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I’ve been having a hard time reading since the pandemic hit. My mind is constantly abuzz with anxiety, so being able to focus on a book has been tough. But somehow I managed to read four books in April, which I’m really proud of!
I’ve heard people say that they read this book in one sitting or in a few days because they couldn’t put it down. I don’t understand those people. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book, but it was easy to put down and hard to pick back up, so it took me a long time to finish.
(Maybe it’s because it’s about the HIV crisis in the 80s, and we’re going through our own, though much less systemically oppressive, viral outbreak right now and it hit too close to home.)
It tells the story of two people: Yale, a gay man living in Chicago in the 80s, and Fiona, the sister of a gay man from Yale’s friend group who died of AIDS. It flips back and forth from Yale’s storyline in the mid- to late-80s and Fiona’s in 2015, and you slowly learn that the two storylines have more in common than you originally realize.
All in all, I definitely recommend this book, but be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Oh, and have your tissues ready!
Rating: 4/5 stars
I read this book back in January, and as soon as I started it, I also requested the audiobook from my library. I expected it to not be available until August or September, but I was able to get it in April!
Sean and I listened to it together and it was so good. It’s told from many people’s perspectives in the form of interviews, so they have voice actors read for all of the different people, which is super cool. It was hard to get used to everyone’s voices at first, because they don’t say who they are each time (I had an especially hard time with Billy and Graham at first), but after a while you get used to it!
Sean asked whether I liked the audiobook or regular book better, and honestly I don’t know. I lean toward the regular book, but I think that’s just because I read it first so I didn’t know what was coming. You really can’t go wrong either way.
Rating: 5/5 stars
As a fan of the podcasts Stuff Mom Never Told You and Unladylike, I was really excited to see that Cristen and Caroline were putting out a field guide to feminism. I was even more excited when I saw it would be illustrated by Tyler Feder.
And I really wanted to like this book. I did. But it just… rubbed me the wrong way. It think it ironically started off a bit to femmephobic and left a bad taste in my mouth. I get what they were going for, but it was a bit alienating.
That being said, I still learned a lot and I’m glad I read it!
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the second in the Bromance Book Club series that I started in March. This one centers on two minor characters from the first book, and makes the main characters from the first book part of the background. It’s a really fun concept, and I absolutely loved it!
Braden Mack is what you’d consider an alpha male; he’s confident, attractive, wealthy, and good with women. And he also runs a secret romance book club for other alpha-male-types. He’s always helping them learn lessons from romance novels to fix their marriages, but he’s never had to put his own advice to the test because he’s never been in a relationship that he wanted to last. Until he met Liv.
Honestly, this book is exactly what I needed. It’s just a shame it took me until the end of the month to realize it! It’s balances serious topics with light and fun moments, and it’s short—the perfect distraction from basically constant anxiety. Now I’m just upset that I have to wait until October for the third book in the series.
Rating: 5/5 stars