May Book Haul and Wrap-Up

Well, look at the date… It’s time for my May Wrap-Up!

This has been an unexpectedly hectic month. I graduated college in the middle of May, so I thought I would have a lot more free time to read books and write blog posts – however, it turned out to be quite the opposite. I didn’t have much alone time all month since I was hung out a lot with college friends (for the last time in a while), and then I visited family across the country. I therefore read at a slower pace and wasn’t as active in the book blogging community as I would’ve liked to be this month.


Books I Read and Reviewed in May

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell (Review)
I gave this novella a 5/5 stars! It was a cute, quirky story that was went by too quickly. Although the novella is 94 pages, the actual story is only 62 pages – however, I absolutely loved those chapters. I would highly recommend this novella to anyone who can relate to having an inner geekiness.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Review)
I gave this book 3/5 stars. This is based off of Indian mythology, and it’s a lot of fun being exposed to the different tales. I loved the beautiful writing and vivid imagery that Chokshi created, but I wasn’t too fond of the insta-love and romance, which was the focus of the book. That being said, I’d recommend this people who would enjoy a unique plot, but with cheesy romance.

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston (Review)
I gave this lovely book 4/5 stars! This is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, also known as Arabian Nights. I really liked how the author put a feminist spin on the original story, and I adored how the focus of the plot wasn’t romance. That was a really great breath of fresh air for a young adult fantasy. I’d highly recommend this retelling to anyone who would like to read a fantasy without an unnecessary romance.


May Book Haul

Here are the books that I bought or received, in chronological order.

Leave Me by Gayle FormanΒ [ARC – September 2016]
I received this ARC on NetGalley, and I’m so excited to read it! I loved Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went, so I think I’ll love this book too.

Undecided by Julianna Keyes
I also received this book on NetGalley. Since I want to read more new adult fiction, this book immediately grabbed me. Although the cover makes the book look like it focuses on a love triangle, I realized after reading reviews that there is no major love triangle in this book! I therefore requested it, and now I’m looking forward to reading it.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
I’ve seen this book mentioned in the book blogging community as a really great adult fiction, so I picked this up at my local bookstore! It seems like a great book to read when in a more realistic, perhaps introspective mood.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This was more of an impulse buy for me since I didn’t know about it before I saw it at the bookstore. The cover was calling out to me though, so once I spotted this, I looked it up on Goodreads and was pleasantly surprised by the high ratings. This should be a really fun read!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This is one of those books that I’m ashamed I haven’t read yet. I’ll try to get to it soon because I keep hearing nothing but fantastic things about it! I’m so excited to finally read it.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I’ve been eyeing this, and it’s been on my wish list for a few months now. I just never bought it on my own because it’s horror, and I’m such a wuss when it comes to anything that might give me nightmares. My lovely boyfriend therefore bought it for me as part of my graduation gift, and we decided to make reading it a couple activity – we’re planning on reading a chapter a week together as a story time.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This was also part of the graduation gift that my boyfriend got me. I was beyond excited when I received this book because I’ve heard really great things about the whole series. The last book in the trilogy was released a few months ago, so I don’t have to play the waiting game with this series. I’ll probably start this book pretty soon!

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I don’t usually knowingly pick out books that I know will make me cry, as I discuss in my post on tearjerkers, but I made this book an exception by putting it on my wish list. I’ve read so many great reviews and was recommended this book by other book bloggers, so I decided to give it a go. My boyfriend included this in his graduation gift to me as well. Basically, all the books he got me were on my wish list since he wanted to make sure the books he bought were ones that I actually wanted.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n
This is the last book part of my graduation gift from my boyfriend. I’ve wanted this book forever, but I just kept pushing it off. I found it at my local used bookstore once, but that copy was coffee-stained with torn edges. I kept an eye on it in my Amazon cart, but every time I almost bought it, I got stuck deciding whether I should get the special edition hardback or the traditional paperback. My boyfriend went with the special edition hardback and I love it!

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
I received this in a monthly subscription box that I’m subscribed to, ParnassusNext. This book has a really interesting premise, although I’ve heard both good and bad things about it. I hope I’m part of the crowd that really enjoys the story!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber [ARC – January 2017]
This is my first physical ARC! I only recentlyΒ (as in a week or so) started requesting physical ARCs from publishers, and I was jumping with excitement when I found this at my doorstep from Flatiron Books. This book is such an anticipated read, and I really can’t wait to dig into it!

American Girls by Alison Umminger [ARC – June 2016]
Flatiron Books also included this ARC in my Caraval package. This comes out in less than a week, so I’ll probably start it very soon. The premise sounds interesting, and I read some raving reviews from fellow book bloggers who’ve already gotten through this book. I’m looking forward to picking this up!


Books I Started in May

I started two books this month that will carry over to June!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
As I mentioned in my book haul above, I’m reading this book with my boyfriend! We’re reading one chapter per week together. We decided to do this because this book is horror, which is a genre I tend to avoid. Reading it with my boyfriend is going really well so far – I’m having tons of fun reading it aloud with him, and it’s not nearly as traumatizing.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
I started reading this on the flight back home from visiting family members, and I’m really enjoying it! So far, this book is amazing. I’m really looking forward to continuing it and reviewing it soon.


Thursday Thoughts

500+ Subscribers Q&A (Announcement)
I announced my first Q&A, which I decided to do because I reached 500 subscribers on my blog!

