Show us Your Books – short reviews for May!

Hard to believe another month has passed since the last SUYB link up! I read some phenomenal books this month and I can’t wait to share them here!!! Linking up with Steph and Jana today – check out their blogs for others’ posts about books too!!

The Bookish Life of Nina HillThe Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this entire book, pretty much, with a smile plastered on my face. Nina is such a fun character – she lives for books, she is excellent at trivia, she is a good friend, but she is also rigid, organized, and likes her alone time. It’s easy to relate to her and respect her. It was fun to watch her grow and accept changes in her well-planned-out life throughout this book.
The writing in this novel is so quirky, so fun to read, and there were so many lines that I just read over again because the turn of phrase that Waxman used was just SO good. If you live a bookish life at all, you might be predisposed to like this one more than others but I think this book will resonate with a lot of readers who can relate to balancing time alone and time with friends, friends as family, and being yourself in spite of others’ expectations. Thank you to Edelweiss, Berkley, and the author for the ARC of this wonderful book. It comes out July 9. This is a perfect one to add to your summer reading list! 

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #2)Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book the day it came out and waited a few months to read it. I don’t know why!!! I loved Nevermoor and this one picked up right where that left off. I ended up listening to half of this and reading half of it. The audio version was fantastic. This world is so much fun to read about and I cannot wait to share it with my children in a few years. I can tell that Jessica Townsend is building up to quite the series here and this one was no exception – sometimes I don’t love a sequel as much as the first in a series but that was not the case here. This sequel dove into more about what it is like to be in the Wundrous Society and we learn more about Morrigan’s unit and candidates. Some new characters are introduced in the form of educators and conductors of the unit. We also meet Hawthorne’s family in this book.

There are still many themes of good vs evil, friendship, family, loyalty, and of course, magical abilities and power throughout this book and I absolutely adored it. Cannot wait to continue the series ASAP!!

The Friend ZoneThe Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

I saw someone post about this book in probably January 2019 and say that it was one of the best books they’d read this year so I went to check it out and could not WAIT to read it. I was delighted to be approved for an ARC from Netgalley and Forever earlier this week and couldn’t resist diving into the book right away despite being in the middle of a few other books. This book certainly did not disappoint. It packed WAY more of an emotional punch than I was expecting based on the synopsis and the cover, especially in the latter chapters. I loved the dual perspectives, and fully appreciated Josh’s perspective in particular. Not every female author nails the male POV the way that Abby does in this book. Of course, it helps that the main characters are all extremely lovable (including Stuntman Mike, Kristen’s adorable dog!). By the time I finished this, I felt like I had been put through the emotional wringer but it was still ultimately a satisfying ending. These two characters and their path to one another isn’t easy and there are some very, very real issues that go on in this book. It was such a great read and I highly recommend if this is your genre of choice (and if you read it, PLEASE talk to me about it, PLEASE!!!)

Thank you to Forever Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC of this book which comes out June 11!

The HuntressThe Huntress by Kate Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a riveting novel and I was captivated throughout. I quite enjoyed it as an audiobook. Sometimes the whole “the reader knows everything but the characters don’t” thing doesn’t work for me, but it was well done here.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal WeddingThe Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this especially the dual perspectives and the extremely wonderful characters. I would highly recommend this if you want to read a historical fiction book that is NOT about a world war. This was fascinating but not devastatingly sad like some other books. There was a “mystery” (who is this person?!) element to it that was really fun.

Daisies and Devotion (Mayfield Family, #2)Daisies and Devotion by Josi S. Kilpack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, I loved this book so much. What a sweet little love story. Can’t wait to continue this fun series of proper romances – this one reminded me a lot of one of my favourites of all time, Edenbrooke!!
Thank you to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC of this book. It is a standalone novel but I enjoyed the first in the series too!  

The FlatshareThe Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book took me a little while to get into but the characters were lovely, the concept was refreshing, and I love reading books set in London (or Britain in general). There was definitely more to this than meets the eye, and it held my interest and kept me turning pages quickly. A lot of cute references to other literary works. Tiffy’s job sounds like a blast and the supporting characters were all really fun. Definitely recommend this if you’re looking for some well-written summer chick lit with some more serious topics woven through. Thank you so much to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC of this book!! This comes out May 28. 

The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was adorable and might be one of my new favourites from this hilarious duo. Whenever I get a new Christina Lauren book I cannot wait to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea (or wine) and just jump in and laugh and grin and feel light emotions for a few hours. Their books are a great pass-the-time-happily experience for me and I often get exactly what I expect, but funnier. Their writing is so fun and their characters and the situations they find themselves in are unique and interesting. This one about two “sworn enemies” – siblings of a bride and groom – who are the only two people at a wedding that don’t end up with horrifying food poisoning – is pure gold. The two “enemies” go on the honeymoon for the couple and encounter some people from their past and future while they are pretending to be the newlyweds. The whole setting and trip sounded like a blast and of course, there are some bumps along the way. Highly recommend this one for another perfect beach read this summer. Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for the ARC of this book which is on shelves today!! 

