Hi everyone! Welcome to June! I can’t believe we’re already 6 months into the year. It’s wild how fast 2018 is flying by! May was a pretty good reading month for me. I ended up reading 8 books and a total of 2,864 pages (including the pages of the books I either put on hold or started but didn’t finish.) I hope June is also a great reading month as well!
Books Read in May
- Chainbreaker by Tara Sim – 4.25 stars
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (reread) by Becky Albertalli – 4.5 stars
- Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – 4 stars
The first book I picked up in May was Chainbreaker, the sequel to Timekeeper, which I had just reread in April. I really, really enjoyed Chainbreaker! It definitely had a different feel to it than Timekeeper, but it still included a lot of things that really captivated me in the first book. For example, I loved getting to know more about the clock towers and especially getting to see how things were in this alternate world but in a different country than just England (where the entirety of the first novel took place). Chainbreaker ended on a HUGE cliffhanger though and I’m dying to see what happens in the final book of the trilogy. January can’t come soon enough!!
Apparently I was in a rereading-a-past-favorite-before-reading-its-sequel kind of mood because the next two books I picked up were Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. Before this reading, I had already read Simon vs. twice – once in 2015 and once in 2016. I was dying to read Leah on the Offbeat but I wanted to refresh my memory of the characters and events of Simon vs. so that’s why I reread it. As expected, I loved it a lot! I can see myself rereading it again in the future.
As for Leah on the Offbeat, I really enjoyed it as well! It was fun being inside Leah’s head and also seeing all the characters I loved from the first book. There were so, so many scenes that I enjoyed in this book! The only thing that bothered me – and the reason why I wasn’t able to give any higher than a 4 star rating – was that there was an instance where Leah told someone they couldn’t identify their sexuality the way they were. That’s really not okay to tell someone how they should identify. It was never addressed at all and Leah never apologized for what she did. (Marianne talks more about this scene in her Goodreads review if you want to know more.)
- Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis – 2 stars
- The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters – 4 stars
The next book I read, Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now, ended up being my least favorite book I read in May (and probably of the year so far as well). I really liked the main character, Tiffany, and I loved the anxiety & OCD rep, but that’s it. I felt like so many of the interactions Tiffany had with the people in her life seemed very unrealistic. The conversations were so awkward and nothing like anything anyone would actually say. The only ones that sounded like real conversations were the ones with her friend from home and one of Marcus’s moms (I can’t remember her name, oops). Also, I absolutely hated Tiffany’s new dad, Anthony. He did and said so many horrible things including: mistreating his autistic 2 year old daughter, taking away Tiffany’s medication that she needs for her mental illnesses (because he didn’t believe in psychiatric medication – even though he’s a doctor!!), and forbidding his children to talk to the neighbors across the street just because they were gay. Towards the end of the book he apologized for some things but I don’t forgive him and I don’t get why others did. As you can probably tell, he’s a big part of why I only rated this book 2 stars.
Next, I picked up The Steep & Thorny Way, which I really enjoyed! I liked the writing, the main character, Hanalee, and her platonic relationship with Joe, and the plot (even though it was very tough to read at times). I had no expectations going into the book but I’m so glad I ended up enjoying it! Here are some content warnings to keep in mind though if you’re planning to read this book: racism, homomisia, death of a loved one, lynching, violence.
- The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – 4 stars
- The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk – 3.5 stars
- Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake – 4.5 stars
After that, I needed to read some contemporary fun so I picked up The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. I loved Goo’s previous book, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, so I was super excited to read more by her. While I didn’t love The Way You Make Me Feel as much as I Believe in a Thing Called Love, I still really enjoyed it! I loved how interesting and complex all the characters were and I especially loved the main character’s relationship with her father. I would definitely recommend this book!
The next book I picked up was The Beauty That Remains which had 3 different point of views of people who had recently lost a loved one (best friend, ex-boyfriend, and twin sister). The novel mainly focused on the grief the characters feel after their loved ones die and their processes of dealing with and working through their grief. I wasn’t absolutely in love with this book but I definitely liked it! It featured a lot of diverse characters including black, Korean-American, and gay main characters and black, Latinx, and queer side characters. I loved all the diversity and wish it was in every book!
Lastly, I read Girl Made of Stars, which was one of my favorite books so far this year. It centered on a very heavy topic of rape but it was handled very carefully and with respect. It was very moving and the writing was so beautiful! I absolutely loved this book! However, there are many content warnings I would give for this book so please keep them in mind before reading. The content warnings are: rape, child molestation/pedophilia (on page & graphic), victim-blaming, misogyny, slut-shaming, biphobia, panic attacks, dysphoria, arophobia/amatonormativity (use of “just friends” and “more than friends”), ableist language
Book I Put On Hold in May
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
I was unfortunately only able to read 78 pages of this book before it was due back at the library (I was planning on renewing it but somebody put it on hold!). However, I enjoyed what I did read of the book and I will definitely be continuing it when I’m in the mood for epic fantasy!
Book I Started But Didn’t Finish in May
- Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
I started Ace of Shades around the same time as Girl Made of Stars but I wasn’t able to finish it before the end of the month. I only read 68 pages in May. Look for my thoughts on this book in next month’s wrap up!
Reading Challenge Progress
This year I’m participating in four reading challenges! To track my progress, I have a page on my blog but I would also like to share monthly progress updates with you all. That being said, each monthly wrap up post will include updates on my progress in the four reading challenges I signed up for. For more information on the reading challenges mentioned below, click here.
1. Goodreads Reading Challenge
My Goal: Read 50 books
Completed in May: 8 books
Completed in 2018: 34 books
2. Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge
My Goal: Read 18 backlist books (COMPLETED!)
Completed in May: 2 books
Completed in 2018: 22 books
3. Library Love Challenge
My Goal: Read 36 library books
Completed in May: 8 books
Completed in 2018: 27 books
4. Brooke’s Books Reading Challenge
My Goal: Complete all 30 prompts
Completed in May: 4 prompts
Completed in 2018: 24 prompts
Prompts Completed in May:
- Read a favorite author’s newest book
- Read a book that can be categorized as more than one genre
- Read a book set in the past
- Read a book that features more than one queer person
Was May a good or bad reading month for you? How many books did you end up reading? Let me know in the comments and/or link me to your monthly wrap up. I would love to see what you read this past month!