May 2018 Wrap-Up

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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