January Reading Wrap Up

 

Total Books Read: 8
January TBR Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 1,734
Total Hours Listened: 14 Hours 20 Minutes

Sadie by Courtney Summers – 3/5 – If you’re going to pick this book up I highly recommend checking out the audiobook format. It features a full cast, and the podcast element of the story is presented as if it were a real podcast (theme music included). All in all, it was very well done. This was a decent YA thriller that kept me entertained throughout. The ending was different from what I’m used to in thrillers, which made it all the more enjoyable for me.

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey – 4/5 – This was a good Australian thriller that kept me entertained until the end. Not being able to guess the ending of a thriller is rare for me, and it tends to bump the book up in my opinion when it happens. This was the first book of Sarah Bailey’s that I have read and I am interested to pick up more from her in the future.

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter – 3/5 – This was my first buddy read for the year (with my friend Michael), and it was a WILD RIDE. This book contained nearly every single theme you can imagine to the point where it was almost too many themes for one book, but it sure made for an entertaining buddy read with a lot to discuss. This felt different to all of the Karin Slaughter books I have read before, but I still really enjoyed it. Both Michael and I agreed that we would love to see a spin-off book featuring some of the incredible side characters from the story.

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar – 3/5 – I am always down for a disaster story and if you throw a potential conspiracy theory into the mix on top of that, you have my favourite kind of story. The author’s theory as to what happened to the hikers was pretty compelling, and I enjoyed the way he presented all of the information. I can imagine this would have been a little dry if I had read a physical copy, so I’d recommend picking up the audiobook if possible.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – 4/5 – I know I enjoyed this book because not even halfway through I started googling people’s dreamcast of characters for the upcoming TV series. I really loved the character and story development, and I’m keen to keep reading and see how the rest of the series plays out.

Top 8 Books – 2018

 

Bird Box by Josh Malerman“Something is out there… Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster? Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey–a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motley group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside–and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne“Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing. 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every day… and they hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. HATE. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight approach to his job and refusal to smile. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and desire to be liked. Now they’re up for the same promotion and Lucy, usually a determined people-pleaser, has had enough: it’s time to take him down. But as the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, it’s clear that the real battle has only just begun…”

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin“Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must… and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.”

Beartown by Fredrik Backman“In a large Swedish forest Beartown hides a dark secret… Cut-off from everywhere else it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then the town is offered a bright new future. But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. Who will speak up? Could you stand by and stay silent? Or would you risk everything for justice? Which side would you be on?”

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta“Following the sudden disappearance of thousands of citizens, Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to bring a sense of hope to his traumatised community, but his family has fallen apart in the wake of disaster. Kevin’s wife has joined a homegrown cult, and his son is a disciple of the prophet Holy Wayne. Only Jill, Kevin’s daughter, remains, and she’s no longer the sweet student she once was.”

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman“Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life. But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other. On the tropical island of Bora Bora Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water. Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret — after all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events… which will endanger everything they hold dear.”

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng“Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost…”

Misery by Stephen King“Misery Chastain is dead. Paul Sheldon has just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery has made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wants to get on to some real writing. That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs. The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul had done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all. Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now he’s writing to stay alive.”

January TBR

 

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey“A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode… A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Local policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school years before. But that’s not all Gemma’s trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper into the victim’s past, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried. The lake holds the key to solving the murder, but it also has the power to drag Gemma down into its dark depths…”

People Like Us by Dana Mele“Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make… not something that happened.”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him. Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour. Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?”

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the `80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”

December Book Haul

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the `80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”

People Like Us by Dana Mele“Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make… not something that happened.”

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy“We all want different things. Francie wants to be the perfect mother. Nell wants to escape the past. Collette wants to spend more time with her family. All Winnie wants is to have her baby back. When Nell suggests a night out in Brooklyn to her new mums club, the others jump at the chance. But the evening takes a tragic turn when single mother Winnie learns that her six-week-old son Midas has been kidnapped. As the investigation hits a dead end, Nell, Collette and Francie make it their mission to succeed where the police are failing and bring baby Midas home. But as Winnie and those around her come under scrutiny from the media, damaging secrets come to light and friendships are pushed to the limit. Because people will do almost anything to protect the ones they love…”

December TBR

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager“Have you ever played two truths and a lie? It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie. Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned… Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime. Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…”

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead“The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to an impeccably appropriate young man. The weekend is full of lobster and champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust seep through the cracks in the revelry. Winn Van Meter, father-of-the-bride, has spent his life following the rules of the east coast upper crust, but now, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, he must finally confront his failings, his desires, and his own humanity.”

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey“A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode… A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Local policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school years before. But that’s not all Gemma’s trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper into the victim’s past, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried. The lake holds the key to solving the murder, but it also has the power to drag Gemma down into its dark depths… “