The Whisper Man started off creepy and just kept going. A serial killer has been in jail for twenty years, but now kids are disappearing again, and the whispers have returned. This story is a thrilling mystery that keeps the reader hooked. Told from several different viewpoints, this story covers all the angles and still reveals unexpected twists and turns.
As soon as any Stephen King book comes out, I am reading it. I've never loved any authors' entire body of work, but SK comes close. The Institute was exactly what I hoped it would be. Cerebral, thrilling, captivating. His writing style and characters are familiar, but that is the only thing about this book that is comfortable. This story is fantastic and somehow also believable, and the ending was satisfying in its opaqueness. I love when a novel ends with questions unanswered - not all of them. Just enough. I would recommend any Stephen King book, but this one was topnotch. Also, if you get the audiobook, it is read by Santino Fontana, the absolute best audiobook narrator.
I had a super late night snuggling my kitty and reading Anna Pitoniak's Necessary People.
I loved this book. The characters were so well-written and real that I kept putting the book down in irritation with Stella's behavior. I've known several people just like her. Of course, I couldn't stay away and had to read more every time. I loved the relationships between the characters and the way they ebbed and flowed. The pivotal moment of the story changes everything, which is all I can say without giving anything away.
I highly recommend this book. Just make sure you don't need to get up early the next morning!
Disclaimer: I am the narrator for this audiobook.
Chase Me by Rachael Tamayo
For 20-something Adrienne, her circle of friends is everything. Especially since her own family falls a bit flat. A judgmental mother, a sister that's a self-proclaimed bitch, and a dad that just doesn't seem to care past his own golf scores. When she has to come up with a date for a venue wedding to keep her mother off her back, Adrienne scrambles to find someone. Her close friend, Clint steps in and saves the day.
Pretending to be in love with a close friend shouldn't be too hard, right? Well, turns out that it's way easier than either of them expected. After a week of "pretend" kissing, sharing a hotel room, and putting on the charade for the family both go home with confused feelings. Feelings that scare Adrienne, and invigorate the hot young high school teacher, Clint. Will they be able to step past the boundaries of life-long friendship into something more?
I really enjoyed working on this book. The story was engaging and sweet, and I was drawn into Adrienne and Clint's blooming romance. This is quite different from what I usually read, and I found it to be a refreshing change.
My first read of the summer was Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. I ordered this book from Book of the Month without much of an idea of what it was about. I was so happy I chose it! The story follows two families bound together by a terrible tragedy. It is an engaging and moving tale of family, love, empathy, and forgiveness. This book touched my soul, and I could not put it down.
I took a break from my usual thriller/horror books to read Where You'll Find Me: Risks, Decisions, and the Last Climb of Kate Matrosova by Ty Gagne.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this account of a real-life tragedy. I wasn't sure how the author could tell the story of a hiker who perished on a mountainside alone accurately. I was pleasantly surprised by Gagne's ability to piece together an engaging and vivid tale that kept me glued to the page. Really interesting read.
Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson kept me hooked from the first page to the last. Told from two perspectives, the story unfolds in a intriguing mix of he-said-she-said, questionable mental health, and murder. Unlike many thrillers, the identity of the killer is revealed early on, and the backstory is revealed in a measured and satisfying way. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the ending came out of nowhere. I don't want to get into too much detail and ruin the experience, but I really enjoyed this book!
Mirna Valerio's A Beautiful Work in Progress is indeed beautiful. Valerio writes in a way that brings her surroundings to life. You can feel the cold, dry air of the desert at night. You can feel the puddles squishing between your toes when she's caught out in a thunderstorm with her students. Most of all, you feel her enthusiasm and love for running.
This book speaks to the reader as a friend, a running buddy, someone who knows how tough it can be and also why it has to be done. I found this book at a time when I was beginning my running journey for the second time and looking for a more loving approach. Mirna is around my age and size, and this book felt like it was written just for me. It was the right place at the right time when I found this book, and I am grateful I did. If you love running or want to love it, this book is for you.
Read A Beautiful Work in Progress
I started off my February reading with Sarah Alderson's incredible thriller, Friends Like These. The action in this book starts out high and escalates quickly. It centers around a feud between two ex-coworkers after one mistakenly sends an email to the wrong person. The action ramps up so quickly that, while I was completely engaged, I did feel like some of it seemed a little hard to believe. Then things shift and you realize, as the cover states, you know nothing at all. This book quickly went from pretty good to amazing. It was another late night finishing the story. I couldn't stop reading until the incredibly satisfying end. I don't want to spoil it, but it's not the expected outcome. I loved it.
Read Friends Like These
January has been a busy reading month for me. I started 2019 with a goal to read more books, and I set my yearly goal at a very conservative 42. I know my life can get busy, and I wanted to set a goal that I thought I could actually achieve.
I feel like I have fallen in love with reading all over again, and I have been voraciously reading all month long.
In January I read 5 books. I was aiming for 4, so this is a definite win. I also allowed myself some time in between books to really absorb the story and think about my reviews. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the books I chose. I'm not a super-picky reader, but I expect every once in a while to find a book that just doesn't work for me. I've decided that if that happens, I will not review it. My goal with this blog is to help authors, and I would rather put out positivity into the world. There are more than enough critics.
I read an assortment of genres. A couple of thrillers, a dystopian novel, a fantasy, and a romance. Most of my favorite genres. Romance is not a typical genre for me, so I did branch out a little. I am hoping to branch out more as the year progresses.
My favorite January book was The Silent Patient. I am constantly disappointed by thrillers because I can always guess what is going to happen. I do it with movies, too. It's an annoying habit. This book was amazing. It surprised me and made me pause to take in the developments in the story. I really enjoyed all of my January books, but this one was easily the best. It was difficult to review because I didn't want to give away any of the story, but I highly recommend it.
Now, onto my February reads!
I am an audiobook narrator, writer, reader, and lover of the written word.