May 29, 2022

Recent Reads (no spoilers)

It's been three months since I wrote a post about what I've been reading lately, and while the topic may not be interesting to anyone but me, I like to post a few thoughts about books I've read. It later helps me to remember what it was about. Why does it matter? Ha! No idea.

I tend to go through phases: I will spend a couple of months reading in all of my spare time, but then I'll spend months not reading anything. Usually, the reading phase is sparked by a good book. If I read a good book, I immediately want to download another. Eventually, I get to a book that just doesn't hold my interest and that triggers my not-reading phase.

Right now, I'm very much in my reading phase. So, here is what I've read since the last time I posted my books (late February). There are a lot of them, so I'm going to keep my thoughts short for each one.

'His & Hers' by Alice Feeney

I liked the format of this murder mystery, being from the points-of-view from "him" and "her" (and the killer) in a whodunit psychological thriller. Unfortunately, my first instinct happened to be correct--I didn't know the "why" but I strongly suspected the "who" from the beginning. I prefer books that keep me guessing until the end. However, the story is much more complicated than simply learning who the killer is, and I was second-guessing my instinct throughout the whole book.

In a nutshell: The two main characters are a reporter ("her"), and a detective ("him"); they have a past, and a recent murder brings them to the case for their own agendas. Both of them have ties with the woman who was murdered, and the more they dig into the case, the more suspicious they each look.

There were some really great quotes in this book! For example:

"The lives we lead need to be gold-plated nowadays, a series of varnished truths for the sake of how we appear on the outside. Strangers who view us through a screen—whether on TV or social media—think they know who we are. Nobody is interested in reality anymore; that’s something they don’t want to “like” or “share” or “follow.” I can understand that, but living a make-believe life can be dangerous. What we won’t see can hurt us. In the future, I expect people will long for fifteen minutes of privacy, rather than fifteen minutes of fame."

'Local Woman Missing' by Mary Kubica

Another murder mystery (yes, my favorite genre). I found this one to be very unbelievable. It's kind of like watching a B-horror movie, where the acting isn't great and the story is a bit "out there"--but they are still fun to watch. This book was a pretty fun read and I definitely didn't see the ending coming; but the ending was very unbelievable, so it would be hard to guess ahead of time. Also, there was zero motive behind a big twist, which was a let-down. I didn't love this one, but it doesn't feel like it was a waste of time, either.

In a nutshell: A woman goes missing, and shortly afterward, another woman and her six-year old daughter go missing as well. As readers, we try to figure out the connection (if there is one). There are multiple viewpoints and timelines (something I love in a psychological thriller) and you are waiting for the past and present to merge so you get the rest of the story. Very far-fetched in several parts of the plot, but I enjoyed it for the most part.

'False Witness' by Karin Slaughter

I really liked this one! It's slower-moving, but it held my interest enough to where I didn't want to stop reading. This one isn't a murder mystery (surprise surprise!); rather, you know what happened and are 99% sure who did it, but you don't want to see them get away with it. 

In a nutshell: The book starts off in the past (20 years ago) with two young teen sisters who babysit for a little boy. The boy's dad is a monster--a pedophile and rapist, and after he assaults the younger sister one night, they kill the him and vow never to tell a soul. Fast forward to the present, where the "little boy" comes back into the picture. He is accused of several counts of rape and as a defense attorney, the older sister agrees to represent him--not knowing who he actually is until she agrees to take the case--even though she is absolutely sure he is guilty.

'We All Fall Down' by Natalie D. Richards

Groan. I would never have read this if I'd known that it was supernatural. I don't believe in supernatural happenings, so I was super disappointed to get probably more than halfway through the book before I discovered that. If it had been a typical "whodunit" story, I would have really liked it. Once I learned it involved supernatural elements, I couldn't really get on board.

Anyway, to sum it up in a nutshell, it's about a bridge that the locals think is haunted. Two teens witness some weird stuff happening and they set out to figure out what's going on and who is playing mind tricks with them.

'Delirium' by Lauren Oliver

LOVED this book! It is the first in a series of three books (plus a couple of side stories). I flew through this one and immediately downloaded the second and the side story called Hana. The third book isn't available through my library, but I'm probably going to end up buying it because I really want to read it!

In a nutshell: This is a dystopian YA novel, taking place in the United States probably a century or so from now. Love was declared a horrific disease and scientists developed a "cure"--which kind of sounded like a lobotomy. A bit of brain surgery, and voila! You can no longer feel love, but you can perform daily tasks and live a (very boring) life. Everybody must get the surgery when they turn 18; at that point, they are paired with someone of the opposite sex to make a life with (marriage, children, etc.). 

The protagonist is a 17-year old girl named Lena who is very excited to get her procedure and move on with her life. She (along with most other people) is terrified of catching the "deliria" disease and she wants to feel safely cured. What is a dystopian YA series without a bit of romance, though? Lena meets a boy, which starts to change everything that she's been told from the time she was born.

