Kaitlyn Luckow

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April Reading Wrap-Up

I felt like I didn’t read a lot this month. But, I think that moving across the country and starting a new full-time writing position is a good enough excuse why.

However, despite all of that, I still think I did pretty well this month. Here’s a look at what I read:


The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen (4 stars)

*I received an ARC from Henry Holt & Co in exchange for an honest review*

A YA fantasy told from multiple perspectives, tells the story of a world where there are different castes, all of them having their own special powers. We follow a young girl who is part of the Crow caste, a lower caste responsible for getting rid of the dead.

I was rather impressed by this book! I thought that the magical world was extremely well-developed and I felt connected to the characters. 

At times, the world was a little too complicated for me to follow, there were a lot of moving parts that didn’t seem necessary at times. Also, some of the language and diction used seemed stilted and forced. 

One other critique I have was that the plot was very much a journey plot and I found it to be repetitive. 

However, overall, I really enjoyed the characters, especially the LGBTQ representation in the book. It was so well done and shown as a part of characters without any questions or explanations, they were simply themselves, which was so lovely.

Publication Date: July 30, 2019



Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World by Rutger Bergman (3.5 stars)

I actually listened to this book on Audible, which is the first time I may have ever read an audiobook!

This book takes a look at our society and through research, shows how your society could actually improve, in a very real way.

The research and message of this book was ambitious and well-done. However, I was definitely this book’s intended audience as I already largely believe in all the points the author made (although I had huge problems with how mental health was discussed). 

I wish it was also catered towards people who were skeptical about democratic socialist ideas. 

On top of that, so much of the book was spent showing why we need these things instead of how to make these things happen. 

Overall, I was impressed with the research put into this work, but was left wanting more.

When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele (5 stars)

Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Khan-Cullors tells her story and truly shows what it means to be a black person in America.

She explores her own experiences with prejudice, police brutality, the justice system, and how mental illness is treated when those who are mentally ill are incarcerated. This last portion, I found to be incredibly important and something that is not discussed nearly enough.

A must read. My heart ached throughout this whole book. Her words are poetry. Read this.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power (2.5 stars)

*ARC provided by Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review* 

This nearly post-apoaolytpic book takes place on an island where the Raxter School for Girls has been hit by the Tox (an uncontrollable infection that leads to madness and death). Quarantined on the island, the girls at Raxter must come together in order to survive. Based on this synopsis, this book has been likened to an all-female retelling of The Lord of the Flies.


To start off with the good: I loved the dark atmosphere of this book and it was delightfully brutal in ways that I wasn’t expecting. 

However, the characters and plot were not well developed. The plot reveals were sloppily handled, the pacing was strange, and the ending left a lot to be desired.

Publication Date: July 9, 2019