Ooh, I didn’t post much last month, did I?! We’ll have to sort that out in June.
I’ve been wanting to re-read The BFG since the new film was announced, and I finally got around to it. This and Matilda were my favourite Dahl books as a child, but I enjoyed re-reading this a lot more than Matilda, which was a bit of a disappointment when revisiting it as an adult.
The BFG feels more grown-up, despite being about giants eating kids… The humour is dark, like many Dahl books, but unlike the others it makes important comments about looking after nature and the faults of the human race. As a child, I believed the BFG when he said humans are the only animals that kill each other, but, you know… lions and stuff.
I also re-read The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I love Liane Moriarty and re-read her books quite regularly. However, I put off re-reading this one for a long time because I convinced myself I didn’t like it as much as the others, even though I definitely do. I think it’s the vaguely soppy title – I knew the story wasn’t really about romance but I couldn’t help thinking it might not be my sort of thing anymore, despite loving it the first time.
Suffice to say it was still great the second time around. If you like Moriarty and you haven’t read this one then please pick it up. It’s about a hypnotherapist named Ellen who starts a relationship with a man who’s being stalked by his ex-girlfriend. Put like that, it sounds like a thriller, but Moriarty is excellent at seeing all sides of the story and stepping into other people’s shoes, so the novel reads as a fascinating insight into why someone might do such a crazy, obsessive thing.
I’m still loving the A Series of Unfortunate Events books (I finished The Grim Grotto this month), but I do think these last couple of books have not been as memorable as the first few. The story seems to have hit a standstill and I feel like the more the books go on, the more there is added to the mystery and we’re not getting any closer to solving it, but I only have a few books to go so I’m sure I’ll find everything out soon. I still think they’re brilliant books and am excited to find out what happens to Olaf and the Baudelaires in the end.
I really like how the books show the children growing up – a lot of children’s series ignore this or don’t do it very realistically, like how the Famous Five stayed the same age as summer after summer went by…
I also read The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey. This was a disappointing sequel to The Girl With All the Gifts that only really got going about 60% of the way through. I don’t think I’ll ever bother reading it again: click here if you’d like to read my review. It’s a little short because, honestly, I didn’t have much to say! The Boy on the Bridge was pretty boring and if you loved The Girl With All the Gifts, I would advise you not to get your hopes up.
Then there was I Call Myself a Feminist. Considering how much I enjoyed this one, it’s surprising how long it took me to read it! I first started around March then randomly put it down and didn’t pick it back up again, even though I was really enjoying it and was very close to the end. I finally picked it back up in May and devoured the last few essays.
The Red Queen, a historical novel about Henry VII’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, was one of the few Philippa Gregory books I hadn’t already read. It took me a long time to start this one because I had little interest in Margaret but she turned out to be a fascinating woman. Gregory writes her as a passionate person and religious devotee who will stop at nothing to get what she sees as her son’s birthright (even though the Lancastrians had a much weaker claim to the throne, but whatever…).
Saying that, I don’t think I’ll ever re-read this one. I find that Gregory’s books are always either brilliant or average, but very rarely bad. This one was average, but Philippa Gregory is still a babe.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I keep meaning to write a review of this, but I’ll still say a few words here just in case I don’t get around to it.
This is an amazing debut novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, born out of the author’s frustration with a society that still thinks white equals good. I went into it somewhat cautiously, suspicious of the hype, but I can tell you the hype is justified. It’s been a long time since I read a YA book with such passion and feeling and which was simply very well-written. The dialogue is more realistic than probably any YA I’ve read before – this is the first time I thought, ‘Yes. This is how teenagers talk.’
But I’ll say no more about it because I really do want to write that review.
All in all, I had a pleasant reading month in May. I’m always happy when I get to re-read and rediscover stories I loved before, and I managed to finish a few new books as well. I’m waiting for a couple of books to arrive from Amazon now so hopefully June should be a good month as well.
Happy reading! Thanks for stopping by!