It’s time for another round of books I’ve read recently. You probably know by now that my favorite genre is thrillers, and that is what most of this list is. I tried to read a few others that I picked up from the thrift store a while back, but I couldn’t get into them and ended up giving up about halfway through. I don’t like to give up on a book. I’d rather push through if I can, but I couldn’t do that with these particular books. So I switched back over to my tried and true favorite genre, some of which I’ll share with you today.
If you missed the last two “Reading Recently” posts, you can find them here. All of these together makes 27 books that I’ve read in the past 10 months (this is a lot for me!) I’ve been excited to get back into reading after not having the time for so long after having kids. If you’re looking for some good books to read during quarantine, you may be interested in some of these!
Reading Recently – Spring 2020
Paula Hawkins is the master of telling a story through multiple POV and bringing it all together seamlessly. This book had me hooked from the first chapter and had twists and turns until the very last page. My favorite out of this bunch.
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
Another book that brings different perspectives together in a very interesting way. It jumps back and forth between the past, when a teenage girl turns up missing, and the present, when her mother is trying to move on from her daughter’s disappearance. It revealed little bits at a time about the mystery of the girl’s disappearance. I thought it may be confusing to jump back and forth, but it wasn’t, and the ending was very good.
Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. Beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers, and half of a teenaged golden couple. Ellie was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.
And then she was gone.
Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?
The only book on this list that isn’t a “thriller,” however it does have some mystery and suspense to it! This book is from the perspective of the imaginary friend of an autistic boy, and is very creatively written.
I am not imaginary…
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.
Max is different from other children. Some people say he has Asperger’s, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max unconditionally and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, a teacher in the Learning Center who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.
When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save Max―and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or his own existence.
Matthew Dicks’ Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a triumph of courage and imagination that touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming . . . and heartbreaking conclusion.
This book had a twist that I was not expecting. I definitely thought from the description on the back of the book that it was going to go in a different direction. Worth the read!
“There’s no place like home” – that’s what I tell myself as I pull another flawless meal from the oven. This perfect house on a quiet street was supposed to be my sanctuary, a place to recover. But everything changed the moment I saw that woman in the charity shop. She triggered something dark, buried deep within my memory…
Now I’ve started forgetting small things, like locking the front door.
And bigger things, like remembering to pick my little girl up from nursery.
I feel terrified every time I pass through a particular spot in our living room.
And sometimes, when I’m alone, I’m sure I can hear a baby crying…
I think the woman in the shop knows what happened to me. But if I can’t trust myself to believe she’s real, who will?
Just like all Ruth Ware books, this one was a page-turner! This did not end as I expected it to, which I love in a book.
On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
I enjoyed this book, but had me paranoid about my kids’ teenage years!
One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.
Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming-of-age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?
But things do go wrong, horrifically so, and Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter is exposed.
This was another that was told from many perspectives. There was a point in the middle where it felt like it was dragging on a bit, but the ending is worth holding on for.
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now her husband is dead, and there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…
Another that was hard to put down! One of those where you feel like something isn’t sitting quite right, but you can’t quite figure it out. Definitely recommend.
Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.
What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.
As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.
A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.
When I first started reading this, I thought it had the same sort of feel as The Vanishing Year because both main characters are married to millionaires and they both have big secrets in their past, but this one went in a completely different direction. This is not a super long book, which made for a quick read with a twisty ending. My problem was that at times I wasn’t sure that parts of it were believable. I still enjoyed the ending though.
Everyone has their secrets. But this one could destroy your marriage.
When Anna Blackwell opens an email from an unknown sender, the shocking image attached shatters her perfect world. A woman has been killed. And Anna knows who did it. The past is catching up with her.
Is it her turn next?
To protect herself and her husband Will, she must tell him the terrible truth about her first love. But as the secrets of her life unravel, Anna begins to realise that she is not the only one who has been living a lie.
Anna doesn’t know who to turn to: her best friend, her parents, her husband. But she knows that her ex-lover is dangerous and she must stop him, before it’s too late…
Have you read any of these? Several people recommended Into the Water, which I appreciated because it was so good! If you have any recommendations for books you think I’d like, be sure and let me know!
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