Oh look at me. Reading. Four books. That’s right. I said FOUR books. 1, 2, 3, 4 books. To be fair, it was actually more than four books. I reread a few books that I’m not including here. Why mention those books then, you ask? Yo. I’m flexing. I spent several long months reading none-to-one books. Let me flex!
The Books I Loved, Liked and Loathed in April
This month I found myself reading many hyped books, not necessarily by design. It just so happened that they became available at the same time. I admit it made me a little nervous because hyped books carry extra weight with them. Do they live up? Or are they more overhyped than the Kardashians? Well, there is only one way to find out …
Books I Loved and Loathed
None! So good and bad news but I did like a lot of books, so I’m calling it a win!
Books I Liked
These are the books I liked, from most liked to liked.
Verity by Colleen Hover
Book Description: Hired to ghostwrite Verity Crawford’s novels after a car accident severely injures the writer, Lowen discovers horrifying secrets that could ruin Verity and destroy her marriage.
Book Review: This is my first Colleen Hoover book and it’s my understanding that this greatly differs from her typical books, so I cannot compare it to her usual books. But my interest was piqued from the gazillion 5-star reviews that this book was balls out crazy. And I like crazy. And yes, this book is absolutely WTF. In a good way. I feel like I’m still processing it but definitely enjoyed it. And yet I also weirdly feel like it’s predictable in a WTF kind-of-way, which only makes sense to my messed-up head that envisioned more WTF-ness than the already mucho WTF-ness of Hoover’s book – but there you go (and why a like vs love book).
To Read or Not To Read: Absolutely. But it’s not for everyone as there is some violence towards children that anyone with a soul will be bothered by, although not necessarily enough to stop reading the book (ahem, me).
The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
Book Description: When a colleague is found murdered, Clare discovers the killer knows her most intimate thoughts from reading her diary.
Book Review: After my friend, Mackenzie, reviewed this in last month’s SYUB link-up, I planned to add it to my TBR. Well, guess what? I already had requested the darn book, so happy surprise! I love the premise because how spooky would it be to find someone else is writing in your private diary? I get shivers just thinking about it. It did throw me for a loop because I didn’t realize that Clare (Mom), Harbinder (Detective), and Georgie (Clare’s daughter) would each narrate their own section of the story. It initially irritated me, only because I like Clare as her sections were the most gothic and spooky-feeling, but once I decided to stop pouting about it, I liked it.
To Read or Not To Read: It’s not quite as spooky (or foreboding) as I expected it to be (i.e. no Tanya running around clutching her cat while shouting “redrum”) but still a solid mystery.
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
Book Description: A scandal leaves the Binat daughters struggling to find suitable suitors in this Pride and Prejudice adaptation.
Book Review: I don’t consider myself to be a P&P purist. In fact, I sometimes wish authors would flex a bit more in these adaptations because knowing P&P means you can basically make a checklist of characters/events, which is comforting (to an extent) but also a little dull. Kamal does add some flourishes, which I appreciate. It takes place in Pakistan and the cultural shift provides an additional benefit in that modern(ish) Pakistan treats women about the same as the women in Elizabeth Bennet’s time, i.e. not awesome. I like Alys. Her younger sisters and Mom were annoying as usual and Mrs. Binat was particularly grating and frankly too much. She was borderline abusive to me, which Mama Bennet was not (to my recall). It does provide the HEA fans want and a little bit more, which I appreciated.
To Read or Not to Read: Sure. It was a nice spin on P&P that both purists and non-purists should enjoy.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Book Description: Therapist, Theo Faber is determined to find out why his patient, Alicia Berenson, stopped speaking after killing her husband.
Book Review: Very hyped books make me leery because you inadvertently put them on pedestal, which is often unfair. Ultimately, I liked this but did not love this as much as the rest of the world who proclaimed the best book ever. The twist holds up (in that it’s logical, not randomly selected so the author could do a victory lap of neener, neener, you didn’t guess it. Duh. No one could because it’s that stupid) and the characters are fairly unlikeable overall, which was fine because the story kept me engaged. To me, it’s less a thriller and more about the unintended consequences of trauma and secrets.
To Read or Not to Read: Yes. It’s not the most amazing mystery/thriller I’ve ever read, but it’s still a solid book.
TL;DR: What I Recommend
Knock on wood but while my reading mojo has been mostly off this year, overall I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read and April was no exception. For my thriller/mystery fans, give Verity by Colleen Hoover, The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, and The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides a try. All hyped books that mostly deliver (I think going into The Silent Patient knowing that it’s good but perhaps not the MOST AMAZING book every written will increase enjoyment). Pride and Prejudice fans (and romance fans in general) will enjoy Soniah Kamal’s Pakistani take on P&P in Unmarriageable.
