Wednesday 30 May 2018

A Wrap Up: May 2018 Part Two

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

This is the second half of my May 2018 wrap-up - it's been a great reading month for me, given that I'm now totally free of university deadlines and the sun has been shining freaky amounts in the UK, so I've done a WHOLE lot of reading in the garden and it has been glorious!! Let me know in the comments section down below what your favourite book of May was - I'd love to know.

Kasie West’s On The Fence
4 stars

On one particularly lovely afternoon, I just had a real craving for a harmless, cute, summery contemporary and Kasie West is a really great author to go to for those kind of books - much like Morgan Matson, their books give me similar vibes!! I really enjoyed this - the romance was cute and bursting with chemistry, the character development and blossoming female friendships were great to read about and the brother-sister relationships were lovely & funny, too.

Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes
5 stars

Now, you know I'm really serious about loving an author when I willa actually preorder their new release from Amazon a few months in advance - that's what I did for this book, because I love Jenn Bennett's writing so much (I have reviews of her two previous YA contemporaries here and here). This book definitely didn't disappoint; I always ADORE Jenn's feisty, funny female protagonists as well as her entire casts of unique, interesting characters, love interests included. I loved the wilderness setting, the cool hobbies and the chemistry, as always, was just perfect. Jenn Bennett is absolutely one of my favourite YA authors, authors just generally actually, of all time. The best book of May by far.

Alice Pung’s Lucy & Linh
2 stars

From a high, to an unfortunate low. Firstly, thank you to the publishers for providing me with this book via NetGalley. Sadly, this fell way short. I'm always intrigued by books that claim to be about female friendships/relationships/dynamics, and a boarding school setting tends to amp up the tension, but this book did nothing interesting to me. It was just mean girls being mean for like 350 pages. I think it was literally within the last 10% of the novel that some kind of character development happened for like 2 people, by which point, I had literally zero investment. I liked the Australia setting and the lack of any real romantic storyline, though - those things were cool and different. 

Lauren James’s The Next Together
3 stars

This felt like a disappointment, I can't lie. I've heard so many amazing things about this book, and when I read The Loneliest Girl in the Universe earlier this month I really loved it, so I expected to enjoy this book far more than I did. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, I'm not sure. I definitely liked the 2019 storyline the best, which was the one we had the least narrative from, weirdly. I'll probably get around to the sequel at some stage, but I'm in no real rush to be honest.

Benjamin Alire Saenz’s The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
3.5 stars

This is a really beautifully written book, very philosophical, very quotable - if you're not a fan of that kind of style, I'd probably avoid this one. I wouldn't say it was necessarily style over substance, but I do suspect some people might feel that way. It dealt with grief widely and openly, in three separate instances, which I thought was a really interesting choice. I liked that our protagonist didn't have a romance arc himself and I think a lot of readers will appreciate that, too.

Laura Dockrill’s Big Bones
2.5 stars

Unfortunately I found the humour in this book far too obvious and a little forced, really. The constant capitalisation and snide comments after every other character spoke got old really fast. There was some interesting stuff about body image and body positivity and I really enjoyed reading all of the yummy descriptions of food - I was craving a crumpet within the first paragraph!!

Leife Shallcross’s The Beast’s Heart
3.5 stars

A sweet, nostalgic Beauty and the Beast retelling - nothing much else to say really! There were a few interesting twists, like the storylines given to Isabeau's sisters, the Beast's backstory, the way in the castle's magic worked (I missed certain characters there, ngl). The writing style is pretty grand and formal, but I think it works to enrich the fairytale feel here.

Gary D. Schmidt’s Orbiting Jupiter
3.5 stars

Really hard-hitting, gritty, emotive YA contemporary. If you want something with some real depth and no sappy romance at the centre of the story, I'd definitely give this a shot. It's pretty short but in that small amount of pages, it packs a serious punch. I loved the brotherly relationship that slowly began to develop between Joseph and Jack, the way Jack's parents cared for Joseph and Joseph's interactions with the animals. That ending...pretty impressively done, certainly didn't see that coming.

Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek
3.5 stars

There were a lot of great, entertaining elements to this book - I really love the convention setting, the passion for books/comics/games, bisexuality rep (although I cannot personally speak to its accuracy). I do think in places it verged towards being a little cliche, unfortunately, and I would've liked to have seen more done with the female friendship between Taylor and Charlie, because we didn't see all that many detailed interactions between the two. 

Michelle Roehm McCann & Amelie Welden’s Girls Who Rocked the World

I want to put a copy of this book in every junior & senior school library - it's the sort of book that every girl should read and be inspired by. I also think you'll really enjoy this if you like history, because the vast majority of the amazing women described are from various different points in ancient & recent history.

So that's it for May 2018!! I know there's still a day and a half left, but you can check any other reviews during that time out on my goodreads here.

Till next time