Book Reviews Catch-Up Part 4
I AM SO ASHAMED. I should not be doing another one of these batch reviews so soon after I just did one. However, I’ve been trying to power through my actual reading. Combining that with work exhaustion, some health things, my embroidery . . . it’s just been a lot. I will try to do better. There were some AMAZING books that I read in this batch, so I’ll do my best to come back and review them fully.
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Thoughts: Another fun audiobook! I am so enjoying listening to suspenseful books. It makes it so that I actually have to wait until the end instead of flipping to see what happens. As for You Are Not Alone, it was an enjoyable book with wholly upsetting characters. It was one of those books where you’re just not rooting for anyone. Like, in a horror movie when then young woman goes out into the darkness toward the scary sound and you just want to yell “YOU MORON!” That’s what I felt like for most of the book.
Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
Thoughts: I have some very mixed feelings about Wrong Place Wrong Time. My mom made me read it so that she would have someone to talk to about it. It felt long. It’s kind of a time travel/loop-esque feel of a novel, so it felt very repetitive. The repetition kind of made sense in the grand scheme of the story, but is still annoying to read. The last chapter *almost* made it worth it though. (You can even flip ahead like I did, and it still won’t make sense until you get there, so well done on that bit.)
The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill
Thoughts: The Mystery Writer was another one that felt longer than it needed to be. I didn’t much like the characters. On the whole, they all felt a bit hysterical more than practical. We all get a bit hysterical, but I don’t think forced hysteria is the best plot device. However, the twist got me, and I did end up enjoying the end of the novel.
*The Mystery Writer publishes March 19, 2024.
One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
Thoughts: I really appreciated the introduction of “the next generation” of characters in this second book. I read this one (instead of listening to it), so it didn’t necessarily have the same suspenseful draw to it. However, I think the suspense was done well and the characters were developed nicely. It’s YA, so you’re going to feel a bit junior reading it (but don’t we all read to step into someone else’s shoes?).
The Princess of Las Vegas by Chris Bohjalian
Thoughts: This book has not sat well with me since I finished reading it. As a concept, it’s fine. But in its execution, it was the most predictable book I’ve ever read. There was no surprise, which made it absurdly boring. Additionally, there was a whole chapter where the main character did some sort of first-person recollection of the Mandalay Bay shooting at the Route 66 music festival. But the main character wasn’t even there . . . she was just in a nearby hotel where people went for safe haven. I had a very big issue with that. Also, crypto? Really? That felt like Bohjalian was trying to force being relevant.
As I’m writing this, I’m trying to remember why I gave it three stars and not two.
Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend buying this one, so I won’t link to it. Check it out at your library if you’d like.
One of Us is Back by Karen M. McManus
Thoughts: I enjoyed One of Us is Back. I love reading a new series, and I think this one was do well. I did read this final book pretty closely after the second, so it did feel a bit repetitive. I might not recommend that. It was kind of nice that the story continued on beyond the high school years and you got to see more of the various characters.
None of This is True by Lisa Jewell
Thoughts: Go get this book. Seriously. No questions asked, just go get it. This book was AMAZING. I read it so quickly, and the twists throughout the book got me. I was second-guessing everything in the best way. I don’t want to say too much more because you should be spending this time getting the book, not reading this review.
Want to get BOTM? Sign up today! Usually, they have a “first box for $5” promo running. It’s also a great gift idea for any bookish friends.
Kill for Me, Kill for You by Steve Cavanagh
Thoughts: Another one that you just need to go get. (Yes, two five-star reads that were back to back.) I feel like Steve Cavanagh came out of my Kindle and smacked me in the face multiple times with the content of this book. I was blown away and wrong multiple times. It was super good suspense without being too terribly gory. Some casual murder, but not too graphic.
Well, it comes out March 19, 2024. If you’re reading this blog before then, it’s definitely worth the pre-order. If it’s after March 2024, then go ahead and order it and overnight it if you can. It’s worth it.
A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
Thoughts: Anthony Horowitz is an author I always forget about but also always enjoy reading. This particular series of books is kind of weird because he’s writing in the first person…but fictionalized. This one felt a bit clunky overall, but it was still enjoyable. I think you can count Hawthorne (the other main character in the series) as a poor man’s Poirot.
The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
Thoughts: Molly the Maid is back! It was so nice to revisit her story. As far as I recall, there is no conversation around a diagnosis of Molly, but she is either somewhere on the spectrum or living with OCD. (If you read Eleanor Oliphant, then you’ll get it. Molly has a very similar feel.) However, she has been able to move up in her career and has a stable relationship. It was good to see her move upward and take others under her wing. It’s kind of a cheeky book overall but done in a very good way.
The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
Thoughts: This is the next book in the series with Hawthorne, and I think it was definitely better. It hooked me earlier and had some more time urgency to it which moved the story along with a better pace. I will say that he also made an Agatha Christie/Poirot joke in the end with the setup and “big reveal”.
The Guest by BA Paris
Thoughts: THIS BOOK IRKED ME. None of the characters were likable. The situations themselves just felt unrealistic. Finally, BA Paris utilized the epilogue to explain the book. That tells me the story was not written well. Like adding a PS to a letter because you forgot to include something. But this was a novel and it should have been planned better.
This is another that I would not recommend purchasing, so I won’t link here.
The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
Thoughts: I picked this up on a whim as I was perusing the aisles at the library. I’m a big Sally Hepworth fan, but this definitely felt like an earlier novel of hers (AKA, she’s gotten better). It wasn’t bad. I just think there were too many storylines that didn’t weave together in the end. Literally, it was three families with three separate stories. Yes, they did all resolve, but why did I have to read about three different families? Not her best, but not bad by any means.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a small commission from sales generated (at no extra cost to you).