Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wrap up Wednesday - May 2016

I managed to read fourteen books this month: two were 5 star reads; five were 4 star reads; four were 3 star reads; and three were 2 star reads.

A little breakdown by star rating is as follows:

I love the various adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, whether its films, fashion, video games or whatever else; BUT the original book wasn't enjoyable for me. The story felt dated and I can't envision it entertaining a modern child and I certainly found it dull.

★ - The 52nd by Dela

A young adult fantasy based around Mayan and Aztec legend and mythology. Zara is supposed to be the 52nd sacrifice to the underworld gods but is saved by an immortal Edward Cullen Lucas Castillo and his family. Every YA cliché  that ever exists is in this book and I was ultimately disappointed with it.

★ - The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Another book full of YA tropes including my most hated... Instalove. It is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights where Shahrzad volunteers as the next wife of a murderous king as a way of avenging her friend's death. The plot is extremely slow moving and it was just not the book for me.

★ - Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

This is a collection of personal essays, experiences and anecdotes. I like Jenny Lawson's humour but one funny story after another exhausted me. I wish that I would have read her first book Let's Pretend This Never Happened first because I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had. Enjoyable enough book.

Teo is a troubled young man who decides to kidnap his unrequited love interest, Clarice and takes her on a road trip across Brazil; he thinks that if he does so, Clarice will fall in love with him. Probably the weirdest psychological thriller I have ever read. I was gripped all the way through and the ending is probably one of the most original that I have encountered in a thriller so far. It is a very creepy and compelling story but the translation of this book just felt a bit 'off' in places.

 - Paper Towns by John Green

The story of Quentin and his quest to find his high school crush, Margo when she goes missing from their hometown of her own will. I really enjoyed Margo's character and was disappointed that she is absent for most of the book. The first eighty and the last twenty pages were the most enjoyable, unfortunately the rest of the book was just boring high school dramas.

A graphic novel focusing on misfit Anya as she falls into a deep hole in the ground one day and meets a ghost, Emily. Emily was the most interesting character whilst Anya didn't really sparkle for me. The art was great though and I definitely would pick up more of Vera Brosgol's books. 

Vanessa Ronan's debut novel about a prairie small town in Texas. Jasper has just been released early from Huntsville penitentiary for good behaviour and he goes back to his childhood home to live with his sister, Lizzie and her two daughters, Katie and Joanne. The story starts slow and character driven which builds a fantastic sense of suspense and unease. The climax of this book felt like a punch to the stomach and just left me utterly shocked, I could never have predicted it. Highly recommend.

This was a really quick and fun contemporary romance. The story is about Emma who during a stressful plane journey confesses all her secrets to the man sat next to her. Of course this event comes back to haunt Emma and a lot of hilarious situations ensue. Perfect for those in a reading slump or who just want something light and fluffy.

Thoroughly deserves all of the praise and hype. It is the story of Yeong-Hye, a South Korean woman who makes the controversial decision to become a vegetarian. Told through the perspectives of Yeong-Hye's family, this book is horrific yet calm and serene. It is definitely a story that will stick with me.

A cute BDSM romance between two women, Ally and Lisa. The art was beautiful and the story was homorous and sweet. Not for those who find nudity or same-sex relationships offensive though. I thoroughly enjoyed Sunstone and can't wait to see how the story evolves.

 - A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

The sixth book in the Outlander series. Can't go into much detail here but it was an improvement upon The Fiery Cross. This series follows Claire Beauchamp who inadvertently gets transported through time from the 1940s to the 1740s. It is just full of beautiful historical details, mystery and romance. One of my all time favourite series and A Breath of Snow and Ashes was a great instalment. My full review of this book can be accessed at the above link.

 - Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

The second book in The Infernal Devices a prequel series to The Mortal Instruments. What can I say? I am pretty sure a lot of readers are familiar with this series. The atmosphere of this series is misty, mysterious and dark. I just cannot get enough of the Shadowhunter world set in Victorian London. I absolutely love this series and I am sad that I only have one more book to read and then it will be over.

★ - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane starts the book as an unloved orphan, a burden to her aunt and she is eventually sent to Lowood school; a charitable institution for educating disadvantaged girls. Years later, Jane reaches adulthood and becomes a governess for Mr Rochester's ward. The whole story was just amazing, this has become one of my most treasured classics. The ending was perfect, I just loved everything about it. I would urge everyone to read this book.

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