Monthly Wrap Up: May 2020

Overall, I read 8 books in May that were all 4 and 5 star reads. I discovered some of my new favorite authors and dabbled in both YA fantasy and some fun adult rom-coms.

Christina Lauren was the first author(s) I discovered this month.

Fun fact: If you didn’t already know, Christina Lauren is a duo made up of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. Thus, Christina Lauren!

I had seen their titles everywhere, but after April being such a dull month, I knew I needed something fun and fast-paced. I decided to consume their novels via audiobook and they were exactly what my soul needed!

I also read my first series from Sarah J. Maas and you guys, I AM OBSESSED. Her books are heavily hyped in the bookstagram community so I had been itching to know what all the talk was about. She totally lived up to my expectations (which honestly, is very unusual for me) so I definitely plan to read more from her in the near future.

May 2020 Book Reviews

All of my reviews include a star rating, a brief synopsis (sometimes they are from Goodreads because I’m bad at writing my own), a short and sweet review, the tropes associated with it, and a link to shop the book if it sounds like something you’re interested in!

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren | Forever Booked Up
Photo via @ForeverBookedUp Instagram

Description: Elliot and Macy spent their summers as teenagers together, sharing stories, reading books, and eventually becoming more.

Fast forward to the present day and Macy is a medical resident, engaged to an older man, and content with her life. She hasn’t talked to Elliot in over a decade…until they randomly run into each other.

Never understanding Macy’s decade-long silence, Elliot longs to have her back in his life, while Macy struggles with the memories associated with him, both good and bad.

My Opinion: I loved everything about this book. The emotion was raw and real and I felt every ounce of pain and happiness and agony that these characters felt. I loved the message of overcoming your past and being able to grow from those experiences.

I really enjoyed how the book jumps back in forth between present-day and their childhood years. It creates such a well-rounded picture of their individual backstories and relationship, which makes you that much more invested in their story.

Overall, it was a beautiful, well-written book. Definitely my favorite novel from Christina Lauren so far.

Trope(s): Second-Chance Love, Friends to Lovers

Click here to shop Love And Other Words >>

A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4 out of 5.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas |  | Forever Booked Up
Photo via @ForeverBookedUp Instagram

Description: Feyre is the provider for her family and one night while she’s out hunting for food, she is pursued by a wolf and ends up killing it. Turns out, the wolf was really a fae.

She is then forced to leave her family and go to a magical kingdom as punishment for the fae’s death. Feyre learns that her captor is hiding more than he suggests and her feelings grow from hostility to passion. As the faerie lands grow more dangerous, she must fight to break an ancient curse or risk losing her chance at love.

My Opinion: This was my very first experience with Sarah J. Maas’s writing and this book captured my attention from the very first chapter. I couldn’t put it down and literally read it in a day.

For the first in a trilogy, this book did an amazing job at building the world it’s set in and introducing us to characters that we will see throughout the series. While I definitely would say that this books is more character-driven than some other fantasy novels, it had a great balance of plot progression, character development, and world-building.

This book also has a strong romance element, which I absolutely loved and found myself rooting for from beginning to end.

Overall, this was an amazing introduction into this series and I think it’s a great starter book for people who have never read fantasy before.

Trope(s): Enemies to Lovers, Fairytale Retelling

Click here to shop A Court of Thorns and Roses >>

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 5 out of 5.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | Forever Booked Up
Photo via @ForeverBookedUp Instagram

Description: *Spoilers if you haven’t read book #1*

After surviving Amarantha’s wrath and returning back to the Spring Court, Feyre long to be a part of the politics of its court, but is plagued with the unforgivable acts that she performed in order to save its people. Not to mention, the bargain she made to spend one week/month with Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court…

(I don’t feel like I can say more without giving a ton away)

My Opinion: Can I give this book 100 stars, because that is totally where my heart is at!? Like, I thought I loved the first book, until I read this one.

There is some much-needed development that occurs with our MC and we get introduced to a whole other world that I completely fell in love with. The relationships, the interactions, the dialogue — everything felt so much more developed.

And the romance. AH. The freaking romance in this book was breathtaking and passionate and I could read chapter 54 over and over again for the rest of my life.

Overall, this book was everything I needed at the time I read it and I’m already looking forward to a re-read.

Trope(s): Enemies to Lovers, Love Triangle

Click here to shop A Court of Mist and Fury >>

A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas | Forever Booked Up
Photo via @ForeverBookedUp Instagram

Description: *Spoilers if you haven’t read book #1 or #2*

Once again, Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, but this time, to gain information on Tamlin and the king’s threat on Prythian. And to do so she must play a risky game of deceit.

As the threat of war is approaching, Feyre must train to harness her skills, decide who to trust amongst the high lords, and amongst all, save her people — both fae and human.

My Opinion: Much more plot-driven than the first two books, ACOWAR is much more action-heavy and we really start to see what all our characters are capable of. This first half started off pretty slow for me, but the last half was unputdownable (the fact that this is actually a word is mind-boggling).

I love the progression that occurs with our MC’s and that we start to dive deeper into some of the secondary characters and their backstories.

Overall, it was a great book and I hope that this story will continue on!

Trope(s): The Chosen One

Click here to shop A Court of Wings and Ruin >>

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Rating: 4 out of 5.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren | Forever Booked Up
Photo via @ForeverBookedUp Instagram

Description: Millie has always been one of the guys and like her four best guy friends and fellow university professors, is single. So when a black-tie work event comes up, they make a pact to join an online dating service to find their plus-ones. However, a casual, drunken night ends with Millie and her friend Reid hooking up, but they mutually decide they are better off as friends.

