Book Reviews Catch-Up Part 2
See? I told you I would inevitably need to do another catch up! I made quite a bit of book progress, and am using this as an opportunity to get myself back on track and in a book review routine. Unfortunately, none of these books really blew me away. However, none of them were awful either, so I call it a wash.
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
You read a lot of suspenseful books that revolve around telling the story from different perspectives. What I appreciated about Watching You was that it was an omniscient narrator. There were A LOT of characters, but it was all a birds’ eye view. However, because there were so many characters, I almost started to tune them all out. Since it wasn’t different perspectives, I got a few of them confused more than once. However, it kept me engaged, and I’m excited to read more Lisa Jewell!
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
The Retreat by Sarah Pearse (keep scrolling…) showed up in my monthly book box. I looked it up and saw that it was a “#2” so I took no chances and requested The Sanatorium from the library (since it’s the first in the series). Since I’ve started on this tangent, it’s not a “true” series! More like a recurring character, but the books can be read as standalones.
I had seen The Sanatorium all over the place with high reviews, so I was curious. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. It was the perfect combination of mystery and suspense, with a WTF twist right at the end. It’s what I love from authors like Lisa Gardner, so it should come as no surprise that Sarah Pearse is one of my new favorite authors. I think one of her greatest strengths is in painting the atmospheric picture.
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
I went against the Rachel-Hawkins-grain, and Reckless Girls was the first book of hers that I read (which I loved). Everyone has always raved over The Wife Upstairs, so I went back and gave it a shot. Truthfully, it was a bit of a letdown. I mean, the main bit about it is right there in the title! Are we supposed to be blown away by the fact that the wife isn’t dead and is, in fact, upstairs? I’ve read another Hawkins novel since (stay tuned for a FULL review on that one), and I do believe The Wife Upstairs was my least favorite of them.
Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson
I have seen Peter Swanson in a few places, but never picked up any of his books. Someone on Instagram was RAVING over Every Vow You Break. I happen to be pretty easily influenced (when it comes to reading, at least), so I requested a copy from the library. Honestly, it let me down. It was a good book, yes, but I didn’t see the hype that other people were giving it. I’m now interested enough in Peter Swanson that I’ll pick up another of his books though.
The Martian by Andy Weir
I read Project Hail Mary a few weeks ago. I thought it was really good! When I mentioned it at book club, practically everyone there told me I had to read The Martian because it was even better. I gave both books four stars, but I do think that The Martian was definitely better. I liked that it was more “live action” in multiple places, rather than flashbacks. Yes, it’s a lot of science and math, so there are bits you can skim. However, all of that made me feel smarter for reading it, so that was a win.
The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
We’ve made it to The Retreat! I liked this book better than The Sanatorium. However, there was one pretty large drawback for me. Elin’s boyfriend, Will, is back in this book. They had some “commitment struggles” in the prior book, so it was nice to see that ironed out (mostly). However, in this book, Will was such a whiner baby! I wanted to punch him in the face for whining about his strong AF girlfriend finding something that makes her come alive (Yes, those are the words that he used).
With that being said, Sarah Pearse knocked it out of the park again with her atmospheric descriptions. Whereas the first book was in the Alps, this one is on a semi-remote island where a storm rolls in. It’s like you could feel the wind on your face as you were reading. She also commented on my Instagram post that she’s writing Elin’s third book, so I am PUMPED.
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