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What I’ve Read Lately

I’ve been on a good roll with reading lately and I’m sure that will only continue as we get into the colder [hibernation] months. These last few were GOOD so let’s right dive in.

The Silent Patient

Synopsis: Alicia Berenson is a famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer who are a seemingly perfect couple. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Enter Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations and how they are intertwined.

Would I Recommend It: I had heard people rave about this and that the twist was unlike any other. BOY WERE THEY RIGHT! The end had my jaw dropping more and more with each page. I don’t think I’ve been this shocked by a book since Verity or Behind Her Eyes. If you haven’t already read this and you like thrillers, throw this at the top of your list.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Synopsis: In the year after 9/11, it’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped. Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. The story then unfolds about how these two continue down a road that neither saw coming but will change them forever.

Would I Recommend It: This was my book clubs pick for October and I DEVOURED it! While it definitely reads a bit YA, it is so relevant for today and an absolutely adorable story that also has heartbreaking elements. I highly recommend this if you need something that isn’t a thriller but still consumes you. Also, it took me forever to figure out the title, and once it clicked, it made me fall in love with the book even more.

The Lies That Bind

Synopsis: Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city—and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew. As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it—you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours—and shots of tequila—the two forge an unlikely connection. They can’t seem to say goodbye after that first meeting, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head. Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be? 

Would I Recommend It: I’ve read a few of Emily Giffin’s books, and I really love her writing style. In this one, you seemed to sympathize with the character you shouldn’t and hate the character you should love! I don’t know she does it but it makes me super invested in her stories and this one didn’t end as I expected, and I was happy with that. I definitely recommend this one if you love juicy romances paired along some thrilling circumstances.

Regretting You

Synopsis: Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike. Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara. While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

Would I Recommend It: Oh my god. Colleen Hoover does it again. While this story didn’t wreck me as much as It Ends With Us did, the writing is still super compelling and the twist was pretty good. I loved every character in this story and their entanglement was done so well. This is a mother/daughter story that definitely will stick with me.

Have you read any of these? Let me know if there’s something you think I’d like to read sometime soon in the comments.

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