Wednesday, June 1, 2022

May 2022 Book Review

Y'all! Summer vacation is here, and I am here for it! I am so excited because it's already positively impacted my reading, ha.

Like I teased above, this month was a great one for my reading count. I read 14 books {one was a novella and 2 were audiobooks} - 4 by BIPOC authors {only 1 being non-fiction but incredible!}, 1 thriller, 1 historical fiction, and a whopping 7 romance/chick-lit novels {what can I say - I know what I love!}.

All My Rage
 by Sabaa Tahir - This was the Blog Friend Book Club selection for the month, and we had some mixed feelings overall. I, however, thought it was outstanding and gave it 5 stars. Sabaa Tahir is a MUST read for me. This was a very different than the Amber in the Ashes series I read earlier this year {which was YA fantasy}, but it touched on so many topics - racism, grief, drug addiction, love, friendship, complicated family was just so good. That's not to say it wasn't hard, but at the end I was just overflowing emotion in the best way. A lot to think and feel about on this one!

How the Word is Passed
 by Clint Smith [audiobook] - This was such a unique and interesting book! The author visited numerous places with a tie to slavery {Monticello - Thomas Jefferson's planation, for example} and discussed the history and what is happening at that location today. I was encouraged to hear about the plantations he visited that are openly discussing the relationship the plantation had with slavery, instead of trying to hide it. Clint Smith was an awesome narrator and author, and I really look forward to reading more by him.

Seven Days in June
 by Tia Williams - I thought this was such a unique book! I enjoyed learning more about invisible disabilities {an area I didn't know much about} and the uniqueness of the story - jumping from the present to the past with these star-crossed lovers for 7 days at teens and as adults. Pretty steamy and great!

The Dinner List
 by Rebecca Serle - I thought the premise of this was unique - the dream list you have for a dinner party of any guests you want dead or alive happens! - but I didn't love the execution. There was a twist about 2/3 of the way through that I hated. I really enjoyed In Five Years by this author but thought this was good, not great.

Book Lovers/People We Meet on Vacation
 [audiobook] by Emily Henry - I have heard so much praise for Emily Henry over the last year or so but also some mixed reviews from book readers I trust, so I was hesitant to plunge in. BUT when I looked into her biography, I realized I read a YA book of hers a few years ago, The Love That Split the World. It was almost fantastic, and that's how I felt about both of these. People We Meet on Vacation felt long at times, but I loved the characters. Book Lovers I enjoyed more I would say, but I got a little annoyed at the main character. 
Both solid, enjoyable reads and pretty steamy but neither will go down as my favorite rom-coms. 

Anxious People
 by Fredrik Backman - I am going to be in the minority here - almost everyone I know who read this book LOVED it. I did not. I very easily could have given it 2 stars on Goodreads, but the ending made me happy so I bumped it up to 3. The ending made everything that was so GOOFY and QUIRKY make sense in such a great way, but it just wasn't enough to get me over the hump of how much work it was for me to read the first 85%. I like Fredrik Backman, but I don't love him in the same way others do, and this just kind of cemented my thoughts about him/his style of writing. I will definitely keep reading his books because overall he has such a whit about him and a way of exploring the world that I enjoy, but he isn't one of my FAVORITES.

Drowning Ruth
by Christina Scwharz - This was our in-person book club selection for the month, and the girl who picked it got it for free {which is why she chose it, ha}. This was historical fiction about 2 sisters set around WW1/leading up to WW2. There was a bit of a mystery to solve and the timelines/narrators jumped around keeping you guessing. I thought it was good/engaging but not the best. I enjoyed it and thought it gave us a lot to discuss {more our feelings about 1 of the sisters and her actions}.

Part of Your World
 by Abby Jimenez - Abby Jimenez can officially do no wrong. This was my 4th book to read of hers, and I absolutely love her characters and the world she creates. A May/December relationship that shouldn't be happening but does and all the reasons why/why not - I literally couldn't put it down and read it in a day and a half. Medium amounts of steaminess.

The No-Show
 by Beth O'Leary - I've liked Beth O'Leary's other 2 books I've read {The Flatshare and The Switch} and liked this one but not as much as the other 2. I feel like the description didn't quite nail what the story was about {3 girls dating the same guy but not knowing it and he stands them all up on Valentine's Day}, but I'm also not sure how I would have described it because there's a big plot twist I 100% did not see coming which actually made me enjoy the book more! It felt like it dragged for me at times but overall it was good.

Set on You
 by Amy Lea - Enemies to lovers in the gym with curvy girl and Asian representation, this was super cute and I really enjoyed all the body acceptance talk {I really need some of that myself} and thought the characters felt really believable. Pretty steamy!

Under One Roof
 by Ali Hazelwood - A woman in STEM novella {the first in a trilogy}, so cute! Ali Hazelwood has captured my heart after The Love Hypothesis, and I read this super fast, pretty steamy!

It Happened One Summer
 by Tessa Bailey - Oh man, did I love this! This was a super character driven love story, and I just genuinely enjoyed both the female and male leads and felt their story was so believable. Piper is a party girl who gets banished by her stepdad to the fishing town her biological father grew up in hoping she will learn some responsibility. Brendan is the captain who doesn't want her in town. And you guessed it, they fall in love. {grin} Another one I couldn't put down and I cannot wait for the 2nd book about Piper's sister, Hannah, and Brendan's BFF, Fox! Very steamy!

The Love of My Life
 by Rosie Walsh - My kind of 'thriller' or maybe I should call it more of a mystery? Alternating timelines and POVs as we try to figure out what happened in Emma's past as her marriage to Leo might be crumbling because he's finding things out too! A small trigger warning {Emily, ask me about this one!} but not too bad.

Man, I'm tired after typing all this, I hope it didn't wear anyone else out! I'm up to 51 books and 11 books ahead of my 100 book goal, yay!


Natasha said...

I don't know if we can be friends anymore if you don't like Fredrik Backman :) You read so many great books that I hope to check out. Eventually.

Kathryn Bagley said...

I'm going to check out It Happened one summer and the love of my life sounds intriguing!

Emily said...

I need my own brand of trigger warning - like a hashtag #emilyno that people can slap on book reviews. I love the concept of the Dinner List and I'm really annoyed that the execution sucked otherwise I would have definitely read it, but no need to waste my time on a poorly executed book. Maybe someone can steal the idea and write a better one!