Monthly Recaps

FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL & MAY RECAP // i’m back! ft. uni was a lot, many essays, new fave books, mental health updates & ST4

God, I’m awful, but we’re used to this by now, right?

Uni kept me busy hence this recap with far too many months in the title but better late than never. Semester literally started in February so you’ve missed it all, and there’s much to catch up on. I’m excited to be back, and you know the drill, let’s stop rambling and get into it!

Required Reading for The Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee {★★★½☆}: I read this for a blog tour and have already posted a whole review, so I won’t talk too much about it. This is a NA contemporary that deals with racism and microaggressions on modern college campuses, which I’ve never seen talked about in fiction, so I loved that. Overall, I loved the message and thought this was a solid debut, though it wasn’t as hard-hitting for me as I anticipated it. Big thanks to Crown Readers at Random House for the eARC and Turn The Pages Tours for having me on the tour. Complete review here!

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey {★★★★☆}: Who else would have thought I’d be here telling you about how much I enjoyed this book? Not me. Honestly thought I wouldn’t like it at all, but this book really served and colour me surprised. I loved the setting, the romance was cute and I was really rooting for Piper and Brendan. I even liked the smut. So this book truly just hit the spot and I love that for me. Click here for my GR review!

Hook, Line & Sinker by Tessa Bailey {★★★☆☆}: Yeah unfortunately this book then proceeded to not do it for me at all and it’s a shame because I was SO excited. I was loving Hannah and Fox in the previous book but I just,,, eh didn’t feel the chemistry and all the charm that I wanted was missing. I’m upset. Full review here.

Mr Wrong Number by Lynn Painter {★★★½☆}: This one was also not a 100% hit for me, which is sad because I really love this author, but I was expecting more slow-burn like her YA which it was not. Overall, it was enjoyable and I flew through it. I really enjoy her writing and the dialogue is lovely so it’s a fun time. Full review here!

Wes & Liz’s College Road Trip by Lynn Painter {★★★★★}: I didn’t even know this short story existed but OMG I AM OBSESSED WITH IT!!!! So obsessed I manually added to GR because I needed to yell about how cute Wes and Liz are. Go read Better Than The Movies and then this to die of happiness <3<3<3

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett {★★★★★}: meet me on my YA kick and this absolute new favourite of mine that I need  everyone to read!!!! Literally I AM SO OBSESSED THIS BOOK WAS PERFECT. I’m not going to talk about it too much because I want to dedicate a whole post to it, but I’ve had this on my tbr for ages and am mad I never read it sooner. But it was just *chefs kiss x1000* and I want to reread it already. The writing, the characters, the themes, the geekiness, EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING!!!!! GR review here but keep your eyes peeled <3<3<3

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett {★★★★★}: I mean of course I kept going with queen Jenn Bennett and I loved this one too. It’s not as perfect as AA for me but I adored it nonetheless and I don’t get why it’s hated on so much. I did try to read more from this author but I didn’t want to overdo it and tire myself out so we’re on a short break but I shall 100% be making my way through her backlist. This was just a whole lot of fun and such a fresh take on a YA romance, as we literally go on a hike throughout the entire book. Please do yourself a favour and READ IT!!!!! GR review here <3<3<3

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin {★★★★☆}: Very glad to knock this bad boy off the tbr and honestly what a throwback. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling back in time to 2010 lemme tell you. This book was a really fun time and whilst outdated in many ways, I still enjoyed overall. I liked the paranormal aspect, the banter was wonderful and I’m definitely keen to continue with the series. Full review here!

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon {★★★★★}: Picked this one up on a total whim and honestly was kinda unsure because I was very let down by this author’s adult release last year. But boy oh boy was I given a slap across the face because this book really came for me and knocked me out by the knees. Also want to do a whole post on this so keeping it extra brief, but this book was just YA perfection. Booktok was right about this one and I had a smile on my face the entire time. This author really created one of the best academic rivals to lovers books of all time and we love to see it. Highly recommend, full review here <3<3<3

The Layover by Emily Henry {★★★★★}: didn’t know this was available on GR until the other day but I’m obligated to give anything Emily Henry writes 5 stars, so here we are. Need I say more?

