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!
90 Seconds From Sanity by C.J. Wilton is a face-paced, gripping thriller. We meet Michael, a talented lawyer, whose wife, Ellen, is pregnant with their first child. It's the happiest day of his life. He's on his way to the ultrasound to find out the sex of their baby. But, he's late for the appointment, and things spiral out of control from there.
This story is well-written and keeps you guessing. None of the characters are who they seem...or are they? There are some graphic scenes/language. That kind of writing doesn't bother me, but some people may not find it palatable. My main critique is about the lack of an ending. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat, and I was eager to see how the many plot lines would be tied up at the end. I found the ending a bit of a let down, but it does fit the broken feeling of the rest of the book. Still a good read. You won't be able to put it down.
Read 90 Seconds From Sanity
This morning I received our family's favorite call - a snow day. My husband is a teacher, so a snow day means everyone gets to sleep in. A snow day for me equals a quiet morning to read.
I brewed a cup of tea and snuggled on the couch with my new book, The Silent Patient. This was my first Book of the Month delivery, and I was curious to see what kind of books I would be receiving. I was not disappointed.
The Silent Patient is engaging from the very first page. I sat down to read and the next thing I knew four hours had passed, and I was done with the book. As the layers peel away from the central characters, an intriguing story unfolds, but The Silent Patient keeps its secrets close. There were moments when I needed to put the book down and pause to take in the new developments. I love when a book takes me by surprise. An entertaining read from beginning to end.
So, I'll start by saying that I have no affiliation to Book of the Month. I just love it.
I have always been a voracious reader, but sometimes I find myself reading the same genre or author for quite some time. I've been in one of these reading ruts lately. I want to branch out and read other types of books, but I don't know where to start. I tend to enjoy most genres, which makes it even harder to choose something new.
I also set a goal to read more books in 2019. Getting a new, intriguing book every month will definitely help me achieve my goal!
Book of the Month is awesome. I just received my first two books, and I cannot wait to start reading!
I spent all of yesterday devouring The Second Captive by Maggie James. This book was a quick, exciting read. The story is told from three points of view, and I enjoyed the way the book was laid out. Part one is told from the perspectives of captor and captive. Beth is kidnapped and kept in a basement. Eventually, she begins to understand her captor and even possibly love him. She is still wise enough to escape when the chance is presented. No spoilers here, the book begins with her coming home then jumps back to the beginning.
The second part of the book is told from the perspectives of Beth and her mother. Beth is home, but she has changed. She won't tell anyone what happened, but her mother is persistent and slowly pieces together her daughter's harrowing story.
The Second Captive is an engaging and thrilling read. I could not put it down! I will definitely be checking out more books by Maggie James.
The Second Captive
My reading time has gone down as I enjoy the holiday season. Life is busy. I've started and stopped three different books. I've been busy rewriting a script and starting a new show. I've been editing an audiobook. I've been doing all the holiday things with my family. Time is limited, and reading has unfortunately fallen by the wayside.
I plan on finishing all three books in January (if not before), and this brought me to a new goal for 2019. I'm setting a reading challenge. I want to read so many more books than I did this year.
My goal for 2019 is 42 books.
I think this is a reasonable goal. I would like to read a book/week, but I have to be realistic. I will have weeks where I do not read. I will have books that take longer than a week. This seems like a manageable goal, and if I go over it, awesome.
I am also planning on reading genres that I do not read all the time, and I want to read indie authors. I'm open to suggestions - comment below!
I am an audiobook narrator, writer, reader, and lover of the written word.