Red Hot April Round-Up

It’s (gonna be) May!

The frequent April Showers we had where I am quarantining kept me cooped up most days and helped me have one of my most successful reading months ever!

I finished 11 books this month and am proud of myself for fighting off the reading slump and making my way through this stack.

Harlan Coben

As I quarantine at my parents’ house, I am trying to finish the rest of the Harlan Coben books we own. 5 out of my 11 reads from April were by him, and I’m impressed that percentage isn’t higher.

I published a review of his latest novel, The Boy from the Woods, yesterday which you can check out here.

My favorites I read from him this month were Tell No One and Just One Look. Definitely check both of those out.

I also read Long Lost and Drop Shot, two Myron Bolitar novels. As much as I love Myron Bolitar and daydream about Armie Hammer playing him in movies, I prefer Coben’s standalone novels.

One thing I love about old school Harlan Coben books is how funny it is to see how technology has changed and evolved his mysteries.

Outside of Harlan Coben, I read a nice variety of fiction, fiction and more fiction!


After scrounging my little brother’s bookshelf, I finally read the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Many tears were shed after the final page was turned. I felt transported back to middle school when reading and I loved the connectivity I felt with each character.

The morning after finishing, I curled up on the couch to watch the movie adaptation. There has rarely ever been a time that I like the movie more than the book, and this was no exception. While I loved the casting, I think the movie is much better if you’ve already read and understand the material. If I’d seen the movie without reading the book, I would have found it a little choppy.

Winter in Paradise

My mom had gifted me one of her book club reads from last year, Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter in Paradise, and I finally got around to reading it at the beginning of this month.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you see it, my little brother spoiled for me that the book has essentially no ending. Don’t start reading a trilogy if you don’t know it’s a trilogy! You’ll immediately want to order the next two, only to find out that the final one isn’t even out yet.

My mom also didn’t know it was a three-part series when she read it. My dad told me she had 5 pages to go one night while they were falling asleep, and she looked at him and said “I don’t think this is going to end.”

No, it did not. I’ll probably put together a review of the trilogy once the third is released later this year.


Last summer, a good friend of mine recommended the book Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld to me. She knew that 1) I am obsessed with The Bachelor and 2) I struggle to read classics. She thought Eligible was the perfect book for me - romcommy, based on Pride and Prejudice, inspired by The Bachelor, and a ton of fun!

Instead of reading it for myself, I shipped a copy to my college roommate who loved Jane Austen but struggled to read modern fiction. Then, I thought about buying myself a copy but never saw it in stores or got around to ordering it.

Fast forward 8, 9 months.

A few days before my boyfriend and I packed up and travelled to my hometown for quarantine, I had to venture out to vote in the US primaries. On my walk there, I passed one of those small outdoor libraries - take a book, leave a book. Glancing over while breezing by, I spotted it out of the corner of my eye — Eligible!

Everything my friend told me was true. It was a ton of fun, easy to read and super cute. It even made me want to read the original, and maybe even watch the Kiera Knightley movie. I haven’t fully convinced myself — I wish Eligible were a movie instead — but maybe one of these days.

Things You Save in a Fire

In a book haul last fall, I picked up Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center and I finally had the time to read it. I really enjoyed this book! A quick read with a wonderful romance and many poignant topics, like sexism, estrangement and more.

You can read more about it in my review here, and I highly suggest it! I’m looking forward to Center’s upcoming novel, What You Wish For.

Normal People

When I binge-read Sally Rooney’s Normal People, I had no idea it was being released that same week in a Hulu miniseries adaptation. The book hit me hard, and 1.5 episodes in, I’m loving the show. I can’t wait to see how it plays out and how faithful it stays to its original material.

Check out my thoughts on the book here, and be sure to check out the series… even if you hate it (but how could you?), you’ll appreciate the physical appearance and emotionality of Paul Mescal, the actor playing Connell.

What Alice Forgot

My wonderful high school friend dropped off both Normal People and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty for me to read since I had gone through all the books I brought home.

I have been split on Moriarty so far, and acknowledge that I’m years behind on reading Big Littles Lies. I’ll get there, I swear.

My first Moriarty was Truly Madly Guilty which I enjoyed. Then I read her most recent, Nine Perfect Strangers, which I enjoyed less. I think What Alice Forgot has been my favorite by her thus far, even though I thought it was a bit slow in the first half and then had a rather rushed ending. The story was great and makes you think about what you’d do if you suddenly lost the memory of 10 years of your life!

I put together a word search after getting receptive feedback to the idea on Twitter, so give it a try yourself. The picture is below and at this link.

Words are forwards, backwards, diagonal, diagonal backwards… I may have made it too tricky! Save it to your phone and use the mark-up feature (or Instagram) to circle the words, or print out the image! Best of luck.

That’s it for April! Now it’s time for the #MayDayChallenge. Best of luck to anyone else participating in Books in the Skye’s challenge.

Red Hot Reads | © 2023 by Scarlet Marie

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