May 2021 Must-Reads

May 2021 Must-Reads from

Looking for the best summer beach read? I’ve got you covered with fourteen of the most-anticipated books to read this year. This stack has a little bit of everything- cozy mysteries, thrillers, chick lit novels, and the best contemporary fiction. Be sure to bookmark today’s post for your next library day! 

I can think of nothing more fun than sharing my thoughts on some of the most-anticipated books of the summer. Beach read season is my FAVORITE and I have been reading nonstop, in preparation of today’s post.

Do you need a new book for your stack? I’ve got fourteen great suggestions that I think you should give a spin for May! 

Before we get started, here are a few things in book news that I don’t want you to miss! 

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am offering 4 gorgeous bookmarks (with some of our favorite quotes from last month’s book club pick) and a ’90’s-inspired playlist. Did someone say, Hot Girl Summer?

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

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There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

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What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

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Join Us for Our May MomAdvice Book Club Discussion and Get Your Book Club Shirt Today!

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selectionssnag 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!

You can check out the full list of 2021 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

I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked!

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

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 BOOK FOR May over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the May Book of the Month Club Selections:

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

How Lucky by Will Leitch

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Wang


Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

May 2021 Must-Reads

The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks

4 Out of 5 Stars

The premise for Matthew Dicks latest novel was so intriguing to me that I just had to pick it up.

Imagine waking up and believing that your mother has been replaced by an identical version of herself and no one believes you.

She has been perfectly duplicated, but she can’t fool Michael, even if she fooled everyone else.

Narration of these events is told through the eyes of the thirteen-year-old boy as he works to uncover the truth about who could have replaced his mother. 

I was expecting more of a science fiction premise, but this one is grounded in reality as we learn more about our character and the daily challenges he faces.

I would recommend this novel for fans of The One in a Million Boy!

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

3 Out of 5 Stars

This novel comes with some trigger warnings as it focuses a lot on eating disorders and body dysmorphia.

Rachel may have temporarily abandoned her Jewish faith, but she found a replacement through a religion of calorie restriction and obsessive food rituals.

Miriam is the polar opposite of Rachel as she practices her faith and eats whatever she wants.  Rachel finds herself deeply attracted to her and the lifestyle that she represents.

As the two become more intertwined, Rachel is forced to deal with some of her biggest psychological issues and the ramifications of her mental illness.

The reader follows along as she makes these discoveries about faith, family, and self-love.

I don’t consider myself to be a prude, but I found the graphic nature of the sex scenes to be a bit much and it overshadowed the bigger themes that I hoped to get out of this one. 

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

4 Out of 5 Stars

If you are looking for great storytelling, look no further than this incredible historical fiction novel.

Libertie’s mother is a practicing physician that can’t wait for her daughter to explore the exact same path and continue in her footsteps.

It is when Libertie goes to school that she realizes that this isn’t the path she dreamed of for herself.

When she meets a young man, from Haiti, he promises she can be his equal on the island and that he will care for her.

Not everyone is excited about this marriage and the two must deal with the consequences of family and how these roles will work in society.

This story was inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and Greenidge does an incredible job with the effort and research that went into telling her story.

If you add one historical fiction book to your stack this month, I would recommend this one!

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

4 Out of 5 Stars

Returning to your small town isn’t easy and Ruth returns to her Indiana factory town to finally look into what happened to the baby that she gave up for adoption.

As a teen mom, she let her family make the necessary decisions so that she could still have the best future, schooling, and career. As she digs into her past though, she realizes that many of these decisions weren’t necessarily the right ones.

Johnson explores the theme of division among Black and white communities, particularly, the ones that occurred during the 2008 financial crisis and the era of the Obama presidency.

I enjoyed reading this one and thought Johnson brought up some very thought-provoking points that would lend itself well to any book club.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

Is there anything better than a fresh Riley Sager thriller for the summer? This new novel will hit bookshelves on July 29th and is sure to be a big hit for fans of, “No Exit.

Two strangers end up sharing a ride together and the backdrop is perfectly set in the early 90’s where it is just a little bit more challenging to let your loved ones know where you are.