You Have A Match by Emma Lord {★★★★★}: very mad at myself for putting this off for so long because I really should never have doubted Ms Emma Lord. Whilst I don’t think she fully tops Tweet Cute for me, I absolutely adored this book and again, shall be giving her her own post. We adore YA friends to lovers at a summer camp and discovering you have a secret sister. Emma Lord has magic in her fingers and I should be shamed for ever doubting her. GO READ IT NOW!!! Big thanks to St Martins Press for the eARC, I apologise for taking aeons. Full review here <3<3<3

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf {★★★★★}: This I read for class and indeed I loved it, as expected. Ugh, I love unhinged women writing about the patriarchy and feminist classics are EVERYTHING. Woolf’s voice is melancholic but ridiculously humorous and I adored it. Couldn’t hit 5 stars any harder than I did. Highly recommend and I’m excited to read more of her work. We also love to see that her words are still relatable in 2022. Yay patriarchy,,,

My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth {★★★★☆}: If you put YA in front of me, I have no other choice but to read it and LIFE IS GOOD AGAIN. So this book was just a little cupcake and I’m in love with YA. Haven’t read this author’s other work yet but I definitely want to because her writing was wonderful. I loved the conversations on women in STEM and sexism within the robotics field, I thought those were expertly handled. The romance was cute and I really liked our main character, Bel. Big thanks to Holiday House Books for the eARC and to Colored Pages for having me on the upcoming IG tour, keep your eyes peeled for that. GR review here xo

It’s been 4 months, my book collecting habits are still the same. I apologise in advance.

Books I’ve bought:

  • Marriage For One by Ella Maise
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
  • The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • The Hand On The Wall by Maureen Johnson
  • The Box in The Woods by Maureen Johnson
  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid (UK & US edition)
  • It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
  • Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter
  • After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Promise by Damon Galgut
  • Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
  • Selected Works of Edgar Allen Poe (Canterbury Classics edition)
  • The Poetry of Emily Dickinson (Canterbury Classics edition)
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar
  • On The Come up by Angie Thomas
  • If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
  • White Tears, Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Colour by Ruby Hamad
  • This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi
  • Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennet
  • Starry Eyes  by Jenn Bennet

Books from the BB Warehouse Sale (I have a reel on IG so check the caption for the full list):

Another to Jonathan Ball Publishers, who have been killing it with PR packages:

  • House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas
  • As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson
  • Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong
  • All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman
  • The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
  • A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
  • Believe Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Family of Liars by E. Lockhart
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
  • The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

Biggest thanks to Penguin Random House SA for the spoils:

  • Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus tie-in edition
  • You and Me On Vacation by Emily Henry
  • Book of Night by Holly Black
  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry

And a thank you to Pan Macmillan SA for these lovelies which I’m very excited about:

  • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  • I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
  • An Arrow To The Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
  • You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
  • Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman tie-in edition

A final thanks to Modjaji Books for gifting me this local YA fiction title, which I’m pumped to get to:

  • The Girl Who Chased Otters by Sally Partridge

Click to go to post

I haven’t really been watching anything that isn’t related to my film class, and my Letterboxd is embarrassingly empty as you’ll see, so this selection is particularly smaller than usual.

I’ve started a few shows with my dad, but as we know I’m terrible with tv and I haven’t gotten back to them yet, so Killing Eve and Anatomy of a Scandal are glaring at me. Please yell at me. I guess I’ve also been watching the new season of Outlander but I’m not that invested and am quite a few episodes behind now. I truly deserve being yelled at, so please do so in the comments.

