What We're Reading: May 2024

Created on May 6, 2024, 11:15 am

Last Updated May 6, 2024, 12:30 pm

Suggested books by AACPL staff for May, 2024.
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Party girl, half-fae, Bryce Quinlan, has a bright future ahead of her until the death of her best friend. Two years later, the murders start up again and Bryce is contacted by the governor to help hunt down the creature that killed her friend with the help of an enslaved angel-assassin, Hunt Athalar. As someone who is not a fan of A Court of Thorn and Roses, I wasn't sure how I would like this series. It was a slow start and I found myself struggling to push forward and continue reading because the world building was a little overwhelming, but when the beat drops, the beat DROPS. What I really liked about this novel is that Bryce is a force to be reckoned with and she's not your typical random girl that's suddenly the Chosen One and uncharacteristically powerful. She trained in her skill, she became an expert, and she knows how to fight. I also appreciate the slow development of Bryce and Hunt's relationship in which it feels genuine and not fast paced and shallow like many other romantasy titles. The climax is visually one of the coolest scenes I've ever imagined and I felt amped up and excited by the end of the book. This is a modern day fantasy in which they have cell-phones, motorcycles, reality TV, and other things you might expect in the world of today. I thought this bit was pretty creative and fun to imagine. If you enjoy other romantasy titles, like ACoTaR, Powerless, From Blood and Ash, and the like, you'll enjoy House of Earth and Blood. This has been one of my favorite reads of 2024 so far.
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This memoir of the Jeopardy champion, Amy Schneider, is a wonderful mix of stories, experiences, and reflections. Including some very adult parts and true to life activities, this book is not for children but is engaging and fun. I recommend this book for anyone that found Amy's Jeopardy run as incredible and exciting as I did.
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This book is perfection! Monk Ellison is a brilliant yet struggling black author, often told his writing is not black enough. Though he has several published books, he doesn’t have a big following as his books tend to be too philosophical and not the average American readers choice. He decides to write a parody of the black culture under a pseudonym. The book becomes a hit and he finds himself in a pickle that begins to spiral out of control while trying to cover who he really is. We also learn about his personal life, stepping in to take care of his aging mother with dementia and learning some family secrets. The Oscar winning movie, American Writer, is based on this novel. If you’re looking for something a little different and really well done, I highly recommend this read. I also thought of R F Kuang’s Yellowface as it touches on the publishing industry and who can write certain stories.
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The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner I first came to this book after watching the Netflix docuseries, which I also highly recommend. I find it remarkable and inspiring that the people described in this book live in such ways that allow them to not only become centenarians but also truly enjoy and revere life itself. The lessons in this book have inspired me to look at my own life to see how I can change it to be more like those people in the Blue Zones, and I believe all people can take a leaf out of these people's books to make this world a better, happier place.
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This book is not for the faint of heart. Yes, it's a Rom-Com. Yes, it's cute. Yes, it's funny, but it's gory, twisted, and demented, too! Sloane and Rowan are both serial killers that work in the style of Dexter by hunting other serial killers. Fate brings them together when they are both hunting the same mark. From that point on, they create an annual game to see who can murder their next mark first. Their budding relationship struggles to bloom as they both have issues (OBVIOUSLY) that they struggle to put aside to recognize each other's attraction and raw chemistry. I found myself actually laughing at their ridiculous antics and back and forth quips between each other. The author crafted a way to have two incredibly snarky and smart main characters interact with each other and not be overwhelming. I HIGHLY recommend you listen to this on audiobook as it is a dual narration in which the two narrators interact with each other in each chapter - similar to a dramatized reading. If you enjoy the TV series Dexter or dark comedies, you'll definitely enjoy Butcher and Blackbird. Please check the trigger warnings at the beginning of the book and beware, this book turns very spicy suddenly.
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Tricia and Ethan, a young couple in the throes of newlywed bliss, find themselves trapped in a snowstorm during a house viewing. The property, once owned by the vanished psychiatrist Dr. Adrienne Hale, holds a secret: a hidden chamber filled with tapes of Dr. Hale's confidential sessions in which Tricia discovers. Ethan and Tricia's relationship was fast paced in which they are both learning about each other. As she listens to the intertwined lives recorded on the tapes, Tricia's nerves fray, her suspicions about Ethan mounts, and the mystery of Dr. Hale's disappearance begins to unravel. I almost put this book down in the first couple chapters as it seemed to be a cookie-cutter psychological thriller with an obvious twist written directly on the walls. I forced myself to continue reading and the twists and turns became more drastic and convoluted. Feeling that I'm able to detect red herrings and identify the true twist easily, this book actually threw me for a loop. I've never read a book written by McFadden before, but it will definitely be a name that catches my attention now when browsing my library.
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