Still in need of a plus-one and not happy with her online matches, Millie makes a fake profile where she’s named “Catherine”. Reid matches with Catherine and is quickly smitten. As Reid and “Catherine’s” connection grows, Millie will have to decide if telling the truth is worth risking her best friend.

My Opinion: Everything about this was crazy predictable, but it was still super fun and gave me Big Bang Theory vibes.

I listened to the audiobook and I don’t recommend it. Listening to the male voice do female voices in sex scenes had to be one of the most painful things my ears have ever heard.

If I wanted something quick and light-hearted, I would totally re-read this, but in actual book form next time.

Trope(s): Friends to Lovers

Click here to shop My Favorite Half-Night Stand >>

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Goodreads Description: Josh & Hazel met in college and they could not have been more opposite. Hazel is loud, quirky, and has a lot of personality, while Josh is timid, mellow, and restrained. She always had a thing for him, but after multiple awkward encounters, Josh merely saw her as a peer, if even that.

10 years later, they re-connect through one of Hazel’s friends. Josh has just gotten out of a relationship and Hazel is, well, still Hazel. They decide to help one another find love and go on a series of blind double dates, but the more time they spend together, they realize that maybe there could be more. But can people so opposite actually make love work?

My Opinion: If you need something fun and lighthearted and cute, this is definitely your book. This is a classic Christina Lauren love story where two unexpecting people find love.

I would rate the first 20 chapters a solid 5/5 star. It’s like a second-chance friends-to-lovers tale, which I am ALL for. The characters are like-able, relate-able and I loved the playful dynamic between Josh and Hazel.

But that ending? Woof. That was a solid 2.5⭐️ for me. I didn’t like the turn of events, the ending felt super rushed, and overall I just feel very unsatisfied. Like, I was internally screaming, “GIVE ME MORE!!” at the end.

Also, don’t be like me and listen to the audiobook. The male voice was SO cringy. It was honestly painful at times.

Trope(s): Second-Chance Romance, Friends to Lovers

Click here to shop Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating >>

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw | Forever Booked Up

About: Two centuries ago in the town of Sparrow, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchcraft. Each summer following, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three unknowing girls and luring men to their deaths.

Seeking out a new life, Bo ends up in the town of Sparrow and meets Penny, a local teenage girl who has accepted the fate of her town’s curse. Bo is in need of work and Penny’s lighthouse is in need of repair so she hires him to help.

It’s June in Sparrow, which means the sisters have claimed their new bodies. The townspeople begin turning on one another, Penny fears for Bo’s safety, but they also suspect each other of hiding secrets. But Penny is the only one who can see what others cannot and she must make some tough decisions to save Bo or herself.

My Opinion: If you were a fan of Winterwood, you’ll love The Wicked Deep. They both exude elements of magic, mystery, YA-appropriate romance, and plot twists that will keep you on the edge of my seat. These are the types of books that you could fly through in an afternoon.

Wicked Deep was such a unique story and I loved the fact that I never knew what was going to happen next! The story just continued to unfold with more and more layers and I was completely shocked by the ending.

Overall, Shea Ernshaw is such a great storyteller and brings so much detail and life to her books that its easy to get lost in them.

Click here to shop The Wicked Deep >>

Circe by Madeline Miller

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Circe by Madeline Miller | Forever Booked Up
Photo via @ForeverBookedUp Instagram

About: This book tells the story Circe, the daughter of the Titan, Helios. From birth, Circe is seen and treated as an outcast of her family. When she discovers her powers of witchcraft, she is banished by Zeus to live in isolation on a deserted island.
But her time on the island is not spent alone. She crosses paths with gods, mortals, and monsters, and in doing-so, her heart and her life are consistently challenged.

My Opinion: This is a story of love, loss, and vengeance. It was powerful and heartbreaking. As much as I enjoyed the content of this story, I did have a hard time with certain aspects.
For one, there are a LOT of mythological references so unless you are well-versed in Greek mythology (I am not), you will likely struggle with all of the character/plot references. I also found Madeline Millers’ writing to be a bit choppy. One paragraph you would be reading about one thing and then the next paragraph would cut to a completely different scene and I found myself having to re-read sections a lot to get a good grasp on what was happening. It just didn’t flow for me and I totally realize I have an unpopular opinion on this one.
Overall, I thought the story was beautiful and would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Greek mythology or classic lit.

Click here to shop Circe >>

Let’s Chat Books!

Overall, my favorite book of the month was A Court of Mist and Fury. The story development and the romance literally took my breath away and its one I am going to be thinking about for years to come.

What was your favorite read from May? Have you read any of the books mentioned in this list?

Leave a comment below and let’s chat!

2 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap Up: May 2020

  1. I did a re-read of ACOTAR in May and found myself so enchanted by the writing that I read them all in 4 days (5 tops). Knowing what was going to happen in ACOMAF made me really appreciate the lead up to the second half and how well SJM was able to sneak up on her readers and make us fall in love with new (and old) characters in new ways. I think this will always be a series that I can reread and find more ways to love it. You should definitely read her Throne of Glass series, if you loved these!!


    1. Love this! I’m already looking forward to my re-read of ACOTAR lol. I actually JUST started the Throne of Glass series this month and am starting the third book this week! Loving it so far.

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