Well hello, 2022! Long time, no talk. It’s no secret that I love reading. Sh-t, I love reading so much I switched my major to English halfway through college just so I read even more. And I’m here today to talk about reading (again and again). Specifically about the books I’ve read so far in 2022 that I just need to share with the world. So buckle up.
These are in no specific order by the way…
Review: I really loved this thriller. I could NOT put it down. I’m talking staying up until 3am vigorously flipping the pages trying to find out the ending. It takes so many twists and turns and by the end of the book I had no idea what was coming. The book makes you think of so many theories about what happened throughout the book, you will feel like a detective. I promise you will not see the ending coming. This is now HIGH up on my favorite books list.
Summary: Alicia Berenson shot her husband five times in the face and then never spoke another word. A psychotherapist takes a job at the criminal institution so he can work with Alicia to try to get to the bottom of what happened and hopefully get Alicia to speak. This story takes many turns and many theories present themselves throughout the book regarding what actually happened, but I promise the ending will have you SHOCKED! Hold onto your butts because this thriller is quite scary at some parts but man it is good! 10/10
Review: This was an excellent read. There were some spooooky parts for sure! It is beautifully written and the author did a great job of switching back and forth between the narrator and Verity’s autobiography. Colleen Hoover is a very talented author and really paints a picture for you throughout the entire book. The end will leave you asking, “was it all true or just a hail mary?”. 10/10 recommend reading ASAP!
Summary: Lowen is a struggling author who accepts the job of a lifetime after falling on hard times. What she already knew was going to be an incredibly difficult task ends up taking the worst possible turn and has her constantly looking over her shoulder and afraid for her safety and the safety of others. As the story unfolds, we learn more and more about Verity, an extremely successful author with a tragic family history, who was just left crippled after a car accident. As we find out more about Verity, more chilling details about her tragic family history are brought to light and it will leave you questioning everything.
Review: This book was scary!! But sooo good, one of my favorites. I read it super quickly and immediately lent it out to my mom so she could read it. I’m telling you, this book is fantastic. There are so many twists and turns. At one point in the book, the biggest twist of all in my opinion, had me audibly gasp when I read it. You HAVE to read this book!
Summary: In an attempt to save their marriage, a couple goes on a weekend trip to a church-turned-AirBnB. What happens in the church is frightening, to say the least. Even as the reader I was looking over my shoulder and turning on more and more lights. The story switches back and forth between different points of view and between the wife’s letters she writes to her husband every year for their anniversary, except she never gives him the letters. The common phrase found in each person’s point of view is, “they are going to the church, but they won’t be leaving together”. What happens, how it happens, and who gets left behind is up to you to read for yourself. And it. is. worth it. 10/10
Review: I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book so quickly. I could NOT stop flipping the pages. I went full detective mode, taking notes in the book, sticky notes with my theories. It was SUCH a good read. I know I say this a lot but there are so many twists and turns and emotions going on. Honestly so good.
Summary: Nell is an FBI agent returning home to Long Island after her father’s accident. Her father was a homicide detective working on a case involving the murder of two young women when he passed and Nell ends up taking a look into the case. She finds out more and more about these horrific murders and makes her question everything she ever knew about her father and the police force she’s known her whole life. I’m telling you, this is a MUST read!
Review: This book was sooo much better than I thought it was going to be! Not going to lie, I judged the book by its cover. “There’s more than one way to end a marriage”… “Pretty Little Wife”… an angry woman on the cover. I was thinking, “okay obviously this woman’s husband is abusive or she catches him cheating and she kills him”. BUT NO!!! It is SO much worse and a thousand times more complicated than that. Like, I was pissed and disgusted and horrified and everything else I was feeling. The angry woman on the cover is a BAD ASS BITCH. This is the perfect summer read and will have you amped up with Girl Power and respect for this woman.
Summary: Lila Ridgefield finds a disturbing video of her controlling, manipulative husband involved in sexual acts with one of his high school students. And she does something about it. As the investigation continues, more and more disturbing, monstrous information comes out about her husband and all of the disgusting “hobbies” of his. Lila begins her own investigation into the town’s beloved high school teacher and just how predatory he actually was. But she ends up finding out wayyyy more than she ever thought she would. Hold onto your butts because this book is shocking and twisted and I could not put it down! 10/10
Review: Oh man, this book annoyed the f-ck out of me. The main character is a half-wit and never stands up for herself, BUT it is a good book and I recommend reading it because the twist at the end is a good one!! I was legit angry at how mean and manipulative someone could be, but at the end when I came to the plot twist, I was shocked and it all made sense. Definitely a good read!
Summary: Emily and her soon-to-be mother-in-law, Pammie, are in an epic battle over Adam and their relationship. Pammie is trying desperately to break the couple up and it’s shocking the lengths she will go to. This is a psychological thriller through and through and will have you questioning everything. Why does Pammie hate Emily so much? Why won’t Pammie let her son be in a happy relationship? Why is she so possessive over Adam? What is really happening here? Read to find out!! I give it an 8/10 because I wanted Emily to just smack the sh-t out of Pammie throughout the entire novel (even though that’s frowned upon) or at least leave Adam and his toxic mother.
And now for some Honorable Mentions. I read these in 2020-2021, but it has been a while since I have made a book review post so I’m adding here. Because, again, I love to read and I want to share these fantastic books with the world. Or at least whoever comes across this blog.
