review

Review: The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao

Genre: Fiction

Released: January 21st, 2020

Page count: 272 pages

Summary: While in a coma, Gwendolyn looks back on the events and secrets that led her sister, Estella, to poison their entire family. Set in the 1990s in Indonesia, their family is incredibly wealthy – but also powerful and determined to protect their wealth.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Review: My official rating is 3.5 stars, even though I’m giving it a 3 star rating. I was hooked by the first couple pages – what would lead someone to poison their entire family? I expected it to have a pretty big mystery or thriller aspect as the truth was unraveled. I stayed hooked for a while, but it faded as I realized not much else was happening. The book staggered on, despite the plot not really being there to carry it forward.

It is much more family saga than a mystery or thriller, but a family saga with pretty much no redeemable characters – or characters that you care about. The writing was good, but it was beautiful writing that didn’t advance a story. The twist at the end did try, but it left me with a lot of questions and didn’t really wrap things up nicely. It was interesting to think about, though.

I recommend this to people who are especially interested in sister dynamics, or in what life was like in Indonesia in the 1990s for extremely rich families.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell

Genre: Thriller

Released: January 14th, 2020

Page count: 367 pages

Summary: Roz is afraid when she finds out she’s pregnant, since she’s young and broke. She goes onto a site where you can find adoptive parents for your babies, and is matched with a celebrity couple. They seem perfect – but nothing is as it seems. They want to pass the baby off as their own.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: What a delightfully creepy thriller! The creepy things started off with just a general feeling of unease, but quickly escalated and become much worse. I told my fiance all of the weird things that happened as I read, going, “Oh my gosh, you won’t believe what happened next!” It’s the kind of book you feel like you need to talk to someone about – even though I know he doesn’t share my love for thrillers.

I really appreciated how the point of view switches between the main character, Roz, and the ‘evil character’, Sheridan, who wants Roz’s baby. It was really interesting to see Sheridan’s motivations for the things she did, and see what things were going on in her head. It really helped set the book apart, which can be hard to do with a thriller.

I recommend this to anyone who loves thrillers, or who just wants a creepy story that they’ll keep turning pages of, eyes wide, trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.

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Review: Woman on the Edge by Samantha Bailey

Genre: Thriller

Released: March 3rd, 2020

Page count: 272 pages

Summary: Morgan is waiting for the subway so she can go to work when a stranger thrusts her baby into her arms and, saying Morgan’s name, asks her to keep the baby safe. Before Morgan can do anything, the woman is on the tracks, and the train is coming. With the woman dead, Morgan is under suspicion for the death, and must unravel the mystery of why the woman chose her – and how she knew her name.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: I love good thrillers. Lifetime movies are my guilty pleasure, and I love books that read almost like Lifetime movies – with plenty of dramatics and twists and turns. Woman on the Edge definitely satisfied that craving! It left you wondering what was going to happen as things progressed, and fed you just enough creepy things to keep you feeling like you need to figure out what happens next. I was wary to read it while home alone, because it definitely made you look over your shoulder while reading out of fear that maybe you, like Morgan, are being watched. It ends with a twist you’d never see coming. Just an all-around great thriller that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat!

I recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers. Bonus points if you like Lifetime movies, since I could almost see this being one of them – although the plot might be too good for one!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: The Body In Question by Jill Climent

Genre: Fiction

Released: June 11, 2019

Page count: 192

Summary: When Hannah, married to an older man, is called onto jury duty for a murder trial, she begins an affair with one of her fellow jurors. She has to balance the affair with trying to decide whether the defendant is guilty, as well as her elderly husband’s rapidly declining health.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review: I went into this book expecting it to be a mystery, courtroom drama type book. I was sort of taken aback when the novel began to focus much more on the romance between Hannah and a fellow juror, and her balancing relationship with him and her relationship with her husband. The courtroom drama part of the novel definitely takes a backseat – you don’t even end up with conclusions about the crime, which made me feel a little cheated but reminded me that in real life it’s hard to ever really know definitively. Sometimes, unlike in the mysteries I typically read, things aren’t tied up with a pretty bow and you know exactly who did what and why. There are so many different themes that are intricately and beautifully woven together. It has beautiful writing, and plenty of sentences that make you sit back and think about them.

I recommend this for people interested more in relationship between humans than people looking for a good mystery or courtroom drama type book. Definitely beautifully written, and grabs your attention. You don’t want to stop reading!

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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!