Wrap Ups, TBR and Yearly Extras

What Happened in May? || stranger things!!! & a whole load of bookish disappointments (AND COLD COCOA <3)

Welcome, welcome- my beloved nemesis’, despised friends’ and unknown strangers’ from the far off corners of the internet. Welcome to my blog!

how is june almost upon us?? wHAT HAPPENED TO APRIL AND MARCH AND FEBRUARY??

i vaguely remember a ‘may’ shaped month passing by but i can’t be sure?? WASN’T IT JANUARY YESTERDAY?? #cueexistentialcrisis
i seriously want to rewind and go back to february 😪 i did not utilize that month properly.
let’s all collectively agree to destroy the concept of time because it’s clearly doing us no good, lol.

five very important things happened to me in may
(1) i went and travelled to a very secret place [spoiler alert: it had snow] and *surprise* *surprise* it was an absolute blast!!
(2) i kicked procrastination and!! responded to comments!! pls let’s ignore the fact that i’m a month late
(3) sTRANGER THINGS SEASON FOUR VOLUME 1
(4) i discovered the pure joy of cold cocoa. i take back everything about hot chocolate being the world’s greatest invention and am giving that spot to cold cocoa. it literally restores your life back to you kdsjfghs
(5) i’m just,,,,casually obsessing over three books and they’ve taken over my absolute EXISTENCE



may was either end of the spectrum though. i travelled with a friend (and parents of course lol) and made new friends too!! and on the other hand, the books i read were painfully boring and cliché. i read seven 2022 releases (!!) and out of them five were underwhelming or disappointing.
i spent like three days watching stranger things and tbh 30mins could’ve been cut out of the last three episodes bUT I LOVE THE CHARACTERS SO MUCH FHSFHSKJK

fyi this is going to be 90% me shrieking about stranger things and 10% about uhm,,, other things in my life?

ooh okay so stranger bloody things//i have so many tHOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS* I MIGHT JUST SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST (but then i wouldn’t be able to write this post ah)
i was both disappointed and delighted by volume one. disappointed because,,, where was the plot?? the action?? everyone was just running around like headless chickens and! all of mike, jonathon’s and el’s character development went down in the drain ugh. also i didn’t care about russia tbh. i don’t want the cold winters i want the monsters!
but then again, my precious darling characters were on screen and i’m wholly in love with them 😊 i swear i could see an entire movie of them eating scones** and bickering and i wouldn’t complain. also, the freaking character development!! steve and dustin WIN here. max could step on me and i’d thank her & the steve/robin dynamic gives me LIFE (also steve being jealous of eddie/dustin bond?? PRICELESS) fsjdfkjfdshf the nancy/robin friendship is my new [platonic] OTP and i want m.o.r.e. robin shipping nancy and steve is the best thing ever since roasted almonds and although i don’t ship them, their dynamic is so entertaining! also also also the ending of episode four was the most stressful thing in my LIFE thank you raina for that, i still hate you 🥰
overall this show was so much fun and i admit to being a teeny tinsy disappointed but i was mainly here for the characters and they 1000% delivered! (i mean, not the original ones 😂 the steve/dustin/max/robin group)

ohmygosh you gUYS SMWM TORE OUT MY HEART (that i never knew existed)//it was the perfect amount of angst, pain and romance, this might just end up being my favourite 2022 debut?? i LOVED the sibling bonds, the tucker x ellis friendship restored life to my corpse and eLLIS AND EASTON THEY KILLED ME AND RESSURECTED ME AND AGAIN KILLED ME

songs i was addicted to//‘the story of us’ ‘babe’ ‘we are never ever getting back together’ ‘everything has changed’ ‘stay stay stay’ ‘champagne problems’ ‘i knew you were trouble’ ‘the very first night’ ‘london boy’ –yep long names lol.

