Hello everyone and happy June!
I hope everyone is doing well!
I know it’s a little late but here’s my wrap up for April and May. Both months I was pretty busy because of Ramadan and work, so I didn’t get to read as much as I hoped (and I’ve ignored almost all the ARCs I’ve gotten approved for). The good news is I got my first dose of the vaccine during this time and I’m getting my second dose in a few weeks.
Of course, before I get into anything I have to discuss the fact that India is experiencing an overwhelming second wave of COVID-19 right now – I really encourage everyone to try to read up on what’s happening and, if you’re in a position to, consider donating to help (you can also donate here). Likewise, I urge everyone to read about what’s happening in Palestine and donating to help the people in Gaza.
So, without further ado, here’s my wrap up! I read altogether 5 books in April and 11 books in May, so I haven’t included all these books, but these are most of them that stood out to me 💛
★ Poetry ★
I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry by Halsey ★★★★
Singer-songwriter Halsey is one of my favourite artists, and I was so excited to finally read her poetry novel, though apprehensive too because I’m so used to hearing her words to a melody. That being said, the poems were still gut-wrenching and powerful, and made me feel so connected to her experiences. It’s also really interesting seeing how some of her current songs started off as poems and seeing them in their original form, it made it feel all the more raw and real.
— content warnings: sexual assault, references to miscarriage, mentions of abortion.
Bull by David Elliot ★★★.5
I had really enjoyed Elliot’s poetry book Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc so when I saw this one on scribd I immediately had to read it – especially because it’s inspired the greek mythos about the Minotaur. While I disliked the poems from Poseidon’s POV because it felt like it was trying way too hard to be funny, I enjoyed most of the poems as I could see all the thought Elliot put into the poem forms and rhyming schemes.
★ Historical Fiction ★
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee ★★★.8
This was a buddy read with Amanda @ BookishBrews, and what a treat it was! Even though I think I set my expectations too high, I still liked reading about Val’s experiences on the Titanic as she tried to convince her brother to go with her to America for a new start in their life together, and how the book touched on The Chinese Exclusion Act in America. And yes, that ending emotionally wrecked me and took me hours to process.
— content warnings: racism, sexism, death of a family member.
The Weight of the Sky by Hanna Alkaf ★★★★★ !!!!
This is one that’s been on my tbr list for a while, and it was everything I wanted and more. It has wonderful Muslim and mental illness rep, and is genuinely one of the most powerful and heart-wrenching books I’ve read. You can read more of my thoughts over on goodreads.
— content warnings: mental illness, racism, hate crime, violence, xenophobia.
★ Mystery/Thrillers ★
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur ★★★★.5
Another buddy read with Amanda! This was such a great read. I mentioned I was reading this book in my post on favourite thrillers and I still agree it’s made its way to the list of my fave thrillers. It was lovely to see a thriller in a historical fiction novel so we could read about a mystery in a different time. ✨ full review here ✨
— content warnings: kidnapping, death of a family member, domestic abuse, murder, poisoning, human trafficking
Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James ★★★★.5
Reading this in lockdown is an experience, since I related so much to our protagonist who’s feeling isolated and lacking social interaction – except for her it’s worse since she truly is alone in her ship in space, the only communication she’s receiving from a guy in another ship, and she clings to his emails for comfort. I felt uneasy the entire time; this is a thriller I recommend if you want a quick read that has you on the edge of your seat.
— content warnings: panic attacks, anxiety, gaslighting, euthanasia, death of a parent.
She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard ★★★
This is one I think I had too high expectations for, mainly because I went in thinking this would be very similar to The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is what this is a re-imagining of. It’s… a loose retelling, though the links between them become more prominent in the last 1/4. I wasn’t fond of the execution or the relationships between the characters, and while interesting I still think it didn’t live up to its potential. You can read more of my thoughts on goodreads.
— content warnings: panic attacks, parental abandonment, stalking, death of a child, kidnapping.
★ Sci-Fi/Fantasy ★
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas ★★★.5
I’m still not sure what to make of this one. I adored the interactions between Wendy and Peter, but it also felt a little lacklustre. I do admire how well the writing captured grief and mourning, and as always Aiden Thomas has beautiful writing.
— content warnings: referenced death of a child, kidnapping, gun violence, death.
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint ★★★.7
I buddy read this with my wonderful friend Allie! Admittedly, I probably would have either put this book on pause or dnf’ed it if I wasn’t reading it with someone, because Part 1 really dragged on. I’m glad I stuck to it, because it was a fascinating tale and as I knew little about Ariadne it was full of twists and surprises. I’m a little disappointed with the writing, as a lot of it felt like exposition, but that improved as the story went on and Ariadne became a more central focus.
— content warnings: suicide, animal death, references to rape.
Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson ★★★★
YIH somehow made me love a love triangle, which is a feat in itself since I typically hate them. It’s such a moving tale about living in the now and trying to embrace life. ✨ full review on this here ✨
— content warnings: racism, references to period-typical homophobia, referenced death of a child, cancer, alcoholism.
I have not been around much to read posts (v sorry about that!!) but here are some that I really enjoyed reading:
- I’m already soooo hyped for Ace of Spades, and Gauri’s review made me even more excited for it. I loved the quotes she included and how she touched on the plot, characters, and social commentary in the book too.
- Caitlyn spoke about her favourite Shakespeare plays and it was so interesting to hear her thoughts! I’m not the most well versed when it comes to Shakespeare’s plays, so I loved hearing Caitlyn’s thoughts on it and why she loved certain ones, and as always she’s always so articulate in her posts.
- Ahaana wrote a wonderful review about One Last Stop, and I’m so much more eager to jump into it.
- You may have seen me around reading all the reviews of my new favourite book Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating. Two that I especially loved was Isha’s review and Cossette’s review which were both so beautifully written.
Okay so you know in my last wrap-up how I spoke about reading more classics? Yeah about that…. The only one I read recently is The Great God Pan, which was terrifying novel that I enjoyed, but other than that I haven’t dived back into any classics yet.
I also mentioned in my last wrap-up that I want to do more buddy reads, and I have! I read two books alongside Amanda, and it was so wonderful and fun buddy reading with her! I also read Ariadne with Allie, and it made it even more enjoyable.
As of right now I’m currently halfway through completing my reading goal for 2021!
Overall I read a fair amount in April and May, but I’m hoping to read more in June – and hopefully find some 5 star books. I’m excited to making a dent in my June tbr as well!!
Thank you everyone for reading! How was your May? What books did you read?
I hope everyone has a wonderful June!