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

Mexican Gothic
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publication Date: June 2020
Genre: horror, gothic, mystery
Method: audiobook and ebook from TPL

Review: Just finished reading author Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s notes and highlights on Goodreads and it’s an easy 5/5 for me. The thoughtfulness and attention to details in this work is incredible. In her notes she has references to other texts, books, and research that either support or inspire this work – a gal after my own heart, I love a good reference and footnote.
Mexican Gothic is a beautifully written story set in 1950s Mexico that had my imagination running wild. I loved the main character Noemi, such a strong lead, well spoken and determined, one of my most liked female leads in the 30+ books I’ve read this year. The icing on the cake was borrowing both the ebook and the audiobook from the library because it was such a treat hearing the proper pronunciations of unfamiliar Spanish terms and proper nouns. I also loved having the ability to quickly define unfamiliar terms, which came in handy for over 20 words and phrases.

Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: December 2018
Genre: thriller, romance, mystery
Method: paperback, borrowed from TPL

Review: Shot myself in the foot on this one accidentally having read what I didn’t realize was a spoiler. For that reason I totally saw the twist coming, would have been a 5/5 if not for my own carelessness. Even still, there were parts of this book that had me freaking out. As a healthcare worker who works with individuals whom are paralyzed and/or have brain injuries, some of the depictions in this book scared the hell out of me. Because if I saw some of this stuff happening at work, I’d be out the door, on the run, NO THANK YOU. Even having ruined the ending for myself, I still have no idea what to believe, and while that might drive some people mad, I like having the option to believe whatever I want.

Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Publication Date: July 2017
Genre: thriller, mystery, horror
Method: hardback from BOTM subscription

Review: Riley Sager is quickly becoming my favorite author. I low key squealed when he revealed on Instagram this week his 5th book is coming out Summer 2021. So much to love in this book starting with the unique premise: this story explores the lives of 3 women each who survive horrific massacres. Next is the flip flopping setting as the story bounces between present day and the evening of the Pine Cottage killings. I don’t know if this was intentional but I loved as the book progressed, the chapters separating the present day and the flashback got smaller and shorter until every other chapter (or so) was flashing forward and backward. When I’m reading, I really try to pay attention to my physical reactions as a metric of how good the book is. For example, I had 3 jaw dropping moments. Yes literal, mouth-open, jaw-dropping moments. To me, that’s a sign of a well written story (or maybe my inability to guess plot twists? the point still stands). I’m glad to have this book in my collection and I can’t wait to lend it to a friend who I know will love it!

The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Publication Date: February 2019
Genre: mystery, thriller, fiction
Method: hardback, borrowed from TPL

Review: Another page turner I just could not put down and finished in 24 hours! I found every single character captivating, which isn’t something I’ve encountered before. To be honest, I was disappointed when the book ended because I wish this book was 200+ pages longer, if not a series because there are so many other characters I would love to learn more about – Max, Elif, Diomedes, Yuri, the list goes on. I appreciated the inclusion of the Greek mythology and the psychological themes – I love to learn about unfamiliar topics while also enjoying the thrill of a suspense novel. I had a very easy time imagining the setting of the psych ward and the interactions between medical staff and patients, as I currently work in the realm of adult behavioral health/geriatric psych, which made this read very fascinating and almost too relatable. Incredible.

The Last Story of Mina Lee
Author: Nancy Joououn Kim
Publication Date: September 2020
Genre: fiction, contemporary, mystery
Method: hardback from BOTM subscription

Review: This book is so very different from what I usually read (e.g. suspense, thriller, mystery), which is neither good nor bad, just different. I enjoyed the story overall but it definitely didn’t suck me in like other books. It took me over 3 weeks to finish which is very very slow for me. Recently, I’ve been finishing books in less than a week. Having said that, I enjoyed reading about Mina’s experience as a Korean immigrant and her struggles to find her footing in LA in the 1980s. My heart aches for her daughter Margot as she attempts to uncover her mother’s past and the events leading up to her unexpected death. Not something I would read again, but I’m left with an appreciation for Korean culture, the struggles of being an immigrant in America, and the importance of family.

What’s Up Next

Until tomorrow, Meryn



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