May Roundup 2020

May passed in a blur. Honestly, I’ve never known a month to go so quickly. I think that by May I’d settled into working from home and life had formed a new routine. I didn’t end up reading as much as I did in April but then I spent more time doing things other than reading. I am happy to announce that there is now a small gap in my tbr pile – which pleases me no end – and I hope to at least have read half the pile by the time I’m working back in the office full-time!

I’m now committed to the same background! I know for a long while the background of my insta book shots always changed but I’m trying to make the page look a little better. This background will carry me through to the end of June, when I will change it to something else. I’ve given up trying to make them look fancy or artistic because it ended up making me feel pressured and anxious.

Also, sorry that this post is late! I’ve had internet issues at home and have actually managed to post this at the office!

Of the nine books, 3 were standouts and 3 irritated me slightly, while the remainder were just average.

The Good:

The two Oscar de Muriel books: The Loch of the Dead and The Darker Arts were amazing reads. I really connected to the characters and was absorbed into the world of McGray and Frey for the time I sat reading the books. They have a wonderful blend of humour, banter, seriousness, playfulness, drama, intrigue, mystery, and murder. If you haven’t heart of Oscar de Muriel I beg you to check out his series, you really won’t be disappointed. There are 5 books in the series so far, with another coming out soon.

A Girl Called Justice: The Smugglers’ Lodge by Elly Griffiths was a book I almost squealed out loud at when I saw it in Sainsburys! I hadn’t realised it was already out and I must admit, it took me less than 2 hours to read, but wow, what a 2 hour read it was! If you’re a fan of Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway series, then you should really check out her Justice Jones children’s series. It’s impressive the way she can make such a convincing murder mystery for a younger audience. The Justice Jones series is aimed at 9-12 year-olds.

The Bad:

Trust Me, I’m Dead by Sherryl Clark. This was an ok read and my opinion has turned more positive the longer I’ve thought about the book since reading it. There were little points that irritated me in the story, parts that felt too unrealistic or that didn’t fit with the picture of the character created. It took a very long time to be settled in the book for the knowledge of the setting is very vague for the first third of the book and I found that very disconcerting.

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths. I hate to put this in this section because Elly Griffiths is one of my favourite authors but this book irritated me so much. I felt like shouting ‘it’s time for the dog to drop its bone’. Like, I get the need to stick to the routes of the story but some storylines need to be dropped, this book was a turning point for me. I’ll reserve judgement till the next book in the series has come out but at the moment the series seems to be heading towards the irritatingly repetitive storylines of say the TV series Merlin, Mentalist, Robin Hood, Pretty Little Liars etc. (Apart from this irritating drag of a plot point, the rest of the book was very good).

Evernight by Ross Mackenzie. This book was dark! A witch who wants to rule the world with a Dijin under her control. An army of ‘white wizards’ that the witch controls by capturing their soul. An evil so dark it destroys everything is set loose upon the world. Hags (or real good witches) who come to the rescue despite being hunted and killed. A rebel white wizard who has just enough of his soul to be able to think. An orphan who runs the sewers and finds out she has magic. I mean, there was a lot in this book that made me pause and think. I’m sure that for a 9-11 year-old, this would be magical and interesting but my adult mind just couldn’t come to grips with all the elements and how much darkness was in the seemingly innocent looking book…

The Average:

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. This was a good trip down memory lane and there were a lot of parts I had forgotten, especially the poems, so it was fun to read them again with an older mind. There isn’t really anything bad to be said about Roald Dahl, his books bring joy to all ages.

Matilda by Roald Dahl. I loved reading this again because my memory of it was so different from what the story was actually about. I think my original memory of reading the book had merged with the film of Matilda and it had created a warped memory. Anyway, it was very fun to read this again and read it with a fresh eye.

The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic by Cressida Cowell. Xar is irritating, he needs to grow up but I understand why his character is the way it is and why he is presented in that light. I enjoyed reading this story, I am quite partial to children’s books with illustrations, I think they bring something extra and this was so magical to read.

Reviews:

Trust Me, I’m Dead by Sherryl Clark – ★★★★

Loch of the Dead by Oscar de Muriel – ★★★★★

The Darker Arts by Oscar de Muriel – ★★★★★

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths – ★★★★

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – ★★★★★

Matilda by Roald Dahl – ★★★★★

Evernight by Ross Mackenzie – ★★★★

A Girl Called Justice: The Smugglers’ Lodge by Elly Griffiths – ★★★★★

The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic by Cressida Cowell – ★★★★★

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