Good morning – er, afternoon – everyone! I meant to get this post up early this morning while I was on an airplane but my flight didn’t have WiFi! The summertime is my absolute favorite time to get lost in a book – especially if you’re by the ocean (just make sure you’re wearing sunscreen). Let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you have a recommendation!
1. The Missing Years, by Lexie Elliott
If you read one book from this list, read this one! This has everything I love in a novel: a big, scary mansion, a lot of thrills and even a little romance. When Ailsa’s mother passes away, she inherits half of an old Scottish manor house, known as the Manse, set deep in the countryside. Right away there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the house: her father’s disappearance during her childhood, the fact that animals refuse to go near it, and Ailsa’s claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. Although the book was a little slow in parts, I didn’t really mind it at all – Elliott’s writing is so beautiful that I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading it. Elliott did an outstanding job developing a thick and engrossing atmosphere that had me feeling wrapped up within the walls of the house and on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the ending. P.S. If you haven’t read her previous novel, The French Girl, I highly recommend that one too!
2. The Perfect Girlfriend, by Karen Hamilton
I read this entire book on a single flight, which is a little ironic because the protagonist is a flight attendant. This is a quick read and really engaging thriller and is perfect for summer! If you couldn’t guess from the title, this book is about obsession and tells the story of a girl named Juliette and her attempt to get back together with her ex-boyfriend Nate. Told from Juliette’s first-person perspective, the reader quickly becomes caught in her snare, unable to fully digest her cunning insanity. She pulls out all the stops to try to win Nate back with her meticulous plan, even training to become a flight attendant to keep close tabs on Nate (a pilot) at all times. I never could have anticipated just how devious Juliette really is, how manipulative, and utterly chilling her plans are for the unsuspecting Nate – or how absolutely determined she is to have him. This is certainly a compulsive read, although there was a huge chunk towards the end that seemed highly unrealistic to me. I was able to momentarily suspend my belief in reality to hang on until the end, and overall, really enjoyed it. There was a little turbulence from time to time, but there was a smooth landing, making this a satisfying trip.
3. Someone Knows, by Lisa Scottoline
Prior to reading this novel, I was seeing it EVERYWHERE! At the front of Barnes and Noble, at every single bookstand in the airport – I figured that it must be a great read. However, I was highly disappointed by this one! The book opens with Allie Garvey going back home to the funeral of a childhood friend. Allie’s life is a mess because of a dark secret she’s been keeping for 20 years – a horrific “prank gone wrong” that shattered the lives of her group of friends from high school. In my opinion, this book is not about a “prank gone wrong ” – it’s about extremely bad, spoiled rich kids and their egregious parents. It is about suicide, murder, extreme mental illness, horrifying incest, pedophilia and more. On top of that, it was terribly slow, and there are a hundred different side plots going on at the same time that really detract from the story. I had to force myself to keep reading (I am one of those people who HATES being a quitter and so I will never allow myself to quit a project in the middle of it – even a bad book!). I have heard that other books by this author are really good, so maybe I will give them a chance – but I would certainly avoid this one!
4. The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
I really liked this thriller by Alex Michaelides and it’s worth a read, although it wasn’t my favorite that I’ve ever read. The premise here is unique: we have a woman named Alicia Berenson who is accused of murdering her husband and has not uttered a single word in the following six years, being cared for at a mental care facility called The Grove. Enter Theo Faber, psychotherapist extraordinaire and flawed individual. He already has a respectable job somewhere else, but decides to transfer over to The Grove because he is obsessed with Alicia and solving the mystery behind why she murdered her husband and refuses to speak. Along the way, the reader gets snippets into Alicia’s diary leading up to the murder, alongside Theo’s point-of-view. I can’t really give you anything more than this, because this is a novel that depends on you being fooled by the twist. And it’s a HUGE twist! If you like being surprised by novels, then you will love this one – I was utterly dumbfounded (if not a little confused) by the ending. I didn’t care too much for the characters however the joy of being truly shocked by the ending did make up for it!
If you’ve read any good books lately, please comment below and let us all know! I’m in the middle of a REALLY good one right now, but I’m going to keep it a secret until the next book review (which will hopefully be in just a few weeks). xoxo!