Wrap Up: May 2016

May16wrapup

Can you believe another month has passed? I can’t believe it’s June already and that the year is almost half over. It feels like February was just yesterday! This month was really eventful for me and flew by in a flash. I went to Florida for a week to present at a vision sciences conference, which was a really great experience, and I got to meet my Happy Indulgence co-blogger Aila @ One Way or an Author. Just two days after coming back from my Florida trip, I went to the Sydney Writer’s Festival where I got to meet my other co-blogger, Jeann @ Happy Indulgence (and reunite with Aentee @ Read at Midnight), as well as other bloggers too.

But because my month was so busy, I didn’t read for a whole 10 days in the middle of the month. I did still manage to read 13 books though and most of them were 4 stars or better! I’m also currently 35 books ahead on my Goodreads challenge, which makes me exceedingly happy. Let’s get into my reading summary!

May16

Reading summary header

1. I’ll Meet You There – Heather Demetrios  5 stars

This was probably my favourite book of the month. It was such an incredibly well-written story about a small town girl who just wants to get out but life keeps throwing her curveballs. The novel also explores PTSD and it was done so fantastically. It has the sweetest and most realistic romance and I’m so in love with the characters and their stories. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

2. The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson  5 stars

Morgan Matson’s newest release definitely doesn’t disappoint. I’ve read every single one of her books and I haven’t rated any of them less than 4.5 stars. The Unexpected Everything isn’t my favourite of her books (Second Chance Summer takes the crown) but it had the same great balance of romance, family, friendship and coming-of-age elements that all of her books have. This one is especially cute because there are lots of adorable dogs in it.

3. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater  5 stars

The Raven King is the fourth and final book of The Raven Cycle. I absolutely love this series and The Raven King was also amazing. I wouldn’t say that it was everything that I’d wanted because there were so many unexpected things that happened, but ultimately I’m very satisfied with how it all ended.

4. Yellow – Megan Jacobson  4 stars

I wasn’t actually intending to read this book because the synopsis didn’t have me convinced that I’d enjoy it. However, Megan Jacobson was the guest for May’s YABookmeet, which is hosted by Dymocks Sydney, so I felt like I had to read the book before I went. It ended up surprising me with how enjoyable I thought it was. Yellow is about Kirra, a girl who’s being bullied by her friends at school and whose family is very dysfunctional. One day, she gets a call from a ghost from a telephone box, who ends up giving her a lot of life advice.  In exchange, Kirra has to bring his murderer to justice. ..

5. The Honest Truth – Dan Gemeinhart  45 stars

This is a middle-grade story about a boy who has been battling cancer his whole life. The story begins when he gets fed up with being the sick kid and runs away from home to take a journey up Mount Rainier. He has nothing but a little bit of money, the clothes on his back, and his dog for company. It’s a sad book with a lot of honest truths and I absolutely loved it and ugly cried for ages.

6. A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas  3 stars

ACOMAF was a really highly anticipated release for me but I had a lot of issues with it. I hated the way that Sarah J. Maas turned her characters into people who were unrecognisable from the ones we met in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I also had some problems with Feyre and how her character became even more of a special snowflake than she was in the first book. And I was definitely disappointed with the plot and how absolutely nothing of substance happened.

7. Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell  4 stars

Aila @ One Way of an Author was amazing and managed to get hold of a copy of Kindred Spirits for me (which she gave to me IN PERSON when we met in Florida). Kindred Spirits is a short story about a girl who is obsessed with Star Wars and what happens when she decides to wait in line for a week outside the cinema for the newest movie to be released. It was cute and funny and a great story if you’re after something short that you can finish in a short sitting.

