May Reading Wrap-up

I know, I am sooo late. School demanded all of my time in June so I didn't write any blog post during this month. I wanted to share one big post with my reading wrap-up of both May and June, but this blog post was just getting too long. So that's why I only share my May reads in this post and will share my June reads in another post in a couple of days!


In this blog post you can read my thoughts on the following books:

  1. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  2. The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

  3. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

  4. Windsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway

  5. Windswept by Derek Alan Siddoway

  6. De Metsiers by Hugo Claus

  7. For The Love Of Books by Tatcher Wine and Elizabeth Lane


BOOKS READ


1. AURORA RISING - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ✩✩✩✩.5


Cat turns her glare on Aurora, and the accusations in her eyes are plain as starlight:This is your fault. Without you Tyler would have got his golden squad and I'd be part of it and none of this would be happening.


I have read this book for the first time shortly after it came out in May 2019. I reread it in April/May 2020 to prepare for the release of Aurora Burning, the second book in the Aurora Cycle series. I feel differently about this book and its characters after this reread.


After his heroic act of rescuing Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley from interdimensional space where she has been in a cryo-sleep for two centuries, star pupil Tyler sees his dream to roam in space with a star squad, shattered. He is now stuck with a group of six losers and a girl who will be the trigger of a war that has been threatening for millions of years.


This squad of teenage losers turns out - surprise surprise - to be a squad of talents. They are all trained for a specific task and are required to work together to complete missions successfully. They are stuck with each other 24/7 and that leads to tensions and - of course - romances. More about that later.


Every character has its own distinct personality and acts accordingly. The dialogues between these teenagers feel realistic: you notice that they are carrying great responsibilities, but sometimes are just still teenagers. However, sometimes the dialogue was strange and inappropriate in a life-threatening situation. I understand that sometimes jokes are made to ventilate panic, but sometimes there too much is said if they have such little time.


When I first read this book, I liked how the love interests weren't obvious from the start. My perspective on the possible love couples shifted throughout the story. However, I was disappointed that all ships are heterosexual, except for Fin maybe. He was the only character I really liked, with his sexual confusion, silly jokes, and sarcasm to hide his own physical pains and shortcomings.

Because I wasn't really invested in the characters, I rarely felt real suspense when they were in dangerous situations. When I reread this book, I felt much more connected to the characters, and I don't even know why. I laughed and cried, even though I knew what was going to happen. It is weird what a different impact a book can have on you when you reread it.


I am so ready now to dive into Aurora Burning!



2. THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD - D.E. Night ✩✩✩✩


For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever. - Goodreads


What a wonderful, relaxing read!

Did I get Harry Potter vibes, like so many other readers?

Well, yes.

But do I think it should be compared to Harry Potter?

Hell, no.

It seems as if all the books that take place in an academy for magicians should be compared to Harry Potter. BUT GUESS WHAT. J.K. Rowling doesn't own the magical world. D.E. Night deserve her place in it as well, because The Crowns of Crosswald is a great, adventurous story, set in an amazing, magical world. Although the style felt a bit too young for me (it is also aimed at middle grade readers), I know I would have loved this book as a child.

My young me would have wished to be Ivy and I could go to a magical school, but as an older reader I really appreciated the secondary characters, like the wonderful, sweet girl Rebecca, who turns out to be the amazing friend Ivy never had during her childhood. There is also a lot of mystery surrounding the headmaster, which also intrigued me.


If I got any other bookish vibes, I would say this book made me think of Alice in Wonderland, because of the fun and strange characters this book inhabits. I wish I could see drawings of them!

The little illustrations underneath the chapter titles actually helped me visualizing some magic creatures and objects in this world.


I can't wait to read The Girl with the Whispering Shadow, the second book in The Crowns Of Croswald series.

You can find more information on this series on the author's website: click here.


3. STARSIGHT - Brandon Sanderson ✩✩✩✩✩


Skyward seems more like a prequel to Starsight than that Starsight is a sequel to Skyward. Does that make sense?


Read my review of Skyward here (March Reading Wrap-up).


In Starsight the series seems to really turn to action, with the discovery of the world outside of Detritus. In that respect I think it is a good choice of the author to spend the first book completely on Detritus, so that we know what home is, what normal life is before we are catapulted outside the shell that protects this world.


