Recent Reads | May 2016

It seems like with summer just around the corner, all of us are indulging in more reading – what else are we supposed to do while outside enjoying that sunshine for hours on end?!

Recent Reads May 2016

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After my last recent reads roundup, I took a little time off because I was feeling burnt out. It happens, and that’s why I don’t have as many books in this post as I would’ve liked. But, once some of my library holds finally started to come through, I was able to jump right back in where I left off and I’ve been reading one, if not two, books a week. Life is fun that way, right?

Recent Reads May 2016Enchanted (Books of Arilland #1) by Alethea Kontis – 2 stars
This book was recommended in a magazine to people who enjoy the TV show Once Upon a Time – I didn’t find that to be an accurate comparison at all. I should have finished this book in a day, but it took me almost a week because I kept falling asleep. The story didn’t make sense at all – it kept jumping around to different characters and plots, so I continually was flipping back to reread pages. If you’re into magic and fairy tales, then you might enjoy this book, but this one was just a little too all over the place for my taste.

 

 

Recent Reads May 2016One With You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day – 4 stars
Guilty pleasure reading at its finest, folks. I’m a huge fan of the Crossfire series – it’s way better than 50 Shades of Grey, in my opinion – so I dove into the final book the day it was released. It wasn’t my favorite book of the series, but the story still wrapped itself up well and Eva and Gideon finally found some peace with each other. The tragedy that occurred toward the end of the story didn’t make any sense or align with the story at all, so that kind of threw me off. Plus, how Gideon handled it with Eva was just kind of strange – she wasn’t really allowing herself to grieve, so Gideon took it upon himself to lay some amazing sex on her, and then everything magically was better. Hey, whatever works I guess. Overall, I feel like this series could’ve ended with the third or fourth book, but the progression of the characters – particularly Gideon since I enjoyed the chapters from his point-of-view most – was interesting to read and I ultimately was rooting for them as a couple in the end.

Recent Reads May 2016Intertwine (House of Oak, #1) by Nichole Van – 3 stars
I found this book on a whim in my daily BookBub emails, and when Goodreads described it as a historical romance, I knew that for free it was worth a try. The first part of the book is super slow – it’s kind of an odd story of a woman being obsessed with a photo of man in a locket that she found at an estate sale, and then she ventures off to the English countryside to try to find out more about his past. Well, luck has it that she eventually is transported back in time and magically ends up in this guy’s house. Once their relationship develops a bit more, the story gets more intriguing, but overall, it was pretty boring.

 

 

Recent Reads May 2016Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts #1) by Claire Contreras – 4 stars
This book shouldn’t have been as enjoyable as I found it to be, but we can’t all be perfect. This was another freebie from BookBub, and based on the Goodreads reviews, I decided to give it a go when I was in between library books. It was an easy read – I think I finished it in two nights – and there’s no better way to describe it than a guilty pleasure read. It’s a tale as old as time – girl is in love with her older brother’s best friend. Brother’s best friend loves her back but isn’t good at commitment and doesn’t want to ruin his friendship with his best friend. Everybody finds out – there’s a fight – best friend wins girl back. It’s definitely not award-winning writing, but I did enjoy the story and there was more character development than I was expecting. For free, I’ll take it.

Recent Reads May 2016Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4 stars
I loved this book. Really, truly loved this book. It personally made me think back about certain decisions I’ve made in life and what would’ve happened if I would’ve chosen opposite – for example, I almost left college after my first semester, but if I would’ve done that, I wouldn’t have met Ryan and then where would I be?! Anyways, I enjoyed both sides of the story in this book, although I did prefer one over the other so I started to get sick of reading about the other story (hence the 4 stars). I was happy, though that in the end, regardless of which route that the main character took, she ended up happy and where she was supposed to be.

 

Recent Reads May 2016Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – 5 stars
Well, I’m glad the months and months of waiting for this to finally be mine from the library were worth it. Words can’t really describe how much I love this book and how it makes me feel. It’s a beautiful story of two rather broken people, and I enjoyed how Louisa and Will slowly were able to open up to one another and allow themselves to be loved – even if it only was for a fixed amount of time. I admit that I did struggle with Will’s decision to still go through with what he had planned, but that’s because I’m a romantic and like to believe (especially in the literary world) that love can conquer anything. I didn’t sob my eyes out like I was anticipating, but I did shed a few tears at the end both from sadness and for the hope of a good, happy life that laid ahead for Lou. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie next week (Ryan already promised me an opening night date night since he owes me for some crap man movies I’ve had to watch lately!), and I hope that it does the book justice.

Recent Reads May 2016After You by Jojo Moyes – 4 stars
I’ve heard mixed reviews on this book, but I was still anxious to jump right into it after the first book. Lucky for me, I had them both on checkout from the library at the same time – what are the odds? I definitely didn’t love this book as much as the first, but I did enjoy the progression of Louisa grieving and ultimately accepting what happened to her and her life 18 months prior. I thought her new love interest, Sam, was exactly what she needed, but I’m also glad that in the end she didn’t give up her life and dreams to stay behind. I did have an issue with the new character, Lily. I don’t want to go into too much detail so I don’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t yet read this, but I guess I didn’t feel like her appearance in this story was necessary. It sort of tainted my feelings toward Will, and frankly, I know the girl was troubled but she is a complete brat. She just uses Louisa to get to her new family and then drops her like it’s hot. There also wasn’t a ton of backstory about Lily’s mother and how she knew Will back in the day, so the whole thing kind of seemed like an afterthought. But, the book as a whole was a solid follow up, and I think most people would enjoy continuing along on Louisa’s adventure.

