#5Books: Book recs and *insert witty title here*

Book recs for the week ending 19 May 2019

Well, we had an election.

I feel exhausted and not in a good way. Let’s just say, the less said about who won the better.

Let’s think about book recs instead…

The Last Thing She Remembers

Who can you trust if you don’t know who you are? She arrives at the train station only to realize her bag had been stolen–her passport, credit cards, laptop, house key now all gone. And even more disturbing, when she goes to report the incident, she can’t recall her own name. All she has on her is a train ticket home.Suffering from stress-induced amnesia, the woman without a name is a source of mystery when she appears at the sleepy Wiltshire village where she thought she lived. She quickly becomes a source of conspiracy and fear among the townspeople. Why does one think he recognizes her from years earlier? And why do the local police take such a strong interest in her arrival?From the critically acclaimed author of Find Me comes a shocking new tale of dark pasts and deception, leaving us breathlessly analyzing the role memory plays in defining who we are–and who others think we might be.

Stress induced amnesia is a new one to me. How does she find her way to this village? But, as enticing as the blurb sounds on its own, it’s the last bit that hooked me — how does memory define who we are? Or others’ opinion of us? 

Patron Saints of Nothing

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

This is a comic, but EVERYTHING about this blurb just won me over. 

Necessary People 

A propulsive, “chilling” (Lee Child) novel exploring the dangerous fault lines of female friendships, Necessary People deftly plumbs the limits of ambition, loyalty, and love. 
One of them has it all. One of them wants it all. But they can’t both win. 

Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her wake.
After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow — but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet’s new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce — and taking all the credit.

Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she’ll go to get what she wants — even if it means destroying the other person along the way.

I can’t decide who is going to SWF who here, but both of these ladies sound dangerous and this story sounds crazy in the best way.

Never Look Back

Reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben—with a Serial-esque podcast twist—an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absolutely absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. She knows her mother better than anyone—or so she believes. But all that changes when, in an apparent home invasion, Robin’s father is killed and her mother’s life hangs in the balance.

Told through the eyes of Robin, podcaster Quentin, and a series of letters written by fifteen-year-old April Cooper at the time of the killings, Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

Okay, podcasts, secrets and murder –– and Robin’s parents thrown into the mix. What’s even more intriguing is the three different POVs here. I want to see how this all comes together because it sounds VERY ambitious. 

Someone We Know

It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood.

In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets – one where everyone is polite and friendly – an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses.

I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses. He’s broken into yours.

Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts.

And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets?

Maybe you don’t know your neighbour as well as you thought you did . . .

Neighbourhoods and neighbours are becoming more and more popular and creepier in the thriller genre, aren’t they? And then there’s a kid who will stumble on your deepest secrets entirely by accident… I can’t decide if I feel sorrier for the kid or the neighbours!

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