May Book Haul

May has come and gone, meaning not only has Samsara Parchment been alive for one month now (happy birthday, blog!), but it’s also time to do a May Book Haul! So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I picked up over the month of May.

1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water was actually the first book I purchased in the month of May, on its release date of May 2nd. This psychological suspense/mystery novel, by the author of the bestseller The Girl on the Train, is about the aftermath of the drowning of Danielle “Nel” Abbott, whose body was found in the river near her home in a place where apparently several other women’s bodies have been found over the years, including a teenager who happened to be Nel’s daughter’s best friend who killed herself there just months prior. The novel follows many, many different points of view as we explore the ripples these events have caused in the community and delve further into the mystery. I did a full, in depth review on Into the Water, which you can read here ((link)), but I will tell you, it definitely wasn’t my favorite book.

2. Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

CHUCK. MY HEART. One of the writerly loves of my life, if I see anything by Chuck Palahniuk on the bookstore shelves that I don’t already own, I almost always buy it. While I haven’t yet read everything he’s ever written, I’m working on it. Palahniuk (the author of Fight Club, if you’re wondering why the name rings a bell) is admittedly what some might call an “acquired taste”, but DAMN is he talented. The sheer quality of his writing blows me away, and I’m consistently shaking my head in amazement at his deadpan humor and wry observations about the world. Survivor is the story of Tender Branson, who is alone on airplane that’s about to crash and recounting his entire life story as a the last surviving member of a cult called the Creedish Death Cult and what happened after his time in the cult. I haven’t read this one yet, but just from peeking at some of the pages, I can already tell it’s going to be fantastic—just like everything Palahniuk writes.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One is one of those books that I look at and think to myself, why the hell haven’t I read this yet? So I grabbed the paperback version at Barnes & Noble during a 20% off “summer reading” sale during the month of May. In case you’ve never heard of it, Ready Player One is about teenager Wade Watts, who spends his time in a Utopian virtual reality called OASIS. Watts sets about trying to solve the puzzles the creator has built into the VR world, but apparently he isn’t the only one, and since solving the puzzles holds the promise of great fortune and great power, the other players trying to solve the puzzle will stop at nothing to win.

Ready Player One gives me massive Ender’s Game vibes, which I also love, so I’m pretty excited for this one. Plus, it’s a classic, and once again I ask, why the hell haven’t I read this yet?

4. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This particular YA novel has been lingering on my Amazon Wishlist and Goodreads TBR since it was released back in February, and I finally purchased it in May. This one sounds like it’s definitely going to be an emotional read, so I’ll have to steel myself for it before I dive in. We Are Okay focuses on the main character of Marin, who has been essentially outrunning her “old life” by being on the other side of the country from her home in California while she attends college in New York. She hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since she left for school, but that’s all about to change her old best friend Mabel comes to visit her over winter break, and she finally begins to face all the things that happened the spring and summer before she left, talk about her past, and confront her relationship with Mabel. I don’t know exactly what we’re going to find out, but it sounds like Marin’s past has a lot of emotional mysteries to unravel, and I really think this is going to be a great read.

5. The House by Christina Lauren

I had a five dollar gift card for Amazon and ended up purchasing this one for a little over four dollars, so needless to say, I was pretty darn happy with myself on that particular purchase. The House is another YA read by the author duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, and this one sounds like a romance with a bit of a fantasy/horror vibe. In The House, Delilah gets together with her crush, Gavin, but the house Gavin lives in seems to have a life of its own, and it seems to be trying to keep Delilah away. Trippy, right?

6. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

The long-awaited second book in Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series, Lord of Shadows continues following a new generation (sorta) of Shadowhunters headlined by Emma Carstairs, Julian Blackthorn, and the rest of the sprawling Blackthorn gang. In this installment, Emma struggles with her continuing forbidden attraction to her parabatai, Julian, the Blackthorns continue to adapt to the return of their long lost brother, Mark, fresh back from the Wild Hunt, and the entire crew faces off against some supernatural foes—some new, some old, some we thought were gone already. This May release was so important to me that I actually left my house on May 23rd, the day it was released, to trek out to Barnes & Noble and buy it, and coming from a hermit like me, that’s actually quite a feat, so clearly Cassie Clare has some magical powers of her own of some sort if she’s able to influence me to do that. And by the way, a full review on this installment in the series will be coming very soon, so stay tuned!

7. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I thought Lord of Shadows was going to be the release I was most excited for in May, but now I think it might actually be this YA novel, which was released on the last day of May, just barely squeaking by in terms of being a May release. Eliza and her Monsters is about the titular character, Eliza, and her titular monsters. Okay, that’s over simplifying things a bit. Eliza, a shy, friendless introvert, lives most of her life online, where she is the anonymous creator of a webcomic called Monstrous Seas. Like many of us who live behind a screen (hi), socializing in person is hard for Eliza. But then she meets the new boy at school, and life out from behind the screen starts to seem a lot more appealing to her. Everything I’ve read about this book so far has said that fans of Fangirl will love it, and I am a huge fan of Fangirl, and could I say fan one more time in this synopsis? Fan.

Anyway, I’m beyond stoked for this one. I see a kindred soul in Eliza already.

That does it for my May book haul, y’all! Quality over quantity, right? What about you? What books did you pick up in the month of May? Which ones are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments! You know I’d love to talk. <3

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