Sunday, 24 June 2018

May Reading Wrap Up

Ok, so I am very aware that this post is long overdue. But it's time to get back to my mini book reviews after my blogging hiatus. Maybe my lack of blog posts was due to increased reading because I made my way through a lot of books in May! I was definitely taking advantage of my library access before leaving the city! 


Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman 

This book follows a stay at home mum as she unravels all the gossip of her little neighbourhood. It kind of felt like a real-life desperate housewives but much less glamorous. I really enjoyed it and it was a fast easy read, even if the characters felt very unrelatable at times. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
I'd never heard of this book before but I saw it in the library when I was browsing the shelves and it looked really interesting. This book follows a family who are under quarantine for 7 days as one of the family members is just back from working an infection crisis in Africa. As you can imagine, spending so much time with your family in a small space will definitely lead to drama. This wasn't amazing but I enjoyed reading it so I'll give it 3/5 stars. 

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
This book is a collection of lectures that Mary Beard has given about women and speech and how that has affected the gender imbalance over history. It was really interesting but very academic. So fair warning there! I gave it 3/5 stars. This was a nice short read so I'd recommend it if you are looking to extend your Goodreads reading challenge. 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli 
You know when you just need something super fun and cheesy? This is that book. This story follows Simon who knows he is gay, just not openly. He has been emailing a boy who he knows goes to his school but remains anonymous. This book is about Simon coming out but also working out who his mysterious love interest actually is. It was super fun and I can't wait to watch the movie. 4/5 stars. 

Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan 
This graphic novel follows a bunch of teenage girls who work a paper round when one morning they are interrupted with an alien invasion. It was fun but not the easiest story to follow. There are more volumes but I honestly don't feel compelled to carry on reading them. I gave it 3/5 stars. 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
After reading Little Fires Everywhere and loving it, I really wanted to check out Celeste Ng's first fiction novel. This one centres around a Chinese-American family living in Ohio when one of the children goes missing. I'd heard mixed reviews about this one but I really enjoyed it. Celeste Ng writes very descriptively and so I find that her books almost have a fantasy element to them, even if they are contemporary novels. I didn't quite like it as much as I liked Little Fires Everywhere but I still loved it and would really recommend it. 5/5 stars. 

I'll Keep You Safe by Peter May
I'm usually a huge fan of Peter May's mystery novels but oh my god, this was probably one of the worst books I've read. He does not write female character's well. In this book, a married couple who own a tweed business in the Hebrides are in Paris when the husband is killed by a planted bomb. The wife then returns to the Hebrides where the mystery then plays out. This book was jumpy, ill thought out and honestly boring. Don't read it! 2/5 stars. 

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
And another book I have to rant about. This book follows Jewish twin sisters who have to be tested for Huntington's disease. One has the gene, the other does not. This book follows them as they struggle with the diagnosis and also their faith. This book was spoiled by how atrociously the sisters behaved towards each other which made them seem totally unreal and unrelatable. For example, one of the sisters gets mad at the other and deleted some applications for study abroad programmes that the other is written. I argue a lot with my sister and I could never imagine doing that! I gave it 2/5 stars. 

This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl
This is a book about Esther Earl, an American teen who died of cancer a few years ago. She was friends with John Green and is mentioned quite frequently on the vlogbrothers YouTube channel so you may have already heard of her. This book is made up of her diary entries and also updates they posted online. I feel really bad for saying that I didn't really enjoy this book. I feel like this book will be of great comfort to her friends and family but as an outsider, reading it feels very invasive. It was also very religious at times which made me quite uncomfortable. 

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
This fiction novel follows Susan Green, who thinks she has her life sorted. She is punctual, well organised and everything in her life must serve a purpose. Until her mother passes away and she finds herself about the become a mother, and everything gets turned on its head. This book was really good but I'm afraid that it reminded me so much of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine that I found it impossible to not compare them. That bein said, I still gave this 4/5 stars because I thought it was really well written, just not as good as Eleanor Oliphant. 

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
This poetry novel is Rupi Kaur's second, the first being Milk and Honey. I really enjoyed Milk and Honey so was really looking forward to reading this but to be honest it wasn't my favourite. That's not to say that the poems were bad, just none of them really spoke to me the way that a lot of Milk and Honey did. I think poetry is really based on the reader. I gave this book 3/5 stars. 

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
I've been meaning to read Malala's autobiography for years now and I'm so glad that I got around to doing it. This book tells her life story from early childhood to her shooting and her new life in the UK. It was a very inspiring story and she is one brave girl. I accidentally requested the child-friendly version from the library (oops) but didn't feel that the story was lacking in any way. 5/5 stars.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I'd been seeing this book all over the place so I was really glad that I got back around to reading it. It's the story of one slave's escape from the south via the underground railroad, where the undergroun railroad is in actual fact an underground railroad. It was a good book but felt very impersonal at times as it was a third person narrative. I gave it 4/5 stars. 

Girl UP by Laura Bates
This is a guide to womanhood written by the lady behind the everyday sexism project. I really enjoyed reading it but I was far too old to be the target audience for this kind of book. I do wish that I had had this when I was growing up, however! I'll give it 4/5 stars.

As always, leave any book recommendations in the comments. 

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