500+ Subscribers Q&A Answers
I answered all the questions asked on my Q&A announcement post! This includes blog-related advice and fun questions that are both book-related and not. Feel free to ask me more questions on this post if you missed out on asking me a question in my announcement post! πŸ™‚

Who’s My Book Blog’s Target Audience?
I discussed who I should be talking to in my blog posts. Should it be other book bloggers or the general reading population? Let me know your thoughts on this topic!


End of the Month Thoughts

I’m behind on writing and replying to comments. This is because I was away from the computer so much this month. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I recently graduated college, I went out a lot with college friends, and I traveled across the country to visit family members. Since I prefer to write comments on the computer, my replying has become delayed. I’ll be sure to get caught up with them in the next couple of weeks.

In a little over two weeks, things will start stabilizing for me because I’ll be starting my job. When that happens, I’ll be faster with writing comments, and I should be reading books at a faster pace. πŸ™‚

Yesterday, June 1st, was my birthday! I finally turned 21, which is the legal drinking age in the United States. It was a truly wonderful way to wrap up the month of May.

So much of my life is currently transitioning – I’m now 21, I officially graduated college, and I’m starting my full-time job in the tech industry in a couple of weeks. My life seems so surreal now because of how fast things are changing. Honestly though, I don’t think everything has fully sunk in yet.


I want to hear how your month went!

How did your reading go in May?
Are you looking forward to the summer?

19 thoughts on “May Book Haul and Wrap-Up

  1. Katherine @ Fabled Haven

    AHH The Book Thief!! I hope you love it as much as I do – it’s just so beautifully written and poignant and an all time favorite. Caraval is also an extremely anticipated read of mine – I love its entire premise. I’ve heard mixed things about All the Bright Places, and I’ve honestly been afraid to read it because I’ve heard that it romanticizes depression and suicide. I really hope that’s not the case, so I’m excited to hear your thoughts on it. Congratulations again on graduating!

  2. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks

    Happy belated birthday Jorelene! <3 I'm so glad to hear everything is already going smoothly for you right after graduation. You're so lucky ahah, I wish it were the same for me :). That's so great that you're reading A Monster Calls with your boyfriend, I hope you'll both enjoy this story! I have it on my TBR and I'm hoping to read it before the movie comes out πŸ™‚

  3. Donna

    Sounds like May was a great and important month for you! πŸ™‚ Congratulations on graduating and turning 21! *puts her cardigan and 50 more years on* Don’t drink what I wouldn’t! Haha, this was a piece of advice I received from my grandmother when I turned 18.
    Nice book haul! I really need to get my hands on a copy of Big Little Lies!

  4. Carolyn

    OMG I’m so jealous of your ARC of Caraval. I’m Night Circus trash and this sounds a lot like the Night Circus so I’m excited. And I absolutely loved The Shadow of the Wind, it was one of my favorite books a few years ago!! =)

  5. Fatima @ NoteablePad

    I think it’s absolutely adorable that you’re reading A Monster Calls with your boyfriend. I’m not a fan of horror, so I’d never read it alone. Happy birthday! πŸ™‚ And again, congratulations on graduating. I really hope you enjoy your job πŸ™‚
    I also highly recommend The Book Thief πŸ™‚ I have no doubt you’ll love it.

  6. daniellethamasa

    Congrats on graduating college. Also, happy birthday! Great wrap up and book haul; you have a few books I’ve been wanting to read, and a few I’ve already finished and loved.

    For the month of May I read 31 books and bought I believe 42 books, so it was overall a fantastical book-filled month for me.

  7. booksblurbsandbeyond

    I bought Red Rising a few weeks back. I’m so excited to read it. πŸ˜€ Unfortuntely, I had to pack it because I’m moving. I’m so happy to hear you got Caraval. πŸ˜€ I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  8. invisiblereads

    Oh my gosh, The Book Thief! I loved that book! I will say that I owned it for several years and tried to read it several times before I finally did. (I found an audiobook version on YouTube that I loved and voiced the characters beautifully.)

    As for A Monster Calls, I wouldn’t be too worried about nightmares. I also completely avoid anything scary because I am a total baby, but I didn’t find it to be scary at all. I more saw it as a young kid talking to his imaginary friend or something of that sort. Another great book that I hope you really enjoy.

  9. Lois

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!! I hope you had an amazing day and ate lots of cake!! Also congrats on the graduation.
    From the looks of it you’ve had a pretty amazing month and I definitely approve of your boyfriend’s book choices. Red Rising <3 I can't wait to read your thought on the book. Plus I think it's adorable that you guys are reading A Monster Calls together.
    I am also very happy to see The Book Thief is included in your haul. It's such an amazing book and I hope you enjoy it.

  10. Ioana @ booksreenchanted

    So many congratulations on your graduations!!!!! SO EXCITING!!! WOOO!!!!! So glad to hear you have been enjoying yourself with family and friends πŸ™‚
    ALSO HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 21 is certainly a very exciting age πŸ™‚ Wishing you an incredible, book-filled June, summer, and 21st year πŸ™‚

  11. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

    I totally agree about The Star Touched Queen! It’ a shame that the romance was so awfully instalove-y because it had the potential to be such an amazing book. I’m hoping to get to Kindred Spirits and One Thousand Nights soon 😊

    Amazing haul too!! So many of the books you have are on my TBR. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t read The Book Thief πŸ˜…

    Also, happy belated birthday πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰!! Good luck with your new job β™₯

  12. Summer @ Xingsings

    Happy belated 21st birthday, Jorelene! πŸ˜€ I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating the occasion and graduation from college. Also, congratulations on receiving your first physical ARC. Receiving ARCs (electronic and physical) is such privilege; the excitement never gets old. Hope you have a fantastic rest of June as well!

What are your thoughts?