April was a light month for reading. After my first physical read of the month, I struggled with what to read next, starting multiple books before finally settling on George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings (which will probably take me a few months to get through…so my reads are going to be light for a while!). Some unexpected listens this month, though.
What I’ve Read
This isn’t intentional, but for the last few years I’ve more or less read one Jane Austen novel a year, usually in the late winter/early spring. I still haven’t read everything by Austen…I have Mansfield Park left to go, and I read Northanger Abbey such a long time ago I barely remember it, so I can see myself reading that one again. However, this year it was Persuasion. I have to admit that I enjoyed this story much more than I enjoyed Emma (I did enjoy Emma, but it’s definitely my least favourite Austen so far). I liked that this one was a bit more mature. Like any Austen, it was delightful to read this…just a joy to curl up and read on a bright spring day.
What I’ve Listened To
I’d previously added this audiobook to my wishlist because I was interested in the story and thought it might be nice to read someday. I didn’t actually intend to listen to it…but this month, I found myself wanting to listen to a male, British narrator(!) and this book fit that. Once I started to listen, I was quite enthralled. At times I loved the characters, and at times I really disliked them. I wasn’t thrilled by the turn of events, but I didn’t hate them, either. It was a weird story for me, as I wouldn’t exactly say that I liked the plot, and yet I loved listening to it and was kept intrigued until the very end. I’m glad I ended up stumbling across this in my wishlist. It was just the right thing to satiate my listening desires.
A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness (Read by Jason Isaacs)
But, you know, one male British narrator isn’t enough! I tried reading this book a long while back, and I really couldn’t get into it. I always felt guilty for not finishing it, as I’d always heard good things about it. So, when I saw that Jason Isaacs was the narrator for this, I thought I’d give it a go (the audiobook also came with a disc of all the illustrations, which was an added bonus). Listening to it was a very different experience, and I ended up quite enjoying this story. It’s unique, twisting the conventions of fairy-tales and being a twisted fairy-tale in and of itself. Definitely dark, and definitely sad, but also quite magical.
A Monster Calls was not a book I intended to listen to. The Rest of Us Just Live Here was a book I’ve been intending to listen to for a couple of months (I’ve had it on hold for ages!). So when this book became available right after I finished A Monster Calls, I was even more excited to get listening. Unfortunately, while I was pleasantly surprised by A Monster Calls, I was disappointed by this one. I think the concept of The Rest of Us Just Live Here was amazing (normal kids in a school full of “Chosen Ones”), but the execution just didn’t work for me. I thought the story was going to be funny, and small parts of it were, but a lot of it was way too serious for how I thought the book should be played out. I also really didn’t care about the characters. I thought they were annoying, and honestly, I thought they were really boring next to their “Chosen Ones” counterparts. You get tiny glimpses of the epic Chosen One story unfolding while the main characters go about their daily lives, and I would have much rather been reading the epic story, which I don’t think should have been the case.