Book Review (Round 12)

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!

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  1. it sounds like we have a similar taste in books- and I just shared my current reads here:

  2. Yes, finally, I love your book reviews! 🙂 ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ is something that I think I would enjoy, as well as ‘The Silent Patient’ – I’ll have to get those two!
    I recently read the “Crazy Rich Asians” triology – I absolutely loved every single page of it (though the second one “China Rich Girlfriend” was my fav) and am already sad that is is over! I know it is not really your typical book genre, but if anyone is looking for a comedy book that is very well written, creative and makes you giggle, give it a go 🙂
    xx Janine

  3. Sally Nichols

    These sound amazing! I will definitely be reading “The Missing Years” soon. I just finished “Hacker” by Ted Dekker and thought it was pretty good. It is a quick, intense read. I read it in two days! Dekker draws you in with the first page and keeps you drawn till the last. I highly recommend. Can’t wait to dig into all of the other books recommended here!

  4. Darcy

    In May I read and would recommend No Exit by Taylor Adams and The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen. They are both thrillers and I read both so quickly!

  5. Okay, I’m really not one to usually figure out twists or mystery endings in thrillers, but I was so disappointed by “The Silent Patient” because I figured out the twist halfway through the book! Everyone else says they were so surprised and I wish I had been 🙁

    Side note, have you read “No Exit”? It’s definitely a winter thriller, but so, so good.

    briana |

  6. Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for a good new book to read, and I haven’t read any of these yet!


  7. Ellen

    I highly recommend The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams! It is a mixture of historical fiction (1930’s-1970’s) and mystery. I just finished it a few weeks ago and I think that it is once of the best books that I have read in a while! Happy reading! 🙂

  8. Vicky Hill

    Thank you for the book review posts. I always enjoy them and allows me to select books I may have missed.

  9. Corinne

    Caitlin, I love your book reviews and pretty much all of your content. So glad I found your blog! PS love how close you are to your family!

  10. Kristina Z

    I just finished The Woman In Cabin 10!! It’s a great novel about a journalist chasing a nagging mystery that follows her when she’s on a Norwegian Cruise. Eventually it’s life or death for her and she’s caught in a world of lies and only has so much time before she can return to her original identity. It’s crazy!

  11. Ashley Edwards

    The guardian by Nicholas Sparks is an amazing thriller/romance !! The book moves fast and is written beautifully!

  12. Sahar

    Nightingale, The Great Alone, and Where the Crawdads sing. All amazing!

  13. Athena

    Thank you for your book reviews! When you have a chance, can you please consider also sharing how you find time to read? I find it so difficult to set aside time to read on a regular basis with so many other obligations and distractions. Appreciate your honest book review! =)

  14. I just read The Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – I think it would be right up your alley!

  15. Emily Paul

    As an avid reader and fan of thrillers, I’m normally on par with your reading list and sometimes even a book ahead! I’ve recently started packing for a cross country move and am SO grateful for your reading lists. I hate falling behind with new literature and I live for your book reviews – they make me so happy to catch back up and read new novels I hadn’t come across yet. Thank you for these! They are one of my all time favorite parts of your blog!

  16. Erin

    I’m so glad I checked your book reviews before my latest trip! I picked up 3 books from your reviews and read them ALL over my 4 day trip! Thank you so much for sharing these!!!!

  17. Beth

    You should check out The Good Daughter. SO good!!