Recent Reads #68

As ever, today I will be briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last post in approximately fifty words. 

I want to share my full thoughts on some of these books in the future, so I’ll share a brief idea today with the full review to come.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid


TW: alcoholism, death of a parent, cheating, domestic abuse, death, drowning, fire, drugs, abortion, miscarriage, child neglect

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, centring on family and the bonds between siblings. As always, I really liked the writing style and the way we got to peek inside all of the siblings’ heads. The way we get to see various plots intersect and side characters’ perspectives are also fascinating. At its core, this is a book about self-discovery and falling in love with who you are.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley


TW: violence, blood, murder, kidnapping, death, physical abuse, sexual abuse, obsession, homophobia

Lucy Foley is becoming one of those authors who I just have to pick up their new books. This is another atmospheric, stylish and smart thriller that I literally tore through. Foley is exceptional at creating that breakneck tension and pacing that keeps you hooked until the very end. That’s not even getting into the shocking twists and turns lurking in this book.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett


TW: abuse, death, murder, shooting, domestic violence, disappearance, violence, blood

The Twyford Code is such an imaginative, brilliant and tricksy mystery that will keep you on tenterhooks.

I don’t think I can fully articulate just how exquisitely done this mystery is. There are so many twists and turns, all of which are well-executed and genuinely surprising. Hallett keeps you on your toes, forcing you to keep questioning everything you’ve read. Every time you think you have this nailed, there’s another curveball to throw you off kilter.

Hallett is becoming my modern Christie.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Undertakers by Nicole Glover


TW: racism, slavery, violence, death, fire, grief, murder

As with The Conductors, I am drawn to this series due to its wonderful cast of characters. I love Glover’s development of these characters and their overarching journeys. Hetty continues to be the shining star of the series for me with her boldness, passion and empathy driving her. She’s brave and brilliant, but that willingness to protect everyone comes at the cost of her impulsive and often dangerous behaviour for herself.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Light It Up by Kekla Magoon


TW: police brutality, shooting, death, racism, grief, racial slurs, white supremacist groups, microaggressions

This was a profoundly impactful and moving book that discusses the community response to the shooting of a young unarmed Black girl by a police officer. The use of multiple narrators helps create this sense of communal anger and outpouring of emotion, adding depth and nuance to this discussion. It’s an incredibly compelling book, but with the sheer amount of narrators, I found it difficult to connect to all the characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Darling by K. Ancrum


 TW: murder, grooming, violence, guns, blood, abduction, gaslighting

The suspense in this book is second to none. I physically could not put the book down, as the tension only grew. The revelations and plot twists are so well executed and surprising, only pulling you in more. Ancrum re-imagines Peter Pan as a gritty modern day thriller, complete with plenty of bloodshed. This is far from the Disney tale you may be used to, but it’s a captivating take that won’t be leaving me anytime soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee


TW: confinement, death, death of a parent, grief, racism, racial slurs, sexual assault, xenophobia

Stacey Lee is a queen of YA historical fiction. She creates these deftly drawn, three-dimensional characters, adds plenty of heart and a touch of romance. Here, she builds you up only to break your heart in two. I loved the way Lee wove Chinese culture into the story. She gives voice to the forgotten victims of the tragedy, highlighting both those who died and those who were shamed for surviving.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Revelry by Katharine Webber

TW: death, disappearance, murder, blood, violence, drugging

I loved this dark and twisty tale, particularly the way it blurred the fantastical and the mysterious. It felt like a folk tale brought to life, packed full of atmosphere, tension and something that you can’t quite put your finger on. This is fundamentally a coming of age tale about friendship, but I adored the darker undertones, where Webber delves into the question of what you would sacrifice in order to succeed.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher


TW: grief, death, loss of a loved one, child death, drowning, depression, anxiety

This book stole my heart away.

Schumacher balances this gorgeously descriptive and delicate writing with an emotional intensity that you cannot escape from. This is a book that bares its whole heart to you, exploring grief, guilt and the process of learning to live again. It’s also an incredibly bookish book, reminding us all of the passion and joy literature can bring. Books can be a great escape and way of working through your world.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Chosen Ones:

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