May + June Reads and Reviews

Good morning and happy Thursday (can't believe it's Thursday already..it's been a busy week!). Today I'll be sharing what I've been reading lately. I feel like I've been reading like crazy lately with a few short trips here and there and relaxing from our move. It's been one of my favorite things to take a book out on our balcony that overlooks a pond and read as the sun's setting. Here are the books I finished in May and June-


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....


Kind of predicted the twist about halfway through but still found this a very enjoyable read. Loved the writing style and it had me staying up super late to finish this immediately- the sign of a good book. I also enjoyed the Greek mythology being a part of this and look forward to reading more by this author!

My Rating : 4/5



Bravey: Essays on Chasing a Big Life by Alexi Pappas

Unflinching, often exuberant, and always entertaining, Bravey showcases Pappas's signature, charming voice as she reflects upon the touchstone moments in her life and the lessons that have powered her career as both an athlete and artist--chief among them, how to be brave. She faces obstacles with optimism and finds the dark moments as important to her process as the breakthroughs, from high school awkwardness to post-Olympic depression, offering valuable wisdom on the benefits of embracing what hurts, both physical and emotional. To Pappas, bravery is inward-facing; it's all in how you feel about yourself, as much about always believing in yourself as it is about running toward your goals.



I don't even have the words to describe how much I loved this book. The vulnerability of Alexi's words, the incredible stories, the peek into what it takes the be a professional athlete, the highs and lows that come with competing in the Olympics- it was a fantastic read. Each chapter can stand alone, so I read this slowly to really absorb the words and messages that Alexi was sharing. Highly recommend and can't wait to read/see more from Alexi!

My Rating : 5/5



Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…


My first Colleen Hoover book and definitely won't be the last. Her writing ropes you in from the beginning and never lets you go. I loved the characters (even if I found Ridge to be a little too intense and the amount that Sydney cries to be a bit troubling?) My concerns about the health of their relationship aside, I loved this book and the music element of it. The characters and dynamics felt unique and special to me. Can't wait to read more!

My Rating : 4/5



Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins

Laila desperately wants to become a mother, but each of her previous pregnancies has ended in heartbreak. This time has to be different, so she turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power.

When a deal for Laila to acquire a piece of caul falls through, she is heartbroken, but when the child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage. What she doesn’t know is that a baby will soon be delivered in her family—by her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student—and delivered to the Melancons to raise as one of their own. Hallow is special: she’s born with a caul, and their matriarch, Maman, predicts the girl will restore the family’s prosperity.

Growing up, Hallow feels that something in her life is not right. Did Josephine, the woman she calls mother, really bring her into the world? Why does her cousin Helena get to go to school and roam the streets of New York freely while she’s confined to the family’s decrepit brownstone?

As the Melancons’ thirst to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family. When mother and daughter cross paths, Hallow will be forced to decide where she truly belongs.


This was such a unique book and had some really interesting parts, but also felt like it dragged on when I was reading it. The timeline was really strange...sometimes one day would take a few chapters to get through, then we would jump forward ten years with no warning. Not the easiest or most entertaining book to read, but a different concept.

My Rating : 3/5



My Friend Anna : The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams

Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams’s new friend Anna Delvey, a self-proclaimed German heiress, was worldly and ambitious. She was also generous. When Anna proposed an all-expenses-paid trip to Marrakech, Rachel jumped at the chance. But when Anna’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working, the dream vacation quickly took a dark turn. Anna asked Rachel to begin fronting costs—first for flights, then meals and shopping, and, finally, for their $7,500-per-night private villa. Before Rachel knew it, more than $62,000 had been charged to her credit cards. Anna swore she would reimburse Rachel the moment they returned to New York.

Back in Manhattan, the repayment never materialized, and a shocking pattern of deception emerged. Rachel learned that Anna had left a trail of deceit—and unpaid bills—wherever she’d been. Mortified, Rachel contacted the district attorney, and in a stunning turn of events, found herself helping to bring down one of the city’s most notorious con artists. 


I honestly can't believe this is a true story! I was engrossed in the lies and deceit from the beginning and couldn't put this down. It's a really quick and easy read, and also makes me think twice about who I can trust and who might be a con artist hiding in plain sight. I also enjoyed all the glitz and glamour (at least in the beginning of the book until things went south). If you're into true crime that doesn't involve murder or anything too awful, this is the book for you.

My Rating : 5/5



The Wedding Date, The Wedding Party, and Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

I lumped all of these together because they're all very similar and in the same series. I went way out of order with these (and a previous book that I read- Royal Holiday- is in this series as well) but that doesn't really matter. Each book stands alone but has characters that are in all of the books, which I really like! After reading through four of the five in this series, they all started to seem really similar to me, so I would recommend just reading two of them (my picks would be The Wedding Date and Royal Wedding). But- they're all super quick reads, perfect for pool or beach-side, and fun!



One by One by Ruth Ware

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?


Pretty good plot that kept me wanting to find out more and more. Loved the setting but majority of the characters were annoying and I couldn't keep everyone straight. Little disappointed in the ending- I wanted one last shocking twist and found it a bit predictable, but still a fun read.

My Rating : 4/5



Did Not Finish - Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall




What are you reading?

linking up with Steph & Jana to show my books!

Comments

  1. I have The Silent Patient and One by One that I need to read!

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete

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