*i’ll probably write a stranger things review when vol 2 releases
**uh do americans eat scones? i know the british do 👀

BLOGS AND POSTS

INCLUDES
-a writing meme/collab by yours truly (& anoushka, the olive lover)
-in which we scream about writing
-and the difficulty of naming characters
-also dragons (it’s a collab between anoushka & i of course there are going to be dragons!) sometime in the future
-loads of contemporary love


INCLUDES
-enough book recs to last you 5657345 years
-lots of thriller love
-all the sapphic love
(there’s a book pitched as stranger things but make it sapphic and i nEED IT)
-also queer unhinged horror
-pRETTY COVERS


INCLUDES
-chinese inspired fantasy !
-anticipated release letting me down (what is new😂)
-pretty writing but non existent character development
-basically me disliking the most popular book since six crimson cranes
-i wish the content was as pretty as the cover :/

i read nineteen books this month out of which three are my absolute LOVES and i would 100% sell my soul to read them for the first time ❤
ooh also i started heartstopper volume 1 and i don’t get the hype about the webtoon (i love the show 100x more) it is incredibly cute though! all titles linked!

Hotel Magnifique//this was amazingly underwhelming and i do not get the comparisons to the night circus. caraval? if i squint, yes. the prologue and epilogue were an easy four stars, i wish the rest if the story had been written with a similar writing style. it was akin to being told that the hotel was enchanting, as opposed experiencing the magic and mystery of it yourself.

Some Mistakes Were Made//oh just stab me with a rusty knife i’m sure that would hurt less than the feels this book gave me o_o this physically hurt and i’m not sure if i’ll ever recover. i’m just left absolutely SPEECHLESS at the fact that this is a debut!! i promise i’ll come back with a more coherent review later but for now 👀

The Wives of Azhar//ooh, i loved the concept and writing but the latter did get *too* poetic at times.

A Trade At the Fox Wedding//no thoughts in particular besides great concept and writing.

Prince of Magic and Lies//sdfhdsjh this was so addictive and engaging, i thoroughly enjoyed it!! this book has Actually Morally Grey Characters with the perfect hints of political intrigue and the ending had me SCREAMING AND BEGGING FOR THE SEQUEL-

Daughter of the Moon Goddess//gorgeous cover, gorgeous writing but painfully bland characters and not gripping at all. someone, please explain the hype to me, for this one??

Cinder//may was definitely the month of the hype letting me down. there was so much scope for worldbuilding and a chance for the author to question ‘what makes someone human’ through a YA dystopian/sci fi and yet guess what we have? a cliche sci fi with insta-love, a reckless heroine who is ✨special✨ and a plot twist that can be seen miles away.

Poisoned Apples//i wish the content was as pretty as the cover :/

Desperate Measures//the desperate measures i take to catch up on the goodreads reading challenge, y’all😂 i don’t even LIKE erotica/adult romance and yet i read this because i uhm, was 4 books behind…

Edgewood//i prefer the author’s debut trilogy over this standalone but this was still fun! i loved the atmosphere and while i don’t adore the romance completely, i LOVE hawthorne ah! also,,, the last 30% was a rollercoaster and though 1/2 of it was predictable, it was a BLAST and i enjoyed every second of it!

Scarlet//the writing gave me middle grade vibes and the world building wasn’t explored and the plot was predictable but i developed a newfound love for cinder. iko remains my favourite though ❤

Book Lovers//this was so cute!! i would’ve liked for the romance to be more slowburn but aside that, the MCs actually ✨gasp✨ had chemistry! i loved the banter and fast pace, this was definitely the compelling romcom that i needed, to drag me out of my slump!!

Queen of the Tiles//this was dreadfully disappointing. i liked the first half of the plot but everything began to disintegrate in the ending 😭 also the ending was so ridiculous.

