Finished Reading | April 2015

6 May 2015

A picture of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
April was a slow month for me reading wise. I don't know why but I just wasn't as into reading every single day as I usually am - I think it was mainly down to a lot of late nights and being too tired to read more than a page or two at a time, but having done so well so far in 2015 in my personal reading challenge over on Goodreads, the less I read the more disheartened I became. At the end of April my reading speed picked up again and it's safe to say that now May is here, I've well and truly got the reading bug again! It's time to share my thoughts and reviews of the books I read in April.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion | Paperback £3.85, Kindle £3.66
The Rosie Project has received a lot of mixed reviews, but I decided to give it a read for myself as it's been quite a debated book; some people seem to love The Rosie Project, whilst others couldn't get into it. I picked it up from Amazon during their offer of 3 books for £10 (something they do regularly, so keep an eye on Amazon for some great deals!), and when it arrived I was pretty excited to get stuck into it.

I didn't have high hopes - with so many negative reviews I wasn't expecting much at all. Yet after just a couple of chapters I was completely captivated, drawn in by the characters and storyline, finding it almost impossible to put down. The Rosie Project follows the story of Don Tillman, a 39 year old geneticist who has never had a second date. Determined to find a suitable partner, he devises 'The Wife Project'; a scientific test to help him find the perfect partner. His best friend and colleague, Gene, introduces him to Rosie - and from then on Don's life completely changes.

I personally really enjoyed the character development in The Rosie Project. I liked all the main characters involved in the plot, but found myself more and more drawn to Don, liking him more with each new awkward and socially unacceptable encounter. This is my first read from Graeme Simsion, but I really enjoyed his writing and the way he portrayed the different characters. That said, this book is set in Australia and personally, I would have loved for that to have translated more through this book as I felt it wasn't really a big factor whereas for me, I find the locations of books just as important as the characters.

I really, really enjoyed The Rosie Project - so much so that I'm currently reading the follow-up book, The Rosie Effect. I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you want a romantic comedy that isn't down the line of the usual chick-lit romance. It's fun, enlightening and sometimes frustrating, but overall a very enjoyable read!

A picture of Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn
Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn | Paperback £5.99, Kindle £4.27
Those of you who have been reading my book reviews each month will know that I am a big fan of Carola Dunn and her delightful Daisy Dalrymple series. Damsel in Distress is the 5th book in the ever-growing series, and takes a very different turn to the previous books - there's no murder in this one!

Damsel in Distress follows the story of Philip Petrie, Daisy's childhood friend who has finally found someone to devote himself to instead of constantly proposing to Daisy over guilt of her brothers death in the war. Just as he's about to pluck up the courage to propose, he finds himself - and his hearts desire - kidnapped and held to ransom. When he manages to escape he brings in Daisy, their friends and Daisy's good friend, Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher from Scotland Yard, in the hopes of finding Gloria and the person behind the kidnapping.

At first I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Damsel in Distress, as I'm using to these books having a murder which Daisy and Alec have to solve (and I try to solve myself, too!), but I actually really enjoyed it. I love the way Carola Dunn effortlessly transports you to the 1920's with her writing, and the more I get into the series the more I fall in love with all the characters who are developed more and more as each book goes on. Very excited to get stuck into the 6th book in the series, Dead in the Water

A picture of The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff | Paperback £7.99, Kindle £4.28
Another one of my bargain Kindle finds, I downloaded The Enchantment Emporium when it was on offer for 99p. The book description sounded right up my street and so I decided to give it a read - adding another new author to my reading list, having never come across Tanya Huff before.

The Enchantment Emporium follows the story of Alysha Gale who inherits a junk shop from her missing grandmother. When she gets there she finds that all is not as it seems, with trouble on the horizon, sorcerers and dragons to worry about, all whilst falling in love and trying to keep her large and very inquisitive family at bay (and failing miserably!). The Gales are no ordinary family, with magic and powers, traditions and a very strong group of 'Aunts' who always have the final say.

I really enjoyed The Enchantment Emporium, but there were also aspects of it that I found quite... odd. Such as the male Gales being animalistic and the women finding all Gale boys hard to resist - this is why things were a bit odd for me, as at times Rosie had to physically remove herself from the presence of her own brother for that very reason which for me was a bit like 'hmm, really??'. That said, the story was one which kept me captivated and intrigued, and I would definitely read the other books in the series - The Wild Ways and The Future Falls

A picture of Zodiac by Robert Graysmith
Zodiac by Robert Graysmith | Paperback £6.99
I'm a big fan of true crime, so Zodiac was the perfect read for me in April. Zodiac is the shocking and true story of America's most elusive serial killer, a killer who to this day has never been found or identified. Written by Robert Graysmith, it's actually very different to a lot of the true crime books I've read over the years - probably a lot to do with the journalist background of Robert Graysmith.

Detailing the actions, victims and survivors of The Zodiac Killer, Robert Graysmith shares accounts in a chronological order. There's a lot of information packed into Zodiac, including statements and letters from The Zodiac Killer himself, some of which exclusively featured in this book for the first time, alongside pictures of drawings, letters and taunting messages he sent to newspapers at the time of his killing spree.

As true crime books go, this was well written and a good read - but sometimes, it was too well written. For those of you who prefer stone cold facts and nothing else, there is a lot of narrative included from Robert Graysmith for information he simply cannot have known and only speculated; like the exact movements, conversations and feelings of victims who did not survive. That said, it didn't come across as false and worked quite well with his style of writing. One thing he does really well is provide detailed information on the more likely suspects at the time, with one who I was convinced must have been The Zodiac Killer - too many things pointed to him! 

Did you finish reading any books in April? What's on your reading list for this month? As a little side note, I have decided to stop doing the 'Reading in...' posts that I have been writing at the beginning of each month, as it seemed repetitive to write about the same set of books twice. Don't worry though, as you can still keep up with what I'm currently reading as well as the books I plan to read in the future by checking out my Goodreads profile - feel free to add me as a friend on there if you're a fellow bookworm too!