Review: I found this book on Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club list and let me tell you, it is an emotional roller coaster. I was legit angry at some parts, I was upset, I was happy, I was disgusted. All the emotions. It is a great story and reminds me of a lot of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Trigger warning: there are a few instances of graphic, disturbing sexual abuse in this book, but it is a part of this otherwise magnificent story. The book is beautifully written and will leave you feeling some type of way.
Summary: This story takes place in Cape Cod as 50-year-old Elle has to make a life changing decision. The story spans over 24 hours but takes you back through decades of Elle’s life and what led her to this crossroads point. Her story involves love, secrets, death, and lies.
Review: Also a terrific read! This book was a little slower at the beginning but once it took off, man did it take off! So many twists and turns. Murder mystery at its finest! I was at the edge of my seat, vigorously flipping pages, staying up all night to find out what happens next. Must read!
Summary: A group of six friends spend a holiday in a French farmhouse together. The French girl next door, Severine, throws a wrench in the weekend, causing a lot of tension and then is never seen again. Decades later, Severine’s body is found and the six vacationers are the prime suspects. But what really happened that weekend so long ago? Who is keeping secrets and why? What is going to unfold once the secrets come out? This book is intense!!!!
Review: This is another book that I could not put down and finished in only 2.5 days. It was so good! Every detail about this book was spooky and chilling. My skin broke out in goosebumps OFTEN while reading this. It was SO good and SUCH a huge twist. I was obsessed with this story and could not put it down. Hence, why it only took me a few hours to read it cover to cover!
Summary: Ellie Mack goes missing at the age of fifteen and never sees her family again. Her mother, Laurel tried to put her life back together after losing her daughter and her marriage ending. Laurel meets a charming man in a cafe and is smitten. She meets his daughters and his youngest, Poppy, absolutely shocks her. Poppy is the spitting image of her Ellie… But how is this possible? What really happened to Ellie so long ago? Who really is this new charming man in Laurel’s life? The answers will SHOCK you!
Review: This is another one of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club picks, and rightfully so. It was gripping, suspenseful, and legit scary at some parts. A true psychological thriller. I had a hard time putting this one down. I read it summer 2021 and it was the PERFECT summer read! No it’s not about sharks. Actually a lot more sinister than sharks. Oh man this book was good. Huge twist!
Summary: Erin and her new husband Mark are on their honeymoon in Bora Bora. A huge storm hits the island and the next day the couple borrow a boat from the resort and the two of them go scuba diving, alone. While on their scuba diving excursion, they find something in the water… And this something ends up turning their whole world upside down.
Review: This book was fantastic! I forgot where I got this from or how I acquired it but I’m glad that I did! This book is spooky and creepy and gave me the willies all throughout. It’s a great story about a woman finding her voice, standing up to her domineering, messed-up older brother, and stepping out on her own. It’s a really great book and the perfect combo of psychological thriller and heroine tale. 9/10 recommend reading! I was a little mad at the main character in the beginning for being such a pushover but she turned it all around in the end! Girl Power!
Summary: Marion is 50 going on 5 living under the control of her older brother, John. She still sleeps with teddy bears and turns a blind eye to the disturbing noises she hears from the basement that John tells her to not pay any mind. After John has a heart attack, it’s up to Marion to deal with the noises downstairs and it’s a big burden to take care of. As more and more secrets are revealed, we find out that maybe John isn’t the only one hiding things….
Review: This was a really good read, but man it f***ed me up there for a little bit. I found this book in a Buzzfeed article about the scariest books that someone’s ever read. I can’t find the article now, but this book was at the top of the list… And I see why. Trigger warning, terrible, horrible things happen in this book AND it’s based on true events. This book is the true definition of “psychological thriller”. This book takes you right into society’s darkness and cruelty. The events in this book seem unimaginable while you are reading but the scary part is that this actually happened and similar crimes happen all the time. This is a must read for any True Crime lovers and seasoned horror-film-watchers.
Summary: Based on a true story, a young teenage girl and her crippled sister are forced to go live with their aunt and cousins after their parent’s tragic death. After moving in, the girls slowly start being abused, held captive, and brutally tortured by their mentally ill aunt and some of the neighborhood children. This story is tragic and gut wrenching and will leave you feeling heart broken and shattered. Trigger warning: this book is graphic and a lot of horrible things happen. I recommend reading a light-hearted book afterwards but 10/10 recommend reading if you can handle this type of thing. It is a page-turner and a psychological thriller through-and-through.
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (and the entire Dollanganger Family Series)
Review: The first book in this series was published in 1979 so they are a little old BUT I had such a good time reading them! I found the entire series in a house that I was cleaning out and decided to give the first book a try. Immediately hooked. I blew through all of the books in this gothic horror saga and I highly recommend everyone to read these. Consider them a classic. The things that happen in this book made me want to scream and shake somebody. Especially the mother. I physically wanted to harm her, a fictional character, for doing this to her kids. It is a terrific series and if you enjoy psychological thrillers and suspense then you should definitely add this to your reading list. You can also make it into a drinking game where every time you read the phrase “beat at him/her/me with tiny fists” you take a drink. But you may end up pretty hammered, haha!
Summary: Superficially, the Dollangangers were the perfect, golden family… until tragedy struck. In order to secure their family inheritance, the children have to hide away in the attic while their mother tries to get back on her father’s good side after some scandalous, incestuous drama causing a falling out. Things don’t go as planned and it ends up taking a lot longer to get the hidden, “unholy” children out of the attic and back to a normal life. This is a great story about family secrets and lies and what people are willing to do for love.
You can shop all of these books at this link and I can’t wait to share the next books I read with you! I promise I won’t go so long without writing another book review post. Things just get a little hectic, ya know?
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?!