8. The Star-Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi  4 stars

Another book that I received from Aila, The Star-Touched Queen is a beautiful book inside and out. The writing is rich and descriptive and the world was incredibly magical. The book follows Maya, a princess who’s just one of many women living in the palace. She longs to be seen and make a difference to the world, so when she’s given the chance to rule side by side with Amar, the ruler of a kingdom she’s never heard of before, she jumps at the opportunity. But Amar is hiding some secrets… I enjoyed this book a lot but there wasn’t a lot that actually happened plot-wise. I’m looking forward to what the sequel brings and hopefully it’ll be even more exciting than this first book.

9. Nimona – Noelle Stevenson  45 stars

I very rarely read graphic novels but I picked up Nimona during a comic book/graphic novel sale at my bookstore. It’s a very action-packed and unique story about a supervillain and his sidekick who are trying to save the world from the “good guys”. Confusing, I know. This graphic novel was super fun and fast to read. I loved the characters and thought they were really funny and full of heart. Noelle Stevenson’s art style is also amazing!

10. The Crown – Kiera Cass  2 stars

The Crown is the final book (hopefully) in The Selection series. This is a series that I read for the laughs. I really did not like the first three books but the characters and the drama of the books is so strangely addictive that I’ve been continuing the series. I didn’t mind The Heir and thought it was actually the best of all of the books… but this final book was just a huge disappointment. It lacked the drama of the previous books and just fell super flat. The romance, I saw coming from a mile away and I honestly wasn’t a fan of it. Of any of it.

11. Summer Skin – Kirsty Eagar  4 stars

I read this book because Jeann will be talking about it on radio on Sunday night. I’d heard nothing but good things about it from around the Aussie blogging community and I thought I’d give it a try. It was a really fun and feminist new adult novel that has a little it of a Romeo and Juliet, forbidden love feel to it. It was a really quick read and I enjoyed the characters and their relationship a lot.

12. The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord  4 stars

I read When We Collided by Emery Lord a few months ago and really enjoyed the writing style and story. I decided to give this one a go when I saw it in a Barnes and Noble when I was in Florida. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did When We Collided but I still thought that it was a cute, contemporary read and featured a romance that I could root for. My problem was that I couldn’t really connect with the main character, which made me feel a bit disconnected from her story.

13. The Square Root of Summer – Harriet Reuter Hapgood  3 stars

This book was simultaneously amazing and confusing at the same time. I don’t think I can fully explain what this book was about (but I do have a full review linked where I attempted to do so). The novel features a lot of theoretical physics that I could follow as I read the book, but I found that I couldn’t put all of the theories and ideas together at the end of the book. I was left a little bit confused about the ending what the whole story meant. Having said that, this book has a lot of unique elements and I absolutely loved the reading experience.

T10T

I only did two Top Ten Tuesday posts this month because I’ve realised that I’m terrible at replying to comments on them and the more TTTs I do, the more behind I become on replying and commenting back.

Photo 22-05-2016, 12 57 53 PM

Aentee @ Read at Midnight, me, Jeann @ Happy Indulgence, and Emily @ Loony Literate at TeenCon

Aentee & me

Aentee @ Read at Midnight and me at TeenCon

Aila & me

Aila @ One Way or an Author and me at The Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida

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35 thoughts on “Wrap Up: May 2016

  1. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    Such great photos and a wonderfully busy month for you Jenna! Your 13 books is more than my usual reading lol! IT sounds like you had a great reading month though, I’m so glad that you enjoyed Yellow and Summer Skin. I can’t wait to read Second Chance Summer and I’ll Meet You There because of your recs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Omg I just saw Aila’s review of Second Chance Summer and I’m so devastated T_T. I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up though. And yeah, definitely highly recommend I’ll Meet You There! I’m so keen to pick up some more stuff by Heather Demetrios because Exquisite Captive was also amazing! Thanks for the Summer Skin rec. I liked it a lot, even though *someone* didn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly says:

