May Bonus Reads

Last month I made an executive decision about the YouTube channel and book reviews. Basically I decided to post “fast reviews” of backlist stuff directly to Goodreads and Amazon but leave them off the YouTube channel. 

We’re doing that again. Buckle up, here’s the backlist bonus reads for May. 


Age Category: 1 MG, 1 YA, 4 A

Not bad! It was nice to squeak that middle grade book in here. I love variety and age category is the one place where I feel like I haven’t really been demonstrating that this year. 

Genres: 2 Mystery/Thriller, 2 Fantasy, 1 Contemporary, 1 Nonfiction (Memoir)

Aaannnddd then we have genre where I have been actively displaying my penchant for variety.

Indie Authors: 6 N

Which I guess makes sense this is backlist bonus reads, right?

Total Pages Read: 2243

Average Pages per Book: 373

I’ll take it! Like I’ve said before, averages over 300 are what I consider good. 

Ratings: 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4

Nothing bad or problematic in the bunch! It’s been a good month for books around here. 

Book Notes That Didn’t Make the Video

Missing, Presumed

  • Goodreads link 
  • This was an audiobook I borrowed from the library. 
  • I’m not a fan of audiobook narrators using varying accents even when the story calls for them. It’s a personal thing … but this one had it for at least one character.
  • I ended up giving it 3 stars. If you like character driven stories and want an interesting twist on detective novels you may love this one. 


  • Goodreads link 
  • This was an audiobook I borrowed from the library.
  • The MOST important thing I can say about this one is this. This book is NOT a YA Fantasy. I’m not sure why people think it is. The publisher is pretty clear about this being for adults. It’s full of graphic sex, violence, and generally dark things (like murder). Seriously, it’s like Game of Thrones. Be warned. 
  • I ended up giving this one 3 stars. It has a slow start and a slightly pretentious voice on the narrator. But the dark storyline is great and the action scenes are compelling. 


  • Goodreads link 
  • I own this one. I read it before with my kiddo when he was younger, but I actually ended up reading from my ebook copy at the time. So this was my first time reading this extended version with Julian’s chapters!
  • I still LOVE this story and the message. There is just so much to pull out of this one and work with kiddos on. Middle grade classes should TOTALLY be using chapters (or the entire book) with their classes. 
  • I landed on 4 stars for this one. It will appeal to contemporary middle grade readers for sure.

Don’t You Cry

  • Goodreads link for this book
  • The book wheel spun on PHYSICAL TBR which is books I own but haven’t read. I snagged a used copy of this book from my favorite local indie bookstore ( and YES they ship) for a ridiculously reasonable price. So this is the one that I read!
  • I was really worried I had the big twist figured out only on page 90. Turns out, although I was close, I wasn’t right! In fact, I had missed a GIANT CLUE because I was so focused on my own guess. YAY! I love being wrong when I read a mystery/thriller so that was amazing. 
  • 4 stars for this one. If you are a mystery/thriller fan this one doesn’t disappoint. 

Born a Crime

  • Goodreads link for this book 
  • The book wheel landed on NONFICTION for this one (yes, I realize that is a genre but it’s a genre I tend to overlook so I kept it on the wheel). Then a random number generator led me to this book, which I’d purchased when it first came out but hadn’t read yet. 
  • I was captivated by the storytelling style of this one. Seriously, if all historical books were like this (told in first person and uniquely blending fact, history lessons, and comedy) we’d all become historians. This book was remarkable. 
  • 4 stars for this one. If you’re a nonfiction fan or like to learn about other cultures, you’re going to love this one. Totally recommend!

The Ravens

  • Goodreads link for this book 
  • The book wheel landed on BORROWED for this one. In all honesty, I do have a bunch of books here at the house that I’ve borrowed from people. But I decided to squeak this one in … and it’s borrowed from the library. Basically what happened was I’ve been approved for the ARC of the sequel, so I figured I better actually read the first one!
  • I did like the IDEA of this one. It had the potential to be GREAT. I think it could’ve flexed itself a bit more to stand out from its competing books. I’m hoping it does that with the second book. 
  • 3 stars for this one. It’s a good fantasy book, I’d just like to see it grow outside of the expected and typical for the genre. 

Alright friends, that’s it for my bonus reads in May. Technically, there’s one more day in the month. But I’m diving into the required reading so I’m calling it quits here. 6 bonus books and 5 required books means I finished 11 in May … and that’s pretty good. 

See you in June!

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