May 2019 Wrap Up

Another month over. Despite it being a pretty hellish month for me, I managed to read 8 books and I’ve posted every single day in May on here. That’s something I’m quite proud of and it’s been really good for me. It’s given me some focus. So I’m really pleased with this month. Anyway, here are the books I read this month.


A Storm of Swords by G. R. R. Martin

1179967

This was a re-read for me. I’ve been going through the series again on audio and I’m really enjoying it again. Despite the narrator’s appalling pronunciation of names (the worst ones are Brienne as BRY-een and Petyr as PUH-tyre, they trigger me every single time). Hopefully, by the time I finish this re-read, we’ll have a release date for Winds of Winter. Please? 5/5 stars

Alice by Christina Henry

alice

I’ve been meaning to pick up this series for a long time and I finally did. I really enjoyed the book, but I also found some things very problematic. I talk about it more in my review, but I had a problem with how both men and women were portrayed in this book. It was otherwise very well written and compelling storytelling, but do be aware that it contains violence, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, animal abuse, pretty much any kind of abuse you can think of. 3.5/5

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

36215220

This was an audiobook I picked up on a whim and ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. Especially towards the end, it was a bit slow to start with. I didn’t mind the pacing as much as I just didn’t like the insta-love that was focused on a lot in the first part of the book. As a result, I didn’t like any of the romance in this book. There’s a kind of love triangle, I can’t tell yet if it’s intended as a love triangle or one of the sides is intended as just a friendship. I would prefer the latter, but even then, I’m just not a fan of that character so I still wouldn’t love it. That kind of goes for all the characters, really. I found them all quite dis-likeable. That’s not to say that I hate them and I think at times the unlikeability was intentional. I still find them compelling, but I don’t love them. I really do love the world however and the political environment and mythology. That’s really what I’m here for. 3.75/5

Sadie by Courtney Summers

34810320

Another audiobook. I think the majority of books I read this month were audiobooks. And I actually do recommend this story as an audiobook. I think it’s the best way to experience it. It was one of the best thriller/mystery books I’ve read in a while. I’ve reviewed it, so you can check that out, but it’s amazing and I recommend it. 5/5 stars

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

one word kill

Mark Lawrence has become one of my favourite, auto-buy authors. This was such a fun, short weird and heartwarming book. I believe the second one came out this month and the final book in the series is due to be released later this year and it’s just so much fun. It’s like Doctor Who meets Stranger Things. 3.75 stars

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

4214

This has been sitting in my Audible library for some time and I finally decided to listen to it. I’m very glad I did, I really loved it. It’s such a beautifully told story and I really love survival stories. I love reading about people’s will to survive and the ingenuity that is brought out by that desire. I did fundamentally disagree with some of the main ideas of the main character. And that actually affected my rating of the book. Normally it wouldn’t, if they had been conveyed as simply something that the MC believed, it wouldn’t have. But the way that it was portrayed, it was one of the main things that the books was trying to convey. 3.5/5 stars

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

half a king

I’ve been doing pretty well with reading authors that I already know I enjoy. I really like having read all or most of an author’s works if I enjoy their books, of course. There’s just something very satisfying about it. But like with finishing series, it’s something I’ve historically not been great at. But I’ve been doing that more lately and I’m glad. I really enjoyed this book, in some ways I liked it even more than his other series. It’s definitely not as complex, it’s aimed for a younger audience. But as a result of that, I didn’t struggle with the pacing the way I sometimes did with The First Law books. 4/5 stars

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

I’ve only read one other Terry Pratchett book, but even I could tell this is not one of his best. It was one of his later works when he already struggled with Alzheimer’s, so it’s to be expected. It was still highly entertaining, especially the Audible audiobook. It’s full cast and it’s a show almost. It’s got sound effects and everything. It’s a lot of fun, I do recommend that if you’re able to get it. 3.5/5 stars

Books Featuring Mental Health – Top 5 Wednesday

Unfortunately I don’t read that many mental health books. Usually because they tend to be contemporaries which I just don’t read that much of. So I really don’t have lesser known books on this list. These are in no particular order.


Sadie by Courtney Summers

34810320

Sadie has a stutter. While stuttering does not in most cases have a psychological cause, there is a subset of stuttering called psychogenic stuttering which usually occurs as a result of trauma. It’s not explicitly said in the book whether that is the case with Sadie, but I think it is. It might not have been the author’s intention. But whether or not her stutter is psychogenic, I’ve read a book with stuttering represented and it definitely has an impact on Sadie’s mental state and image of herself and of those around her. So I think it falls in the ballpark and I just wanted to promote this book because I think it’s great.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

acomaf-cover-3

Both Feyre and Rhys suffer from PTSD. I’ve talked about this book so much. You probably all know about it.

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare

Ty is autistic and I think he does also seem to have some OCD and anxiety disorder. He’s probably one of my favourite characters in the series. I seriously need to read the last book in the series. But my heart isn’t ready. 😥

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

turtles all the way down

I haven’t yet read this book, but I know the main character has OCD and I know John Green also has OCD, so I’m confident that this is accurate rep for the disorder. And I’ve heard a lot of good things about it as well, so I’m comfortable recommending it as a mental health featuring book.

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

lightning thief percy jackson

All the demigods have ADHD. And it’s a great series.

 

Sadie by Courtney Summers – Book Review

34810320Rating: 4.75/5

Genre: Mystery, thriller, YA

First published: 2018

Author: Courtney Summers

Synopsis: A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.


I’d been seeing this book around for some time and had heard some good reviews but for some reason, I wasn’t super tempted by it. But then I saw that the audiobook had a full cast, so I got it and boy am I glad I did. Turns out those good reviews were good for a reason. I definitely recommend it as an audiobook, I think that greatly enhances the experience.

This book was so compelling from start to finish. The story was compelling, the way it was told was compelling, the characters… everything about it just drew me in. We get two perspectives, one is Sadie’s and the other is West McCray’s and they complement one another. It’s almost like we’re following two separate mysteries. One that Sadie is trying to figure out and one that West is trying to figure out. Despite that, I have to say I really wish we got more information about some of the things going on. But at the same time, it would not have been as realistic a book and as good if we did get more information. But I just enjoyed and cared about Sadie’s story so much that I wish I knew more of the details. And throughout the book, you get the sense that that’s West’s desire as well.

I often have problems with thrillers. It’s a genre that I really love. I’ve always loved crime mysteries and thrillers, but they need to be truly compelling. A lot of mystery books are super tropey and, as one of my friends puts it ‘basic bitch thrillers’. And I just get so bored with those. So every time I pick up a thriller, I get nervous. But this book was everything that I love about thrillers.

Also, I really appreciated the rep that we got. Sadie has a stutter and that’s definitely something that I’ve never seen in a book before. I actually worked with someone who had a stutter last year and as a result I got curious about the condition and did a little bit of research into it and it’s something that we actually don’t know much about in terms of what causes it. So being in Sadie’s head was really useful for me. I don’t know if the author has any personal experience with it or she’s just done a lot of research, but I thought the representation was accurate and it helped me understand better what someone with the condition might be going through and all the ways in which people are insensitive or biased because of it. So, I really appreciated that as well.

So yeah, definitely recommend. If you can get the audiobook, I recommend that because the production is great. I feel it really adds to the story. I don’t know what else to say about it. With this kind of books, the less you know going into it, the better, really. Which is why I truncated the synopsis in this review. I didn’t know much more than that going into it and I think that provides the best experience.