May 2022 Grown Up Book Reviews

May 2022 Grown Up Book Reviews

While it was a busy month, I was able to knock out 8 reads/listens in the month of May! I attribute some of this to how busy the month was and I also feel like I've been in a bit of a reading slump.

As I mentioned, May was another slow reading and listening month for me!! In fact, it was the slowest reading month for me over a year! May was completely insane with 2 trips out of town visiting family, swimming lessons for the kids starting 2x a week, the bulk of our homeschool wrapping up, and it was a busy month for me and my working from home book lady job. Hopefully I can get some more reading in now that summer is here and our homeschool is winding down a bit.

Here's a snapshot of the books that I read this month -

*BOTM = Book of the Month, ARC = Advanced Reader Copy*

4.5 ⭐️ Books

  • The Hacienda (BOTM)

4.25 ⭐️ Books

  • The Party Crasher (audiobook)

4 ⭐️ Books

  • Bomb Shelter (BOTM, audiobook)

3.75 ⭐️ Books

  • The Night Shift (audiobook)
  • Darling Girl (BOTM)
  • The Love of My Life (BOTM)

3.5 ⭐️ Books

  • Bad Muslim Discount (BOTM, audiobook)

3.25 ⭐️ Books

  • Homicide and Halo-Halo (audiobook)

Want more detailed book reviews? See below! 

**Want to ship your first Book of the Month hardcover book for just $5? Be sure to use my referral code when you sign up for your subscription! Skip anytime!** 

Bomb Shelter - Mary Laura Philpott

Short summary -

Mary Philpott ponders life, death, sickness, health, and life’s many challenges, in this powerful memoir, packed with depth, hope, and even some humor sprinkled in.

Overall review -

I really liked the humor and storytelling in this book! It made an excellent audiobook. I was able to relate to some of her stories of motherhood and life experiences and she shed light on some other experiences in a way that was enlightening!

Overall rating - 4 ⭐️

The Love of My Life - Rosie Walsh

Short summary -

Leo’s life gets a bit turned around when he stumbles upon some evidence that his wife Emma (or is that her real name?) really isn’t who she says she is. Why has she hidden so much from him over all of these years? Is she being faithful to him? He thought that they were in love and happy, especially now that the worst of her illness seems to be behind them. Will he learn who the real Emma is?

Overall review -

I was invested in this story enough to finish, but it seemed to drag longer than it needed to and while there were some unexpected twists, they weren’t earth-shattering ones. The ending was interesting, but it fell a bit flat for me. I found myself putting this one down more than I had hoped.

Overall rating - 3.75 ⭐️, rounded up to 4 ⭐️ for Goodreads

The Party Crasher - Sophie Kinsella

Short summary -

Effie is hurt when her parents got divorced, seemingly out of nowhere 2 years ago. If Mimi and her dad can get divorced when they seemed so happy, she questions her entire childhood. Now, her dad has a hot new, much younger girlfriend who seems hell bent on ruining Effie’s family, leaving her out of the house-cooling party to say goodbye to her beloved Greenoaks Victorian country style childhood home. Even after she receives an “anti-invitation,” she declines the event, but realizes that her treasured Russian nesting dolls are in the home and she has to go back to retrieve them. While sneaking around, she overhears some things and discovers a lot about her family members. She even runs into her old flame who is still as funny and dashing as ever. What will she do with this new information? Can she reconcile with her father?

Overall review -

This book had it all, family drama, a bit of mystery and intrigue, deception, redemption, and a hint of romance too. I really enjoyed this listen!

Overall rating - 4.25 ⭐️, rounded down to 4 ⭐️ for Goodreads

Homicide and Halo-Halo - Mia P. Manansala (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #2)

Short summary -

A pageant, Tita Rosie’s kitchen, and a murder? As you can imagine, drama ensues as this story unfolds. This is book 2 in a series. I liked Arsenic and Adobo a bit better than this one.

Overall review -

This book was a cozy mystery, but I wasn’t super invested in the storyline. It’s a few days post-reading it as I’m writing this and I’m having trouble remembering what happened. Decently entertaining and light, though. If you need a palate cleanser, perhaps this can be your pick.

Overall rating - 3.25⭐️, rounded down to 3⭐️ for Goodreads

The Hacienda -Isabel Canas

Short summary -

Without giving too much away, this book was the perfect combination of mystery, gothic horror/haunting (but not too scary), intrigue, politics, revenge, culture, forbidden romance, and history wrapped up into one page-turner of a book.

Overall review -

Once I got into the story, I couldn’t put this book down! This one will stay with me for a while! I love when books are multifaceted and I’m so happy to seeing Mexican representation in this phenomenal tale. Even better that the author herself is Mexican-American. This one would also make a great fall/Halloween read.

Overall rating - 4.5 ⭐️, rounded up to 5 ⭐️ for Goodreads

Darling Girl - Liz Michalski

Short summary -

Holly Darling, granddaughter of Wendy from the Peter Pan story has been through a lot in her lifetime, suffering much tragedy. Her children are challenged as well, to say the least. When one of them disappears, her mind immediately goes to Peter Pan, someone from her dark past. Will she be able to find her daughter again? To what extent will she sacrifice what she has to protect both of her children?

Overall review -

Interesting dark retelling of Peter Pan. Be sure to check out the trigger warnings for this book before reading. While I was relatively entertained by the story, it was really an outrageous tale, including lots of far-fetched story elements. Parts of the story were confusing and a bit difficult for me to follow too, but perhaps that’s because I’m not 100% solid on the original Peter Pan story. So while I have mixed reviews of this book, I think many others would enjoy it.

Overall rating 3.75 ⭐️, rounded up to 4⭐️ for Goodreads

The Night Shift - Alex Finlay

Short summary -

Two similar teen massacre crimes, 15 years apart. 1 sole survivor at each event. This is seems vaguely familiar. Could it be the same killer? We hear from 3 perspectives in this novel - sole survivor of the original case, the brother of the original suspect who has his faith in his brother and is convinced that he was not the killer, and the FBI agent who is trying to piece together the puzzle to solve both of the cases.

Overall review -

I predicted the twist pretty early on in the storyline, but this was still an entertaining murder mystery/crime thriller. Nothing super earth shattering, but still fun. I listened to it from start to finish one one day!

Overall rating - 3.75 ⭐️, rounded up to 4⭐️ for Goodreads

The Bad Muslim Discount - Syed M. Masood

Short summary -

This story follows two different families from Pakistan and Iraq who both decide to immigrate to America. We get a peek inside their cultures and we see a glimpse at what it’s like to be Muslim in modern America.

Overall review -

Admittedly, I was a bit lost while listening to this book. Perhaps it would have been a better one to read a physical copy of the book. While this one is described as hysterically funny, it also had a lot of dark and emotional parts. Bits of humor peeked through the heavy stuff, but I wouldn’t describe this as a funny book by any means. I liked that this book was insightful of a different experience than my own, however it parts were very difficult for me to follow.

Overall rating 3.5 ⭐️, rounded up to 4 ⭐️ on Goodreads.

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Which books did you read in May? 

Brittany the Book Lady

Growing up I was first introduced to Usborne Books and More at a young age when my mom had purchased books for our family. Since then, I've fallen in love with the books and the company's mission to promote literacy throughout the country.​

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