May Book Reviews

A housekeeping note, I’ve begun using  Bookshop affiliate links to support independent bookstores instead of the big A, which gets me a small percentage of sales if ya purchase books through my link. I’m working on setting up a storefront soon!

A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
This book lives up to the hype, and is definitely my kind of thriller: thought provoking social commentary, nuanced characters, and absolutely believable twists and turns.
McCreight creates a rather large cast of characters, but I could completely understand each and every one’s motivations, which I find lacking in a lot of thrillers. And she thoughtfully ties in the theme of ‘a good marriage’ leaving no couple behind. Even those on the fringes are analyzed, from divorced or seemingly perfect, to those with an open marriage. Nothing is what it seems and I absolutely was guessing until the last. Not since I read Miracle Creek last year did I enjoy this kind of provocative legal thriller (with Angie Kim’s excellent social commentary on parenthood). Methinks I need to seek out more thrillers written by women with law degrees...
Thank you to Harper Books for the complimentary advance copy!

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
The story of the Galvin family, with six out of twelve children diagnosed with schizophrenia, is as fascinating and compelling as it sounds. I can see why Oprah chose it for her book club! If there is any criticism I’ve seen, is that more readers are drawn in by the family narrative, and less so by the scientific and bureaucratic interludes about schizophrenia research. But, those are the parts that I am finding truly remarkable! Science, y’all.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I stayed up way past my bedtime finishing A Court of Mist and Fury (book two in this series), and I’m so glad I did.
The world building of the Night Court is spectacular, the character development of the heroine Fayre is much more empathetic (as is Rhys, obviously), I was on the edge of my seat for much of the book. And llast, but not least, the swoon factor is OFF THE CHARTS. I also appreciated the very strong theme of valuing consent and being autonomous, equal partners in a relationship.
I’m so glad that I started these after all the books were published, as I just popped the third book into my recent Target order.

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
Oh, I am SO HAPPY that Lucy Knisley is doing middle grade fiction with her amazing drawing and storytelling.
In Stepping Stones, Jen’s coming of age story is told in the aftermath of her parents divorce, moving to the country from the big city, and gaining new family members she certainly did not ask for. It is heavily based on the author’s own experiences, and the emotions of Jen’s highs and lows are certainly on-point and easily identifiable. I couldn’t help but root for her, and her new family by the end.
My daughter and I gobbled up our (signed!!) copy, and we are eagerly awaiting the next installment in this TRILOGY. My love for this author knows no bounds, and I highly recommend all of her books, reviews can be found in the tab above 'by author' and my favorites are definitely Kid Gloves and Something New.

Go with the Flow by by Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams
This boooook!! I would love to put this graphic novel into the hands of every school principal and every girl in the world, as a start.
I’ve been breaking into some of my daughter’s library stash, and Go With the Flow was an absolute delight while confronting the insufferable stigma around menstruation, and exposing period poverty. I was also so impressed with the diversity of the book - not just with race, but body types, sexuality, family structures and even our cycles, and how they can be vastly different. It’s full of heart and a call to action. Highly recommend!!!

Welp. I am in agreement with most of the reviews that I have seen for A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The consensus is that the first two parts of the book are engaging, and then the third falls flat. I would argue that it ALL felt dull.
At first I was sucked back into the world of Panem, and the idea of seeing the origins of the hunger games. I just wish Collins would have gone in a less predictable direction with Snow’s character. He was just wooden, predictable, and uninspiring - as a villain or a hero.
On the bright side, I do love how it matches and rounds out my beloved trilogy


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