February 2023–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Never Lie by Freida McFadden (Length: 285 pages) I listened to this one and I LOVED the narrator here. The plot of this thriller is easy to follow and it’s absolutely propulsive. The main characters are Tricia and Ethan, relative newlyweds who are house-hunting and end up getting stuck in a home they’re touring in the middle of nowhere. The house is a bit creepy, with evidence of someone else living there but they know the previous owner (a psychiatrist) was allegedly murdered. The novel switches between the viewpoints of Tricia and the dr who is presumed dead. Now, you definitely have to suspend disbelief with this novel, A LOT, but it’s a fun ride with a few twists and turns I never saw coming. This would be a fun vacation read.

Book #2:

The People we Keep by Allison Larkin (Length: 367 pages). This is my book club’s February pick and follows April, a 16 year-old girl with a rough home life on her journey to find a better life with found family, musical success, etc. I found the first third of this book VERY disturbing (April has a romantic relationship with a 27 year old) and the author never seems to fully address how dangerous this is, especially as she’s told us, the readers, how naive and unequipped April is to deal with the real world in many respects. I did want to keep reading to find out if April ends up okay so I did finish the book, but overall, I’d say don’t read this book. I’m not happy I did.

Book #3:

A Court of Mist and Fury  by Sarah J. Maas (Length: 641 pages). Well, the first one sucked me in enough that I HAD to borrow this book from my 17 year-old daughter. There is a new love interest in this book (not misogynistic and way more likable than Tamlin in book 1) AND I think the writing quality in this book is much better. (Many fans think this book is the best in the series, for what it’s worth). I did enjoy reading this book and I definitely want to continue reading on to find out what happens next. In this installment I loved learning about yet another “world”, in this case, the Night Court and its nearby city, Velaris. The supporting characters that we met in book one are more fully fleshed out here and the love story isn’t quite as cheesy. (However, the love scenes seem to me to be too graphic for the tween demographic, but maybe I’m just clutching my pearls re: this?). I’m already beginning the third book in the series so I’ll post my review here; I did try to listen to the third book on audio but my attention kept drifting. With this series I think there’s too many characters to keep track of for my brain to be able to listen to this.

Book #4:

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson (Length: 384 pages) This was a very atypical murder mystery (reminds me of the movie “Knives Out”), and on the whole, I rather enjoyed it. The narrator is one of the Cunningham brothers who is with the rest of his family marooned at a family reunion in a snowy chalet in Australia. Think a locked room mystery. The narrator also happens to be an author best known for his books where he analyzes OTHER murder mystery writing, ie, 10 Easy Steps to Write Crime Novels, and the narrator refers to these steps throughout the book itself. The structure of the novel is what makes it interesting. I will say that this isn’t a “popcorn” thriller because the reader does need to keep all of the various characters and their relationships straight for this to make any sense. For that reason, I didn’t reach for it as often as I might otherwise (I typically read 3 different books at the same time). But ultimately I do recommend this, if only for how interesting the narrative structure is and for the mystery at the heart of this novel. It’s clever and fun, and it’s worth a read!

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