What I Read in May 2021

I thought I didn’t read much this month but when I looked back through my StoryGraph account, I finished four books! Which is pretty average for me. I think May was just a really long month.

Any purchases through the links in this post go to help support, Twice Told Tales (my bookstore!).


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Download the audiobook here.
Buy the hardcover here.

Yeah, ok, let’s just start out with a powerhouse. I freakin’ loved this book. First of all, Taylor Jenkins Reid knows exactly how to get you wrapped up in a specific time and place. This time and place is the 1980’s in Malibu, California. The hair is big. The acid wash is out in full force. The famous people are so famous!
The simple structure of the story takes place all in one night–a very famous once-a-year house party in a Malibu Mansion owned by sexy, swimsuit model, Nina Riva. The heart of the story takes place between Nina and her three younger (now adult) siblings in glimpses of their love for each other and flashbacks over the course of their lives–in the shadow of their obscenely famous father. This book made me want to call up all of my siblings and tell them I love them.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Download it on audiobook here.
Buy the hardcover copy here.

I read this book as a part of the book club that I run with The Empowerment Studio and I’m so glad that I did! This book was fun and fast paced. Full disclosure, I don’t always love books that are aimed at a Young Adult audience. I spend a lot of time thinking “where are the parents” and “kids don’t really talk like that”. But this one didn’t give me any of these vibes. It was just fun and believable and I loved it so much.
Yadriel is a brujo and right off the bat in the first scene of the book we get to experience all the magic and excitement of him coming into his full powers! It just so happens that in that exact moment, a tragedy strikes his family and all of the brujo men are called on to find out what happened. Yadriel is forbidden from helping though because, even though they mean well, his family doesn’t believe he could actually be brujo because he’s trans. In the meantime, Yadriel and his cousin Maritza accidentally summon a ghost? And they can’t seem to get rid of him. And… yeah this ghost is another teenager and super hot and it’s not a spoiler to say that Yadriel and Julian fall in love. This book is fun I’m telling you!! And it wraps up like a perfect teenage romance should.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Download the audiobook here.
Buy the paperback copy here.

Another romance!! Only this one isn’t geared towards teens so just FYI it’s got a lot of spicy scenes. Which, honestly, I didn’t see coming because a good 70% of this book takes place stuck on the subway. But to quote Dr. Ian Malcolm, “life… uh… finds a way.”
I loved this book so much! Casey McQuiston is such a talented and creative author! They completely threw out the typical roadmap for romance novels with this one and I’m here for it.
Basically what happens is that August falls in love with a girl on the subway. And then… discovers that she can’t get off the subway. And she’s been there since 1976. BUT LOVE IS LOVE Y’ALL! But in the meantime, we get to see all of August’s walls fall down. We get to meet all of her incredible and delightful roommates who want to know her so well and will do anything for her–even busting open the space time continuum.

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
Download the audiobook here.
Buy the hardcover copy here.

**SCREEEEECH** We’re taking a hard left turn with this one. While all the other books I read this month were light and airy–with a good amount of tenderness and thoughtfulness and honesty, this one takes place in 1662 in Puritan New England. Mary Deerfield is in an abusive marriage that she is determined to escape. The only thing is a woman doing… pretty much anything in 1662 will get her labeled a witch.
Despite the plain language and pacing that definitely brings in the Puritanical vibe, this book still reads like a super modern thriller.
Note: content warnings for all kinds of things that take place in an abusive marriage.

Anyway–that’s all she read! Both Malibu Rising and One Last Stop were released today so go get your copies!!

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