Everything I Read In May 2021

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May was a pretty productive reading month for me. I didn’t read like, 30 books but I did read consistency, which I always like. I read 13 books, mostly thrillers and YA contemporary stuff.

Pretty much total opposites. I had two five star reads but I also had 2- 2.5 star reads. I read three books I won last year, one I was SO excited about and just didn’t love, and one that totally surprised me.

It was a good month and I’ve kept my momentum through June, too. I even found an author that I really love and will probably read everything she writes now, Kara Thomas. That’s always exciting to do. Anyway, here’s everything I read in may!

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
  • Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA romance

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Isla is a hopeless romantic that’s liked Josh ever since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter over the summer in Manhattan, she might finally have her shot at love.

During their senior year, they face challenges that all new, young couples must like family drama and the very real threat of being apart during college.

Final thoughts: I liked this one. Was Isla annoying? Sure. But the part of me that likes these YA romance stories really liked this one. What can I say? They’re my guilty pleasure. JK, I just enjoy them, especially set abroad.

The Young Elites

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA fantasy

Rating: 3/4

About the book: Adelina survived the blood fever and is now marked as a malfetto, black hair turned silver and a jagged scar where her left eye once was. But some fever survivors possess more than just scars. Some have powerful gifts. They make up the Young Elites.

Teren works for the king and his job is to destroy the Young Elites. Enzo is a member of the Dagger Society, a secret group of Young Elites. Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side and that Teren is the enemy but their lives collide in unexpected ways. The only thing that is certain is Adelina’s powers.

Final thoughts: I wanted to like this a lot more than I did because I loved the Legend series (one of my favorites, for sure) but I just didn’t.

From Good Reads: I really didn’t care about anyone in this which made it hard to be invested in what was going on. I thought the last few chapters were interesting but I’m glad I’m done with this and probably won’t keep reading it. I didn’t hate it but it was just ok.

The Hidden Things

Author: Jamie Mason

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4/5 (maybe closer to 3.5)

About the book: All it took was twenty-eight seconds for the home security to capture Carly Liddell fending off her attacker in her own home. The video of her heroic escape goes viral and the lives of four desperate people are about to change forever because of it.

Final thoughts: This isn’t an all time favorite thriller of mine but I did enjoy it. The last third, especially and I also really liked Carly. I’m not usually a fan of heist type stories though, which I think was part of why I didn’t totally love this. I won this on Good Reads last year and finally read it this year!

H_NGM_N: Murder is the Word

Author: JC Gatlin

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

About the book: Tori is sad when she hears her childhood friend, Brooke, hung herself from the old water tower in their hometown. They haven’t spoken in years and she wasn’t planing to attend the service but a cryptic text changed her mind.

Now she is confronting a hometown past that has haunted her when she realizes her friend didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered. There is no shortage of suspects but the only witness is Brooke’s five-year-old daughter who hasn’t spoken since her death. Now Tori is determined to get to the bottom of everything.

Final thoughts: I also won this on Good Reads last year and finally got around to it. The author is working on a sequel and if it’s about the plot at the end of this one, I’d probably still read it.

Buckle up! From Good Reads:

2.5 rounded up. I liked parts of this, I liked the idea of it and it had potential, but there was a lot that bothered me.


The way, Um, Winnie talked like, you know, this. DROVE ME NUTS.

The water tower. What does this thing look like? I have no idea so the Big Scene at the end didn’t make sense to me very much.

A cold lake in Florida at the beginning of July?

Does darla not speak? Ever? At all? (in the description it says she hasn’t since Brooke’s death, void this point, I suppose)

And poison apples? I didn’t understand that revelation whatsoever and if someone else does, I’d love to know.

I really didn’t like that every time the dogs were mentioned each dog was listed.

And WE GET IT! Brooke will you marry me is still there but faded!

Scarlett? Harlot? Garlic? Carla? Ugh. I literally hate this whole oh I can’t remember your name but I do I just don’t like you thing.

I wanted to like this one a lot but it just fell flat for me. Also, I don’t think I cared about or for any of the characters

People Like Us

Author: Dana Mele

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 4/5

About the book: There may be skeletons in Kay Donovan’s closet but she’s put that behind her and has reinvented herself. Now she runs her private school as the star of the soccer team with effortlessly popularity. This all changes when she find’s a dead girl in the lake on campus.

The dead girl left a computer-coded scavenger hunt/revenge blog that begins to unravel her life and the lives of her friends. But, backed into a corner, she’ll do what she needs to survive.

Final thoughts: I liked this a lot but I’m a sucker for books like Pretty Little Liars, books set at boarding schools, revenge-from-the-dead type stuff. I didn’t think the culprit was super tough to figure out (I had my suspicions and if I can figure it out, it’s probably pretty obvious) but it was still really entertaining.

The Cheerleaders

Author: Kara Thomas

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 5/5

About the book: First, two girls were killed in a car accident, then two were murdered by their neighbor, and the fifth committed suicide. After this, the Sunnybrook cheer squad was disbanded.

Five years later, the students and staff want to remember the cheerleaders, but not Monica. She just wants to forget, but when she finds mysterious letters in her stepfather’s desk along with her dead sister’s cell phone, she has to get to the bottom of what really happened five years ago.

