14 New Books You Need To Read Before April Is Over (April 17th - April 24th)

14 New Books You Need To Read Before April Is Over (April 17th - April 24th)

Finish up the month of April with some awesome new reads!
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Finish up the month of April with some awesome new reads! Stories with strong female leads, some set in fantasy worlds where the odds are all against them, while others are set in the real world and deal with love and heartbreak, friendship and familial hardships. Stories based on true historical events (the Rwandan genocide) and others based on events that have been occurring a lot of lately in the U.S. (mass shootings). Young kids watching their parents right before them and having to deal with the aftermaths, teenagers struggling with graduating and harrowing secrets that might wreck their futures, and adults just trying to live their lives but dealing with tragedies along the way. Whatever you're into, the end of April has some great new stories coming out to keep you entertained for hours.

All pictures of book covers were taken from Goodreads.com. Click on the pages to go directly to the Goodreads page of each book where you can find out more info on the book, read up on the author, check out reviews of the books, read a short preview, and perhaps even enter into a giveaway for it if the site is currently holding one for that particular book!

April 17th:

1. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell


Ellie Mack was 15 and the youngest of three when she suddenly disappeared. It's been ten years since Ellie’s been gone, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed, and her mother Laurel Mack is still trying to put her life back together. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters — and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away, because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

2. The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman


In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’. Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. A tragic turn leads Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, to be declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Bright and determined, Elodie withstands abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, and finally earning her freedom at 17, when she is thrust into an alien, and often unnerving world. Maggie, who is now married to a businessman, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes that she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, and finally reclaim the truth that has been denied them both.

3. If We Had Known by Elise Juska


One August afternoon, as single mother Maggie Daley prepares to send her only child off to college, their world is shattered by news of a mass shooting at the local mall in rural Maine. As reports and updates about the tragedy begin to roll in, Maggie, an English professor, is further stunned to learn that the gunman had once been a student of hers. When a viral blog brings to light the existence of a dark, violence-tinged essay Nathan had written during Maggie's freshman comp seminar, Maggie soon finds herself at the center of a heated national controversy. Could the overlooked essay have offered critical red flags that might have warned of, or even prevented, the murders to come? As the media storm starts to grow around her, Maggie makes a series of desperate choices that threaten to destroy not just the personal and professional lives she's worked so hard to build, but more importantly, the happiness and safety of her sensitive daughter, Anna.

4. In Her Skin by Kim Savage


16-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston haven’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety and security. When she stumbles upon Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine, Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return. The Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms and give her everything she’s ever wanted: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But things seem to be off in the Lovecraft household and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes start coming to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo will have to choose between holding onto the illusion of safety and escaping the danger around her before it’s too late.

April 24th:

5. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian


Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered right before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess”. When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows for revenge and throws herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz, or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress. Once she’s cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice in order to reclaim the throne.

6. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Raised to be a warrior, 17-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life was simple, her only rule in life to fight and survive. Until the day she saw the brother she had watched die five years ago, out on the battlefield fighting alongside the enemy. Faced with her brother's betrayal, Eelyn must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy and every battle scar possibly one she delivered. When the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

7. A Prom To Remember by Sandy Hall


Seven seniors with seven problems all during their senior prom. Cora is the head of the Prom Committee and has been dating Jamie, the perfect boyfriend for pretty much forever, and she has no idea how to break up with him. Paisley is a sarcastic feminist who wants nothing to do with prom, but has someone managed to nominate her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king. Henry is a quiet ballplayer who hates social situations and has suddenly been invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. Otis belongs to one half of one of the cutest couples in his class, but he has no idea how to tell his boyfriend that he's just not quite ready for the post-prom hotel room experience. Lizzie is a little bit shy, and a lot excited to finally get out of her comfort zone and go to prom with a boy whose name she doesn't know. Cameron is the loner with two jobs and zero friends. He is totally done with high school and his stupid town, but not before meeting the mysterious girl who's been leaving him notes. And finally Jacinta, who is determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom. Now if only she could find a date. Each teen has their own issues during the biggest dance of every high schooler's life, resulting in a prom to remember.

8. White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig


Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the sudden reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian who says they need to "talk". Thinking things couldn't get any worse, Rufus Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. When he and Sebastian find her, she is drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney. April swears she didn’t kill Fox, but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth, but April needs his help and he has no choice. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.

9. Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli


If you've read the award-winning book, "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda", you'll recognize Simon Spier's best friend, Leah, who is now getting her own story. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat — but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. She’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friend s— not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. Suddenly, her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways and Leah has no idea how to deal with it. With prom and college just on the horizon, tensions start to run high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting and even more so when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

10. Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

Two years after a rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends have just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan, until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam — her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending, and if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

11. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Meade Creamery is the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who have inevitably become the best of friends. 17-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia has just become “Head Girl” at the stand. But when Molly passes away, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind.

12. The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya


Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were "thunder." It was 1994 and in 100 days more than 800,000 people would be murdered in Rwanda and millions more displaced. Clemantine and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, ran and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries searching for safety. At age 12, Clemantine is granted asylum into the U.S. with her sister. But life in Chicago wasn't as easy and safe as they had expected. Many people wanted to help — a family in the North Shore suburbs invited Clemantine to live with them as their daughter, while others saw her only as broken. They thought she needed, and wanted, to be saved. Claire, on the other hand, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, now found herself on a very different path, cleaning hotel rooms to support her three children.

13. The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner


Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid were a golden couple. Rory was a star hockey player and just earned a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone — Lauren most of all — by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny. Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family's old beach house on the Jersey Shore, which she’s then forced to share with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. To make things even worse, there’s a stranger making a documentary about Rory who manages to track her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time. One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio soon turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past and welcome the future.

No Release Date As Of Yet:

14. All-American Liars by Emily Kazmierski

(no official cover as of yet)

Tristan’s an ace basketball player who dreams of playing college basketball at UCLA, but a reputation-shattering discovery threatens his future. Annie’s made a lot of terrible choices lately, and the secrets she’s keeping from Tristan could tear them apart, especially if he finds out about her role in his downfall. Rich’s only ticket out of their tiny town is the All-American basketball team. All that stands between him and success is the town darling, Tristan. For these three teenagers, all with one goal — to make it through the next two weeks without spilling their secrets — one wrong choice will cost them everything.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Maciej Ostrowski on Unsplash

Popular Right Now

31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
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When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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Fiction On The Odyssey: Without Chaos

Without chaos, what remains?
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Note: Silver Key recipient in the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in Short Story


01. Chaos

Without chaos, what remains?

02. Lettuce

“I think that’s the lettuce your mother bought a month ago,” her father says after a long look into the refrigerator.

Through the gap between his legs, she catches sight of a football-sized, fuzzy and greyish-blue thing sitting in the bottomost drawer. She has no idea why it is there in the first place. Besides her mother, nobody in their family knows how to cook iceberg lettuce. Why would her mother buy it if she was planning to let it rot?

Her father answers her unspoken query. “She probably meant to cook it, but forgot. Get me a trash bag and a pair of gloves, will you?”

03. Flinches

She flinches as her mother yanks a comb through her hair.

As usual, her mother’s mind is clearly elsewhere.

04. Nondescript

The man with a foreign name is nondescript in every sense of the word. He’s of average stature, with brown hair of average length, carrying a black backpack of some random brand. Off looks alone, she finds it difficult to believe that this is the very man that her father raves about.

Upon the return of her father’s most recent trip to his motherland, in Asia, her father has taken to becoming a free advertiser for the man with the foreign name, claiming that this man was the equivalent of Jesus’s second reincarnation. Thanks to the man currently standing on the front porch of her home, her father’s greatest aspiration in life is to become a monk.

In mere days, it will no longer be just an aspiration.

She looks up, drinking in the foreign man’s absurdly average features. This is the man who is stealing her father.

If only she could remember his face.

05. Verdant

The sky was positively green the day her father left.

06. Glassy

Whenever she looks into her mother’s eyes, they’re always glassy.

07. Supply

The fridge is empty. So is the pantry.

08. Almost

It’s almost comical how quickly she went from having everything to having almost nothing. Just two years ago, she had loving parents, friends and a safe place. She used to have a home. Her biggest worry used to be whether or not she would like her dinner.

Now, she wonders if she’ll be getting one at all.

09. Steadfast

Every time he looks at her, his eyes speak of steadfast loyalty.

One time, she almost believed them.

She punched him that day.

10. Soup

Her mother has always loved soup. With every meal, her mother would always ensure that there was a bowl of something hearty. Her mother used to claim that she didn’t have a favorite soup, and that she loved all soups, gumbos, chowders, stews and broths equally.

Whenever her mother said that, she would always look at her father and smirk, for they all knew that her mother was lying. Serving tomato soup at least nine times a week, with a perpetual supply in the fridge, tomato soup was an undisputed favorite of her mother’s.

