May was a bulky reading month. By May I accumulated too many books from the library and was fighting due dates and holds to finish my books. But all in all I read a lot of great books. This month probably had the most random genre of books. I read romantic, young adult, thrilling, serious, drama, and hilarious types of books. I loved reading many of these books. I couldn't put most of them down.
The Books of April
The Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes
I think I've read about five or six of JoJo's books by now. Ship of Brides is definitely one of my favorites of her. I had no idea what a ship of brides was until I read the book and did a little research. Evidently, Britain shipped Australian wives to England to be with their British husbands. This book chronicles the lives of four women on one of these ships. I loved how much history is infused in this story. JoJo's own grandmother was one of these brides, and she includes excerpts from historical documents, newspapers and books about what was going on during that time period.
Like all her books, The Ship of Brides is filled with the kind of romance a girl like me gushes over. I loved this book. I'd love to see it as a movie.
I'd recommend this to anyone who loves the history of World War II and gets weak in the knees for romance or secretly loves that show Army Wives (which I've actually never seen, but I'm sure that kind of person would love this book!)
In Some Other World, Maybe by Shari Goldhach
Of course the cover is what drew me to this book. I'd seen it Barnes & Nobles and promptly added it to my hold list at the library. When I started reading I was surprised by some of the content until I realized it was actually adult fiction. (The cover was betraying in it's pretty watercolors and teenish looking people.) It was a little slow starting but I really, really LOVED this book. It follows four major characters over the course of a decade as they live parallel lives and somehow intersect each other. I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the story didn't fit into a perfect plot where two people fall in love and live happily together. There was a lot of crying for me as I read this book, as Goldhach conveys the different dark sides of life we all endure and either overcome or drown in.
I'd recommend this to anyone. I really did love it that much.
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
I was pretty entertained by this book. Leila is on an epic road trip to Alaska, and along the way she meets and helps people. It was a pretty simple storyline. The book is divided into parts focused on different characters. While the supporting character's stories are somewhat developed, Leila's actual story was pretty flat and lacked depth. Her story seemed a little rushed and not actually worked out. If I hadn't read her part, I would have been much happier with the book.
I'd recommend this to anyone who's ever considered an epic, solo road trip.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
My inner awkward-teen loved this book. Lara Jean, the middle sister of the Song Girls, is navigating life for the first time without the help of her responsible older sister, Margot, who's gone away to college. After her love letters get mysterious mail to her former loves, Lara Jean finds herself in a pickle big time. She's not used to figuring things out on her own, and this books follows how she clumsily (and endearingly) tries to fix her predicament.
What I really loved about this book was that Lara Jean is Asian. But she's not a stereotype and she's "white-washed". She's a typical American teenager with Asian heritage. She's not a caricature of what people think Asians should be like. I just kind of fell in love with her sweet, awkward character. And strangely enough, like many books I've been reading, her mother has died, and that I can completely relate to.
I'd recommend this to any young Asian American girl so that she can see that she can be both Asian and American and not have to differentiate between her two backgrounds.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Wow. This was nothing I expected it to be. This book was thrilling. It dug deep into the struggles of being Asian in America, as well as dealing with the expectations of parents. Everything I Never Told You was an interesting contrast to To All the Boys I've Loved Before which I read right before. It showcases the struggles and desires minorities might experience in America. This book was a great commentary on social expectations and the ways in which different personalities respond to the weight of their expectations. Some people buckle under the pressure and lash out while others give in and push aside their own identity to conform.
I'd recommend this to anyone who's Asian or has a friend who's Asian or anyone who's family has a strict set of unwritten rules.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
I waited forever for this book. Something like 115 holds for 70 copies of this book floated around the library networks. More than a month of waiting passed before I discovered a wonderful little section at my library. My library loans out new, high-demand books for a limited length of time with no renewal. Luckily The Girl On the Train was just sitting there waiting for me!
I had absolutely no idea what this book was about (besides it being about a girl on a train) when I checked it out. I like to know as little as possible about the plots of books before reading them. I was happily surprised to find this was much different that any kind of book I normally read. Spoiler alert: the girl on the train is Rachel and she's crazy. haha. Okay. Okay. So that's not much of a spoiler, but there are some twists and turns throughout the book that kept me turning page after page.
I'm not sure if this is new thing or if I just totally am oblivious, but this book was written from the perspective of different characters. (Is it a thing now?) So I loved reading how different characters assessed the same scenarios. This book will keep you reading. It's sooooo good. I can't say more without giving away the story. But I do love Rachel is a little crazy. She's still not over her ex-husband who's moved on and has a new family, and she does some certifiably crazy things to stay in touch with him. Crazy. I can totally relate to her anguish over a failed relationship that leaves you wondering how things fell apart and why you have no say in its end. But for the record, I'm not crazy, and thankfully I'm married to the best man for me.
I'd recommend this to anyone. It was that good!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I don't know if I've ever read something this long. It's over 500 pages of goodness. (I thought 400 pages was a lot.) But I couldn't put it down. I read it in three big chunks of time. This takes place during World War II and is narrated from the perspective of a French girl and a German boy. Because the book is not written chronologically you're given little glimpses of things to come in the story. I loved Doerr's style of writing and was really glad I picked this up.
This was another book I had no idea what the plot was about but had to wait forever for a copy to be available for me at the library. But it was totally worth it.
I'd recommend this to anyone who loves beautiful writing and a beautiful story.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
This was another one of those books that had so much hype I was afraid to read it. But, it had a great cover, so I couldn't resist the read. I immediately fell in love with the character of Bernadette. She's quirky and odd and a little off her rocker. How could I not love her? She just does whatever she wants without worrying what other people think of her. The book is about Bernadette, her daughter, Bee, and her husband, Elgie. They've planned a family trip to Antarctica but their plans slowly fall apart as Bernadette comes to terms with her erratic behavior.
This is a sweet story about Bernadette and Bee's deep bond, and how eventually it brings everything back together in harmony. I'd read this book over and over if I owned a copy.
I'd recommend this to anyone who's felt a little anxious about life and loves a little crazy in their life.
Read my other book reports and check out all the books I've read over the years here.