To More Great Books
I’ve decided in May to mostly read NetGalley books. My bookshelf isn’t crazy, crazy but I’m deeply behind in my reviews — thanks reading mojo! I want to get caught up because I feel guilty and honestly do want to read most of the books. I expect one or two hold books may become available, which may limit how many NetGalley books I can read, but I shall do my best. Maybe. 😀 I make no promises. As usual, I’m joining Jana and Steph and other book aficionados for Show Us Your Books. Be sure to check out the link-up and see what everyone read last month.
What great books did you read last month? Or what horrible, no-good, awful book did you read or more wisely, not finish?
Confuzzled Bev says
This is the first review I’ve seen that actually gave me a clue what Verity is about. I like the sound of it.
It’s a very interesting story to say the least! I hope you enjoy it!
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
Congrats on a great reading month! It’s nice to see you getting your reading mojo back! All of these minus, Unmarriageable are on my to read list. I can’t believe that I haven’t read Verity yet. I love Hoover!
It feels good to have a bit of my reading mojo back again. I’ve sorely missed it! 😀 This was my first Hoover and I definitely enjoyed it. I’m assuming the caliber of writing is consistent with her other books but I know it’s very different from her typical book, which is why she didn’t go through her traditional publisher. I’d definitely be interested to see how a Hoover fan feels about it.
I think I’ve decided to skip Verity, but I really need to check out some of her other work! Also, I’m interested in reading The Silent Patient!
Verity is definitely not for everyone! I really think had a waited a few months to read The Silent Patient I would have enjoyed it a bit more because it is a very fast, can’t-put-down read. I hope you enjoy it!
I felt the same about The Silent Patient. The Stranger Diaries was okay. Loved Verity.
I wish The Stranger Diaries had solely focused on Clare because I did not really care as much about Harbinder or Georgie. It lost a bit of momentum for me with all the different POVs because they weren’t experiencing the same things as Clare.
Jana @ Jana Says says
I’m focusing on my NetGalley and bookshelf books this summer. Have a few library holds I want to get through first.
I didn’t LOVE Verity either (as you saw in my review).
I have just a couple of holds at the library at this moment, although I’m pretty sure that I will get both books this month. That might put a snag into how many NetGalley books I can get through or not. It really depends on my reading mojo because I can power through quite a few books too! Yeah, I didn’t LOVE Verity either. There were parts that were very balls out crazy but it also felt predictable. I probably read way to many psycho stories. Yes, I do. 😀
Brittany Always says
Yay for getting through more books than normal! The Silent Patient sounds interesting. Hyped books carry a certain type of baggage that’s hard to balance.
So true. I feel bad for them too because obviously the praise and word-of-mouth is great for the author, but it starts to negatively affect a reader’s perception at some point too. Sometimes it’s best to be a “first”reader of a soon-to-be smash or come really late to the party after most of the hype has died down.
It is hard when a book is getting reviewed all over SUYB and then you read it and its like meh. I have had that happen a couple times.
I always initially wonder what’s wrong with me when that happens. Like, did I read the same book? I should probably mention that I’m also a people pleaser as most people probably just shrug it off. 😀
You know… I have several Net Galley books and I’ve never read & reviewed ANY of them. I’m absolutely terrible and I really should change that. I feel so so bad about it. I think it’ll be my next reading goal. Great job with 4 books!! That’s awesome!
I go in spurts. Sometimes I am so on top of my NetGalley books that I should get a parade or something. 😀 But other times, like now, I’m so behind that I don’t even bother requesting anything new. Not only would they likely not approve me (and in fairness understandably so) but I also don’t want to see more books on my shelf, making me feel super guilty!
Yay for four books – and some re-reads too! I do really want to read Verity. I’m so curious. I haven’t read anything by the author yet either, but this one particularly stands out.
Thanks Lauren! I’m excited to feel more like Reader Tanya again, instead of No Reader Tanya. She’s a drag! 😀 Yes, I was so curious about Verity after both the many 5-star reviews but also everyone saying it’s so crazy. I’d definitely consider reading more of her work.
Kay R.D. says
I have the silent patient coming to me this month. I kinda felt like it was being overhyped and from the few reviews of it Ive read today looks like I was right.
Yeah, the best book ever claims are overhyped in my humble opinion. But with that said, it is a good book that I raced through because I really did want to know why Alicia stopped speaking. It was for a very interesting reason, FYI.
Verity and the silent patient are on my ever growing to read list. Glad you liked them!
Yay! I hope you enjoy them!
