May 2019 TBR

Posted in Books
on 04/05/2019
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

May is favourite month because (a) it’s my birthday month and (b) there are several bank holidays which I have traditionally always lazed around and got through several books. So, it’s a good job I’ve got a loooong list of books that I need to work my way through for my May 2019 TBR!

April was a really poor reading month for me, but there are several books coming out in May that I’m hoping are going to get me back on track – I can see my Goodreads goal slipping out of my fingers at the moment so I’ve got some real making up to do!

Plus, there’s a couple of books in here that made it onto my most anticipated books of 2019 list – I’ve been waiting so long to get my hands on a copy that I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.

A quick heads up for you, there are affiliate links within this post that, should you purchase anything through them, I will earn a commission. This is at no extra charge to you. I also received some of these books for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

May 2019 TBR

Hot Dog Girl, Jennifer Dugan

In a park full of pirates, princesses and magic, Elouise has landed the role of a hot dog. In between trying not to pass out from the heat, she's trying to save a park from closure, figuring out family stuff and trying to get the guy. Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:
  *  She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
  *  Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
  *  Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
  *  And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

I’m a third of the way through at the moment and I’m absolutely loving it! Elouise reminds me so much of the struggle to be a teenager and will be so relatable for a 15/16 year old. I wish I had books like this available when I was a kid.

Wicked Saints, Emily Duncan

Violent, bloody and magical scenes open Wicked Saints. I'm a chapter in and loving it so far!When Nadya prays to the gods, they listen, and magic flows through her veins. For nearly a century the Kalyazi have been locked in a deadly holy war with Tranavian heretics, and her power is the only thing that is a match for the enemy’s blood magic.

But when the Travanian High Prince, and his army invade the monastery she is hiding in, instead of saving her people, Nadya is forced to flee the only home she’s ever known, leaving it in flames behind her, and vengeance in her heart. As night falls, she chooses to defy her gods and forge a dangerous alliance with a pair of refugees and their Tranavian blood mage leader, a beautiful, broken boy who deserted his homeland after witnessing his blood cult commit unthinkable monstrosities.

The plan? Assassinate the king and stop the war. But when they discover a nefarious conspiracy that goes beyond their two countries, everything Nadya believes is thrown into question, including her budding feelings for her new partner. Someone has been harvesting blood mages for a dark purpose, experimenting with combining Tranavian blood magic with the Kalyazi’s divine one. In order to save her people, Nadya must now decide whether to trust the High Prince – her country’s enemy – or the beautiful boy with powers that may ignite something far worse than the war they’re trying to end.

I’ve heard so many good things about this book. I’ve read the first chapter and am already excited for a good bit of blood and some escapism to a different world!

Glow, Aubrey Hadley

I'm hoping Glow will be another dystopian book I won't be able to put down! The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter.

The same night of the outbreak, Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, stumbles across a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood. As her suburb goes on lockdown, Harper finds herself isolated from her friends and family, and soon begins to suspect that the events — though thousands of miles apart — may have something in common.

Publication date for this beauty is currently 16 July this year. I’m also a couple of chapters into this one and massively intrigued! I really enjoyed Lock In by John Scalzi so I’m hoping for some similar vibes here.

After She’s Gone, Camilla Grebe

We all know I love a good frosty Scandi-drama - I have high hopes here!Psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren are invited to the small, sleepy industrial town of Ormberg to investigate a cold case: ten years earlier a five-year-old girl’s remains were found in a cairn near the town.

But when a recurring memory problem resurfaces, Hanne struggles to keep track of the case. She begins keeping a diary, noting down everything she is likely to forget to keep up appearances so she doesn’t lose her job. 

When the body of a woman is found at the cairn and one of Hanne’s shoes is found nearby covered in the victim’s blood, can Hanne’s diary hold the key to what happened? How does this new murder connect to their old one? 

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I love a good frosty Scandi-drama. I have high hopes for this one!

The House on Half Moon Street, Alex Reeve

Leo Stanhope. Avid chess player; assistant to a London coroner; in love with Maria; and hiding a very big secret. 

For Leo was born Charlotte, the daughter of a respectable reverend. But knowing he was meant to be a man – despite the evidence of his body – and unable to cope with living a lie any longer, he fled his family home at just fifteen and has been living as Leo: his secret known to only a few trusted people. But then Maria is found dead and Leo is accused of her murder.

