I sure did plow through 'em last month! I finished a whopping eight books in April, nearly all of them very good & worth the read. Lately, I find that I'm doing less writing in order to make room for more reading, which is surely a phase, but one I'm not mad about. Reading a slightly more passive, less stressful way to become one with words, falling into someone else's instead of churning out my own. I'm sure I'll come back to writing eventually - I always do - but for now, I'm really enjoy all this damn reading.
The Forgotten Girls by Sara BlaedelThis is exactly the kind of mystery novel I love: unpredictable, interesting, & imaginative. It tells the story of police detective Louise Rick, who's investigating the case of an indigent, mentally disabled woman found dead in a local woods. The woman, she learns, was a patient at a nearby asylum... & was declared dead more than 30 years ago. As I read, I started to put together the bits & pieces of the mystery on my own, but the reality of it the ending was richer & more detailed than I could've imagined on my own, which I appreciate - not too easy to guess, but not totally unguessable. ★★★★★
The Good Girl by Mary KubicaI'd long been looking forward to this book & still can't decide if it met expectations, exceeded them, or fell below them. What a strange novel! Mia leaves the bar with a handsome stranger who proceeds to kidnap her. Their dynamic is fascinating, & so is the parallel dynamic occurring within Mia's family. Her high-powered father doesn't much care that she's gone, but her guilt-ridden mother conducts a desperate search for her, aided by a committed detective. The book is told from their perspectives & that of the kidnapper; interestingly, we don't hear from Mia herself until the very end. This book was well-written, but the pacing was soooo slow & level that even the big twists & reveals at the end were, while surprising, still totally even-keeled. ★★★★☆
Year of Yes by Shonda RimesI'd heard mixed things about this book, but I loved it from the get-go. Shonda Rimes speaks in a voice that is familiar to me, comfortable to me, reminiscent of my own. She is a mix of brash & confident & nervous & humble & unsure & badass. She is funny but thoughtful. She is both Meredith Grey & Olivia Pope. And reading her own words about her own life - specifically, how her sister's accusation "You never say yes to anything" inspired her to change her ways - was like seeing how the sausage is made, but in a good way (which is, I know, totally not how that phrase is supposed to work). ★★★★☆
The Boston Girl by Anita DiamantI've had this one on my shelf for months & should've gotten to it sooner. What a gem! The book is narrated by the elderly Addie Baum, who's telling her life story to her granddaughter, Ava, in response to the question, "How did you become the woman you are today?" Addie, a first-generation American Jew, has lead quite a life: poverty, suicide, sexual assault, family issues... & yet, she remains insightful, wise, & optimistic. This is a poignant, & well-written novel about life in a time period that most of us can't quite imagine. It was a pleasure & an honor to learn of this fictional character's very real life & to live it through her memories. ★★★★★
Deliver Her by Patricia Perry Donovan
I received this book for free as my April Kindle First selection. A lot of Goodreads reviewers call it predictable & unrealistic, & I agree that it is - but I still found it imminently readable & compelling. It's about a family that's falling apart - parents divorcing, a teenage daughter whose best friend has just died. The mother, Meg, sends her daughter, Alex, to a boarding school to shape up, but the transport goes wrong & Alex goes missing in the middle of a New England snowstorm. This is a solid debut novel if you don't need your books to be super deep or intellectual - just entertaining. ★★★☆☆