Books I Read in May & June!

As of the beginning of June, I handed in my last assignment for this year of university! So for May, I was working pretty hard on that, but I managed a surprising amount of reading done. Then once it was handed in, I really went wild! These are the books that have kept me company during a truly odd time in the world.

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
This is such a strange little book that Asha very kindly sent me! The main character is a meat-eating, leather-shoe loving PETA member, a Republican, so straight she could be a ruler, and a newly turned vampire. But don’t worry! She isn’t “Madame Slut” because she’s only slept with three people (at the beginning of the book anyway). My search for my new Sookie books continues but Betsy isn’t her, although I don’t regret my brief time with her.  She’s a very funny oddball.
“Did I tell you I throw up solid foods?”
“A fine party trick-“

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
So, it’s been 6 years since I first read Real Murders! I really love this world and re-reading it felt like a hug from an old friend. I’ve been watching the Hallmark movies on Amazon Prime and Channel 5 so I knew the story pretty well, but I still had a blast.

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
I was a huge Enid Blyton fan as a kid. I can still imagine the dormitories of St. Clares so vividly! So I was really excited when the wonderful Jemma sent this to me and couldn’t let it languish on my shelves for longer than a week. Overall, I really liked the Enid Blyton/ Agatha Christie mash-up vibes. It is exactly the kind of thing I would’ve loved to read as a kid (and still enjoyed as an adult).
Despite this being a literal murder mystery, I was still quite jarred by the repeated mention of suicide though. I didn’t expect it, I guess?

The Game Weavers by Rebecca Zahabi*
This is a debut that I’m going to write a full review on!

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
These were a re-read for me and I loved them all the more as a 26 year old! I’ll be doing a full blog post talking about them so keep an eye out for that!

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
This was probably my most anticipated release of 2020 and I’m still a little unsure on where I land with it. I’m really glad that I’m not doing star-ratings for books this year because it would’ve been an impossible task. 
A lot of people were concerned that it was going to try and redeem Snow but I don’t think it does. It’s just the point of view of the bad guy doing bad things which I think is sometimes more interesting!

Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón Pérez
I think something that helped me enjoy this more than the average person picking this up was the fact that I loathe Jane Eyre. So the fact that this modernised graphic novel adaptation didn’t stick to important aspects of the original novel; no orphanage, no plain main character, 200 pages of art instead of 500 pages of tiny words, didn’t bother me as much. But it also left no real impression. 

My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Are these stories massively outdated, a little classist and almost identical plot-wise? Absolutely! Have these books been all I’ve wanted to listen to? Also yes. Essentially, Bertie gets into some kind of pickle, and Jeeves fixes it and earns himself some extra money. The perfect entertainment for a tired brain.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these?

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2020: Mid-Year Freak Out Tag!

I can’t believe that it’s July. I don’t think there’s been such a weird year in my entire life. So when the lovely Anne from Rooting Branches tagged me in the Mid-Year Freak Out tag, it seemed like a good way to look back at the books I’ve been reading in 2020 and take stock before looking forward!

1: Best book you’ve read so far in 2020!
It maybe shows how 2020 is going, but it’s The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It was just a really honest depiction of depression. I can see myself coming back to it over and over in the future.

2: Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020!
I haven’t actually read many sequels so far this year. Although, Katherine Howard: The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir* is the fifth book in the Six Queens series and it was another great addition to the series. I do want to read more sequels, it’s really nice to get a new plot with all the world-building already done in your mind.

3: New release you haven’t read yet, but want to!
I’ve been pretty good at actually reading my pre-orders this year so I don’t have any unread at the moment. But, my copy of My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is currently in quarantine at Waterstones and I’m having to balance my want to read it with my fear of actually going to get it. Truly a 2020 problem!

4: Most anticipated release for the second half of the year!
I’m so keen to get my hands on Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. The news of the publishing date push-back ruined my whole day when I found out. At least an October release date makes it perfectly timed for Halloween season!

5: Biggest disappointment!
Not an individual book, but more a feeling I’ve had when reading. It seems to be getting harder and harder to immerse myself in a book. Hopefully it’ll pass soon.

6: Biggest surprise!
I knew I was probably going to enjoy How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather but I didn’t think I’d love it so much! I didn’t know much going in and was expecting the usual fun YA that’s mainly action and romance, but it ended up being a really smart and impactful story about bullying.

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

7: Favourite new author! (Debut or new to you)
Valerie Valdes’ debut, Chilling Effect* was an absolute romp of a space opera and I’m dying to get my hands on the sequel. Space cats!!!!

8: Newest fictional crush!
I’m not sure it counts because it’s more a I-want-you-in-my-life crush rather than romantic but I love Jeeves! I just finished My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse and immediately moved on to The Inimitable Jeeves. They’re such fun books and I want Jeeves to fix all the problems in my life.

9: Newest favourite character!
Hazel from Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens was a treasure. I really enjoyed the way that she wasn’t the leader of the detective society, so she got dragged into a lot of drama. I related to her a lot.

10: Book that made you cry!
I don’t really cry at books, I’m afraid! I did get a little choked up at Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, but who didn’t?

11: Book that made you happy!
I don’t know about anyone else but it has been so stressful lately that almost no books have been making me happy. However, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome will always pull a laugh from me.

12: Favourite book to film adaptation that you’ve seen this year!
I’m not sure I can claim this since I’ve never read the books, but the Netflix series Virgin River has been an absolute delight. I found myself wanting to read a romance which is not really my genre. Maybe I need to ease myself in with some paranormal romance and see how I get on.

A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy

13: Favourite review you’ve written!
I’ve only written one full review this year- yikes! But I was very fond of A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy* and really liked my review.

14: Most beautiful book you’ve bought (or received) this year!
I was blessed by the ARC angels and got my hands on an early copy of The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow* and that cover? Every time I look at it, I swear I find something else I haven’t noticed before. Hopefully the book inside is just as beautiful.

15: What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I don’t really need to read anything but I’m trying to keep up with all the books I’m purchasing… which is more than usual in lockdown! Top of my TBR is Wranglestone by Darren Charlton, Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin!

That’s all folks! I think everyone and their mother has done this tag by now so if you haven’t, I tag you!

What books are you looking forward to in the tail end of 2020?

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