May Reading Wrap up

You know what, this month has been another successful reading month for me. I did not think it would be, but I read a total of 10 books this month. However, I read a lot less good books than last month. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with reading and a love/hate relationship with the majority of books on this list. I read a lot of contemporary books. I don’t read contemporary books unless they break my heart (Adam Silvera, John Green, I’m looking at you guys). But I read happy contemporary books, and I didn’t hate it? AND I only read one fantasy novel this month???? Who am I? What am I doing?

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This month I have read: 1 fantasy novel, 1 sci-fi novel, 2 dystopian novels, 1 literary classic, 1 short stroy collection and 5 contemparies/romances.

From that: 2 were children’s classics, 5 were YA, and 4 were adult. One of these books was a May 2020 new release.

Favourite book of the month: History is all you left me by Adam Silvera
Least favouirte book of the month: Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci
Favourite Quote of the month: “She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.” (Little Women- Louisa May Alcott)

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The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
Author: C.S.Lewis
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 

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“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”

I can not believe I loved this book. I read the Magician’s Nephew last year and pretty much hated it. I did not see why people loved it so much, I rated it one star, I did not get it. That is why it took me so long to read this one. This one I loved. It was wholesome and warm and everything I would want from a middle-grade fantasy novel. I really respect C.S.Lewis as an author. I have read books about him I have read essays etc. I really respect how he portrays his beliefs in his work without being too over the top.

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Little Women
Author: Louisa May-Alcott
Genre: Classic

Rating: 

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“She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.”

This book- despite not being perfect- will stay with me forever. It broke me. It warmed me. It gave me all the feels I want to feel when reading a book. However, it did not need to be over 700 pages. It was a bit of drag not going to lie. And there were scenes that I felt like could have and should have been not included. There’s a scene in the book where Jo is getting critique for her novel and is being told to cut it down, and I feel like that’s the sort of critique this book should have taken with it. Oops. However, LOVE it and LOVE the characters. I actually wrote two blog posts solely discussing the characters in this book so check it out.

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Eve: The Awakening
Author: Jenna Moreci
Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 

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“I fight when I need to, not when I want to. If I fought when I wanted to… I’d never stop.”

Yeah. This was a thing that happened. I can’t tell you how much I did not like this book, and I loved The Saviors Champion and I love this authors YouTube channel. I wouldn’t be where I am in my writing if it wasn’t for her, but I just…couldn’t with this book. I actually read this with the intention of reviewing it because I used to make it my mission to review one self-published book a month, but ngl I struggled to review it. Let’s just say, there is a scene where she just casually, conveniently gets on a private jet and flies across the country for the sake of borrowing a dress…in the midst of an alien invasion. Yeah. Also, another thing that constantly bothered me in this book is that the MC has telekinetic powers, yeah? But on MULTIPLE occasions during fights and I mean MULTIPLES occasions, she drops something and goes to dive for it or runs for it or something (and in every case, it’s a failure). When, yanno, she could just use her powers to get it. It would save time. It would save the day, but OK. Also all the characters annoyed me greatly at least once.

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Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
Suzanne Collins
Genre; YA Dystopian
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““It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

This book still hurts me. Not much to say as it was a re-read for me in preparation for the prequel to come out. I love how this book is handled. I love the realistic depictions of trauma and mental health within a book that doesn’t have that as a primary focus. Is it perfect? No. Do I love it still? Yes.

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History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating

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“People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

THIS BOOK. So, after reading They Both Die At The End last month, I felt the need to try more Adam Silvera, and somehow, I managed to like this one more than TBDATE. Not sure how. But I did. This is a true, honest, raw depiction of loss and grief and heartache. It does not just tell the story of losing someone you love, but it tells the story of moving on, of letting go, and of everything in between. I also love how sex is handled in this book. You don’t see it much in YA. In YA it is always depicted as this ‘big thing’ that has to be done with the right person and only that person. The  MC definitely does things with people he probably shouldn’t do, and I like that because it’s realistic. We sometimes make bad decisions and, it’s usually at this YA age that you make those decisions that you probably shouldn’t have. If 19 year old me read this book, I would have probably loved it even more because of that. And yes, I spent 80% of this book crying my eyes out. Good job Silvera. I’ll probably be picking up the rest of your books soon.

43341641._sy475_The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Romance

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“I can appreciate my body in a bikini and still want to set fire to the patriarchy.”

Did I only pick this up because my last read broke my heart? Yes. Yes I did. I am not one to usually read light-hearted romance novels, but I needed happiness and I heard this was happy and it was. It was freaking adorable. Good old hate to love adult romance novel about two people who hate each other having to go on their sibling’s honeymoon in their place and having to pretend to be husband and wife? Yes. It was like reading a full-on rom-com and I was here for it and I read it with a smile on my face. Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I mind? Only during the grand gesture scene. I’m sorry but grand gestures make my cringe. Even more so when everyone applauds. No thanks. Cute tho. 10/10 recommend if you need some happiness on your TBR.

