May Wrap-Up 2020: Did I do anything other than reading in May? No.

*For reasons regarding what Rainbow Rowell has written in the past, and her continued defiance to listen to those hurt by this, I no longer read her books, or support and promote her in any way. However, I read a book by her in May 2020 and I have chosen to keep it in this list as to delete it would appear to be attempting to hide I ever supported her as an author. I am sorry for supporting her, but I won’t hide my mistakes as that would be wrong, instead please be aware my thoughts and feelings towards her have changed due to her behaviour and my opinions on her are now different* – July 2020

Hi All! I know it’s a bit late for this post as it’s already the 18th June, but I wrote this a while ago and I wasn’t able to post it at the start of the month as I was focusing on posts that featured black authors and stories, so I’m posting it now!

This month I read 14 books, which is kinda crazy and I don’t think I’m reading at a sustainable rate at the moment – I’m going to have to slow down at one point. According to Goodreads I read a total of 5391 pages, and my average rating for the month was 3.79 stars so it was a great reading month for me!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (3 stars)

Boy this book was a bundle of disappointment. It was a bit of a shock to me that I didn’t enjoy this one as I love Shannon’s other works, but this one just didn’t do it for me. It has great characters and fantastic world building but I had problems with the ending and that really let the book down for me. Read my full review here.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (5 stars)

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, but wow, this is a new favourite for me. This is definitely not for everyone as it’s a modern twist on fairy tales, and therefore doesn’t have the character building or perhaps themes we’re used to in modern fiction – it’s very reminiscent in how fairy tales built and introduced characters. I loved it however and I know it will be something I will reread in the years to come.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell (3 stars)

I read this one night when I couldn’t sleep and it was good enough to keep me entertained then, but I just didn’t click with it in the way I was hoping to. Whilst it was a sweet novel about friendships and love, it didn’t really make me feel anything so I don’t think I can give it more than three stars. I do think it would be a nice graphic novel to read if you’ve never read graphic novels before though.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Tamaki Mariko (4 stars)

I really enjoyed this sweet and touching read. It covered so many points for a graphic novel and did them so well, with characters that felt real and were well rounded figures. I did have some complaints but honestly they were really minor and I recommend this to everyone, whether you read graphic novels or not! Read my full review here.

Anna K by Jenny Lee (4 stars)

This was one of my picks for Asian Readathon and also one of the books I’m reading for my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends‘ series, and I’m so glad I had to read this for those reasons! This a fantastic YA novel, that manages to do everything Gossip Girl wishes it had done and it’s highly entertaining – I could not put it down. Whilst this is a retelling of Anna Karenina you can read it without reading the classic, as that’s what I did and it’s persuaded me to pick up Tolstoy’s famous work!

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (4 stars)

This was another one of my picks for Asian Readathon, and I had heard nothing about it before picking it up and it’s such a shame! Whilst this is nothing revolutionary it’s a good YA fantasy novel, it’s world and fantasy elements aren’t built on your traditional European medieval folklore and the world is fascinating. I do recommend this to YA fantasy readers!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (5 stars)

Nothing I say will ever do this book justice to be honest with you. It’s a fantastic novel and I can’t sing it’s praises enough, because it just hits all the right spots for me as a reader. It’s so easy to immerse yourself in Ng’s writing and her character building is flawless, whilst she also manages to maintain and build an interesting plot.

When We Vanished by Alanna Peterson (4 stars)

This was an ARC I acquired through Netgallery and really enjoyed. It brought forth themes and ideas I haven’t yet seen in YA fiction, whilst also giving us an amazing cast of main characters and a lot of action. It’s a good YA novel and since this is the first in a series I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story progresses. Read my full review here.

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (4 stars)

My rating for this book still may change as I’m not entirely sure what I feel about it. It’s a bit an odd one for me as I haven’t read anything like this before (except maybe The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, but that is only because of the magical realism). However it is interesting and brutal and I do recommend to those interested in the recent history of Iran.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (4 stars)

This was one of the books I have to read for my Waterstone’s series here on my blog, and it was a good pick from Waterstones in the month of May! This is a great character-driven novel told over, I believe, to be four decades that makes you question family and the concept of forgiveness. Read my full review here.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise by Gene Leun Yang and Michael Dante DiMartino (4 stars)

I mean I was obviously going to love this one because it’s ATLA, and it’s hard to hate ATLA in any sense. Whilst I don’t think this book is as good as a lot of the episodes from the three series – and that is a pretty high standard to hold a book to, this stands well enough on it’s own. It’s something I would recommend to fellow fans if you don’t want to let Aang and the gang go.

This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight (2 stars)

This was an arc I acquired through Netgallery and unfortunately, I didn’t click with this book. Whilst I loved the premise and the ambition behind this, the characters fell a little flat to me and I would have appreciated more character building and a great focus on the dynamics between certain characters. Read my full review here.

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah (5 stars)

There’s nothing I can say about this other than excellent. This is the first time I’ve read an autobiography and loved every second of it, I was never bored and if Noah wasn’t making me laugh he was certainly making me cry. However, I highly recommend you listen to the audio book rather than read this because it’s so much more immersive.

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed (2 stars)

I wanted to like this but I just couldn’t. Whilst this had great commentary on political activism and the importance of voting, it fell flat and fell very hard in other areas including characterisation and in particular religion. Read my full review here.

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