May 2020 Wrap Up


Welcome to my May 2020 book wrap up. A list of what I read last month.

So, I updated my wrap up images. They look pretty snazzy if I do say so myself... And I do... May was a crazy month, but I managed to read a whole bunch of amazing books. Lets get to it, shall we?

Three books made it on my five star list. They are all very different, but I enjoyed them all for their own reasons. My Story by Elizabeth Smart really chilled me to the core, but told a story about the strength of one person to survive. The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick was an emotional roller coaster of what love between sisters looks like. Hella is a ground breaking scifi with an unusual, but wonderful main character. A must read. 


My Story

For the first time, ten years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City bedroom, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime.
On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Now for the first time, in her memoir, MY STORY, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the nine years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. In 2012, she married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met doing mission work in Paris for her church, in a fairy tale wedding that made the cover of People magazine.

The Girls with No Names


Hella











42/50 Books in my Read Around the Country challenge
~
17/196 in my Star Wars Legends challenge
~
6/20 in my Scotland challenge
~
39/341 Gilmore Girls challenge
~
38/100 in my 100 books before you die challenge


I'm nearly finished with my read around the country challenge, should be done within the next few weeks. Then I can get to work on some of my other challenges. A few are pretty hefty. 

I've already started my June TBR list, its looking like an amazing month. I'd love to hear what you plan on reading. Leave me a comment below.

Book Review: Little Creepy Things by Chelsea Ichaso

Title: Little Creepy Things
By: Chelsea Ichaso
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 336
Release Date: June 2nd, 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day, and her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down.

But then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

Review:

Creepy is right... This book kept me guessing the whole time I was reading it.

We follow a group of pretty messed up kids, who blackmail, threaten and lie to each other daily. This turmoil of a cast kept me on my toes wondering, "could it be them? I think so... Nope, not them... Wait, is it?" In the end, I didn't see it coming.

The back story really helped hold the plot together and unfolded so precisely that I felt like I had lived it along with the characters.

I really enjoyed this read. Blasted through it in one sitting. A great creepy read for a dreary spring afternoon.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Weekly Menu #354 And The Book Of The Week


Monday! What a beautiful week we had. The weather was hot... a little too hot... but sunny and wonderful. Work was crazy busy again, now that the country is waking up from its long sleep, and my boys are finally back on a sleep schedule that works for everyone. It was a little rough there for a while. 

I didn't do as much reading last week as I had wished, but I did manage to finish a few review books that I can't wait to share with you, so make sure to check back in the next couple weeks for them.

This weeks read is Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (no relation). The book drops in July and I'm excited dive into these covers before its released. I've been waiting for this book for a while now.

What are you reading this week? Leave me a comment below.

The menu looks delicious, so without further ado, enjoy!

MENU 


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday
Leftovers Night



Sunday Confessions #46


Hello Sunday! It's been a long week. I got my hands on the new Hunger Games book. If you didn't know, Suzanne Collins came out with a prequel to the fabulous Hunger Games trilogy, so go get your copy. Our county is now in the post Covid 19 phase 1. Not sure what that is going to look like for me, but I'm dying for a haircut. Pandemic hair is not pretty. And, I've lost 5 lbs in all this Kerfuffle. Its been a weird week.

Anyway, lets move on with this weeks confessions.  


~
~
~
~
~


Weekly Menu #354 And The Book Of The Week
~
Book Review: Creepy Little Things by Chelsea Ichaso
~
Book Review: Reflection by Elizabeth Lim
~
Author Interview: Brian Finney
~
Sunday Confessions #47




42/50 Books in my Read Around the Country challenge
~
17/196 in my Star Wars Legends challenge
~
6/20 in my Scotland challenge
~
39/341 Gilmore Girls challenge
~
38/100 in my 100 books before you die challenge


I'm ready to get back to normal. Stay safe out there.

Book Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley


Title: The Winter Sea
By: Susanna Kearsley
Genre: Time Travel
Pages: 536
Release Date: December 1st, 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth—the ultimate betrayal—that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.…




Review:

A mystical time traveling tale that brought the future in line with the past.

The way the author wove a historical tale into a new age story, was really creative. As the main character dreamed about something that happened in the past, she used that story to write her book, but when she begins to research her characters, she finds out that the story might actually be true. Its a wonderful way of doing time travel without actual time travel.

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
By: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 540
Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined - every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.



Review:

I have to say, I'm kinda torn with this book. As a story, it was really interesting, but as part of the Hunger Games series, I wasn't sucked into the world like I was with the trilogy. I wanted to feel the same excitement and thrills that I felt before, but I was left on the outside of the hunger games with the lack of technology and emotions.

It seemed like everyone was just crazy, and Snow wasn't really Snow, nor did I find out really how he became to be the same man I knew from the trilogy.

With all that being said, after a while I threw out the whole Hunger Games thrill of it all and just enjoyed the book as a new experience instead of a whole series. I loved the music and and the snakes. They really played an intricate part of the story. All in all, it was a pleasant read.

Book Review: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner


Title: The Jane Austen Society
By: Natalie Jenner
Genre: Historical
Pages: 320
Release Date: May 26th, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England's finest novelists. Now it's home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen's legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen's home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

Review:
If Jane Austen was still alive today, she would love this book. 

A group of people who have seemingly nothing in common, come together over one single longing, the written words of Jane Austen. I've always loved Austen and her way to bring a strong woman to life during a time when the world was against women with a voice. This book really tells the tale of people who need something from her words and how we all need each other to get us through the hard times. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.



AUTHOR BIO:

Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional
telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where
Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada,
Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English
Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She
recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville,
Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.



PURCHASE LINKS: