May Reading Wrap Up

We’re so excited! May is finally over, and with that, our spring semester is over! No more online classes, no more finals, WE’RE FREE! Of course, with social distancing still in place most of our normal summer plans can’t be done, but we’re still excited to have free time to read, blog, and just relax!

As a side note, this post was a horror to format because of the new WordPress editor. If anyone has already figured out all the tips, tricks, and HTML that can make our lives easier, PLEASE reach out to us because we need help. We’ve formatted this a little differently from out usual wrap-ups since the block editing style wouldn’t allow us to stick with what we usually do, so let us know if you like it! We’ll probably be trying out a few new things formatting wise in our posts in the future due to the new editor.

Books Read:

Malka:

To be quite honest this month was a reading mess. As you can see I only read 3 books, and one of those, Aristotle and Dante, was a reread. I would love to be able to blame my lack of reading on finals, which to some extent is true. But the real reason I didn’t read is because of the amount of triggering content I encountered this month. The very first book I picked up was triggering, and my reaction was so bad that I couldn’t pick up a book for another week. If you haven’t already read my post about trigger warnings, I’d urge you to read it. Trigger warnings are important exactly for reasons like this.

Following that episode, I picked up a highly anticipated, very popular book only to discover that this books as well had my trigger in it. Thankfully this book had foreshadowing, so I knew to stop reading and check to make sure there was nothing that my mental health couldn’t handle. But still, I had seen so much about that book, yet I hadn’t seen triggers mentioned. And I’m not blaming reviewers, because I understand how difficult it is, but I just wish that publishers cared enough to include a list of content warnings for their readers!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Anyways, now that I’ve finished that mini rant, let me tell you about the books I did read!I started off with my reread of Aristotle and Dante. I was in a melancholy sort of mood, and was looking for a book that would match how I was feeling, and this book was the perfect pick. It got five stars when I first read it, and it got five stars now. If you haven’t already read it, definitely pick it up! It’s perfect for June, since there is LGBTQ+ rep.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Next, I read and reviewed The Boyfriend Project. I have a whole review of this book, and I talk about it more in a later section of this post, so I’m just going to say that this book was not what I expected, but I still enjoyed it a lot. (It made me squeal from cuteness at one point.) There were some things that disappointed me about this book though, so if you’re interested in reading, I’d read my full review. That being said, the WOC STEM rep in this book is FABULOUS!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I finished up the month by finally finishing Dear Edward. I started it earlier in the month, or possibly last month. (Time is an illusion.) This was the book club pick for the IRL book club Chana and I created back in March. And here I am, finally ready to discuss in June! I honestly love this book so much. It follows Edward Adler, who is the sole survivor of a plane crash. You get to read about how he processes his trauma and lives following the crash, while also getting glimpses into the lives of some of the passengers on the plane. The prose is beautiful, the story is fantastic, and I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good character driven story.


Chana:

I read 10 books this month! Yes, I am still behind on my reading challenge, but this month was just sooo hectic school wise that I didn’t really have any time to read. I’ve also been in a little bit of a reading slump, but I hope June will solve that. I’m listing 8 books with their ratings, because two of the books I read were childhood rereads, and I couldn’t really bring myself to rate them since they’re old favorites.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To everyone who’s debating reading The Green Bone Saga, stop debating and do it!! This book tore me apart emotionally, and I’m scared for the next book.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a reread because after reading one of my two star reads from this month I needed something that I knew I was going to enjoy. I’m so happy I decided to reread this one because the writing is absolutely beautiful, and it was really fun to see how my perception of the book changed from the first time I read it.


Rating: 4 out of 5.
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I love Elizabeth Acevedo’s poetry!! I bought this one and it was a good choice because the cover, and the hardback itself are super pretty.


Rating: 4 out of 5.
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The Murderbot Diaries is a really great series that I highly recommend to anyone who like Sci-Fi. Network Effect is the first full length novel in the series, since the first 4 books were novellas. It was so so good! If you’ve started the Muderbot Diaries, this continuation is definitely worth the read.


Rating: 3 out of 5.
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Fate of the Fallen was a very cookie cutter fantasy, though it did have a little twist. Instead of the chosen one completing the quest, the responsibility to save the world falls on the shoulders of the “sidekick”. I thought it was pretty basic in terms of fantasy, but I enjoyed the ending.


Rating: 3 out of 5.
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This book was really cute! I read it all the way at the beginning of the month and I have the memory of a goldfish, but I remember that I enjoyed it. I thought that the high school portrayal was very real and I loved all the talk about writing.


