May Reads

Hi all,

Here are the books I've read last month:

Bulles and Blues by Charlotte Bousquet and Stephanie Rubini

This is the third book in this French graphic novel series that follows the lives of middle school teens. I loved the first two ones (Rouge Tagada and Mots Rumeurs, Mots Cutter) and this one was equally enjoyable. I love reading about the feelings of isolation and fitting in that the main character experiences and also the passion for drawing. I really love where this series is going and I think I'll do a post about all of them soon!

The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie

I have become a HUGE Miss Marple fan so progressively going through the whole collection. This one is about a group of dinner guests telling each other stories with a mystery and the other having to guess the answer. There are thirteen stories told by different characters and Miss Marple is just showing everyone up by being amazing as always. This wasn't one of my favourite but I still hugely enjoyed reading it (and guessing 5 of the mysteries!).

Girls Will Be Girls: Dressing Up, Playing Parts and Daring to Act Differently by Emer O’Toole

I was really looking forward to this book and even though I loved most of it the last couple of chapters left me cold. I'm a feminist and also queer and I struggle sometimes to agree with what the new wave of (straight) feminists say. I thought this book would be one that wouldn't elicit this reaction. I was completely behind the whole idea of gender as a performance and costume and found that aspect fascinating to read about. The part of "dressing androgynous" and feeling ashamed of one's appearance less so. Worth a read if you ignore the last two chapters.  

Say Her Name by James Dawson

Say Her Name was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize shortlist and is a horror YA story set in a boarding school. I was very much looking forward to reading it as I grew up with (a French equivalent of) the Bloody Mary myth and it was great to see how it’d work in a contemporary setting. It's great for fans of YA horror. 

Finding Jennifer Jones by Anne Cassidy

I absolutely adored Looking For JJ and I've had my eye on this sequel for ages. We find Jennifer Jones as a student living in a flatshare and working for the summer. She is coming to terms with her new life and is trying to find her place in the world. Looking at the age of the main character and the themes talked about in the book, this could be technically qualified as New Adult though I know most titles in this age group are very different and mostly centred on sexy times. I loved this book and I loved the themes covered and I'm so glad Anne Cassidy shared the end of JJ's story with us. 

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande

Someone heavily recommended Being Mortal to me which is Atul Gawande's latest title so the author was on my radar when I spotted this title at the library and decided to give it a go. This is the first one of his books I read and I was pleasantly surprised as I never thought a non-fiction book focusing on medicine would ever be my cup of tea (I mean, I faint at the sight of blood and have a phobia of needles and anything linked to hospitals...). I really enjoyed reading this and I'm looking forward to reading his other books (which Goodreads tell me are even better).

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

This is one of the domestic noir titles that has been recommended to me a lot. My wife loved it and I was looking forward to reading it but I ended up not loving it. I think it made me extremely uncomfortable and it wasn't quite the pleasant read but the plot is full of twists and turns and I can see it working really well for crime readers.

Recipes for Love and Murder (A Tannie Maria Mystery) by Sally Andrew

I absolutely adored this book! Cosy crime? Food? Fabulous main character? I mean was this book written for me?! It's Miss Marple meets Nigella. I loved the intrigue, the characters, the writing. Only negative thing I'd say is that the book really should come with all the food mentioned in the book for you to eat at the same time as the characters. 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Another domestic noir which I ended up not quite loving. In the same way that Gone Girl is a brilliant book that is a disturbing and stressful read, I can't say this has been enjoyable. I didn't like most of the characters. It's an interesting premise though and I'm sure all crime/domestic noir fans are loving this book. 

A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I was SO looking forward to this book. I've enjoyed reading Sarah J. Maas's other series and this looked like a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast so YES PLEASE. But I ultimately didn't connect with the story as much as I'd hoped. There are Sarah J Maas's punchy writing style and sensual characters but the plot and world-building was what drew me out of the story.  

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

I was part of the online event Queer YA Scrabble last weekend on my other blog Queer YA and I read this as part of it. I've had this book on my radar for years and was so glad to finally read it. I hadn't realised it was a verse novel and it was a very pleasant surprise. The style really lends itself to the story and I found it truly amazing and inspiring. See my review here if you want to read.


That's it from me. Hope you enjoyed this new format of post on the books I've read and you see something in there that you might fancy! What did you read in May that was mind-blowingly good? 

In June I'm reading some more LGBTQIA YA, the new Judy Blume and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara which is fast becoming my new favourite book ever.