October 26, 2021
April Davis totally has her life in order. Ha! Not really. Yes, she’s the Calm Mom—a social influencer with a reputation for showing moms how to stay calm and collected through yoga—but behind the scenes, she’s barely holding it all together. Raising tiny humans alone is exhausting, but that’s just the chewed-up cherry on the melted sundae of her life. Her kids aren’t behaving, her husband left her for his skydiving instructor, and her top knot proves she hasn’t showered in days.
Then a live video of the “always calm” April goes viral…and she’s most definitely not. Enter Jack Gibson, April’s contact at the media conglomerate that has purchased April’s brand. The too-sexy-for-his-own good Jack will help clean up April’s viral mess, and even work with her to expand her influence, but toddler tea parties and a dog with a penchant for peeing on his shoes were definitely not part of the deal.
Now April’s calm has jumped ship quicker than her kids running from their vegetables. Not to mention, the sparks flying between her and Jack have her completely out of her depth. Forget finding her calm—April’s going to need a boatload of margaritas just to find her way back to herself again.
April May Fall by Christina Hovland felt like a roller coaster ride read. The beginning flat-lined (for me) then I hit a high spot but then it all came sailing down and I wondered with so much of the book left how it was going to be salvaged.
April is an influencer who claims to be the Calm Mom, demonstrating yoga and calm feelings. Since her divorce she is anything but and a meltdown in a grocery store puts it all out there on social media. Now Jack who’s in charge of her “persona” flies in to save April’s career as an influencer. Of course, Jack is sexy and adorable but can he save April after all of this mess? #urinemom
First of all, I never accepted April as being anything near a Calm Mom, even when she seems half-way rational she still seems like she’s on the edge of eruption. Perhaps, if the novel had started a year or so earlier, before April’s husband, Kent, cheated on her (evidently sending her into an emotional nosedive) and we saw some form of this supposed “Calm Mom,” I might have believed it. As is, nope. April is a hot mess and there’s no indication that she hasn’t always been that or on the verge of that.
That said, once Jack showed up on the scene, April May Fall gathered momentum and I began loving it. But then April and Jack got together and it just seemed like the book lost its path. Also, they didn’t quite have chemistry. Best friend sex. At the beginning I was astounded when there was a line that said that Jack would be interested in the kind of woman April was because I wondered why. We never see her when she isn’t a mess.
However, April does become somewhat self-sufficient and declares that women should support other women and yet she’s constantly ridiculing one of my favorite characters from the novel, Kitty. Now, for some reason, as the eccentric Kitty character progressed in the novel I totally saw her as Kristin Chenoweth. Kitty is April’s neighbor who is eccentric and fun, and I seriously would have loved to have read an entire novel about her rather than April. It’s a shame that she just seemed to be the butt of April’s jokes or eye rolls.
Unlike Hovland’s other novel in the series, Rachel, Out of Office, which I reviewed in January, April May Fall was missing the laughs and warm feelings. While I loved April’s kids, especially Harmony who is going to grow up to be a superhero, and the wonderful friendship that April’s group of women shared, it all felt a little superficial. At the end, I just wanted more. Maybe that’s what comes with a novel about a somewhat social media influencer.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3 out of 5 butterflies