There’s really no way to transition to “normal” content after last week. While I may not share everything that I’m doing to educate myself about the Black community and the social injustice they experience, just know that I’m a part of the Black Lives Matter movement for the long-haul. I’m researching, reading, listening, having tough conversations … all in the hope that I can be better-informed to help incite long-overdue change.
And, going forward, I strive to include more books by Black authors in these monthly posts. While I have read and loved books written by Black authors in the past, I don’t always consciously make an effort to seek them out. Shame on me. I’m going to be better.
On that note … let’s get into what I read in May 2020 and my reviews.
What I read in May 2020
THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD by Josie Silver
My rating & review: 4 stars. Emotional, touching and beautifully written. Josie Silver did an exceptional job of capturing the coping process of grief – how to pick up the pieces and move forward, all the while still processing the grief in the background (and not ever entirely letting go). Also, I so wish there would’ve been more Jonah Jones. Based on what was written/what we know about his character, he seemed like my ideal man. I definitely ugly cried at the end between him and Lydia. Few book endings are as bittersweet and perfect as this was.
LOVE THE ONE YOU HATE by R.S. Grey
*ARC received from author. Available on Kindle Unlimited!
My rating & review: 3.5 stars. This was heavier on the sentimental side of things for R.S. Grey. The focus was more on Maren and those helping her on her journey to find herself, rather than the romance between her and Nicholas. It was a light, enjoyable read. There were elements that reminded me of Pride & Prejudice and My Fair Lady.
LONG BRIGHT RIVER by Liz Moore
My rating & review: 4 stars. This is a prime example of something I’d never be interested in on my own, but since it has received so much hype I felt like I HAD to read it. Did it live up to my expectations? No. I found it pretty slow, and I waited page-after-page for the story to pick up. Do I appreciate this book and story for what it is? Absolutely. While I didn’t necessarily “enjoy” it – let’s face it, it’s dark and depressing AF – it was some of the best writing and attention-to-detail that I’ve read in a while.
THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY by Natalie Jenner
*ARC received from NetGalley.
My rating & review: 3.5 stars. Wow, this was a sloooooow read. I almost pushed it to the side a few times. It’s not that I disliked it. I didn’t, at all! I actually often found myself wishing I could be a part of this little town with these characters that were dealing with heavy shit but still managed to keep a sweetness about them. However, I think the constant quoting and dissection of Jane Austen’s novels was a bit much. There also were a lot of characters and several POVs, a few that fell rather flat and I feel like didn’t need their own narrative. That said, the ending did pick up some momentum, and I adored all the character updates in the epilogue.
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE (Oxford #4) by Lauren Layne
My rating & review: 3 stars. This passed the time just fine! I had zero expectations and knew nothing about this series. Probably should’ve started with the first book to have more context on some of the characters mentioned throughout, but I don’t think it hindered anything. Not exactly fluff – there are some “heavier” topics dealt with throughout – but overall it’s a light, brainless read to get lost in for a few hours.
Currently reading & what I plan to read in June
I just picked up I Found You by Lisa Jewell from the library. She’s one of my favorite authors that I haven’t gotten to in a while, so it’s nice to revisit an old friend. Besides whatever holds come in from the library – I’ve already had to delay several because I received them all at once! – my reading priorities for June are How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
What are you reading?