'Pandemonium' by Lauren Oliver

This is the second book in the Delirium series. The big twist at the end was obvious from the very first page, but even knowing that, I couldn't want to see what happened. As soon as I was done with this, I read Hana.

'Hana: A Delirium Story' by Lauren Oliver

A side story of the Delirium series. Hana is Lena's best friend, and this short story is Hana's point of view that happened during the first book. This one wasn't very interesting, but it only took me a couple of hours to read it.

'The Upside of Falling' by Alex Light

This is the contemporary romance YA novel I mentioned Friday. This was such a fun and light read!

In a nutshell: Girl is a bookworm, kind of nerdy, not interested in relationships. Boy is captain of the football team, best looking boy in high school, uber popular but not interested in dating. She wants her friend to believe she has a boyfriend; he wants his parents to believe he has a girlfriend. They have a "fake" relationship to fool everyone. And naturally, just as you'd expect, the fake feelings start to turn real.

'Five Total Strangers' by Natalie D. Richards

I'm not sure how to feel about this book. On one hand, I was completely sucked into it; on the other, it was SO far-fetched with way too many coincidences. And how many crazy-bad things could happen to one group of college kids in the span of a day? I found a lot of the writing to be redundant (descriptions of how bad the storm was; how it felt like someone was watching all the time; how odd the other passengers are). I guessed the "who" from the beginning, but I was left wondering "why". In the end, I felt like it followed the college-kids-in-danger-and-who-is-trying-to-hurt-them? category perfectly. I liked it, though; if you like the predictable young adult thriller/horror movies (*raises hand*), you'll enjoy this book.

In a nutshell: Protagonist is flying home from college for Christmas when the flights are grounded because of a severe snow storm. Another college student, who she met on the plane, ends up renting a car to drive home. She offers a ride to the protagonist as well as three other people. The five of them begin a ridiculous "creepy" adventure on their way home--dealing with a snow storm, car accidents, scary people, missing items, and other things I won't write so as not to spoil it.

And that's about it. I need to start writing my thoughts after each book, even if I just jot down a few sentences on Goodreads, so I can remember more easily. My favorite on the list is, by far, 'Delirium'. 'False Witness' was very well-written and I enjoyed it a lot. And 'The Upside of Falling' was very fun and light-hearted--a nice break from the usual murder mysteries I like.

If you have suggestions for more that you think I might like, please share! There are lots of books I never would have discovered if not for readers telling me I would probably like them.


  1. As an author, I LOVE that you read! Thanks for sharing your list.

    1. I'm curious what kind of books you read when you're not writing! ;)

  2. I love reading your book reviews! We like the same things so I am always interested in your recommendations. I'm definitely adding the Delirium Trilogy! I've read 2 other Alice Feeney books -Sometimes I Lies and Rock Paper Scissors with Sometimes I Lie being a great one. And two other Slaughter books - Pretty Girls and Pieces of Her (A new Netflix show). I like her but both were slow moving so that must be a common theme in her writing. If you haven't checked out the Scribd App, you might be interested in that. It is a monthly fee but has a lot of books and audiobooks that I want to read that aren't available at my library either. I've found it worth the fee to combine with my Library books.

    1. Oooh, I just looked up the Scribd app and they have a free 14-day trial AND they have the third book in the Delirium series. Thanks so much for the tip! I was debating whether I should be $11 for that third book--I don't like buying books because I usually only read them once. I'm going to have to search for other books that I wanted to read but my library doesn't have. I hope you like Delirium!

    2. I second the Scribd app! Books change and they get "new" releases pretty frequently. I signed up because of the Stephen King library (not available at my local library). Thanks for your book review posts, Katie. I love them (and following you on Goodreads!!) :)

  3. I haven't read an Alice Feeney or Karin Slaughter yet but have wanted to try one so I have added these to my Goodreads list. I enjoy reading your book reviews and always adding a book or to to my to read list.

  4. I appreciate book reviews. I buy many books from the Dollar Tree. How can you go wrong? It is cheaper than a magazine. I am currently reading Finding Murphy. A book on a NHL player who went from famous to homeless. I read often.

  5. I like Anthony Horowitz for Sherlock Holmes-like stories.

    I'm currently reading The Sign for Home, which features a DeafBlind main character, and I'm really liking it! It's a coming of age story about a man who has been...not so much abused or neglected, but sort of in a way he has because his guardian doesn't encourage independence, in part because they are Jehovah's Witnesses. As a former JW myself, it portrays them relatively accurately. It's not something I normally read (I gravitate towards thrillers and literary fiction and non-fiction), but I can't put it down and it makes me want to read all the time (which is hard to do when I have three young kids and all I want to do is sleep!).


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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