After pressing pause for a week to allow other voices to be heard, I am back with a round-up of everything that I read during our 2 months of quarantine. Get ready for a long one, because I did a ton of reading while I was in quarantine! There were definitely a few big hits & a few misses. Read on to see what I read & let me know what you’re reading in the comments!
Verity (5/5 stars)
Lowen is a struggling writer who accepts a job finishing the remaining books in a series by bestselling author Verity Crawford. She arrives at the Crawford house to sort through the injured Verity’s notes, begins falling for Verity’s husband, & discovers an autobiography full of horrifying admissions about Verity’s past & her daughters’ deaths. This book is was not at all what I expected (in the best way) & is a complete departure from Hoover’s previous novels. It is crazy & twisty & I was left seriously reeling at the end!
The Glass Hotel (3/5 stars)
TBH, this one just didn’t live up to the hype for me. Vincent is bar-tending at a remote hotel when the words “Why don’t you swallow broken glass” are etched into the lobby windows. Vincent’s story is woven together with the story of her struggling brother, Paul’ the owner of the hotel & head of a Ponzi scheme, who Vincent begins a life with after that fateful night; and Leon Prevant, a shipping exec who is sent to investigate Vincent’s disappearance from a company ship 13 years later. I couldn’t get into the characters & didn’t come to care about them the way I wanted to. The storyline jumped around a lot, which was sometimes difficult to follow.
In Five Years (5/5 stars)
I cannot stop recommending this book to friends! Dannie is a corporate lawyer who falls asleep on the night of her engagement thinking that she has it all, only to wake up 5 years in the future in a different apartment & engaged to a different man. When she wakes again, she discovers that she was dreaming, but can’t shake an uneasy feeling, especially when the man from dream arrives in her life as her BFF’s new boyfriend. Such a great read about friendship, finding yourself, & following your heart. I laughed, I cried, I could not have loved it more!
Long Bright River (4/5 stars)
The Fitzpatrick sisters couldn’t be more different – Kacey succembed to drug-addiction like so many others in their neighborhood, while Mickey escaped their difficult childhood to become a street cop. The two don’t speak, but Mickey worries about her sister & will stop at nothing to find her when Kacey goes missing. This one is a little deeper than a traditional thriller, which I enjoyed even though it was more difficult to get into. I enjoyed the emotion & the fact that it dealt with more real-world issues, like addiction & poverty.
You Are Not Alone (3/5 stars)
The Moore sisters, & their close circle of friends, are the epitome of the glamorous life that Shay Miller doesn’t have. Shay meets the women after she witnesses the suicide of one of the members of their elite group & quickly gets caught up in trying to fit in, but she doesn’t realize that their friendship will come at a steep price. The plot in this seemed too far-fetched, the numerous characters were hard to keep straight, & I just didn’t enjoy the main character. It was definitely a miss for me.
Someone We Know (5/5 stars)
After Olivia discovers that her son has been sneaking into neighborhood houses & their computers to learn secrets about their owners, she sends an anonymous letter to two of the houses. The letter sets off a chain of events that leads to suspicion, more secrets, & murder. This another one with lots of characters, but they were somehow much easier to keep track of. I also really felt for some of the characters, like Olivia. It was easy to read & kept me guessing, which is hard to do at this point.
The Kingdom (4/5 stars)
What happens when you combine the “happily ever after” fantasy of Disney with the robots of Westworld? This novel! The Kingdom is a theme park where formerly extinct, bio-engineered species can be seen up close & beautiful engineered princesses. When one of the princesses, Ana, meets a park employee, she starts experiencing emotions outside of her programming, which lead to her eventual arrest for his murder. It was fascinating to read from the perspective of someone who isn’t human, but was developed to respond as a human. For a YA novel, there are questions of what makes us human, how far is too far in AI, & how far should biotechnology go without checks?
Darling Rose Gold (5/5 stars)
A seriously fascinating thriller! Rose Gold believed that she was seriously ill for the first 18 years of her life. Then, it was discovered that her mother was lying & deceiving everyone, including Rose Gold. When her mother is released from prison, their town is shocked that Rose Gold takes her in, but Rose Gold isn’t as weak as she used to be. If you think that this will be a fiction version of Gypsy Blancharde, you’re only partially correct. While it is based on munchausen by proxy, it takes a different turn. I got sucked in, even though neither of the main characters is particularly likeable.
Genuine Fraud (3/5 stars)
I loved Lockhart’s previous book, We Were Liars, but I just couldn’t get into this one. Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cheat; Jules is a fighter, a social chameleon, an athlete. There are bad romances, an intense friendship, a disappearance, & maybe a murder. I still haven’t figured it out & that annoys me in a book. I would be ok with some loose ends, but this one became too confusing for me. It’s written in reverse, so you know what happens, but then doesn’t adequately explain the how or why of it.