Recent Reads #77

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.


Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

🧠

TW: murder, torture, blood, verbal abuse, death, gore, assault

This was the type of book that just rattles your bones. I was sat until the early hours of the morning pouring over this unsettling, spine-chilling and gorgeously serpentine book. This is the Gothic genre at its best, with the setting taking on a life of its own, haunting exploration of societal issues and the drop in your stomach at its menacing nature. My god, what a book.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

⭐️🧠💙

TW: death, murder, torture, religious trauma, conversion therapy, PTSD, traumatic flashbacks, gore

Right from that grisly opening, Matheson had me hooked once more. I adored The Jigsaw Man, when I read it last year, with its darkly enthralling, gory cat and mouse game around London with interesting perspectives. This built on that explosive foundation to craft an incredibly suspenseful, wonderfully crafted and intensely gripping mystery.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean

TW: death, racism, grief, homophobia, blackmailing

⭐️🏳️‍🌈🧠

This is a book in disguise. It shields itself behind a frothy exterior of gossip, rumours, lies and the careful maintenance of exterior appearances. Really, this is a cerebral exploration of power, corruption and the experience of being Black in Britain. Dean depicts the suffocating experience of standing within an institution that would rather see you destroyed, that is built on a legacy of suffering and continues to perpetuate colonial ideology.  I also thought this was one hell of a mystery. There are so many intriguing plot threads to explore, all tying into this destructive demand to pretend to be something you are not in order to appease others.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Silver Chain by Jion Sheibani

TW: mental health, racism, suicidal ideation, xenophobia

⭐️🧠

Sheibani has crafted such an excellent tale. It feels intimate and poignant, thrumming with emotional intensity. The writing is just exquisite. I have spoken before about the innate emotional power of verse and I think that is encapsulated here. This is a searing and stunning book. Music, like verse, has that emotional core to it that we can all relate to. Azadeh’s vulnerability rings out to the audience, allowing us to connect with her and empathise with the difficult journey she is embarking on.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tag, You’re Dead by Kathyrn Foxfield

TW: death, murder, torture, emotional abuse, stalking, manipulation, parental abuse

🧠

Previously, I have adored Good Girls Die First and It’s Behind You, but Tag, You’re Dead was on a different level. This was an incredibly smart and interesting take on the social media phenomenon of prank channels going too far. Foxfield has an often darkly hilarious take on influencer culture and the way social media distorts our perceptions. This is a book that always likes to sneak up on you when you least expect it and pull the world from beneath your feet. It trades on the whispers in the shadows and the secrets buried in the past.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Ruins by Phoebe Wynne

🧠

TW: child sexual abuse, attempted rape, emotional abuse, violence, graphic scenes, pedophilia, alcohol abuse, accidental murder of a child, murder, child neglect, physical abuse

Wynne has a habit of writing books that just sink under my skin. I read Madam last year and thought it traded on secrets and shadows, mysterious movements in the dark that keep you utterly enthralled. Well, The Ruins does the opposite, placing the abhorrent behaviour on blatant display in the scorching sun. This is still an intriguing mystery, trying to piece together the little details and establish what truly happened.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Chosen Ones:

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