All the Lockdown Reading I Haven’t Been Doing :) Show us Your Books May

That’s right – we are back in a lockdown here in Nova Scotia similar to March 2020! No social contact with anyone aside from your own household. AHH. Online schooling. The only main difference is that we’re doing it with a puppy this year ;);)

Anyway – I did binge a few books to distract myself, but there were quite a few I didn’t get to that I wanted to!! I’m linking up with Steph & Jana today for Show us Your Books!


Just Last NightJust Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 – really loved this one

I picked this book up and could barely think of anything else until I finished it. It was equal parts funny, emotional, heart breaking, cheering for the characters, and utterly compelling. I have loved Mhairi’s last two books immensely so I am delighted that this one was such a huge hit for me too. I love how she takes a character who needs just a little bit more self-confidence and transforms them throughout the book. I love how her characters are quirky, often have wonderful friend groups, and are so wonderfully British 🙂

This story follows Eve, Ed, Justin, and Susie – a foursome who met in high school & have been together through thick and thin for years and years. Without spoiling much, one night of tragedy changes all of their lives forever and some secrets come out in the aftermath that shift their little group for the rest of their lives. I loved our main protagonist, Eve (Evelyn), and everything she went through in the book. Mhairi’s writing is so addicting and you feel all of the feelings the characters are experiencing.

I’d highly recommend this book that falls firmly into women’s fiction, but is not as light as you might expect. Thank you to Harper Collins and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Content warnings: sudden death of a young person, domestic abuse, early dementia

Letters Across the SeaLetters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I could not flip the pages in this book quickly enough & the story was captivating, authentic, beautiful, heart-wrenching, and so raw. It is incredible to be a Canadian learning about an event in Canadian history that I’d never heard of AT ALL and I appreciate this so much about Genevieve’s work. 

In Letters Across the Sea, we meet two families & a myriad of friends living in Toronto during the depression prior to Canada’s involvement in WWII. Molly’s family (Protestant) lives across the street from Max & Hannah’s family (Jewish). There are undertones of Hitler’s venom entering Toronto & the families end up divided after a hateful public event, much to Max and Molly’s dismay (and Hannah’s as well). Fast forward several years and some of them are tangled up overseas in the war with devastating consequences. Molly becomes a journalist & tells incredible stories about veterans returning to Canada. The story is so captivating but also so painful because the reader begins to love and relate to these characters so much. I would recommend this book without a doubt to historical fiction fans. I absolutely loved it. 

I’m a broken record because I said this after The Forgotten Home Child too, but I desperately need to go back and read this author’s backlist! ASAP!! Five stars from this proud Nova Scotian for a local author who writes amazing historical fiction. I’m lucky to have friends who have read her entire backlist and have steered me into my next read by Genevieve SOON!!! Thank you to S&S and Netgalley for an ARC of this book. My book club online is meeting with the author tonight! I’m so excited.

Firekeeper's DaughterFirekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book did not disappoint one little bit. It was nearly impossible to put down, it made me smile, made me tear up, and most of all, made me think and immerse myself in a life I’ll never have or know.  Angeline Boulley wrote this book over a decade, and the attention to detail and magnificent writing shines through on every page. Swipe to see a synopsis from @goodreads but here are a few things I absolutely loved about this book:  1) It spanned several genres, in my opinion. Technically this is classified as YA but there is also a mystery/thriller element as well as some romance and strong cultural and family components2) The characters are so easy to root for and want to watch succeed. Daunis is not a character I will forget anytime soon & I loved how fierce and determined she was in this book. 3) Despite this book being fiction, I learned so much about the Ojibwe tribe and some of their traditions and customs. It was utterly fascinating and woven into the story seamlessly. I half listened to/half read this book & highly recommend the narration for some of the terminology. 

The Houseplant: A Short StoryThe Houseplant: A Short Story by Jeremy Ray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a short read – I know it took me less than 30 minutes to read because I read it in the parking lot while my kids did a swimming lesson, but by the end of it I was choked up and had tears streaming down my face. I’ll leave you to interpret that as you will and keep in mind that my emotions are a biiiiit closer to the surface than usual, but to say this story moved me would be an understatement. Oftentimes, with short stories, I always feel like I want just a little bit more, but this story is perfect just the way it is. 

I highly recommend picking up this story about George the fern and the family he goes home with from the store – it is a short story that packs a very big punch. Thank you so much to the author for reaching out & for this wonderful little story. 5 stars here & will re-read someday FOR SURE. It’s on Kindle Unlimited or available there to buy, too! I think you all need this short story in your life. 

