The Books I read in April 2020

I got through nine books last month. NINE! That's an extremely high number for me, but I'm finding all I want to do in lockdown is lose myself in books. So if you've read anything good lately that you think I might enjoy, please do let me know :)

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Set in an alternate world where being black and white is right and wrong, Sephy and Callum are friends who shouldn't be. This dystopian cleverly explores race and class in a way that pulls the reader into its fictitious world while highlighting the many issues we face in today's society. I absolutely loved the story and the characters, and I can't wait to read the next books in the series. I also recommend the recent BBC adaptation - just be sure to read the book first as the plot differs a bit.
Buy here.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Henrietta Lacks is the woman whose cancerous cells (HeLa) have been used in research since the 1950s, and are linked to many important medical discoveries. Skloot has spent years thoroughly researching HeLa and her book covers not only how the cells have been used, but also the issues their use has raised around racism in medicine and informed consent. It also covers Henrietta's life and introduces us to her family and the struggles they've faced in their quest for the truth about their mothers cells.
Buy here.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Alison appears to have it all - a nice house, husband, daughter, and a career as a defence attorney. But she's having an affair and drinking a bit too much and too often. When she's assigned her first murder case at work, Alison's personal life starts heading into a mess of self destruction. Tyce's writing is fast-paced and punchy with a lot of twists, turns and drama - the perfect book to lose yourself in while in lockdown.
Buy here.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
This was another easy-to-read and beautifully written novel. I adored the characters and quickly became invested in their relationship. Tiffy and Leon have never met but they share a flat - in fact, they share a bed. Tiffy has the place at night while Leon works as a nurse, and he has it during the day. This is a modern love story that will have you turning the pages to see what happens next.
Buy here.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
This one actually took me a few chapters to get into. I just couldn't connect with it in the beginning and I think that's for two reasons: the first was that I had guessed one of the main twists quite early on (though there are more and it did actually keep me guessing until the very end), and the second because I didn't really care for any of the characters - they were all pretty horriblbe people. However, after a few chapters I became gripped by this modern retelling of a classic murder mystery, where a group of seven friends heads to the remote Scottish Highlands for New Year's Eve and one of them turns up dead...dun dun dun!
Buy here.

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
I picked this one up because it's been likened to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which I loved. While it's actually a very different book, the protagonists do share certain traits and I did equally love this book. Susan is a prickly character who is very set in her ways. She's in her forties, lives alone and doesn't really care for people - she has more time for her cacti collection than her colleagues. I adored her quirky personality and her very blunt and biased narration as she steps outside her comfort zone.
Buy here.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Nuri and Afra are Syrian refugees on a journey to escape their war-torn home. Lefteri's writing is exquisite and, although fiction, the situations these characters find themselves in are realistic of those that many refugees have faced in real life. It's heart-wrenching and eye-opening. Books like this are so important - read it immediately.
Buy here.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
I read this one in a day - I just couldn't put it down. This is a love story, but not the one you'd expect. Dannie is a corporate lawyer and has her whole life planned out. She knows exactly what she wants and where she's going to end up - with the man she knows is perfect for her. Then she falls asleep and wakes up five years in the future in another flat, with another man. She convinces herself this was just a dream and tries to forget about it until one day, four and a half years later, she meets the man from her dream and her perfectly planned life is turned upside down. The descriptions were so visual, I could picture every scene perfectly and could really see this one being adapted for film.
Buy here.

Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
Everyone should read this book. It's an important study of the history of the feminist movement in the U.S, and how racist and classist attitudes have hindered it. It really should be required reading to champion an intersectional and inclusive feminism. This is the second book by Davis I've read this year after Are Prisons Obsolete?, which is also essential reading for all.
Buy here.

What did you read in April?

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