The school’s version of tomato soup tastes like watered-down ketchup, but she can’t help but savor it.

11. Comfortable

She thinks, with a twinge of self-pity, of how comfortable her life could have been.

If only she hadn’t been such a brat.

12. Copy

It was too easy.

For once, the boy with the steadfast gaze was looking away. Everyone else was looking away, too, watching attentively as the teacher ranted about their poor performance on their last test, his disappointment in them, and how, to prevent half the class from failing the semester, he was going to assign a massive, 200-point project.

Or something.

The boy with the steadfast gaze continued to rummage through his bag, oblivious to the fact that she was eyeing his completed assignment. The sheet of paper faced the ceiling, sitting on the very edge of his desk, almost like it was inviting her to come and take a grab—

So, she did.

She stuffed it into her bag faster than anyone could blink, and returned her gaze to the front of the room.

13. Potatoes

In her shared apartment with her mother, she arrives to what seems like a local grocer’s entire supply of potatoes and possibly the world’s largest stockpot.

14. After

“Meet me after class,” the teacher had said to her the second she entered the classroom.

The boy with the eyes that speak of steadfast loyalty stares at her as she sits, his eyes a little too wide.

15. Bucket

Every so often, she wonders what it would feel like to kick the bucket.

16. Trade

“Your salad for some tomato soup?” he asks, unscrewing his thermos lid.

She looks up, then frowns.

She doesn’t know why he’s talking to her, especially after that stunt she just pulled. After the bell had rung, after the rest of their classmates had vacated the room, she became a blubbering mess. She claimed that the teacher was terribly mistaken. She claimed that the boy with the steadfast gaze had copied her.

It had earned him three days of in-school suspension. There was no doubt that his mother, the perfect woman that packed him homemade crustless sandwiches and warm tomato soup in thermoses, would be furious.

The word slips out of her mouth before she can stop it. “Why?”

“I don't know,” he replies.

It’s the best soup she’s ever tasted.

17. Pedal

The bike pedal falls off, mid stride, catching her off guard. It’s only after her tightly coiled body slams into a stop sign that she’s able to process what just happened.

She gets up in time to watch the bike frame collide with a car.

Anger surges unexpectedly within her like an unwelcome guest. That bike had been her primary form of transportation. She could’ve fixed that pedal. That bike would’ve been salvageable.

But, just as suddenly, the anger dissipates.

With its departure, an underlying sense of overwhelming loss is revealed.

18. Divide

The policeman’s glares are divided equally between the car owner and herself.

19. Mark

“That’s not the right one,” she says. Her gaze is unreadable as she watches a policeman approach the door of yet another apartment. “I don’t know where mine is.”

The police are exhausted and exasperated, but they try again.

“Honey,” a female officer says in a tone of barely disguised annoyance, “Try and remember, will you?”

She knows her mother hasn’t paid the bill in three months. She knows about their eviction notice. She knows that when they get evicted, her mother will be sent to jail and she’ll be sent to live in an community home.

“I can’t.”

I can’t let that happen.

Later that night, her nails curl into fists so tight that they leave a mark as the police pound on the front door of the apartment of her residence. She prays, will all her might, that no one will notice the red, half-moon wedges imprinted onto her palms.

They don’t.

20. Ducks

Ducks are adaptable beings. They can swim, fly, and walk. They’re aggressive enough to keep unwanted attention at bay, but cuddly enough to love.

She could afford to learn a thing or two from a duck.

21. Trapping

Her jacket does not do a good job of trapping body heat. She’s desperately cold and thoroughly disappointed—she expected more from Calvin Klein.

22. Detail

The boy with the steadfast gaze pays too much attention to detail.

“Did you have a good night’s sleep last night?”

She looks away. Regardless of what comes out of her mouth, she knows he’ll see right through her.

23. Stew

Her mother stirs a massive potato stew.

She chooses not to ask.

24. Filthy

“Hey, you!”

She looks up and comes face to face with someone unrecognizable.

Not that that’s surprising. She hasn’t made any effort to get to know anyone in this horrible city. Only a few are recognizable to her, and even then, she doesn’t know any names. She refuses to learn anyone’s names. This isn’t her home, so she refuses to make herself at home.

He leans in, wrinkles his nose a bit, then leans in a bit more. “When was the last time you showered?”

A week. Almost two.

“We were talking about it and—can you do us a favor and take a shower? You smell filthy,” he whispers apologetically.

I’m aware. I’m sorry. The landlord cut our water.

She says nothing.


Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / George Gvasalia

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