It was a busy bee month for me!
While I took a semi-break from blogging- which means I limited myself to only 1 or 2 posts a week, instead of my usual 3 or 4- I took that time to plan out future blog posts (June, specifically) and read a lot.
#PanelAThon happened, which was the absolute best time. I smashed my TBR, in my opinion. Comic-heavy read-a-thons seem to suit me best, so I know how to sort my TBR for future read-a-thons now!
I also started up a brand new Bookstagram which I’m very proud of, even if my sister is helping me with most of the pictures due to her better camera quality. It’s like a project for us both, really: I provide the books and the good cat content, and she helps me position the shots and take pretty pictures!
Towards the end of the month I went to a gig that my best friend’s boyfriend was doing with his band, which was a great time. I also moved my things out of my Uni house! Next year, I’m living in a flat by myself, which is very expensive but will hopefully be worth it.
In June, I’ll be predominantly reading LGBT+ books, which I talked about more in my Pride Month TBR post! I can’t guarantee I’ll finish everything, though, as my twentieth birthday is on the 18th June and I’ll be spending the last two weeks of the month basically with only friends and family for the entire time, which I’m really looking forward to.
Also, last off: all my posts this month are twenty themed. So it’s all lists of twenty things, catered around my birthday and also my general life. I really hope you’ll check the posts out as they come out, I spent a lot of time making the lists and formatting everything for maximum good content.
READING WRAP UP
- This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers– this was a very human look at the way teenagers would cope in the apocalypse, extremely dark and very upsetting, from the point of view of a suicidal girl. It did let me down in that I wasn’t fully immersed in the story, but it definitely picked up towards the end.
- NENENE by Shizuko Totono– while I really wanted to love this, the massive age gap between the two characters really ruined it for me. It tries to make up for the age gap by saying the characters will wait till the main girl is 20, but that honestly makes me quite sick thinking that the only reason they haven’t done anything is because the rest of society are telling them it’s nasty, not because they have any understanding of the massive imbalance of power in that relationship.
- The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin– I’ll be honest, I read this because of BTS’s Spring Day music video, but I’m glad I did. It’s a very dark look into a utopian-esque society that only thrives based on the suffering of a child. I really love the distant narrative voice in this piece.
- It Only Happens In the Movies by Holly Bourne– this is one of the most disappointing reads of all time for me. I did a long review of this on my Goodreads breaking down issues I had with the characters and the narrative that really ruined the whole experience. I know I don’t drop star ratings anymore, but this was a definite 1 star.
- The Case For Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro– This had probably the weakest beginning in the series, with it not picking up until the 160 or so page mark as it relied a lot on info-dumping about Charlotte’s life and didn’t really have much happen. However, the last 150 made up for the weak start, and I really ended up enjoying this and I cannot wait for the final book!
- The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman– I really didn’t enjoy this and I am sad. I’m pretty sure it’s a ‘me’ thing, for the narrative, but I will say that there’s a lot of telling instead of showing, which really does lessen my enjoyment as we don’t see characters have any major realisations bar a few.
- By Night #7-#10 by John Allison– this series has flown by! There’s only two issues left now, and I’ll be very sad to see it go, but I definitely think it’s coming to its end.
- Labyrinth Coronation #12 by Simon Spurrier– I AM DISTRAUGHT that this series has ended. So so upset. I’m not completely content with this conclusion because a character does something that seems very OOC for them, after their development throughout the series, but I don’t really know how I could have been 100% satisfied with a beloved series coming to a close.
- Why Photographers Commit Suicide by Mary McCray– this is a poetry collection I’ve had for literal years, a lot based on space and Mars. I was disappointed with this one and didn’t really connect with it overall or gleam anything valuable from it, although there were a few decent poems in there.
- Small Spaces by Katherine Arden– I love this! Very atmospheric and creepy middle grade horror about some kids, terrifying scarecrows, and a long history of mysterious deaths and disappearances.
- Nuclear Winter Volume 1 by Caroline Breault– Nuclear Winter is a fun story about a Montreal full of mutants that is in its ninth Winter after a power plant exploded. I love Flavie, the main character, and the art style is perfect for a slice-of-life adventure full of mutants, partying and bagels!
- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell– God, I’m still scared of this book. It’s basically like the terror of the weeping angels, combined with commentary on female hysteria, and is one of the most Gothic settings I’ve ever read. It’s honestly a masterpiece.
