4 star reviews, 5 star reviews, Book reviews, Monthly Book Report

What I Read in May 2018


When I first started this book reviewing/book blogging adventure, I was shocked at how many books people read in a month and maybe when I look at their end of the month posts, I will be again, but right now I am pretty darn proud of the fact that I read 7 books in May!  That is almost two books a week!  Combined with working, raising two teen girls, family commitments and obligations, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking…and the fact that my 18 year old daughter and I discovered The Resident and are addicted to it and my husband and I started watching Evil Genius-well, I think I spent a fair amount of time with my nose in a book!

My Favorite Books This Month

My favorite books this month were The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy and How to Walk Away by Katherine Center.  They are both very different but I really enjoyed both of them.

The Perfect Mother is a thriller about a group of moms in Brooklyn who all had babies in May and decide to go out for the first time in July.  One of the moms, a single mother and former child actress, leaves her baby with a babysitter who falls asleep and wakes up to find the baby missing!  I thought the plot was tight and moved along at a perfect pace, but what I really enjoyed was how well the characters were developed and the relationship between Francie, Nell and Colette.  I also liked that they each had issues in their personal lives that they didn’t necessarily share, it was a good reminder that everyone has problems, no matter how perfect their life looks on the outside.

How to Walk Away is I guess either women’s fiction or contemporary fiction.  Margaret Jacobsen becomes paralyzed in a plane crash when her boyfriend takes her up to propose to her.  There are family issues and of course, personal issues to contend with.  Margaret finds out how strong she really is.  The book is very motivating, inspiring and encouraging.  Because I was addicted to The Resident while reading it, I kept picturing Matt Czuchry as Ian, the physical therapist.

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Books I Enjoyed This Month

When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica was an excellent thriller.  This story is told through two narratives:  One, the diary of a young bride who is struggling with infertility and the other twenty-year old Jessie whose single mom dies and Jessie struggles with insomnia.  The two narratives collide.  It’s a pretty cool story.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell.  Lisa Jewell has such a unique, clever, witty voice.  This was the story of a mom whose teenager daughter vanished.  The mother has struggled to move on with her life and her family has paid the price.  When she meets a man in a cafe, she starts to come back to life and then she meets his daughter who reminds her of her missing daughter… In some ways this book seemed to rely on too many coincidences, so although I loved Lisa Jewell’s writing style and thought the plot was riveting and fast moving, I thought the actual story was unbelievable.  I know it’s fiction, but I like my fiction to be plausible.

The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio was historical fiction, which I rarely read but I do like books set in New York City in the early 1900s because that was when my grandparents came from Sicily and lived in Greenwich Village (then later, Brooklyn, before settling in Queens).  Although this book is about a German immigrant, I felt like I was talking to my Nauna and she was telling me the stories she told me when I was a child about what it was like to come to New York City as a young girl, what life was like then and how much it has changed.  I loved the descriptions of things and I learned that Penn Station used to be an architectural marvel, but was no longer serving it’s purpose and the need for an event arena arose and it was a good location and so the top portion of Penn Station was demolished to build Madison Square Garden.

Books That Were Not For Me

I used to be a huge fan of Barbara Delinsky’s books.  Coast Road is one of my Top Five Favorite Books of All Time.  I loved so many of her books.  But I think my tastes have changed.  We can thank Gone Girl for my love of thrillers and I just found Before and Again to drag on and on, it was kind of predictable and too good to be true.  But, again, there was a time that too good to be true was exactly what I wanted from a book and this would have been a book I would have loved back then.

I LOVED You by Caroline Kepnes.  It was so creepy and good and I read it in two days and recommended it to so many people in the library, always worrying that they would think I was a freak, but they all came back saying they loved it too.  We all cheered when Hidden Bodies came out, a sequel to You.  So I was really excited when I was approved for the Netgalley copy of Providence.  Supernatural is not my jam, but I like I said, I loved Caroline Kepnes’s other two books and I thought I could deal with the supernatural element.  I loved the way the book was written.  Like her other two books, the narration feels like a friend is telling you a story.  But I didn’t like the story.  I didn’t think it was believable that this boy would be kidnapped and given special powers where anyone who annoys him dies by heart attack.  I liked Eggs, the detective that was trying to figure out why these seemingly healthy people were dying from a heart attack, but it was not enough for me to really like the book.  I hate to give a bad review, but this book was not for me.  Again, if supernatural is your jam, you will probably like this book a lot.  Maybe I should not have requested a book with a supernatural element, even though I like the author.  Lesson learned.

What I am Looking Forward to Reading in June

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I have been approved for What Happened That Night and The Perfect Couple in Netgalley.  That will bring me to nine books, so I am hoping to get one more book from Netgalley to review ten books for them and get my badge.

I am also hoping to read The Broken Girls by Simone St. James because it just sounds good to me, even though there is a supernatural aspect to it.  I am also hoping to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas because both of my girls read it and loved it.  Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall is also calling my name because it sounds a little like Caroline Kepnes’s You and I do love creepy books like that.