Recent Reads #49

As ever, today I will be briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last post in approximately fifty words. This post also explains my concept of ‘The Chosen Ones’ to highlight my favourite books in each post! Today’s post features some books that I read in August, as I just missed them off my last Recent Reads. 

Some of these books either aren’t released yet or I want to write a full review of in the future, so I’ll just have a quick thought with the full review to come!


After the Silence by Louise O’Neill

TW: domestic abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, stalking, murder and gaslighting

Having loved a lot of O’Neill’s previous work, I really wanted to love this book as much and so went in with high expectations. While she provides an insightful look into emotional abuse, domestic violence and gaslighting, I was ultimately let down. I liked the use of the documentary as a narrative device and in fact the story could’ve been told just through interview extracts. However I felt like the mystery element wasn’t as strong, coming to a rather predictable outcome.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Kill Club by Wendy Heard

🏳️‍🌈🧠⭐️

TW: child abuse, domestic abuse, murder, violence, stalking, revenge porn

The premise of this book instantly drew me in and luckily Heard’s work lived up to all my expectations. It offers a thought-provoking and ethically dubious but intriguing question that’s presented really well throughout the novel. The pacing was spot-on for me and Heard created this sense of paranoia and inability to trust anyone as the bodies pile up. I particularly enjoyed the twists, final reveal and the last lingering shot at the end that still plays on my mind now.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Last Girl by Goldy Moldavsky

⭐️🧠

TW: violence, death, murder, flashbacks, PTSD, gaslighting

The Last Girl is a razor-sharp YA thriller that fully utilises elements of both the horror and mystery genres. I loved how it paid homage to classic horror films throughout and really played with your expectations of the genre.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos

🏳️‍🌈🧠⭐️

TW: conversion therapy mention, assault, murder, rape mention, drugging, violence, kidnapping, suicidal thoughts

This is a YA mystery with real bite, delving into cutting social commentary and forcing you to question the imbalance around victimhood and who is considered ‘good enough’ to be a victim. Cantos leads you down so many distracting paths, constantly keeping you guessing. One aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was the use of an intriguing extra POV, which adds to the suspense and sense of dishonesty lurking behind this facade of respectability clad in privilege and wealth.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Last One To Die by Cynthia Murphy

🧠

TW: violence, death, murder

This is a compulsively readable, genuinely chilling YA thriller with some supernatural and historical touches. I was absolutely hooked, trying to guess what was going to happen next, but kept getting stumped by the brilliant twists and turns.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

This YA historical mystery may be best described as Stalking Jack the Ripper meets Pride and Prejudice. It’s a well-paced mystery that is completely enthralling, but it also deals with high society drama and a believable romance with great chemistry. However, I think I was expecting a darker tale with a stronger female protagonist, so it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Girl Who… by Adreina Cordani

🧠

TW: violence, death, murder, psychosis, child abuse, physical abuse

As you may be able to tell, I’m an avid mystery reader and this more psychological offering from Cordani was amazing. It’s a gripping, immersive and compulsively readable story, told from three distinct perspectives. In particular, it examines what happens to child victims of crime, the constant focus on them through the media and the long-lasting impact it has on them.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

⭐️🏳️‍🌈 (side characters)

TW: torture, death, murder, emotional abuse, mind control

I am never going to shut up about how brilliant this book is. This is pure excellence, just phenomenal in every single way. Smart has created a fantastic tale, which was one of the easiest five star ratings I’ve ever given out.

If it’s not already on your TBR, please correct that mistake now.

Full review here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

TW: sexism, misogyny, classism, fatphobia, arranged marriage, manipulation, disowning, homophobia

I have such a soft spot for Chao’s work, which always manage to maintain this perfect balance of romantic YA contemporary relationships and examining the difficulties in familial relationships. Rent a Boyfriend is no different, with such a natural relationship that blossoms from the fake-dating trope. The two leads have great chemistry and feel like a real couple, dealing with individual issues and problems in their relationship.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Chosen Ones:

2 thoughts on “Recent Reads #49

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