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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

May Wrap-Up (Pt. 2)

Part two of this May wrap up contains all of my favorites of the mont (4 stars and up), aswell as my June TBR. I have a huge list to talk about, so let's get into the books:

Books Read Part Two

The story of a man who falls through the cracks one day (literally), and ends up in the dark undercity of London below, where Neverwhere is Neil Gaiman at his best: dark urban fantasy, written with a touch of that deliciously dry and slightly messed up humor the author is known for. I loved the worldbuilding and the strange inhabitants of London Below, and actually got a chuckle out of some of the lines. My immersion was almost complete, thanks to the audiobook, and if I could, I’d have probably read this front to back in 1 sitting. The predictability and the cookie-cutter main characters kept it from being a full five-star read for me, but nonetheless, this might be my favorite Gaiman so far. Full review to come.

Rating: 4/5 stars

2. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens Part murder mystery, part coming of age, all beautiful nature writing… Where The Crawdads Sing is one of the overall highest rated novels on my Goodreads shelves, that quite deserves the love it got. Full review can be found here Rating: 4/5 stars

3. Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier Rebecca is a classic that probably needs no introduction, and I’m frankly a little embarrassed that it took me this long to actually pick it up. Even more so since I loved it as much as I did. A gothic novel about a newlywed woman haunted by the ghost of her husband’s previous wife, that passed the test of time with flying colors, and is now one of my favorite classics. Full review can be found here

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

4. The Girl Aquarium – Jen Campbell If you’ve been here for a while you know how much I adore Jen Campbell, so it won’t come as a surprise that her first full-length poetry collection The Girl Aquarium was in my top 5 of most anticipated releases for 2019. Let me tell you: it was worth my anticipation. Full review can be found here

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

It’s not a mystery to many of you that I’m a massive sucker when it comes to Greek mythology, especially the stories of the lesser-known characters from it. Therefore it was probably not a surprise to anyone when I picked up and loved The Silence of the Girls. In this novel we experience (part of) The Iliad through the eyes of Brisseïs, former Queen of Lyrnessus, who becomes Achilles’ personal slave as her city falls. I won’t be writing an in-depth review about this one, as I feel there are many people who have already done a great job discussing this, and there isn’t much I’d like to add to that. In short: it was straight up my alley, well written and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in the story of The Iliad, or if you like the works of Madeline Miller.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

6. If we were Villains – M.L. Rio When this book was sold to me as “The YA-equivalent to The Secret History”, I was extremely skeptical, as that’s a darn bold claim to make. Now I’m going to have to eat my own words, because this was actually worth the comparison. A story of obsession, passion, hate, elitism and losing ourselves in the roles we play in our own lives. Highly recommend! Review can be found here Rating: 4.5/5 stars

7. These Rebel Waves – Sara Raasch These Rebel Waves was such a positive surprise to me, as I basically went in with zero expectations, but ended up loving what I got. Political intrigue, a beautifully built caribbean-esque world, botanical magic, and strongwilled and smart characters that stole my heart are at the core of this story. It had me hooked with its interesting world and magic system from start to finish and I can't wait for the sequel to come out in August (especially after that ending). Full review can be found here

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

A well-written middle grade novel has the unparalleled ability to utterly emotionally destroy me for some reason. The penultimate book on this May-list was just such a book, and by far my biggest surprise of the month, possibly even of the year so far. This story about a girl who spends her summer on the small Floridian isle where her mother grew up tackles so much more than you might expect based on the synopsis. It’s a story about friendship, (changing) family dynamics and the internalized guilt, grief and feeling of inadequacy of a young girl after tragedy. This has only 74 ratings on Goodreads so far, and just needs to be picked up by more people. If you take anything away from this wrap up, please let it be to read August Isle for yourself. Even if you don’t usually read middle grade: this is a great one to pick up. Full review to come.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Last but not least this month we have a re-read of A Portable Shelter, the short story collection by Kirsty Logan set in the same world as The Gracekeepers. I don’t have a lot of new things to say: it was an all-time favourite and still is an all-time favourite. Kirsty Logans writing works a type of magic on me that I can’t quite explain, but I’m perfectly fine with being enchanted by it. I still have hope that I can one day write down my thoughts on this (or The Gracekeepers for that matter) coherently, but as I’ve mentioned before: I struggle reviewing my favorites… All I can say is: adored it, and I wish more people would read it.

Rating: 5/5 stars

June TBR

June's TBR is going to be very "free" for me. I have one ARC, and two librarybooks I want to get to, but otherwise I'm basically going to be mood-reading for the rest of the month. 

The Comet Seekers – Helen Sedgwick Round two for The Comet Seekers, this time in physical edition. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it more without the audiobook’s narrator.

Lanny – Max Porter I’ve been wanting to read this since its release, and my library finally came through with my reservation. After Grief is the Thing with Feathers I have high expectations from Max Porters and I’m hoping that this will be as intriguing and unique as it sounds.

Mona in Three Parts – Griet Op de Beeck Griet Op de Beeck is a Flemish author of which I’ve read all but one of her books now. Her most read book “Kom Hier dat ik u Kus” is now being translated into English, and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the translated version from the publisher. I can’t wait to see how it compares to the Dutch version and how it’ll translate to the foreign market.  

You can of course follow my progress during the month on my Goodreads, or await next month wrap up. I wish you all a happy reading month, and hope to see you back soon


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