Books I Read in May: The Guest List, The Infernal Devices, and More

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May was a great reading month for me. I read a total of seven books and I rated the majority of them five stars.

You’ll notice that there are few Cassandra Clare books on this list. I must admit that I had some major FOMO (fear of missing out) when Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare was released.

For that reason, I made it my goal to read The Shadowhunter Chronicles.

So far, I’ve read The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and I started The Dark Artifices trilogy. I am actually surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying these books.

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THE GUEST LIST BY LUCY FOLEY

1. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

RATING: 5/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

I loved the atmosphere of this book. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading the different points of view (which usually isn’t my thing). This was a quick and fun read that I highly recommend.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

Set on a remote island off the Irish coast, this is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year’s Eve party in Foley’s previous novel, The Hunting Party. Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead, there are old secrets, and one of them is murdered. 

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CLOCKWORK ANGEL BY CASSANDRA CLARE

2. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

RATING: 5/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

I had so much fun reading Clockwork Angel. I know I’m late to the game, but this is unlike anything I’ve read before. I found the story to be entertaining and unique. Also, I’ve already fallen in love with these characters.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to.

Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.

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CLOCKWORK PRINCE BY CASSANDRA CLARE

3. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

RATING: 4/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

There were so many fantastic moments in this book. Usually, the second book in a series can be a little slow, but this one kept me entertained from the beginning to the end.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart. 

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CLOCKWORK PRINCESS BY CASSANDRA CLARE

4. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

RATING: 5/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

What a wonderful conclusion to an amazing story. I felt all of the emotions while reading Clockwork Princess and I loved every minute of it. The Infernal Devices has been come my new favorite book series.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

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LADY MIDNIGHT BY CASSANDRA CLARE

5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

RATING: 4/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

I’m so excited to have made it to The Dark Artifices trilogy. I enjoyed the mystery and getting to know new characters. We also got to see a few old characters, which was nice. This was a great read and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

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MOMENT OF TRUTH BY KASIE WEST

6. Moment of Truth by Kasie West

RATING: 3/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

At this point, I’ve read nearly every Kasie West book (I haven’t read the Pivot Point duology). I like her books because they’re always cute, quick, and fun reads. I do wonder if maybe I’m getting too old to enjoy her books the way I used to. This one was good, but I didn’t enjoy the storyline as much as I have in her previous books.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

At sixteen, Hadley Moore knows exactly who she is—a swimmer who will earn a scholarship to college. Totally worth all the hard work, even if her aching shoulders don’t agree. So when a guy dressed as Hollywood’s latest action hero, Heath Hall, crashes her swim meet, she isn’t amused. Instead, she’s determined to make sure he doesn’t bother her again. Only she’s not sure exactly who he is.

The swim meet isn’t the first event the imposter has interrupted, but a little digging turns up a surprising number of people who could be Heath Hall, including Hadley’s ex-boyfriend and her best friend’s crush. She soon finds herself getting caught up in the mysterious world of the fake Heath Hall.

As Hadley gets closer to uncovering the masked boy’s identity she also discovers some uncomfortable truths about herself—like she might resent the long shadow her late brother has cast over her family, that she isn’t as happy as she pretends to be with her life choices… and that she is falling for the last guy she ever thought she would like.

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THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES BY GRADY HENDRIX

7. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

RATING: 5/5

QUICK THOUGHTS:

This book was a surprise hit for me. I had a lot of fun reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. I read this as a library copy, but immediately purchased my own copy so that I can have this on my shelves.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

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BOOKS I READ MAY 2020