May Book Wrap-Up 2020 | 20 BOOKS!


Was I biting off more than I could chew this month when it came to reading? Yes. Big time, yes. I set myself the hopeful goal of reading 20 books, which I did, but barely. (Is it short book appreciation month? Yes, yes.) And I took part in two month long readathons - the Mentalhealthathon run by Nicole and the Asian Readathon run by Cindy. Somehow my self control still weened and I mood-read a few books that didn't work for either readathon. Yay me. Here's the run down of the extra books I read, and in case you want everything in one place, links to my other wrap-up posts. So get your beverage of choice, this'll be a big one. 

by Vladimir Nabokov
A twisted modern classic wherein a grown man falls hopelessly in love with twelve-year-old Lolita, and makes it his life's mission to make her his in every way possible. This isn't a love story, but it is a book about obsessive love. I read My Dark Vanessa last month and devoured it, I found the off-balanced relationship between the protagonist and her professor captivating for all the wrong reasons. I couldn't stop reading. In that book, they make a lot of references to Lolita so I wanted something along the same theme after I finished, and so naturally I picked up Lolita. It's weird to say I enjoyed the first half of this book, I know, but I did. It was sickening but so utterly brilliantly written that I couldn't help but have a fondness for the story. But, and this is a big but, the second half destroyed any shred of my enjoyment. It got so slow and ridiculous, the story took some even more questionable turns and all the characters become insufferable. Keeping that in mind, I really don't know what my rating for this book would be. It felt like two completely different books, one being almost poetic and the other being written just for the ""shock value". I just... meh, I'm so meh about this book. 

Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult 
When a white activist demands that no person of colour touches his new born baby, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the baby's death. Putting all their blame on the black nurse that they first came into contact with, the grieving parents take legal action. Ruth, the nurse, is put on the stand for neglect of an infant. In the style of Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, this is a contemporary mixed with a court-drama. Unlike Miracle Creek, it took me a while to work out my feelings toward this book. I wasn't sure how I felt about a white author writing from the POV of a black woman, and writing about the prejudices that come with not being white. I wish, really wish, that the author's note was at the beginning of this novel and not the end as her reasoning behind the entire book made it less problematic to me. However, that aside, the story itself is a powerful look at race and how racism isn't intentional a lot of the time. As a protagonist Ruth was a strong willed woman with a wonderfully written family. The character could at times fall into cliche territory, but all-in-all this was a well-done novel. I knocked off a star for the cheesy and too perfect ending, but I would still recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Miracle Creek.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel
by Heather O'Neill
Have you ever wanted a novel that has the writing style of The Night Circus but the plot of A Little Life with the magicalness of a Seanne McGuire book but written by Donna Tartt? Then this is the book for you! This is a tragic story set around two children, Rose and Pierrot, who are abandoned at an orphanage in 1914. There, they both experience abuse - sexual and physical - and eventually leave to forge their own paths, yet they're always hoping they'll find each-other again. This novel has an undertone of magical realism as both the main characters have somewhat magical abilities, but that's never a front-and-centre part of the story. Instead it's carried behind the plot of Rose wanted to start her own circus, and Pierrot becoming a bugler. This book is the definition of quirky, and because of that, I'm not sure whether I enjoyed it. I had previously DNF'd it, but seemingly had a 'I hate myself' moment and decided to finish it. This just has too much juxtaposition. It was too depressing, and I never fully came to care for either of the characters. There was too much sexual content throughout this novel, non of which was the smutty kind, instead being a devastating miserable kind. And if I hear the word 'cunt' one more time in a book this year, it'll be too soon. No, just no. Which is very sad as I found this signed copy at a library sale. Did you love this novel? Let me send this to you! Save me from it's miserable aura. (No, but really, someone ought to have this who loves the author.)

The Whisper Man
by Alex North
When a father and son move to a new town, strange things begin happening. Whispers come from outside the boy's bedroom at night. Could it be related to the imprisoned child murder known as The Whisper Man? I wanted to like this thriller, I really did. It seemed dark, creepy, and I was hopeful for a better written Stephen King type novel. However, I don't think this book knew what it wanted to be. It read like some weird mash-up of a detective centered novel and a thriller, which really didn't work with the story. I can forgive a thriller for not having a great ending so long as I can enjoy the journey to get there, but with this I sadly didn't. I was bored so many times, and found all the characters tedious or pointless. Meh. I, sadly, do not get the hype.

The Unhoneymooners
by Christina Lauren
After everyone at at a wedding party gets food poisoning, Olive and Ethan are the only two not to get sick. Because of this they're forced to go on the bride and groom's honeymoon with only two problems: they have to pretend to be newlyweds, and they hate each other. Yup, ultimate hate-to-love plot. As someone who loved The Kiss Quotient and The Hating Game, how have I never read a Christina Lauren book before? The mystery! The Unhoneymooners is arguably the most popular book, so I figured I'd start there. This read far more chick-lit than I was expecting. There was no smut which left me feeling rather bitter. Nevertheless, this was a quick enjoyable read. Not a new favourite, but I'm still glad I've read it.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
by Neal Shusterman 
After humanity stops dying off, a group of people known as Scythe's are solely responsible for keeping the population numbers under control. They go out and kill whomever they want. When two teens are put into training to become Scythe's, they begin to see a new side of their controllers. The world building in this novel was exceptionally done. I never once questioned it. For such a fast read, it really build up this dystopian land without ever feeling info-dumpy. However, I'm unsure whether the two main characters could've been more bland. Neither of them had any personality, which made it incredibly hard for me to care about their individual outcomes.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events #8 & #9 (The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival)
by Lemony Snicket 
I'm still reading this series via audiobook and am having a great time. Would 110% recommend for miserable fun. The further into the series I get, the darker and more twisty each book becomes which I'm loving. For a series targeted at kids, I'm way too invested. 

*gasps for air* Yeah, I read a lot this month!

Go forth and read my other wrap-ups:

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