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

37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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It Is Pointless To Pity The Homeless

Guilt is the silent killer of political action.

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Two summers ago, when I was an intern at The Father McKenna Center in Washington DC, I met Jason, who was homeless. I had just finished closing the shelter's computer lab for the evening, and the attendees of the AA meeting in the shelter's cafeteria had started to say their goodbyes and disperse until next week. As I was leaving to take the subway home, and as he was leaving to walk back to his encampment, wherever it may have been, Jason and I converged with each other at the front door of the shelter, and we introduced ourselves to each other.

Jason had two children, aged four and six, both of whom were protected from him under custody by his former wife. She had made the decision to divorce him because of his drug use, which posed a danger to the couple's children. (Jason did not hesitate to admit to this.) Shortly after the separation from his family, he became homeless. He had a high school degree and some former experience doing construction work. Aged into his mid 30's with minimal employment, Jason had been struggling to find a job for years.

As we walked, he told me about his kids, and how sometimes he hears about them during occasional phone calls with his wife. For a moment, he turned his head to look at me in my eyes, and he quietly told me about how proud he was of his daughters for completing the first and third grades of elementary school.

If you are homeless, it takes an immense amount of courage to make the commitment to go to a homeless shelter. I believe that the one thing that most people struggle with, homeless or not, is the challenge of confronting one's own demons. Jason had demons, luggage, regrets, and so on - I had those too. Jason had first stepped at The Father McKenna Center shortly before I began my internship. As I performed the duties of my internship, Jason and I, together, experienced a great turbulence in our individual missions to confront our demons; and with that turbulence came sobriety. Not relief or improvement, but sobriety. True self-improvement is a year-long commitment, but self-awareness is a skill which can be utilized at any time.

Jason and I spoke several times throughout my internship. One of the last interactions I had with his before I completed my term happened again at the front entrance of the shelter. He told me that after years of searching, he had found the initiative to apply for a job. "Even though she and I needed to go our own ways," he said, "I still want to show my wife that I care about her. We're not married, but I still want to provide for her and the kids. I don't know how they feel about me, but I want to show my daughters that I am still their father, and that I love them."

When I started my internship at the shelter, I genuinely believed that I would come out of it depressed and disillusioned. But I learned to look beyond the misfortune and suffering, and with that perspective, I started to find more and more inspiration in the facets of life by which I had previously felt discouraged and depressed. I have not seen Jason in two summers, but I think about him every day, for strength.

Say, for instance, that you start to feel as though the daily grind of your summer job is starting to become too monotonous. Us undergrads are tirelessly told by our advisors that the best possible use of our time during the summer, outside of college and other than working for pay, is time spent volunteering and building up our resumes. After some online research and phone calls, you break down your volunteering options to three different nonprofit organizations in your area: Your first option is to spend 3-5 hours once a week helping a local community center care for its flower garden, fresh herb greenhouse, and wildlife sanctuary. Your second option is to spend Tuesday and Thursday evenings bathing, petting, and reading storybooks to all the dogs and cats at a nonprofit rescue shelter. Your third option is to spend 5 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at an inner-city homeless shelter and rehabilitation center for men who have been recently released from prison.

This where the conflict begins. Deep inside, you know that volunteering at the men's shelter is, in your opinion, the most valuable kind of work you can do. Human beings require more attention than plants and pets. Humans beings need to be kind to each other, and so, you may want to volunteer at the shelter.

The problem is certainly not that nobody wants to volunteer at homeless shelters. I consider myself an optimist, and I still think that the majority of people living in the United States wish to care for and support each other. The true problem is that even when a good-minded, empathetic, caring person wants to offer their kindness to the homeless, there are layers upon layers of illusions, false impressions, misconceptions, misunderstandings, and (most importantly), miscommunications which prevent them from doing so. What must truly be addressed is not how much attention is being paid to homelessness, but how attention is paid. There are many kinds of layers of illusion; the majority of them are certainly racial illusion. A vast number are economic. Others, however, are emotional. A lot are just flat-out moral as well.