Six Crimson Cranes
// with gorgeous world building and and lovable characters, six crimson cranes was a lush, magical delight and i enjoyed every minute of the experience! the sibling bonds were top tier and i adored the romance!

sobh (1.37-1.41)//i don’t exaggerate when i say that this is simultaneously the most stressful and wholesome installment-series. pls just give me loves a break 😪

here are some snippets news on the february bookish world includes my favourite posts, book releases and more (not in chronological order)
i thought it would be fun to make a list on the happenings of the blogs and authors i follow
all linked to the posts accordingly.

💫Aria @booknookbits wrote a great (LTB) post on the pros and cons of book-tracking [post] that i 100% agree with!
💫Rachel @abookwormsparadise ranks her 22 books of 2022 [post] and has made my day by ‘our violent ends’ being on the top of the list ❤
💫May @foreveryandeverly shares her 2022 pride tbr [post] and shares some wonderful books that i definitely need to get to!
💫Riddhi @whisperingstories writes a fantastic discussion [post] on reading tastes and gives a lot of food for thought!
💫Queenie @theeruditelabyrinth recommends some amazing south asian fantasy books [post] and gets me even more hyped about reading them!
💫Kaya @afictionalbookworm writers an amazing discussion on new adult books as a genre [post] and raises many valid points!
💫Naemi @abookowlscorner writes a ‘confession post of an evil blogger’ [post] and it’s painfully relatable lol!
💫Elena @wordsanddaggers tries to solve an agatha christie mystery [post] and i love her theories!

these are just a few may 2022 releases that i’m excited to get to, do check out the full list here!
also kfjgssdfhgdsh i read ‘some mistakes were made’ which was my most anticipated may release and *drumroll* iT 100% LIVED UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS AAHHHHH

📖Prince of Magic and Lies//so much moral greyness + queernormative world!! + an ending that’ll leave you screaming i promise + complicated sibling bonds
📖Book of Night//holly black debuts into the adult world!! + shadow magic + thieves + secret societies
📖I Kissed Shara Wheeler//casey mcquinston debuts into ya!! + sapphic rivals to lovers romcom + queer disasters everywhere + puzzles and parties
📖See You Yesterday//plus sized jewish girl stuck in time loop + academic rivals to lovers + slowburn + adopting dogs
📖The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester// nonbinary autistic teen stars in ya contemporary/mystery + solving decades old mystery + threatening notes (classic) + asexual representation
📖Burn Down Rise Up//stranger things but make it sapphic (basically) + urban legends + mysterious disappearances + ya social thriller

i usually add the ‘author news’ after this but i was extremely inactive in march so i’ve no idea as to what’s going on 😂

GENERAL

-survive school reopening lmao
-edit/rewrite a book
-write blog posts in advance and not 5 seconds before it’s supposed to go up

REVIEWS

in may i wrote my reviews of ‘aces wild’, ‘verity’ and ‘daughter of the moon goddess’. this month i’m not keeping anything specific, just these prompts!
-review one book read in june
-review one 2022 release
-review two books read in 2021

TBR

in honour of june being lgbtq+ pride month, i’m going to be mainly reading queer books! all covers linked to goodreads ❤

i’m so excited to read ‘felix ever after’, i’ve heard wonderful things about it! and i’m buddy reading ‘the red palace’ with rachel & ‘red white and royal blue’ with raina (the latter is a reread for me
may mentioned ‘the stonewall reader’ in her june tbr and it sounds amazing so i’m hoping to read it too ahh! also ‘summer bird blue’ will be my first book featuring an aroace MC, i’m so hyped to get to it!!
speaking of hype, guess who’s reading ‘heartstopper’ this month sdjfhsh finally giving in to the pressure lol.

may was a fluffy ball of sunshine and mangoes, june is next and back to school aha. i’m looking forward to all the amazing BR’s in june ❤
there’s SO MUCH hype around heartstopper, i’m terrified to read it 😂

HOW WAS YOUR MAY? (IS YOUR SUMMER IN MAY?) AND HAVE YOU SEEN STRANGER THINGS S4, VOLUME 1? THOUGHTS?? AND HAPPY PRIDE Y’ALL ❤ ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC QUEER BOOKS ON YOUR TBR? DO WE SHARE ANY IN COMMON?? DO TELL!

