Monthly Reading Round-Up: May

Edging ever closer to my Goodreads target (I’m now on 122 of 151 books), here is my May reading:

  1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    This was a re-read and I enjoyed it just as much as I did when I was 18; it’s such a funny book, which I think is what people most often forget about Austen.
  2. Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldovsky
    This was a surprisingly entertaining read; I reviewed it here.
  3. The Umbrella Academy Volume 2: Dallas by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba
    I really like this series; as with the first, the plot didn’t make that much sense but the artwork was amazing and it was all very entertaining.
  4. Ruby by Cynthia Bond
    I am still traumatised by this book, which was in no way what I expected based on the blurb. If the back of the book had said this, it would have been far more appropriate: “this book is cover-to-cover rape, incest and horrific violence. Enjoy!”
  5. Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige
    This was so disappointing; the first half was set in a normal high school, i.e. NOT OZ and then when they finally made it back there, the story went straight into a massive battle which didn’t seem to be about anything. Mainly, I am annoyed that I will have to buy and read the unexpected fourth book (why is this not a trilogy?) next year to complete the set.
  6. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
    Obviously, this was WAY too long, but very exciting and action-packed and everything. I still don’t care for that faerie dude (whose name I have completely forgotten) and will forever be Team Chaol.
  7. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
    My review of this will appear over at Fourth and Sycamore in a few weeks, but suffice to say I am completely mystified by the glowing reviews this has been getting on Goodreads.
  8. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
    These two novellas give a bit of background to Red Queen and Glass Sword; the first, Queen Song, is about Cal’s mother and was quite engaging, but the one about Farley just echoed what happened in the main novels which was absolutely pointless.
  9. The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling
    I loved this space-set YA; my review will go up in a couple of days and I’ll link back, but you really should read this.
  10. Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield
    Review here: I was sucker-punched by this and still feel emotionally vulnerable when I see the cover.
  11. You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour
    This was fun and light; I liked that it was about gay teens who’d already come out, which made it quite different to a lot of the LGBTQIA fiction I’ve read. I’ll be reviewing soon.
  12. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
    Another Fourth and Sycamore review to come in June. This featured an enjoyable level of snark, as well as a really funny line about Coldplay.
  13. Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
    I didn’t completely love this as it had a bit too much boy-craziness for my old and boring sensibilities. However, the focus on friendship between girls and their discussions of feminism were really refreshing, and the ending made me veer towards emotional.
  14. The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan
    Even more nonsensical than the Umbrella Academy books but equally enjoyable. I liked the ways in which the story paralleled the My Chemical Romance album of the same title.
  15. The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas
    I am officially in love with Scarlett Thomas’ writing. This was so vibrant and complex, with fantastic characters. The sprawling and dysfunctional family at its heart and the central mystery of what happened to the family members who went missing looking for a rare plant were massively enjoyable. I can’t wait to read more of Thomas’ books.
  16. How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne
    I loved Amber in Am I Normal Yet? but here she was a little too drunk and not as entertaining. The book sees her spending the summer in a Californian camp, which I found baffling; why separate her from her friends when they were what made the first book so good?
  17. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
    I have now read this approximately 7 million times and I still love it. Every time I read it, I find myself nodding along at Hornby’s sage and insightful points. If you’re a football fan and you haven’t read this, seriously, what are you doing with your life?
  18. Charlotte Brontë: A Life by Claire Harman
    This was fascinating; I assumed I knew everything about the Brontë family but Harman includes some stories which were new to me, like Emily feeding the best cuts of meat to the dogs. It’s an excellent biography, even for Brontë-heads who feel like they know it all.
  19. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
    This was so weird but good. I think. Told in two narrative strands, the book focuses on Jake, a woman with a mysterious past living alone in a remote part of Scotland. After finishing, I still wasn’t entirely sure what was going on but it was definitely an intriguing read.
  20. All of the Above by James Dawson
    I wanted to really like this, as I enjoyed Spot the Difference, but all the adolescent drama was a bit much for me, and it was one of those books where every conceivable issue occurs in the same group of friends, which seems statistically unlikely to me.
  21. Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss
    New York setting: check. Arty characters: check. Complex relationships and interconnected stories: check. Yes, this was my kind of thing.
  22. Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherley
    I’m conflicted about this. On the one hand, it was an interesting take on a dystopian future and the ending was brilliant. On the other, it was 500 pages long (500 pages!), not particularly well-written and would anyone seriously run a country using astrology as their manifesto?
  23. Matilda by Roald Dahl
    I read this by accident on the last day of the month. My daughter was quite happily entertaining herself for a few minutes, so I started reading Matilda, and the next thing I knew I had finished it and was feeling all warm inside. Someone on Goodreads gave this 2 stars. 2 stars for Matilda! This is treason.
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