Another month and another host of books were added to my read pile. In theory, my TBR should be melting down nicely but it’s definitely not the case.
In May I read a real selection. There were a couple of YA corkers, a fantasy book which may be my favourite of all time, and even non-fiction read about living your best Taylor Swift life? It’s giving range!
So far, I’ve read 44 books in 2022. According to Goodreads, this means I’m on track to complete my annual 100 book reading goal. Hurray! If you want to follow my progress and get reading updates in real-time, then please follow me on Goodreads, here
Anything labelled with a * means it is an AD – PR Copy which has been sent to me for a review in return.
Without further ado, here are the nine books I read in May 2022.
Solitaire – Alice Oseman
After becoming obsessed with the Netflix adaptation of Heartstopper in April, I couldn’t dive into Alice Oseman’s back catalogue fast enough. First up: Solitaire.
Solitaire is a YA novel following Victoria Spring (Tori to her friends). She’s the older sister of Heartstopper protagonist, Charlie Spring as well as a sixth former at Harvey Greene Grammar School for Girls (Higgs). Tori battles undiagnosed depression and struggles to care about maintaining her friendships. When the mysterious Solitaire blog starts pulling pranks, Tori becomes embroiled in a game of cat and mouse. Who is behind Solitaire?
Fast, fun and a real treat for Heartstopper fans, I loved Solitaire. I might even like Tori more than the dream duo of Nick and Charlie.
Note: There are some trigger warnings on Solitaire so I would advise reading them before you start reading.
A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas
It’s not often I read a perfect book but A Court of Mist and Fury is one of them. Chef kiss. Five stars. Delicious.
Set immediately after the events of A Court of Thorns and Roses, (ACOTAR) A Court and Mist and Fury opens with the bash of the century. The newly resurrected High Fae, Feyre, is marrying the High Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin. But as the rose-tinted spectacles begin to slip, Feyre instead finds herself whisked into an epic odyssey beyond her wildest dreams.
Don’t let the hype that surrounds ACOTAR put you off. It’s talked about for a reason. Sarah J. Maas, just take my money.
Be More Taylor Swift: Fearless Advice on Speaking Out, Giving Back, and Shaking It All Off – D.K. Publishing
Written by Swifties for Swifties, Be More Taylor Swift is a handbook on tackling life in the pop star’s way. Perfect for younger readers, this advice book tackles things like working hard for your dreams, friendship-building and more.
Come Here Often? – Ellie Centre*
*AD – PR Copy
Come Here Often? is filled with flaws but its greatest is falling flat on its marketing teams’ promises. Described as ‘laugh out loud’ and a ‘totally hilarious’ romantic comedy, Come Here Often? by Ellie Centre totally lacked its two main selling points – comedy and romance.
Kat is having a rough time, what with being dumped by her boyfriend and sacked by her job while working out at the gym. Triggered by her sudden misfortune, Kat finds herself suffering from panic whenever she gets close to the gym’s doors. Kat’s solution? Let’s just live at the gym.
This is a hot mess of a book. There’s attempted child abduction, a cameo from Jake Gyllenhaal and of course almost zero romance throughout. Like Solitaire, I would advise reading the trigger warnings surrounding this novel.
Love Me, Love Me Not – Kirsty Capes*
*AD – PR Copy
Fresh from her Women’s Prize for Fiction longest nomination, Kirsty Capes is back with her second novel, Love Me, Love Me Not.
Lucy Banbury is a practical, productive and sensible millennial. She lives in London with her colleague and her colleague’s boyfriend, swims on the regular, and over-achieves in her job for little recognition. However, when Lucy’s alcoholic brother reveals she is adopted at a family wedding, her seemingly ‘perfect’ life comes crashing down and spirals from her control.
Lucy isn’t the most likeable character. She’s complicated and flawed. However the heartbreaking elements of this story and the main romance element more than makeup for disliking the protagonist. I found the first half of Love Me, Love Me Not to be a bit of a struggle however once warmed to Lucy, I flew through.
My Evil Mother – Margaret Atwood
A carefully crafted crockpot of witchcraft and motherhood, Margaret Atwood’s My Evil Mother is so much fun.
Told through the eyes of a disgruntled daughter, My Evil Mother documents a decade-spanning relationship between two women who don’t see always see eye to eye. There are garden gnomes for fathers, a box of penises and a lifelong fight for witchery in the skies.
Rich and witty, My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood is an instant dopamine hit. At 32 pages it is also essential for raising that Goodreads score. Happy witching!
The Christie Affair – Nina de Gramont
My biggest disappointment of the month comes in the form of The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont. I wanted to love this so bad but this Reese Wetherspoon-approved novel left me feeling like I was reading bad fan fiction.
The year is 1926. Nan O’Dea has gotten close to Archie Christie. So close in fact, that after sleeping with his wife for the final time, Archie tells her he’s leaving her for Nan. Following the revelation – the scorned wife, Agatha Christie, disappears. What unfolds is a mystery wrapped up in revelation upon revelation.
I thought the plot of this novel was stellar but the execution itself lacked substance. A historical fiction novel that didn’t quite reach it’s potential, The Christie Affair is good, but not great.
Man Repeller – Leandre Medine
Man Repeller is a book about the formation of a website that no longer exists. It’s aged dramatically since its publication in 2013 and that’s definitely something to bear in mind when reading some essays, especially Bermuda Shorts. I don’t think that particular segment would get green-lighted today.
Young, inexperienced and with her now-deceased website only in its infancy at the time of writing, Leandre Medine’s autobiography is a hot mess and should stay in 2013.
Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
If you were a teenager on the internet between 2010 – 2014 (specifically a Tumblr user) then you would have felt the grip that The Perks of Being a Wallflower had upon a whole generation. ‘We accept the love we deserve’ ringing a bell?
Published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a fictional version of Chbosky’s own childhood. There’s an appreciation for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Asleep by The Smiths and an exploration of undiagnosed PTSD. I loved it. I can’t believe I hadn’t read this before now? Reading in 2022 for my teenage self.
Pizza Girl – Jean Kyoung Frazier
An unexpected surprise in a short but sweet format, Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier was a fun fiction read.
Pizza Girl is eighteen, pregnant and working out of a LA pizza joint. She feels suffocated by her doting boyfriend and loving mother and is troubled by the passing of her late alcoholic father. The unnamed Pizza Girl is looking for an escape from the mundane and finds it at the bottom of a beer can and in an erratic suburban mom, Jenny.
Fast, bold and tender, Pizza Girl plops you into the midst of a life coming unravelled and hoists you out before you can see the light. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more of Frazier’s works.