Monthly Recaps

APRIL & MAY RECAP // book mail, reading and essays oh my!

Welp has it been a while, my friends.

But hi hello I’m currently using this blog as a form of escape so excuse any unusual activity from me.

So as you can see by the title, this is 2 months in 1 as I didn’t get around to a recap last month. Will I do this once a year? Methinks yes.

Anyways, let’s dive right into what I’ve been up to these past two months!

Kulti by Mariana Zapata {★★★★☆}: it’s the way I went into this thinking I didn’t like age-gap romance for me. But omg it was so great. I think I’ve narrowed down that I love romances between two athletes. I think I’ve said it all in my GR review (also it’s been a while and my memory doesn’t function anymore) so head on over there. But the banter was A+++ and I loved the friendship development. Sal and Rey are literally everything and deserve the world. Need to get my hands on MZ physical copies so I can admire them at random intervals of the day.

Kate In Waiting by Becky Albertalli {★★★★½}: oh gosh did I love this one so much. I participated in the blog tour, so big thanks to The Write Reads for having me! I’m actually a bit behind on Becky’s books and I went into this one knowing next to nothing. And it was SUCH a perfect YA contemporary. It deals with platonic friendships and theatre and just !!!! I’ve done a whole blog post review already so head over there for more thoughts. Highly highly highly recommend. Big thanks to Penguin Children’s UK for the eARC via Netgalley <3<3<3

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo {★★★★★}: I have absolutely no self-control/restraint and just skipped Shadow and Bone (which I STILL haven’t read) and reread my fave. Did you expect anything more tbh? Anyways, this book is amazing and from my reread I’ve learnt that I’m not only a Kanej stan but ALSO a Helnik one. That is all.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle {★★★★½}: eeeep LOOK I FINALLY READ IT AND IT WAS DELIGHTFUL. Literally EVERYONE was talking about this book and because I’m obviously a romance connoisseur, I had FOMO. First of all, WHO GAVE MS SARAH HOGLE THE RIGHT TO THIS RAW WRITING TALENT and it’s ONLY HER DEBUT?!?!?! I,,,, literally blown away. Secondly, this book is adorable and you do all need to read it. Currently still bummed out that I don’t have a fiancé to reconnect with and wants to win me back and we get married and live happily ever after. I want to do a review of this one so keep your eyes open for that *insert heart eyes*. Big big thanks to Little Brown UK for granting me an eARC for the paperback release!

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary {★★★☆☆}: oof unfortunately this one did not go as planned and I have… mixed feelings. Took me like a whole week to come up with thoughts and I still don’t exactly know how I feel. If you didn’t know, I read and loved The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary last year. But I didn’t know what to expect from this one. It’s super addictive and I flew through it in like 3 days, so in that regard it’s great. I also love the writing style and the dual-timeline narrative structure is executed really well. However, the romance just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t ship Addie and Dylan at all and found their relationship not only extremely frustrating but also underdeveloped. So oh well. I still enjoyed it, it just wasn’t my fave. Big thanks to Berkeley Publishing for the eARC via Netgalley!

Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins {★★★★☆}: hello I picked this up on a total whim and am so thoroughly surprised and it’s delightful. Love that energy for me. Falling back in love with YA contemporary methinks. Loved the writing and the romance and the world and everything. Go read it if you haven’t yet. Guaranteed fun and smiles!

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson {★★★★½}: Wowee who would’ve thought the day would come that Ruby would read a thriller? Not me. This book was A WILD RIDE OH MY GOLLY GOSH! Like I’m still mind-blown. I’d like to do a whole review so I won’t say all that much. But this book is genius. I loved the multi-media format, the characters, the writing, the mystery. Though I’m now a qualified genius as I did guess the killer. I know, you’re just as shocked as I am. So excited to see what the sequel brings. Big thanks to Penguin Random House South Africa for the review copy <3

As always these days, we have a lot of books to get through so let’s get into it!

From Penguin Random House South Africa:

  • Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

From the lovely Pan Macmillan:

  • How I Accidentally Became a Global Stock Photo & Other Strange and Wonderful Stories by Shubnum Khan
  • Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

The awesome people over at Jonathan Ball sent me:

  • Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
  • Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poems of Decolonisation, edited by Wamuwi Mbao
  • Yolk by Mary HK Choi
  • House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
  • Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Absolutely love Blackbird Books and big thanks for sending me these local titles:

  • All Gomorrahs Are The Same by Thenjiwe Mswane
  • Invisible Strings by Naledi Mashishi

I’m a rep for Book Cozi and recently unboxed their Addie Larue inspired box (click here for my Instagram unboxing) so was sent a copy of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by VE Schwab.

