Snapshot Reviews – May

Hello! Welcome to my 2020 blog series: Snapshot Reviews. In which I give a short review of every book read in the previous month.

What a month may was, full of uni assessments, a birthday haul, new family members and a whole lot of reading! I participated in both Tome Topple round 11, and the Medieval-a-thon. Finishing the month off having read a total of 13 books.

** BEFORE I continue with my regular reading wrap up I’d like to say that it is incredibly important for us to use our platforms and voices right now. To help push the Black Lives Matter movement into the forefront of EVERYONE’s minds and hearts. Below is a non-definitive list of organisations to which you can donate your money and/or time to that support Indigenous Australians, and the black lives movement in the US right now.

Australian Organisations:

ANTaR : A national advocacy organisation dedicated specifically to the rights – and overcoming the disadvantage – of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

IAHA : Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) is a national, not for profit, member based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health organisation and endorsed charitable institution.

Healing Foundation : The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families.

Indigenous Literacy Foundation : “Our purpose is to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous families by not only gifting thousands of new culturally appropriate books – with a focus on early literacy and first language – but also by running programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories.”

American Funds:

Black Visions Collective : Is “a Black-led, Queer and Trans centering organisation whose mission is to organise powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence…through building strategic campaigns, investing in Black leadership, and engaging in cultural and narrative organising.” 

Action Bail Fund : Organized by Black Lives Matter LA, is supported by White People 4 Black Lives. 100% of donations go directly to support bail, fees, and medical costs associated with actions.

The National Bail Out : Is “a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.”

Book 1: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
Finished May 2nd 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

INCREDIBLE! If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this book. It has a strong voice, and the 12 women we follow, even now, more than four weeks later, are at the front of my mind. I can’t help but think a re-read is on the horizon. I love the focus on relationships, which seems to be a theme I’ve enjoyed this month overall.

Book 2: The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein
Finished May 7th 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My dark, true crime-obsessed heart absolutely devoured this book. But it was also so much more than just another true crime book, it follows the life of Sandra Pankhurst. Sandra has experienced so much hate and abuse during her journey and I found her story incredible. She is a such a brave woman and I admire her drive. This book was both insightful and horrific and I found myself questioning humanity and celebrating a long side Sandra as she smashed her goals.

Book 3: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Finished May 11th 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Perfectly atmospheric, this story was a delightful mix of paranormal and contemporary romance. I read this because It’s been on my TBR list for years now and I’m dying to watch the series. It did not disappoint and I can’t wait to pick up the second book!

Tome Topple Prompts: (1) Been on my TBR the longest, (2) A tome audio-book & (5) Read 1 tome.

Book 4: The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
Finished May 11th 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received a copy of The Beast Within from @scholastic_au for review. Spoiler alert, I thought it was wonderful!
The Disney Villain series of books are so appealing to me because they give the villains a voice that they wouldn’t have normally had in the original films. The Beast Within DELIVERED let me tell you. *Full review here*

Book 5: God Hates Astronauts vol. 1 by Ryan Browne
Finished May 16th 2020.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

This wasn’t the highest rated read for me, I didn’t find the plot all that interesting. But the wacky humour used was a wild ride, and I really appreciated the illustration style, however I won’t likely be continuing this series past volume 2 which I already own.

Book 6: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Finished May 19th 2020.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I thought that I hated books about famous people, but Taylor Jenkins Reid once again proved me wrong. After putting this off for almost 2 years I finally read about the mysterious Evelyn Hugo. It. Was. Everything!

Medieval-a-thon Prompt: Read a book with your favourite colour on the spine (green).

Book 7: The Colour Catchers by Johanna Bell and Laura Stitzel
Finished May 21st 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received this book from @scholastic_au in exchange for my review.
This story was gorgeous, Violet’s relationship with her Granna was so heartwarming. The Colour Catchers is a beautiful wholesome read, perfect for your little ones.

Medieval-a-thon Prompt: (technically this doesn’t count because of the ‘The’, however I am counting it). Book that starts with a ‘C’.

Book 8: IT by Stephen King
Finished May 22nd 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Terrifying and nostalgic at the same time, I love Stephen King’s in-depth world building and character exploration. I absolutely hate clowns, thanks to Tim Curry’s rendition of Pennywise, so I thought it was about time I approached both the biggest book on my TBR and the biggest irrational fear I have.

Tome Topple Prompts: (4) Standalone tome & (8) Tome on my TBR with the most pages.

Medieval-a-thon Prompt: Read a heavy book

Book 9: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
Finished May 23rd 2020.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Short, concise and informative, Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie says a lot in this essay. It should be a required reading and I think it’s important that we all read more work like this.

Medieval-a-thon Prompt: Read a book with orange on the cover

Book 10: Good Bones, Simple Murders & The Tent by Margaret Atwood

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hard hitting and witty. Margaret Atwood has a serious talent for story telling. I especially loved the unusual POV and storytelling techniques used throughout Good Bones, Simple Murders. Pick this one up, you won’t regret it. For those of you who don’t know, Good Bones, Simple Murders and The Tent are two individual stories written by Margaret Atwood, this particular version is an audio-book format that is only available as that. The narrator does an excellent job too.

Book 11: Saga Volume 9 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Finished May 26th 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I won’t talk about the plot of this, it is currently the final instalment of the Saga series (noooooooooo!) and it destroyed my heart. I loved the relationship developments in this volume specifically. The illustrations as usual were incredible. PLEASE GIVE US MORE SAGA!!

Book 12: Pistol Daisy by Natalia Leigh
Finished May 27th 2020

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Natalia Leigh has an incredible talent for setting the scene. I always felt completely connected to the action in Pistol Daisy, whether they were walking through the main street in town, chatting around the fire or in the middle of a confrontation. I could smell and feel every detail down to the change in the weather, and I loved how immersive this made the story feel.

Book 13: Gemina by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Finished May 29th 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a second read through, I wanted to re-read because I wanted to revisit these characters (I felt as though I didn’t pay enough attention the first time to actually retain important character developments. This was fantastic, I loved the reading experience. The audio-book is phenomenal and I read along physically. It is a sequel to Illuminae, so I wont go into the plot, but it’s funny and action packed.

For the Tome Topple Round 11 I completed 5 prompts and made it to the Scholar rank.

For the Medieval-a-thon I read 4 books (that counted towards the challenge) so I made it to Noble ranking.


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