The world Brandon Sanderson has created is so interesting and entertaining. Although Detritus is a world we don't know, it still feels familiar, and even feels like home when we travel to the world beyond the shell. This time I also felt more connected with Spensa, the main character. Spensa did feel grown up this time, no longer behaving like a fourteen-year-old adolescent as I thought she was in Skyward (although she was already 17 there too).


Since I don't want to spoil too much about Skyward, the only thing I have yet to say is that I'm looking forward to part three in this four-part Stormlight series. Unfortunately, the book is still untitled and I have to be patient until at least 2021 (date not yet specified).



4 & 5. WINDSWORN & WINDSWEPT - Derek Alan Siddoway ✩✩✩✩


I got the audiobooks of this trilogy for free in exchange of an honest review. I am currently listening to the third and last book WINDBREAK. I will review these books when I am done with the last one.


Synopsis of Windsworn:


An unlikely young hero. An incredible destiny.


Eva has never swung a sword. She’s never flown through the open sky on a gryphon or dreamed of being a hero. She’s content with a quiet life — two feet firmly on the ground, working in her foster-father’s forge. But that’s all about to change.


When Eva discovers a young thief hiding in her woodshed with a stolen gryphon egg, the shy, timid girl is forced to leave everything she’s ever known to become Windsworn — elite warriors who ride fierce gryphons into battle. As she struggles to learn the ways of the Windsworn, Eva finds herself caught in a plot to destroy the gryphon riders and plunge the kingdom into war, a plot that somehow involves her deceased parents.


In the face of growing danger, can Eva conquer her fears and unravel the secrets of her past in time to save the Windsworn?


6. DE METSIERS - Hugo Clause (no rating)


Hugo Claus is one of the most well-known authors in Belgian History. De Metsiers was his first prose work after a career in poetry. I am glad I read a work by such a big name in the Belgian history of literature, because now I feel more educated haha. This book was written in 1951, so the language is inevitable outdated, which I often experience as an obstacle to really enjoy a book. In this particular case, however, I found it contributing to the story. I am not going to say much more about this, because I find the work difficult to judge. I enjoyed it, but I will not necessarily recommend the book, unless you are interested in Belgian literature.






7. FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS - Tatcher Wine and Elizabeth Lane ✩✩✩✩✩


This book makes me dream about owning my own house with my own home library, where I can put my books where I want the way I want.This book is a must-have fore very bookworm/book collector!

Synopsis:


Explore the significance of the home library, embellished with alluring photography and illustrations, in a keepsake worthy of any bibliophile's collection.For the Love of Booksshares the vision of Juniper Books, a business that embraces the roles that books fulfill in our lives and their staying power. It recounts the history of books and private libraries, and champions the resilience of books in the digital era. Dive into the nuances that define books for reading, books for decoration, and books for inspiration. Instructive chapters provide useful details for creating and curating one's own home library, whether it be a single shelf or multiple rooms each with their own collection. You will never look at your bookshelves the same way again.


BOOK HAUL


1. Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2) - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

When I preordered Aurora Burning I had read Aurora Rising only once. I was enough of a fan to preorder Aurora Burning. While I was waiting for this copy, I decided to reread Aurora Rising to be fully prepared for the sequel. I felt so much different about Aurora Rising while reading it for the second time. I loved it so much more! You will read my review of this book in my June Reading Wrap-up!


I ordered the paperback, but I received the hardback. I am that girl that gets annoyed when her books in the same series doesn't match, but getting a hardback for paperback price is a silver lining, right?





2. For The Love Of Books - Tatcher Wine & Elizabeth Lane


So the last book I finished in May was For The Love Of Books. I got it the same month, as a present (which I chose myself) from my boyfriend because I proof read his master thesis. This book had been on my list for several months, and I was so excited I finally add it to my personal library!


3. Heroes - Stephen Fry



In highschool I studied Latin and the history and culture of Ancient Romans and Greeks for 6 years, which left me for a life lasting interest in this time period. I really enjoyed Mythos, the book that preceded this one. I got Heroes as an early birthday present from my parents. I can't wait to read it!


4, 5 and 6. Penguin Clothbound Classics: Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion - Jane Austen


These books form part 2 of my early birthday present from my parents! It's the first kind of book edition I have started to collect. It's still a small collection (only 6 books) but it makes me so happy to see these gorgeous book on my nightstand! I hope to collect a lot more of them in the future.














Happy reading time!


Love,


Janne

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