I bought mayhaps loads of books (most are second hand so!!). Pictured are:

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy by Sarah J. Maas
  • Get A Life, Chloe Brown and Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
  • US hardcover of A Sky Beyond The Storm by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  • Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Oh and also classics! I was offered a discount from a lovely secondhand store so bought:

  • The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  • Between The Acts by Virginia Woolf
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

I’m also slowly collecting the Alma Classics editions and managed to find:

  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Click to go to the post

My memory is so all over the place at the moment so do I even remember what I watched & listened to? Not really.

I guess here’s a funny story, or at least my family thinks so. But I was assigned CSI for my film class, and instead of stopping at the few episodes I had to watch, I kept going for like 3 seasons because I have issues. But if you didn’t know, I’m 1000% a scaredy-cat so instead of stopping as I should have, I just kept going and gave myself nightmares. Stupid right. Oh well.

I also finally watched Almost Famous for my film class, which I landed up choosing for an essay. So I know this movie in and out now. It’s so,,, wow a lot. I love that I wrote 2k words but don’t actually have an opinion now.

We’re also ALL talking about SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo which is a masterpiece and I adore it. Definitely need to do some sort of post about it because I love the album. I’ve only listened a few times because I’ve been busy but my faves are deja vu, good 4 u, jealousy, jealousy and hope ur ok.

Also omg I finally watched Normal People and am absolutely destroyed. I haven’t read the book but I kinda want to now. But just wow. At first, I was quite confused as it’s VERY slow. But by the end, I wanted to burst into tears and I think about it at least once a day now. Ugh so good and I’m literally OBSESSED with the soundtrack!! And the score!! *cries*

Hello, future Ruby here that forgot to talk about Shadow and Bone!! I’m a failure, I know. Literally have no idea how I could forget but time is just a concept to me at this point in life. Anyways, I retweeted all of my feelings on Twitter so I guess go over there? It was amazing though. Literally blew me away and I’ll forever be obsessed with that cast. Plus SEASON 2 IS COMING AND I’M IN HEAVEN.  More to come. Hopefully.

I had to check what we last spoke about here but all I had to say was that I started university.

Which yeah, I started university. And I’ve of course been very busy which is why I’ve posted twice over the past two months. I’ve been either reading or working. So balance not quite reached. But I’m okay with that for now. I’ve found this year… different. Haven’t quite made up my mind yet. I’ve been liking my courses so that’s good. More to come soon I guess (if anyone cares)?


 

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO LATELY? WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU READ? WHICH HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVES? HAVE YOU WATCHED ANYTHING GOOD LATELY? ARE YOU ALSO OBSESSED WITH SOUR? I’D LOVE TO KNOW!

25 Comments

  • Kristina

    Happy that you’ve been enjoying yourself at University so far, also quite a nice reading months xx

    We both got the midnight library, I hope we’ll both enjoy it! I’ve heard LOTS of positive :3

  • ahaana @ Windows to Worlds

    RUBY! WELCOME BACK I MISSED YOU ❤️ omg you got so many amazing books this month, and i hope you love all of them! i really need to read a MZ book (especially from lukov with love) because i know how much you love it, and tbh it sounds perfect! i also have an ARC of kate in waiting, that i need to get to soon, so i’m happy you liked it!

    helnik and kanej are everything and i cannot wait for s&b season 2 for all the wesper content too – i love them sm! i read a good girls guide to murder a while back (and loved it! – i also loved dev and his indian-ness hehe) so i’m glad you loved it as much as i did!

    sour is a total masterpiece and i can’t wait to *hopefully* see more of your posts soon 💕

    stay safe!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      AHAANA OMG I MISSED YOU TOO!! Tysm for the kind words xoxo

      First of all, READ A MZ RIGHT NOW BC THEY’RE AMAZING AND YOU WON’T REGRET. Second of all, Kate In Waiting is also brilliant and YOU WON’T REGRET. Scream at me when you get to them *wink wink*

