April Wrap Up


Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (audiobook)
Palm Beach, Finland by Antti Toumainen
The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott
Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent (audiobook)
The Last by Hanna Jameson
Inspection by Josh Malerman
Carrie by Stephen King
Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson (audiobook)
Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman

12 books (3 audiobooks)
3,586 pages
Top 3 Reads: Daisy Jones & The Six, Palm Beach Finland, & The Last

I started out April fully blowing my TBR away and then fell behind with what I wanted to accomplish. I know, 12 books is a great number! I just wanted to set myself up to further in my May schedule and wasn’t able to.

I kicked off April with an amazing line-up! CALL ME STAR GIRL is Louise Beech’s first thriller and you certainly wouldn’t believe it! I was swept away by this claustrophobic read, while also being caught off guard with the emotional level the book took me to. Beech has a great depth to her writing that was certainly shown with the characters she created in this book.

THE RINGMASTER is book two in Vanda Symon’s Sam Shephard series and picked things up close to where book one left off. I love the character of Sam and the cases that she works on are nothing short of entertaining. Symon has a unique take on the types of cases and answers she comes up with to those cases. I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve for book three!

Carrying on with new releases for the month I picked up THE MISSING YEARS by Lexie Elliott. If you read any of my reviews for Gothic crime fiction books, you know that they’re something I adore! Elliott comes through with setting up those Gothic vibes through an isolated house in Scotland referred to as The Manse. While this book is a slow burn that may not work for everyone, I think it’s worth trying out if you like strange tales that involve possibly haunted houses!

One of my goals this year is to make sure I’m not getting too swept away by new releases by making sure to pick up backlist titles. I’ve had UNRAVELING OLIVER sitting on my shelf for a bit and after loving Nugent’s LYING IN WAIT last year I knew I needed to get to this one. I really enjoy character studies and Oliver was such a fascinating person to learn more about. I know that Nugent already has a third book out across the pond called SKIN DEEP. The question now is do I order from Book Depository or do I wait for the US release?

Speaking of authors who are a must read…let’s talk Josh Malerman! The April Night Worms subscription box featured Malerman and sent out his latest, INSPECTION, along with an older novella, A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE. I kicked off things with INSPECTION and was blown away by this creative story! The premise is about an isolated school where boys are being raised since birth completely unaware of the female gender. There is a lot of intricate plotting to this story, as well as a few twists that made it a very exciting read.

I’ve recently started to try to add novellas into my reading as a way to consume more books. I am always in awe at how much an author can have happen within a small amount of pages, when there are books out there many times the size of a novella that don’t always succeed. A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE was a tale of fantasy, coming of age, and horror. I loved it!

April’s Stephen King read-along pick was CARRIE. I was really worried I wouldn’t love this book because I am so familiar with the movie. I was completely wrong! I loved the story and the differences between the book and the movie kept things interesting. I love that this was King’s debut book and has become such an iconic story.

Instagram book clubs Criminally Good and Black Heart Reads teamed up this month for a #killercollaboration. Together they selected BEFORE SHE KNEW HIM, which is Peter Swanson’s latest book. This is my second book by Swanson and I think it’s safe to say I’ll be working my way through the rest of his backlist this year!

LITTLE DARLINGS released a few days ago at the end of April and was a fantastic creepy story, mixing folklore and crime fiction to create something unique. I loved Golding’s debut and can’t wait to see what she will come up with next!

So what were my top 3 reads for April?

DAISY JONES & THE SIX certainly falls outside of my normal reading comfort zone, but I have a soft spot for Taylor Jenkins Reid after being convinced to read THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO last year. I adored that book and I adored this one! By far, the audiobook for DAISY JONES has to be the best one I have ever listed to. I cannot recommend trying it out enough!

THE LAST took me on a post-apocalyptic journey that was incredibly plausible and unsettling. I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this story and the characters that Jameson created. It also sparked a need inside me to make sure to add more dystopian and post-apocalyptic titles to my TBR for the year.

Hands down my favorite book of the month was the most entertaining read, PALM BEACH, FINLAND! I loved the Fargo vibes this book put forth and it was such a fun, yet incredibly devious story. I have a weak spot for dark comedy and Toumainen certainly stole the show for April with this book!

Interested in snagging a copy of any of these books? Check them out here!:

CALL ME STAR GIRL: Amazon | Book Depository

THE RINGMASTER: Amazon | Book Depository

DAISY JONES & THE SIX: Amazon | Book Depository

PALM BEACH, FINLAND: Amazon | Book Depository

THE MISSING YEARS: Amazon | Book Depository

UNRAVELING OLIVER: Amazon | Book Depository

THE LAST: Amazon | Book Depository

INSPECTION: Amazon | Book Depository

BEFORE SHE KNEW HIM: Amazon | Book Depository

CARRIE: Amazon | Book Depository

A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE: Amazon | Book Depository

LITTLE DARLINGS: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

Disclosure: Thank you to Orenda Books, Berkley, Gallery Books, and Crooked Lane Books for sending me  free copies in exchange for an honest review.

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