The Family Remains
: Lisa Jewell
Publication Date: July 2022
Genre: mystery, thriller
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

To recap, in October I picked up my first Lisa Jewell, this books predecessor, The Family Upstairs, and absolutely loved it. I was glued to TFU, fascinated with the characters and the psychological, familial drama that unfolded. So to say I had extremely high hopes for this story, the stand alone follow up, would be an understatement. And maybe I’m to blame, maybe I went in with the wrong expectations. Because of course I did

I’m saddened to say, I didn’t love this, I actually kind of hated it. I can suspend disbelief when needed but this was just ludicrous and unbelievable at times. Jet setting country to country, city to city, on the drop of hat? You’re telling me in Chicago, a city of 2.5 million, you can track down a single person in like less than a week’s time? It just didn’t hold my attention as much as TFU, so it’s like a 2 star to reflect my disappointment. I do find the title quite clever, took me awhile to pick up on the double meaning hidden within

Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Publication Date: September 2014
Genre: fiction, science fiction, dystopia
Method: audiobook via TPL

If I’m not mistaken, this is my first post apocalyptic and/or dystopian read since living in a pandemic, so that’s something. This was definitely unnerving and chilling at times, very eerie to think this was written in 2014 and yet it really captures the essence of pandemic life as we now know it in the 2020s. Likely something I would have hated reading pre-pandemic, but here we are

I’ve hesitated over the years to give this a go because, what on earth is a traveling symphony? All in all, it was quite bizarre, but I like how the story unfolded and how the stories of our 5 highlighted characters weave together. Like any other good hearted Great Lakes resident, I enjoyed the Michigan settings and the various Toledo and Ohio references, always fun to feel connected to a story in that way. Considered my interested piqued – I plan to read St. John Mandel’s 2022 release Sea of Tranquility in 2023!
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

One by One
Author: Ruth Ware
Publication Date: September 2020
Genre: nonfiction, biography
Method: audiobook via TPL

I had been holding off on reading this locked-room, mountain chalet mystery until the colder months and here we are. Another Ruth Ware hit, what can I say! I’ve read enough in the genre to know lock-room mysteries aren’t my favorite trope, so it’s not a new favorite, but I had a good time none-the-less. I enjoyed the large cast of characters, their connections through their business, and the alternating narrators, but I never had that jaw dropping moment that I expect and love so much from Ruth Ware. So, 3.75 stars rounded up to 4

I’ve read 6 of Ware’s 7 published novels and here’s my current ranking:
1. The Death of Mrs. Westaway
2. The It Girl
3. The Turn of the Key
4. One By One
5. The Woman in Cabin 10
6. In a Dark, Dark Wood

All I have left to read is The Lying Game, then I’ll be done with her backlist and ready for her newly announced 2023 release, Zero Days!
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Publication Date: 1937
Genre: classics, fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

Firstly, God bless Gary Sinise for narrating the audiobook. Secondly, I’m ready to give up on classics. I know for a fact we read this in junior high or high school because I so clearly remember watching the movie with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. I read to be entertained and I haven’t found a classic that is entertaining, facts are facts. Definitely an interesting book to pick up having read The Four Winds earlier this month, but not something I’d revisit again anytime soon. Thankful the audiobook was only just about 3 hours

Once Upon a December
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Publication Date: October 2022
Genre: Christmas, romance
Method: audiobook via TPL

Here’s my obligatory holiday romance for the month of December, and this was good, honestly better than expected! Holiday romances can be a real hit or miss for me. I found this cute and endearing, would recommend, but likely wouldn’t reread. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 overall

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


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