Friday, June 5, 2020

Five Star Friday: May 2020

On the first Friday of each month, I will share my five-star reads from the previous month. Fingers crossed, I have lots of books to tell you about.

People, I am on a roll! I had another stupendous reading month. My numbers are back to normal, since I starting working again, and am listening to lots of audiobooks. I finished 43 books this month. But, that's not the best part. I also had 8 5-star rated books, which I am excited to share with you.
Jellicoe Road
Melina Marchetta

This book was weird and wonderful and brilliant. It knocked me off center, and then delighted me in the way it all came together. Watching Taylor search for Hannah, while forging bonds with her "enemies" was an incredible treat. The bits of Hannah's manuscript were utilized well, and I liked the parallels between what was happening to that group and Hannah's group. This book was surprising and so, so utterly touching.

The Summer Deal
Jill Shalvis

I love Shalvis. Her books always leave me in a better mood than they found me, and that was the case with THE SUMMER DEAL as well. I adored the cast she assembled, and watching them work through their baggage, and allow themselves the love they deserved was truly wonderful. Shalvis really made my sappy heart happy with that ending too. Light and fun, but also emotional. Essentially, signature Shalvis for me.

Life After Juliet
Shannon Lee Alexander

The first book in this world wrecked me, and I will admit, I cried at times as I read this one, but it was different. Alexander did such an incredible job helping me understand the hole that Charlotte's death left in her world. Her pain was palpable, and therefore, it was important for me to see her work through her grief. Oh, and Alexander gave her such a wonderful group of people to support her as she took those steps. It was a rather beautiful and hopeful story.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the romance in this book. Emilio was such a fantastic match for Jude, and the way he could connect with Jude's dad brought tears to my eyes. But the bigger part of this story was about a father and daughter. Jude's dad was suffering from early onset Alzheimer's, and she just wanted to try to help him hold onto some of his memories. This book was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking, and I just loved it!

Say Yes Summer 
Lindsay Roth Culli

I am starting to see more and more of these "bridge" books, the books with stories that happen between high school graduation and what comes next. For Rachel, college was next, but she had missed out on so much while working towards her academic goals, and now wanted to say YES to new experiences. The book was fun and adorable. I loved watching Rachel make mistakes and grow from them. Verdict: Fluffy and wonderful!

The Marriage Game 
Sara Desai

After being sorely disappointed by several so called "rom-com" books, I was happy to find one that was sexy, swoony, and hilarious. I devoured this book, and laughed so much. Watching Layla suffer through her dates make me cringe, smile, and laugh. Her family also provided many comedic moments, but it was the interactions between Layla and Sam, as they tried to fight their growing attraction. The book had a small flaw in one via one of the side plots, but it did not hamper my overall enjoyment.

Colleen Hoover

I knew I was going to shed some tears, I mean, this is a book by Colleen Hoover. Sure enough, I was bawling. Both Lake and Will had suffered great losses, and it seemed like the universe wasn't done with beating them down. There were bright spots for them though. The connection they shared, the love from their brothers, and the memories they kept in their hearts helped ease the pain. And, the ending! I shed all sorts of tears, because it was wonderful and a little sad, but still wonderful.

Again Again
E. Lockhart

I will tell you right now - I am a fan of E. Lockhart's books. I get that they are not everyone's cup of tea, but she never fails to make me ponder something, deeply. This book was about Adelaide, who was still reeling from the effects of her brother's addiction. She had spent her year away trying to lose herself in her new school and in a boy, and when said boy abandons her, she was left to face her family problems. Doesn't sound all that new, but it was the way Lockhart took this story, and used it to explore the idea of possibilities. Throughout the story, she would offer an alternate choice and its outcome. Some of these were short, some were explored more fully, but it was interesting to see how a small change could result in such big outcomes. I found it all quite beautiful and thought provoking.

Did you have any five-star reads last month? 
Let us know in the comments!

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