This was a really exciting reading month for me because it was my first time reviewing ARCs (advanced reader copies). I loved several of the books this month, and only had one that didn't jive. Here are all the books I read in May and what I thought about them!

To All the Books I Read This Month: May

May 31, 2019

This was a really exciting reading month for me because it was my first time reviewing ARCs (advanced reader copies). I loved several of the books this month, and only had one that didn't jive. Here are all the books I read in May and what I thought about them!

To All the Books I Read This Month: May

May 31, 2019

MY NAME'S KELSEY AND I'M A BOOK SLUT

Categories

Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.

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This was a really exciting reading month for me because it was my first time reviewing ARCs (advanced reader copies).  I loved several of the books this month, and only had one that didn't jive. Here are all the books I read in May and what I thought about them!

This was a really exciting reading month for me because it was my first time reviewing ARCs (advanced reader copies). If you’re interest in learning more about requesting and receiving ARCs, leave a comment below and I’ll share some posts about it!

I loved several of the books this month, and only had one that didn’t jive.

Here are all the books I read in May and what I thought about them!

Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂

1. My Lovely Wife

AUTHOR: Samantha Downing

GENRE: Psychological Thriller

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: In My Lovely Wife, Millicent and Tobias are your average couple—two-story suburban home, two kids, admirable careers and beginning to get bored with their fifteen year marriage.

Thankfully, they still have things left to discover about one another—specifically, what turns them on. Beginning as an innocent accident and then evolving into something premeditated and evil, Millicent and Tobias’s bedroom routine has become too wild to keep contained behind closed doors, and no one is safe anymore.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I loved all the twists and turns in this book, but I wish there had been more character development. The main characters were so creepy and messed up—I was left longing to get deeper into their crazy minds.


2. The Night Tiger

AUTHOR: Yangsze Choo

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Magical Realism

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️????

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: In The Night Tiger, the lives of Ji Lin and Ren are strangely connected and intertwined by a seemingly enchanted severed finger.

Ji Lin is a seamstress apprentice, secretly moonlighting as a dance hall girl.

Ren is an eleven-year-old orphan who just lost his former master, and the closest thing to family he had.

On his death bed, Ren’s master made him promise he would track down his long-lost finger and bury it with him. Ren agreed in earnest, believing the ancient legend that a soul will wander the earth forever if its body is not buried whole.

Ji Lin comes across the finger after a dance hall patron accidentally lets it slip from his possession.

In Ren’s attempt to find the finger, and Ji Lin’s attempt to get rid of it, they finally cross paths, realizing that the other might have the answers they need.

Dealing with the pangs of mourning, family shame and a prowling man-eating tiger, Ji Lin and Ren’s paths are like a train hurtling much too quickly into the unknown.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This book was ambiguous and mystical. I love books that leave things open for the reader to interpret. The ending was left very ambiguous and was set up perfectly for a sequel. I haven’t been able to confirm if a sequel is on the way, but I really hope so!


3. Ask Again, Yes

AUTHOR: Mary Beth Keane

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Family Saga

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: Ask Again, Yes is the story of two neighboring families, close in proximity but not in heart. But when an unexpected violent event happens, separating them miles and miles, their lives become intertwined forever.

This book spans almost four decades, following the members of the families through various milestones of their lives—marriage, infidelity, illness, births, new jobs, new homes, lost jobs, and even death.

While the external story is a coming-of-age family saga, the real story is about forgiveness—how much can it way down those who have not yet given it and who gets the most benefit when it’s finally granted—the one who gives it or the one who gets it?

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I poured over this one from the moment I opened it. This is an interesting book—it spans about forty years, huge moments done and gone in just a paragraph or two. It’s a literal translation of how fast a life fleets by, which is one of the main themes of the book. ⠀

Every character, every story line, and every heartbreaking moment was more than I expected. One of my favorite books of the year so far! I highly recommend reading it.


4. Red, White & Royal Blue

AUTHOR: Casey McQuiston

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | LGBTQ

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: In Red, White & Royal Blue, Alex, the first son of the United States, and Henry, the Prince of Wales, are forced to spend time together in an urgent attempt to mend political images after a very public altercation happens between them.

During their staged bromance, Alex and Henry build an unlikely friendship, surprised to actually enjoy each other’s company. Alex has always been sharp-witted and quick to speak his mind, but when he pulls his usual antics on Henry, his seemingly stuffy and boring arch nemesis, he finds he’s bitten off more than he can chew. What Alex thought was just a blooming new friendship turns into a relationship he didn’t even realize he wanted.

Now, Alex can’t get enough of Henry. He yearns for him, wanting every inch of him at every moment of the day.

But image is important—especially when you’re two of the biggest figureheads in the world. Coming out is not in line with the crown or Alex’s mother’s current campaign for re-election.

When Alex realizes his idyllic “love is all you need” mentality has been nothing but a farce, his entire world comes crashing down. But the real question is—will Henry be there to help him mend a new one?

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: There are so many things to love about this book!

The romance between Alex and Henry is an ooey-gooey love story to die for, mixed with so much grit. Their relationship is steamy and turbulent but also gentle and sweet.

