The Best Books We Read in May 2019

From Philippe Besson's heartbreaking autofiction to Helen Hoang's contemporary romance.

Best Books We Read in May 2019 Philippe Besson, Helen Hoang, Halle Butler, John Green
During the final week of every month, we, the Paperback Paris team, come together to share our thoughts on the best books we read.
Check out the list, below, to find out which books made our Staff Picks selections this time around!

Best Books May 2019 The Bride Test Helen Hoang

Melissa Ratcliff’s May 2019 Pick: The Bride Test, Helen Hoang

“Last year, Helen Hoang soared to the top of my favorite authors’ list with The Kiss Quotient, a deeply impactful and moving contemporary romanceand its sequel, The Bride Test, only solidified her place in my heart. Different in tone, but similar in style to Hoang’s debut, The Bride Test tackles issues of consent, language, and insecurity in the slow-burning romance between Esme and Khai. Through an exploration of the prejudices that we place on others, Hoang demonstrates the power of human connection. Heart-wrenching yet sensual, Hoang’s own voices love story will speak to those who feel misunderstood or pressured by the expectations of others, offering a realistic look at romance, society and the impact of family.”

Purchase: (Amazon, $11.82)

Best Books May 2019 The New Me Halle Butler

Leah Rodriguez’s May 2019 Pick: The New Me, Halle Butler

“It is a truth universally accepted that Jia Tolentino’s book recommendations should be treated as gospel. Such is my opinion, anyway. She recently recommended Halle Butler’s latest novel, The New Me, pointing to its exemplary depiction of the millennial psyche and the overwhelming precarity of these times we live in. Butler’s language is clean and precise, to the point where the misery of her primary narrator becomes eerily familiar. Her mordant observations are pitch perfect—creating the perfect underscore to Millie’s interminable disaffection and pot-boiling rage. It displays an uncanniness that can only be found in those novels that exist as an unflinching effort to dissect the sickness of an age. Millie is depraved, selfish, and completely off-the-rails. Butler shows us in no uncertain terms that Millie is all of us.”

This title was previously selected as a Staff Pick of March 2019.

Read our review here.

Purchase: (Amazon, $11.00)

Best Books May 2019 Paper Towns John Green

Rachel Gonzalez’s May 2019 Pick: Paper Towns, John Green

“The best book I read this month is Paper Towns, by John Green. It’s a novel I pick up just about every summer because I find the message of imagining people complexly to be so important. Paper Towns is one of those books that can take me straight back to where I was the first time I read it like no time has passed.”

Purchase: (Amazon, $6.73)

Best Books May 2019 Lie With Me Philippe Besson

Paris Close’s May 2019 Staff Pick: Lie With Me, Philippe Besson

“Philippe Besson writes of a pain and a passion so insurmountable in his latest masterpiece, Lie With Me, that its emotional impeccability is nothing short of surreal. This is the autobiographical novel in its most primal form, a beautiful confessional of the author and his long lost lover, Thomas, with whom he kindled a burning, ephemeral affair. With curative detail, Besson siphons fresh blood from the most sensitive regions of his heart and lets free the most painful love story I’ve read in my entire life.”

Purchase: (Amazon, $16.51)

Have you read any of our staff picks this month?

If so, share your thoughts with us in the comments section, below!
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