10 thoughts on “What Happened in May? || stranger things!!! & a whole load of bookish disappointments (AND COLD COCOA <3)

  1. ASHHHHHH!!! I LOVE THIS!!! Some Mistakes Were Made and prince of magic and lies – I NEED THEM NOW, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR GETTING ME SO INSANELY EXCITED! also im so sorry hotel magnifique ended up disappointing 😭😭 also, sam sylvester and burn down rise up???? I NEED. (would you perhaps like to br?? 👀 i promise i won’t abandon you/the book again) also maybe i just realized i need to GO WATCH STRANGER THINGS???? THIS IS NOT FAIR ASH, YOU’RE GETTING ME TOO EXCITED AND I DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO WATCH/READ ALL THE THINGS THIS MONTH 😭😭 i’m currently reading shara wheeler AND MNKSADHBWH ITS SO SO GOOD ALREADY?? I’m only like 10% through but THE CHARACTERS ARE AMAZING. plus the writing is so nice and THE MYSTERY STARTS ON PAGE ONE LITERALLY. like the mc breaking and entering into someone’s house while the rest of town is in church?? IT DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THAT. ahh i am desperate for felix ever after and the red palace and summer bird blue and also the stonewall reader I WISH A MONTH HAD MORE DAYS 😭also ahhh youre reading heartstopper!!! (1000000% agree that the tv show is superior though) PLS WE MUST SCREAM!!! ALSO, SOLITAIRE!!! i cant wait for you to read it, ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITES OF EVER. i obviously LOVE THIS POST AND YOU AND ALSO YOUR WRITING AND I HOPE YOU HAVE THE MOST AMAZING JUNE OF EVER!!

    Like

  2. Ah yess Stranger Things Volume 1!!!!!!!!! I totally agree about Mike and Jonathan’s character development- El, not so much, because I feel like it did develop to some extent- I mean we do kinda see her high school version, which isn’t that great but yeah.
    ALSO YES MAX OH MY GOD! Sadie Sink’s acting is top tier, she’s just so amazing! I mean I love Max’s character arc. I genuinely was so scared that she might die, even though at some level I knew she wouldn’t but yeah. And yess, Nancy and Robin is such an unlikely friendship, but it’s so awesome! Also, I don’t think Nancy should date Steve or Jonathan, because like she and Steve, while they do make a good couple, they just don’t give me the couple-ish vibes, and Nancy and Jonathan- just no.
    And yes the last episode was so good, but also so stressful! And like yeah, the season was kinda disappointing, like it got boring in the middle, but the last episode made up for it, for me personally! Obviously, Vol II will decide my final feelings on it, but well, for now the season’s not tooo good but not bad either.

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post, I am so glad you liked it!

    Amazing wrap-up! Hope you’ve a great June!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ikr!!
      ooh, i definitely see where you’re coming from.
      IT WAS AMAZING!!! she’s like my all time favourite character now! 😭❤️
      djdjdjdhdh yess, the show has very few female friendships but the ones it has are ICONIC!
      yess agreed! idk why they even bothered with adding a romance in the first place.

      glad you loved the show!!

      asdfafjfh i loved the points you raised -im so sorry i think i forgot to comment though?? 🙈

      thanks, you too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ahhh ash love the wrap up as always!! i really appreciate the INSANE amount of efforts you put in because i always discover so many upcoming releases!!
    omg thank you for the mention ❤ i loved buddy reading the red palace with you (i might never have gotten to it otherwise so THANK YOU)
    yep may was summer vacations for me too! hm well my pride tbr is going to go up in a post very soon!!

