Monthly Wrap Up: May 2020

may wrap up

The past few months have been a whirlwind, haven’t they? I feel like I kicked off the year in a bit of a high, and slowly my blogging has started to dwindle with everything that has been going on. But now I’m back, and I feel like I’m kind of in a routine now that allows me to actually work on my blog (and all of my outlets) again. So here’s what went down in May!

My Life in May

Obviously, the lockdown is still going on. I’m not finding it too difficult, to be honest, but it would be nice to not have so much media negativity, drama, and also fewer unknowns. I’m doing fine with staying at home, but I don’t like not knowing what’s coming up and how the world is going to change further.

The company I work for is hoping to have some people back in the office in July, but they have no idea how they’re going to tackle the social distancing problem. It’s just not going to work. But the way they’re talking about it makes it sound like they’re going to just go ahead and get everyone back in regardless. And that’s stressing me out. It would make more sense to me for them to work on helping people to work from home more productively and to a better quality, instead of rushing everyone back into the office.

I haven’t been doing so much running or exercise these past few months, but I did get back into running a couple of weeks ago. I’m hoping to keep it up but often by the end of the day I just don’t want to leave the house.

I have been more consistent on Booktube, though. I’m currently uploading three videos a week, and I’m loving it. I’m still nowhere near monetisation, and the algorithm continues to aggravate me, but I’m loving using Booktube as a creative outlet.

Quill and I have been having weekly date nights since lockdown started. We’ve had a cinema trip, a spa evening, a fancy meal, and a gaming night, all from the comfort of our own home. We’ve got a few more things planned to keep us occupied over the coming weeks too.

How are you coping with lockdown?

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Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma LordTweet Cute by Emma Lord
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 21st January 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Borrowed
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
 

Tweet Cute was just as adorable as I thought it would be. It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I was loving how much hype it was getting as a debut, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it once it was released. It met my expectations perfectly, and I’m so glad that I nabbed it as soon as it came out.

I went into this ready for a sweet YA romance, and that’s exactly what I got. I really have to be in the right frame of mind for romance in YA because sometimes it gets a bit silly and the author doesn’t manage to pull it off, but the hate-to-love romance in this and the secret Twitter war was well crafted and I ended up really liking the main pairing.

I can’t not mention the food descriptions because OH MY GOD it was beautiful. Not only do the characters go on and on about grilled cheese, Pepper is a baker and makes the most beautiful sounding concoctions. Please bear in mind that I read this during No Sugar January, so I was pretty much DYING while I was reading this because I wanted ALL OF THE FOOD. I’m thinking about doing a vlog in which I talk about the book and also bake a few of the things mentioned because that’s how much I loved the food in this.

Like I said, Tweet Cute met all of my expectations and I’d highly recommend it to you if you’re looking for a fluffy romance based around a viral Twitter war. I think people on Book Twitter will find it quite relatable. Overall, a solid debut!

Book Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Book Review: The Wives by Tarryn FisherThe Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 30th December 2019
Publisher: HQ Digital
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.

Okay, so, The Wives. This is going to be a very short book review because I really don’t have much to say about it. I finished it so long ago, and it’s not the most intricate book so there’s not a lot to unpack, really.

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Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne CollinsThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #0
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 19th May 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined - every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

I wasn’t originally going to pick up The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as I didn’t really have any interest in President Snow’s backstory, and I thought that without Katniss Everdeen, the Hunger Games wouldn’t be all that interesting. I was correct.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes felt, to me, entirely pointless. I struggled from the beginning to connect with Snow’s younger self. It seems strange to me that Collins chose to write the story from Snow’s point of view, as presumably everyone reading this book will know what he is to become. I read books to connect with the characters, but I couldn’t do that with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes because I simply could not see the two Snows as two different people. I knew who he was.

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Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy FoleyThe Guest List by Lucy Foley
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 19th March 2020
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Set on a remote island off the Irish coast, this is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year's Eve party in Foley's previous novel, The Hunting Party . Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead, there are old secrets, and one of them is murdered.

The Guest List was a fast-paced and intriguing thriller, which was exactly what I was expecting from Lucy Foley after I read and enjoyed The Hunting Party early last year. I’m very glad that it lived up to my expectations on that front!

I was kept engaged by the mystery of what happened on the wedding night – I needed to know who had been killed and who the killer was. The fact that the book was written in first person added to the mystery, as the characters were clearly keeping things from the reader and I knew something was amiss.

That said, I think I would have preferred for the book to have been told in third person. I always struggle when thrillers are written in first, and then the author clearly goes out of their way to keep things from the reader and has the characters omit certain information. I find it quite irritating, and sometimes it can come across as lazy writing. It wasn’t a big deal with this book, as I still thought it was written really well, but I would have preferred for it not to have happened.

I loved the way Lucy Foley wrote the different points of view. There were a lot of characters in this book, but they were all very unique and distinct. She did a really good job with those.

I didn’t find any of the characters to be likeable apart from Hannah and Olivia, but to be honest they weren’t really supposed to be!

As for the twist at the end, I thought it was really well done! I liked how we were fed little bits of information that came together towards the end. I was able to put most of it together right before the big twist was revealed, and I love it when stories do that! I love being able to piece together information just as the twist is happening. It reminded me of how I felt with The Silent Patient, as I figured out the twist right at the last minute, almost along with the characters!