Rating: 2 out of 5.
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I really hated this book. It was full of horrible cliches. There were also 3 different love triangles, which is way too many in my opinion. I was dissapointed since I enjoyed the second book in this series but overall would not recommend.


Rating: 2 out of 5.
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The Ember Queen is also the last book in a trilogy. This series had a strong start but every book after the first dropped in quality. I really admired Theo’s character in the first book, but she just got more and more annoying to me as the series went on. Also. There was a badly done love triangle.

Books Acquired:

Malka:

Gifted:

This month I was having a hard time reading in general, but I was completely unable to use the Kindle app. The words just wouldn’t process when I tried reading on my phone. Unfortunately that meant I couldn’t read my e-arc copy of The Boyfriend Project. When I saw that Book of the Month released the book early, Chana was super kind and used one of her credits to purchase a copy for me, and you can now read my review of it here!


Purchased:

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
Time of Our Lives

Personally, I made a B&N purchase of Time of Our Lives and The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. I’m currently reading one of them, and really enjoying it! (I’m trying to leave you in suspense, but I’ll give you a hint. I’ve read books by this duo before.)


I also ordered a care package from The Ripped Bodice, because I’m trying to support as many indie bookstores as I can. I didn’t link my Goodreads in the form I filled out, so I had read two of the books already, but I’m excited for the other four. I haven’t included them in the haul though, since they were a surprise, and I try to only include books I intend on reading for certain in these posts. And even though I’m excited for the four unread books, I don’t know if I’ll enjoy them enough to want to promote them. As for the two I’ve already read, I’ve passed them on to a friend who I hope will enjoy them!


Chana:

Gifted:

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Things We Did:

🌼 We finished finals! This is major cause for celebration!

🌼 Tried to figure out the block editor. We can use a tutorial post if anyone knows how to use this. Especially linking multiple photos in one row. This type of editor has us feeling that it could be very intuitive if we were just the tiniest bit smarter. But alas that is not the case, so we are currently floundering.

Posts We Loved:

May @ Forever and Everly created her very own Percy Jackson Book Tag.

Cait @ Paper Fury compiled a wonderful list of upcoming 2020 YA releases.

Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical had some fun doing book math.

Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea did a really good job of guessing the plot of books based on their covers.

Kat @ Novels & Waffles was super concise in her one word book reviews.

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What did you read this month? Did you have a good reading month? Do you have any exciting reading plans for June?

42 thoughts on “May Reading Wrap Up

    1. Thank you!! 💕 Oooh, the series is so great! One reason I like it is because the worldbuilding is so detailed and realistic. I have been meaning to start The Witch series since the Netflix show came out, but the holds line at the library is SO long! I hope you have a great June!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I’m so excited for summer vacation! Finals week was insanely stressful, so I’m very excited to have a few months to read, relax, and recover!

      Yeah, I was really upset about the triggering content as well. It’s just such a frustrating situation to be in because I can’t predict which books will be triggering, and it can be really difficult to find triggers for all the books that I read. It’s something that I really want to bring to the attention of publishers. But I’m very much hoping that June is a more successful reading month, where I have no issues related to triggers and can just enjoy what I pick up!

      Like

    1. Thank you! I certainly enjoyed the books I read and I’m glad that you found the books that we mentioned to be interesting!

      And I honestly think I tried every image block option there is! My problem is that I want to be able to center multiple pictures in a row AND be able to link each picture individually. At this point I haven’t found a way to do both at once. But thank you so much for your helpful tip!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Aaah yeah it’s the worst 🙈 Every time I go on the editor to edit a post I immediately want to give up 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahhhhh… the WordPress block editor – talk about a struggle! I had the very same issue with formatting. But, I can attest to the fact that the block editor gets a LOT easier. I don’t know how I ever managed without it! I’m still not an expert [it’s all about trial and error, am I right?] but just spending some time playing around helped me a lot. good luck! 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s definitely a relief to hear that it gets easier! I think the fact that it’s so unfamiliar is a little daunting, especially because we’re used to editing our posts in a certain way. Thank you!! I hope you have a great June! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on finishing the semester!
    Clap When You Land sounds so good – I loved With The Fire on High so am looking forward to trying this one!
    Sorry about the triggering content though, that’s so frustrating! I actually ended up DNFing Ari & Dante (even though I know everyone seems to love it so I hate saying this!) because I felt like that one was going to be a trigger for me; the mood of it just made me feel so anxious for some reason.
    Hope you both have a great June💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 💗

      I loved With The Fire On High as well! I hope you enjoy Clap When You Land as well! And if you haven’t already read The Poet X, I’d HIGHLY recommend it! It’s even better than With The Fire On High, in my opinion!

      Triggering content is never fun. It was a really frustrating and upsetting experience, but I’m hoping that June will be a much better month in terms of reading less triggering content.

      And I totally understand DNFing a book because you’re concerned about triggers! I’ve done that more than once and there are several hyped books that I will never pick up because of triggers! Don’t feel bad about your DNF. You did the right thing for your mental health, and that’s WAY more important than reading a book everyone recommends.

      I hope you have a lovely June as well! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! It was such a relief to be done with them 😊 Clap When You Land was such a great read! Elizabeth Acevedo doesn’t disappoint, and thought With the Fire on High was good, I really hope she writes more books in verse in the future!

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  3. Congrats on being done with finals!! That’s amazing, and I’m so happy that you guys will be suffering from less stress from now on :”)) I think I’m a little scared to read Jade War because Jade City destroyed my brain cells, but I’ve heard such good things about it that I’m determined to pick it up eventually, haha
    since you guys asked for tips and tricks on how to deal with the new WordPress editor, I want to share Charlotte’s post on it: https://tealeafreads.wordpress.com/2020/05/27/block-editor-tips-tricks/ . I think it’s really helpful! Also, I’ve been using the block editor since I first started, and I’m always available if you guys have questions 😅
    Thank you so, so much for linking my post, and I hope you two have a lovely June ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! I’m so glad I’m done! Ooh, I totally get that. If I had to explain the series, I’d say that it’s heavy? When I was reading Jade War my mom asked me to explain it to her and the best I could say was that it kind of feels like reading a history book 😅

      Aah, thank you for the post! Omg, I didn’t even know that the block editing was a thing until about a week ago. But now that we’ve formatted a few posts with it, it doesn’t seem so bad! Hopefully, we’ll get the full hang of it soon. I hope you have a fantastic June!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on finishing the semester! I totally agree that books should have content warnings at the very beginning. Sometimes I don’t want to have to go search online to see if a book will have any potentially triggering content so it would be so much better if publishers put them in the book itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s so nice to be on vacation! I’m really enjoying all the time I have to relax!

      I think it’s ridiculous that the burden of finding trigger warnings is on the reader! There are so many times where I don’t think it’s even necessary to look up triggers, because a book looks so innocent and I’ve heard such good things about it! So it completely slips my mind to do the annoying search through Goodreads reviews in hopes that someone identified all the triggers for me. It would be so much easier if content warnings were clearly stated and put into every published book!

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  5. Ari & Dante… That book will always be on my top list of all-time favourites!

    Congrats on finishing a semester!! I’m so sorry Malka that your reading month hasn’t been that nice. Hopefully June will be better for you.

    Ahhh the block editor. I’ve just started using it recently and man, it takes me hours long just to insert images and links and figuring out what some blocks do and stuff like that. But I heard that it gets easier with practice so hopefully we can do this and tackle this block editor thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s something about that book that makes it so unique. When I was reading it, it stirred up emotions in me in a very different way than most books do. It’s truly a fantastic work of art!

      Thank you! 💕 I’m hoping that my reading month is better in June as well! So far, so good! I’m in middle of 3 books and enjoying them all!

      I’m slowly learning how to use the block editor with each post we publish. Formatting posts now tends to involve some Google searching and YouTube tutorials, but using the information I’ve learned from those sources has helped a bit. Hopefully within a few months using the block editor will become second nature to the both of us!

      I hope you have a lovely month! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayy, The Green Bone Saga is so great, I hope you enjoy it!! Aah, Network Effect was so good! And now I’m even more excited for the next book. I hope you have a great June!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on finishing spring semester! I hope you’re both able to have a lot of time for rest, relaxation, and spending time doing things you love.💗Haha, the block editor…I reverted back to the original editor because I’m too scared to use it!! I don’t know if I should just bite the bullet and switch over, but I’m worried about not being able to figure everything out.

    I’m so sorry about the triggering read, Malka! I just read your post you wrote on that and it was so eloquent. It was a good reminder for myself to be better about including trigger warnings in any reviews I write. I agree that publishers should include them, it would be so easy and would hopefully make for a better reading experience for everyone! I hope you both have an amazing June. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! So far I’ve been enjoying my free time! It’s so nice to have time to do as I please. And cleaning my bookshelves and reorganizing them definitely counts as relaxation, right?