The growing epidemic of homelessness, as an affliction, is the product of political injustice, racist systems, and greed. But the homeless lifestyle itself, however, is not political in nature. Homeless people are not statistics in a study, neither are they variables in a social equation. Homelessness is a daily struggle for a human life, and those who are homeless suffer. They are as emotional and as sentient as the well-off office workers who pelt them with quarters as though they're fountains.

Understanding homelessness is especially hard for people on the polar opposite side of the social/economic spectrum from the homeless. It is somehow harder for a wealthy and educated person to understand homelessness than it is for someone from lower-class origins to do so. As I said before, I genuinely believe that the vast majority of people on this Earth have the moral initiative to help those less fortunate - but this initiative is excessively overridden by the reflexive tendency most people have to compare and juxtapose themselves. This act of reflexive juxtaposition is what scares most people away from homeless shelters.

Call it what you want - "juxtaposition" is not the only word one can use to describe this feeling. Some people might call themselves "overqualified." From a political perspective, some have referred to it as "white guilt." Regardless of what you call it, it is reflexive. Homeless people, just upon sight, are registered with labels and false truths. The visceral, instinctive reaction to a homeless person is "Look forward, walk firm, and don't make eye contact." This is what needs to change.

In western society, people who grow up privileged - with parents, shelter, an education, and relationships - are subconsciously taught, unintentionally encouraged, and silently conditioned by the people around them to treat the homeless with, above all else, pity. The etiquette of reacting to a homeless person suggests something of a "passive melancholy." Like I mentioned before, under this mannerism of avoidant sorrow, homelessness is not a condition of life. It is a political symbol. The stumbling beggar in the subway and the raggedy busker on the street corner are effectively dehumanized by default; as long as they are evidently homeless, their role in the social dynamic of these public places is automatically different from yours and mine. The status of homelessness completely nullifies - no, prevents - a person's worthiness and rightful entitlement to human attribution, and without mercy, they are turned into something which is not human: a figure which is nothing but a representation of itself.

After years of riding the bus and subway, I have become aware of several different categories in which the people around me fit; I see the day laborers, who are categorized by being older men, clad in paint-stained construction pants, functioning in close-knit groups of six or seven. I see the government employees, who are categorized by the loudness of their gazes of exhaustion, directionless and unfixed, garbed in outdated albeit notably well-fitted suits, bland floral blouses, sky-blue button downs, the incredible pant suits, and khakis, and khakis, and khakis. I see the college-aged summertime interns running coffee for politicians who never remember their names, and they, too, are categorized; specifically by their calculated movements, blatantly artificial exteriors, and the endearing aura of simultaneous youthful naivety and capitalistic millennial-themed ambition (they also act like they know where they're going, when really, they don't, but they never stop to ask for directions). I see the mothers, the trust-fund white kids from Gonzaga, the beatniks from Howard, the Reagan-bound luggage-bearing vagabonds, the punks, the academics, the racists, the anarchists, the activists, the drunks, the wandering, the sleeping, and of course, the emblematic tourists in their MAGA hats, graphic tees, and jorts.

What kind of a response is demanded of those who choose to protect the weak? How are the wounded addressed by the healers? How should I talk to someone who suffers? The photographers, the journalists, and the volunteers cannot hope to rile a revolution alone. Neither can the teachers hope to raise a generation freed from toxicity alone, nor can the young politicians on the Hill hope to deliver their country to safety and stability alone. The problem of homelessness can be addressed, as can it be confronted, observed, studied, and journalized. Don't get me wrong, though - this type of action is deeply important: The awareness of a problem creates an opportunity for its solution. But the raising of awareness is not enough. The confrontation of our reality is not enough. To take the first step beyond awareness is to give attention to those who are in need of it; to attend to the weak and the wounded, and to act for their protection and their healing. In the words of the French revolutionary Simone Weil: "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."


Song suggestion: LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

Cover Image Credit:

Paul J. RIchards/Getty Images

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