Saturday 1 June 2019

May 2019 Reading Wrap Up

I'm still in shock that I managed to read a grand total of 15 books in May. I think that's the most books I've ever read in a single month and I'm pretty damn proud. It helped that I had some great ARC's to read via netgalley and a couple of books I've wanted to read for a while now. It was a decent month, I didn't read anything below a 3 stars although I've been very harsh when it comes to giving out 5 stars lately, I seem to always find something that just brings the rating down slightly so no books recieved the honour this month.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
I picked this book up in a charity shop over a year ago as the trailer for the film looked incredible and as always - I like to read the source material first. Well, I finally got round to reading it and it really was an interesting read. I loved learning about all the 'overlooked' black women that contributed to NASA's space programme, their lives and all the hard work they put into an industry run by white men. A truly inspiring read and I also really enjoyed the film adapatation as well.

Dear Lily by Drew Davies
This was the first netgalley ARC that I've read and reviewed and I ended up enjoying it more then I thought I would. This is an adult contemporary about a young women who moves to Amsterdam to start a new life told through letters to her younger sister. This was suprisingly funny and relatable with a disaster of a main character but that just made the whole book even more charming. You can find my full review here.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
I dived straight into this one even though it's not being published until July because the premise just sounded so intriguing. I was so here for a sci-fi/fantasy set in a futuristic Disneyland-esque theme park with robot princesses and a weird conspiracy behind the perfect facade of the park. I whizzed through this and never expected where the plot would go to next. I adored the setting, it was so creative and well detailed. The ending left me with wanting a bit more but I still loved this book. You can read my full review here. 
Floored by Sara Bernard et al
I really liked the premise for this novel, with the seven characters all being written by different authors but something about it fell a little flat for me. The plot was interesting but the characters didn't feel well developed, mostly due to how little we got to know of them. I felt like some of the characters were focused on more than others and there were definitely characters I wanted to know more about. I also couldn't differentiate between the authors, there was no distinct writing style so it did often feel like it was being written by one author rather then by seven different ones. It was creative in how it was presented and the ending was very sweet if a little abrupt.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
I was so excited to read this book but was slightly disappointed that I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The character of Rumi just really frustrated me and she was a really unlikeable main character (and I know she had her reasons) but I just thought she was so rude. I did like the other aspects of the novel though especially some of the secondary characters and how well it portrayed grief and depression. You can read my full review here.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
This was my second non-fiction read for the month and was a suprisingly interesting look at life in the 30's in Corfu. I know that these books are the basis for the BBC series 'The Durrells' although I've never actually seen any of it but I spotted this in my local library and decided to give it a whirl. The way it was written was strange for a non-fiction book, it read more like a novel and I felt like a lot of his experiences were exaggerated for entertainment purposes. It was very humourous although his family sometimes got on my nerves and there was a lot of detailed descriptions about plant life and his research into animals that got a tad tedious.

The Switch Up by Katy Cannon
I saw this was compared to The Parent Trap, one of my favourite childhood films, and I immediately requested an ARC. This had a very cutesy vibe to it and whilst it was a fun quick read, I did feel it was probably more suited to a younger audience from the way it was written. I only really liked one of the main characters and the whole thing was a little far-fetched so I did roll my eyes more then once whilst reading. My full review will be up next week!

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
I completely adored this book, it's just the kind of contemporary that I love. It follows Rob and Meagan, two completely different people who are branded outcasts by their peers and paired up for a school project. This was so much more then a romance and it explored the more complex issues really well. It brings up a lot of questions surrounding morality and the differences between right and wrong. This was one of my favourite books for the month and I can't wait to read more by Kemmerer. My full review will be up closer to the publication date!

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This was a book that was talked about a lot back when it was released in 2015 so I picked this up in my local library. Honestly, this is a really important book for the LGBTQ community and is definitely one that will spark conversations. The characters themselves though, I just didn't fully warm up to them and it really didn't go in the direction I thought it was going to go in. The whole thing ended up being underwhelming for me but there were parts of the content I enjoyed. My full review can be found here

The Girl Who Came Out Of The Woods by Emily Barr
I've always been fascinated by cults and similar kinds of communities (don't worry, I'm not planning on running off to join one!) so I was very intrigued by the premise of this one. I haven't read anything else by Emily Barr but I really liked how she unfolded this story. It did turn out to be more of a contemporary then a thriller which is what I initially thought it would be but it had a really strong narrative and a really good twist. My full review will be up soon!

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgeson Burnett
I mentioned in my WWW Wednesday that I've challenged myself to try and read one classic per month and I decided to ease my way in with a children's classic. I really expected to love this one but sadly that wasn't the case, I was actually a little bored which was suprising considering how short it is and I didn't like the ending either. This may be purely because I love the film adaptation and I couldn't help comparing the two. I'm planning on doing a mini review for this one which will be up in the next week or so.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Wow, was this a powerful and eye-opening read. This was a stunning contemporary which really had me shocked by how little I knew about what was going on in the Philippines right now. Ribay writes beautifully and he paced this novel perfectly as well. I don't really know how to put into words how much I loved this book but I would urge everyone to go and read it! My full review will be up in the next few weeks!

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
A well written and cleverely composed thriller. This was very similar in style to Criminal Minds as the majority of the novel was spent profiling the killer and using science and physchology to connect the dots. It was a little slow in places but I liked the fact that this wasn't a typical thriller and it was very gritty and dark which was right up my alley.

Before The Broken Star by Emily R. King
I chose this one for my Kindle First book for May as it was the only one that I thought I might enjoy and enjoy it I did. It really rose above my expectations and I read this one super fast. I loved the steampunk and fantasy aspects of it (the main character has a clockwork heart!) and how it incorporated fairytales and folklore into the plot. It was a little slow at the beginning but by the middle the story really picks up and now I'm so excited for the sequel to be released. My full review will be posted soon!

That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
And finally we have my last book for this month. We are told the aftermath of a school shooting from the viewpoints of six survivors but obviously everyone has a different version of what happened that day. It showed how the truth can often be spun out of control and how quickly rumors develop and often can't be set straight. It was very poignant considering how many shootings there have been in the US recently and I liked that this was a story about the survivors and not the shooter who wasn't even named in the book. It had a powerful message but overall it felt a little lacklustre to me unfortunately.

We've reached the end! And breathe! So those are the books I read in May, fingers crossed I'll have just as successful a month in June.

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them? What did you read in May? Link your own wrap ups in the comments for me to read!  

1 comment

  1. Congrats on reading 15 books! That’s impressive. I wish I could do it. Have a great June!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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