Monday 1 June 2020

What I've been Reading Through May

Lockdown has been bloody marvellous for reading, hasn't it?

At the end of May, I hit fifty books on my Goodreads Challenge so I only have another twenty-five to go until I hit my challenge for the year and if staying home is all I'm doing then I don't think it'll be long. Last year was the first year I'd set myself a challenge and I find them a great way to just keep track of what I'm reading, I know it's not for everyone but I really enjoy using the app. 

I read twelve books in May but I'm just gonna share some of my favourites with you in this post so it doesn't end up being too wordy! As always, I keep everything I've read on my Books 2020 highlight on my Instagram so if you're looking for any more recommendations - be sure to look there too. 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russel
My Dark Vanessa is a book I've wanted to read for a while and I completely devoured it over a weekend. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed it because to be honest it was an incredibly intense and uncomfortable read but despite that, it was one I just couldn't put down. It takes on the difficult task of portraying a teacher-student relationship, alternating between Vanessa's present and past and the effects this relationship had on her life. It's raw, upsetting and I found myself wanting to shake Vanessa at times but it was also thought-provoking and written so brilliantly - it's a hard read but era-defining and extremely relevant in the present day. 

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reed
It took me a little while to get into this but once I was past the first few chapters I really loved it. It follows Emira, a 25-year-old African American woman who babysits for a wealthy white family. The book starts on the night she's accused of kidnapping the little girl she looks after which sets off the story of relationships, race and class. It's funny, brilliantly written and puts class division in the spotlight. Emira is a really likeable character and I adored the relationship between Emira and Briar - it was very sweet. Emira is also super relatable as a twenty-something, I think we've all been in the moment where we didn't know what we were doing with our lives. It's a really great read. 

Wish You Were Here by Mike Gayle
Another novel by Mike Gayle, I just can't get enough! Wish You Were Here is a fantastic, light read and I really enjoyed it. It was a slow start and there seems to be a bit more at the beginning than was truly necessary but once I was past that, I couldn't put it down. I love reading life and romance from a man's point of view and Mike does this brilliantly. This one really captures the emotional turmoil of a break-up, the complacency that begins to creep in and the fear of moving on. I loved the character development and I really didn't see the second half of the book coming, it was really great. 

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle 
I LOVED this! I wasn't sure what to expect, I assumed it was a romance novel but I was totally mistaken. It follows Manhattan lawyer Dannie who has her entire life planned out, she's with her ideal guy and is about to land the job she's been working towards for years but when she falls asleep one night, she dreams she's in a different apartment with a different man, and it's five years later. When she wakes, she convinces herself it was a dream, and tries to forget about it, until four and a half years later, she meets the same man which in turn sparks a chain of events no one expects.

It's heartwrenching in parts but tells a beautiful story of love and friendship. It's one of my favourite books from this month.

Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? by Kristen Bailey
I'd seen this a few times as recommended on Amazon so when it went to 99p I snapped it up and devoured it. It's incredibly funny and kept me laughing throughout, sometimes out loud. It follows the antics of a married couple with kids that have gone from shagging all over town in their 20's to a family home up north and the mundane life to go with it. I loved Meg, one of the main characters - she was hilarious, relatable and her moments of vulnerability touched my heart. The writing was fun and enlightening with plenty of humour and a story that I definitely didn't see coming. If you love innuendos and Brit comedy with a sprinkling of romance then this has to be your next read. 

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
I needed a bit of light-heartedness between thrillers and this was perfect. It follows the story of Laurie who is dumped by her long term partner completely out of the blue. She's an incredibly likeable character from the start and I was gunning for her throughout. She was funny, smart and she just came across so very genuine. There's a certain amount of predictability, but there are enough twists that it's not a foregone conclusion. The friendship and fake romance between the two main characters develop in interesting ways; their other friendships and family relationships are important, too, not just background. A really well-textured book with brilliant characters. I can't wait to read more from Mhairi McFarlane. 

What have you been reading this month?

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