May is shaping up to be a great reading month as the cold weather starts rolling in, bed socks become a key fashion accessory and I desperately await the next long weekend. If you’re looking to pick up some new books this month, check out a few I plan on reading.
- DAISY JONES & THE SIX – An interview style book about a 70s rock ‘n’ roll band? Yes please! I’ve already started this and it is so captivating I would rather be reading it than doing anything else.
- THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO – By the same author as the above, my community of bookish babes have been buzzing about this book that looks at the life and loves of an aging Hollywood icon.
- THE SONG OF ACHILLES – With a Greek mythology backdrop, this book has received so much hype that I’ve been getting serious fomo so am finally picking it up.
- THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END – Penned by a YA author who writes some wonderful diverse stories, They Both Die At The End looks like a contemporary dreamboat read with an air of mystery surrounding it
- FOUR DEAD QUEENS – What can I say, I love a YA fantasy book.
- THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE – Russian folklore with a potentially dark twist? That has my name written all over it.
Status: book I’m currently reading, loving and hyping – on its way to becoming a new all-time fave.
Synopsis: Daisy is a girl coming of age in LA in the late ’60s, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s 20, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together.
My thoughts so far: The story is written in an interview format where members of the iconic 70s rock ‘n’ roll band Daisy Jones & The Six detail their individual journeys that led them to become a band, their relationships and their ultimate demise. Living in a time of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, this book follows some complex characters, including some strong female leads, who are trying to deal with the emotional turmoil that comes with their rise to fame.
So far, it is a truly vivid reading experience that feels very whimsical, philosophical and gritty. I’m not sure how on earth this works, but in this format I’m feeling some real nostalgia over the band members reminiscing about their time together. Ugh, my emotions. Daisy is such a feisty character that I already love and the whole band the Six has me feeling some kind of way that I can’t wait to explore their relationships further and see this book wrap up in what I hope is a satisfying ending.
Side note: I also need these songs to be readily available because just the snippets and the vibes have me obsessed.
Status: book I plan on picking up next and already feel I’m going to love
Synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic ways.
Why I’m picking it up: Everyone I know who has picked up this book has pushed it to the top of their favourite books list and I can cannot miss out on finding out why. Evelyn Hugo looks stylised to be one of my favourite types of books where the story is character driven and information is relayed to the reader and the secondary narrator in real time. I already have my own ideas as to how these two characters lives are intertwined and I’m excited to see just how much of an emotional journey this is.
Status: my airport read this month
Synopsis: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
Why I’m picking it up: I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so when I saw it for $3 second hand, I just had to add it to my TBR. With a Greek mythology backdrop, this book looks set to put an original twist on characters we’ve all heard stories about. I read Homer’s The Illiad in high school and really enjoyed diving deep into the Trojan War so I’m interested to see how the war and Achilles are represented in this story.
Status: book I plan on listening to on audiobook during my work commute
Synopsis: Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
Why I’m picking it up: Some may say I’m too old for YA but honestly, I don’t care because Adam Silvera has penned some of my favourite diverse reads of the last few years. Great at creating complex characters with a lot of heart, Silvera weaves an emotional narrative that pulls on your heartstrings and takes you on a great ride. They Both Die At The End looks like its going to be a classic Silvera novel with strong characters, a mysterious plot and a potential romance. Can’t wait! I’ve heard that the audiobook is supposed to be great so have rented it from the library to play on my drive to work.
Status: my airport read this month
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.
With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process.
Why I’m picking it up: I’m a sucker for a YA fantasy novel and this one where four queens meet their demise is right up my alley. I’ve heard mixed things about this book from friends who’ve read it but I can’t help be drawn in by the magic and chaos that is set to ensue. From what I can see, this is set to be a standalone so there is no pressure of committing to a series and at 400 pages, it looks like its going to be an easy airport read.
Status: currently reading and about 70% of the way through
Synopsis: At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
My thoughts so far: If you are looking to read a great debut with very few flaws, stunning characters and vivid world building, look no further. Written as a fairy tale, we follow Vasya as she navigates a life under the watching eye of her fellow villagers in a time where politics, religion and feminist ideals are up in the air. What I love about this character and the book overall is the way Arden portrays Vasya. Even in the trickiest of situations, she never stoops to making Vasya feel like a victim of her surroundings but rather she stands tall amongst the masses. So far I’m completely captivated and can’t wait to finish this and pick up the rest of the series.
What are you planning on reading this month?
Written by Monique Renee
Usually barefoot and deep in wanderlust mode, Mon loves binging Netflix, cuddling babies and stalking through Instagram looking for boho decor inspo and hotties with man buns. You’ll usually find her on holiday, planning a holiday or thinking about holidays.
Favourite Instagram to follow: @hotdudesreading