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Reading Recap - May 2021

Hello everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already summer! I had big things happen this May (My younger sister turned 18 and graduated high school! Congrats Kaylee!). This year is flying by. I can’t wait to see what the summer has in store. With my books this month, I managed to reach my year reading goal of 50 books. I’m currently sitting at 51 but I didn’t think I would hit it so soon.

Let’s get to it!

To Sir Philip, With Love by Julia Quinn – finished 5/3/21

3/5 stars

Tw: attempted suicide, mental illness

The next book in the Bridgerton series was this one. Eloise, the fifth child, has decided to spend her life as a spinster. At 27, she has not wed and has no plans on doing so. Sir Philip Crane was recently widowed and has kept correspondence with Eloise, who is a distant cousin of his wife. After a year of writing letters Philip decides he needs a wife and mother for his children and asks Eloise if she would be interested. Upon hearing the news that Colin was going to marry, she decides to run away in the middle of the night with a hired carriage to see if she and Philip would be a match. I really liked Eloise on the show and her character was pretty similar. Philip, on the other hand had a mix of good and questionable characteristics. There were a couple things I had issue within this book. First off, I don’t like how Marina, Philip’s first wife, was portrayed. It was very clear that she suffered from depression, that only got worse after having children, but she was not met with empathy. Every mention of her illness from Philip is him demeaning her struggle in some way. Additionally, Philip was incredibly neglectful of his children and was surprised that he didn’t know anything about them when he didn’t spend any time with them. It definitely wasn’t my favorite of the series, but I didn’t dislike it the most.

Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramon K. Perez – finished 5/3/21

3/5 stars

Tw: attempted murder, violence

I checked this book out of the library. It is a graphic novel modern retelling of Jane Eyre. I was planning on reading Jane Eyre this month to do a comparison, but time got away from me. In this retelling, Jane moves to New York to attend art school and becomes the nanny for the Rochester family. She then slowly falls in love with Mr. Rochester and wants to learn the secrets of his penthouse apartment. I know the basic plotline of Jane Eyre, so I was able to identify the large difference between the two. My biggest issue with this graphic novel is that Jane Eyre focuses so much on Jane’s struggles from adolescence to adulthood that are just brushed over to put her in the same city as Mr. Rochester. It lacked the charm that makes Jane a classic heroine. I did enjoy the illustrations but over all it was just okay.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland – finished 5/4/21

3/5 stars

Tw: violence, murder

This book was yet another tiktok recommendation. I saw a lot of book influencers talking about this book when it first came out and put it on my list of books to check out. In this urban fantasy, the Hollow sisters are well known for their unexplained disappearance as children. All that remains of that time are identical scars on each of the girls, black eyes and white hair. Grey and Vivi have long since left Iris with their mother to explore the world, but when Grey goes missing, Iris is determined to figure out what happened to her. The more Iris investigates the more she realizes that she doesn’t know Grey was well as she thought. This book was ok. I really wanted to like it more than I did. The premise is super interesting and eerie, but it fell flat for me. I was able to guess the one of the two large plot twists very early on in the book so when it was revealed I wasn’t shocked. I also didn’t really care for the ending. I felt that the book was so strong and interesting until the ending. I would say give it a try, but it wasn’t for me.

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn – finished 5/17/21

4/5 stars

The sixth Bridgerton book centers around Francesca. Michael Stirling falls in love with Francesca as soon as he meets her. But she is married to John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin and Michael’s cousin. Unexpectedly, John dies leaving Francesca alone. Now earl, Michael runs off to India and Francesca stays in Scotland running Kilmartin as Countess. After four years of being alone Francesca decides its time to remarry at the same time Michael decides to return to England. His feelings for Francesca haven’t changed but will he be able to move on and watch Francesca marry another? I really enjoyed this one. The series didn’t have Francesca in it that much, so I had no expectations for her character other than small tidbits from the other novels. Francesca and Michael were interesting because they were good friends who definitely had chemistry and it created a will they/won’t they type of romance. At times the back and forth was a bit frustrating but I really enjoyed Francesca and Michael’s chemistry.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – finished 5/18/21

3.5/5 stars

Tw: assault, attempted murder, suicide, death

This was my Book of the Month pick for this month. I'll make sure to link my referral code for Book of the Month down below. If you register with my link I get a book credit as a referral perk. This is not sponsored I just really love the service and think everyone should check it out.

Ariadne is a princess of Crete subjected to the cruelty of her father and contemplating her place in the world. It is a retelling of Ariadne and Phaedra’s stories, centering the women instead of the men. I thought it was weird that the book was titled Ariadne when so much of the plot also dealt with Phaedra. I enjoyed that the author made it a point to summarize any myths she was referencing in the story (Icarus, Hercules, Thesus etc.). It made it easier to understand how each myth connected to one another. This was the first Greek myth retelling I have read in a while and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t show stopping. I can appreciate that the women in the story were at the center of the stories and it focused on how the actions of the men around them affected them. I liked the writing style so I might pick up the next book Jennifer Saint releases.

Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little – finished 5/26/21

3.5/5 stars

Tw: attempted murder, murder

This was the last book I read this month and it was another tiktok recommendation. There is a tiktok trend going around where the person in the tiktok summarizes the plot of a book as if they were the main character of the novel. So for this one it would be something like: “I recently stopped working as film editor for my friend. My agent pushed me to sign onto the production of well-known director without reading the script. Desperate, I took the job. Now I’m on a remote island where weird things are happening, and a suspected murderer is still among the people here. I’m determined to figure out what is going on, and that’s Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little.” This novel is a mystery and a thriller. It was just okay. I wasn’t blown away by the plot or how quickly it moved. It felt like important pieces of information were just thrown in to create some sort of mystery. I did, however, really enjoy the characters and the style of writing. The book was split between Marissa’s narration and a podcast that was interviewing the people who experienced the movie set. I liked the character of Marissa she was weird and people didn’t single her out for it. She thought in movie scenes and would relate the scenes to what was happening in the story. I’m not a big fan of thrillers but I’ve been trying to read more of them. Hopefully I’ll actually find one I like soon.

I was lucky enough to receive two advanced reader copies of novels this month. Each book received their own post, and I will link them. The first was The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. The second was Reasons for Avoiding Friends by Megan Leavell.

For my 100 classics challenge, I read the two following books.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

It seems like I read both a ton and nothing at all this month. My list of summer reads keeps growing. I can’t wait to lounge in our pool and read them.

Until next time!


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