Last year, I saw a great bunch of posts about what book bloggers were reading the year before, and it got me curious. What was I reading this time last year—and the year before that, and the year before that? Never one to do things halfway, here’s everything I read during every May of 2010-2020—and which books come out on top!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins [review here–and a comparison of Easter eggs, organised by their relation to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay!]
Oh man, I remember nothing but Ballad from this month, so how could anything but that win?
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
I was initially surprised by how sparse this reading month was–and then I remembered it was deadline month in the first year of my Master’s degree, smack bang in the middle of a huge downhill slope for my mental health, and suddenly it wasn’t so surprising. I usually exclude Shadowhunters from being favourites, along with Harry Potter books, for obvious reasons: they’re some of my all-time favourites, so it’s not fair to put the other books up against them. So I’m glad Ashes, my favourite of the original TMI trilogy, gets its time to shine as default May 2019 favourite!
Here’s a fun fact: the Sirens omnibus was an engagement present, and three years later, if not for COVID, I’d be getting married this May. I think it’s only fair to make the engagement present, a reminder of better Mays past, the May 2018 favourite!
There’s no way a Lara Jean book was going to be in this and not win it. Sorry, not sorry.
Real talk: I am a bad Brit, who almost expects to not like anything fictional (TV, movies, books, whatever) if it was made in the U.K. I don’t know why. Remix was a gift, and I read it out of courtesy, not expecting to actually adore it–and not having anyone, at the time, to recommend it to. This is my time: I recommend it! (And deem it my May 2016 favourite.)
Oh, I was so close to celebrating the Gallagher Girls and giving Ally the win–and then I saw Bad to the Bone. It’s the second book in a series that’s super underrated, and I love it, so I am 100% giving it the win. Vampires! Vampire DJs! Vampire dogs! It’s everything.
I still can’t get over That Death in Mad, so Anna wins by default.
That salty ‘by’ is in reference to the fact that L.J. Smith’s publishers utterly screwed her over with an unethical contract that allowed them to kick her off the series and replace her with a ghostwriter, while still using her name to sell the books. I didn’t know that until I started reading, and wondered what had happened to make this book so piss-poor compared to the rest of the series–the lack of ethics would’ve made me refuse to buy it, if the lack of quality hadn’t already made me determined not to read anything else in the series. Not to take any of the effort of the win from Divergent, though–it’s still one of the best dystopians and debuts I’ve ever read!
As usual, I’m missing 2012 and 2011 (can you tell I hadn’t started tracking my reading on Goodreads, and gave up back-tracking it?), so moving to…
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Is it strange that I’ve read this, and not a page of her wildly popular Shopaholic series? Hmm…
Onto the overall winner!
As usual, to be fair, I’m going to disqualify my all-time favourites of Potter and Shadowhunters, because I have too longstanding an emotional connection with them. (Can any other book stand a chance against the ones that have had a life-changing impact on you? Hardly.) I deliberated for a long time over giving The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and Bad to the Bone this win, but ultimately, there really is no choice at all, is there?
Always and Forever, Lara Jean!
Do you agree? Which of these would be your favourite–or what’s your favourite ever May read?
(June’s best coming soon!)