Baby, I’m back! That’s right. Tanya read last month. Yes, she did. I mean, I didn’t go cray, cray and read a 100 books or anything. But unlike last month, I didn’t whine and pout and wait until the eve before my favorite link-up to finally crack open a new-to-me book. Nope. I waited until the week or two before … errr … just kidding … sort of.
Honestly, I still spent the first part of November rereading favorites. And I am not ashamed. Favorite books are guilt-free comfort food in my home. 😀 But eventually, the siren call of new books tempted me. Or several books I had on hold came in from the library. Either way, I opened some books. And I liked them!
The Books I Loved, Like and Loathed in November
Aka the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Books I Loved
The books that reminded me why I love to read.
Next of Kin by James Tucker
Book Description: 10 year-old Ben Brook is the lone survivor of a savage attack on his family and the killer aims to silence not only Ben but the remaining members of his extended family.
Book Review: I ripped through this book in one afternoon. It’s a fast-paced, engaging read with characters that I like and am eager to revisit again (this is the beginning of a new series). Buddy and Ward remind me a bit of Myron and Win from the Myron Bolitar series, although Ward’s role is relatively small (He, like Win, is rich and fights dirty in his Savile suits). Also, in case you’re not picking up what I’m putting down: this is mass market mystery/thriller fare, which is not an insult. The more high-bred thrillers are below and didn’t earn as high of ranking. 😀 It’s not revolutionary but a great read when you want something that will hold your attention without leaving you depressed and needing snuggle time with an indifferent cat afterwards.
P.S. to Max: Santa Kitty Klaus gives lots of clothes to cats with attitude.
To Read or Not to Read: You bet. The killer is pretty diabolical and creative, although Tucker doesn’t overly linger on the carnage in a graphic manner that might upset people.
Note: I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. Next of Kin is now available.
The Books I Liked
These are the books I liked from most liked to liked.
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
Book Description: After turning in her serial killer mother to the police, Annie/Millie is given a fresh start, but her own secrets and struggles with her foster family make her wonder how much of her mother’s daughter she really is.
Book Review: I love the set-up of this book because the push-and-pull of nature versus nurture always interests me. For some weird reason, I also thought this was a book with lots of twists, which it’s not. It’s a straightforward read. Annie/Millie is a fascinating, complex character and the only character who could likely match her wits was the woman who birthed and raised her. Unfortunately, we never saw much interaction between mother and daughter (a huge missed opportunity). Instead Milly mostly battled her Queen B foster sister who is no match for a child of a serial killer when it comes to putting on a false face. I wanted a Godzilla versus Mothra fight instead of mean girl fights.
To Read or Not to Read: Yup. The high school drama got a bit old (i.e. predictable) at times but still a worthwhile read. Also, to be clear, this is not YA.
The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
Book Description: Jane continues to hunt members of a secret cabal who want to control America for their own monstrous ends.
Book Review: Like many second books in a trilogy, it served to mostly set-up the finale. Jane finds another conspiracy player and eliminates them, rinse and repeat, which gets a bit old without new revelations. Well, nothing as jaw-dropping as what Jane discovers in book 1. This book just confirms what she uncovered and how massive the conspiracy is. On the plus side, there are more players to cheer and boo, and I am still eager to see how Koontz wraps everything up. I expect the last book to be a real doozy.
To Read or Not to Read: Sure. If you love a good conspiracy theory book that might alternate between scaring (not spooky scare) and angering you because the conspiracy seems so plausible. I won’t tell you what the conspiracy is, but I can think of many, many, many people who probably wish it was real.
Note: I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. The Whispering Room is now available.
The Books I Loathed
The book I DNFed because who has time for boring books?
The Blind by A.F. Brady
Book Description: A new patient plays mind games with psychologist Sam James that force her to confront her own twisted life.
Book Review: Thrillers or more specifically psychological suspense is my favorite genre. I like characters that play head games; those who distract me from seeing what’s really happening. I thought this was that kind of book. But Lord love a duck, it dragged. According to my Kindle, I made it to 30% when feeling bored, like maybe I ought to clean my toilet or do something productive, I finally gave up.
To Read or Not to Read: More people seemed to enjoy it than I did, so as always, dealer’s choice. It wasn’t my jam but you may love it.
Note: I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. The Blind is now available.
TL;DR – My Recommendations for You
For those who love thrillers and mysteries, I definitely recommend Next of Kin by James Tucker, especially if you’re looking for something fast-paced and enjoy series from Lee Child, Harlan Coben, J.D Robb or shows like Chicago P.D. or Law and Order. Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land is a solid choice for those who are intrigued with the battle between nature versus nurture. Also note much of the book revolves around Millie’s relationship with her foster sister so there is a lot of typical high school drama. I found that a tad disappointing but had I known that beforehand, it may not have bothered me so much. Those who enjoy a good conspiracy theory type novel should definitely add Whispering Room by Dean Koontz to their TBR, although start at the beginning with The Silent Corner. Skip The Blind by A.F. Brady. I expect a psychological thriller to thrill and mess me long before we hit the 30% mark in the book.
To More Great Books
In between long airplane rides and even longer layovers, I anticipate much reading while traveling over Christmas. Of course, I expected that to happen last year and it did not. 😀 Every month I also promise to cut back on my NetGalley requests and need to read five books before the January link-up. Yikes! Why do I do this to myself? Because I’m an addict, my fellow book nerds. My name is Tanya and I love books. #SorryNotSorry
As always, I’m joining Jana and Steph in the Show Us Your Books Link-Up. Be sure to check it out and see what great (and not-so great) books everyone read last month.
What good books did you read last month?
