Monthly Wrap-Up: May

Welcome to the end of May 2021! We’re nearly halfway through the year already and I can’t believe how well this month has gone. I’ve gotten back into reading more again and I’ve been working hard here on the blog and my novel. A ton of behind-the-scenes work has gone into my novel, so hopefully, I’ll have some major writing and word count updates on that soon.

            First, let’s talk about the books that I read this month:

· Fable by Adrienne Young

· The Deal of a Lifetime and other stories by Fredrik Backman

· Normal by Graeme Cameron

· Fairest by Marissa Meyer

· The Life Below by Alexandra Monir

· Winter by Marissa Meyer

· The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman–NetGalley ARC

· We Live by Inaki Miranda and Roy Miranda–NetGalley ARC

· Brindille by Frederic Brremaud–NetGalley ARC

· The Mermaid by Christina Henry

· The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

· Piper by Jay Asher, Jessica Freeburg, and illustrated by Jeff Stokely

· Choose Your Own Adventure: Eighth Grade Witch by Andrew E.C. Gaska, Eric L. Thomas, and illustrated by Valerio Chiola–NetGalley ARC

I read quite a few. My previous record for most books read in one month was nine, and this month I was able to read an entire thirteen! My top three books of May (because I can’t seem to settle on one) would be The Deal of a Lifetime and other stories, Winter, and The Electric Kingdom. The least favourites were Normal and Choose Your Own Adventure: Eighth Grade Witch. I’ll briefly touch on Normal, but you’ll have to check out recent and upcoming reviews for my thoughts on my favourites. I will review the other least favourite through Netgalley. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARCs I read and enjoyed this month.

Normal told the story of a serial killer who tries to change his ways while holding a woman captive in his garage. I’m a huge fan of Criminal Minds and true crime, so I thought this book would be interesting. However, the main issue I had was that the serial killer was all over the place. It felt like it did not characterize him solidly enough, either as a killer or as someone wanting redemption. Maybe that was the point, but I didn’t vibe with it very well. I ended up giving it 3/5 stars because the plot itself was quite exciting and it had a good ending.

            Now for writing updates. I have some better news this month and I owe it to Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. I began reading through this book during May and immediately understood that this would make a difference. The first chapter helped me to build my hero and now chapter two is helping me build all the plot points in my novel by using a “beat sheet”. Screenwriting uses beat sheets to structure a plot successfully, and this book has translated that to work for a novel. It’s extremely helpful, as I had a terrifying realization about a week ago: I don’t have an inciting incident. Or a climax. Or anything in the middle. Which is kind of the entire book…

            While I recover from that realization and work on fixing it, I’ll give you a piece of information about my book that I’ve been afraid to tell. I’m so afraid of someone stealing my work, but I think this is worth telling. My working title is:

A Feminist Wizard’s Guide to Gardening

I think it’s outstanding, and it might not be the final title so I’m okay to share it here. Please let me know your thoughts below or over on Instagram (@litandleta). I’m always open to feedback.

            Thank you for tuning into my Wrap-Up for May! I’ll see you tomorrow to talk about June and all the wonderful things I have planned to read and write about.

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