I thought Verity was crazy but I liked it! I also want to read The Silent Patient.
I liked the craziness of Verity too. I hope you enjoy The Silent Patient!
I am forever behind on Netgalley books!!! I have like 20 sitting on my shelf right now. Oops!! I have Verity on my TBR because it’s Hoover, didn’t actually know what it was even about until your post!
I have about 9 NetGalley books that I need to power through, I believe. One or two are probably going to get the dreaded DNF tag but oh well. Sometimes what I wanted to read last year, I don’t want to read this year. 😀 I honestly didn’t know much about Verity going in either but everyone kept raving about it so … I was sheep. That’s cool. Sometimes being sheep is good.
Silent Patient is on my summer tbr! Pam
I hope you enjoy it, Pam!
i agree, totally not a purist. as long as authors keep certain bones the same (as in my HEA), i don’t really care how they change the story. i liked unmarriagable. not my fave, but it was good. i’m glad you liked verity! it was definitely disturbing. a couple people in my book club were like ‘i had to put it down and stop reading for a few days’ and i was like.. oh yeah okay me too. but not. i am on the fence about the silent patient. i don’t read a ton of books like that, so maybe it will blow my mind.
yay all the books! flex away!
I liked some of Kamal’s flexing or expanding the story but I am really getting tired of the younger sisters. My teens years were eons ago so I find them so aggravating and it’s affecting my enjoyment of the story. I get why they are necessary to the story but … I may be done with P&P adaptations for now. I definitely felt disturbed while reading Verity but not enough to quit either. LOL! Hmmm… tough call on The Silent Patient. It’s a really fast, engaging read and definitely zero regrets about reading it but I wouldn’t consider the best book I read in 2019 either.
Rachel @ Never Enough Novels says
I like when books are loosely based on P&P but add their own flare. Otherwise I feel like I’m reading a watered down version of the original.
Yup, me too. And it feels like you can take a checklist and start marking off beats. I’d just rather read the original at that point!
Rebecca Jo says
How did I just see on The SIlent Patient that that rip is her mouth – I’m failing at looking at book covers – but that books sounds really interesting.
Same with Verity – I just keep hearing everyone rave about it
That’s one of my favorite covers because I think it’s so well done. I judge a book by a cover but I can’t see that I always notice every intricate detail about them either, major fail on my part! 😀 Hmmmm … Verity seems a bit different that most books you read that I recall. It’s definitely not for everybody and I suspect you’d know quickly whether it’s for you or not. And go with your gut!
Verity bothered me in those ways. But I just read it over the weekend so I’ll get to that in next month’s post.
Also, your comment on my post today came up as “no reply”. Just FYI! (And I think that a lot of people went into the Eleanor Oliphant book believing it to be a comedy…maybe like Where’d You Go, Bernedette???….because Reese Witherspoon called it funny on the cover. Sigh.)
I come up no reply because I didn’t realize that I needed to set where to reply to when I set-up my blogger profile or whatever. Sigh. It’s confusing to me and I’m too lazy to figure out. 😀 That’s probably why I thought Elearnor was suppose to be funny because it initially confused the heck out of me since I expected to be loling all over the place. But after I recalibrated my expectations a bit, I truly loved the book so much.
Katie Clooney says
I enjoyed Verity too. It really kept me guessing. I felt the same way about The Silent Patient. Great reviews, btw. Have a great week!
It definitely me guessing too. You have a great week too!
I can’t wait to read The Stranger Diaries. I think Verity might be too disturbing for me. Thanks for the recommendations. Tanya – The Other Side of the Road
Verity is definitely not for everyone! I hope you enjoy The Stranger Diaries!
I feel the same way about books that lots of people seem to rave about…but then I usually end up reading them anyway! I think I’m going to have to add Silent Patient to my list!
Yeah, I read a lot of hyped books too or books recommended by friends too. Sometimes it’s a home run and other times – not so much. It always fascinates me which books I dislike that everyone else likes and vice versa. I hope you enjoy The Silent Patient!
Alexandra Consolver says
Sometimes the middle ground is good, huh? Sometimes I read so many books that I think the great ones are few and far between. It’s kind of a funny thing really. LOL I guess it’s not a bad problem to have. OX – Alexandra
Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
So true! When you read as much as we do, our standards get high. We know an exceptional book from a really good to good book. But I am getting better with DNFing the really bad books, which I never did before. I was always optimistic that it would get better. Spoiler alert: it never ever happens!
I am glad you liked The Stranger Diaries, although I agree with you, I could have done without the different viewpoints 🙂
Yup, it was a little disconcerting because tonally (and understandably) they felt like 3 different stories. And I really only wanted Clare’s story.