Final recommendations: Me Before You and Maybe in Another Life are must-reads, and Kaleidoscope Hearts and After You also deserve honorable mentions. Skip Enchanted.

What books should be on my radar for the next couple months? Leave your recommendations in the comments!

 

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  • Your review of One with You had me cracking up! I had never heard of that series. And I was debating on reading Me Before You and now you convinced me I need to! I LOVED Maybe in Another Life too! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    • I’m glad that made someone laugh – I was laughing as I wrote it because there was no other way to describe it! You definitely need to read Me Before You, so so good.

  • Jenn

    Glad to see you stuck it out with the Crossfire series! Loved Me Before You but I haven’t read After You yet.
    I got Kaleidoscope Hearts for like $2 on amazon a while back and liked it, too. It wasn’t literary genius but it was a good read 🙂

    • Haha, okay I’m glad I’m not alone with Kaleidoscope Hearts – it was just an easy, enjoyable read. I think you’ll like After You if you ever get to it!

  • Debra Stachelski

    Good for you with all the reading you’re doing! If I ever get through the stacks of books waiting for me, I will definitely be adding Me Before You to the list – I hope the movie lives up to the hype!

  • Well, I really wanted to see Me Before You in theaters, but not if it has a sad ending! I don’t know what it is, but I can’t handle the sadness. I haven’t read a book for pleasure in forever and really need to get back into it!

    • Then I definitely wouldn’t see it, lol. If the movie follows the book, you know what’s coming for a while, but it still doesn’t make it any easier!

  • Darcy from A Memory of Us

    I loved Me Before You!! I still need to read After You though!
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

  • I’m glad that you loved Me Before You! Maybe that will be my next read so I can get my husband to take me to the movies to see it too! And Maybe In Another Life sounds like a book that would be right up my alley, and the plot sounds very similar to Sliding Doors which was a movie that I love. So I totally read 50 Shades and loved the books, so I’ll have to read the Crossfire series when I’m looking for a new guilty pleasure!

    • I think you would enjoy Maybe In Another Life – it was so good and a fun read! Please read Me Before You so I have someone to discuss it with lol. And, the Crossfire series books are great summer reads!

  • Biana Perez

    I’m right there with you on the crossfire series – I haven’t read any other ones except the first one but I really liked her writing!! I need to keep reading them!

  • Christina Sotherden

    Okay, you’ve really inspired me to make a dent on my every growing stack of books this summer!

    • Oh girl, you’re not alone! I always think I’m doing so well on making a dent in my reading list, and then I end up adding new books every week. Let me know if you need other recommendations! 🙂

  • yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy maybe in another life!! WHICH STORY DID YOU LIKE BETTER?! i have to know haha. i had many months in between me before you and after you, which i think helped for me to enjoy after you. i agree about lily. i honestly think as a sequel, it was pretty odd and weak and though i loved louisa and sam, they could have been 2 completely different characters in a brand new story, you know? it didn’t need to be a sequel to an amazing book, it could have been enjoyable on its own. i love jojo moyes though. she’s so fabulous. i can’t wait to see the movie! KC will absolutely not see it with me hahaha.

    • Bahaha we already had our discussion about Maybe in Another Life, so you know where I stand on that one. 🙂 And, that is the best way to describe After You – I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if I didn’t read it right after Me Before You. And, Ryan really owes me a chick flick otherwise he probably wouldn’t see it either, lol. 🙂

  • I definitely need to read Me Before You so I can go see the movie, now to make my summer reading list <3
    Green Fashionista

  • Ooooh, so many good book rec’s! I need to pick some of these up and dig into ’em!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Yeah! I have finally read a book on someones reading list! I loved Maybe in Another life! I read it in like 2 days.

  • So…. I think we have a similar taste in reading, if this list gives me any idea! I’m glad to read your review of the first one- I love Once Upon a Time and typically love books like that, so it’s good to know to skip that one! Me Before You has been on my list for a while, and sooo many friends have recommended it to me. Maybe in Another Life sounds fascinating! And I’m pretty sure I’ve read kaleidoscope hearts….. guilty pleasure ha:)
    Emily
    http://darlingdearestblog.com

  • So many books in this post! I remember feeling the same way about Maybe in Another Life. It was such an interesting concept, though I found the two storylines to kind of blur together a bit at one point. Intertwine sounds like it could be really interesting though you weren’t totally sold on it– it’s always better when it’s a free book so you don’t feel bad about not loving it.

  • Excited to check out your recent reads; I’m adding some things to my summer reading list too. Something about reading in the summer is just the best. My favorite recent read was Circling the Sun- so good! Right now I’m finishing up the book, Maine which is a great summery read too!

  • Sarah

    I agree with you and the JoJo Moyes books…loved Me Before You and very so so about the follow up.