2021 · Wrap ups

May Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2021

A mixed month but I enjoyed it.

May was a good month but ended a bit stressful reading wise. I started off with a decent TBR but along the way I did a “random number generator picks my next read” which I’m still vlogging. I ended up with another two books one which is 500 pages. Did I actually read them though?

It was a sprint in the end trying to finish it all. But I didn’t manage. Overall in May I read 9 books and I’m halfway through another 2.

Anyway.

Let’s just dive in 🙂

As a reminder: To me, 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N K Jemisin

Physical book – Own

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

I really enjoyed this book and tge start to this series. I made a full post for it which a reading vlog found here if you are interested. It was fasinating read. The magical elements in here was all based in geology and as a geologist I was nerding out 🙂

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Physical book – Own

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

This was special. I loved so many hings about this book but several of them felt a bit bland too. I loved that the MC is in his 40s. I loved the difference between his attitude in the first office scene vs the last office scene. I loved his sass. I loved how the children was written in here. I loved the writing. And I loved Thalia.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Audiobook – Own

etterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. 

A re-read for me. I rarely re-read books becasue I ususally remember them. But since the launch of shadow and Bone, I felt the need for some more Crows, so I picked it back up. Lo and behold I had forgotten some stuff lol! Only minor bits but I though Jaspers “gift” would be a surprice to everyone somewhere int he middle of Crooked Kingdom, not halfway through Six of Crows. I also keep forgetting that Inej and Nina meet for the first time in here and therefore could not have been BFF forever. Who knew? Still I loved htis book a lot! Second time around I think Nina might be my favourite. Kaz was my fav on my first try.

Monstress Volume 4 by Majorie Lui and Sana Takeda

Graphic Novel – Library app

Book 1 synopsis:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Took me a while to get back into this story. I was very confused int he beginning but once I came with it was a fun ride. Not my favourite installemnt but a great one still.

Also can we just acknowledge that Maika’s father is a tool.

Illusionary (Hollow Crown #2) by Zoraida Cordova

e-ARC – NetGalley

Book 1 synopsis:

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

Full review found here.

But In short a satifying ending to a duology. And I loved how Ren and Cas came together. Still upset that Leo didn’t have much of a character arc. He is my favourite character and yet no outcome for him. Just another gay side kick.

Piranesi by Susanna Clark

ebook – Library

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known. 

Ehm…

Not sure what to say here.

If you liked In The Starless Sea, I think you’ll like this one.

Yes there are a lot of deeper meanings to this that I didnt care to stop and think about. I just wanted some entertainment. And it didnt really do it for me. Yes the House is great and inviting. And Piranesi is someone I would pity, but all in all th emystery was the onlything going for me.

I’m glad I read it but it took a long time.

In The Ravenous Dark by A M Strickland

e-ARC – NetGalley

A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead.

In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them. Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception.

Desperate to escape, Rovan finds herself falling for two people she can’t fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling, rebellious princess; and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit with the ability to control Rovan, body and soul.

Together, they uncover a secret that will destroy Thanopolis. To save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld, and find a way to trust the princess and spirit battling for her heart—if she doesn’t betray them first. 

Full review here.

But in short I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! thats my short review.

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Ebook – Own

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love? 

This was not “filled with” but more like “I couldnt stop seeing them” tropes. I stopped the trope about the MC not being the popular but being friends witht ht epopular girl. I saw thr trop where the popular girl is tall, blond and rich. I saw the trope where they biy falls for the MC and doesnt even see her friend making the MC feel special. I saw the tro….. You get it. It was entertaining, but didnt really jhold up. I could stop seeing thre tropes, but also I couldnt stop questioning the science behind it. What if you where gay? What if you where trans? Would the “cure” heal that too like it does with lust? But lust and love are two very different things and I’m guessing different places in the brain.

Anyway. as I said it was entertaining but I’m not sure if I’m continuing or not with this.

Dubliners by James Joyce

Physical book – Own

This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic realities. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.

This took a tole on me. I spent 2 weeks trying to read it. I picked it up becasue I did a random number generator picks my next read” and this was it. It wasnt the only one but this was the one that coverred my goal for reading a TBR vet everymonth. The other pick was too new.

I’m glad I have read it now. I think my favourite stroy in here was Eveline. the rest was a bti meh. all slice of lifes and stuff, and didnt nessicarily had big points to them apart from Eveline.

Reading Challenge check:

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month:
    • The Order of the Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

Available credit from last month; 3

Credit transferring over to next month: 4

  • Only request two ARC’s:
    • Among Thieves

Available credits from last month; -5

Credit transferring over to next month: -4

TBR Shelf Reads

I also had a goal of reading one book form my physical shelf and one books from my e-book shelf per month. None of these can involve 2020 or 2021 acquired books. Based on all the books I read this month these are the once from my shelves:

Physical shelf
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin (April’s pick but didn’t finish)
E-book shelf
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver

That’s it!

Have you read any of these?

Until next time; happy reading!

5 thoughts on “May Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2021

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