The Silent Patient

By Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by [Michaelides, Alex]

5 out of 5 stars

After the murder of her husband, Alicia Berenson stops talking. She is found standing by him, he being tied to a chair with his head blown off, holding the gun and covered in blood. Did she do it? It sure looks that way. Dr. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who is fascinated by this case. He takes a job at the hospital she is in to see if he can get her to talk, to see what she remembers. It isn’t an easy job but he seems to find a way to get to her. She gives him her diary and we read along as to what was going on in her head and life. We also read about Theo’s wife and her affair. Theo is consumed by that as well.

This book was slow-going for me at first but let me tell you, when it picks up, it will not let you go. I stayed up late to finish it last night and that ending! I had no idea where it was leading me but what a journey! This is an incredible debut and perfect for anyone who loves a good psychological thriller. As much as I felt it was dragging in the beginning, the slow boil was a perfect starter to all that followed. I think I might have even said “Holy crap” a few times. I look forward to many more books from Mr. Michaelides in the future.

Thanks to Netgalley and Celadon for a copy of this book.

I Owe You One

By Sophie Kinsella

I Owe You One: A Novel by [Kinsella, Sophie]

4 out of 5 stars

There are some things that you can always count on. The sun will rise in the morning and set at night. Clean sheets feel wonderful when you first climb into bed. You will cry at Hallmark movies. And, you will never not be entertained by a Sophie Kinsella book. She is pure escapism in it’s best form. I actually was reading this while that “exciting” game was on yesterday and it made time go by somewhat quicker.

Fixie Farr fixes things. She can’t help herself. It makes her nervous when something is not in it’s right place. Her family and the family store are a huge mess right now. Her mother, who runs the store, is off to Spain with her sister after medical issues. Her brother, quite the big shot, is trying to turn the store into something it’s not. Her sister is a space case. Her childhood crush Ryan is back in town and those feelings are stirred up, even if he is a douchebag.  But things really start to get going when she saves a laptop for a guy in a coffee shop. Sebastian “Seb” tells her that he owes her one because all his work was on there. He writes on IOU on the coffee sleeve. This IOU goes back and forth throughout the story.

As any good Sophie Kinsella book goes, you will want to reach in the page and shake up a few people. Not that her writing makes you violent and even though you know there will be an inevitable happy ending (and what is wrong with that?!), there are those characters that deserve it! Fixie being one of them at times. Her heart is always in the right place but her actions might not be. She is a great character to root for and you will. I loved her interaction with Seb. It really brought me back to reading the Shopaholic series.

If you are looking for something to just read and enjoy and not worry about the heaviness of it all, pick this one up. I am all for happy endings and Sophie Kinsella.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a copy of this delightful book.

 

 

The Temp

By Michelle Frances

The Temp by [Frances, Michelle]

4 out of 5 stars

Carrie is a television producer and her husband a very successful writer. Carrie has it all and when she realizes she is pregnant, wants to include a baby in that mix. Adrian does not. In comes young Emma. She is eager to work in television and to stand in for Carrie while she is on maternity leave. Carrie’s radar goes up and she feels as if Emma wants her job and more. Emma does have her own agenda but it might not be exactly what Carrie thinks it is.

This was great fun. There is a lot of cat and mouse going on throughout the story. You get a few All About Eve vibes. You get a lot of vibes that are totally wrong! There is one big reveal that I do have to say I figured out very early on but that was okay. It made a lot of things more understandable. You definitely feel for Carrie and for Emma in various ways. You will not get the feels for Adrian. He is one of the jerkiest characters you will read and I kept wondering just what Carrie saw in him in the first place.

This is another good book from Michelle Frances. I always look forward to them and am never disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for a copy of this book.

The Mother-In-Law

By Sally Hepworth

The Mother-in-Law: A Novel by [Hepworth, Sally]

4 out of 5 stars

The police come to the door of Lucy and Ollie’s house one evening to inform them that Ollie’s mom has been found dead, apparently of a suicide. Our story then takes us between the past and the present as we find out that it was not as apparent as it seemed. The book goes back and forth between Lucy and Diana, the mother-in-law. It takes us back to the beginning of their relationship until the present. It is told in both of their voices, which really enhanced the story. Diana was a hard one to warm up to. I can say that for the most part, I was glad she wasn’t my mother-in-law, but I loved the way their relationship evolved. I also loved how Ms. Hepworth was able to take a very rigid character and make me eventually grow to understand and like her.

It took me a while to really get into the book but once I did, I could not put it down.Another shining outing from Ms. Hepworth.

Thanks to St. Martins Press for a copy of this book.