- Haikyuu!! Volumes 1- by Haruichi Furudate– This is a GOD TIER sports manga, and probably my favourite, volleyball is just great. I absolutely adore these characters and their dynamics, the competitions, the illustrations– it’s all amazing. I have watched the first season of the anime, which means I was already familiar with most of these volumes, but I honestly do prefer the manga over the anime and highly recommend it.
- The Walking Dead Volume 2 by Robert Kirkman– OK writing although it’s nothing special, but the art style change was very evident and I highly dislike it. Has a terrible case of ‘tiny font’ that really ruins any reading experience for my short sighted ass, so I don’t know if I’ll carry on. I just don’t think I carry about the characters enough.
- The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James– this completely blindsided me. It goes from a sci-fi romance to a sci-fi horror survival story, and I think it’s great. Definitely my favourite Lauren James, she truly is the queen of UKYA sci-fi stories. Apparently her next one is a soft-apocalypse novel, which, YES.
- The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson– really disliked this. I think I’ve grown out of the picture perfect beautiful YA characters. Clark never leaves the house and never exercises but apparently has perfect abs and the most chiselled of jaws. It’s just unrealistic, fellas! It doesn’t appeal to me at all. Also suffers from a case of ‘long-book-itis’ and is at least 200 pages of unneeded scenes too long, and is very predictable.
- Lore Olympus by Rachel Smithe– this is a very pretty adaptation of the abduction of Persephone myth. The art gets better the further you get in, and I really do love the personalities of these Gods and other miscellaneous mythological creatures personified (EXCEPT FOR APOLLO APOLLO SUCKS). Content warning for rape and victim blaming, as well as a character being roofied (unrelated to the rape, though).
- Uzumaki by Junji Ito– very strong first two thirds, but a very dissatisfying conclusion. However it is suitably creepy and has stunning art, and Kirie and Shuichi have a great relationship that I loved seeing develop throughout the story.
- Welcome To Wanderland #1-3 by Jackie Ball– such a lovely series! It’s about fantasy realms and theme parks, magic and rebel princesses, and is very great. Unfortunately #4 won’t be out for a while as the illustrator had to leave for health reasons, but I’m hoping the new illustrator will be able to give this series a good end when it eventually comes out!
- Go For It, Nakamura! by Syundei– a very cute manga about gay sixteen year old Nakamura and his pursuit of Hirose, a boy in his class. While this doesn’t end with a romance, it’s still a soft read seeing these characters become friends, and I can only hope another volume will one day be released.
- Coady and the Creepies by Liz Prince– not one of my favourites, but it was enjoyable to read. This follows triplets on the road with their punk rock band collecting pins from all the biggest punk venues in the country, and also has ghosts. Probably my favourite part was commentary on punk rock being inclusive and how so many dudebros have lost sight that the movement was built going against a a discriminatory regime, not upholding it!
- I Want To Eat Your Pancreas by Yoru Sumino– this manga literally knocked me TF out for absolutely no reason at all other than wanting to purposefully break my heart. The last 100 pages made this one of my favourite manga of all time just for how slyly it managed to make me care about these characters.
- When I Arrived At the Castle by Emily Carroll– an erotic, Gothic graphic novel from a literal master of her craft. I love everything Carroll puts out, although I don’t think this ranks above Through the Woods. It’s very unnerving and has wonderful art, although I’m still just a tad confused by it.
- Nuclear Winter Volume 2 by Caroline Berault– I’m not putting this with volume 1 just because I didn’t like this one as much. It moved way too quickly and I wasn’t as invested in the storyline. However, I do enjoy seeing older-younger sister dynamics, and Flavie and her younger sister Elsie really reminded me of how I am with my younger sister.
- Teen Dog by Jake Lawrence– an incredible, quirky coming-of-age comic with anthropomorphic animals, best friends, chess, prom, and a dope pug called Thug Pug! I really loved this, it’s one of my new favourite all-time reads.
- Honey So Sweet Volume 1 by Amu Megura– this was OK; not my favourite shoujo manga, and I’m not a big fan of this kind of art style, but it was fun to read and I like the softness of the main boy!
- Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito– SO TRUE TO LIVING WITH CATS. Cannot express how much I could relate to this, I giggled so much. Ito and his wife do have a little bit at the back talking about Yon’s passing, however, so prepare yourself for that, I ended up crying.
- Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 9 by Hiromu Arakawa– I don’t want to talk about it. I’m heartbroken this series is over. I loved this ending, but I’m heartbroken. I cried so many tears of joy, especially at the ending it gives Hohenheim.
- Smooth Criminals Volume 1 by Kiwi Smith– another OK read! It wasn’t really stand out in comparison to a lot of the other comics I picked up this month, but it’s a quick read, and it has sapphic spies and hackers, if that’s your jam!
- Turf Wars Volume 2 and 3 by Michael Dante DiMartino– Finally picked these two volumes up after procrastinating for months! It’s a really cheesy and much deserved conclusion to this graphic novel series, and I’m very much looking forward to the next series coming out. I’m keeping my hopes out for Wu to return, I miss him.
- Bungo Stray Dogs Volume 1 by Kafka Asagiri– Very funny detective agency manga where all the characters are inspired by famous literary authors, each possessing powers that aids them investigations. It quickly gets into the main arc and villains. My main issue is that it has that creepy manga trope of having that sibling relationship that’s a bit too close, just for laughs, and it’s something I absolutely despise, so it kind of ruined how much I was loving it for an issue.
- My Hero Academia Volume 16 by Kohei Horikoshi– it’s the start of the Overhaul arc, properly! Some decent character development in here, especially for Tamaki, Kirishima and Fatgum, who are the ultimate team, to be honest.
- The Avant-Guards #1 to #5 by Carly Usdin– Carly Usdin genuinely writes some of the best diverse comic series currently. I love this as a sports comic, although I wish there were more issues to develop the characters and their relationships gradually as it does come across as quite rushed at points!
- No.6 Volume 1 and 2 by Atsuko Asano– I really love the anime, so I figured it was about time to read the manga! It’s really fast moving, with great characters and a wonderful breakdown of the Utopia/Dystopia dynamic, and I really enjoy it. Shion is genuinely one of the best characters in manga in my opinion.
- Faithless #1 by Brian Azzarello– A very dark new series about a woman who experiments in magic and accidentally summons something very dark. It’s strange and unsettling, and I really loved this first issue!
- Slam Volume 1 by Pamela Ribon– This wasn’t that great, to be honest. It’s told in a very third person voice that stopped me from ever connecting with the characters, and although I love the roller derby parts and enjoyed the art, it’s not really a standout comic.
- And finally, I read the Save Me Webtoon! Pardon my French, but this was so fucking good, and it’s really reminding me why I love both friendship-focused stories and time loop narratives. I think the art is great and I love the story, but I would not recommend this if you’re unfamiliar with the BTS cinematic universe and basic theories. Not all theories- I only knew basics so I could form an opinion on timelines, conclusions, etc.- but just the basics on the time loop theory. I talk more about all this later on in this post, though!
And my June TBR Jar pick is…. HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL by Carrie Brownstein!
- I read this article analysing BTS’s Spring Day, one of my favourite music videos of all time, and it really hit me hard. BTS in general have stunning music videos, so I highly recommend them for anyone who wants interesting visuals and/or a brand new narrative to invest themselves in with the BTS ‘cinematic’ universe.
- BTS’s Spring Day music video. Are any of you surprised?
- THIS AMAZING CYPHER PT.3 ANIMATION. There are so many little easter eggs! Fans are amazing.
- Another BTS video: their Go Go dance practice video is amazing. They all dress up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
- Literally my whole month was spent watching BTS videos. Their whole cinematic universe with their music videos? INCREDIBLE. It starts with the uncut version of I Need U (content warnings for most of the videos discussing suicide, abuse and has a lot of violence), and I realised later on once I’d watched them that the Japanese versions of some of the songs are part of the series! You can find playlists and lists online to help you navigate which videos to watch first. I look at Spring Day as being the conclusion to the cinematic universe with Jin finally saving them all by helping them save themselves, as dramatic as it all sounds.
MUSIC I’VE ENJOYED
- I basically spent all month listening to BTS. Particular favourites include Silver Spoon/Baepsae, Answer: Love Myself, Mikrokosmos, Cypher Pt.4, and GoGo!
- Nightmare by Halsey is top notch, I got really into Halsey’s hopeless fountain kingdom again this month literally a day before Nightmare came out, so I recommend her! Obviously Boy With Luv is great too, I decided to get into BTS just because the Boy With Luv MV was so great and now look at me!
OTHER POSTS I’VE DONE