While I loved all the characters, my very favorite was Henry, the Prince of Wales. He’s deep, relatable (and that’s saying a lot since he was literally a prince!) and very surprising. I’m not sure if I’ve ever rooted so hard for a fictional character!


5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

AUTHOR: Taylor Jenkins Reid

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: In The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood legend, growing to the height of fame in the 1960s.

While Evelyn had a thriving and memorable career on camera, she was even more infamous for her personal life, especially, her seven husbands.

Now, retired and coming towards the end of her life, Evelyn contacts an unknown journalist, Monique, to author her biography—promising insights into her life she’s never granted to anyone before.

But the seemingly connectionless tie between Evelyn and Monique becomes more clear, and more significant, as Evelyn shares her untold story of heartbreak, hard lessons and forbidden love.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I loved Daisy Jones & The Six and was really excited to read this one because it had been hyped as just as much as Daisy. But for some reason, this one fell as bit short for me. I did like it, but I felt like Evelyn wasn’t as dynamic as a character as I’d hoped.

However, this was still an enjoyable read and I do recommend it.


6. The Help

AUTHOR: Kathryn Stockett

GENRE: Historical Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: It’s 1960s Mississippi, a time where “separate but equal” is the social norm.

The Help is told from the perspective of three different women—Aibileen, an experienced black maid who is currently raising her seventeenth white child, Minny, a younger and sassier black maid who has lost yet another housekeeping job because of her untamable tongue, and Skeeter, a post-graduate white woman who is determined to stay out of the box society wants to put her in.

Trying to break into the competitive world of publishing in New York City, Skeeter quickly realizes she needs to set her self apart if she ever wants a chance to become an editor. Devoid of any real experience, Skeeter decides to write a book about the domestic help in Mississippi, from the perspectives of the maids.

After much coercion, Aibileen and Minny finally decide to help Skeeter with her project, even though they all have to keep it the utmost secret. If anyone discovers what they’re doing, it will be more than reputations that are at risk.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I watched this movie a few years ago and really loved it, but never planned to read the book since I already knew the story. But after I read Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, I decided to read this one for research for my current WIP.

All I can say is I’m so glad I read this! The character development in this book is some of the best. I loved every single second I spent with this story!


7. Normal People

AUTHOR: Sally Rooney

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Romance | Coming of Age

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️????

DO I RECOMMEND? Yes

SUMMARY: In Normal People, Marianne and Connell are in different circles—Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is ridiculed and ignored.

But despite their differences, a friendship blossoms between them, quickly growing into something more.

However, Connell is embarrassed to admit his association with her, and Marianne lacks the self-confidence to make him acknowledge her publicly.

As the two graduate and move on to college, their paths seem to separate, until they’re suddenly entwined again. But now, the tables have turned—Marianne is the one who’s well-liked and flourishing while Connell is the one who is lost and floundering.

Their story continues like this for years, growing apart and then suddenly finding themselves tangled together again. As they go through the normal rights of passage as well as things far outside the range of normal, they find themselves always back in front of one another, even when they thought their connection had been severed for good.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: I went into this book knowing it was all character-driven with not a lot of plot.

At first, I wasn’t crazy about it, but about halfway through, I fell in love with it! The relationship between the main characters is so real and complex. I highly recommend this story, especially if you love character-focused novels.


8. Pretend I’m Dead

AUTHOR: Jen Beagin

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

RATING: ⭐️⭐️

DO I RECOMMEND? No

SUMMARY: Pretend I’m Dead is the story of Mona, a 24-year-old cleaning lady who is precocious, yet lacks any type of ambition.

Mona is self-destructive, involving herself in a whirlwind relationship with a recovering heroine addict she dubbed Mr. Disgusting who is 20 years her senior and wears dentures.

When Mr. Disgusting relapses and ends up disappearing from her life forever, Mona hits rockbottom. Lost and unsure of what to do, she moves to Taos without much thought or planning.

Resuming her job as a cleaning lady in Taos, Mona comes across many interesting people who show her that she doesn’t know near as much as she thought she did.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT IT: This story had a lot of potential, but the unnecessary shock-factor elements really turned me off.

I am not a squeamish or prudish reader by any means, but I firmly believe that vile and appalling parts of a story need to have a purpose and should drive the story forward.

This book had a lot of vile parts that didn’t serve any purpose other than being shocking. In fact, not only did they not add anything to the story, they took away from it.


Rating System:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️—Add this to your must-read list immediately. This is an important and moving book. I highly recommend.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️—This book was entertaining, well-written, and worthwhile. I definitely recommend.

⭐️⭐️⭐️—This book was decent and a good read. I recommend, but do not consider it a must-read.

⭐️⭐️—This book had one or two positive qualities, but overall I do not recommend.

⭐️—This book fell flat in several ways. I do not recommend.


What was the best book you read this month? Share it in the comments below!

Explore more categories:  Book Love, Monthly Reading Wrap Up

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MY NAME'S KELSEY AND I'M A BOOK SLUT

Categories

Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.

BOOK Lists

KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING

CHICK LIT WRITING ADVICE

popular posts

The best of Wilmington

How to host a wine tasting

Decorating with Flowers

Best of Boho Outdoors

insiDer

become an

SUPER JUICY BOOK NEWS AND PUBLISHING TIPS
DELIVERED WEEKLY

BOOKISH THINGS