Today I’m going to share with y’all what I read in April and reviews for each one. I read two books in April: The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa and The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.
Let’s hop into it.
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“In 1939 before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. Her family moved in Berlin’s highest social circles, admired by friends and neighbors. Eleven-year-old Hannah was often taken by her mother for an afternoon treat at the tea room of the beautiful Adlon Hotel, both dressed in their finest clothes. She spent her afternoons at the park with her best friend Leo Martin. But, in an instant, that sunlit world vanished. Now the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags; their fine possessions are hauled away, and they are no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home. The two friends make a pact: come what may, they promise to have a future together.
As Hannah and Leo’s families desperately begin to search for a means of escape, a glimmer of hope appears when they discover the Saint Louis, a transatlantic liner that can give Jews safe passage to Cuba. After a frantic search to obtain visas, the Rosenthals and the Martins depart from Hamburg on the luxurious passenger liner bound for Havana. Life aboard the ship is a welcome respite from the gloom of Berlin—filled with masquerade balls, dancing, and exquisite meals every night.
As the passengers gain renewed hope for a bright future ahead, love between Hannah and Leo blossoms. But soon reports from the outside world began to filter in, and dark news overshadows the celebratory atmosphere on the ship; the governments of Cuba, the United States, and Canada are denying the passengers of the St. Louis admittance to their countries, forcing them to return to Europe as it descends into the Second World War. The ship that had seemed their salvation seems likely to become their death sentence.
After four days anchored at bay, only a handful of passengers are allowed to disembark onto Cuban soil, and Hannah and Leo must face the grim reality that they could be torn apart. Their future is unknown, and their only choice will have an impact in generations to come.
Decades later in New York City on her eleventh birthday, Anna Rosen receives a mysterious envelope from Hannah, a great-aunt she has never met but who raised her deceased father. In an attempt to piece together her father’s mysterious past, Anna and her mother travel to Havana to meet Hannah, who is turning eighty-seven years old. Hannah reveals old family ties, recounts her journey aboard the Saint Louis and, for the first time, reveals what happened to her father and Leo. Bringing together the pain of the past with the mysteries of the present, Hannah gives young Anna a sense of their shared histories, forever intertwining their lives, honoring those they loved and cruelly lost. ”
This book was my favorite out of the two I read in April. It has sparked my deep interest in historical fiction. I’m ready for any recommendation you may have to put on my TBR. Anyway, this book was marvelous. I loved how it jumps from the past to the present, with the bulk of the middle being about the past. It painted a great picture of perspective. Hannah and Anna’s story is truly remarkable. I do wish we learned a bit more about Anna’s dad, but that’s my only complaint. I love the way it was written: jumping between perspectives, but not so much so you get tired of “switching brains.” Overall, this book was great, and I can’t wait to get my hands on more historical fictions!
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”
I wanted to love this book. I really did. The idea of it is good: the stars somehow aligning perfectly for this by-chance situation to fall in love at first sight. You can tell it wanted to have fairy-tale love vibes, but it just didn’t happen. My main issue with TSIAAS is that I developed no empathy for the characters. Sure, they were both in unfortunate situations, but who isn’t? And the whole love-at-first-site thing is just not believable. The way they “fell in love” in half a day was ludicrous; I just couldn’t buy it. However, the ending was super cute; I’ll give it that. I also enjoyed how the book was written: jumping between the perspectives of both main characters, and the occasional perspective of secondary characters. The writing did a good job of displaying how small interactions can affect our lives. Overall though, I preferred Nicola Yoon’s other novel, Everything Everything, much more.
What books did you read in April? Which one was your favorite?
Check out my Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/mccw