Long reviews are out, right? No one (well, hardly anyone) likes writing them, no one (again, hardly anyone) likes reading them so I’m changed things up to bring up a set of mini reviews at the end of each month for whatever books I finished in the last four weeks.
I had a pretty solid reading month in January and made my way through eight books. Luckily for me, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one so here’s hoping I pick books this good for the rest of the year.
Now, onto my thoughts:
Boring Girls by Sarah Taylor (Format: Paperback)
This one was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend and I actually finished at 6am on January 1st, after being unable to sleep due to a horrible winter cold – silver linings, eh? When I started reading Boring Girls all I knew about it was that it involved metal, murder and mayhem, a winning combination in my opinion.
Though it meandered in places, I was gripped by Boring Girls and found myself emotionally drawn in almost from the jump. There were a few moments that were difficult to read because they were so awful (but well-written!) and I loved that Taylor created a complex and often unlikeable lead who I couldn’t help but root for. With a shocking climax that you can’t quite believe is going to happen, though you know it’s inevitable, this one hit me like a sucker punch.
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (Format: Paperback)
I’ve been steadily reading more and more thrillers over the past year and Peter Swanson is a name that kept coming up time and time again on various lists about the best thriller writers. The Kind Worth Killing was absolutely explosive, so crammed with twists and turns I actually gasped out loud a few times. A genuinely smart thriller that really did shock me, not just at the end but many times throughout, I totally recommend this to any thriller fans.
Final Girls by Riley Sager (Format: Digital)
Final Girls isn’t due for release until June 29th but I was lucky enough to get accepted on Netgalley so I gobbled it up as soon as I was approved. Following Quincy Carpenter, a young woman who was the sole survivor of a horrific massacre, we see her life unravel as another ‘Final Girl’ careens into her life and sets her whole being off-kilter, with dangerous and terrifying results.
The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia (Format: Digital)
This one made me so sad but I loved it at the same time. Beautifully written, with a cast of memorable characters and a setting that became a living, breathing character of its own, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman jumps backwards and forwards, sharing teenager Hattie’s last few weeks that lead up to her brutal murder, as well as the murder investigation itself. It’s a difficult read in places, more emotional than your average thriller as we get to know Hattie so well through the flashbacks, and surprisingly tender.
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (Format: Paperback)
I absolutely adored this one! Full of heart and so warm, funny and sweet. Alex is a real gem and I loved following him on an exciting journey across the country as he, accompanied by his loyal dog (Carl Sagan) and some new friends, searches for answers about his family, all the while documenting his progress on his golden iPod, which he plans to send into space just as soon as he builds a rocket powerful enough. Lovely stuff.
Suck Less by Willam Belli (Format: Paperback)
Thanks to Willam I now know how to suck less at make up, getting fit and smuggling alcohol into gigs. All the important stuff, you know? Joking aside, there are some genuine nuggets of wisdom in Suck Less and it’s a must read if you want to peek behind the curtain and learn a little more about your favourite no-bullshit drag queen. There are many reasons Willam is an icon and Suck Less is just one of them. Laugh out loud funny and get yourself to confession crude, it’s everything I wanted and more.
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik (Format: Digital)
I haven’t felt so tense about a group of women trying to survive an activity holiday disaster since I watched The Descent, and we all know how well that turned out! The River at Night is pulse-poundingly terrifying and the fact it’s entirely plausible makes it even scarier. What would you do if disaster struck while you were white water rafting, in the middle of nowhere, when nobody knew your exact location? I shiver at the thought.
Everything but the Truth by Gillian McAllister (Format: Digital)
I have so much love for this book! Everything but the Truth explores grief, guilt, paranoia and trust in such an interesting way and weaves multiple story threads together to create a gorgeous patchwork of a novel. I raced through this at breakneck speed and loved every page. The writing is beautiful, the central mystery intriguing and the characters wonderfully, realistically flawed.