Thank you to the author for the ecopy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Last Thing He Told MeThe Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Last Thing He Told Me is a twisty psychological drama similar in content to some of Lisa Jewell’s best books (in my humble opinion). It most involves domestic whtie-collar suspense and is not gory in the way some thrillers are, but it is captivating and it is impossible not to flip those pages very quickly. This book is about a relatively new wife, Hannah, whose husband Owen doesn’t come home at the end of the day. She has a precarious relationship with her 16 year old stepdaughter, who was single parented by her father for years and years before Hannah came into their lives. When the news begins to break about Owen’s company being investigated by the FBI, and several notes don’t quite add up, Hannah and her stepdaughter Bailey dig a little deeper over the course of just a few days to find out exactly what Owen might have been hiding.  I went into this book knowing nothing & I’d recommend you do the same, overall! It was such a great reading experience with a lot of really cool OH I GET THAT moments & I just loved the pace, the plot, and the ending. I bought it for my mom for Mother’s Day this past weekend 🙂 This book will make a lot of recommended lists this summer and it will be WELL deserved. 

One Last StopOne Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really, really profoundly enjoyed every single second of this book. It was not at all what I expected in the best possible way. The characters in this book were absolutely incredible; the plot is fast-moving, fascinating, and just SO cool, and overall I really just felt like this was unlike anything I’ve read in recent memory, if ever.

August moves to NYC for another change in her post-secondary plans and meets a fantastic gang of random roommates (I can totally relate to this aspect because I had tons of random roommates in university and it was so fun). She meets a super fun girl on the subway one day who she is instantly drawn to – but Jane isn’t quite who August ends up expecting. I don’t want to say too much about the rest of the story because of spoilers, even though it is in the synopsis here…but there ends up being a bit of a race against time to enable this couple to end up together before it’s too late.

There wasn’t a single second of this that I didn’t love (well, there was one, if we’re being honest, but it was all good). SUCH A GOOD BOOK!!

Thank you to Edelweiss and SMP for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This one is out June 1!!


Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the majority of this and I’ll fully admit to complete confusion for the first 20% or so – not because I haven’t read the Grishaverse trilogy (I don’t think), but because there was a lot to pay attention to and I was listening on puppy walks where my attention was scattered every 10 seconds. After that though, this book totally grew on me! Will I go back to read the Shadow and Bone series? Not sure, but I’ll definitely read the second in this duology and watch the show!

GreenlightsGreenlights by Matthew McConaughey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book started off pretty hilarious, and I enjoyed the narration and some of the stories A LOT, but it wasn’t quite as good as I was expecting based on friends’ reviews.

I also read Infinite Country (it fell a bit flat), City Spies: Golden Gate with my 9 year old, and I re-read Cress on audio – making my way through all the Lunar Chronicles again! 🙂 I’m reading Anne of Green Gables aloud to my girls for the first time and it is just as delightful as you’d imagine. I’m also currently reading and loving Sally Thorne’s newest book, Second First Impressions, as well as another book called The Secret Bridesmaid and Illuminae on audio.

What are you reading? What should I be reading next? I have a million ARCs to get to as well as a bunch of library books out too but I want to hear what you’ve loved lately!!!

10 responses to “All the Lockdown Reading I Haven’t Been Doing :) Show us Your Books May”

  1. excuse me, all of these books, i haven’t read any?! i’m afraid for our friendship. i have a lot of catching up to do!


  2. I can’t wait to read Fire Keeper’s Daughter. I need to get my hands on that ASAP. I asked Netgalley but also requested from the library in case they deny me.

    So sorry for back in lockdown.


    1. thanks! Lockdown again is…less than ideal. You will love FireKeeper’s Daughter 100%.


  3. I need to get my hands on The Last Thing He Told Me.

    I’m so sorry you’re in lockdown again. But puppies make everything better! Busier, too!


    1. I think you’ll fly through that one and love it! The puppy is definitely keeping us busy LOL.


  4. I just added several of these books to my to read list: Just Last Night, Letters Across the Sea and The Last Thing He Told Me! They all sound like great reads!


  5. I hope you all make it out of lockdown sooner rather than later. The Houseplant sounds amazing but I’m trying to avoid the hyper-emotional books for a bit. I’m a cryer already and don’t need much help. I’m going to tell my mom about Letters Across the Sea – she’s a huge historical fiction fan and I think that’s right up her alley!


  6. I’m so mad that I skipped BOTM this month now since everyone is raving about Laura Dave’s latest! Sounds SO good. As usual, there’s so many books in this post that I want to read now! I usually adore McFarlane’s books, so I’m excited to get her latest!



  7. shootingstarsmag Avatar

    I have an e-arc of One Last Stop to get to so I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much!!!
    Sorry to hear you’re all in lockdown again!



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