What I Read: January 2022

Mary Kubica: Local Woman Missing

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find….

You know that creepy feeling that you get when you walk alone through a parking garage late at night? That feeling where you have chills going up your spine? You just feel like something is going to happen? I felt like that this entire book! The book goes back and forth in between 3 different timelines and 4 POVs. I never had any problem following along or distinguishing between the characters. Mary Kubica has a way of giving the reader the perfect amounts of information to keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping through the pages as fast as possible. Or at least that’s what I experienced. There are many red herrings; however, you will NOT be able to figure this one out. It will shock you. In the end,all I can say is that the hype is real and totally justified for this book. If you read only one thriller this year, Local Woman Missing has to be the one!


v.e. schwab: the invisible life of addie le rue

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man Henry Strauss in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives or to find strength in a very long one.”

Oh wow, where to start with this one. I’m not usually one to read historical fiction or fantasy but this book was magical. The writing was absolute perfection, so gorgeous I could cry just thinking about it. I love the idea of reading about a character who is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, it was fascinating and I just can’t imagine how lonely she is. I was pleasently surprised by how much more there was within the book beside Addie’s story. Especially the story about Henry Strauss – I think his character will stay with me for a long time. I felt for him even more than I felt for Addie. I think it’s because I could relate to him and everything about his fear of running out of time, his fear of missing out, how life seems to go without him… Overall, I couldn’t recommend this book enough! It definitely deserves all the hype. The story is so original and full of life lessons. This is definitely an all time favorite, I’m not going to be forgetting this story anytime soon.


ashley winstead: in my dreams i hold a knife

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love. But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

What a jaw dropping, page flipping, edge of your seat debut this was! I was invested in the story throughout even though I really didn’t like any of the characters. Most of the characters in this story are morally grey (even sociopathic). They all had some twisted motivations and dark things they are hiding. At one point or another I suspected pretty much everyone, so the ultimate revelation definitely came as a surprise to me. The character development and multi-layered plot were brilliant. Which made me more invested in the story. I thought the story was very clever and stylishly written and I enjoyed discovering all the dirty little secrets. I hope to read more books by Ashley Winstead in the future and I recommend this story to any reader who enjoys sinister college drama. I also think that this could be a great TV show!


yaa gyasi: transcendent kingdom

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love.

A very intense and honest book that tackles a lot of heavy topics like science vs. faith, mental illness, addiction and the different ways to handle your grief without having any kind of a support system to lean on. This was honest and authentic. It captured people and emotions incredibly well, and left me feeling like I knew exactly who our main character was and how she ended up where she did. What I didn’t like is that there is no time order within the chapters, it kind of jumps around. And even though I understand it’s written like this so we can see how her past affects her experiences and relationships as an adult, I would have preferred some order. Also it ends very abruptly, it left me wanting more.


colleen hoover: november 9

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

This is a romance that actually shocked me! I loved the concept of them only meeting once a year for 5 years. I loved the confidence that Ben gave Fallon. Everything about it was absolutely adorable…until it wasn’t. I feel like I’ve already said too much because I don’t want to take away the experience from any future reader. The emotions in this novel were so raw, so real. I felt the love. I felt the heartbreak. I felt the regret. I felt everything. This is the CoHo that nearly every single person is hyping up. This was so original from start to finish. It was intriguing, unique and of course every chapter left me wanting more. November 9 is the kind of book you need to experience for yourself, so I’m not going to give anything else away, but make sure to read it.


riley sager: survive the night

Charlie Jordan is being driven across the country by a serial killer. Maybe.Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college ride share board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. On the road they share their stories, carefully avoiding the subject dominating the news – the Campus Killer, who’s tied up and stabbed three students in the span of a year, has just struck again.Travelling the lengthy journey between university and their final destination, Charlie begins to notice discrepancies in Josh’s story.As she begins to plan her escape from the man she is becoming certain is the killer, she starts to suspect that Josh knows exactly what she’s thinking. Meaning that she could very well end up as his next victim.

I read all the reviews before starting this book and I was thinking: nah, it can’t be that bad, it’s Riley Sager and I love his books…but I was wrong! Usually I can deal with a few naive and gullable characters because if they are very clever, books would finish very quickly but this was just too much. From the start I was just rolling my eyes. Imagine the most stupid female character ever! That’s Charlie! Who takes an overnight drive with complete stranger just after your friend has been murdered by a serial killer. Really?!Who would do that?! The twist saved the story for a bit even though the reasoning was beyond ridiculous! Despite that and the slow start, I raced through this book. Was this one of my favourite reads? Definitely not. Will I keep reading every Riley Sager book in the future? Definitely yes!


Nita prose: The Maid

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. Since Gran died a few months ago, Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

This was fun, quirky, heartwarming, and mysterious – if you are a fan of cosy mysteries this is the one for you. Although it is never specified, Molly is somewhere on the autism spectrum. She struggles with reading emotions and not saying exactly what comes into her mind. She is the kind of character you root for, stress about and feel protective over. Everything unique about this story was a definite highlight, and the writing was very easy. Now, I have to warn every die-hard mystery/crime reader that this is not some complex whodunit story with lots of twists and tension, it’s actually very simplistic and a bit slow. But it’s like that because of our perspective and the narrator which is Molly. I’m saying this because I expected something else due to all of the hype. But when I looked back at it, I decided to review it for what it is and not for what I expected it to be. I would recommend this to everyone who loves cosy mysteries. This is a great debut novel by Nita Prose and I would definitely read more from her.


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