A quick review and rating of the last 5 books I read and a look into my TBR list

Such a Fun Age
Author: Kiley Reid
Publication Date: December 2019
Genre: fiction, contemporary, race

Review: I just wasn’t impressed nor interested. For me the plot just dragged on and on, I didn’t really like any of the characters quite honestly – the main character didn’t seem to care enough about her own life and own story line, so why should I? While I think the underlying discussion of racism in America was beneficial for me to read and explore, I just wasn’t captivated enough to really be left with a lasting impression. I did some searching under the genre tag of ‘race’ for other novels by African American authors/authors of color on Goodreads and these look like good recommendations, consider them added to the TBR list: These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

The Girl On the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publication Date: January 2015
Genre: fiction, mystery, thriller

Review: After having borrowed this book from a friend for nearly 8 months, I jumped into and finished this thriller in 3 days – at 4:03am because I literally couldn’t put the book down. This book has everything I am loving right now in fiction: suspense, thrill, mystery, change in narrators and a jumping timeline between past and present. This story kept me guessing as the plot unfolded page after page and I felt it kept it up the pace throughout, no lulls or dragging points. I’m definitely adding Hawkins’s next novel, Into the Water, to my TBR list. I also plan to find the movie adaptation soon and dive into that!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Publication Date: May 2017
Genre: fiction, contemporary

Review: My early impression of this book was ‘wow – I hate every character in this book except Raymond.’ Initially, I was annoyed by main character Eleanor’s careless attention to societal norms but as the story develops and the details of her past unfolds, the more I was intrigued. I felt tricked by the ending but in the best way. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t see it coming, especially since I had picked up on some hints along the way. On a personal note, I loved how this book reminded me of my trip to Great Britain with mention of Edinburgh, London, Bath, York, and Hadrian’s Wall, all of which I visited with my mom and aunt after graduating from PT school in 2018.

The Last House Guest
Author: Megan Miranda
Publication Date: June 2019
Genre: mystery, thriller, fiction, suspense

Review: Maybe I’m too gullible or I don’t take the time to pause, dissect, and reflect throughout the story but dang, this book got me on each twist and turn. The last quarter reminded me of Where the Crawdads Sing; the author kept leading the main character towards answers but left us with more questions, slightly confusing- but like in the best way. Every couple chapters I was bouncing between suspects, unable to land on the guilty party until the climatic conclusion of the summer of 2018. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, it felt a little impractical and unlikely, I wish there would have been more build up during the meat of the book to support that conclusion. Also, I still don’t really know what to make of the title. Readers on Goodread didn’t know either, which I think must mean it was an intentional selection by the author.

The Immortalists
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Publication date: January 2018
Genre: fiction, fantasy, contemporary

Review: It’s not often I’m brought to tears while reading a book but this story got me, twice. This book has so much depth and range to it, with incredible (and eerie) relevance to what’s happening this month in America: gay right’s, racism, discussion of a quarantine, all within part 1 of the book! As the story builds, it discusses topics very near to me, both professionally and personally: science and medicine, gene expression, research, the mortality of our parents, the desire to extend life, death and dying. One criticism I’d have to agree with I saw mentioned on Goodreads was the odd, misplaced sexual references – could have done without those. Even so, I was intrigued from the very start and really enjoyed the format of the book. It was interesting to know that each part of the book would conclude with the death of a main character, but how each came to be surprised me. Honestly, I could see myself rereading this book in a year.

Reads On Deck: books I have physical and/or digital copies at the ready

Until tomorrow, Meryn



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