This month, I felt really good about the amount I read. And then I checked Goodreads and realized I didn’t read nearly as much as I thought. The good news is the content of what I read was overall really good. In May, I read two novels, three graphic novels, and one short story. In total, I read six (for lack of a better word) books. But enough summary. Let’s get to my thoughts on everything I read this month, one-by-one:
I started the month off reading Cast Long Shadows by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.
The second story in Ghosts of the Shadow Market, this story follows Jem and Matthew Fairchild. While Jem continues his quest, Matthew has a personal struggle. After a run-in with an old rival, Matthew commits the greatest sin of his life. I loved this story so much. Matthew Fairchild has become a fast favorite. This story really amped up my excitement for The Last Hours (that is, if it’s not a myth). This story is the best addition to this anthology so far. I gave it a full five out of five stars.
Next I read The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente.
This multiple-perspective novel is a brilliant look into the lives (and deaths) of the comic book ladies who were killed in order to further a superdude’s plot. I liked being able to pick out the analogs and considering their stories (as opposed to that of their boyfriends). It’s also a tale of female bonding and support, as all the women come together in Deadtown to share their stories. Part woman-in-the-refrigerator trope and part Vagina Monologues, this book offers a powerful statement on how we treat women in stories. This novel is a triumph. I gave it four stars.
After that, I went on a comic binge, starting with Jean Grey, Vol. 2: Final Fight by Dennis Hopeless with illustrations by Alberto Alburquerque, Victor Ibañez, and David Yardin.
This graphic novel picks up where the last one left off. Jean is searching furiously for a way to defeat the ever-threatening phoenix (AKA Original Jean’s downfall). Unfortunately, I didn’t love it the way I did the first volume, but it’s still an interesting story. I love Jean so much. I gave this one three stars.
Since I love Jean Grey so much, I decided to read Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey by Matthew Rosenberg with illustrations by the aforementioned, Leinil Yu, Carlos Pacheco, Joe Bennett, and Ramon Rosanas next.
I’m starting to realize getting into X-Men at this late stage is a tricky business. There’s so much canon and so many timelines that it can be hard to follow. This graphic novel has X-Men from all different timelines— it’s very confusing. Still, I love Jean a lot and really liked what was done with her character here. I was moved by Jean’s resurrection, but found it so hard to follow. In the end, I also gave this one three stars.
I wrapped up my graphic novel binge with Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy by Brian K. Vaughan with illustrations by Adrian Alphona.
This story follows a group of kids who discover their parents are villains. As such, they decide to— what else— run away. The comic was cute, but I want more answers on what The Pride is. Also, as bad as their parents are, I was kind of surprised by how easily the kids turn on them. I also wasn’t a big fan of the art style. I gave this graphic novel three stars as well.
The last book I read in May was Furyborn by Claire Legrand.
Told in a dual perspective, this novel follows Rielle and Eliana. When Rielle exposes her powers, she must take seven trials in order to prove herself as the long-awaited Sun Queen. A thousand years later, Rielle’s journey is no more than a legend to Eliana. Eliana must team up with a rebel in order to save her mother. However, she soon realizes nothing is what she thought. I have say, I really enjoyed this. Sure, I predicted a couple things, but I still enjoyed the ride. I like how Rielle and Eliana have opposing arcs, different takes on the morally gray protagonist. The world-building is also excellent. I was never confused which time period I was in because the worlds are both so detailed and unique. Rielle and Eliana also both have very distinct voices. The budding or existing romances are just delicious and I love all the platonic and familial relationships too. I do wish some characters were fleshed out more, but hopefully the sequels will rectify that. All-in-all, I’m glad I chose this book as my reentry in YA fantasy. I gave this book four out of five stars.
What did you read this month? Tell me about it in the comments!