Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May 2020

On the whole, May has been a really successful reading month for me; I read a total of 12 books this month, compared to 8 books last month. I’ve also read lots of eBooks this month – out of the 12 that I read, only 3 were physical, whilst the other 9 were digital (as I am slowly tackling my Netgalley ARCs…). Many of the books I read in May were AMAZING, and worthy of 4 or 5 stars, whilst others were a little disappointing, and didn’t warrant more than 2 or 3 stars.

So, here are all the books I read this month! ❤

The Love Square – Laura Jane Williams – 4/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

The Love Square follows the story of Penny Bridge, a single woman who has always been unlucky in love, that is, until she meets the charming Francesco. However, things are never simple, and Penny quickly finds herself entangled in a ‘love square’, and is forced to question everything in her life.

This book was a great read to start the month off with; it was light-hearted for the most part, full of fun and quirky characters, awkward yet hilarious situations, but nonetheless had lots of moving moments that made me feel very emotional!

You can read my full review of The Love Square here.

Sister Dear – Hannah Mary McKinnon – 5/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

After simultaneously losing her beloved father and finding out that she is not his biological daughter, Eleanor Hardwicke’s life is turned upside down. Learning that she is the product of an affair, Eleanor sets out to find her biological father, and in doing so, discovers that she has a half-sister, the beautiful and successful Victoria. Things begin to get very twisted and dark as Eleanor starts to infiltrate Victoria’s life to learn more about her.

I adored this book; it was the perfect psychological thriller that keeps you hooked and guessing until the final pages. The characters were so compelling and well-developed that I felt like I knew them. I devoured this book, and could not give it anything less than 5 stars.

To read my full review of Sister Dear, click here. I also interviewed Hannah about the book, which you can read here!

My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell – 3/5

My Dark Vanessa is a really chilling novel, but also incredibly interesting. It follows the story of Vanessa, alternating between herself as a 15-year-old, and the grooming she experiences at the hands of her English teacher, with her adult self, and her reflection on the abuse that she endured.

There were elements of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and found really moving and powerful, though there were other parts that I didn’t enjoy, such as the length and pace of the novel. Whilst I gave this book 3 stars, I would still highly recommend reading it.

You can read my detail review of My Dark Vanessa here.

The Apartment – K.L. Slater – 2/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

After the breakdown of her marriage, Freya Miller has lost her family home, and is left to care for her young daughter, Skye, all alone; after a chance meeting with Dr Marsden, she is offered an incredibly apartment in an affluent area of London for a really affordable rate. Everything seems a little too good to be true, and things gradually start to turn dark, and many hidden secrets are unearthed.

I found this book so disappointing; I was so intrigued by the premise of the book, as it seemed really unique and creepy, though the execution was so poor. The characters were so dull and uninteresting, and there were also lots of plot holes that just left me feeling quite annoyed by the end of it! I do know that this book as has had really mixed ratings; some readers found it super creepy and thrilling, whilst others (like me!) felt a little let down by it.  

Very Nearly Normal – Hannah Sunderland – 5/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

Very Nearly Normal follows the story of Effie Heaton, a young woman who is completely unhappy with how her life has panned out; she is incredibly insecure, especially as her passion for writing has got her nowhere, and those around her appear to have wealth, success, and solid relationships. However, the bad luck that Effie has endured throughout her life seems to shift upon meeting Theo. However, Theo has a hidden secret, which will change the course of their love story entirely.

This book has me up until one o’clock in the morning, absolutely hooked and crying tears of sadness and joy at the same time. I did not expect this book to be such an emotional roller-coaster, but it really was, and I felt so invested in it; Very Nearly Normal was a solid 5 star read that I cannot recommend enough!

To read my full review of this book, click here.

To Tell You the Truth – Gilly MacMillan – 3/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy
of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

To Tell you the Truth follows the story of Lucy Harper, a successful thriller writer who has a dark past; her younger brother Teddy went missing in the woods near her house, and she was the only witness to the events. However, Lucy’s memory is foggy, and the majority of this book centers around these memories returning to her, and the process of her trying to figure out what happened years ago, though her judgement is clouded by those around her, including her husband Dan, who is a failed writer, and incredibly controlling.

The things I did like about this book include the pacing; I enjoyed the short, snappy chapters, that helped to build a sense of tension and growing suspense. However, I did also struggle with this book. Though there were elements that I enjoyed, and I loved the idea of this book, I was a little bit bored, and didn’t feel as immersed as I maybe would have liked. A good read nonetheless!

