Wrap Up: May 2021

Can someone please explain to me how we are now in JUNE? Where is 2021 going? Seriously, they aren’t kidding when they say time flies! I’ve kept pretty busy in May with going on solo hikes around my area and finally meeting up with some friends again, it’s been nice!

I read only 5 books in May, with 1 DNF, which I’m a little disappointed in myself for, but I’m currently in the middle of an audiobook, a graphic novel, and an arc, so I think June will be higher count! I did really enjoy all the books I read, and thats what counts – so without further ado, here’s what I read in May:

  1. One Last Stop – Audiobook – 4.5/5 ★★★★☆

I went into this book knowing exactly two things about it: subways/NYC, and it was sapphic. That’s it. I went in blindly and…. I’m please to report I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

This is the story I didn’t know I needed. August doesn’t know where she fits in. She’s 23 and has been transferring between colleges as often as possible, each one in a new city, trying to find her niche. She’s lost in life, which is how she ends up in Brooklyn with no place to live, answering a sketchy Craiglist ad for an apartment and finding what becomes her new family.

Everyone in this book is queer and its amazing and very normalized, and I loved that.

2. The Dark Tide – Audiobook – DNF @ 35% (end of chapter 14)

I saw nobody was really talking about this book but had it on my TBR from 2020, and thought, hey, maybe I’ll like this under-hyped book!

I was wrong.

No world building. Characters are boring. I don’t care about anything or understand whats going on in this world.

I came for sapphic witches and left disappointed. Next.

3. Heartstopper: Volume Two – Graphic Novel – 4/5 ★★★★☆

If you want all the soft warm fuzzies, read Heartstopper.

I can’t get over Charlie and Nick, they’re soooo cute together and everything about this graphic novel series is CUTENESS.

I can’t wait to read volume 3 next!!! 

4. The Final Revival of Opal & Nev – Audiobook – 4/5 ★★★★☆

You tell me a story is about music, and I’m in. You tell me the audiobook is narrated by a full cast, and I’m already in love and hooked. This is the (fictional) history of the group Opal & Nev from the 70’s, told through interviews and notes from the “editor” writing this book, and of their possible reunion in 2016. I highly recommend listening to this one!

Journalist S. Sunny Shelton, a Black woman and editor in chief of a magazine, decides her next project will be to interview Opal Jewel, Neville Charles, and everyone associated with them and their band from the 1970s, as there are talks of a reunion show happening, and she believes their history is worth telling. This story takes place in the present with characters telling their point of views in various years in the 1960s and 70s, when ‘Opal & Nev’ began.

It’s honestly hard to believe this is fiction while you’re reading it, it all feels so real and I want to look up this band and these people and learn about them – but alas, this isn’t a real band. That says a lot about the author that Walton can make you feel how real this story is.

5. Hello, Cruel Heart – Audiobook – 4.5/5 ★★★★☆

This was delightful! I went into this story with really no expectations, and not even knowing much of what this story was about besides Cruella origin story, she’s a fashion designer, and this was set in the late 1960s. I love Maureen Johnson’s writing which is why I picked this up and I’m so very glad I did!

This book is “inspired” by the upcoming Disney movie ‘Cruella’, but I should mention, I have not even seen the trailer for that movie, and beside watching the animated 101 Dalmatians as a kid, that’s about it with my knowledge of Cruella, so to see a 16-year-old Estella who loves designing clothes, I loved this story.

The story is set in London of summer 1967 and the setting felt so vivid. The fashion and music and people were described so vividly, I felt like I was there. Estella is a 16-year-old girl who lives in an abandoned building and steals to survive – but her true calling is fashion.

6. In The Ravenous Dark – Audiobook – 4/5 ★★★★☆

I’ve been eager to read this book since I first heard about it, and when I found out it was going to be the April 2021 Illumicrate book I was beyond excited! This is a fast paced book about magic, undead spirits bound to those with magic, and everyone is queer af. This is technically “young adult” but I would consider it “upper” YA or even adult, as there is death, violence, gore, blood, sex, cursing, etc – not for the faint of heart.

There is a lot of information, places, and names given early on in this story, and it was a little confusing at first but I quickly caught on after a few chapters. There are a lot of characters and bloodlines to keep straight, but it all comes together. The world building is beautiful.

Did you read anything fantastic in May you’d recommend?

Let me know!

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