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Sankes
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA Dystopian
3-out-of-5

“You’ve no right to starve people, to punish them for no reason. No right to take away their life and freedom. Those are things everyone is born with, and they’re not yours for the taking. Winning a war doesn’t give you that right. Having more weapons doesn’t give you that right. Being from the Capitol doesn’t give you that right. Nothing does.”

And the most disappointing read of the year so far goes to….
Ok, joking. But this should have been a five-star read for me and I’m still mad about it. I was so excited I was so hyped. I should have been unable to put it down and I ended up reading half of it and choosing the romance novel over it, before finally picking it up again. The second half of the book is much better than the first half. I will say that much. This book definitely adds to the series. We understand things more because of this book and we get a nice lil backstory to the hanging tree song which I loved. But that did not stop the crazy and the wildness and unbelievability of some elements and it did not stop the fact that, honestly, I did not like following Snow’s perspective. Personal preference thing there, but it true. Full review here

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Call Me By Your Name
Andre Aciman
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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“He came. He left. Nothing else had changed. I had not changed. The world hadn’t changed. Yet nothing would be the same. All that remains is dreammaking and strange remembrance.”

And this book wins the award for the ‘book I am most conflicted about’. I LITERALLY HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS. I have read five-star reviews and I agree with what they say, I have read one-star reviews, and I agree with them. I don’t know how I feel. This book is an art form. That’s unmistakable. The book is so beautifully written, they capture Elio’s story so well and his inner-monologue is so real to me and he really feels like a real character. The almost non-linear construct of the memories is stunning and raw and just real. HOWEVER. There is a lot that made me uncomfortable in this book. Such as the peach scene…I’m scarred for life. . I thought my main issues would be with the maturity differences between the two main characters, and yeah, that made me a lil uncomfortable at times but they weren’t my main issues and I definitely could have looked past it (characters are 17 and 24 btw). There were definitely moments with debatable consent. I wouldn’t say it’s as bad as some things I’ve read, but it did make me uncomfortable especially considering the maturity difference between the two characters. I feel like, if we’re going to do an age-gap relationship, I feel like consent should be really focused on and highlighted and yeah, Oliver asks Elio a lot if he is ok, but he still oversteps certain marks and I do feel like he has power over him which he sometimes (maybe unintentionally) takes advantage of. There was also a lot of phrasing which wasn’t great. Such as describing a peach as looking like a rape victim (can we not do that?) or wishing the love interest was in a wheelchair so he couldn’t get away….yeah… they were things that I felt uncomfortable reading. So, I am conflicted. Anyone care to share their own opinions?

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To all the boys I’ve loved before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

 

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“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

This is a book I was certain I would never read. A YA contemporary romance book with a love triangle and tropes for days? Not usually my thing, but I suddenly had this desire to read this series. Not sure why. I’m on an uncharacteristic YA contemporary hype atm. And you know what, although it had a rocky start, I kinda really enjoyed it. It was fun. It was cute. Laura Jean is super relatable. She is basically high school me, only if things actually worked in my favour.  Also, I love the family dynamics in this book. It is probably my favourite thing about it. A lot of YA books forget about the family and family is kinda a massive thing in anyones life, especially a 16-year-old’s so, I am glad the family plays a big part in this book. I do have the feeling this series has the ability to frustrate me in future installments though. So we shall see.

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Simon vs The HomoSapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
(Read via audio-book)

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“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m apparently stuck in a vortex where I’m reading all of the 2015 romance contemporary books I never thought I’d ever get around to. This book is freaking adorable.  Simon and Blue are freaking adorable. Can you believe I rated a non-heart-breaking YA contemporary book five stars? Because I can’t. This was actually my first experience with an audiobook. I never thought I’d be one to enjoy an audio book but I had a messed up eye one day and could not read so I tried audio. THIS audio book is freaking amazing. The narrator is perfection. 10/10 recommend trying it. Also, there are not many cases where I finish a book and I am certain the couple is a forever-couple. This couple is a forever couple and you can not convince me different. Does this book have it’s problems? Yes. Buuut, I love it, and now I want to own it in physical format despite the fact it has a red cover (I have this thing about red/pink/orange covers on my bookshelf….don’t ask….).

I am currently still working my way through F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story collection The Diamond as Big as the Ritz & Other Stories. I read a random story every now and then. I have so far read 5/9 of the stories in it and my favourite so far has been Crazy Sunday.  I have also just started reading P.S I still Love you by Jenny Han which is the second book in the To All the Boys I’ve loved before series. I am currently on chapter 10.

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