May 2021 Wrap Up

An open copy of Detransition, Baby with a cup of tea above it. It says May Wrap Up in the top left corner of the image.

May was a pretty decent reading month with some amazing five stars reads that definitely made it onto the favourites list. I did make the mistake of starting to read The Relentless Moon in the week I knew I would be going out a lot and a 700 page book in your bag is not the way to go!

E-Book – 4
Physical Copy – 4
Audiobook – 5

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
I knew what this was about but I don’t think my brain registered that this was ultimately a love story so unfortunately I think this was just a case of a good book at the wrong time as I wasn’t in the mood for a romance. I liked the storyline which follows Janelle Baker in the middle of an alien (Ilori) invasion. She has a secret, and highly illegal, library which M0Rr1S, an Ilori finds. Instead of reporting her, he confides his love of music – also banned – and the two find themselves forming an unlikely team in a race to save humanity. This book also has an absolutely gorgeous cover.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
I mean, can you really go wrong with Nic Stone? Probably not. Dear Justyce is a great follow up to Dear Martin. Highly recommend adding both to your TBR if you haven’t already read these.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavour by Hank Green
So, after absolutely loving An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, I was ready to become obsessed again. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and no one is more disappointed than me. I struggled with some of the concepts and just found a lot of it confusing. It is no secret that Hank Green is incredibly intelligent and I think a lot of what he was trying to explore just went straight over my head. Overall I liked being back with these characters, I think I just preferred the mystery of the first book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig 
Oh wow. This was recommended to me and it is one I think everyone needs to read. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Taussiq herself, which just made it ever better. I hold my hand up and say that I am still working on reading more books about disabled people or featuring disabled characters so this was an eye opening read. It is one of those examples I want to hold in the air, point at and yell, “this is why you read books about people with entirely different experiences to you!”

It may be a memoir in essays but this book flows so well through the stages of Taussig’s live taking you on her journey with her from childhood right through to now. Listening to her talk honestly about her experiences gave me so many eye opening moments. She talks about the difficulty in finding accessible housing, about the plethora of times people thought her partner was her brother or carer or where he was congratulated for dating her because people honestly couldn’t see why somebody in a wheelchair was attractive, about the amount of times people offered to help when she was doing a task she had done a thousand times before.

If you only add one book from my wrap up to your TBR, I implore you to make it this one.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Heartstopper Volume Four by Alice Oseman
The latest instalment of Heartstopper was as good as the preceding three. I love delving back into Nick and Charlie’s world and I adore their friend group. I also attended a virtual book event with Alice Oseman to celebrate the release and it was perfect.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
This book follows Reece – a transgender woman, her ex-girlfriend, Amy who detransitioned to became Ames and Ames girlfriend, Katrina – a cis woman. Katrina is pregnant and Ames wants the three of them to become an unconventional family and raise the baby together. This book explores gender, sex, womanhood and relationships amongst the messy tapestry of life.

It took me a while to get through this one as the concepts raised were unfamiliar to me so I wanted to make sure I was taking it in and the writing was also more complicated than I’m used to too. Neither of these things are a slight on the book at all, it was just me. I am glad I read it and that books like this exist.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Lost In The Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
I mean, it’s Aiden Thomas, I think I am incapable of giving anything they write less than 5 stars. But seriously, I adored this. I love Peter Pan and I love Aiden Thomas so I was destined to love this. Also, there is a dog called Bucky who features briefly!

This book follows Wendy; it’s been five years since her two brothers went missing in the woods and she was found with no knowledge of what happened. But now children in the town are starting to disappear and Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road trying to escape her past. Suddenly Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, is asking for her help in rescuing the missing kids. Can it help her figure out what happened to her brothers and can she and Peter rescue the missing kids?

I loved the mystery of this book and it is a great example of a Peter Pan retelling that isn’t quite as dark as some others and manages to stand out in a unique way. You can find my review here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The House On Beckett Lane by Emma Rogers
I was kindly gifted this collection of short stories as part of an Instagram tour and I loved it. It was a short read but really explored the human condition. You can find my review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
My first Adam Silvera novel and I loved it! I can see why everyone raves about this book. The characters were perfect and flawed, and explored brilliantly. I definitely want to read more of him in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
I wanted this book to be better but it was so dry. I picked it up because I heard it starts during the war and talks about the computers (the women doing the maths calculations) during this time and it does but it also goes into so much detail about the science and engineering around planes that just goes over the reader’s head unless you are an engineer or have an in-depth knowledge of planes. When it concentrated on the women, I found it interesting but unfortunately, there wasn’t enough and only about a quarter of it is about the calculators and women during the space race. It was a struggle to get through and judging by the GR reviews, I’m not the only one. I gave it three stars because it has a tonne of information but honestly, just watch the movie…

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Frances only knows one goal, to study so that she gets into Cambridge. But then she meets Aled and finds out he is the creator of her favourite podcast and the two form a  friendship that is tested to breaking point. Can having friends save you from your past? Can they help you choose your future? 

I love Alice Oseman and I’m not really sure what I was expecting with this but I listened to it on audiobook and was hooked. Once again, Oseman creates loveable characters exploring their place in the world and themselves and I couldn’t stop listening to this.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
This is the third book in the Lady Astronaut series and the longest one so far coming in at 684 pages but I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. This book follows a different character from the first two, Nicole Wargin, and I loved that and not just because she shares my name. The Relentless Moon focuses on the moon base, Artemis, as it comes under attack from the Earth First terrorist movement. Things start going wrong and Nicole finds herself trying to figure out who is plotting against them and working out who she can trust so far away from Earth. I absolutely adore this series and if you are looking for something a bit more realistic in the science fiction genre, then I definitely recommend you give these books a try.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
This was an ARC kindly gifted by NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton.
Shiori, the sole Princess of Kiata discovers she has magic running through her veins, except magic is banned and so she strives to keep this a secret. But her stepmother finds out and banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes with a dire warning that for every word she speaks, one of her brothers will die.
I loved Shiori’s character development.  The emphasis in this book is on family, with romance taking a back seat. I liked all the side characters too. The writing was engaging and easy to read and pulled me in from the first page. I ended up reading it quickly as I wanted to see how it would all play out.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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