For the past few months, I have been mainly sharing my 5 star reads in these favorites posts. However, this month I’ve only had two 5 star reads (so far) and I’ve already shared one of them! So I am including some 4 star reads as well, that were still favorites of the month although they are unlikely to be all-time favorites. The Amazon links to the books I’ve read are affiliate links and if you use them and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.
Already Shared Favorites:
I loved this fun YA read and you can find my review here.
Not Yet Shared Favorites:
Title: Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
Author: Joya Goffney
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Teen, 5/4/21
Why I Read It: Sent to me for my review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
I thought this book was a good look at Black teen experiences and racism in high school. Quinn is a list maker and she is blackmailed into doing the things on her list that scare her.
“Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to ‘Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud’ and all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing . . .Then an anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust. Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett—the last known person to have her journal—in a race against time to track down the blackmailer. Together, they journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love.”
Here is my list of why you should read this one:
1. Quinn is a journal writer and list maker as a way to deal with the things that scare her.
2. Quinn goes on a journey of self discovery when her journal is taken and she is blackmailed into doing the things that scare her.
3. The book gives an excellent look at Black teen experiences and racism in high school.
4. The friendships are great.
5. This is a debut!
One Last Stop is the highly anticipated follow up to Red, White, and Royal Blue, although it is very different! It is a story of found family, coincidental connections, and love on the NYC Subway.
“For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures. But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train. Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.”
I really liked the connections and coincidences in this book. I wanted just a little bit more from the ending, but otherwise I liked the book a lot. It has lots of representation as far as race, gender, and sexuality and was a fun listen.
Title: The Siren
Author: Katherine St. John
Genre: Thriller / Contemporary
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 5/4/21
Why I Read It: Anticipated Read
My Rating: 4 Stars
I loved Katherine St. John’s previous book, The Lion’s Den, last summer, so I was very much looking forward to The Siren. I enjoyed the style of this book and the way it looked at three very different women as they come together for a common cause.
“In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood’s most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast. Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella’s mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone’s plans. With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.”
This book contains such difficult topics such as rape, miscarriage, abuse, and drugs, but it was very readable and compelling. The island setting was great and the background of the approaching hurricane made it even more exciting. My group on Instagram had a chat with the author and she said that she writes about why people do what they do, which I could clearly see in each of the women characters. I very much appreciated that the women worked together rather than against each other towards a common enemy as well.
I will be back next week to share the rest of the books I read in May! Do you have a favorite book you read this month?