      Omg yes S&B S2 was just announced and IM SO SO SO EXCITED!!!! So intrigued to see who’s cast as Wylan. And Good Girl’s Guide was brilliant and I also loved Dev (but wait I think his name is Ravi?? lmao the way I’ve forgotten bc I need time to cool off after book 1)

      WE ADORE SOUR IN THIS HOUSEHOLD YES MA’AM <3<3<3

      You the bestest and lots of love to you

  • Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    Welcome Back, Ruby!! ❤ I’m happy to hear that you also liked A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder! I read it last year and really liked the mixed media format. I have yet to read the second book though 😄

    It also looks like you hauled a lot of amazing books! I really want to read Get a Life, Chloe Brown as I keep hearing such good things about it 🙂

    I hope you’re having a good June! 🥰

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Oh thank you Caro <3<3 Ahhh Good Girl's Guide was just so good and I'm so excited to see what the next book brings. I'll keep you posted on my thoughts!!

      Omg yes you MUST read The Brown Sisters series! I literally just 10 minutes ago finished Eve Brown and it was wonderful *insert heart eyes*

      Hope you're having a lovely June also xoxo

  • emme @ a literary latte

    A NEW BECKY ABERTALLI BOOK YES PLEASE. How did I not know about this!!
    Brb whilst I add it straight to my tbr.
    And also I need to do a reread of Six of Crows this year. I read the first two books of Shadow & Bone last month and did enjoy the first one, but tbh I kind of found it a bit boring😬 and I won’t be bothering with the last one!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Omg Emme, Kate is so so wonderful and you NEED to read it. Glad I could put it on your radar haha <3<3

      And eeeep yes REREAD SIX OF CROWS ITS THE BEST!! Also, I've been so nervous about the S&B books because I've heard they're not great. The only reason I really want to read them is because I lowkey think I'll be obsessed with Nikolai haha.

      Anyways, tysm for stopping by xoxo

      • emme @ a literary latte

        Was it good in the end?! I did read a few pages of it but ended up DNFing it because I just wasn’t in the mood and it felt a bit young after my last book being an adult? I think I might pick it up at a later date though!
        Haha yeah I definitely had high expectations but it was just okay? I feel bad saying it but it was just a bit average for me.

  • Lais @ The Bookish Skies

    ruby, i’m so happy to hear from you again! i’m glad you’re doing ok!

    the premise of a good girl’s guide to murder is so cool. i really want to listen to the audiobook, but unfortunately, it isn’t available on scribe, so i’ll probably have to just read the ebook instead. i’m glad to hear that the multi-media format worked, even in the physical copy. also: you deserve each other is *chef’s kiss*, i’m so happy you enjoyed this one too!

    likewise, i also loved exclusively to sour for the past couple weeks. jealousy, jealousy is amazing, but my favorite has to be favorite crime. the bridge honestly gives me chills when i listen to it.

    i keep thinking should i watch normal people? it’s such a hyped show and everyone i know has loved it. i don’t know if it will be for me, as i *really* don’t like the miscommunication trope, especially in movies/shows. but i have listened to the soundtrack and i do agree it bops.

    wishing you a great june, ruby!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ahhh Lais hi!!! So so so glad to have you stop by bc I miss you <3<3<3 Need to catch up on your blog posts asap haha.

      Oooh yes I've heard Good Girl's Guide is GREAT on audio so I hope you manage to find it somewhere. Though the physical format worked fine for me. Some of the pages are quite visual so it's nice in physical format.

      ugh yesss You Deserve Each Other is SO SO SO GOOD. It took me literally forever to start because the beginning doesn't hook you very easily but it just gets better and better and then THE ENDING HITS YOU OMG. Loved ittttttt

      SOUR SUPREMACY IN THIS HOUSEHOLD YESSSS!! Omg my favourite crime gave me CHILLS too oof. I just,,, I have to be in the right mood to listen to sad pop songs, if that makes sense?? Haha I'm weird like that.