Desperate to find her killer and under suspicion from all those around him, he stands to lose not just the woman he loves, but his freedom and, ultimately, his life.

I don’t know what to expect from The House on Half Moon Street. I was randomly gifted this on NetGalley and, whilst I’m intrigued, I’m hoping that this isn’t another My Brother Named Jessica situation.

The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora

We've all played the comparison game with our mates, instagram feed and other family members, so I'm excited to see how the Paper Wasp plays out!Abby Graven is a dreamer. She dreams her way through her small, lonely life – hiding back at her parents, working at the grocery store. At night, she collects tabloid clippings that taunt her with Elise – her best friend, now Hollywood’s hot new starlet.

When a school reunion throws Elise in her path, Abby seizes her chance. With feverish certainty, she boards a one-way flight to LA to become Elise’s assistant and enters her gauzy realm of film sets and glamorous actors.

But behind Elise’s glossy magazine veneer, she is drowning in Hollywood’s vicious social cycle. Ever the devoted friend, Abby conceals her own burning desire for greatness.

For she is smarter than Elise. More talented. A true artist. And as she edges closer to her own ambitions, Abby can see only one way to make her dream come true.

Abby is all of us at any given time – comparing herself to more “successful” friends whilst denigrating her own achievements. I’m looking forward to seeing how Abby overcomes her own shortcomings to find her true self.

Aurora Rising, Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

The cover of Aurora RisingThe year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates 
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem – that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.


Yes, everyone is going on about this book. Yes, I’ve been ridiculously jealous of everyone who has managed to get their hands on an ARC of this. And, I’m going to have to wait a little longer than publication day to read this as I’m one of the very lucky few who managed to get theirs hands on a Goldsboro copy – read more about that debacle here.

Your Life is Mine, Nathan Ripley

Blanche Potter never expected to face her past again–but she can’t escape it.

Blanche, an up-and-coming filmmaker, has distanced herself in every way she can from her father, the notorious killer and cult leader, Chuck Varner. In 1996, when she was a small child, he went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself.

Now, Blanche learns that her mother has been murdered. She returns to her childhood home, where she soon discovers there’s more to the death than police are willing to reveal. The officer who’s handling the case is holding information back, and a journalist who’s nosing around the investigation is taking an unusual interest in Blanche’s family.

Blanche begins to suspect that Chuck Varner’s cult has found a new life, and that her mother’s murder was just the beginning of the cult’s next chapter.

Then another killing occurs.

Fun fact: I’m a bit obsessed with cults. I’ve seen tons of documentaries and have read upon your big/weird ones. What I’ve never seen, is a murder/mystery book involving a cult and I can’t wait to get stuck in!

Before the Broken Star, Emily R. King

The first part in a trilogy, I'm already imagining what a clockwork heart could look like!Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.

Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get one book a month for free (before publication) through the Amazon First Reads programme. This month, I was won over by the fantasy within this book instead of the love stories and thrillers that were on offer. I’m totally intrigued by the clockwork heart and can’t wait to see how that plays out.

The Red Word, Sarah Henstra

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, I'm very much looking forward to getting in to this.

University student Karen is swept up in back-to-school revelry and when she wakes up after a frat party lying on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in anti-frat activism on campus. GBC (‘Gang Bang Central’) is especially notorious, she learns, with several names featured on a list of date rapists compiled by female students.

Despite continuing to party at GBC and even dating one of the brothers, Karen is seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women. As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, her feminist housemates believe they have hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture… but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.

In the time of the #MeToo movement, this book is timely and an important read. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this one. I work in Higher Education in the UK, so I wonder how many of the warning signs I will recognise in the campuses I currently, and previously, work in.


And there you have it – my May 2019 TBR! It’s an ambitious list, that’s for sure, but I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to work my way through these (particularly considering the amount of time I’m out of the office this month!). What’re you reading this month? Is there anything in this list that has caught your eye? Let me know in the comments!


  • Jules_Writes

    I really want to read Wicked Saints too – I will look forward to your review. Also, I love the cover of After’s shes gone.

    Happy reading and happy birthday when it comes round 😀

    04/05/2019 at 8:23 pm Reply
  • Lindsey

    Ooh there are some great sounding books here! Wicked Saints sounds amazing, as does Before the Broken Star! Happy reading – and happy birthday when it comes!

    05/05/2019 at 10:25 am Reply
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