{What I Read: January 2019}

Of the many things I like to do when I’m not sewing, reading is one of the top choices on my list. For a few years I was doing posts on all the books I read individually and soon my blog became just about books, because I didn’t have time or the stamina to really write about anything else. In the rebrand, I did away with that, and am now planning a monthly reading update. Some months will have tons of books, others will have next to none.

The first review in the new reading series also includes a few books I finished at the very tail end of 2018, for a total of five since the end of December. They are, of course, all psychological thrillers because that’s almost exclusively what I read. I blame needing to be caught up in a story that keeps me guessing, and my paternal grandmother’s penchant for reading mysteries being instilled in me!

So without further ado, here are my latest reads in a quick nutshell:

No Exit, by Taylor Adams

This book was fascinating. The basic premise was that a girl gets stranded at a rest stop in a snowstorm along with four strangers, and discovers a kidnapped girl in a van. As she is dealing with a personal crisis (her mother is dying), she also needs to worry about saving her own life and the little girl in the van. Though I was not particularly sidelined by one big reveal in this book, there were some surprises along the way. I was genuinely creeped out reading this one, and mistakenly stayed up late into the night to finish it. Needless to say, it was very difficult to get to sleep that night.

An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I’ve read Hendricks and Pekkanen before and have enjoyed their books. This one was no exception. It told the story of a struggling woman in her late twenties living in New York who ends up participating in an anonymous psychological study about ethics. This leads her into a strange relationship with her therapist, who becomes fascinated with her responses to the survey. It was a very quick and fun read. If I’m remembering correctly, I read this one on New Year’s Eve and used staying up late as an excuse to plow through it in one sitting (I’m not a big “go out and party on NYE” kind of girl).

For Better and Worse, by Margot Hunt

This book had an interesting premise: a married couple of lawyers muses over the fact that, because of their jobs, they can commit the perfect crime without getting caught. This theory begins as a joke, but becomes their reality when their son is in danger. This one also features a subplot of the two main characters dealing with their increasingly sour marriage. This was one of those books in which the plot was intriguing, but it was hard to have any sympathy for the characters even in their plight because they were so unlikable.

The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient follows Theo Faber, a psychologist with a one track mind: Alicia Berenson. Alicia is accused of murdering her husband, and since the incident she has been mute and admitted to a mental institution. Theo is determined to “get in” and figure out why she has remained silent for so long, even long after the death and her subsequent trial. This book had just the right amount of suspense and creepiness, and I wanted to know more with each turn of the page.

Watching You, by Lisa Jewell

Of all the books from this month, this one from Lisa Jewell was probably my least favorite. I loved the last book of hers that I read (Then She Was Gone), but didn’t find this one to be quite as intriguing. The story followed a neighborhood of characters who are all intertwined from an incident in the past. The book begins with a murder, but does not reveal who has died nor who the main suspect is just yet. And although I figured out the ending before we got there, I still enjoyed the process of finding out! I like the way Jewell tells the story from multiple perspectives, as well as jumping back and forth from the past to the present as the various stories come together.

I’m still amazed I managed to get in this many books in the past month. I don’t anticipating very many for February but who knows? I may surprise myself – I do have a week off coming up, and if I don’t have to frantically finish projects for The Little Mermaid, I can get some books in!

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