Books, What I Read

What I Read in May

May was an absolutely fantastic reading month for me! Since I read 10 books this month, I kept my thoughts short and sweet, going from my least favorite read to my favorite read of the month.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs // 2/5 Stars

Even though this is a YA novel and the main characters are teenagers, Nemesis felt more like a middle grade to me. While the premise was exciting and had some Lord of the Flies vibes, the plot and characters just didn’t deliver for me.

The Cabin by Natasha Preston // 2/5 Stars

My sister loves Natasha Preston’s books, so I typically read them alongside her. I was unfortunately very disappointed, as The Cabin’s premise was exciting, but the story itself didn’t have any sort of spark and was WAY too long– it took us forever to get to some sort of “solution”

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // 3.75/5 Stars

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy ADSOM as much as I thought I would, being head-over-heels for Schwab’s This Savage Song and Vicious. I thought that the plot was a bit predictable and unexciting at times, however, I plan on picking up the next book soon!

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith // 4/5 Stars

While Windfall was over 400 pages long, it was a pretty quick read for me. I found it to be a little tropey and I didn’t completely enjoy the romance. I loved Leo and seeing Alice’s journey outside her relationship with Teddy. I teared up when she reflects on her parents’ lives with her uncle.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // 4/5 Stars

I finally read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and really enjoyed it! There’s a dog and Oreos!! I have a full review here.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston // 4.5 Stars

Geekerella was the fandom+fairytale novel that I didn’t know I needed until I started reading. My full review can be found on Fangirl Fury here.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr // 4.75/5 Stars

The One Memory of Flora Banks took me by surprise, as it was one of my favorite reads of May. My review can be found here.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas // 4.5/5 Stars

One of my most anticipated reads of 2017 finally delivered this month. I have a full review of ACOWAR here, including a mini conflicted rant about there being more books in the ACOTAR world.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // 5/5 Stars

My only 5/5 Star read of the month, Radio Silence was the type of book that I just fell into. There’s Tumblr and Youtube and fanart and friendship and family and school all rolled into one perfect contemporary read.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord // 5/5 Stars

From the moment I started The Names They Gave Us, I was hooked. Emery Lord’s latest release about family, friendship, religion, and grief was an emotion-filled story rolled into a summer contemporary. I have a full review here.

What did you read in May? Share in the comments below!

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Book Reviews, Books

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Summary: Sixteen-year old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier enjoys participating in the school musical and emailing with Blue, the pen name of another not-so-openly gay guy at Simon’s school. But when class clown Martin comes across Simon’s emails, Martin blackmails Simon into helping him date one of their friends. If Simon doesn’t play wingman, Martin will reveal Simon’s sexual identity and his emails with Blue. Filled with humor, love, and suspense, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda follows Simon and his friends’ suddenly complicated junior year.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts: **Warning: there are spoilers for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda below**

 I admit, it took me a while to pick up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because I was a bit scared by all the hype surrounding the book. I wasn’t totally sold by the premise of the novel, and I didn’t want to be the one person not to like this book. However, I’ve been really interested in Becky Albertalli’s latest release The Upside of Unrequited, and while you don’t need to read Simon to read Upside, there’s apparently a Simon reference in the newer release. Despite my fear of not liking Simon, I ended up really enjoying the book and read it within two days!

I loved how Martin’s blackmailing started on the very first page of the book because we jumped right into the plot. We didn’t need the first two chapters or so just to set up Simon’s life, rather we learned about our main character as he faced his dilemma. I figured that it would have been too predictable to have Martin be Blue, and as much as I loved the idea of Cal and Simon together, it just would have been too convenient. I actually predicted Bram as Blue about halfway into the novel, after Simon learned that Blue was Jewish (Abraham is a traditionally Jewish name).

I also enjoyed reading about Simon’s family and friends. I loved how close Simon’s family is, and it makes me sad that Simon was nervous about coming out to them, as they were totally supportive of him no matter what. I loved his friendship with Nick and Leah because they were all just so comfortable with one another, playing videogames with Bieber in Nick’s basement. One of my few ‘disappointments’ about the novel was the lack of Oreos! Whenever people talk about Becky Albertalli or her books, Oreos almost always become a topic of conversation. Yes, Oreos were in the novel (and on the cover), but there just wasn’t an abundance. I wanted Blue/Bram to show up with a bouquet full of Oreos for Simon, but in the end, I wouldn’t expect Nabisco to become the sponsor of the novel.

I’m looking forward to the Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda film adaption (even though I’m sad that it’s not coming out until 2018), and Becky Albertalli’s next release, also slated for 2018, will be told from the perspective of Leah and will be the sequel to Simon. I’m really excited for this book as well because Leah was one of my favorite characters in Simon and I wish we had more interaction with her.

Have you read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Share your thoughts in the comments!