May 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

Hi all!

Welcome to my May Reading Wrap-Up for 2018! This was such a busy book month for me. Not only did I participate in the The Disney Read-A-Long – My TBR! but I also completed my Sassy Book Club pick and Monthly Classics Challenge. As I am no longer working (patiently waiting for baby to arrive) I was able to read much more frequently and really soak up some leisurely time to myself. I cannot wait to share all of my non-spoilery thoughts with you, so let’s get started!

1.) THE ROSE & THE DAGGER (BOOK #2 OF THE WRATH & THE DAWN DUOLOGY) BY RENÉE AHDIEH (PHYSICAL BOOK)

Order a copy here!

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PLOT: As this is the second book in the series, I won’t give away the plot…too many spoilers! Check out my April 2018 Reading Wrap-Up! to learn more about The Wrath & the Dawn.

MINI REVIEW: Much like The Wrath & the Dawn, I enjoyed this book but was not blown away by it. The writing as always, was the standout. Renée has this gift of describing everything in such vivid imagery and detail, making it all seem so real. In terms of criticisms, I wish the magic system had been explored further and that there had been a little more world-building. I felt like the ending was quite rushed and too convenient but overall, it was a solid sequel and a satisfying end to an enchanting duology. 

RATING: I gave this 4/5 stars. 

2.) HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE (BOOK #1 OF THE HARRY POTTER SERIES) BY J.K ROWLING & ILLUSTRATED BY JIM KAY (PHYSICAL BOOK – RE-READ)

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PLOT: I don’t really have to explain the plot do I? Well, just in case you are one of the rare individuals that has never read Harry Potter before, I’ll be brief. Harry is an orphaned child, living with his nasty Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley. One evening, he is visited by a man named Hagrid who tells him that he’s a wizard. Suddenly, Harry is whisked off to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry where he makes friends, meets enemies and learns the shocking truth behind the death of his parents. 

MINI REVIEW: Re-reading Harry Potter was like sliding into a warm, comfortable bath. It was such a nice feeling. I missed this series. This time around, I dove into the beautiful illustrated edition of the first book which was absolutely stunning. The artwork blew me away, adding an extra layer of magical depth to the story. I found myself gasping in awe at every turn of the page. I read it aloud to my unborn daughter and will do so many more times with our kids in the future. It was such a wonderful experience. I cannot wait to own the entire collection. 

RATING: Naturally I gave this 5/5 stars. 

3.) QUEENS OF GEEK BY JEN WILDE (PHYSICAL BOOK)

Order a copy here

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PLOT: Three best friends (Charlie, Taylor and Jamie) journey together from Melbourne to Los Angeles to attend SupaCon, a pop-culture convention spanning several days. Charlie, a famous YouTube sensation attends to promote her new film, The Rising. Taylor and Jamie tag-along for support with the added intention of meeting Skyler Atkins, the author of their favourite book series, Queen Firestone. Problems arise when Charlie’s awful ex-boyfriend and co-star, Reese Ryan shows up to make her life difficult. Luckily, the gorgeous and popular Alyssa Huntington is there to save the day. Meanwhile, Jamie and Taylor struggle to confront their undeniable feelings for one another before they finally graduate from highschool. 

MINI REVIEW: I don’t know what I was was expecting going into this book but I loved it unconditionally from beginning to end. It blew me away. There was tons of important representation throughout the story, including: characters with autism, characters with anxiety, bisexual characters, interracial couples, fat-shaming and more. This was so refreshing to see in a YA novel. As someone who has suffered with anxiety all my life, I really related to the protagonist Taylor. Plus, all of the fandom references soothed my geeky soul. I loved that it took place entirely at a pop-culture convention. It was also extremely relevant to society today, what with the rise of YouTube careers, vlogging and social-media. This book definitely deserves more hype and recognition. 

RATING: I gave this 5/5 stars. 

4.) LADY OF THE SHADES BY DARREN SHAN (AUDIO BOOK)

Order a copy here

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PLOT: This is one of Darren Shan’s adult, standalone books. It follows an American author named Ed, who travels to London in search of inspiration for a new novel to write. Through a strange twist of fate, Ed meets the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. She seems too good to be true until he discovers that she is tied to a notorious crime lord. Startled by this shocking revelation, Ed finds his own world turned upside-down as the ghosts of his past force him to confront a deadly secret he was hoping would remain buried forever. 

MINI REVIEW: It’s no secret that Darren Shan is one of my favourite male authors, however, this book was completely different to his YA/middle-grade series. I found the first half of the story to be quite slow and difficult to get into. The second half on the other hand, was much more action-packed and full of twists I did not see coming. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work in my personal opinion. It was too all over the place, I struggled to navigate the many plot turns and didn’t connect with any of the characters. The ending was also extremely strange and very far-fetched. I really wanted to love this novel but sadly I didn’t…

RATING: I gave this 2/5 stars. 

