I finally left my second job and have a bit of extra time again. It has been maybe a year or more since I got to read a book just for fun. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been reading…
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (B. A. Paris)
This novel plays with time in that the chapters alternate between past and present. The past timeline eventually catches up to and explains the present timeline, which makes this book quite interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is about a newlywed couple who seems to have the perfect life, but not everything is quite as it seems. I can’t say more or I’ll be giving too much away. It is a slightly dark, thriller though so be aware!
THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (Shari Lapena)
This is a mystery novel and it started off interestingly enough. A couple are at their neighbor’s house next door for their neighbor’s birthday and left their baby at home. Their baby ends up missing and the rest of the novel is dedicated to the aftermath of the kidnapping and their attempts to find the baby. The beginning and end of the novel are interesting, but I found the middle of the novel a bit whiny and repetitive. The role of the detective also seemed useless and unnecessary. Instead of allowing the reader to interpret the plot twists, the author uses characters to explain the plot twists with little room left for the imagination. I prefer books that force the reader to figure out the motives/plot twist meanings on their own. It was not the worst book I’ve ever read, but not my favorite of this month’s either.
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 (Ruth Ware)
Hands down, this was my favorite mystery/thriller book of the month. It grabs your attention from the very first page. The novel is about a woman who works for a travel magazine and gets to board a luxury cruise line for its maiden voyage. While on this cruise ship, she witnesses a crime and it is not clear whether or not she imagined it or actually saw the crime. There are a few twists throughout the novel, which keeps you guessing the entire time. Loved this!
What Alice Forgot (Liane Moriarty)
This novel was definitely a feel-good book. A 39 year old woman loses her memory of the last 10 years and must figure out her new life. It was definitely an easy, relaxing read and makes you wonder about your decisions. I’ve really been contemplating having children and reading this book about a mom and her family really made me ponder about my future even further. I really think you’ll like this book and can’t wait to read another book from this author.
My (Not So) Perfect Life (Sophie Kinsella)
I have been a big Sophie Kinsella fan ever since my friend Laura introduced me to her books. I loved how light-hearted and funny they were. I would cringe while reading her books they were that good! I feel that this book is worth a read as well, but it’s not my favorite of hers. In this novel, Katie, the main character, leaves farm life behind in order to pursue her dream in advertising at a big company in London. The novel takes you through her journey to balance her old life and new life with some twists. The character development is not disappointing, so much so that I even felt a bit envious of Katie, who seemed to know what she wanted out of life. I felt the inspirational dialogue about not keeping up with the Jones’s was not necessary and a bit corny, but I guess it’s a good reminder as we all become crazed consumerists at times. If you like this book, I suggest you check out her other books: “The Undomestic Godess” and “Remember Me” (which is a bit like “What Alice Forgot” but funnier and less family oriented).
The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
I don’t think that I have ever read a memoir before. My grandpa wrote a long narrative about one of their trips that I began reading, but have yet to finish. Which reminds me, I really want to finish that. Anyway, out of all of the books I read this month this is definitely my favorite. While the other novels were entertaining and kept me up reading for hours, none of them made me reflect on life quite like this one did. It was tough to get into at first, but after 50-60 pages I was intrigued by the main family’s lifestyle and resiliency. The novel depicts the life of Jeannette Walls as a child of 4 to parents who were the opposite of financially savvy. They endured many hardships and it really made me think about how much I take for granted. Everything in life is relative, so since my family had less money (I am also one of four) than most of my friends growing up I was especially resentful in my later years of high school and in college of the kids who seemed to just have everything handed to them. After reading this novel, I feel like I have no room to complain. It also made me realize how nothing in life is black and white. Politicians and politics try to make everything either right or wrong, but most of life is lived in gray areas. While reading, I hated the parents of the children during different points, but also cried over their love for their children at other times. To me, this memoir highlighted the fact that most people in life aren’t out to hurt you, they just are who they are and they’re doing what they can. Please give this book a read, or, go watch the movie! It is truly inspiring and reflective.
This month of novels has been one for the books for sure. I’ve always leaned towards young adult fiction as I’m a sucker for love triangles and dumbed-down writing, but I actually enjoyed the more mature books I read lately. I guess we all grow up eventually 😉
Any good book recommendations I should take a look at for next month?