May 2023 Wrap Up

My friends and I at the academic assembly.

It’s summer! I actually really enjoyed sophomore year, but I’m definitely ready for summer break. The last month of school went well. Most of my classes had finished by mid-May so the end of the month was pretty easy. I got the amazing opportunity to be a guest on the podcast Bella’s Bookish Banter. Bella is like the most awesome person ever so you should totally check out our episode here. Also I read my first two ARCs as a part of TYWI‘s ARC Review Team. (Only one of the books is discussed in this post because the review for the other one hasn’t came out so I can’t talk about it yet.) Some highlights of the month were going to a college baseball game with my dad, going to a nearby botanical center with my sister, and going to my school’s academic honor assembly.

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Posted This Month:


  • Just Saying – 5 Seconds of Summer Oh my gosh, I swear this song has been stuck in my head like all month, which I guess makes sense now lol.
  • Half A Heart – One Direction I’m listening to music while writing this and this song just came on! It’s such a vibe.
  • Amnesia – 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Don’t Tread on Me – Damn Yankees The next three are from my Dad’s playlist we listen to at the gym.
  • Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh
  • Mony Mony – Billy Idol
  • Fool’s Gold (Recorded at RAK Studios, London) – Niall Horan I love Fool’s Gold! Personally, I like the original more, but Niall still killed it.
  • 18 – One Direction
  • Shout It Out Loud – Kiss And we’re back to my dad’s music lol.
  • Detroit Rock City – Kiss

Books Read

Land of Broken Promises by Jane Kuo


This book was an eArc that I read for a review I co-wrote with The Young Writers Initiative. Land of Broken Promises follows a middle schooler named Anna who is a first generation immigrant from Taiwan. Her family finds out that their visas have expired and she struggles to come to terms with what this means for her and her family. She uses language and poetry as a way to cope. I liked Land of Broken Promises, but I didn’t love it. I wish that the characters and writing could have been deeper. I understand that it’s a middle grade book, but feel like middle grade books should still be enjoyed regardless of age. I did think the theme of the impact the written word can have was really insightful and it was even more powerful since the novel was written in verse. I also appreciated that it touched on many important topics like immigration. I just wished that it felt more emotional and the characters had been more fleshed out. If you want to see TYWI’s full review, click here.


The Thing About Feathers by McCall Hoyle

The Thing with Feathers is about Emilie, a girl with epilepsy who’s transitioning from homeschooling to a public high school. She just wants to be seen as “normal” and doesn’t tell anyone about her seizures. However, as her relationship with the cute boy she was paired up with for an English project, Chatham,  grows, this secret becomes harder to keep. I really liked this book and liked reading about Emilie and Chatham. I thought Emilie she was funny and I liked her personality. I didn’t find myself caring much about the side-plots in this book though. Also I’m actually struggling to remember much of what happened in this book or what I thought about it, which is unusual for me. It wasn’t very memorable at all, which is disappointing since I did enjoy reading the book. I especially loved reading about Emilie’s relationship with her service dog, Hitch. It was super cute.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall


Under Rose-Tainted Skies follows Norah, a girl with agoraphobia and OCD. Her mental illnesses confine her to her home and prevent her from living a normal teenage life. When a new boy named Luke moves in next door, he sees past her medical diagnosis and their relationship deepens. However, Norah worries Luke deserves a “normal girl”, something she can’t provide. I loved this book. The portrayal of mental illness was so raw and realistic and I loved both of the main characters. I would recommend this book to like everyone ever. It covered so many important topics and it was just really good. Like, I couldn’t put it down and even after I finished it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I loved reading about Luke and Norah’s relationship. Luke was so sweet and I love him to death. I thought the conclusion was perfect. Yeah, basically this book was stunning and everyone totally needs to read it.


Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Oliver and Emmy were childhood best friends. That is, until Oliver was kidnapped by his father. Emmy just wants some freedom, but her parents can’t seem to give any to her since Oliver went missing. They’re terrified of losing her too. When Oliver is found and returns to his old hometown, things are complicated. Emmy hopes to pick up right where they left off, but a lot changes in ten years. Oliver struggles to reconnect with his family and old friends. I loved both the main characters and reading about their relationship. It was so sweet! I couldn’t put it down and once I finished it, I could not stop thinking about it. Emmy and Oliver’s banter was so cute and their friend group was really fun to read about. This book was just so good. Like, just all of it was amazing and cute (I’ve said the word cute way too many times in this review lol.) and heartwarming.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston


In Red, White & Royal Blue, first son Alex and Prince Henry hate each other. Alex thinks Henry is boring, stuck-up, and all-around awful. Henry doesn’t think much higher of him either. When they are forced to fake a friendship, lines quickly begin to blur. As the presidential election looms, they must keep whatever their relationship is a secret or risk derailing the campaign. Alex and Henry’s relationship was super cute, so many important topics were touched on. Their letters to each other were everything! However, the first half was very slow paced and, in my opinion, focused too much on their physical relationship. I felt like American politics were portrayed very poorly and it was all really idealized. I really did love both Alex and Henry though. The banter was great. Also I can’t wait for the movie to come out!


If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

Autumn and Finn were childhood best friends. Now, their relationship is more complicated. Autumn’s still in love with him, but she knows he couldn’t feel the same way. And in the end, when he was driving down that slick road at night, she hadn’t been there. There were a good amount of things that I liked about this book but if I’m being honest, I kind of hated the ending. A lot of this book felt skimmed over. It discusses topics like mental illness, divorce, cheating, teen pregnancy, and death but they are all mentioned with brevity instead of the care they deserve. The characters in this book seemed to make the same mistakes over and over again without learning from any of it. I did love reading about Autumn and Finn’s relationship but it wasn’t enough to save this book for me.

Once We Were by Kat Zhang


Once We Were is the second book in The Hybrid Chronicles, which is about an alternate universe in which everyone is born with two souls. The recessive soul is supposed to fade away as they grow up, but some never fade away. Hybrids are sent away to government institutions. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first in the trilogy, What’s Left of Me. I had trouble keeping all the characters straight and it was a bit confusing. I’m still really excited to read the last book though. The relationships in this series are really cute! All in all, this book was pretty forgetful though. I didn’t care that much about what happened. Like, I just didn’t find the plot that interesting. I still really liked the universe and concept though.


Maids by Katie Skelly

Maids is a graphic novel based on a true crime story from the 1930s. Two sisters, Christine and Lea, brutally murdered the family that hired them as live-in maids. This book was more gory than I’d expected, but I can’t really blame the author for that. As I said, it was based on a true story. I think this book did a good job of creating a haunting and unsettling atmosphere. The illustration style helps to set the mood as well. Maids was a really short read, but it felt overly condensed. I wish their had been more build up to the murders. I thought this book would be really interesting, but I was left quite confused. You were hardly given any information about either of the main characters’ backstories. If there was more substance, I think it could have been a lot more interesting and informative.

Looking Ahead to June

I have a lot of exciting things planned this summer. In June, I’m volunteering at my church’s Bible School, getting confirmed, and going on vacation. My family’s going to Colorado and it should be a lot of fun! I’m also just looking forward to relaxing, hanging out with friends, and not having to worry about school.

Let me now how your month went or if you’ve read any of the books I read this month down below! I’m always happy to hear from you. As always, I hope this post finds you well and you’re having a great day!

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