5.) CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE (BOOK #1 OF THE LEGACY OF ORISHA TRILOGY) BY TOMI ADEYEMI (PHYSICAL BOOK)  SASSY BOOK CLUB PICK FOR MAY 2018 

Order a copy here

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PLOT: This was our Sassy Book Club pick for May. The live show discussing the novel will be held June 10th, 2:00pm PST on MissSassyKassie’s YouTube Channel

This first book in a trilogy is set in a fantastical world inspired by West Africa. It follows the point of view of Zelie (a teenage diviner – maji), Amari (a rogue princess) and Inan (a prince torn between duty and heart). When she was just a girl, Zelie witnessed her mother, a powerful maji, murdered by the royal guards and all magic stripped from the land. Present day, Zelie is given a rare opportunity to restore magic to diviners everywhere. Suddenly, she is thrust into an epic quest alongside unlikely followers with the promise that she will save everybody from impending death…

MINI REVIEW: I won this incredible book through a giveaway on Twitter! I’m so glad I did because I loved every single second of it. For a debut novel, Tomi did an amazing job creating such a vivid, colourful world full of interesting creatures, landmarks and characters. The entire story was extremely well-developed. Each chapter flowed into the next with such fluidity. I became so immersed in the magic system and the journey of Zelie, Amari and Inan. The chapters are quite short making what seems like quite a large book, simple to fly through. Tomi touches on issues that exist in our real world today. Please be warned there are strong scenes of violence, brutality and slavery. The ending made me want the sequel right now! 

RATING: I gave this 5/5 stars. 

6.) THE RAVEN BOYS (BOOK #1 OF THE RAVEN CYCLE) BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER  (OVERDRIVE – AUDIO BOOK)

Order a copy here

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Screenshot from my Overdrive account

PLOT: Every year, Blue Sargent stands with her clairvoyant mother to watch the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself has never seen them until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as the Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. Blue finds herself drawn to Gansey who is on a quest to find the Welsh King of Glendower in the hopes of being granted a magical favour. Blue on the other hand, has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem but now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she isn’t so sure anymore…

MINI REVIEW: This interesting, quirky story was magical and whimsical right from the very beginning. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. Maggie Stiefvater writes so poetically. I was really impressed by her descriptions of the Raven Boys and her ability to bring the characters to life. I felt quite connected to Ronan, Adam, Gansey and Noah. I loved Blue’s sassy nature and maturity. I will say, I didn’t anticipate for it to be so dark and confronting at times. Please note a trigger warning for child abuse. There is still so much to be explained and explored. I’m really looking forward to diving into the rest of the series. Also, I listened to this on audio book. The narrator has a very relaxing tone. I highly recommend reading it this way. 

RATING: I gave this 4.5/5 stars. 

7.) THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO BY ALEXANDRE DUMAS  (E-BOOK) – MONTHLY CLASSIC PICK FOR MAY 2018 

Order a copy here

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Screenshot from my iBooks app 

PLOT: On the day of his wedding to Mercédès, Edmond Dantes, is falsely accused of treason, arrested, and imprisoned without trial in a grim island fortress off of Marseilles. A fellow prisoner correctly deduces that his jealous rival Fernand Mondego, envious crewmate Danglars and the double-dealing Magistrate De Villefort, framed him. With the help of his friend, Edmond plots his escape and discovers a fortune in treasure. As the powerful and mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, he arrives from the Orient to enter the fashionable Parisian world of the 1830s and avenge himself on the men who conspired to destroy him.

MINI REVIEW: Wow, this book is long so just be warned! It is over 1,000 pages of plotting, revenge and drama. Despite the length, I really did enjoy how the Count achieved justice after suffering for so much of his life. A lot of it is very far-fetched but nevertheless, it gave me plenty of satisfaction watching the villains fall one by one in very creative methods. I didn’t think I would be able to finish it before the end of May but I committed to 100 pages per day and managed to do so. An admirable effort if I do say so myself! I am curious to see the film adaptation now. 

RATING: I gave this 4/5 stars.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I am very curious to see if I will get much reading done in June as my daughter is due at the end of the month. Stay tuned! 

Peace & Love xoxo

This post contains links to my Book Depository Affiliate which helps fund my blog, I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own

 

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9 thoughts on “May 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

  1. It is nice to see you re-reading books like the Harry Potter one. Reading is not always about reading new books but also revisiting some of our old favourites – because we like the narrative that speaks to us, because it gives us a good feeling One book I like to re-read is The Little Prince. Another one of my favourite books is the Aliebn book you recommended to me, and I am already re-reading it. Hope you are doing well my friend xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend! Re-reading is such a joy 🙂 I love The Little Prince and the Aliebn book! Always a new layer to discover when re-reading. I am doing well, I hope you are too my friend! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

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