Welcome to the month where it feels as if I haven’t read anything even though I have finished a few books. Whether it has just been my mood or motivation to do other things beside read, things have been a little stop/start on the reading front. It makes me wonder if I will ever get through my YALC TBR, which I have to admit is a colossal feat for someone who doesn’t do well with strict TBRs.
Anyway, I don’t think it helped much that I had two DNFs. It’s not that these books were bad per se, I wasn’t really in the mood to read them and other things cropped up making me put them down and reach for something else. These were:
Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls.
This is the DNF to annoy me the most because I was looking forward to reading all about the Suffragettes and women’s rights during the First World War. My problem with it wasn’t the pacing, which was quite slow, but the constant use of ‘said’ without description or elaboration. It brought an abruptness to the writing which I found to be rather jarring and irritating to read. However, it is not a book I intend to leave DNFed for all eternity. I want to try it again when the time is right and I’m in more of a historical-fiction mood.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.
You can say I’m a little annoyed with this DNF too because dark and twisted fairytales is something I’m very much interested in reading. I didn’t really get far enough into it to make a judgement about whether or not I liked it, I just wasn’t in the mood for it I guess. I ended up putting it down on my bedside table and it remained there until I realised I wasn’t going to read it. Oh well.
Anyway, those were simply the little blips in the reading road. More important are the following books, which I’m really happy to have read and really liked.
The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles.
This book is arguably the book to have surprised me the most up to now. Shrouded in mystery and the psychological, it follows Lux as she deigns to understand the reasons behind her blackout and current health state. I’ll have a full review of this up on Monday but I loved the captivating writing and the effortlessness in which the twists weaved in and out of the plot. It was a little slow to start off with as I settled into Lux’s head but once I got into it, I was just as determined to uncover the truth. This truth was certainly written with sensitivity, precision, and I loved that the progression towards this point felt natural and realistic. It is also a reminder of the world we are now living in and the situations many people might be dealing with as a result.
Rating – 5 out of 5
Cast Long Shadows by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.
I don’t really know what to say about this apart from that it’s another likeable Shadowhunter novella, this time set in the early 1900s and the world of The Infernal Devices/the upcoming Last Hours trilogy. I like this one more than Son of the Dawn though simply because I’m back with my favourite set of Shadowhunter characters!
Rating – 4 out of 5
Lies, Damned Lies, and History by Jodi Taylor (book 7 in the Chronicles of St Mary’s).
Another fun and crazy ride with the time-travelling historians…sorry…the historians who record historical events in contemporary time. This time, Max really goes all out and jumps into some pretty precarious situations, getting herself and nearly all of St Mary’s into a lot of bother. Suffice to say I got pretty angry with Max but it is hard not to stay furious for long when we get to meet Arthur Pendragon, visit Stonehenge, and take part in a heist. The excitement never ends!
Rating – 4 out of 5
A Yorkshire Vet: Through The Seasons by Julian Norton.
This collection of stories reminds me what I love about reading feel-good animal-related memoirs. They’re nice, easy-going, leisurely, witty, and heartwarming. They’re also the perfect antidote to those days when you’re feeling a little glum and not really in the mood to do anything. What I liked about this one more so than Heifers, Horses and Hairy Pigs which I read in April, is that I really felt the James Herriot vibe and the continuation of that tradition and legacy in each story. I now consider myself even more addicted to the varied tales from Skeldale surgery, and I would love it if a planned follow-up to this book is in the works.
Rating – 5 out of 5
I’m also still reading a couple of books, that will probably take me a while, just because of reasons…
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Okay, so it was finally time to jump on the hype train and read this. I want to take my time reading it though because it is quite large and I want to give it my full attention. So far though, I really like it. The multiple POVs have distinct voices, the magic system is interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing the developing relationships between the characters.
The Graces by Laure Eve
This is one book I’ve been intending to re-read for a while now. I know when I first read it I didn’t like it, and I absolutely slated it because it uses a lot of YA tropes I’m not a huge fan of, but I wanted to give it another chance. After reading a few other books that follow a similar plot progression, I couldn’t get it out of my mind and often when I’ve disliked a book the first time and re-read it, I’ve liked it (Illuminae and Rebecca are great examples of this!) I also want to see if it’s worth picking up the sequel that’s meant to be coming out some point in September.
And that, as they say, is that.
What has your May been like?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!