Final thoughts: I loved this. I really did. And I think Kara Thomas might be one of my favorite authors now. I just love this kind of story. I think I just like teens-as-detectives-solving-a-murder-police-can’t because that’s what so many books I love are. BIG FAN!

Dead Girls Don’t Lie

Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 3/5

About the book: This is the only one on the list that I’ve read and didn’t like that much. It’s not bad but it wasn’t my favorite.

Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. Before Rachel shut her out, at least. Rachel is found dead in her home and the police blame gang problems but Jaycee believes it has to do with the night at the old house.

Rachel’s text is the first clue that sends her on a quest for the truth with the reluctant help of Eduardo, a friend of Rachel’s and the only person Jaycee can trust.

Final thoughts: From Good Reads: I didn’t hate this but it didn’t do much for me either. It was a lot of church, gangs, and racism. The romance was weird, totally unnecessary. I finished it last night and can’t even remember the end. I mean, I know the bad guy and what they say happened but I don’t remember. Maybe I was just tired. This one was just fine.

The Whisper Man

Author: Alex North

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

About the book: Tom Kennedy takes his son, Jake, to Featherbank after the sudden death of his wife believing a fresh start will help, but the town has a dark past.

Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Then Frank Carter was caught and nicknamed “The Whisper Man” for luring his victims out by whispering by their windows at night.

Just as they settle down, a young boy vanishes and it resembles Frank Carter’s crimes reigniting rumors that he worked with an accomplice. Now detectives have to find the boy before it’s too late. But soon, Jake starts acting strange and hears a whispering at his own window.

Final thoughts: I had such high expectations for this one. I wanted to read it in my July Thrill-a-thon last year but never did. Well, now I did and it just did not do it for me.

From Good Reads: 2.5. I wanted to love this SO BAD. but I didn’t. There were parts that had me freaked out because I was reading it in the dark and it wasn’t bad enough to DNF but for the most part I didn’t like it that much. It was confusing. A lot of it was just super random and unnecessary? Why did we have the perspective of the lady cop? Did we really need that? I’m not so sure.

And like, what was the whole reasoning behind this killer? Does he just die at the end? Did he just do it because his dad was a serial killer? I’m not impressed

The Au Pairs

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Genre: YA contemporary romance?

Rating: 3/5 (but in a good way)

About the book: Forget summer in the city! Mara, Eliza, and Jacqui are all spending the summer in the Hamptons (just like anybody who matters). But they’ll be doing it as au pairs. How hard could it be to watch a couple of kids on the beach all day? Whatever, at least they have a free pass to the hottest social scene on the east coast.

Final thoughts: From Good Reads: Worst au pairs ever.

Skinny Dipping

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Genre: YA contemporary romance?

Rating: 3/5 (but in the good way again)

About the book: The girls are back for another summer, only this time Eliza is working at Seventh Circle, the hottest club in the Hamptons and there is a new au pair: Jacques, the French hottie who is off-limits.

This summer will have more fun, sun, and romance than they can handle.

Final thoughts: From Good Reads: How do any of these people have jobs?

The Tenant

Author: Katrine Engberg

Genre: Police Procedural

Rating: 4/5

About the book: A young woman is stumbled upon (literally) by her elderly neighbor, murdered in her own apartment with intricate lines carved into her face.

Detectives Korner and Werner of the Copenhagen police are assigned to the case and immediately make a connection between Julie and her landlady, Esther, who happens to be writing a novel that exactly describes the way she was murdered.

Final thoughts: I also won this on Good Reads (kind of my theme in May, apparently) and while it wasn’t stellar, I did enjoy it. I think some of it was a little confusing but overall I enjoyed it and I’ll probably read more of the series once it comes out.

I did think this was a thriller, but knowing now that it’s a police procedural, it makes it better. It’s more of a police/crime story than a thriller.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Author: Chelsea Sedoti

Genre: YA contemporary mystery

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance was the most mysterious thing to happen in Hawthorn’s town ever. Bad things don’t happen to girls like her. Hawthorn is convinced she’ll show up, she’s just not sure how. But then she comes up with a theory: Lizzie Lovett is a werewolf and now she’s out to look for proof with Lizzie’s boyfriend.

Final thoughts: From Good Reads: This was weird and nothing like what the blurb makes it seem like it will be but I really liked it. I love this style of book though that’s is just sort of life? It’s not thrilling or anything. It felt like Junie B. Jones as a teenager but a little darker. I understand people not liking it but I was pleasantly surprised!

Emergency Contact

Author: Mary H.K. Choi

Genre: YA contemporary romance

Rating: 4/5

About the book: For Penny, high school was just fine. But now she’s going to college in Austin and even though it’s only 79 miles away, it feels like lightyears from everything she wants to leave behind.

Sam is stuck in every way. He sleeps at the cafe he works at and knows this will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous director. But everything is really testing him right now.

But when they cross paths, the swap numbers, even though it was totally awkward. Soon they become digitally inseperable.

Final thoughts: From Good Reads: I did not like penny at the beginning but once we got to know her more, she grew on me. I really enjoyed this one (especially her friendship with Jude and Mallory) but what happens with Sam’s documentary!?

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in May? Any of these you want to read?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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