May 2021 Book Reviews: Six of Crows, Hope Was Here, The House at Pooh Corner, Before & After

May 2021 Booklist

In May, I selected 9 books, and had to finish at least 4 of them. These are the original 9:

  1. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (F)The daughter of a fast food chain mogul and son of a small deli owner get into a Twitter war — but they don’t know that they are actually classmates.
    How I did: Read about half. Don’t plan to finish. A very basic YA rom-com that doesn’t stand out.
  2. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen (F)A time traveling secret agent gets stuck in the 1990s and builds a life for himself until his rescue team arrives 18 years too late.
    How I did: Read the introduction, lost interest. Probably won’t finish.
  3. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (F; re-read)A marine biologist becomes the prisoner of Captain Nemo who lives in a technologically advanced ship that everyone thinks is a monster.
    How I did: Haven’t even started. This is going back on the bookshelf for another time.
  4. House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne (F)Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and his animal friends in the Hundred Acre Woods.
    How I did: Finished.
  5. Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer (F, re-read)A girl who is a waitress and her cook aunt/adopted mother are forced to move to a small town in Wisconsin where they get embroiled in a local political corruption case.
    How I did: Finished.
  6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (F)A band of misfits go on a heist to steal a scientist with dangerous knowledge from the most highly-guarded castle in the land.
    How I did: Finished.
  7. Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate (N)Interviews with victims of a Tennessee woman who stole children to sell them into adoption. Their stories were novelized in the novel, Before We Were Yours.
    How I did: Finished.
  8. Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale (N): The autobiography of one of the greatest con men in modern American history.
    How I did: Didn’t even start. Going back on the bookshelf to try again some other time.

Personal Ratings & Review

I use 2 criteria to rate every book on a scale of 1–5:

  1. Craftsmanship: the work is polished, skillful, and well-written.

Thoughts on Books Read

Six of Crows (F)

  1. ★★
  2. ★★

House at Pooh Corner (F)

  1. ★★★
  2. ★★★

Hope Was Here (F)

  1. ★★★★★
  2. ★★★★★

Before & After (N)

  1. ★★★★
  2. ★★★★


My favorite reads this month were Before & After and Hope Was Here. Mostly because both have such a strong focus on family, what happens when family hurts you, and how to heal from those wounds. Topics that are very close to my heart.