Hello again honeybees! Long time, no see. I actually typed and finished my April Wrap Up and May TBR posts but just…never posted them. Because I’m very smart 🙂
But today I’m back with my May Wrap Up and I feel like I did a lot this month! I definitely read way more than I have in a really long time. I could’ve read more, but at times reading just wasn’t the priority and I honestly didn’t try that hard to hit a certain goal because I already achieved more than I set out to. So without further ado, my wrap up:
Ice Planet Barbarians (Ice Planet Barbarians #1) by Ruby Dixon
This book was so bad that I can’t help but laugh while typing this. I try not to bash on books because they are someone’s hard work, however, I feel like the author knew exactly what she was doing with this one. Unlike a lot of the people that disliked this book, this isn’t my first time in the realm of monster erotica and that wasn’t the biggest issue here. The several instances of rape/nonconsensual relations between characters was the biggest red flag for me and the writing was really bad. Georgie was underdeveloped and an annoying character. I have a lot more to say but I’ll leave it here. Absolutely would not recommend.
Toxic Positivity: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy by Whitney Goodman
I received a free audiobook from Penguin Random House via their influencer program and I expected more. The author immediately came across as “I’m not like other psychologists” type and praised unbiased and open mindedness while bashing everything that wasn’t their way of thinking? I finished the audiobook because I felt like the message was still strong despite the weak and wobbly delivery—and it was! It definitely broadened my mind a bit and the chapter on disability spoke to me. If you’ve want to know more about toxic positivity then this would be a good starter but keep in mind that it is very repetitive and the author uses a lot of absolutes and biases to promote their opinion.
You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See
I was so hyped to get an ARC of this from the I Read YA table at YallWest. I started reading it immediately and the representation was amazing. I loved the characters, I loved that it centered around music and getting into college (I used to play the cello like one of the MCs) and we got to see flawed characters on both side grow and love each other and themselves. This was so sweet and it put a smile on my face. I did cry quite a bit but I wouldn’t take it back. I cannot wait for everyone to read it! I believe it’s already out in the UK but make sure you add it to your TBR regardless of your location!
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao
I was craving a fantasy and while scrolling through some lists for AAPI heritage month, I found Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, an Asian inspired reimagining of the Evil Queen. This definitely intrigued me and I was hooked throughout the novel. Unfortunately I’ve always been hero > villain and I found it hard to root for the MC after a certain point (I totally didn’t realize this was an Evil Queen reimagining but then it made a lot of sense). Overall, though, I thought the storytelling was beautiful and Julie C. Dao’s writing is definitely one of my favorites. I don’t think I’ll continue on with this series but I’ll definitely be checking out some of her other works.
Check, Please! (Book 1: #Hockey) by Ngozi Ukazu
I was loving this cute little hockey graphic novel so much until they said the M slur. I get the context but there’s really no reason to say it. The language on this was vulgar. I know when you hear that you probably picture me as a middle age Karen rather than a 20 year old Latine that grew up around parents that cuss worse than sailors. All I listen to is explicit music and I’ve been reading smutty romance more than half my life. But there were way too many swear words in here to be necessary and the inclusion of slurs and insults was very unnecessary. If you could look behind that, it was a cute story of a gay hockey player that just joined the college team and is trying to navigate college while having a small crush on his team captain. I wanted to just look at the very cute romance and great character development, but unfortunately everything else got in the way.
The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
I knew I would like this book but I didn’t expect for it to completely blow my mind. This was a total mindfuck and I live for things like that. Reading a chapter and the POVs switch three times and you’re thinking “oh my god what is this? Is this real? Is this a dream? What’s happening?” I mean, Ryan La Sala did that. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up late to finish a book but I guarantee I was not regretting it the next day. I felt like I physically couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened, because it was one twist after another after another. I know this mini review is a garbled mess of incorrect grammar but if a YA Horror at a summer camp in the middle of the woods even remotely interests you, you need to add this to your TBR.
I went to YallWest! I this meant getting on a plane for the first time and it was quite the experience. (I was a few rows away from Stephanie Garber and honestly that was more interesting than the whole flight). I fell in love with Santa Monica even more than I did when I was first there in 2019 for my first YallWest and I still think about my time there a month later.
Unfortunately I didn’t love my time at the festival. The lines were SUPER long and there were less things to do this year. There were a lot of people in lines for things and they had no idea why. I heard a girl in front of me say “when there’s free stuff and people lining up then you follow” which gave me the ick so bad that I got out of line and went home. It’s not about the ARCs and free swag for me, but it seemed like that’s all it was this year? Hopefully next year the vibe is different. Seeing friends and meeting authors was the best part and next year I’ll just emphasize that for myself, because everything got a little too competitive for me. I’m glad some of my other friends had fun, though.
I finished editing my WIP (Project DQ–a working title) from one POV to another and I was very proud of the accomplishment. That’s in the past tense because I decided to change POVs again and now have to edit the entire draft again lol. I’m just going to write the draft all the way through and then do a full book edit once it’s completed. At the time of writing, my WIP is at 28k words. There are a ton of plot holes and things that need to be figured out, but that feels like an editing/later problem lol.
School + general life updates
I took a break from school at the beginning of the year. I actually withdrew completely because I didn’t know when or if I wanted to go back. Now that the SAD is gone and I’ve had time to think since the disaster of winter quarter, I’ve decided to go back and change my major from English to Communications. My minor will be in English since I’ve already completed a lot of those courses. I’ve already registered for classes for fall quarter so that’ll be fun!
I also signed a lease on a 1b1b apartment, meaning I’ll finally be roommate-free…kinda. If you’ve followed me a bit on Instagram, you know that I’ve had roommate problems since moving out of my family home. I’ve moved three times in two years because of mean girls and messy girls and now it’ll be dirty and inconsiderate boys. But I’m moving in with my boyfriend, who lets me decorate however I want as long as the whole apartment isn’t pink and really helps me when I’m low on spoons. It’ll be great to finally have a space free of strangers and I’m excited to decorate it! (Decorate = new bookshelves. New bookshelves = more books to fill said shelves).
That was a good bit of my month! Busy and productive! I’m hoping for a bit of a rest in June but not quite sure I’ll get it lol.
What did your May look like? How many books did you read? Did you do anything fun?