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May has been a little bit slower of a reading month for me. not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. That doesn’t mean I haven’t read some great books, just that there have been some sort of blah ones in the mix. None-the-less I’m happy to share my three favorite books of May today and ma also excited about the MANY fantastic books being released in June. It’s really a hot month for books. I’ve already read several that were on my Summer Preview 2022, which I shared here last week. And don’t forget, to get my reviews in a much more timely manner you can follow me on Instagram at NovelVisits. Now on to the books.
This month my favorite books were all about women striving to make the most of their lives. You’ve got to love that!
The Change by Kristen Miller
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Length: 480 pages
My Thoughts: I had absolutely no plans to read 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄 by Kristen Miller. It just didn’t sound like a book for me. It’s classified as magical realism on Edelweiss and as a psychic / ghost mystery on Amazon. All of those typically send me running from a book. But then, I started seeing 𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐬 of positive reviews. I saw other women saying things like, “… 𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘐 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥,” and “…𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘸,” and “…𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳.” Those words spoke to my infuriated broken heart, so I ordered a copy.
The story takes place in a Long Island oceanside community, where three women, Nessa, Harriett, and Jo, all nearing midlife, find they’re each gifted with different unusual powers. They also all have things to be angry about, but that anger becomes laser focused when they find the body of a dead teenage girl on a remote strip of beach. When no one comes forward to identify the body, police quickly rule the girl a sex worker, dead from a drug overdose. Nessa, Harriet and Jo KNOW this cannot be true, and they set out to uncover the truth.
I loved this book. It was everything the women had said, and 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 magical realism and a psychic / ghost mystery. Somehow that all worked beautifully for me. I really want to say 𝐁𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐎 to Kristen Miller. The super powers of women go unnoticed all too often. Thank you, for shining a light on them. I only wish that, in the nonfiction world in which we live, more of us could find ways to make our power known. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 was just the right book for me at just the right time! Grade: A-
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Length: 320 pages
My Thoughts: I always appreciate an author whose books are each so different from the other, and Emma Straub is one such author. Her latest book, 𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐒 𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄 𝐓𝐎𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐑𝐎𝗪, is a love story of sorts. Not in a romantic way, but instead it’s the story of the love between a father and daughter. As the book opens, it’s Alice’s 40th birthday and she’s sitting in her 73 year old dad’s hospital room, knowing he’s not going to make it. The two were exceptionally close, in part, because since she was 6, he had raised her on his own. Leonard was not your typical father. He’d written a book about time travel that was wildly successful and also made into a TV series. That book alone provided a good life for the two in their quirky little NYC neighborhood (which is itself almost a character in the story).
Alice’s sadness is raw, and after drinking way too much the night of her birthday, she somehow wakes up in her childhood bed, in her 16-year old body. Now, I know I’m going to lose some of you here, but hang on. Yes, this is a book that involves time travel, but it’s well done and there’s lots to the story that makes it fit. The first time it happened, I was not all that into it, but as the story progressed, the reasons made more sense and Alice’s heart revealed even more. She wanted more time with her dad. Having lost my own mom this year, I get that. I’d give A LOT to go back and have a day with her. By the end, I was thoroughly touched. Don’t let the time traveling scare you. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘛𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘸 is a fun, fast, heart-filled story that I believe many will love. Grade: B+
Thanks to Riverhead Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour (debut)
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Publisher: Flatiron Books (Macmillan Audio)
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Length: 304 pages (8 hrs. 1 min.)
My Thoughts: At its core, YERBA BUENA by Nina Lacour is a love story between two women, each lost in their own way, slowly finding their way to each other, but it is also so much more. These are women who on the surface have little in common. Sara has had a hard life, a life of loss and disappointment, but she’s driven. By sheer will, she’s going to build a life for herself. Emilie grew up in a strong, loving family, but she’s somehow lost, still working on her degree after 5 majors and 7 years as an undergrad. She’s trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. So far, it may sound like sort of a fluff book, but it’s not. Both women have darkness in their lives and much to overcome.
This book marks Nina LaCour’s adult debut, and I could feel a little bit of the YA world she comes from in this story, but I think that’s what makes Yerba Buena a perfect summer read. It should be in everyone’s beach bag! With good storylines, likable characters, a bit of mystery, and a little romance, what more can you want? On top of that, if you decide to go the audiobook route (as I did), it’s narrated by Julia Whelan! Grade: B
Thanks to Flatiron Books for an ARC , and Macmillan Audio for and ALC of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Which have been your favorite books this month?
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Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says
Yerba Buena sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing your favorite reads of the month with us.
I’ve never read anything by Emma Straub, but I love the premise of This Time Tomorrow, particularly the time travel aspect. I’ll add it to my library list for later this year. Thanks for the review!
Linda S. says
I am adding “This Time Tomorrow” to my list and think I will try it on audio. Thank you Susie!