    What a great reading month!! I’ve heard a lot of buzz about The Square Root of Summer lately, and I’ve been on the fence about giving it a try. Mathematical theories aren’t really my thing, but I love a good summery story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I think you should definitely give The Square Root of Summer a try! Some people have absolutely loved it. I think it depends on whether you understand it or not and you won’t know until you try it, right? HAHA it’s actually set in England so it’s not your typical summer story 😀 But it’s got a beautiful country setting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      It is a bit manipulative. I didn’t get this vibe when I was reading Queen of Shadows because I’m happy with the current ship, but I definitely felt it when reading ACOMAF. I don’t care that the ships have switched but it’s the way that she completely changed the personalities of her characters and manipulates us into absolutely hating certain characters. It’s just not cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Read Diverse Books says:

    You read a lot of books! Very impressive. Looks like you had a positive reading month overall.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed The Star-touched Queen, I will be reading it this summer. It’s unfortunate that the plot isn’t that interesting, but I love beautiful writing. So I’m still Excited to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lois says:

    13 books is still super impressive, especially with how busy you’ve been.
    I’ll Meet You There will always be the winner to me. Josh Mitchell ❤ I NEED THAT LETTER OF HIS. 😛
    I'm hoping to kick The Unexpected Everything and Star-Touched Queen this month and I'm so excited to see what they have in store.
    I am honestly so glad I gave The Selection series a pass. The covers alone are enough to deter me from reading the books haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I wonder if new editions of I’ll Meet You There will have the letter? This letter is like the book community’s best kept secret. I can’t seem to find it anywhere on the internet!! And that’s super surprising to me. YES! The Unexpected Everything is sooo good! I hope you enjoy it. And The Star-Touched Queen is absolutely beautiful. The world is so rich and magical ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Haha in my busy month I read 3 books. You are so impressive! I don’t know how to fit it all in. You’ve read such variety as well. I particularly like the sound of the one with the super villiains. I like anything that turns a genre on it’s head.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    13 books even with a 10 day no reading period. Jenna slaying it even with a busy month as usual! 😀 And aww, all the pictures. I love it! Sigh, I wish I could meet bloggers in real life. Why do I literally live in such an inconveniently located state? ): But glad you had fun and fitted a lot of good reading in, Jenna! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Liam's Library says:

    I wish I could read as much as you. I’m in awe of your 13 books read with a 10 day no reading break ability Jenna! I’m totally desperate to read another Morgan Matson book after Since You’ve Been Gone. It’s such a shame that it’s winter in Australia because The Unexpected Everything (actually, all her books) look so good and summery. I started A Court of Mist and Fury and really liked the beginning but now I’ve put it down because I’m not liking the character direction. Plus the pressure to love it is so real. Struggles…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I went into ACOMAF fully expecting to love it because I love SJM’s writing but yeah… the way that she turned her characters on their heads really bothered me. If you don’t end up liking it, we have a little (a very little) club that you can join 😀 It is a bit of a shame that it’s winter now but you should still pick up The Unexpected Everything! It’ll put a smile on your face during this terrible weather lately!

      Like

  8. Valerie says:

    You guys are all so cute. Again, I am super jealous you met both of your cobloggers, AND AENTEE.

    Anyways, I keep hearing about Summer Skin from you Aussies, and I do need to grab a copy for myself at some point! Hopefully soon 🙂 I’m actually in the middle of Kindred Spirits (yes in the middle of that little book), so I need to get through it soon haha.

    ALSO 35 BOOKS AHEAD WHAT THE HECK. I am 3 behind 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I hope Summer Skin becomes available worldwide soon! It’s such a great feminist book that I think explores sexism in a successful way. Hehe, I hope you enjoyed the rest of Kindred Spirits! That little guy was such a pleasure to read. It just needed to be 400 pages longer 😀

      Like

  9. Lauren Busser says:

    It is distressing how quickly the year is passing. I am not familiar with many of the books on your list but I am going to have to check a bunch of them out. The Unexpected Everything and The Square Root of Summer are both on my TBR pile.

    Like

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