A college campus serial killer is on the loose and Charlie can’t seem to overcome her guilt that her college roommate was killed. Not only has this incident haunted her, but she has started to hallucinate dream-like sequences to cope, that cloud her ability to know what is real and what is not.

When she finds a ride home with a stranger, she starts to become suspicious when their conversation begins to reveal that he never was a student on campus and that his past may be far more sinister.

The thing is, she can’t tell what the heck is real and what is that movie reel in her mind.

This was fun, fun, fun and a great beach read escape.

I wouldn’t say it is my favorite from this author, but I will say that he always delivers on the perfect summer thriller that can keep you up all night.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle 

5 Out of 5 Stars

Holy heck! If you need a giant LOL and are a fan of, “The Hating Game,” add this book to the top of your stack FOR SURE.

What happens when you realize you hate your fiancée, but don’t want to be the one to call off the wedding? Absolute hilarity, that’s what happens. I haven’t laughed this hard in a book in a long time and it was just what I needed this month.

The couple does everything they can to push each other right over the edge and the best part is that the future mother-in-law is atrocious and becomes a good part of the pranking fun.

I finished this one in a day and kept my husband up with all my laughing as I flipped through the pages. It’s just the kind of perfect love-to-hate-you romance that makes this genre so great.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

“How were you supposed to change- in ways both big and small- when your family was always there to remind you of exactly the person you apparently signed an ironclad contract to be?” 

I have been a HUGE fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid for years and years. 

You can always count on this author for real and relatable love stories that pull at all the heartstrings.

If you liked the set-up of Anxious People, I feel like this novel utilizes a similar plot builder… one unforgettable night that builds out and the deeper stories of each of these characters.

In the case of this novel, it is an annual end-of-summer party that will change everything and then the reflective stories of each of these siblings, their love affair, and the love affair of their parents that acts as the glue for this story.

The love story, between the parents, is the type of reliable love story that I have come to appreciate about Reid’s writing.

The moments with these two characters, in particular, really showcased Reid’s writing chops and just how well she can build those rise and falls in a relationship.

Dealing with the element of fame and fortune is something that we have also come to know her for, in her last few books, and she does an incredible job with this storytelling element again and the consequences of all of that within those we love.

I will continue to worship the ground that this author walks on and impatiently await her next book.

Reid builds beautiful dysfunction within this family’s story SO WELL. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

I was such a big fan of, “The Nest,” so I couldn’t wait to dig into the latest from Sweeney.

This one is very different from her first and, dare I say, I enjoyed it even more?

Any book with a good theatre plot is always a winner for this former thespian.

This follows the story of two couples that have been friends since their very early days of dating and marriage.

Flora has always considered her marriage to be one of her strongest assets and has never had reason to question the relationship or their love for each other…that is until she finds the wedding ring that her husband claimed he had lost one summer.

It’s this shocking discovery that causes Flora to abandon her friendship with her best friend, Margot.

These discoveries force Flora to focus on these fractured relationships and how they came to be while discovering if there is really space for forgiveness.

This was a satisfying novel that might not have had huge plot twists, but I loved how beautifully flawed and fleshed out these characters were.

A Good Family by A.H. Kim

4 Out of 5 Stars

Looking for a fast page-turner? This family drama is juicy, twisty, and delivers on great plot twists.

ADHD medication sure would be a lot easier to give if it was created into gummies, wouldn’t it?  

What if the messaging of the drug could allow for a wider range of customers with a better (and more deceptive) marketing message too?

One successful pharmaceutical agent moves up the corporate ladder with these “savvy” marketing ideas and ends up behind bars, thanks to a whistleblower.

Who would want to see her behind bars so badly and what was to gain?

This mystery, told in alternating perspectives, made this into one fantastic novel that was just as good as any Netflix drama.

Fans of, “Orange is the New Black,” will also appreciate all the details of this prison scene and how she makes the most of every minute behind bars.

This novel kept me up way past my bedtime, perfect for pulling you out of any reading slump.

The Great Pain Deception by Steven Ray Ozanich

5 Out of 5 Stars

Ozanich struggled with severe chronic pain, following a traumatic event in his family, and did not know how he was going to go on.

