What I Read: May 2016 (Three New Releases)

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For some reason, May is usually a month where I read a ton. Well, this year that wasn’t so. Mostly because I am just slogging through Vanity Fair, which is 750 pages long and just not a quick read. I will conquer it! Here are the books I gave myself “VF Breaks” with this month.

I read three very new books (all of which were on my Spring Reading List).

 

ravenking

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – I have some very mixed feelings about this final installment in the Raven Cycle books. I adore Maggie Stiefvater, and I had looked forward to reading this book for an entire year, after I finished the other three in rapid succession. I wonder if part of the issue was that it had just been too long since I read the others; I could have used a good reread to get me ready for this one, but I didn’t do that. (Too many new books! So little time!)

Much of this was so well-thought-out and interesting, but for me the issues with the “bad guys” fell very flat, and I just didn’t love the ending or what should have been the climax of the romantic tension of four books. (Trying not to spoil here! If you want to chat more about this one, I would love it. Email me or send me a Facebook message.) So in all, for me it was a solid 3-star book, but I didn’t LOOOOVE it like I’d hoped I would.

amyzhang

This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang – Unfortunately, this was another book I’d hoped to love but really didn’t. I appreciate Zhang continues to tackle hard subjects about growing up, as she did in Falling into Place (my review here). Where the World Ends just didn’t connect with me quite in the same way. In it, we are presented with the alternating viewpoints (and also the present vs. the past narrative) of Micah and Janie, one-time next-door neighbors and friends who pretend their friendship doesn’t exist at school. Micah is trying to unroll the tragedy that’s blocked out parts of his memory – and meanwhile we hear the story that led up to it from Janie’s point-of-view and journal entries.

forgettingtime

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin – After hearing this book so highly praised by Amy from Mom Advice and Jessica Turner, I was really excited to jump into The Forgetting Time, Guskin’s debut novel. It is absolutely a page-turner — the first book in months I’ve read waiting for my daughter’s bus instead of listening to a podcast, because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I definitely read it all in under 24 hours. Reflecting back, I felt like there wasn’t a ton of character development, but that’s not really the point of the book. The unique subject matter of past lives and the way the story is unveiled makes for a great, quick read.

justbetween

Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones – This is Jenny B. Jones’s only adult novel, and I finally asked my library to order it just so I could read it (and many others could enjoy it, too!). It was published in 2009, and I still remember my friend Mary’s rave review about it. And how could I not love something Jenny wrote? Everything I said about I’ll Be Yours last month pretty much applies here: Jenny writes gorgeous romance with real, solid, complex characters with issues other than the romantic plot. Our main character, Maggie, has returned to her hometown to help her dad with her niece, whose mom is nowhere to be found. While on this “sabbatical,” Maggie is faced with her feelings about family, God, her mother’s death, and old acquaintances from high school who know her as someone completely different. Another one I read in just a few hours, cover to cover.

In the last two months, I’ve also read the first three Harry Potter books (for the billionth or at least fifth time), and I’m excited my awesome friend Jessica at Quirky Bookworm is doing a #harrypotterthon2016 – a read-a-thon on a two month place for all the HP books, so I can fangirl along with friends.

So yep. All that and a lot of Vanity Fair. What have you been reading lately?

This will be added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy

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5 thoughts on “What I Read: May 2016 (Three New Releases)

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird! It’s been on my reading list for years, but has just recently been made available as an ebook. I also read most of The Secret Keeper (per your review), but my lending time ran out, so I’m back on the waiting list. Working and sleeping can be so inconvenient, LOL.

  2. I can’t separate in my mind what I read in April and May, but I have been able to read quite a bit. More fiction than non-fiction. That is usually the case, but my brain power is being used too much on other things, and I need the fiction to unwind. I have to think too much with the non-fiction right now.
    Interrupted- Jen Hatmaker (Started more than a year ago, finally finished)
    Looming Transitions- Amy Young (Great, and I’ve recommended it to multiple people going through transitions)
    Mr. Lemoncello’s Library- Chris Grabenstein (with the kids)
    The 5th Wave- Rick Yancy (been meaning to read it forever. Good, but not as good as Hunger Games or Divergent.)
    Wildalone- Krassi Zourkova (wouldn’t recommend)
    Named of the Dragon- Susanna Kearsley (loved it, as I have all her books)
    Mommy Tracked- Whitney Gaskil (been reading it for a year, and it was bugging me that it wasn’t done. It was pretty good, but not great.)
    Every Last One- Anna Quindlin (Great, as all her books are, but I probably would not have read it if I realized how heavy the subject matter is.)
    Distant Hours- Kate Morton (loved it)
    The Fault in our Stars- John Greene (I had heard lots of good things about this one, but didn’t want to read it b/c I knew it would be sad. My husband started reading it, so I joined him!)
    Simplify- Joshua Becker (Loved it)
    All You Could Ask For- Mike Greenberg (very good)
    The French House- Don Wallace- I think it was good, but now I can’t remember if I actually finished it, so maybe good, but not great.
    Elizabeth, the First Wife- Lian Dolan- very lightweight and entertaining.
    Tout Sweet- Karen Wheeler (very good)
    Bel Canto- Ann Patchett- Great book
    Forgotten Garden- Kate Morton (Great book)

    I’ve been reading a lot. 🙂 There are still more books on my “to-be read list” than I can ever get to!

    • I feel you on the TBR list. Sometimes I start to panic about all the books I will never get to. And YES on Every Last One. I adore Anna Quindlen, but being a very highly sensitive person I wish I hadn’t read that one. I felt like there was no “warning label” on it that hinted on the subject matter. Woo wee.

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