The Dreamers

By Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers: A Novel by [Walker, Karen Thompson]

5 out of 5 stars

I know that I could bend the rules, since they are my rules ,  but  I will say that this wonderful book deserves more than 5 out of 5 stars. If you are not sucked in from the get-go by the concept, I don’t know what to say.

Something is happening in the little California town of Santa Lora. It begins at the college when a young girl named Rebecca falls into a deep sleep. They cannot wake her up. She is not the last though. It starts spreading through the school and then citywide. People are dropping into a sleep state like flies. They call in doctors and as it grows, the hospital overflows, doctors and nurses become ill. They move out into the college gym, library. There are sleepers upon sleepers. They try to keep them hydrated to keep them alive. They all seem to be in a REM mode of sleep. What are they dreaming about? We learn with a few of the characters that we follow throughout the story. How will it all end? Will it end?

This book brings forth so many questions. I love how the author peppers us throughout the book with them in each chapter. It is like she is reporting to us and asking in her voice and the voice of the characters.  I was so invested into seeing what became of them. I cried. I felt relief. I felt sadness and joy. I loved that the chapters were short and I think it brought a timeline and a realism to what you were reading. Each character viewed it differently. I loved that it made me think about life and dreams. Ironically, I could not sleep for a while after reading it.

I just really loved this book. It is one of the best books I have read this year so far (I know, we are not too far into January) and probably ever. It definitely lives up to all the hype and lists it is on.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a copy of this fantastic book.

 

 

The Night Olivia Fell

By Christina McDonald

The Night Olivia Fell by [McDonald, Christina]

5 out of 5 stars

At 4:30 in the morning, Abi Knight’s phone rings. That is never a good thing. They say something has happened to her daughter Olivia. She needs to get to the hospital. She is shocked awake, thinking her daughter was still in her bed, but no, they are right. Olivia has fallen off a bridge and is officially brain dead. Abi is in shock but as she prepares to have her daughter become a organ donor, she is hit again with another shock, Olivia is pregnant. They cannot unhook her and will do whatever it takes to make sure the baby survives. Abi struggles with the fact that she had no idea what was going on in her daughter’s life. She thought she did. She has done her best to raise her alone, keeping her secrets tucked away. And she did, until Olivia accidentally sees a girl who looks exactly like her.

Abi is determined to find out just what happened the night Olivia fell.  Abi knows this was no accident. She will go through hell and high water to get justice for her baby. She will also have to come to terms to a life without Olivia and a life with this little baby.

I loved this book! It was one that I picked up and in no way was going to put down until I found out what happened. My husband was sitting there talking to me but I honestly couldn’t tell you what he was talking about. I think I said “yeah” a few times. (FYI, I think it was about football)  I loved Abi’s progression throughout the story. She was so shut off from a lot of emotions and it truly makes sense when you read her backstory but watching her open up was wonderful. The story is both sad and uplifting. I was sobbing at the end. (Which I am sure surprises no one) You can’t help but put yourself in her shoes if you are a mother.

There are many twists and turns, a few I had worked out, but the ultimate mystery, the who did it,  was a surprise and yet it was hard to find a villain.

I thank GoodReads for a copy of this wonderful book.

 

Two Can Keep a Secret

By Karen M. McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret by [McManus, Karen M.]

5 out of 5 stars

“There’s not easy way of knowing, which direction we are going….”

Remember that crazy boat ride in Willy Wonka? Things were spinning and there were strange images popping up. As you looked at each one, you were wondering where were we going with it all and what a ride! That is this book. I loved it!

Ellery and Ezra arrive at a hometown that they have never known. Their actress mother grew up there. She was homecoming queen and in this town, that is not a good town.  She is in a drug rehab and they are going to live with their grandmother. A murder of the homecoming queen years earlier seems to be repeating itself when weird images and things start popping up around town, warning that it could happen again. Ellery is somewhat of a murder nut and she starts to put clues together. This also includes clues about her own mother’s twin sister who disappeared years ago, the night of homecoming. After a weird exchange with a fellow student, Brooke, she goes missing.  Cue the dah dah daaahhhhh music.

Ellery becomes friends with Malcolm. who’s brother was thought to be the killer of the dead homecoming queen and Mia, whose sister was best friends with said homecoming queen. Such a delicious tangled web!

I had no idea where this wonderful ride was going to end up. It could have been in the horribly named Murder Land. I mean, really, would you go to a theme park named Murder Land? They do rename it to Fright Farm but being the wuss I am, still a big no. Whodunit? Whydunit? You will not be disappointed and you will tear through the pages of this book.

If you have not yet read Karen’s book One of Us is Lying, pick it up, you slacker! You will not be disappointed in either of these books. In fact, you will thank me. You are welcome.