The books I read in April 2020 were all a lot of fun and very transportive books! Maybe I unconsciously picked up these books because, thanks to today’s climate, I wanted to get whisked away into another city, time period, or character’s world? In total, I read three books this month! Two books take place in London (clearly I’m dreaming of being able to travel again!) and one takes place in 1940s New York City. All three books had me falling in love with the characters and made me feel happy during a month filled with lots of hard global news. I’d recommend any of these three books for your next read! Enjoy book worms!
P.S. For more of my book reviews from 2020, head here!
The Books I Read in April 2020
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
This book will pull at your heartstrings as you cheer on the heroine, Lydia, while she navigates life through a lens of grief and explores her relationship with herself and new love. The book lead, Lydia Bird, looses her fiancé in a car accident and is left struggling to cope with his passing, his absence in their house and bed, and what her life looks like and means without him in it. Lydia quickly discovers a loophole that allows her to experience what her life would be like with her fiancé, Feddie, in it. However, she starts to feel the lines blur between her real life and her escapism life with Freddie. Which life is she meant to live? Which life brings out the best Lydia Bird? While I admit that this sounds a bit heavy hitting (and maybe corny?), I knew I had to read the book because I love the author’s other book, One Day in December, so very much. Josie Silver writes her characters with such warmth that it’s hard not to feel like you know them! As such, the characters of The Two Lives of Lydia Bird will stick with you throughout the day after you put down the book. I challenge any of you to read this book without both crying and smiling at the same time! In my opinion, the ending is worth reading the whole book for too. Did I mention that I love reading any book with characters who speak with British accents and use marvelous British expressions? Yes, this novel is set in London so all the characters are utterly charming. I really enjoyed this poignant, witty, heartbreaking book and think y’all will too! It’s a very fast read to pick up while staying home. Grade: A-.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
I know a handful of people who jumped to read this book the minute it came out last summer. I, however, wasn’t one of them. Against popular opinion, I didn’t just love Eat, Pray, Love (also by Elizabeth Gilbert) so I didn’t feel a major urge to read City of Girls. I heard great things about this novel though and after deciding that it sounded completely and totally different than Eat, Pray, Love, I decided to give it a read. I’m so happy I did! I loved it! City of Girls is set mostly in 1940s New York City with a backdrop of both the theater world and WWII. The heroine of this novel, Vivian Morris, is special because she’s not your average heroine, especially for the 1940s. She’s kind of a feminist without realizing it. Vivian arrives in the Big Apple as a wide eyed 19-year-old girl to live with her flamboyant aunt after being kicked out of Vassar College. At her aunt’s playhouse, Vivian uses her talents as a seamstress to make her mark all while getting swept up with a gaggle of unconventional entertainers and Broadway stars from showgirls to the rich and famous. Vivian is riding high until a mistake made one night turns her life upside down. The scandal causes her to reevaluate her life, her circle of friends, and her role in New York City. The whole story is told through the eyes of 89-year-old Vivian looking back on her life. It is reflective, honest, dishy, scandalous, provocative, and FUN. This book really stuck with me because it is an unlikely love story. It’s not a boy meets girl, boy marries girl love story. Rather it’s a love story between Vivian and New York City and a love story about loving yourself. AKA, love story perfection! Grade: A-.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
If you can’t get enough of the royals, then this books is for you! Inspired by Prince William and Kate Middleton, this fun loving novel follows American study abroad student Rebecca “Bex” Porter and Prince Nicholas “Nick” from the first day they meet at Oxford throughout their up and down relationship. Bex accidentally and unthinkably finds herself in love with the heir to the British throne and her life is turned upside down. Nick is beloved in England but that comes with a price… complicated family secrets, tabloid drama, and the expectation to marry a Brit. As the book opens the night before the wedding of the century, Bex looks back on her years since meeting Nick and everything that she’s had to give up (maybe herself?) to get to this day. Will she end up breaking one too many hearts? Will she loose herself? This book is honestly just a bundle of fun! I personally loved Nick’s younger brother who plays up Prince Harry’s playboy side. One aspect I wish had been different in the book was Bex’s relationship with her twin sister, Lacey. I really love Pippa Middleton and wish the sisters in The Royal We had been less catty and competitive and more like what we know of Kate and Pippa. This book is long but once you get into it, it starts to read quickly. If we’re ever allowed to visit the beaches again, this would be a great beach read! P.S. Now is the best time to read The Royal We because the sequel, The Heir Affair, comes out in early July so you’ll be ready for part two and won’t be left agonizing over what happens next for too long. Grade: B+.
Get the books I read in April 2020:
I’m curious, do y’all find that you’re reading a lot while sheltering in place? I’m a bit of a mixed bag. I’ve had a few conversations with friends recently too and they seem to share the same feeling as me. It’s a funny paradox… almost like we have so much time at home so we put off reading in favor of doing it later only to not ever pick up our books. I’ve also had chats with friends about how it feels harder to focus on reading right now. Such a strange feeling! I think that’s why I really enjoyed the three books I read in April!
While I read fewer books than usual this month (I think I usually read four books. A great month is five books!), I was able to get lost in them. All three books were all pretty positive stories that allowed me to cast my thoughts aside and transport myself into the settings of my books. None of the books were too heavy, which helped too! I’d love to hear y’alls experiences! So far, a week into May, I’ve barely read at all. It’s time for me to pick it up! xx
Photographs by Edwin Eversole