What I Read + Reviews | May 2021

what i read may 2021

Summer reading just hits different, you know? There’s nothing better than knocking off early afternoon to sit outside with a great book. Gosh, I just love this time of year!

Here’s what I read in May – lots of great options for a beach or pool day!


My rating and review: 4.5 stars. I’m so blown away by Emily Henry as a writer. She takes otherwise generic story lines that have been done a million different ways and provides us with thought-provoking, heart-wrenching stories mixed in with some of the cutest, funniest and swoon-worthy moments. Poppy’s and Alex’s friendship was a roller coaster of emotions. I felt it all – frustration, happiness, confusion … mainly hope as I wanted these two characters to be together more than anything. The back-and-forth between present day and past summer trips flowed well, especially since with each chapter we learned a little more about what exactly led to their friendship fallout. Above all, I can’t stop thinking about the message of this story. How it begs the question that even if you have everything that you ever wanted and dreamed of, does that guarantee happiness? It’s a testament to how some of us search high and low for a place to belong, but often times we’re already in that place or that person that makes us feel “home” is staring us right in the face.


My rating and review: 3 stars. I liked the characters in this well enough, but something just never clicked. The chemistry between Ruthie and Teddy was simply not there – it often felt forced. Maybe it was because the setting/location was kind of weird and confusing. There was a lot of emphasis on background story-filler that didn’t matter or contribute to the plot. Unfortunately, Sally Thorne is quickly becoming an author I might wait/pass on until I see other reviews.

IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey | *ARC received from NetGalley, releases July 13!

My rating and review: 4 stars. I devoured this book. So fun. So sexy. So cute. Everything I’ve come to expect from Tessa Bailey. The tension between Piper and Brendan was insane, but oh so worth it. Their relationship is adorable and a surprisingly heartfelt testament to how opposites attract. Can’t wait for the next in the series!

MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid | *ARC received from NetGalley

My rating and review: 4 stars. Within the first few pages, I was wrapped up in the Rivas. The deep dive into this family’s complicated history, relationships and individual personalities had me invested in no time. The play between past and present also kept the story moving forward at a welcomed pace. I will say, however, that after thinking on it for a few days … I’m not sure if I actually ever liked any of the characters. Sure, I connected/related to Nina. Kit was my favorite of the siblings, and the dynamic between the brothers was interesting enough. But, none of them were exactly likable (in my opinion). That said, TJR has a writing- and storytelling style all her own. If her name wasn’t in print as the author, you’d still know it was her. I love how she so effortlessly transports the reader to wherever the story is set, and she’s not afraid to mix the dark and light side of life and explore the consequences when the two mix.

FLOAT PLAN by Trish Doller

My rating and review: 4.5 stars. Oh, my heart. I simply adored this book. I couldn’t put it down! The characters, their stories, their meet-cute and forthcoming adventures … it was all there and then some. The author did a great job balancing the really heavy stuff with light and cute. The perfect pool day read.

Currently reading: The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Let’s connect on Goodreads! You also can keep up with all my reading in the archives.

Linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana.

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.9.21
    Kimberly said:

    So many amazing summer books and I’m hear for them all! I have People We Meet on Vacation sitting next to me waiting for me to open it.

    • 6.14.21
      Karly said:

      I hope that you enjoy it whenever you get to it!

  2. 6.9.21

    Malibu Rising is my favorite book of hers. And you’re right – her name doesn’t need to be on the book for you to know TJR wrote it.

    • 6.14.21
      Karly said:

      It was another solid hit from her, for sure.

  3. 6.9.21
    Nadine said:

    I loved People We Meet on Vacation. I have Float Plan on my TBR, I am adding It Happened One Summer. That one sounds awesome! I enjoyed Malibu Rising, but it was just missing something for me. Perhaps it was that I didn’t love any of the characters either? TJR’s writing is so phenomenal though. Second First Impressions wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. You are right about the relationship seeming kind of forced.

    • 6.9.21
      Karly said:

      We agreed on nearly everything this past month! TJR can do no wrong, but I agree that this latest release wasn’t my favorite of hers.

  4. 6.8.21
    kristen said:

    ahhh i want the tessa bailey book! mi’m starting emily henry today, i’ve heard such good things. need to get to malibu rising asap too!

    • 6.8.21
      Karly said:

      I’m sure you’ll love the newest Tessa Bailey. I flew through it!

  5. 6.8.21
    Heather said:

    LOVED Float Plan. I liked Second First Impressions!! Just finished the Emily Henry book and absolutely adored it so much!!!

    • 6.8.21
      Karly said:

      Yay! So many good reads this past month.

  6. 6.8.21
    Debbie said:

    Nothing like a good beach read and these all sound interesting!

  7. 6.8.21
    SMD said:

    Your last line of the Malibu Rising paragraph is a great description of Taylor Jenkins Reid.

    • 6.8.21
      Karly said:

      Thanks! It really does sum up her overall writing style.

  8. 6.8.21

    Yay for summer reading. I’m hoping to get to Beach Read this month or next, and then I can read Henry’s newest.


    • 6.8.21
      Karly said:

      I hope that you love both – Beach Read was SO good.

  9. 6.8.21
    Biana said:

    Im reading the people we meet on vacation right now!! Also next up is TJR latest book – can’t wait! xo, Biana

    • 6.8.21
      Karly said:

      Yay, I hope that you enjoy both! xx

  10. 6.7.21
    Lovely said:

    It’s always a win when the book is so good you just can’t stop reading. I’m adding Float Plan to my list.

    • 6.8.21
      Karly said:

      Agreed! Happy reading – Float Plan was great!