Somehow, we have already made it through May and my mind is legitimately boggled. Like, how is it already June?! Of course, I’m a happy girl because summer is when I ✨thrive✨! I’m a creature of sun and warmth, so summer is my favorite. But, before we go full force into the summer vibes, I still need to wrap up our last full month of spring.
May was a month where I read quite a bit, but wasn’t as into the books I managed to read. It wasn’t like anything was particularly bad, but I could feel a reading slump gnawing at the edges of my consciousness and I think that affected my reading enjoyment. Still, I managed to read 11 books last month and I’m astonished about that! That’s impressive when I was starting to feel slumpy.
But enough rambling for now. Let’s see what I managed to read in the month of May!
Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page
Book: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
Thoughts: I finally made it all the way through the second book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy! This was the book that stopped me from completing it years ago because I could not get over the long, drawn out descriptions. Something about listening to it on audio, though, made it vastly more enjoyable. I will say, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Fellowship of the Ring but it was still a good time.
Book: The Gallery of Wonders by Marc Remus
Thoughts: Sigh… this book had so much potential. It’s a story that follows a young girl and her friends who get sucked into a magical painting. They get to attend a school that teaches you how to wield magic paintbrushes and it’s all super fantastical. Unfortunately, it’s also basically Harry Potter, but make it about painting. Seriously, the comparisons where vast and, after awhile, it took me right out of the story. The writing was also stilted and just… not it. I’m sad cause it sounded so good!
Book: Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr
Thoughts: I read this book for a blog tour hosted by The Write Reads and, quite honestly, I had no idea what I was going into when I picked it up 😂 It was categorized as a thriller, though lots of people where calling it a contemporary, so I went in with an open mind. I found myself really enjoying following our main characters journey as she came into her own while the world was literally dying around her. You can read my full review here!
Book: Oathbreaker by A.J. Rettger
Thoughts: This was another blog tour read, though this tour was hosted by Storytellers On Tour! This was a dark fantasy that leans heavily into the dark realm. Seriously, our main character can’t go three pages without something graphic and tragic happening to him! It was definitely an intriguing ride, though, and I ended up rather enjoying myself. You can read my full review here!
Book: The Unwanted by Z.Y. Soyoye
Thoughts: I’ve been meaning to read this book for forever! The author approached me forever ago and the premise definitely intrigued me. We have young Alex, who discovers he has the power to slow time, and the wild things that happen to him afterwards. This was a fun read, though I felt like it rushed along a bit too fast. I found myself floundering a few times, but this was filled with wonderful messages and the perfect amount of action. I’ll have a full review coming soon.
Book: Bloom by Kevin Panetta/illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau
Thoughts: This graphic novel was so cute! Ugh, the cuteness!! Though, if I’m being honest, I was half in it for the wonderful baked goods drawn on almost every page. Which makes sense as the setting is a bakery. I really enjoyed the story, though it was nothing that blew me away. It was sweet and touching and beautifully illustrated. I would definitely read more from this duo!
Book: The Project by Courtney Summers
Thoughts: This thriller was such a good time. I mean… not for the characters, but for me! Though the ending left me feeling a little meh, the ride to get there was completely worth it. Are cults going to be a new bookish buzzword for me? Possibly, because this book that features a possible cult was just the right amount of creepy and intriguing. At points, I even felt myself being swayed, lol. The fact that we have a compelling main character and time jumps that kept my interest and this was a great read!
Book: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
Thoughts: Continuing on with the Rivers of London buddy read and I continue to love this series! This was probably my favorite addition since Moon Over Soho. It’s so fascinating and I’ve never cared about architecture as much as I do when Peter is rambling on about it, lol. This book also throws in a twist that had my jaw dropping. I’m so excited to move on to the next book because I need to know what happens next!
Book: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
Thoughts: Y’all, this book was so good! It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a non-fiction or a true crime and this one hit the spot. It’s so heart-wrenching and disturbing to see how these women lived. It was a fascinating look into the lives of poor women in Victorian London. You do have to take a lot with a grain of salt as there’s no definite proof of how these women lived, but this is so well-researched and laid out so well that it sounds more than plausible. And it doesn’t read like a textbook, which is always a bonus for me when it comes to non-fiction.
Book: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Thoughts: I don’t know what took me so long to finally read V.E. Schwab’s middle grade series, but I’m so glad I finally did! This was the Middle Grade Marvels pick for May and it was incredible! I loved the atmosphere of the story, which follows a young girl who can see ghosts as she goes with her family to Edinburgh, one of the most haunted cities out there. It was perfectly eerie and also made me want to go to Edinburgh, like, yesterday. Also, Cass, our main character, and her ghostly best friend, Jacob, are just the best. I adore this book so much and I can’t wait to continue the series.
Book: The Big Four by Agatha Christie
Thoughts: I’m back on my Poirot horse! And, though this was definitely not my favorite Christie book, I still had a good time. This felt a lot more disjointed than a typical Poirot, though it was a wild ride. It reads like a spy thriller and I kind of liked it. Hastings continues to be kind of a dunce and is a pretty terrible husband, but I do love his dynamic with Poirot. The racism, though… hooo-boy… Let’s just say one of the villains is of Chinese descent and there is at least one slur having to do with his race dropped. I know it’s a product of it’s time and all that, but it definitely impacted my enjoyment.
Book of the Month
The top book of May was, honestly, kind of a surprise to me. I was expecting to like this book, but not love it as much as I do! The Book of the Month for May is…
Like I said, I was surprised by how much I loved this book! I mean… I probably shouldn’t be. I’ve been a fan of V.E. Schwab’s writing for awhile. I love creepy stories. And I’ve been really loving middle grade books lately. This book was basically set up for me to love it! Still, I went into this thinking it was going to be a fun read but not much else. I was so wrong. This was such a perfect and perfectly spooky middle grade that has stolen it’s way into my heart. It’s intense! It’s intriguing! And following Cassidy and Jacob on their adventures was so much freakin’ fun! I have to stop myself from plunging into the rest of the series because I have so many books that I need to read, but it’s haaaaard. I’ll definitely be reading them soon.
Oh May, we barely knew ye. Seriously, I feel like I blinked and *poof* it’s June! Though this month rushed by in a haze, I still managed to get through quite a few books! Which is great, even if I wasn’t loving everything I was reading. As I mentioned earlier, I felt like there was a reading slump lurking in the shadows and it definitely affected my enjoyment of the books I was reading. I don’t know why I was starting to feel slumpy… perhaps because I’m really jonesing for a month where I do nothing but mood read. Most, if not all, of my reading lately has either been for blog tours, buddy reads, or catching up on ARCs. And, while I’m genuinely excited about the blog tours I do, the buddy reads I sign up for, and the ARCs I’ve requested, I still miss picking up a book just because I feel like reading it in that moment. I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done that! I think that’s why I’ve scaled back on the blog tours and the ARCs (though never the buddy reads, I love those too much!). I want to give myself space to read something just because it feels right. Let’s stave off the reading slump before it sinks it’s claws in!
The fact that I was sick for about a week in May probably didn’t help, either. I basically just slept and had zero energy to anything when I was awake. That threw me into a bit of a blogging slump, as well. I wasn’t feeling motivated to move, let alone sit at a computer and type up a blog post! I’m feeling much better, thankfully, and have gotten my blogging mojo back. I have a lot of great posts coming up soon and I’m excited for y’all to read them!
Alright, not many reflections this month. Before I go, though, I can’t let June kick off without saying Happy Pride Month!! To all my readers who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, know that this is a safe space for you and you are always welcome 💕 Now, let’s have a great reading month in June!
How was your reading in May? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!