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
Yeah for getting out of your reading slump! I added Good Me Bad Me and The Blind to my to read list. I know The Blind was a DNF for you but it is in my favorite genre, so I may have to give it a try!
Give it try, Nancy! I hope you like it. There have been plenty of times that books others have not liked, I’ve loved and vice versa. That’s what makes it fun. 😀
Sometimes rereading an old favorite is just what you need! I finally had a good reading month again after a few where I just wasn’t in the mood and it was so refreshing. Good Me Bad Me sounds really interesting.
Agreed! Rereading a favorite always reminds of why I love to read. Yay! I’m glad you had a good month of reading too. I hate being in a reading slump. It just feels weird! Good Me Bad Me had a great premise. Personally, I wish she had focused more on Millie and Mom because that’s the relationship that fascinated me but it’s still a solid read.
I wish I had more time to re-read! And I’m totally a book addict – it’s all good. haha I have Next of Kin on my Goodreads wish list, so I’m happy to see that you loved it.
I reread a lot these past couple of months but nothing else appealed to me. 🙁 Thankfully, I’m back to reading new books now. I really loved Next of Kin and wish book 2 was coming out soon, but I’m guessing it’s a year away. Sigh. But I do love mass market thrillers and it plays into my wheelhouse.
Next of Kin hits all my sweet spots. Will definitely read.
It all of my sweet spots too. Hope you’re enjoying it!
Added Next of Kin and Good Me/Bad Me to my list – both sound good. The only Koontz books I’ve read were the Odd Thomas series – I might have to check out The Silent Corner and see if I should branch out to his other books. Reading slumps stink — I’d say I’m in one, but it’s more like I’m wasting my usual reading time on Netflix.
I haven’t read all of Dean Koontz’s books but I’ve read a few of his stand-alone books, Intensity and Watchers. I really liked his Frankenstein series too. This is a good choice for those who like the sci-fi aspect Koontz normally incorporates without the supernatural element. LOL! Sometimes I get caught up in a good TV binge too. 😀
Brittany Pines says
Good Me, Bad Me sounds sooooo interesting!
It was a really interesting premise. Like I said, I wish there were more interactions between Mother and daughter but it’s still a solid read.
oh yes, if you would rather clean your toilet than read the book, then the book is not that good!!
I’m going to add Good Me and Bad Me to my TBR list. I need something lither this month.
Agreed. I was so dang bored. I kept waiting for thrills and chills, so to speak. Oh well. I hope you enjoy Good Me Bad Me but to clear, it’s not a light book. Her mom is a serial killer and Millie is mentally and emotionally having to deal with turning her in and testifying against her. It’s just her main foe is her foster sister with all the standard mean girl/bullying crap, which I found a little YAish in a book that really isn’t YA.
Jana @ Jana Says says
Next of Kin sounds exactly like something I’d enjoy and once I have a chance to get to my Goodreads, I’m 100% sure it’ll already be marked as TBR and one I forgot about until now so thanks for the reminder!
I loved Next of Kin but it is right in my wheelhouse. I am not ashamed of my love and affection for mass market thrillers and mysteries. They are the best kind of comfort food (generally because the good guy wins and I really need the good guy to win these days!). You know that I love darker thrillers, like from our good buddy Paul Cleave, but I also cannot read too many of those in one month. Otherwise I get scared. ‘Cuz I’m wimp!
Rebecca Jo says
I had a total fail on reading this month. Ugghhh. Making me drop in my goodreads challenge. Boo!!!
Well, you’ve had a crazy busy month so it’s to be expected, but I get how it would be frustrating too. To a better reading month in December!
Missy May says
The second book sounds like a nice read. I’m drawn to the storyline.
Good Me Bad Me was definitely an interesting read. I was really drawn to the storyline too.
Next of Kin sounds so good, adding that to my list right now!!!! I had a little reading slump this month and only read two books. But like I say, there is always next month!!! And I have a serious problem requesting too many things on Netgalley and getting overwhelmed. So many books so little time!
I hope you enjoy Next of King! Reading slumps are so annoying but you’ve got the right attitude – there are always good books to read and another month to read them! Okay, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one with a little netgalley problem. 😀
Next of Kin sounds great – I love your description of it too…sometimes I really need a book like that.
Me too. I’m a sucker for mass market thriller/mysteries and this one hit all the spots for me!
Yay for getting your mojo back! The good vs. evil/nature v. nurture books sounds pretty interesting. Bummer on the DNF.
“But Lord love a duck…”- hahahahaha!
Good Me Bad Me was definitely interesting, although probably not your kind of book. It’s a bit weird in that it’s YAish and yet grownup darkish too. Lord love a duck has become my new go-to saying and I have no idea where it came from, but I say it constantly. 😀
yay reading mojo!
i got Next of Kin from netgalley too so glad you liked it!
lol definitely skipping The Blind – if i’d rather clean my toilet than read, you know the book sucks!
I hope you like Next of Kin too! It was exactly what I needed to read. Yeah, I was so bored and I kept plugging along but it just wasn’t happening for me. I very rarely DNF books but I’m trying to get better about it quitting books that aren’t working for me.
Confuzzled Bev says
I haven’t heard of Good Me, Bad Me. It sounds really good – such an intriguing concept!
The concept is what drew me to the book too. Such an interesting idea.
Ooh, I’m adding Good Me, Bad Me to my list!
Fantastic! I hope you enjoy it!
Yay for getting your reading mojo back! That always feels good. Thrillers are always hit or miss for me, but Next of Kin does sound good!
It does. It feels good to be excited to open a new book, rather than be indifferent! Thrillers are my favorite genre and Next of Kin hit all the right buttons for me.
you had a great reading month!
Thanks, Lauren! I really did!