I’ve been sharing a lot of what I’m reading on social media. As a result, I’ve gotten so many messages about people wanting book recommendations, ask what I’m reading, etc. I decided to start doing some blog wrap ups for the month. Here is my wrap up of my May books!
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Synopsis: The Night Tiger is about two strangers: a young boy named Ren who’s Master requested that once he dies, Ren find his missing finger so that he can be buried with it. Ji Lin, the second stranger, wants to continue to be a doctor or a nurse but her step father will only allow her to be a dressmaker’s apprentice until she gets married. Ji Lin also secretly works as a dance hall girl to help pay her mother’s mahjong debt and that’s where she encounters the finger.
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book when I could read big chunks at a time. For the first half, I was reading little bits at a time so the story lagged a bit. When I could sit down and get through 50+ pages, I really fell in love with the story. I was in this world and so engaged with the characters. There was a love story that I found off putting but other than that I would highly recommend it!
The Winter Sister by Megan Collins
Synopsis: Sylvie’s sister Persephone was murdered when Sylvie was in her early teens. The unsolved death of her sister sent her mother spiraling and eventually lead to very strained relationship between the two. When Sylvie’s mom is diagnosed with cancer, Sylvie is forced to come back home to take care of her and deal with the past.
Thoughts: It was a quick paced book with decent characters. Another book with a strange love interests that I couldn’t really get on board with though. I did devour this book in about 24 hours so it kept my attention. I was hoping to get a little more from this thriller that I wasn’t expecting or already predicting, but I did think it was a good read.
Joy Enough: A Memoir by Sarah McColl
Synopsis: This book is about Sarah dealing with the loss of her mother while at the same time dealing with her marriage falling apart.
Thoughts: I thought it was so brave for Sarah to be so open and raw with her stories about her mom. I can’t even imagine the pain of dealing with her mom’s cancer diagnosis while at the same time watching her marriage fall apart. It was written in a poetic way, which isn’t my personal favorite so that took me out of the story at times. Overall, it was a really beautiful ode to her mother and a great way to savor her memories and joy.
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Synopsis: A Korean immigrant family of three runs an experimental medical treatment device called the Miracle Submarine. The Miracle Submarine is a pressurized oxygen chamber which is used in the hopes of helping different issues such as infertility and autism. One day during a dive, when the patients are inside the chamber, the submarine explodes leaving two dead. Was it an accident or murder?
Thoughts: When I read the first chapter, I thought well this seems pretty cut and dry. How is this going to develop over 300+ pages. I was so wrong. I absolutely loved this book! It was told over multiple perspectives and those types of books are some of my favorites. Each person’s story somehow weaves together with another character that you wouldn’t expect. It takes the story to another level when you add in the family running this oxygen chamber is an immigrant family. Going into their background was so heartbreaking. This debt novel was incredible and definitely lived up to the hype. If you’re a fan of court dramas like Law and Order, definitely pick this up.
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
Synopsis: Harriet Lee is from a far away place called Druhstrana, which her and her mother fled from in box. She doesn’t know how to return. The only thing that reminds her of her homeland is the gingerbread she makes. Predita, her daughter, is looking for her father and that road leads back to Druhstana. Harriet is then forced to confront her past and share her secrets with her daughter.
Thoughts: This has to be the weirdest, most whimsical book I’ve ever read. It’s a little all over the place and then finds a way back to something I could understand halfway through or so. If you’re looking for something outside your regular reads, this one hit the mark for me.
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
Synopsis: Stephanie shares her struggle of being a single mom and working as a maid. Her partner became very abusive when she found out she was pregnant, and her dreams were put on hold. Stephanie does whatever she can for her daughter, which includes shelters, food stamps, and so much more.
Thoughts: I always feel so strange saying I didn’t love someone’s memoir because it’s their life and that’s what happened. However, I would had loved more about the client’s she cleaned for. At times the story felt repetitive and for me lacked emotional appeal until the very end.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Synopsis: Lydia, is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, is dead. Her death makes her family look inward to see what happened. Is it murder, suicide or an accident? Every member of the family is looking for answers in different places.
Thoughts: I’ve been dying to read this since I read Celeste’s most recent book Little Fires Everywhere. It is such a heartbreaking story full of secrets and dreams that go unfulfilled. Reading this, I felt the weight of all those unfulfilled dreams of Lydia’s parents on my own shoulders. I was listening to an episode of All the Books someone on that said that they wish the characters in this book had gone to therapy. That’s all I could think of when I read this. It’s a perfect story of how secrets will tear you apart.
Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
Synopsis: When Jodi was 17 years old, she was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. She’s released 18 years later and has to figure out life after prison. Miranda has trouble with pills, alcohol, and isn’t allowed to see her kids. They meet by chance and decide that they will team up and help each other.
Thoughts: I was so unimpressed with this story. I was hoping for more with so many characters, and nothing really happened at all. I was hoping Jodi’s background with her murder conviction would be more engaging and/or Miranda’s struggle with how she got to where she is would be more emotional. Overall, I barely finished this and wouldn’t recommend.
May Wrap Up
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
The Winter Sister by Megan Collins ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Joy Enough: A Memoir by Sarah McColl ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Sugar Run by Mesha Maren ⭐️⭐️/5