Greetings friends, and how are you all today? As we’re now in June I figured it was high time I dropped in to discuss my May reads with you all. May was a bumper month for me as I read 11 books. Yes, really! I think we can assume the two bank holiday weekends and a solo trip to Chester had something to do with that number, don’t you? So what did I think of all those books, I hear you cry? Well read on to discover all!
May Reads #1: Embassy of the Dead by Will Mabbitt
This is a brilliant middle-grade caper featuring ghosts, a severed fingers and a camper van that acts as a getaway vehicle! It follows a young boy on an adventure as he stumbles into a mix up with the underworld. Before he realises it he’s best friends with a poltergeist, being guided by a centruies old ghost and fighting for his life – all without his parents finding out. Honestly, this is the sort of book that makes kids into readers. It’s just the most fun book.
May Reads #2: The Survival Game by Nicky Singer
The Survival Game follows a girl as she journeys thousands of miles from Sudan to Scotland across a world that’s been destroyed by global warming. Having lost her parents at the start of the journey she’s trying to get back to her childhood home and find her grandmother. It’s a brutal story about hope, what makes family and the devastating things we’ll do for what’s right. It’s hopeful, heartbreaking and simply incredible. I couldn’t put this book down. Definitely a must-read.
May Reads #3: The Lido by Libby Page
The Lido is such a great book and the most perfect summer read. It follows two women in the fight to save their local Lido, as they become friends you realise how important friendship, and the lido, is for lots of people. It’s a tale of community, belonging, friendship and loneliness and I adored this book. It also made me want to get to Tooting Lido more often!
May Reads #4: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
As I’d expect from a Sarah J Maas tale this book destroyed me. It was 600+ pages of absolutely enthralling story. With characters I adored, a story that had more twists than you can even count and a world that feels so real and present, despite it involving soulmates, winged faeries, horrific beasts and immortal beings. This series is truly brilliant and I devoured every page. I love how Sarah J Maas sends each of her characters on an incredible journey where your favourite characters change by the chapter and you start rooting for people you never even considered just 200 pages ago. This was Sarah J Maas at her absolute best.
May Reads #5: The One Thing by Gary Keller
This is a management book, which I read with our work book group. So not something I’d normally pick up and while I didn’t love it. I did find some things in it useful. There were snippets of good ideas in there and things that I want to put into place in my working life to ensure I get to where I want too. But this was definitely too long-winded of a book. It could have been one chapter and I’d still have got the same thing out of it!
May Reads #6: That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
I read this book in a day, so it’s safe to say that I loved it! It’s about the aftermath of a school shooting and it focuses on the five teen survivors dealing with that day, discovering what really happened and moving on with their lives. It’s a fascinating look at how people deal with tragic events and how someone is considered a hero or not. Obviously it’s a little stressful at times, seeing as it’s about a school shooting, but it is sensitively told and not sensationalised at all, I honestly would recommend this book to everyone.
May Reads #7: The Secret Seven: Mystery of the Skull by Pamela Butchart
I haven’t read a lot of Enid Blyton’s original Secret Seven books and I’m not really sure why – I was more of a Mallory Towers fan as a child! But we’re publishing this new story at work so I thought it was high time I read it. And I loved it! Seven year old me would have loved it even more! It’s such fun and a really good caper. It made me laugh and I really wished I was investigating the case of the mystery skull with the team. And not just because of the good snack options!
May Reads #8: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
To be honest this one took me a while to get into, but at about 100 pages in I was hooked. It’s about a women and her teen daughter who move to a new town and rent a house from the ‘perfect’ family with four teenagers. The families lives, especially the kids’, become intertwined and then complicated when everyone takes different sides in adoption case as a wealthy couple want to adopt the little girl, despite the mother wanting her baby back. It’s a brilliant look at what makes a family and a mother and what we’ll do for those we love. It was fascinating book and it went off in a way I really didn’t expect!
May Reads #9: A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
If you love Cornwall, Great Expectations or comforting reads then this is the book for you. It’s a coming-of-age tale set in 1920s Cornwall and follows a young farmer’s daughter who befriends the mysterious and rich siblings from a big house on a private island. Over the summer she basically moves in with them and experiences their glamorous world of dazzling parties. As the summer draws to an end she realises that things will have to change as she must think about her future and what she really wants. It’s wonderful and I adored every page.
May Reads #10: Vox by Christina Dalcher
Imagine a world where women can only say 100 words a day and if they go over that number then they’re shocked by electrical currents by the watch-like counter they’re forced to wear. Women are also forced to stay in the home and look after their families and only same sex couples and marriages are allowed. Anyone flouting the rules is sent to a concentration or work camp or eventually executed. That’s the concept of Vox.
It’s a really interesting look at how we could possibly get to that point in our society and also how everyone would react. Would you go into this willingly if you considered the other options? Or would you fight and resist, even if secretly? I loved this concept, but sadly felt it didn’t quite hook me in as much as I’d have expected. Having said that I think it is a special and very timely book and well worth a read. I’ve found myself thinking about it even weeks later!
May Reads #11: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
This is the first of a quartet of teen books that focus on the teen lives of well known superheroes. So we start with Wonder Woman and then there’s Batman, Catwoman and finally Superman. It follows Diana as she rescues a human, which causes the world to be doomed (quite literally). So in order to solve the problem she travels to New York and then Greece with her new friend Alia. Together, and with a band of friends and family, they must save the world and face the ultimate test together. It’s a really interesting concept and I was completely gripped. It was quite fun to see Diana as a teen having to deal with a modern world, and not just a war-torn Europe. If you’re a fan of superheroes, Leigh Bardugo or just YA books, you’re in for a real treat!
So there we go, that’s my May reads update done! And I read a quite a lot of very brilliant books! What did you read in May and what would you recommend to everyone?