May 2020 Must-Reads

May 2020 Must-Reads

Looking for your next great read? Today I’m sharing 8 incredible books I read in May. In this stack you will find romance, a dark thriller, historical fiction that will sweep you away in another world, and a haunting #metoo story that I can’t stop talking about. Be sure to bookmark this post for your next library day!

Somehow, in the face of one of the most difficult months, I have found the best place to escape is still tucked within the pages of a book.

As always, I look forward to sharing these books with you today and I hope it provides another way to keep your mind occupied as we all face these daily challenges. 

Sending loads of virtual hugs to you today from Indiana. 

Before I share my stack, here are a few additional way to connect with books this summer.

Join Us for Our June MomAdvice Book Club Discussion

Formation by Ryan Leigh Dostiesnag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

This month we will be discussing this incredible #metoo memoir that you just won’t want to miss

This is one of my favorite reads this year and I really don’t want you to miss this phenomenal book OR participating in our discussion.

You can check out the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

here is what is on sale today- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List– HUGE DEAL DAY TODAY!!!

I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked while we wait for our libraries to reopen.

This list is curated with only the best books and nothing will ever be over $4.99. 

Check this list daily here or you can sign up for my daily deal newsletter and I will send them right to your inbox!

June 2020 Kindle First Readspick your free book for june

Get a Free Book Just for Being a Prime Member

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Yup, I always try to remind you of this amazing little Prime perk!

Grab your FREE books over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the June Book of the Month Club Selections:

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

June Coupon Codes:
Get your first book for just $9.99 with code SUN5 at checkout.
Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

June 2020 Must-Reads

Here are 8 must-read books I tackled in April!

Conjure Women

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This debut novel, from Afia Atakora, needs to be on the top of your stack this month. I really am not sure why more people aren’t talking about this stunning novel because it will be on my top ten this year, for sure.

With vivid storytelling, that is written so beautifully that it reads like a classic. It is a Southern historical fiction novel, spanning generations of women, before and after the war.

The story is of three women- May Belle (a midwife and healer in their community), Rue (who discovers she has some of her mother’s gifts for healing), and Varina (the master’s daughter). 

Being the town healers means that May Belle & Rue know many of the secrets, both of the slaves and their owners. Knowing this information has life-altering consequences, especially when it comes to their unforgiving master. 

Afia Atakora’s historical novel moves forward and backward in time in episodes labeled Slaverytime, Wartime, Freedomtime, or the Ravaging. While shifting timelines can feel confusing, in the beginning, you soon start to fall into the rhythm and crave each section in this phenomenal book. 

The writing is masterful, evocative, and beautifully researched. I just know you will fall in love with this one from the first page.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like Conjure Women  you might like these titles:


The Kitchen House

The Book of Harlan


Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love darker thrillers and Jennifer Hillier is one of the absolute best! If you haven’t read her work before, you are in for a treat! I was REALLY hoping her latest wouldn’t let me down and I’m thrilled to share that this one is just as solid as her previous novels.

Marin seems to be leading the perfect life- a fantastic husband, a beautiful son, and successful careers. 

Her life comes to a crashing halt though when she is out holiday shopping and her son, Sebastian, is taken.  In this one split second of her looking away, her son goes missing and her entire world is shattered.

One year later, Marin’s marriage is struggling, they still have been unable to find her son, and she is in a spiraling depression. 

As a last ditch attempt to find Sebastian, she hires a private investigator to reexamine the case. 

What she digs up though isn’t information about Sebastian, but surprising information about her husband that changes everything. 

This is one of those addictive little thrillers that are sure to pull you out of your reading slump. I could not turn the pages fast enough and would recommend this for your summer stack!

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like Little Secrets you might like these titles:

Watch Me Disappear

My Lovely Wife

Fierce Kingdom

I Was Told It Would Get Easier

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman (hits store shelves on June 16th!)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s no secret that parenting teenagers is hard, but it is not something I see addressed a lot in fictional motherhood stories. Perhaps that is why I felt so SEEN when reading this mother and daughter story. Waxman is one of those charming women’s fiction writers that writes her stories with such relatable humor that I always find myself laughing out loud.

In her latest novel, Jessica and Emily Burnstein have decided to embark on a college tour together. Jessica is looking forward to bonding with her daughter, but Emily is less focused on the bonding experience and more on getting a preview of freedom. 

As the college tour bus takes them from campus to campus, both begin to discover new details about each other. Emily’s surprised to discover that her single mom might be attractive to men (for example) and Jessica begins to discover that her daughter’s idea of the future might look a heck of a lot different than what she expected. 

Waxman rounds out the story with a bus full of well-written characters and fun side plots that make this a great little summer adventure story. 

This story is sure to hit the right notes for parents of teens, in particular. 

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like I Was Told It Would Get Easier you might like these titles:

Class Mom

Standard Deviation

Dear Fang With Love


The Knockout Queen

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe

Rufi Thorpe is such a gifted storyteller and I was thrilled to see that her book was selected as one of the Book of the Month options, for May. I am such a sucker for a coming-of-age story and couldn’t wait to dig into this one. 

This book is dark and felt very different than Thorpe’s previous novels. I don’t think is going to be the kind of story for everyone, as it ventures into explorations of sexuality and has a very Mean Girls feel to it. 

Bunny & Michael are next door neighbors that lead very different lives. Michael lives with his aunt in a cramped cottage and struggles to make ends meet, while Bunny is leading a very princess-like existence next door. 

The pair make unlikely friends, but they both are facing struggles. While Michael is pretending to be straight, Bunny struggles with her body and height. More than anything, they both want to be loved and to fit in. 

