May was the month of changes for me. I graduated from college and wrapped up everything in my undergraduate career, and I was accepted into graduate school. I’m also stressed and on the teaching job hunt. Nevertheless, I still made time to read, and surprisingly, I read fifteen books this month! Another surprise for me is that I thoroughly enjoyed every single one! I didn’t rate any of the books less than four stars. It goes without saying that this has been one of the most enjoyable reading months of this year.
I also completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 50 books in 2016! I never expected to reach it so fast! Maybe I’ll reach 100 by the end of the year.
Here are my stats:
Middle Grade (Mystery) = 1
Erotica Romance = 1
Young Adult Contemporary = 4
Young Adult Fantasy = 6
New Adult = 3
★★★★ = 4
★★★★½ = 1
★★★★★ = 10
Average Rating for May:
The Underdogs by Sara Hammel
I started off the month by reading The Underdogs by Sara Hammel. This is a middle grade novel that I won through a Goodreads Giveaway. Middle grade novels don’t often appeal to me, but I really liked this one! It was marketed as a mystery, and in a way, it was in a way, but I feel like it was more a coming-of-age novel. It also seemed geared toward an older audience. Either way, the characters were wonderful, and the twist at the end completely blew my mind. Even though the “mystery” aspect of it was predictable (to me), The Underdogs was a great way to kick off my reading month.
Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (★★★★½)
Next, I read Reflected in You, the sequel to Bared to You, by Sylvia Day. Like the first novel, I also rated this one the same. It was wonderful to read about and had many qualities that I loved. However, one of the biggest annoyances about this novel that kept me from giving it a full five stars was the main character, Eva. She got so annoying to me, and honestly, she was mean to her love interest, Gideon. I understood that it was kind of the point of the novel, but it grated on my nerves and made the story hard to handle at times. Nevertheless, I love this series so far. Gideon is completely lovable and wonderful.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler; illustrated by Maira Kalman (★★★★★)
Then I picked up Why We Broke Up, mainly because after reading the tumultuous relationship between Eva and Gideon, I needed something a bit lighthearted. Even though this novel appeared to be relatively lighthearted, it was a bit heavy as well and really spoke to me. It’s rated a bit poorly on Goodreads, but I actually loved this novel. I loved the illustrations, the fact that it wasn’t a happily-ever-after, and the fact that it was real. This novel is high school and first love in its truest form, and I cannot tell you how beautiful it is to read something that is so realistic of teenagers. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy (★★★★★)
Shadow Kiss (★★★★★)
Blood Promise (★★★★★)
Spirit Bound (★★★★★)
Last Sacrifice (★★★★★)
Then, I decided to read the Vampire Academy series, which I did in exactly a week, and now it’s one of my favorite series of all time! Each book was phenomenal, even though my favorite is the fourth, Blood Promise. It was the perfect blend of angst and fantasy and romance and friendship. The character development between the main characters, and even the side characters, was thrilling to see, and toward the end, every single chapter was left on a cliffhanger. Truly, this is a great series. I was reluctant going into it because of the “vampire stigma” that was left behind by Twilight, but this series is completely different. It’s wonderful. Read my series review to get all of my gushing.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (★★★★★)
In my Book Outlet order, I received all of Stephanie Perkins’ books, and they looked so beautiful sitting on my TBR shelf that I had to read them. I started off with the first in the series, Anna and the French Kiss, which is now easily one of my favorite books of all time. Also, with this book, I found my newest book boyfriend, Etienne St. Clair. This book was perfect. I loved the friendships in this novel, the setting of Paris, the buildup of the relationship. The dialogue and actions of the characters were realistic, and the humor in this book was astounding. I loved it all.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (★★★★★)
Then came along Lola and the Boy Next Door. What I loved about this book is that it was unique from the other two in the series. Lola is so quirky, and so is the boy in the book Cricket. I loved how Lola loved to dress in wild outfits and crazy costumes. I also liked that she had two gay dads—it’s not something that is frequent in books, and it was great to see. Anna and St. Clair also appear a lot in this book, and it was nice to see how Stephanie Perkins tied this into Lola’s story. Even though it was my least favorite in the trilogy, it still earned a perfect five-star rating from me.
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (★★★★★)
Finally, there was Isla and the Happily Ever After, and in this, two characters from the first book fall in love—St. Clair’s best friend Josh, and a minor character Isla. What was great about this book is that we didn’t have to wait until the very end of the novel for the characters to be together. Around halfway, the characters knew they were in love with each other and we got to experience their relationship, falling out, and eventual relationship again. Isla is awkward and precious, and she reminded me a lot of myself. And I loved how Josh seemed really hardcore and almost kind of mean in the first book, but really, he’s such a softie underneath the hard exterior. And the way he loved Isla… I can’t even describe it. This book is precious from beginning to end.
Because of Low by Abbi Glines (★★★★)
Then I decided to continue on with the Sea Breeze series by Abbi Glines (or continue the books I have, which were two, three and four), and started Because of Low, book two. I debated between three and four stars for this book because while the storyline was enjoyable and I liked the characters, there were so many mistakes (grammatical and plot wise) that it was almost jarring, and that’s something that annoys me in books, especially books that are published by a major publisher. However, I gave it four stars because I enjoyed the story. I read it in a day, and overall, it was just fun. I like Marcus and Willow. That’s that.
While It Lasts by Abbi Glines (★★★★)
In book three of the Sea Breeze series, we follow Cage’s story, and I loved it. Cage is the bad boy of the series and he sleeps with many, many women (just like most of the guys in this series). Then there’s Eva—she’s sweet and innocent (also like most of the girls in this series, who also happen to all be virgins). Their love story was forbidden, and for some reason, that always makes a story even sexier and more enjoyable. I loved how Cage was finally “tamed” by Eva. Like the previous book, this was a quick read (a day read), and it was fun, too. That’s how I would describe Abbi Glines’ books—fun, quick reads. Every single one.
Just For Now by Abbi Glines (★★★★)
Finally, I read the last book in the Sea Breeze series that I own. This is Preston (Marcus’s best friend) and Amanda’s (Marcus’s sister) story, and so far, it’s my favorite! Like the previous book’s romance, Preston and Amanda’s romance was forbidden, but of course, that didn’t stop these two. I loved how these two actually crushed on each other for years before anything happened. This book was filled with so much angst and drama, but the romance was so precious. Just like I’ve been saying, Abbi Glines’ books are fun. And this story is the definition of fun.
That’s it! Fifteen books in a month I think is a new record, and all were highly rated. I can’t wait to see what June brings as far as reading and book hauls. I hope May was great for all of you, and I hope you all have a wonderful June!