January book round-up

I fell off the wagon for my reading list last year after work got super busy, then fell into the pattern of using social media scrolling + TV to soothe my brain instead of reading. I didn’t really set any ~intentions~ for this year but I want to get back into the swing of reading, and reading a more diverse range of books that are challenging and enriching, and not just escape-y, formulaic thrillers.

If I’m being honest I’m beating myself up a little for only reading four books last month – in my element I’d read 4-5 books in a week, sometimes 2 a day if it’s a slow weekend – but it’s a start, and 4 books in a busy month isn’t a bad count.

This month’s reads and brief thoughts:

The Good:

  • Reading The Silent Patient gave me the same vibe as when I watched Shutter Island for the first time. It’s atmospherically just a little off and I felt uneasy most of the time while reading. It gets a little repetitive but there’s enough movement to keep you intrigued, and while I’ve read similar plot devices in other thrillers, I thought Alex Michaelides pulled his story off particularly well. I loved this.

The Okay:

  • After the spectacular disappointment that was Truly, Madly, Guilty (honestly, it was just a lot of stuff almost happening, but not) I went into Nine Perfect Strangers with low expectations. It’s certainly a departure from Moriarty’s suburban everyday-life with a twist novels, but it was leagues better than TMG. It has her signature gentle and light writing style and was fun to read, but don’t expect The Husband’s Secret or Big Little Lies-type bombs to be dropped.
  • Tell Me Lies was okay. I always get frustrated when I read reviews of books I liked after the fact and there are reviewers dropping the tHe ChArAcTeRs ArE UnLiKeAbLe line because oftentimes that’s the point! You’re not supposed to like them! They’re supposed to be aggressive or flawed or desperate or straight up villainous. But I get the feeling we were supposed to try to sympathize with Lucy a bit here and it’s like watching your lovely but not super people-savvy friend date a douchebag and you’re at the point where you just want to slap her and call it a day. The ending was unsatisfying and they could have done without a major-but-not major plot point. Thank u, next.
  • It’s been a little over a week since I finished The Woman Inside and to be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about it. I think maybe it’s just thriller fatigue in general, but when a book promises to be twisty and wild, I tend to start reading on a cynical note. I think I would have liked the characters to be a little more fleshed out than they were, the melodrama could have been toned down, and the reveal was not super exciting for me, but I’m not mad I read it.

That’s it for January! Currently reading Flights by Olga Tokarczuk and really loving it – so far it’s beautifully written, and I’m excited to be reading a collection of short stories versus a novel.

If you have any reading recs – drop ’em here or on Instagram!

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