Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon — 4 stars
I love Sandhya Menon’s YA romances, so I was excited to read her adult romance debut (as Lily Menon), Make Up Break Up! It’s such a fun rivals-to-lovers romcom! I loved Annika and her drive for her business to succeed as well as truly wanting to be able to give couples a second chance through her app, Make Up. Hudson was a fun rival with his opposing business and their shared backstory. I especially loved the focus on promoting a South Asian, woman-owned business.
All the Pretty Things by Emily Arsenault — 3 stars
All the Pretty Things is a YA mystery set at a theme park! Doesn’t this setting sound awesome? It was my favorite part of the book for sure. The mystery itself was okay but didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat with suspense, which was the kind of book I was looking for at that moment.
CW: drug overdose, sexual assault
From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn — 5 stars
I absolutely adored From Little Tokyo, With Love! It’s honestly hard to put into words just how much I loved and enjoyed this book. It’s a fun YA romcom with a focus on family and identity. I loved watching Rika and Henry (who was very sweet and swoonworthy) grow closer as they run all over LA searching for Rika’s long-lost mother. Rika’s anger and loneliness in being an outsider in her community felt so real, and I appreciated seeing these feelings come to life in a character. This was the first book I read by Sarah Kuhn, but it will not be the last!
You’ll want to read this book if you love:
☑️ Modern fairytales
☑️ Celebrity romances
☑️ Family secrets
☑️ Los Angeles
☑️ Complex MCs
Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter — 4.5 stars
Pitched as a romcom about romcoms, Better Than the Movies truly is a love letter to all romcoms. It’s full of so much trope-y goodness that will leaving you swooning in delight! I loved Liz and her love for vintage dresses, music, and, of course, romcoms. This book is perfect for fans of romcoms, especially To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The DUFF (the movie version). Check out my aesthetic here.
Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant — 4 stars
Happily Ever Afters is such a sweet contemporary! I loved how Tessa shared chapters of the romance novels she writes with her best friend—this was something my high school best friend and I did! I also loved the boy next door, Sam, who is in the culinary arts program at their school. I wanted to eat all of the sweet baked goods he makes throughout the novel! Tessa was such a relatable main character, especially with her anxiety, and I loved her voice. Fans of Maurene Goo’s I Believe In a Thing Called Love will enjoy this debut!
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes — 5 stars
The Inheritance Games me hooked right away! It was so easy to fly through this novel with the short chapters, intriguing plot, and fun riddles. I loved Avery and the four Hawthorne brothers—especially Avery’s relationship with Grayson (enemies-to-kind-of-allies-to-maybe-forbidden-love?), so you better believe I’m hoping for more between them in book two. If you’re a fan of Knives Out, The Inheritance Games is perfect for you! Check out my aesthetic here.
Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan — 3 stars
Ten Rules for Faking It is a slow-burn, workplace romance set at a radio station. The premise was fun, but it really was a slow-burn. I didn’t know this going in, so I wasn’t expecting the book to drag on, but sadly it did. My favorite part was the social anxiety representation, though, which was spot-on!
Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala — 5 stars
Project Runway meets Comic Con in Be Dazzled! This book was so much fun to read. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an awesome job bringing Raffy’s voice to life. I loved the dual timelines where chapters switched between the present as Raffy battles his ex-boyfriend, Luca, in a cosplay competition and the past where we see how their relationship began and ended. The story was so delightful and brought a huge smile to my face. Fans of Heartstopper will love this book!
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales — 5 stars
Perfect on Paper has been one of my favorite reads of the year! I loved how real and complex the characters were. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator’s voice was perfect for Darcy. I loved watching Darcy form a friendship with Brougham (and seeing that turn into something more) and confront biphobia (both internal and external) in her life.
Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura — 2.5 stars
Every Reason We Shouldn’t is on the younger side of YA. It was different than what I had been expecting, so unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I was hoping I would.
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo — 4.5 stars
Somewhere Only We Know was an adorable read! I loved the whirlwind tour of Hong Kong and the dual POVs. It’s so fun and perfect for summer—this book will be a great Netflix romcom! Roman Holiday and k-pop fans will love it!
Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi — 4 stars
Perfectly Parvin was such a fun read! It’s not often that I see YA books with 14-year-old protagonists, so I really loved this aspect. Parvin’s voice was so strong (and funny!) and her journey navigating freshman year while also starting to figure out her identity was great. I also loved her friends and her close relationship with her aunt. This is a great book for younger teens and for fans of Never Have I Ever!
The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes — 5 stars
The Hawthorne Legacy was my most anticipated release of the year, and I was so lucky to have received an early copy of it! I loved reading this book so much. It’s a strong sequel full of action, mystery, and romance. This series is so fun and fast-paced—it’s easy to fly through the story. I am so excited for the third book to release next year! Fans will love this follow up to The Inheritance Games!
Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli — 5 stars
I loved Break the Fall so much! Audrey and the rest of the team’s determination and dedication to their sport shined through and made me love gymnastics even more. I was so invested in their journey at the Olympics and all of their events. The story also expertly handles being a survivor in the #MeToo era—there was even a part that had me tearing up about how supportive the athletes were for each other. Oh, AND there’s a sweet romance with a swoony love interest. Fans of Make It or Break It will love this book!
Are any of these books in your tbr? What was your favorite read in May?