May is a huge month for me and because I didn’t get much reading done last month I want to make May a jam packed reading month, or in other words, a beating my backlist kind of month.
I’m going to really challenge myself and try to see if I can read 12 books this month which would allow for me to write a lot more reviews and give me a chance to catch up on many books that I just haven’t gotten to, but need to read.
So first up are my netgalley books:
Dying by Cory Taylor
A deeply affecting meditation on dying and a wise tribute to life.
At the age of sixty, Cory Taylor is dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. Her illness is no longer treatable: she now weighs less than her neighbor’s retriever. As her body weakens, she describes the experience—the vulnerability and strength, the courage and humility, the anger and acceptance—of knowing she will soon die.
Written in the space of a few weeks, in a tremendous creative surge, this powerful and beautiful memoir is a clear-eyed account of what dying teaches: Taylor describes the tangle of her feelings, remembers the lives and deaths of her parents, and examines why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her death.
Taylor’s last words offer a vocabulary for readers to speak about the most difficult thing any of us will face. And while Dying: A Memoir is a deeply affecting meditation on death, it is also a funny and wise tribute to life.
I’m currently 44% through this book and it’s been a tough topic for me to work through so I’ve been taking many breaks with it to give myself some much needed space.
The Ship by Antonia Honeywell
“Powerful, haunting, and beautiful,” (M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts) The Ship is a luminous and genre-defying debut novel that follows a young woman’s coming of age in a world where she has no future.
London burned for three weeks. And then it got worse…
Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos amid the ruins of civilization. But things are getting more dangerous outside. People are killing each other for husks of bread, and the police are detaining anyone without an identification card. On her sixteenth birthday, Lalla’s father decides it’s time to use their escape route–a ship he’s built that is only big enough to save five hundred people.
But the utopia her father has created isn’t everything it appears. There’s more food than anyone can eat, but nothing grows; more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them; and no-one can tell her where they are going.
I’m currently 22% through this one and I’m really enjoying it. It’s just that my mood is really weird right now so I’m jumping around a lot from one book to the next.
Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.
There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.
She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.
She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.
She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.
I’m super excited to read this book. I’ve been eyeing it ever since I got approved, but I’ve been waiting to read it till I could post a review closer to the release date.
Welcome to the Slipstream by Natalka Burian
Bright lights, big trouble
Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Judy Gregerson’s Bad Girls Club will relate to this story about a girl traumatized by her brilliant mother’s serious mental illness.
Like a grown-up Eloise from the picture book, the main character, Van, lives in an upscale casino in glitzy Las Vegas, giving readers entree into a crazy world that few ever get to see.
Based on real life events witnessed by the author, a harrowing look at the dangers of self-help cults that promise insight and instead deliver destruction.
With her mother, a brilliant businesswoman with fragile mental health, Van arrives in Las Vegas at the Silver Saddle casino, where Alex, a college student, is assigned to “babysit” her. Van is used to having to land on her feet, because her mother and her surrogate grandmother move from city to city all the time like corporate gypsies, but Alex introduces Van, a talented musician, to a group where her guitar skills may shine. But just as she’s about to play her first gig, her mother is lured in by a con man promising a “vision quest” in Arizona, and Van must go on the road to find and save her mom.
This book sounds so cool! I would have read it so much sooner but I only have it saved on my desktop computer because that is the only place I could download it. It’s really sad that there wasn’t a kindle version of this one, those make life worth living.
The Enemy Within by Scott Burn
Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head. There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down. As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.
This sounds like such a cool novel. All the elements have me intrigued and I’m excited to finally get myself to read it!
Letters to Eloise by Emily Williams
‘Receiving a hand written letter is something that always puts a smile on my face, no matter who the sender is.’ Flora Tierney.
When post-graduate student Flora falls unexpectedly pregnant during her final year studies she hits a huge predicament; continue a recent affair with her handsome but mysterious lecturer who dazzles her with love letters taken from the ancient tale of ‘Abelard and Heloise’, or chase after the past with her estranged first love?
But will either man be there to support her during the turmoil ahead?
‘Banish me, therefore, for ever from your heart’, Abelard to Heloise.
Letters to Eloise is the heart wrenching debut epistolary novel by Emily Williams; a love story of misunderstandings, loss, and betrayal but ultimately the incredible bond between mother and child.
This sounds like it’s going to be a lovely sad yet heartwarming novel. I’m excited to dive into it!
Here We Are edited by Kelly Jensen
LET’S GET THE FEMINIST PARTY STARTED!
Have you ever wanted to be a superheroine? Join a fandom? Create the perfect empowering playlist? Understand exactly what it means to be a feminist in the twenty-first century? You’ve come to the right place.
Forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means and what it looks like. Come on in, turn the pages, and be inspired to find your own path to feminism by the awesome individuals in Here We Are.
Welcome to one of the most life-changing parties around!
I’m around halfway through this book and I absolutely love it! I’ve cried once already from an essay that I didn’t expect and I’ve been introduced to so many causes and perspectives and people that I never knew before. I won this book in a giveaway and the editor signed this book for me saying to “Keep fighting the good fight.” and I’m going to do just that.
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.
But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck’s death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck’s reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea’s past has become shrouded in mystery, and it’s only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle – curious, disguised and alone – to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.
Whatever that past holds.
Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . .
Ahhhhh!!!! I’m so excited for this book! I was going to read it last month, but I got so sidetracked with so many things happening that I just never got to it. This month however, I’m going to make sure this gets read!
After these 8 the other 4 books I will read this month will depend on my mood. I’m giving myself a little wiggle room to see what books come into my life and what books I feel like reading next. I can never stick to a specific plan anyway so I’m going to need this little wiggle space.
Thank you all for reading! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them. What book are you thinking of reading next?
-Till next time!