He stumbled upon a book called, Healing Back Pain,” that changed the entire trajectory of his pain journey and he documents how he now lives a pain-free life thanks to the principles in John Sarno’s book.

The pandemic has complicated many pain journeys for so many in my life and it is no wonder that many are suffering.

The stress of this experience has ways of trickling into every facet of our lives and can create so much tension in our bodies.

This tension can have a domino effect in our lives and addressing it in fresh ways allow us to take control of our story. I can’t say enough good things about the ideas in this book and how much I needed it this year.

Although intentionally repetitive, to reinforce these principles, I REALLY got a lot out of this read and am now using his tips to get better control on my own life with chronic pain.

Healing Back Pain by John E. Sarno

4 Out of 5 Stars

I have been using an app, called Curable, to help manage chronic pain. Although I was familiar with Sarno’s work, I had never been curious enough to read his book until this year.

Although this is targeted to back pain, in particular, the principles can apply to so many areas of the body and how the mind-body connection comes into play.

Through his work, he shares how many of our beliefs about chronic pain are false and that much of this is related to muscle tension from repressed emotion that can be solved through a process of reframing the source of our pain and the unnecessary steps we can become distracted by when finding the source of it all.

If you find value in this book, I would definitely take the time to download the Curable app because it puts the ideas of this philosophy into a digestible format.

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

5 Out of 5 Stars

If you happened to watch, “Surviving R. Kelly,”, you will feel quite familiar with this story of how an R&B singer ends up using his fame to take advantage of younger girls.

In fact, the parallels were so identical that the author’s note was necessary to explain that this was actually a work of fiction, but that these things do happen to black women and they need to be stopped…oh, and #MuteRKelly

In this story, Korey Fields shows up to a singing contest that Enchanted, a teen girl, is coming to audition for.

He loves her audition so much that he offers her VIP tickets to his next show, which is followed by the opportunity to be mentored by him.

The interest in Enchanted goes far beyond her singing though as the text exchanges become increasingly inappropriate, but Enchanted can’t help but to be flattered by the exchange.

When he asks her to join him on tour, her financially struggling family can’t help but to accept the offer, especially since she wants it so bad.

What she s love, soon becomes a nightmare as Korey becomes more and more controlling and abusive. The scenes are very triggering, heartbreaking, and all too familiar to the R. Kelly story.

Jackson is a phenomenal writer and writes some of the most compelling YA fiction. This was another home run that begs us to examine how we value black women in our society and the broken system that is in place for these abuse victims.

The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms

5 Out of 5 Stars

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

When I was growing up, Freaky Friday was definitely one of my absolute favorite movies.

Well, imagine that body switching theme, but with the mom next door that couldn’t be more your opposite.

In this story, one mom is a highly successful productivity expert that is motivated by her work, while the other mom is the perfect Pinterest mom that has mastered the art of being a stay-at-home mom at an expert level.

After a fundraising party where they drink a sangria that seems to contain a magical secret ingredient, they wake up in each other’s bodies and are forced to live each other’s life for one week.

This one is absolutely FILLED with the best kind of belly laughs.

They, of course, have judged each other harshly and the opportunity to walk in each other’s shoes and try to “improve their lives,” unfolds in some really fun ways.

This book was an absolute delight and was enjoyed as much as, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.”

I doubt you will be able to put this one down once you start it and I appreciated this fun twist on the mommy wars.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

For a change of pace, I picked up this little mystery with a fun culinary spin, the first book in this new mystery series.

A notoriously nasty food critic comes in to do his usual complaining and critiquing of a restaurant, but ends up dead on the floor instead.

Lila has been tasked with saving the failing family restaurant, but finds herself as the number one suspect when investigating this murder, tarnishing the restaurant’s reputation further.

Intent to save her family’s legacy, Lila becomes her own detective and decides to run an informal investigation, of her own, to clear her family name.

This is sweetly satisfying and filled with some fun recipes at the end, for replicating a few of these great dishes that you are reading about.

If you need a great palate cleanser, between heavier novels, this is a solid choice and a winner for my foodie friends.

Published May 03, 2021 by:

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

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