Aside from those, I went to see the new Dr Strange in the cinema, but I don’t have many opinions, except that I need to watch Wanda Vision asap. I literally JUST watched Penelope a few days ago, which I shockingly really enjoyed and it transcended all the trope-y expectations I had, which we love to see. If you have seen this one, recs with similar vibes would be oh so kind *wink wink*

Oh wow and I almost forgot the most important one but I do believe I’m living a fever dream so I forget Stranger Things 4 is actually out. I am currently unable to give you words because I’m still processing and GIMME VOLUME 2 RIGHT THIS SECOND THAT REVEAL DESTROYED ME!!!!

Yeah,  my semester literally started in February and I’ve JUST wrapped up, so you’ve really missed the whole thing. It’s been a lot and quite the few changes have occurred, however, I’m happy to share that I’m now doing really good and I’ve been in a really great space mentally. I believe I’ve shared that I’ve been in therapy, which is going well. Alongside this, I’ve also been officially diagnosed with anxiety and I’ve been on medication, and it’s all going really well. At the start of the year, I was really struggling, but since then I’ve been making many positive steps and uni is finally getting to a place where I can feel confident. I’m now more on campus and am more or less settled in, in time for my final semester, which feels good. Hoping to start off in a better place where I can feel more organised and balanced for the final stretch, so hopefully, I’ll be able to be more active *fingers crossed*

In the past few months, I’ve also been doing quite a few things. I went to two book signings with Damon Galgut, author of The Promise, and Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of Nervous Conditions, both really cool. I went to see a play adaptation of The Life and Times of Michael K with a friend which was brilliant and such a fun experience. The Bargain Books Warehouse Sale also reopened and it was SO fun getting to see everyone again and make new friends.

I think that’s about it, so if you’re still here, thanks for sticking around. I love this community and I’m glad to be in a space where I can feel a bit more myself again, which has not been the case for a while. I hope you’re all doing good and sending you all the love!!!!!!!


 

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN READING LATELY? DISCOVERED ANY NEW FAVES? WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO? FILL ME IN, I’D LOVE TO KNOW!

16 Comments

  • Emily

    I’m glad you’re in a good place, Ruby! Therapy can be such a lifesaver. I’ve been in a romance mood lately so I’ll have to pick up Tessa Bailey’s books! You’ve Got A Match sounds lovely as well. Also, how cool that you got Nervous Conditions signed! I had to read that book in a post-colonial literature class and I loved it.

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ah thank you for stopping by and for the kind words. Therapy truly has been so amazing for me <3<3

      Tessa Bailey is SO fun so I hop enjoy , plus the adaptation just got announced *wink wink* Ugh PLEASE READ YOU HAVE A MATCH!!! I had such a wonderful time and adore Emma Lord so muchhhhh. Also so cool that you also read it for class too and glad we both loved it. Lots of love xoxo

  • tasya @ the literary huntress

    Ooh yes I’ve been reading a couple books from the 2010s and I have to say I’m loving them too! I really miss the over the top paranormal romance and the idyllic beach contemporary :’) I’ve been trying really hard to avoid Stranger Things spoilers as I want to watch it as volume 2 is released, but it’s really hard out there. That show is literally everywhere!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Tysm for stopping by Tasya!!!! Eeep glad I’m not alone on the nostalgic train, it’s a great time hehe

      Ahaha I totally get you on ST. I want to say watch it but I also wish I had the other 2 episodes so I am useless today lmao. BUT IT WAS EXCELLENT so I hope you love whenever you do watch!!!!

  • Lais @ The Bookish Skies

    so glad to see you back on my feed, ruby!!!! you had the absolute best reading months, i see, and it’s amazing when you’re reading so many books and they’re all 4 or 5 stars.

    alex approximately really was such a fun book. i remember loving the setting of this seaside town and the museum the characters worked at. it certainly was super fun! i am glad you enjoyed it happened one summer, i really need to prioritize this one already. i actually really enjoy tessa bailey’s writing but it certainly is not for everyone!

    also low-key so jealous that you have the TV version of the first volume of heartstopper. i am sososo in love with this cover! they released something similar in brazil but with a different cover and it doesn’t hit the same hahah.

    i haven’t watched wanda vision either but i did watch dr strange and i thought it was fun. i am not a huge fan of characters who have no limits to their powers, but i think it was interestingly edited and definitely felt different from any other marvel movie i’ve ever watched. S4 of stranger things was FANTASTIC and made me so happy ugh volume 2 now pleaseeeee (but also not really bc i feel like one of them is going to die and i am not prepared for that).

    i am glad to hear you’re doing better mentally and i hope winter treats you well, ruby! wishing you a great break & a fantastic june!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Lais!!!! Ugh you always put the biggest smile on my face and I so appreciate you stopping by with this amazing comment xoxo

      I’m seriously on a roll lately and I have only myself to blame for putting off these books for so long honestly. I am just SO obsessed with Jenn Bennett omg and I need to get to her other books. 100% agree on TB, her writing can be a bit much but I didn’t mind it too much

      Omg I’m awful for forgetting to talk about Heartstopper because ofc I watched it, twice actually, and it was of course SO GOOD *cries in happiness* but haha they are stunning on that cover, hope you can get your hands on it. Manifesting for you!!!!

      Same on Dr Strange, it was a fun time, but not my fave. Omg mayhaps we could try and buddy watch Wanda Vision?? I’d be down so hit me up!!!! Ugh ME TOO IM READY AND NOT READY AT THE SAME TIME AND ITS AN ODD FEELING!!!! Honestly I have NO idea who will die, I feel like Nancy? That’s my current prediction, but maybe Will too??? IDKKKKKK

      Ugh love you so much and thank you for always being so kind and I hope you’re okay too? We need to catch up and I need to read your posts (i will soon i promise). All the love and a happy June to you xoxoxoxo

  • Sophie @ Me & Ink

    I am SO happy to hear you having been doing well lately!! 💗 Sending you lots of positive vibes and I hope you have a great June! I really want to check out It Happened One Summer after hearing a lot of good things… I think because the characters have been described as sunshine and grumpy it has made me feel like I need it! haha!! And wow a fair few 5 stars for your reads… that’s amazing!!
    Stranger Things 4 was stunning and I need volume 2 now!! Honestly the wait feels slightly painful 🤣 but I can’t wait. I am hoping for some reunions as well!!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ahhhh hi Sophie, so happy you stopped by. I hope you’ve also been good? We need to catch up and I need to read your posts asap <3<3<3

      It Happened One Summer is a really fun time, don’t expect a masterpiece in my opinion, but I was surprised and it’s a great summer read. Obviously Ruby, but you get what I’m saying haha

      I know, I’m really on a roll here with the 5 stars and it feels SO GOOD!!! Kicking myself for not picking these up sooner *cries*

      I NEED VOLUME 2 NOW TOO BUT ALSO NOT AND I DONT KNOW HOW TO FEEL!!!! I’m nervous but I also need it??? Hahah send help

      All the love xoxoxoxo

      • Sophie @ Me & Ink

        Yeah I’m all good thank you ❤️❤️Yesss that’s be great and aw.. That’s really sweet! 🥺🥰

        Sometimes all you want is a fun summer read 😂

        I imagine it feels good!! I love it for you 😍

        Haha I am a bit scared about what is going to go down in volume 2 but in a good way I guess 😂 *sends help to you in prep* 😅

        ❤️💗

  • Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    Loved reading your recap, Ruby 💕 I’m so glad to hear that you also loved Today Tonight Tomorrow, it was one of my favorite books last year!! Academic rivals to lovers is just the best trope 🥰 It’s great that you are doing so well and are in a good mental space 💕 I’m currently doing my internship and everyone is so nice, I cannot believe I only have 4 weeks left now 😱

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