When Michael falls in love, his sexuality secrets are leaked and he becomes the victim of brutal gossip at school. Bunny is by his side though and commits a shocking act, in his defense, that alters her life permanently.

This was so wildly different than I had expected and went into much darker terrain than I would have imagined. At its heart though, this is an unflinching portrait of adolescence that reminded me what a talented writer Thorpe is.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Knockout Queen you might like these titles:

Exit, Pursued by a Bear


I’ll Give You the Sun

My Dark Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This book comes with some major trigger warnings- pedophilia, rape, and repeated sexual abuse. I just want to make sure that I put that out there first. 

Russell’s novel is one that has had everyone talking this year and I, honestly, could not put this brutal read down. I polished this one off in a single day and will be thinking about this for years. 

This story alternates between the years of 2000 and 2017, examining Vanessa’s complicated abusive relationship with Jacob Strane.

At just fifteen, she is groomed by her forty-two-year-old English teacher and finds herself entangled in her first sexual relationship. Although she is confused by Jacob’s advances, she is flattered that he finds her to be both smart and pretty.

Seventeen years later, the #metoo allegations are flying and female students began coming forward and make allegations about their teacher. They accuse him of unwanted advances and that he is a sexual predator. 

Vanessa is blindsided because Jacob has always acted as though she is the only student that he has ever had a relationship 

Alternating between Vanessa’s past and present really showcases the complications of sexual abuse as Vanessa has to come to terms with the fact that her story wasn’t a love story and that she is also a sexual abuse survivor.

It is astounding to me that this is Russell’s first book because the emotions she layered in these characters was so beautifully and believably done. 

The scenes in this are devastating, horrifying, and unapologetically written.

Although Vanessa interprets their time together as a love story, it is not a love story.

It is important to know that this does not glamorize pedophilia, but showcases the confusion of an adolescent who has never experienced a truly loving relationship. 

This haunting novel will, definitely, be in my top ten this year. If you can handle the plot, I encourage you to read it.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like My Dark Vanessa you might like these titles:

Rust & Stardust

A Little Life

All the Ugly & Wonderful Things

Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Looking for something a little lighter for your summer book stack? I have a feeling you find this YA rom-com absolutely adorable.

Pepper & Jack both have parents that own family restaurants. When the two end up getting in a Twitter war, over a grilled cheese recipe, the sparks don’t just fly online, but IRL too. 

If you are a fan of Wendy’s savage tweets, you will appreciate how perfectly Lord captures the meme generation.

The back-and-forth in their Twitter streams is perfection and builds into an adorably awkward love story for these teens.

More important than that though, it is the self-discoveries that they each make about how they see their roles playing out in these family restaurants that make it a, truly, satisfying read.

I listened to this one on audiobook and it was beautifully narrated. This is the perfect book to pop in your earbuds this summer and laugh along with in this meet-cute-tweet-cute story.

If you are looking for a clean rom-com for your teen, this would also be a great one for them.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like Tweet Cute you might like these titles:

The Hating Game

Emergency Contact

What If It’s Us

Red, White, & Royal Blue

Beach Read by Emily Henry

If you are looking for a great love story with lots of depth, I just know you will fall in love with this beautiful read. 

January and Augustus are both writers that end up living next door to each other.

While January works hard to pen a perfectly romantic happily ever after, Augustus writes well-researched stories intent on killing off his entire cast of characters.

When they both find out they are suffering from writer’s block, they decide to strike a deal that’s designed to get their creative juices flowing. 

Augustus will have to spend his summer writing something happy while January is writing something that might rival the next Great American Novel.

As each of them learns more about each other’s process, they discover how challenging each of their writing styles is and find mutual respect for their craft.

Oh, and they also find that love can develop OFF the pages too.

This love story is charming and the kind that you can easily hand off to anyone and know that they will appreciate it too. 

I had a silly grin on my face through this one and found it as satisfying as the love stories that I’ve come to appreciate from Katherine Center. 

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like Beach Read you might like these titles:

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Things You Save in a Fire

The Unhoneymooners

Glorious Boy by Amy Liu

Thank you to the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a historical fiction book to sink your teeth into? You will definitely want to add this incredibly well-researched novel to your stack.

This story takes place just prior to World War II, in the Andaman Islands (in the Bay of Bengal). Claire is an aspiring anthropologist and her husband, Shep, is a physician and they decide to head to the Andaman Islands for their work.

They arrive in archipelago in 1937, where Claire documents and studies the Andamans’ indigenous tribe and Shep practices as a surgeon.

Shortly upon arriving, Claire becomes pregnant and ends up giving birth to her son, Ty. Ty doesn’t meet the typical milestones and is unable to communicate with her. Luckily, he finds a special friend on the island who he finds a deep friendship with.

Unfortunately, the approach of Japanese forces means that they must evacuate the island and their world is dramatically changed. Tragic consequences begin to unfold and beg us to examine these ramifications of the separation of this family.

This story is absolutely fascinating and grapples with such big issues that will keep you flipping the pages until way past your bedtime.  

If you are looking for a pandemic escape into a different world, you will find it tucked in this phenomenally told story.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like Glorious Boy you might like these titles:

Lucky Boy

Green Island



Read With Me This Year

January 2020 Must-Reads

February 2020 Must-Reads

March- SKIPPED (pandemic brain)

April 2020 Must-Reads

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enjoy these reviews? here are a few other reads you’ll enjoy this year!

The Best Books of 2019 from MomAdvice.comthe best books of 2019

53 historical fiction novels to escape with53 historical fiction novels to escape with

19 thrillers to keep you up all night19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Reading!

May 2020 Must-Reads

Published June 01, 2020 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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