    Like

  4. AHHHH, ASH, THIS WHOLE POST JUST RADIANTES WHOLESOME VIBES!! 🤗🥰🤗 I mean, a reading month so epic you read NINETEEN books?! A mysterious journey to a place with snow? And, of course, all the Stranger Things gushing!!! 🤩🤩🤩 Because OF COURSE I’ve already watched Season 4, Volume 1 – Stranger Things is one of my favorite shows of all time, after all. I couldn’t NOT watch it! 😇 And I absolutely adored everything about it, except perhaps, the California plotline, which felt a bit like filler content. BUT it had my favorite character (Will), so I was willing to forgive a lot of Jonathan’s annoying lethargic weed smoking and the like 🙄 But the Russia plotline – I LOOOOVEEEED that!!! Mostly because I was very excited about getting to practice my language skills, though 😂 I probably would’ve found it much less exciting if I hadn’t been so riveted by the Russian 🥰 Still, the Hawkins storyline was by far the best! AND I ACTUALLY GUESSED THE VECNA TWIST AND AM SOOO PROUD OF MYSELF! But yeah, I’ll shut up now. I can go on forever about Stranger Things, so I should probably stop while I’m ahead 😅 But if you’re craving more spoilery discussions, you’re welcome to join in on all the craziness currently going on in the comment section of my own May wrap-up – I have a feeling that has partially morphed into a Stranger Things discussion forum, and, honestly, I don’t really mind 🤣

    Also, thank you so much for telling the whole world about how evil I am! 💙 That saves me a lot of trouble MUHAHAHAHA 😈

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  5. ash!!! i love this wrap-up so much, it’s so aesthetic!! also…19 BOOKS?!?!? you are a true superhuman and you have all my respect. i seriously need to read daughter of the moon goddess and six crimson cranes!! thank you for sharing my post💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. HOW IS JUNE UPON US INDEED??? It’s so strange that we’re halfway through 2022 already??? I swear it was winter a few days ago AND NOW IT’S SUMMER??? Time is a mystery to all akksjsjd
    SNOW!!! WOO!! I won’t lie I really hate snow and winter overall hahah, I definitely prefer summer overall BUT I’M GLAD YOU ENJOYED!!! AND OMG HOW DOES ONE DEFEAT PROCRASTINATION??? I’VE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE CONQUERING IT 😭😭😭😭
    COLD COCOA!!! It’s so delicious ahhhh!!
    AND I’VE NEVER WATCHED STRANGER THINGS??? I PROMISE ONE DAY I’LL GET TO IT! AND AHHH I REALLY NEED TO READ SOME MISTAKES WERE MADE!! It has gotten your seal of approval+ sibling bonds??? BRB RUNNING TO GO DEVOUR IT 🏃‍♀️
    THE TAYLOR SONGS AHHHH I LOVE ALL OF THEM!!! You my friend have immaculate taste!( do you have a Spotify btw??? I’d love to see your playlists if you have any!💗💗)
    nineteen books?!?!? I’m always in awe of how you manage to read so many books ahhhh 😂😂😂 BUT UGH HOW COULD DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS DISAPPOINT?? THE COVER OH IT’S TOO PRETTY ARGHH 😭😭
    And ooohh the cinder slander made my poor heart shatter into a million pieces, BUT TRUST ME CRESS IS SO MUCH BETTER!!! I hope you’ll like it if you continue with the series!!
    OH ALSO I STARTED A BIT OF I KISSED SHARA WHEELER, AND IT IS AMAZING??? I’M IN LOVE ALREADY AHHHH!!🤩🤩
    I-I didn’t like solitaire?? It’s my least favourite Alice oseman novel, I really did not like the writing 🙈🙈🙈 BUT HEARTSTOPPER IS THE BEST THING EVER!! IT’S JUST SO CUTE AND ADORABLE AHHHHSHSKDJJ
    hope you have a wonderful wonderful June!!!💖💖💖💖

    Like

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