Wednesday, June 2, 2021

May 2021 Reads

Another month has gone by - I can't believe school is out {post coming soon about how school ended up} and our summer break is starting. So let's start our official first week of summer off with some discussion of BOOKS!

May was another solid month of reading - I read 10 books this month bringing my total to 52. Well ahead of where I need to be for my goal of 100, yay!

The Wicked King/The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black - I read The Cruel Prince back in February. It was the first book in a trilogy set in a world of faeries, elves, magic, etc. but the main character is a human girl growing up there. I liked the first book enough to keep going in the series {and the ending was a big part of that - talk about saving everything for the end!}, and I'm so glad I did because the 2nd and 3rd books were excellent! They were action-packed with some good twists, turns, and intrigue. I really ended up loving the 2 main characters {one of whom we hated at first!}, and this series stuck with me a little longer than others of this type have.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai - This story continues with the best friend from The Right Swipe which I read last year. This was a chick-lit rom-com but one that covered some meatier topics with mental health and family relationships. I liked it but didn't love it. 

Code Name Helen by Ariel Lawhon - WW2 Historical fiction alert! Yes, I do keep reading these books and loving them! It's amazing how no matter how many of this genre I read, I continue to learn something. This story jumps from right before WW2 started to further in the war {and nearing the end} and the part one woman plays in it. I was very vested in this story and loved the characters. It kind of reminded me of The Secret Life of Violet Grant where the main character just captured my interest right away, so good.

Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman - I read this for a work book club. To me, it read more like the autobiography of the 2 authors vs. a self-hep book {which is what I assumed it was from the title}. So I can't really figure out what the *point* of the book was? I enjoyed reading their story and the challenges they faced, how they grew apart, and how they worked to bring themselves back together. Did I really take anything away from it? Not really.

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny - This was such a quirky little read that snuck into my heart. Probably the first 10-15% I was really unsure of whether I would like this one - the characters are goofy, I wasn't sure I could get behind the boyfriend, etc. Then the next thing I knew I was loving everyone in this little town! I like how the story jumps ahead - each section is a different year and sometimes there are years between sections. It was fun to see how the characters had changed and what had happened as the time moved around. It ended up being charming and fun and I loved it!

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis - BFBC read this one this month and WOW. It's the story of a star H.S. softball player who gets into a really bad car accident and gets addicted to Oxycontin after some major surgeries. I was very stressed out the whole time as she kept making terrible choices, and I knew eventually everything would implode. It was interesting to discuss with our little club because one of the parts of the storyline is that the main character was adopted and adoption is a big part of 2 members' lives, so it was really thought-provoking to hear their perspective on the way the author had adoption factor into this character's life. I really couldn't put this one down and would recommend to anyone, SO good.

To Sir, With Love/When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn - Another month and 2 more Bridgerton stories. What am I going to do when I get through them all? I'll be so sad! I mentioned last month that one of the 2 I read wasn't my favorite. Well, I think Francesca's story made up for that one last month! I really liked both of these but especially enjoyed When He Was Wicked.

Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho - I've been really intrigued by this book after seeing some of Emmanuel's YouTube videos with the same title. I thought it was really interesting that each chapter began by a question from a white person asking a question related to race/racism that Emmanuel would then dive into. Every chapter he gave a little bit of a history lesson, some great food for thought, and ways to put those thoughts into action. I think this is a book everyone should read - it was quick and the way the book was structured made it really easy to understand and think about - while giving room for further learning with great references.

Not much new to report for the kiddos this month - Trent is still working his way through the entire Manga section of our local library, and Drew and I are still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I can't remember if I mentioned that she has also gotten into graphic novels in the last couple of months. She has read everything just about by Raina Telgemeier {and loved it all}!

She also read When Stars are Scattered {which Trent read last year} which is about 2 refugee brothers and their story. It is co-written by one of the brothers. I read a few sections as Drew asked me to, and gosh, it is so sad and so hard, and I'm very glad both of my big kids read it! Drew finished it at school and said she just cried and cried at the end! I think it's so great for our kids to read stories outside of their everyday life and love that this one touched both Trent and Drew.

So that wraps up May reading. I'm about 2/3 through an interesting story right now about the 6th century and have some holds I'm very excited about. Here's to a great June full of great books!


Kathryn Bagley said...

I'm always interested in your reviews when I see books in the Cloud library..ha! I may want to read heroine but after reading that Addiction i need some happy reading!

Natasha said...

Okay, so I put Early Morning Riser and The Cruel Prince on hold. Do you think Julia Quinn would write some more Bridgerton stories? Maybe all the grandchildren could get their own novel... I too will be so sad when I am all done them :(

Emily said...

I tried reading "Big Friendships" and got maybe 2 pages in before I ignored it again until the library due date; good to know I wasn't missing anything by not finishing it. Added "Uncomfortable Conversations" and "Early Morning Riser" to my list; was surprised to see I'm 128 on the waitlist for "Early Morning Riser" so it def is popular! Speaking of waitlist, still waiting for "The Viscount Who Loved Me" (I'm 29) so at this rate you'll finish the series before I start the second book.