      Agh Normal People is absolutely beautiful. But also I have absolutely no idea if I want to recommend it to you. But I guess all I can say is from someone who also absolutely despises miscommunication, it works for this story and these characters? Also you'll watch it so quickly it might not bother you? Or watch it for the music, idk it's up to you. If you do watch it, please hmu and rave/rant at me haha

      Lots of love to you friend and wishing you a wonderful June also xoxox

  • Kay @ Hammock of Books

    Kate in waiting sounds literally so adorable!! and yes I also reread six of crows because we don’t need shadow and bone boringness in our life we need more crows <3 <3 also sour is a masterpiece and I'm glad to see some appreciation for hope ur okay because it's literally my favorite song it made me cry and it's getting no love and I'm like??? anyways good luck with university!!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Kay omg hello I’VE MISSED YOU!!!! Need to catch up on your blog posts asap <3<3<3

      Kate in Waiting IS adorable and you need to read it please and thank you *wink wink*

      Ahaha making me laugh about S&B lmao. I've been afraid of the boringness but at the same time I want to read for Nikolai because I HAVE A FEELING!!!

      HOPE UR OK!!!! CRYING 5EVER!!!!

      Thank you thank you Kay. I hope your studies are going well? Lots of love xoxox

  • Marta @ of waves and pages

    I love how I’ll also need to write an April and May wrap up because I totally missed both months (totally blaming uni here lol) XD I’m so happy you enjoyed Kate in Waiting, I’m very tempted to get it, especially because every time I go to a bookstore, it’s just there looking at me!! And Sour was soooo good! I’m still obcessed! I hope University is going well, and hope you’re having a great month so far, Ruby <3

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Hahah Marta, glad I’m not the only one. So many blog posts to catch up on too. But hi!!!

      Omg yes PLEASE read Kate. I wasn’t expecting all that much but it landed up being so sweet and enjoyable *insert heart eyes*

      Sour supremacy ALL THE WAY!!! I’ve had jealousy, jealousy on repeat all day welp

      Tysm for stopping by Marta! Lots of love to you <3<3<3

  • Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice

    loved reading this wrap-up, Ruby!! 🥰 i hope university is going well for you, wishing you the best with all of your classes and work 💕

    i literally jUST finished Kate in Waiting today and really enjoyed it!! as expected for a Becky Albertalli book, it was such a quick and fun read and gave me allll the serotonin 🥺 i loved all of the characters and Noah Kaplan deserves the world ok

    i’m SUPER excited to read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, i’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews for it 🤩 even though i don’t usually read thrillers or mysteries haha, i have a feeling i’ll love this one :’)

    AHHHH YES i’ve been *obsessed* with sour as well, Olivia Rodrigo is such an INCREDIBLE artist omg 🥺 she’s rly out here making me emotional over experiences i’ve never had HAHA🥲 my faves from the album are similar to yours – i love deja vu, hope ur ok, good 4 u, and happier!

    Normal People is on my to-watch list, and i’m glad to hear you ended up becoming loving it :)) i recently finished seasons 1 and 2 of Love Victor and i’m absolutely obsessed hahaha. and now i’m rewatching Never Have I Ever on Netflix!! it’s a lot of fun

    sorry for this veryyy long comment LOL but hope you have a great rest of your June 🥰

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      I’m literally crying right now because this comment is amazing and I adore you!!!! Like maybe too much, you might be scared. You’ve been warned xoxoxo hugs and kisses

      Okay, I’ll stop being weird now. I have actually just finished the semester a week ago and oof the relief. Just waiting on my grades *nervous sweats* Thank you for the kind words!!

      OMG YES NOAH KAPLAN SUPREMACY!!! I adored him so much but we didn’t get enough of him. Honestly the book could’ve been longer so we could see more of their romance. Glad I’ve found someone to SCREAM ABOUT HIM WITH *insert heart eyes*

      I am not a fan of mysteries & thrillers either so like!! What’s funny is that I was OBSESSED with The Famous Five but now I am hardly ever drawn to the genre. Anyways, as someone who is not a fan, I so recommend it and am so excited to continue with the series.

      Ahahah again glad I’m not alone in NOT having experienced as much drama as Ms Rodrigo but still adoring the album to pieces lmao we love that energy <3<3<3

      Oooh I hope you do start Normal People! Though do be aware of the trigger warnings (depression & anxiety as well as domestic abuse) but also there is full frontal nudity (she's very sexy haha). I started Love Victor but wasn't really into it. And welp NHIE sounds fun but I also don't think it'll be my thing. BUT glad you love it!!!!!!

      Love youuuu and please always leave long comments xoxoxoxo wishing you a wonderful... July now (oops)

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