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Recent Reads | May 2016

It seems like with summer just around the corner, all of us are indulging in more reading – what else are we supposed to do while outside enjoying that sunshine for hours on end?!

Recent Reads May 2016
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After my last recent reads roundup, I took a little time off because I was feeling burnt out. It happens, and that’s why I don’t have as many books in this post as I would’ve liked. But, once some of my library holds finally started to come through, I was able to jump right back in where I left off and I’ve been reading one, if not two, books a week. Life is fun that way, right?

Recent Reads May 2016Enchanted (Books of Arilland #1) by Alethea Kontis – 2 stars
This book was recommended in a magazine to people who enjoy the TV show Once Upon a Time – I didn’t find that to be an accurate comparison at all. I should have finished this book in a day, but it took me almost a week because I kept falling asleep. The story didn’t make sense at all – it kept jumping around to different characters and plots, so I continually was flipping back to reread pages. If you’re into magic and fairy tales, then you might enjoy this book, but this one was just a little too all over the place for my taste.

 

 

Recent Reads May 2016One With You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day – 4 stars
Guilty pleasure reading at its finest, folks. I’m a huge fan of the Crossfire series – it’s way better than 50 Shades of Grey, in my opinion – so I dove into the final book the day it was released. It wasn’t my favorite book of the series, but the story still wrapped itself up well and Eva and Gideon finally found some peace with each other. The tragedy that occurred toward the end of the story didn’t make any sense or align with the story at all, so that kind of threw me off. Plus, how Gideon handled it with Eva was just kind of strange – she wasn’t really allowing herself to grieve, so Gideon took it upon himself to lay some amazing sex on her, and then everything magically was better. Hey, whatever works I guess. Overall, I feel like this series could’ve ended with the third or fourth book, but the progression of the characters – particularly Gideon since I enjoyed the chapters from his point-of-view most – was interesting to read and I ultimately was rooting for them as a couple in the end.

Recent Reads May 2016Intertwine (House of Oak, #1) by Nichole Van – 3 stars
I found this book on a whim in my daily BookBub emails, and when Goodreads described it as a historical romance, I knew that for free it was worth a try. The first part of the book is super slow – it’s kind of an odd story of a woman being obsessed with a photo of man in a locket that she found at an estate sale, and then she ventures off to the English countryside to try to find out more about his past. Well, luck has it that she eventually is transported back in time and magically ends up in this guy’s house. Once their relationship develops a bit more, the story gets more intriguing, but overall, it was pretty boring.

 

 

Recent Reads May 2016Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts #1) by Claire Contreras – 4 stars
This book shouldn’t have been as enjoyable as I found it to be, but we can’t all be perfect. This was another freebie from BookBub, and based on the Goodreads reviews, I decided to give it a go when I was in between library books. It was an easy read – I think I finished it in two nights – and there’s no better way to describe it than a guilty pleasure read. It’s a tale as old as time – girl is in love with her older brother’s best friend. Brother’s best friend loves her back but isn’t good at commitment and doesn’t want to ruin his friendship with his best friend. Everybody finds out – there’s a fight – best friend wins girl back. It’s definitely not award-winning writing, but I did enjoy the story and there was more character development than I was expecting. For free, I’ll take it.

Recent Reads May 2016Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4 stars
I loved this book. Really, truly loved this book. It personally made me think back about certain decisions I’ve made in life and what would’ve happened if I would’ve chosen opposite – for example, I almost left college after my first semester, but if I would’ve done that, I wouldn’t have met Ryan and then where would I be?! Anyways, I enjoyed both sides of the story in this book, although I did prefer one over the other so I started to get sick of reading about the other story (hence the 4 stars). I was happy, though that in the end, regardless of which route that the main character took, she ended up happy and where she was supposed to be.

 

Recent Reads May 2016Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – 5 stars
Well, I’m glad the months and months of waiting for this to finally be mine from the library were worth it. Words can’t really describe how much I love this book and how it makes me feel. It’s a beautiful story of two rather broken people, and I enjoyed how Louisa and Will slowly were able to open up to one another and allow themselves to be loved – even if it only was for a fixed amount of time. I admit that I did struggle with Will’s decision to still go through with what he had planned, but that’s because I’m a romantic and like to believe (especially in the literary world) that love can conquer anything. I didn’t sob my eyes out like I was anticipating, but I did shed a few tears at the end both from sadness and for the hope of a good, happy life that laid ahead for Lou. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie next week (Ryan already promised me an opening night date night since he owes me for some crap man movies I’ve had to watch lately!), and I hope that it does the book justice.

Recent Reads May 2016After You by Jojo Moyes – 4 stars
I’ve heard mixed reviews on this book, but I was still anxious to jump right into it after the first book. Lucky for me, I had them both on checkout from the library at the same time – what are the odds? I definitely didn’t love this book as much as the first, but I did enjoy the progression of Louisa grieving and ultimately accepting what happened to her and her life 18 months prior. I thought her new love interest, Sam, was exactly what she needed, but I’m also glad that in the end she didn’t give up her life and dreams to stay behind. I did have an issue with the new character, Lily. I don’t want to go into too much detail so I don’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t yet read this, but I guess I didn’t feel like her appearance in this story was necessary. It sort of tainted my feelings toward Will, and frankly, I know the girl was troubled but she is a complete brat. She just uses Louisa to get to her new family and then drops her like it’s hot. There also wasn’t a ton of backstory about Lily’s mother and how she knew Will back in the day, so the whole thing kind of seemed like an afterthought. But, the book as a whole was a solid follow up, and I think most people would enjoy continuing along on Louisa’s adventure.

Final recommendations: Me Before You and Maybe in Another Life are must-reads, and Kaleidoscope Hearts and After You also deserve honorable mentions. Skip Enchanted.

What books should be on my radar for the next couple months? Leave your recommendations in the comments!