited to read this one. I like The Dead Returns. I devoured it. I read it in one sitting. I also wrote a review for this book which will be up later in May.
The Story of Us The Story of Us – Deb Caletti (★★★★)
I finished this book in the last day of April. It’s a young adult contemporary book. For a contemporary book, The Story of Us is quite dense. I thought I could finish it quick but I didn’t. Anyway, I wrote a review for this book which will be up sometime in May.

Review Posts in April

Non-Review Posts in April

April Favorites

Of all the books I read in April, my favorite one is The Dead Returns by Akiyoshi Rikako. I’ve talked a little about this book earlier. More about it will be detailed in my review.

TV shows
Criminal Minds
I believe Criminal Minds has been airing for 11 years now. I used to watch it only when it happened to be on the TV. I started watching the show from Season 7. I don’t even watch all of the episodes, only the ones that happened to be aired when I was turning on the TV. Then I fell in love with the show and its characters. Recently, they made a major change in the main cast and that’s when I decided to watch the show from Season 1. I know that there’s a lot of police procedural shows out there. It seems like Americans love these kinds of shows. Criminal Minds centered on FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (B.A.U.) team, the profilers. The show focuses more on the psychological aspect of the possible suspect (unknown subject or unsub) in a criminal case. The cases that the team investigates are fascinating. They often reference or comment on actual cases. I’m addicted to this show. I devoured it. I finished watching the first season in three days, second season in two days, and then third season in two days. I didn’t have much spare time but when I did, I like marathoning the series.

Spotlight is a biographical film that follows The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, which is an investigative journalist unit in Boston. The film focuses on the team’s effort in uncovering the truth behind cases of child sex abuse in Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. The newspaper stories in which the film based on, earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Spotlight also won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. I found out about this film from the Academy Award report on the news. I don’t usually follow these award events but it was everywhere. Then I found out more about the premise of this film and it hooked me. Spotlight is so good. It’s riveting and definitely an eye opener. I thought it would be boring because it’s biographical but it’s not boring at all. I really recommend watching Spotlight.

From now on, I’m just going to attach a Spotify playlist on my favorites posts. Spotify just recently came to Indonesia and it’s a game changer. It makes my life easier, music-wise. So these are the songs that I’ve been listening to repeatedly in April. It’s a mix of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and oldies. Actually there’s only one old song, Stand by Me, which I’ve been listening to repeatedly because of the trailer of Final Fantasy XV. I don’t even play FF but the new version of the song is just beautiful. Florence + The Machine covers the song for the newest installment of FF game series. Since that version has not officially released yet, the old one works for me. I mean, that song basically can’t go wrong. It’s just beautiful as is. As for the EDM songs, I have always loved EDM. But I never really listened to Avicii besides his song Wake Me Up; at least until this month. Also, The Chainsmokers! They went from #SELFIE to Roses and Inside Out. It amazed me. Those two songs are just addicting and of course less annoying.

BBI 5th anniversary
This month is Blogger Buku Indonesia 5th anniversary. I didn’t participate in any of the events. I feel bad like I should have participated. I wanted to but I was quite busy. I’ve been scheduling my blog posts for weeks. So it was a bit difficult for me to make time to write posts for the event. Still, I’m proud to be a part of this community and happy 5th anniversary to BBI!

Dewey’s 24 hour Readathon
Dewey’s 24 hour readathon is one of my most anticipated events in the year. I love doing readathons but what I love about this redathon is it only happens in the span of 24 hours. It’s easier to make time to read for 24 hours rather than a week. Like I said, I’ve been busy. If it wasn’t for this readathon, I wouldn’t have read as much as I did in April. It was fun. I tried to be more active in interacting with other participants. I’m looking forward to the next readathon which I believe will be held in October 22nd. More info about this readathon is available on their website.

That’s my April wrap up and favorites. It was a great month. I watched good movies and read good books. I made progress on my thesis which is great. How about you? Tell me what movies you watched or books you read in April and feel free to leave the answer in the comment section.

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