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really liked this and found it to be very fast paced and easy to read. The characters were all well developed and I loved Khai and his family, particularly his brother, Quan. I loved the glimpses we see of Michael and Stella from The Kiss Quotient. Helen Hoang’s writing is spot-on and she portrays these characters wonderfully. Of course, the ending was swoon-worthy too, and I expected no less. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC of this book. PS: This book is on Hoopla (audio) if you’re having a hard time getting it at the library!!! 

The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities, #4)The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, I love this series. It is set in such a different world than most contemporary romance novels and it is SO fun to be continually learning more about the London theater scene. Of course, the Austen themes in this one were especially appealing to me. I will absolutely write whatever Lucy Parker writes in the future because her books are so well done!! I think there are plans for a 5th in this series (can’t wait).
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC of this 4th book in the London Celebrities series which is out now!!

Book Scavenger (Book Scavenger, #1)Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d file this book under “books I would have loved with all my heart at the age of 11-12 but I still like quite a bit at the age of 33”. Is that a category? 🙂 This book introduced me to such a unique concept and the plot involved children on a fun (but dangerous! jeepers!) literary adventure through San Francisco. Emily’s family and her new friend were wonderful supporting characters and can I just say PLEASE can book scavenger be a thing in the real world now?!?! I want to play it so badly!! (Basically, geocaching with books). Can’t wait to read the rest of the series as it comes out.

Enjoyable but don’t rush out right away:

Normal PeopleNormal People by Sally Rooney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Usually, after I finish a book, I obviously know whether I liked it or not. With this one, I just could NOT get my thoughts together. If someone else read this and said to me, “wow, I loved that!” I would completely understand why. Likewise, if someone said they hated it, I could relate to that too. LOL. However, this book was not what I expected and I read it in two very busy days, so I absolutely enjoyed the experience. I also can’t believe the author is only 28 years old. These words are so well done. I didn’t completely love either of the main characters, but the plot and the way it followed the characters over time with some ups and downs in both of their lives was just so good. I hesitate to recommend this wholeheartedly without any reservations, but I know it will be sought out widely this summer and I can understand why.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book. 

On the Come UpOn the Come Up by Angie Thomas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sadly, I did not love this as much as many other readers, nor did I love it as much as The Hate U Give, but it was still wonderfully narrated by Bahni Turpin and provided me with a perspective that I am not usually exposed to. Overall, Brie just didn’t tug at my heartstrings the way other characters do and I think that was my disconnect from the story in general. The plot definitely held my attention though and I quite enjoyed the ending.

Waiting for Tom HanksWaiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was cute and felt very much like watching one of those mid-2000s romantic comedy movies with quirky side characters and a happy ending. Some parts of it were quite funny but it was overall pretty fluffy and there were some issues here and there. I do look forward to the sequel with some interesting characters introduced in this book. If you’re looking for one good summer read, however, I’d recommend one of the others mentioned in this post. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If I Loved You Less (Pemberley House, #2)If I Loved You Less by Noelle Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After absolutely adoring the first book in this series, which was loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, I was quite antsy to dive into this one, which is loosely based on Emma. It was cute and fun – I enjoyed revisiting all of the characters from the first novella in the series and I really enjoyed Ward and Em as characters. I liked the way this was updated and modernized as an adaptation. Ultimately, it didn’t quite live up to my love of the first, but I do prefer P&P to Emma quite a bit too so that’s partly on me. If you are a fan of Austen retellings, these are some of the better ones I’ve read – I cannot WAIT for the Persuasion retelling which is next and comes out in June.

Only Ever HerOnly Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first book by this author and it felt quite hard to get through despite being not very long. I think it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The mystery aspect definitely kept me entertained but I couldn’t find myself caring as much about the characters as I usually do when reading these types of books. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book which came out May 7.

I also re-read and adored Anne of Avonlea 🙂

TL;DR – please add The Bookish Life of Nina Hill to your summer TBR if you like contemporary fiction about a girl who loves books 😉 If you’re into romance I cannot recommend Lucy Parker’s books enough and I also recommend The Flatshare, The Unhoneymooners, and The Friend Zone 100%. If you are into Middle grade fiction in any capacity, The Nevermoor series and Book Scavenger were both excellent. Or The Gown if you are looking for a historical fiction book that is not about the war in any way!

Currently reading: too many to list here, LOL, but I post pretty regularly over on Goodreads! 🙂

What are you reading lately? Is anyone else super excited for summer reading season!? So many good books on the horizon!!!

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