      You’re able to revert back to the original editor?? How?!? Although I think at this point we’re just gonna stick with the block editor and figure it out, no matter how much Googling and how many YouTube tutorials it takes! Having used it on more than one post at this point, I can say that it does get a little easier with practice. Hopefully I’ll master it soon!

      I encounter triggering reads pretty often actually, but this was in a book I was really excited for and came out of nowhere, so my already not great mental health took a bigger toll than usual. Then when it happened in another book in the same month, I knew I had to talk about it in this post since the triggering content was a big part of why I didn’t read much this month.

      You’re so sweet! 💕 I worked hard on that post because I wanted to get how I felt about the matter written to perfection. It took me months until I felt ready enough to actually publish that post, so it makes me so happy to hear that you thought it was eloquent! ❤ I definitely appreciate trigger warning in reviews, especially on Goodreads reviews when they’re listed at the top, since I use Goodreads to try to find out if books have triggers. But I definitely think that having publishers include trigger warnings would be a much simpler solution, and would save so many people from reading triggering content by accident. Hopefully that change happens sometime soon!

      I hope you have a wonderful June as well! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think reorganizing books is peak relaxation!!

        Yes! Whenever I was on the block editor, there was some kind of setting or three dots or something in the top right corner and there was an option there to go back to original editor…although I don’t know how smart of me that was because I’m sure eventually they will make it where you have to use the new one? I should probably revert soon, I’m just very much resisting the change.😂

        Aww! It was a very lovely post and I’m really glad that you enlightened me more on the topic. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 😄😄 Thank you! Aah, I really hope that I get more reading done! I am doing summer school as well, so I might not have *that* much free time, but I’ll definitely have more than I did during finals. I hope you have a great June!! 💕

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    1. I feel like that’s happening to me in June! I’m currently reading a whole bunch of books, so I feel as though I’m reading a lot, but I haven’t actually finished a book yet. Maybe you experienced something similar?

      I hope you have a wonderful June as well! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. YAY so happy to hear you’re done with your semester, that’s so great!! ❤
    Malka: I'm so sorry to hear about the triggering book you read. I so agree with you that publishers should definitely put trigger warnings in the book beforehand, that would be so useful and so, so necessary, too. I wish they'd care enough to consider it more than they do right now 😦
    Chana: SO happy you liked Final Draft! This is such an underrated, lovely read, I'm happy you enjoyed it 🙂
    I hope you'll both have a great June ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaah, it’s such a relief to be done with the Spring semester! Final Draft was such a great book! It reminded me so much of high school, and I loved how there were little excerpts of Laila’s stories throughout the book 😊 I hope you have a fantastic June!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d honestly love it if publishers made it so that every book came with trigger warnings! It would make my reading experience so much better!

      I think the WOC in STEM and the fantastic female friendships were the best parts of The Boyfriend Project! I gave it 4 stars because even though it wasn’t what I wanted romance-wise, seeing Samiah slay at her job in tech made up for that for me!

      Like

  8. i really need to read jade war, but i’m lowkey scared!! i’m so glad to see that you enjoyed it chana. and YES to getting clap when you land! i’m thinking of it purchasing it this month, because 1) sapphics and 2) i’ve seen the hardcover design and god it is GORGEOUS. i’m so sorry to hear about how you got triggered, malka — i also unexpectedly read my trigger in a book in may too and ended up crying haha (though it was mostly on me for not reading any reviews going in, since i didn’t expect it at all!). hope you guys are having a great june so far!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the one hand, I want to encourage you to read Jade War, but also, be afraid! I’m convinced that Fonda Lee’s goal in life is to traumatize us. Omggg, Clap When You Land is SO BEAUTIFUL!! I let out an actual gasp when I saw the hardcover and immediately sent pictures of it to every single person I know. I’m sorry that you got triggered!! It would be great if publishers were better about including what triggers are in books, but that seems like it’s another never-ending battle 😪

      Thank you!! I hope your June is going well too! 💕💕

      Like

  9. Congrats for completing your semester! Definitely challenges there for you. I just bought Aristotle and Dante because you loved it so much and it’s been on my TBR way too long anyway. Good use of my gift card. Trigger warnings are a must for me too. There are certain issues, etc. that I just can’t handle and I always appreciate whne bloggers/reviewers post them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This semester was definitely a challenge, and I’m glad it’s over!

      OMG! I’m so happy to hear that! I really hope that you love Aristotle & Dante! 💕

      Exactly! Trigger warnings are so important for my mental health, and I am so appreciative to everyone that takes the time to include them.

      Liked by 1 person

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