Below is a recap of the books I read in May!
Set My Heart To Five by Simon Stephenson. 1/5 ⭐️ “Set in a 2054 where humans have locked themselves out of the internet is a story of one android’s emotional awakening. One day at a screening of a classic movie, Jared notices a strange sensation around his eyes. Bots are not permitted to have feelings, but as the theater lights come on, Jared discovers he is crying. Soon overwhelmed by powerful emotions, Jared heads west, determined to find others like himself. But a bot with feelings is a dangerous proposition, and Jared’s new life could come to an end before it truly begins. Unless, that is, he can somehow change the world for himself and all of his kind.” I really wanted to like this book but I couldn’t fully connect with the characters. Some of the events were so fantastical and unbelievable I found myself skimming towards the end just to get it over with. Interestingly though it seems this book will be made into a movie. I can imagine this would connect with audiences better in movie format than it did in novel format.
Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh. 3/5 ⭐️ “Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one? When Calla, a blue ticket woman, begins to question her fate, she must go on the run. But her survival will be dependent on the very qualities the lottery has taught her to question in herself and on the other women the system has pitted against her. Pregnant and desperate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what that might mean for her child.” A book that had all the potential but sat on the precipice of greatness. A very piercing and sharp writing style which was enjoyable and kept me on the edge of my seat however a lot of moments fell flat.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. 3.5/5 ⭐️ “Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared. Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.” A fast-paced mystery that will have you flying through its pages. I couldn’t put it down until I solved the mystery alongside the protagonist Hannah. I didn’t wholly love the ending but I appreciated that the author kept me guessing at almost every turn. Another book that after reading I learned is being made into a movie — and Hannah is being played by Julia Roberts!
Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. 5/5⭐️ “Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows. By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive. In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa―like so many of her neighbors―must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.” I loved every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter of this book. Hannah brought to life a period of time I had known little about before! This book is a work of art. The characters felt real in their pain, trauma, and triumphs — I didn’t want it to end.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. 4/5 ⭐️ “When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?” This book had such great energy and many laugh out loud moments. I love a good romance and Alex and Henry were easy characters to love and root for.