Hi Everyone! I actually managed to read quite a lot of books in May. Usually I only get through 3, maybe 4, books in a month, but I surprised myself this month by reading 7! I thought it would be fun to do a wrap up of what I read throughout the month of May.
Note: If you’re too busy to read the whole wrap up, I’ve included a tldr for each book!
Proud by Juno Dawson
Proud is an anthology of stories, poetry, and art by LGBTQ+ YA authors and artists. I had been eagerly awaiting this collection and it did not disappoint! The variety of LGBTQ+ voices is really beautiful, and each story is very different. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of gender queer and questioning characters as these are voices I haven’t heard from in fiction much before.
I loved most of the stories, but a few that stuck out for me were Penguins by Simon James Green (really cute, super gay), I hate Darcy Pemberely by Karen Lawless (a lesbian re-telling of Pride and Prejudice) and On the Run by Kay Staples (a story about a non-binary teenager that wins the lottery).
Finished: 3rd May
tldr; this queer anthology is essential reading. Go and read it now.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
This book had been on my shelf for years before I finally picked it up as part of my challenge beat my backlist! I actually started it in March but couldn’t fully sink my teeth into it, so I put it down and read a few other books to refresh myself. Then I came back to finish it in May. The book is about five sisters who all commit suicide over the course of the novel.
It’s told from the perspective of the boys who live in the same neighbourhood as them. The choice to narrate it from the boys was really interesting as you were constantly questioning what was real, and what they had assumed to be the truth. But … I’m still unsure how I feel about it tbh. I can see why some people love it, but it just didn’t work for me. There’s no doubt the writing was beautiful, and the themes explored were interesting, but the style didn’t click, which was disappointing.
Finished: 2nd May
tldr; beautiful writing, conflicted, didn’t really get it?
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
After The Virgin Suicides, I wanted to read something I knew I was going to love. I had already read Heartstopper on my phone – as Alice posts her webcomics on Tapas, which is an app where you can read webcomics for free! But I was so excited when Ben bought me the physical edition, as he knows how much I love it.
It’s safe to say that I read it in one sitting. Heartstopper is based around Charlie and Nick, two characters who are in a relationship in Alice’s first novel, Solitaire. This graphic novel is set pre-Solitaire and is about the history of how Charlie and Nick got together. It’s SO CUTE, funny, and very relatable for teenagers in the uk. I LOVE it.
Finished: 4th May
tldr; m/m romance, beautiful graphic novel, funny and relatable
Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? By Holly Bourne
This book is about a teenage girl, Olive, that suffers with mental health problems. She manages to get enlisted in a month long therapy camp, and the story takes place during Olive’s time there. The mental health rep in this book is incredible – there is such a variety of types of mental health conditions that are represented, and it was really interesting to read about.
I did think some of the plot points were a bit of a miss, and the ending was a bit abrupt, but it was still a book I really enjoyed. Also, It was funny to see that they used the new GCSE numbering system we have in the UK. Interesting to think that YA evolves as the world does!
Finished: 10th May
tldr; excellent mental health representation and discussions, well written characters, message to take away: be kind to yourself!
The Little Book of Feminism by Harriet Dyer
My sister got me this book for Christmas and it’s a perfect little guide and introduction into feminism. Even though I try and keep myself up to date with intersectional feminism, it was really interesting to learn some new facts, as well as hear about notable women in history.
It’s definitely a one-sitting type of book that takes you through key points of feminism from an objective POV. I would recommend it if someone wants an introduction into feminism, or if you want to just brush up on your knowledge of a cause you care a lot about.
Finished: 10th May
tldr; a one-sitting book, not groundbreaking but a handy introduction into feminism, good format
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
I was SO hyped to read this book after The Hate U Give and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The story is based around Bri, a 16-year-old girl who wants to be a rapper. Her want becomes a need as her mum loses her job and money gets tight. I loved the plot, the characters, the story; everything.
The way in which racism is spoken about and shown in the book was very much individual and showed the effect it can have on someone. Angie Thomas also has such a talent for creating excellent characters and allowing the reader to emerge themselves in their world. I loved the way that we got to hear Bri’s thought process through the world, and how writing music is a constant in her life. It really was incredible and I would highly reccomend you give it a read!
Finished: 20th May
tldr; the best second book from an author I’ve ever read, moving, excellent characters, mandatory reading tbh
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I borrowed this book from my friend at work as I wanted a cute and fast read, and this was just what I needed. It’s very ‘insta-love’ (I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the two main characters fall in love pretty quickly ), and that’s sometimes super annoying but sometimes cute. It also tackles some hard themes about immigration, being mixed race, and deportation.
It’s dual narrated by our two main characters, but whenever they met someone throughout the day, we’d get a few pages from their POV. It really gave the story a 3D feel and as a reader, it reminded you to imagine people complexly. I’m excited to see the film now too!
Finished: 25th May
tldr; cute story, perfect beach type read but tackles some hard themes too
All in all it was a really good reading month for me. I read a total of 7 books! I’m excited for June as I’m going on holiday to Croatia and taking a lot of books with me!
How was your reading month? Did you read any new favourites?