Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Wrap-Up

It's summer! I finally have time to read and blog again! And sleep. Sleep is good, and I definitely was not doing enough of it during finals. It's been so long since I wrote a wrap-up intro that wasn't just school-busy-chaos that I feel like I've forgotten how. But it's been a pretty exciting month, so I have a lot to share! (None of this has anything to do with books, though, so if that's what you want to see just go ahead and scroll past.)

I've already kind of said the first thing: I finished my first year of college! I love my school and my classes, but it's so relaxing to know that I don't have to do any more of that for three months. (Well, most of it. I probably have an online extension of my work study job for about a month, but the details are still getting worked out, and I won't complain about earning money.)

Then, literally the weekend after finals, I did a half marathon! I spent a lot of time walking, but considering I've been dealing with an on-and-off migraine for the past five months that made a small but noticeable appearance that morning, I'm pretty thrilled that I finished. It was my seventh half marathon, which is still kind of hard to believe.

And finally, I turned 19! I'm now somehow even more of an adult. I woke up to an email from Thriftbooks with a birthday 20%-off coupon, and really, that means it was automatically a good day.


SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER by Rachel Bateman: This book had a lot of promise, but I think my expectations were a bit too high. I didn't have any strong negative feelings about it, but I also didn't particularly enjoy it. It's a quick summery read (though a little darker at times than most), which was nice. My mini-review is included here.

THE NAMES THEY GAVE US by Emery Lord: This book might have destroyed me a little bit. It was so good! I love all of Emery Lord's books, so that wasn't a surprise, but it even surpassed my expectations. I can't recommend it enough. My full review is here.

ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus: I don't normally go for mysteries, but this one was intriguing! It definitely kept me interested until the end. I had my problems with it, but they weren't major. My full review is here.

DUELS & DECEPTION by Cindy Anstey: This was a cute, quick read! I don't think I've read anything quite like it - it's like if you took the typical light, happy contemporary and made it historical fiction instead. My mini-review is included here.

WELCOME HOME by Eric Smith: I had somewhat mixed feelings about this anthology. As with any anthology, there were a few stand-out stories that I loved, and a bunch of others that were good, but not exceptional. There were so many stories, though, and they were all really short. I'll post a more detailed review closer to release.

THE THING WITH FEATHERS by McCall Hoyle: I don't think I've ever read a book where the main character has epilepsy! Yay for more representation! This was really good, and it was a pretty quick read, but I wanted a bit more from it. Again, I'll post a more detailed review closer to release. ½

BEFORE THE AWAKENING by Greg Rucka: This might not have been as good as the movie, but I'm still glad I read it! It gave me more insight into the three main characters of the new Star Wars trilogy, and it made me even more excited for The Last Jedi this December!

RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy: I was a bit apprehensive about this book at first, but I'm really glad that I decided to take a chance on it. I loved Ramona from the beginning, and I cared so much about the other characters. And wow, what an ending!

THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton: I have such mixed feelings about this book. It was gorgeously written, and very creative, and I definitely want more books like it, but at the same time, I didn't love it.

10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE by Carrie Mac: I have a lot of (good) things to say about this book that I haven't quite been able to put into words yet. It's a really good book on its own, but what really made me love it is that it's amazing representation of a main character with an anxiety disorder. I highly recommend it.

Reread this month:
  • CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices #1): I've been meaning to reread this series for a while now, and I'm finally getting around to it! I'm rereading them all via audiobook, which is fun. This one is so much better than I remembered, and I liked it a lot more than I did the first time around! I finished it really quickly. first read: ; reread:
  • CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices #2): This was my favorite one in the series the first time I read it! It was a tiny bit disappointing this time because I remembered all of the best parts, so I didn't enjoy it quite as much, but I definitely remember why I loved it so much. first read: ; reread: (but not changing Goodreads rating since it was just a matter of lack of suspense)
  • Total books: 10 new, 2 rereads
  • Longest book: not counting rereads, Ramona Blue (432 pages); counting rereads, Clockwork Prince (502 pages)
  • Shortest book: Before the Awakening, 216 pages
  • Favorite book: The Names They Gave Us
  • Least favorite book: Someone Else's Summer

Backlist Reader Challenge: 2 this month, overall 16/60 (Before the Awakening, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)

Read it Again, Sam Challenge: 1 this month, overall 16/16+ (Clockwork Angel) - I'm finished! I'm definitely going to keep rereading, though.

2017 Debut Author Challenge: 2 this month, overall 7/12 (One of Us is Lying, The Thing with Feathers)

2017 Series Enders Challenge: 0 this month, overall 3/5-10


2017 Discussion Challenge: 0 this month, overall 3/11-20 (I'm so behind! Summer will be good to catch up.
How's the past month been? If you're in school, are you on summer break yet? Have you been reading more? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Sounds like a good month. I mean yay for finishing your first year of college, I miss those long breaks between the end of one year and the start of another. And you ran a half marathon? That is ridiculously impressive, well done you. Birthdays are also always good so I hope you had a good birthday.

    You read a few good books this month Duels and Deception and Ramona Blue are high on my to buy list so glad to see you liked them. And you don't see Ava Lavender mentioned as much as it deserves it was weird and beautiful book and one that really stuck with me but I couldn't put into words what worked with that book for me. I'll still stick with it being weird and beautiful.

    Have a good June!

    1. Thanks! I'm having a great long break so far - definitely needed after the past semester.

      Duels and Deception was nice, and I REALLY liked Ramona Blue, so I hope you like them both. Ava Lavender was definitely both weird and beautiful! I especially loved the first few chapters, where you learned about her entire family.

  2. Congrats on finishing up your first year of college. Hang in there! :-) You read so many great books this month---I keep seeing 10 Things around and I'm very intrigued about it now.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Thank you! 10 Things was SUCH a great book - I actually haven't seen much about it at all, but I'm glad you have! I'm hoping it becomes a lot more popular.

  3. I hope you're enjoying your summer, Clara! You've accomplished quite a few things in May - congrats on doing the half marathon and finishing your first year of uni! I've seen Ava Lavender around and am really curious about it - it sounds really quite strange.

    1. My summer's been really nice! Ava Lavender is definitely strange. I can't really think of any other book to compare it to, but I'd definitely give it a shot if it looks interesting to you!

  4. Yay for time off and birthday! You had a great reading month--i can't wait to read The Names They Gave Us. Completing a half marathon should feel like a huge accomplishment and congrats!

    1. The Names They Gave Us was INCREDIBLE! Definitely my favorite of Emery Lord's books so far, and I don't say that lightly. I hope you like it!