Recent Reads, May 2021

I spent some of this month in a bit of a reading funk. I just couldn’t find the attention span or concentration to get pulled into a book. So I did a little more book hopping than I usually do, and found my groove again! And now I’m back to getting lost in in a book, out on my deck in the sunshine. Here’s what I read in May!

A collage of books, including: Ariadne; Of Women and Salt; Legendborn; Forever, Interrupted; Take Me Home Tonight; People We Meet on Vacation; A Special place for Women; Goodbye, again
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

I love books that take the stories from Greek mythology and expands upon them – tells the stories of the in-betweens, the normal days that the stories of myth gloss over. I wasn’t familiar with the story of Ariadne, Dionsysus’ wife, but I loved it. Ariadne helps a prince of Athens escape (and escapes with him), but she ends up being betrayed and can’t return home. It’s a story about betrayal, and love, and family (like all Greek myths are), and it’s really moving.

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

It took me a little bit to get into this book, but it all came together in the end and had a bit of a full circle moment. It jumps between different characters, and women of different generations, but eventually you learn about the relationships between characters and how they’re connected. It’s not lighthearted – it addresses addiction, and immigration, and abuse – but it shows portraits of strong women.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

I loved this book and am already so excited for the eventual sequel! It’s a combination of Arthurian legend, Southern roots, and #BlackGirlMagic. It’s so good – Bree, a pre-college student, goes to the same school that her mother went to, only to find out there’s a lot more to her mother’s time there than she ever knew. As she tries to learn more about the mystery, she finds herself drawn into a secret magical society of sorts. It’s so good!!

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m such a fan of Daisy Jones and the Six, so I wanted to read some other books by the same author. This is definitely a very different story – it follows a woman, Elsie, whose husband dies only 10 days after their wedding. The story keeps going back and forth, showing Elsie now, and then flashbacking to the beginning of her relationship with her now-deceased husband. It’s fascinating to see both how the relationship comes to be, and then how she mourns and learns to live without it. It’s not exactly a happy book, but it’s a really interesting look at love and loss.

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

This was a little too young adult for me, but it’s not a bad book – just a little bit too unrealistic. It follows two high school best friends who sneak away to go into New York City for the night, only to be separated and phone-less after an argument. They each have their own adventures and end up finding each other again at the end of the night, each having grown on their own. It was a little bit predictable, but I loved the friendship and how the book felt a bit like a love letter to New York City.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

This is the ultimate will they or won’t they story about two best friends (male and female) who met in college and have a tradition of taking summer trips together. The chapters alternate back and forth between “now” and previous summer trips, and you keep getting allusions to one summer trip where things went wrong and they didn’t speak for months afterwards. As you might imagine from the title, this is an excellent summer/beach/vacation read.

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin

This is the book that got me out of my reading funk! It’s a little bit of a mystery, a little bit of a romance, and a little bit about friendship, and I loved it. A journalist, Jillian, finds herself trying to fake her way into a super secret, super exclusive, female only club (which kind of reminded me of what I’ve read about The Wing in real life). But when she’s able to get in, she finds out that there seems to be more lurking under the surface, and she’s willing to go far to find out what, exactly, the secret is. It’s really twisty, and I couldn’t put it down.

Goodbye, Again by Jonny Sun

This is a collection of essays and stories, not a novel. I loved that I could pick it up, read a few essays, and put it down without losing track of the story or the plot or the characters. It’s also really sweet, and touching, and sincere – it touches on life, and love, and loss in a lot of different ways.

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