wrap-ups

January 2020 Wrap-up

Hey guys! I wanted to put this post up last night, but then my fiancé and I ended up going to an escape room (we escaped with time to spare!) and out to dinner with his family, so I’m putting it up today instead.

In January I read 20 books – which I guess is a good number, considering the year. Goodreads says I’m 12 books ahead schedule to hit 100 read this year. I’m beginning to think I should’ve upped that number a bit!

I have reviews for about half of these up (and some scheduled to go up when they release in the future), so feel free to look through my blog if you’re curious about my thoughts on any of them.

Several books that really stood out to me in January were:

This book was just so different and fun and quirky! I haven’t ever read anything like it, and I devoured it even though it was so different than the books I usually read. Highly recommend! You can read my review here.

This book was just an outstanding thriller. If you know anything about me, you know I love thrillers. It’s hard for one to really stand out and creep me out, but this one did! You can read my review here.

This was another book that was different from my usual reads, but incredibly charming and well-written. I don’t typically like dual perspective novels, but the author was really able to pull it off. I’ll have my review up for this one tomorrow!

This book isn’t coming out in the US until March 3rd, I believe! I got an advanced copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This is another thriller that managed to stand out to me – so good! Another genuinely creepy one, with plenty of twists. You can read my review here. (Okay, okay. I put up my review for this one a liiiittle early. I was just so excited to talk about it!)

Please let me know in the comments what your favorite reads of the month were, and if you’ve read any of the books on my list.

review

Review: In Her Eyes by Sarah Alderson

Genre: Thriller

Released: November 14th, 2019

Page count: 320 pages

Summary: Ava’s life seems to be picture perfect. Her husband’s finally made enough money for them to live in a large, beautiful home, and her daughter managed to beat cancer. Then a home invasion leaves her daughter fighting for her life – and it seems like the perpetrator may be closer to home than she could ever imagine.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review: In Her Eyes was a thoroughly enjoyable thriller! It definitely kept you guessing, and the twists were very well thought out. I just didn’t find myself connecting with the characters very much – I didn’t feel a sense of urgency to find out what was going to happen to them, so I wasn’t really racing forward in the book, which I usually do with thrillers. I couldn’t even really get invested in the plight of June, the daughter. Also, who forgets to feed their hamster until it dies? Maybe I’m a bit too much of an animal lover, especially small animals, and I do realize the characters were a little busy, but that just made the main character seem a little heartless. I don’t know. Maybe I’m too invested in the plight of hamsters! (Humans dying in books? Fine. Animals dying in books? No!)

Overall, it was a good thriller. Right when you think you’ve figured it out, the rug’s pulled out from under you and the book is heading in a different direction! I just wish I liked/connected with the characters a bit more.

I recommend this novel for anyone who likes thrillers, and probably bonus points if you don’t like hamsters/are able to handle animal deaths better than I am.

review

Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Genre: Psychological thriller

Released: February 5th, 2019

Page count: 297 pages

Summary: After allegedly shooting her husband, Alicia goes mute. She refuses to defend herself, or to speak about anything at all. Her only method of communication with the outside world is through a painting she does shortly after the murder. Enter Theo. A psychotherapist, he’s determined to get Alicia to speak, so he can unravel the mystery of what really happened the night her husband died.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: Did anyone else grow up playing the George Stobbart Broken Sword games? A good portion of the beginning of the book is Theo going around speaking to people who knew Alicia, and I was delightfully reminded a bit of the way the Broken Sword games go, when you’re speaking to people trying to gather information. Anyway, I won’t dwell on that for too long! It just gave me a pang of nostalgia when I was reading it.

I was really nervous about starting The Silent Patient because of how hyped it is. Everyone was telling me that it’s the best thriller of 2019 – it was even voted that by the Goodreads community – and, I’ll be honest, when I started the book I really didn’t agree with that. I wanted to find out what was going to happen next, but it didn’t seem like some literary masterpiece. It definitely was fast-paced and suspenseful at the same time, and left you guessing with the mystery, but I was expecting something… more.

Then, at the end of the book, I got it. And whoa, what a ‘more’ it was! I really didn’t expect the ending at all – which I feel dumb for, since looking back you did get clues – and it completely blew me away. I think The Silent Patient does deserve its hype and the spot of best thriller of 2019.

I recommend this novel for people who grew up playing The Broken Sword games, or who like thrillers, or who like painting. Bonus points if you like all three – you’ll definitely enjoy it!

review

Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Genre: Fiction

Released: June 12, 2018

Page count: 176

Summary: Convenience Store Woman is a novel translated from Japanese about a 36-year-old woman who still works at her first job, a convenience store, because it’s where she feels safe and knows what’s expected of her.

Rating: 5/5 stars

My thoughts: I read this book because I knew it would be a short read, and it seemed like it would be a quirky one. Both of those were true! Convenience Store Woman was a very different book, partly because it did chiefly revolve around a convenience store and the woman who loved working there. It packed a lot of heart into such a simple premise. The main character, Keiko, loves working at the store because she knows what’s expected of her and what she’s supposed to say, which is something that any slightly socially awkward introvert who loves reading will relate to.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a novel that they can devour in an afternoon, and aren’t afraid of trying something a little out of the norm. It’s hard to categorize this novel since it’s so different than most other books, but if the premise sounds at all intriguing to you, definitely give it a try!