Not a lot of winners came up on my reading lists these past two months. Fair amount of high hopes were dashed though. All in all, you could do worse than any of the books on this list, but don’t feel the need to rush out and get any of them either.
Calamity- Brandon Sanderson: final book in The Reckoners trilogy. Basically I’ll read anything this guy writes and this YA series set in a dystopian world where some people have gained superpowers (and become horrible tyrants) is a fun, albeit very light read.
The Switch- Joseph Finder: typical beach read thriller about a guy who accidentally ends up with the wrong laptop containing top secret information, and multiple nefarious government agents on his heels.
Do Not Become Alarmed- Maile Meloy: a story about a family vacation gone horribly wrong when the parents and children get separated, I feel like this book has been on so many summer reading lists this year. Unfortunately, instead of really delving into every parents worst nightmare, I mostly found the main characters annoying. And then it somehow managed to both have too many follow up chapters and end abruptly.
Forty Thieves- Thomas Perry: mid quality thriller where the reader knows more about what’s going on than the main characters do.
The Gemini Effect- Chuck Grossart: aiming for bio-terroristic horror, but just ends up being preposterous.
Skitter- Ezekiel Boone: sequel to The Hatching, which is horror done right. Do NOT read these books if you are arachnophobic! Sadly, this is one of those sequels that just sets everything up for the next book, and nothing really happens. So while I’d recommend this series, maybe wait on this book until #3 is available as well.
Younger- Suzanne Munshower: mediocre thriller involving a PR rep worried her age (57) is affecting her career prospects, and a cosmetics company with a miracle product able to make her look 25 again. Just ok as a beach read, but I’d sure like some of that skin cream!
Girl On A Wire- Gwenda Bond: flight of fancy about a teenage high wire walker and her circus family. Fairly light and frivolous, with hints of magic and intrigue, but the lone attempt to raise the stakes ends up sort of jarring and discordant.
The Lying Game- Ruth Ware: better than The Girl In Cabin 10, but not as good as In A Dark Dark Wood. Halfway through there’s a ‘revelation’ that seems way underwhelming for the years of guilt and paranoia each character professes, but it gets better.
Dead Aim- Thomas Perry: bizarre amalgamation of characters and circumstances that culminates with the everyguy main character somehow out-commando-ing a group of trained killers.
The Child- Fiona Barton: the skeleton of a baby is found, leading to a twisty, turny tale of kidnapping and other foul deeds. Sadly, the big reveal is pretty easy to guess early on.
Pursuit- Thomas Perry: a dangerous hitman vs the equally skilled detective after him.
The Fix- David Baldacci: Book #3 featuring Amos Decker, the detective turned FBI team member with an inability to forget anything. Features spies, murder, twists, and turns. Very convoluted plot that all manages to smooth out and make sense in the end.
The Couple Next Door- Shari Lapena: a baby goes missing while the parents are next door. It’s not entirely a who-dun-it because certain details become clear fairly early on. However the tension stays high as you race to see just how the characters will resolve everything.
All Is Not Forgotten- Wendy Walker: a girl is attacked after a party, and the traumatic aftermath affects the entire family as they struggle to find the truth of what happened. The pacing starts out pretty slow and meandering, but lots of red herrings mean you won’t guess the ending.
The People We Hate At The Wedding- Grant Ginder: bitchy enough to be sort of fun, but stil basically just a bunch of miserable people blaming everyone else for the bad choices.
The Sinner- Petra Hammesfahr: a young, unhappy housewife suddenly and inexplicably stabs a man to death while at the beach with her family. Then proceeds to lie/ refuse to cooperate with authorities trying to understand why. Dark and disturbing, and somewhat disjointed in tone due to the main character’s mental state (and probably in part because it’s translated from German). I found this book interesting but also frustrating, and ultimately the big reveal was pretty guessable.
Final Girls- Riley Sager: a Final Girl is the lone survivor of some horrible mass murder. It’s an exclusive club, one you don’t want to join. This was a better than average, quick-read thriller.
Startup- Doree Shafrir: an attempt at a biting look into millennial start-up culture, and for a book that involves less than ethical workplace behavior, surprisingly little actually happens.
The rest of my year: