May’s Moments of the Month: May // I Escaped Hell (School) and Read a Lot of Good Asian Books!!

May, the month of me, is officially over!!! 

And with it, so is hell!!!!! (School.)

I am very excited for summer vacation, and I’m sorry to those who are not yet on it (but I have to return to school earlier than a lot of people so it’s fair). Already I feel so much lighter and more free, and I’ve been able to do so many things that I couldn’t do while I was suffering!!

Unfortunately, I really didn’t read or write or blog as much as I hoped or expected to, but now I have all this time to catch up. (And also, IT’S PRIDE MONTH!!!)

mmm reading

Comparing to other months, I’d say I did pretty good, reading 8 books (one of which was a webcomic). However, when I look at my 10-turned-11-turned-12-book TBR for May… I did Not do so good.

However I didn’t actually expect to get through all 10/11/12 books (the numbers changed as I received some Asian ARCs during the month), so I still think I did okayish?? Especially with exams and the business of school ending and all!

Every book I read was for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!!! Except for a webcomic that I didn’t realize did not fit into the whole Asian thing until after I finished it. But it was so good and cute and gay and definitely worth it.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea  Castle Swimmer  The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)  The Candle and the Flame

Dragon Pearl  Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon  Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)  We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)

  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea Tahereh Mafi // very romance-focused and for once I actually liked it and almost teared up over it…. ew ★★★★☆
  • Castle Swimmer Wendy Lian Martin // literally adorable!!! Kappa has my heart and he’s so pretty. I look forward to updates so much!! ★★★★☆
  • The Gilded Wolves Roshani Chokshi // probably would have struggled to read this without the audiobook I listened to!! loved the heist, found family, and characters ★★★★☆
  • The Candle and the Flame Nafiza Azad // hard to get into at first but really enjoyable and loved the MC!! ★★★★☆ [3.5] [review here!]
  • Dragon Pearl Yoon Ha Lee // so fun and easy to read, loved the inclusion of enbies, and a really beautiful story! I LOVED the sibling relationship in this ★★★★☆
  • Stronger than a Bronze Dragon Mary Fan // super enjoyable and I ADORED the main characters + their dynamic! also the magic + steampunk was so cool ★★★★☆
  • Spin the Dawn Elizabeth Lim // AAAHH I don’t even know what to say about this one?? so so beautiful and enchanting and addictive, and heartbreaking ending ★★★★☆ [4.5]
  • We Hunt the Flame Hafsah Faizal // struggled with this a LOT at first but… I really loved it? love-hate relationship with the romance but I love the zumra (gang) ★★★★☆

book haul?

I received so many amazing books this month, a lot more than I usually get (especially compared to the last few months). Thank you so much to the various people who got these for me (besides WSTDOF and RW&RB, which I purchased), including publishers, authors, and just kind people!!

favorite book?

Oh god, Spin the Dawn was absolutely magical and wonderful and so, so good. It was so immersive; I picked it up at like 10:30 at night and couldn’t put it down and stayed up to read as much as I could! I can’t wait to talk more about this beautiful book.

mmm blogging


  • Yeah, so I wasn’t on my blogging game until the end of May when I finally got out of school and could actually do things. But like!!! it’s still progress!!!!!
  • Commenting on posts and replying to comments genuinely makes me so happy, and I think what I have to work on is just getting over the barrier of commenting on One post or replying to One comment, and then the motivation to do more will come.

top post?


favorite post?

I mean, since my Asian book recs was my top post, I’ll say my Pride TBR!! I am so excited to read all of these books, and I really do love celebrating the month by reading queer books (though I have to say a part of me withers when I have to follow a TBR instead of just mood reading)!

mmm writing

  • Okay so I actually have a lot of updates for this one! (Not really, just more updates than “I wrote nothing yet again”.)
  • First, there’s a writing contest that I like to enter in the summer, and I’m writing 9k-14k to submit for that! I didn’t think it would be hosted this year, but it was just announced late and I’m really glad to have a chance to get that $$$
  • Second, I actually got super motivated to work on my WIP at the end of the month and was excited to return to working with my characters. But because the universe hates me, I had absolutely no inspiration/ideas for my plot. So instead of re-plotting what I had for NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to just come up with a brand new plot using elements from the NaNo WIP and the same characters… aka wish me all the luck because I’m gonna NEED IT.
what I wrote when I started completely re-plotting :)))
  • And third, I was able to read the first three chapters or so of my friend Elise’s WIP, and if you follow her anywhere, you’ll know she’s an absolutely amazing writer and I can confirm those talents extend to writing fiction as well!! While I was already pumped to work on my WIP, seeing how good her work was AND how excited she was to discuss/share it with me made me even more excited to work on my own. So like, thank you and I love you!!!!

mmm life

  • Biggest and most important one: I GOT OUT OF SCHOOL!!!!
  • I did it. I survived. This year was absolutely horrible, including two months where I didn’t go a day without having at least one breakdown, but I MADE IT and now I have almost three months to myself before I have to go back to that hell.
  • Second most important life moment: I saw Hamilton live!!
  • It was absolutely AMAZING and I could gush about so much of it, but all I’ll say is: the actors (including the stunning ensemble) were amazing, their singing/rapping was so good, the music and lighting and choreography and staging were phenomenal, and it was just all SO GOOD and I already want to see it again. Magical.


  • I also had two recitals during the month: dance (5 SHOWS) and piano! Dance was very tiring but lowkey fun and bittersweet, and I was filled with nerves for piano and messed up a lot but literally felt no embarrassment afterwards???
  • I binged all the Marvel movies on Netflix (except for Black Panther because my sister refuses to watch it) and then watched Endgame. And I have to say, I’m definitely not as invested of a fan as a lot of other people are, but I’ve gotten more and more into it!! Except all the movies I’ve watched have been like recent ones and none of the Iron Man or Captain America ones (don’t kill me).
  • I also started watching The Umbrella Academy and it’s pretty enjoyable! When it first released, I remember seeing discussions about the incest in it, but I completely forgot about it until I saw the two characters interacting and it was so gross (and it was just the Tension of it all).
  • And… I hate that I’m saying this… but I started watching (more) tiktoks and I absolutely despise myself but they’re also SO FUNNY (but only certain ones). They’re just very entertaining to me okay!!!

mmm old goals

(so I didn’t have any official goals because I wrote a weird hiatus recap post but I know what I wanted to accomplish and didn’t this month!!)

  • read 9 books ㄨ (I was SO CLOSE)
  • read ONLY Asian books ✓ㄨ (I know technically I didn’t do this BUT I actually completely entirely truly forgot and it was a webcomic so…??)
  • write at least 5 blog posts ㄨ (this was such an easy goal and I didn’t even do it lmao)
  • stay up to date with latest blog posts ㄨ
  • spend 45 min a week working on my WIP ㄨ (yikes)
  • do well on exams ✓ (made 100s on all but one baby!!!!)

mmm new goals

  • read 13 books (it sounds like a lot but first, it’s summer, second, I need to catch up on my GR challenge, and third, I’m planning on a lot of webcomics!!)
  • read ONLY queer books (not even gonna be a challenge)
  • publish at least 6 blog posts (see: me, desperately trying to blog more)
  • stay up to date with latest blog posts
  • PLOT MY DUMB WIP (I just want it to be DONE ALREADY)
  • start writing said dumb WIP (if I don’t start writing it this month, I won’t have enough time to finish writing + make edits in time for the contest deadline!)
  • do not fall into depression slump (I’m so scared of this because I already had one day where this happened and it was so horrible!!)

mmm looking ahead

Doing whatever I want. Honestly there really isn’t anything specifically exciting about this month (except that it’s PRIDE MONTH!! but also I’m not out and therefore not doing anything for it lmao), besides the fact that I finally have TIME. I’m really hoping to use it well and read, write, blog, but also be active (as in exercise and stretch) and hang out with my friends!!

shall we chat

how was may for you? what great books did you read?? any exciting news? tell me about your WIPs, I love hearing about people’s projects! and if you’re in school, when does your vacation start??

blog signoff

38 thoughts on “May’s Moments of the Month: May // I Escaped Hell (School) and Read a Lot of Good Asian Books!!


    okay first of all, two recitals one with five shows?? you absolute legend. and REPLOTTING UR WIP A QUEEN

    also the mood for the week is basically only having seen the marvel movies on Netflix and so even though I have no leg to stand on because I’ve seen like five marvel movies: PLEASE watch the first two captain America movies

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE YOU !!!

      okay to be fair I had about like 4 dances in each show so it wasn’t that bad but still exhausting!! and fshdlfhsdl I KNOW I KNOW I really want to watch those first 2 Cap movies and I promise I’ll get on it by the end of the year

      Liked by 1 person

  2. okay but for real dumb wip is such a good temp name wow!!! u actually like enjoyed the books u read and im v happy for u. all i did was re-read ari and dante – love that for me!! but fr, im more excited for spin the dawn and we hunt the flame!! damn ur book haul looks so good im jealoussss. also yes get your coin and win that writing competition!!! im rooting for u sm. and yay. ur on vacation. i still have two more months of HELL.ilysm!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. what are you talking about, dumb WIP is the PERMANENT name. and rereading Ari and Dante is so valid, like I know I just reread it like two months ago but I could do it again and again for the rest of the year!!! and my haul made me so happy hsfdhhs. and aahh I love you so much!!! thank you (and I believe in you!! two more months!!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed The Candle and the Flame, but agree, it was hard to get into in the beginning but I took it slow and used the glossary a lot. I found it very cultural and a fun read. I also just started Spin the Dawn and I am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Congrats on finally being out of school! I hope you enjoy your summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you ended up enjoying it, Mandy! I was too lazy to flip back to the glossary haha, but it was mostly just the dense writing, not the foreign terminology! It was definitely really fun <3 And yes Spin the Dawn is so good! Super addicting and enchanting 😍 I hope you have a great June!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am SO glad school is over even though I am repeating my grade because I failed every. single. class. Mainly, because I was in and out (and in and out) of the hospital for the past six months. Good Luck on your WIP! I’m sure it will be absolutely amazing! I hope your depression doesn’t bother you this month!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ah loved reading the wrap up! I am so jealous of you seeing Hamilton!!! And I am glad school is over so you’ll be happier and more relaxed (school is… a lot). And good luck with your WIP, I am sure it will be amazing! Hope you have a great June! also, i saw Elise commenting about Captain America movies and I second watching those. And it’s not even because I support everything Elise ever does 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aahh thank you Marija!! I hope you get to see Hamilton some day if it goes to your country/you can travel to see it ☺💖 (School is definitely A LOT.) And aahh I really want to watch the Cap movies since I liked what I saw of him in Endgame, and with Elise and you recommending them, I’ll definitely have to find them somewhere!!


  6. Congrats on being done for the summer!! Looks like you read some great books this month – I also loved Spin the Dawn and can’t wait for it to be out in the world for me to scream about! Also, I had no idea that Dragon Pearl included NB characters?? That’s so cool???

    I’m so jealous that you got to see Hamilton this month, even though I’ve already seen it, but I want to see it AGAIN. I’m glad you loved it though :D Good luck with all your June reading and goals!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margaret! I was so excited to receive Spin the Dawn and it did NOT disappoint, I’m absolutely in love with it 😍😍 And yes, there’s a nonbinary major side character! And just the way enbies were introduced in daily life was so nice to see as well ☺

      Aahh I feel you!!! I really wish I could see it again but I’m too broke for that 😭 I hope you have a great June!!


  7. YOU MADE IT THROUGH YOUR MONTH!!! WHOOOOO ❤️ I’m so jealous you got to see Hamilton, and I’m so glad that you had so much fun. I’m cheering you on for that writing contest…I BELIEVE IN YOU 🌟 I can’t wait to see all you do in June because yes FREE TIME IS AMAZING AND YOU CAN DO ALL THE COOLIEST THINGS!! I hope you have an even better June, May!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. YAY for school being over and summer holidays ahh, excited for you!! It seems like you had a great reading month as well, you got through SO many books this is very very amazing. I can’t WAIT to read Spin The Dawn it sounds way too good ahhh, so glad you loved it so much :)
    BEST OF LUCK FOR ALL OF THE WRITING you can do this I believe in you and your stories will be incredible, too x
    I hope you’ll have a lovely June!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahh, wonderful post, May! I’m so happy that school is over and summer has been much better for you with blogging, reading, and writing, too. ☺️
    YOU SAW HAMILTON, OH MY GOSH. That’s so so amazing and wow!! It was in my city this spring but sadly I didn’t have tickets. (I did get to go to a Hamilton master class though, one of the members of the ensemble came to my studio so that was fun!) Also, congrats on your dance recitals! I’m glad they were really fun.
    Ohh, I was thinking about watching Umbrella Academy this summer after I finish The Office. That is just…not good at all about the incest?? Is it a big part of it?
    I hope you have an amazing June!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Olivia!! I’m super happy that school is over too 😎

      Aahhh a Hamilton master class sounds so cool! I’ve had a few master classes from Broadway ensemble members and they’re all so much fun — I bet the Hamilton one was really amazing!! And thank you <3

      I think there's only one episode where the incest is like. shown explicitly (as in they kiss), but I just skipped over it and all the other scenes that depicted the two together. It's not explicit besides that one ep but like. the tension is there. (But it's definitely not a focal point of the show!)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I relate so much to the feeling of school ending and summer finally happening. School summer break where I live starts in March and we go back in June, so sadly my summer is ending this month but I think I made the most out of it, and i go back on the third week unlike some poor unfortunate souls I know who went back on June 3/4 so I’m grateful for what I have lmao. 100s on all your exams but one?? You make all Asians proud!!! Just kidding but seriously that’s amazing congratulations!! Good luck with your writing contest too and I hope you get that $$$

    I’m so happy that you loved Spin the Dawn so much because I have a netgalley arc that I actually have to read soon, but i hate digital arc formats and they hurt my eyes to read so ughhhhh but I will endure it for the Mulan meets Project Runway story goodness. Also, congrats on reading all Asian books this month! I actually think I’m gonna have to read most of the Asian books in June and then all the gay books in July because that’s how much of a slow reader I am. I didn’t read nearly enough Asian books in May rip. I’m also currently reading Stronger than a Bronze Dragon and I heard some mixed things but it’s honestly pretty good so far and I like how I can recognize some of the words hehe I guess my summer spent learning mandarin has paid of (?). I’m really loving the world and the characters so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear you have to go back to school! I’m so glad you were able to make the most out of your summer, and it’s great that you go back later than other people! I know I go back to school earlier than most people in my area so I’m not excited about that haha. And LMAOOO thank you!! My exams weren’t super hard this time around, and the class I really have to study for didn’t have an exam because we had a state standardized test over the material already 😎

      I totally relate! I can hardly stand to read eARCs now (sometimes I manage to read ebooks, but just for some reason, reading eARCs is just super hard for me). But I hope you love Spin the Dawn!! <3 And haha, no worries, I definitely wanted to read a lot more than the 7 Asian books I got through to but I decided to move on to the gay books 😎 And I'm glad you're liking Stronger than a Bronze Dragon so far!! I think a lot of things people were bothered by were like, technical things, and I focus more on how I enjoy books and I had a fun time with the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. TWO RECITALS OMG YOU ARE AMAZING. also that book haul!!!! aahh!!!
    you can win that contest!! i believe in you!!
    Also… quick question, do you know if Starfish has queer rep in it? I’m debating putting it on my TBR for june and was wondering if I should. Have an amazing Pride xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well first of all congrats on doing well in your exams, obviously important! But even more important – Hamilton!!! I saw it last year and am desperate to go see it again. It deserves all the acclaim it gets.

    I enjoyed The Umbrella Academy but Luther and Alison just annoyed me sadly. I think I adored Klaus and would adopt him if I didn’t think that would end badly…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! And aahh I hope you get to watch Hamilton again soon, Gerry!! I definitely want to see it again already haha. And yes, I enjoyed TUA but I absolutely hated Luther and Allison! (As well as Hazel and Agnes.) But I adore Klaus <3

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really liked the Hazel and Cha-Cha dynamic so it was a shame to see that pushed aside because they were so solid. I love everything about Klaus and also Ben (for the limited time we saw him). I think Ellen Page wasn’t quite right in casting either but I think that’s just me who has that opinion!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. YAYAY summer break! I got out at the end of May too :)) when do you go back? My frist days is like july 20-something ._.

    I’m so happy that you got to see Hamilton live, you’re so lucky! It’s been on my bucket list for so long, I’m oping maybe I can score tickets in 2020 (fingers crossed)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi May! Great post. If you like Asian Fantasy try Eon by Allison Goodman! It’s not ownvoices but I think she did a decent job with the culture, and the storyline is lots of fun.
    Also about school – I hear you! High school is horrific sometimes. Have you looked into doing a dual-credit type thing instead? Some states will let high school students take classes at the local community college during the day, so you get college credit and a break from your high school! I did something like that and it was super beneficial to my mental health. If you want more info just ask :) Anyway congrats on finishing this year!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ll check it out <3 And aahh I don't think my school would allow dual credit! I don't exactly know what's required to be able to have dual-credit, but we're a pretty small school haha. But I'm glad it helped your mental health!! <3


  15. FLKJHGHJKHJHG YOU READ CASTLE SWIMMER PLS COME BE OBSESSED WITH ME THIS COMIC IS SO FUNNY I LOVE IT SO MUCH (also shh you technically only specified asian *books* you still completed the goal)

    And omg five dance recitals sounds exhausting like wow I would die (lol I am weak and have no physical strength oops)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I DID!!!! I binged it the night you rec’d it to me on Twitter and just FELL IN LOVE!! It’s so cute and adorable (especially Kappa) and I love it

      Haha, it wasn’t like I was in a bunch of pieces for all the shows (four for 4 shows, then five for the last) but still tiring 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wait I rec’d it to you?? Oops I remember that now,,, I was just excited you’d read a webcomic I like 😁 (Kappa is SO precious)

        Omg I’d still die


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