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May TBR Challenge: Mid-Month Check In

I can’t believe it’s already the middle of May – the last two weeks have flown past! I’ve still managed to read a few of my May Challenge books, though. If you want a refresher on the TBR, pop back to my original post, but otherwise, read on for some mini-reviews!

The first book I read was A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows, which was my big read for #ConquerAChonker. I’ll be reviewing this in full, so I won’t say too much, but I absolutely loved it – it’s a really wonderful court intrigue story with a queer arranged marriage that was so beautifully written. I’ve been describing it to people as Winter’s Orbit meets The Goblin Emperor but a bit more angsty – so you can see why it ticked all my buttons. Be careful of the content warnings, though – they’re upfront in the book and they’re necessary.

After that I fancied something a bit lighter, so I grabbed Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean. It was a sweet read, but it reminded me that I feel way too old for YA contemporary these days. I loved a lot of the story but I found the romance rather ridiculous in its drama – this is definitely a me problem, rather than the book!

My review of Misrule by Heather Walter went up yesterday, so you can check that out for my thoughts on this second half of the Malice duology – I liked it a lot, though the first book remains my favourite.

Then as part of #SweepUpYourSmols I read Spellstoppers by Cat Gray, which is coming out this summer. This is a fabulous middle grade fantasy that was really inventive and fun, set in a seaside town with a sinister magical castle. I’ll be reviewing it in full a little closer to its release date, but fans of Malamander are going to be keen on this one, I think!

And finally, also as part of #SweepUpYourSmols, I read How to Read a Dress by Lydia Edwards. I thought I might want to dip into and out of this, but I actually ended up reading it cover to cover, as it was just so interesting! I’ll definitely be coming back to check up on specific dress terms in future, but just as a brief history of changing fashions this is such a good book – it’s fascinating to see the dresses change from page to page, and follow the trends as they move waistlines and hemlines gradually or dramatically. It made me want to get really in-depth into some periods, so it seems like a great sparking-off point for a love of fashion history.

That’s five books in total, so not quite halfway through the list – I’d better speed up to tick off the rest this month! I’ll check in again at the end of May. Wish me luck!

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