The Flip Side – James Bailey – 4/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

The Flip Side follows the protagonist, Josh, who decides to put his faith into a 50p coin, after realising that until this point in his life, his choices have got him nowhere; he has been rejected by his girlfriend of four years, Jade, after proposing on the London Eye, is completely penniless, has no career, and has been forced to move back home with his parents. Through putting his faith into the coin, Josh is led across Europe in the hopes of reconnecting with ‘Sunflower Girl’, a stranger whose name he never caught, but whom he felt an instant connection with!

I really loved this book. It was light-hearted, unique, funny, but also had really heart-warming moments; the story was so compelling, I felt really invested in the lives of the characters, and didn’t want it to end.

I recently interviewed James about The Flip Side, which you can find here!

This Ragged, Wastrel Thing – Tomas Marcantonio – 5/5

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of Storgy in exchange for honest feedback.

After eleven years of imprisonment in ‘The Heights’ for murdering his girlfriend Hana, Daganae Kawasaki is finally free; released back into Sonaya, a gritty dystopian city of immense contrasts. Yet, upon his release, it becomes increasingly apparent that Daganae’s freedom does not suit some people’s agenda, and a new murder case is pinned on him; entangled in this situation, Daganae comes face-to-face with his past, and must navigate the corruption of the city and the individuals that stand in his way, in order to truly take hold of his freedom.

I rarely read books of this genre, but This Ragged, Wastrel Thing reminded me that I really should, because this was completely engrossing, so well-written and so difficult to put down. I loved the characters, the setting, the pacing and the intricacy of the plot, and can’t wait for the next installment in the trilogy.

To read my more detailed review on the book, click here.

Before She Knew Him – Peter Swanson – 3/5

‘Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.’

I initially picked this book up because I loved Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing, and thought this would be equally good. Whilst there were elements that I loved about this book, such as the ending (which was AMAZING), I found the majority of the book a little slow and boring.

Sisters – Michelle Francis – 3/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

This is a story of sister rivalries, deep-rooted secrets, familial tensions, and a whole lot of drama.

After reading and thoroughly enjoying ‘The Girlfriend’, I was so excited to read ‘Sisters’, however I was unfortunately left a little disappointed with this one.I was hooked for the first 1/3 of the book, trying to work out who was trustworthy and who was lying etc, and I loved the familial tensions and sister rivalry. However, the pace of the book gradually got slower and even though there was action, it felt a little flat and I wasn’t gripped. I was also really confused by the ending; it all happened very quickly and felt a little rushed.Whilst this wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, I did enjoy it nonetheless, and would recommend to anyone who wishes to read an easy-going thriller.

My Fence is Electric and Other Stories – Mark Newman – 4/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Odyssey Books in exchange for honest feedback.

A housing estate is in shock following a child’s disappearance. A girl and her invisible friend go their separate ways. A father and a son bond over Post-It notes. A single father and his daughter have different approaches to the disappearance of their dog. A father finds his way to coax his agoraphobic son back out into the world.

My Fence is Electric and Other Stories is a collection of award-winning short stories looking at those moments in life that fizz with the electric intensity of change

My Fence is Electric: and Other Stories is a wonderful anthology full of stories of varying lengths, each of which offering something unique and moving in their own way. All of the stories are united by the theme of change, and there is a really nice flow between them; it is also a relatively short book, so it was really easy to pick up, read, and then come back to. All in all, a fantastic read, particularly as this is not the sort of thing I usually read!

If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane – 4/5

After being with her partner Dan for 18 years, Laurie feels completely settled and content; with a house, a fantastic job and security, she feels as though everything in her life has gone to plan. That is, until Dan drops the bombshell that he is leaving her for someone else. Shocked and distraught, Laurie is left wondering what went wrong; after a chance encounter with Jamie, a handsome colleague, the pair create a mutually beneficial fake relationship, with the hopes of making Dan jealous, and helping Jamie become a partner in the law firm they work at. But, over time, the falseness of the relationship fades, and genuine feelings emerge.

I finished this book yesterday afternoon, and absolutely loved it; the plot was really unique, and at some moments I was laughing out-loud, whilst others I felt like crying. This is a feel-good novel about relationships, friendships, heartbreak and love, and will undoubtedly leave you with a massive grin on your face at the end.

What have you read this month? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Thank you for reading. ❤

P.S. you can follow/friend me on Goodreads to keep updated! 😉

2 replies on “Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May 2020”

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