What I Read Lately

I am flying through books this year so let’s get right into WIRL because they were all good ones.

The Maid

Synposis: Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. Since Gran died a few months ago, 25 year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

Would I Recommend It: This was fun, at times sweet, and at times suspenseful. While the ending didn’t blow me away, it was still a nice read. Molly reminded me a little bit of Eleanor, and you found yourself rooting for Molly in that same way. I’d recommend this one, especially if you want a thriller but one that won’t keep you up at night [in a scary way].

Ace of Spades

Synopsis: When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too. Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures. As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

Would I Recommend It: This was also a lot of fun. I did NOT see the twist coming and I loved how quickly and smartly Chiamaka and Devon’s stories were woven together. This was elementally a bit reminiscent of The Other Black Girl [I won’t say more than that as to not spoil] and my jaw dropped just as equally here. This starts out with Gossip Girl vibes but then swiftly turns into a gripping thriller.

Black Cake

Synopsis: In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Would I Recommend It: This was my book club pick for the month and I LOVED this book so much. Like, loved. The familial relationships were so deeply felt and the “twist”, or more so revelation, was ingenious. Benny and Byron are the classic brother-sister combo with secrets and lives of their own but their shared childhood binds them together forever. Go into this one knowing the least you can. It was beautifully written and heartbreaking at times, and triumphant at times. This is one of my favorite reads of the year so far.

Pretty Things

Synopsis: Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer—traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: a mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa’s past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina’s, Vanessa’s, and Lachlan’s paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.

Would I Recommend It: This was a TRIP! So many twists and turns and my jaw was on the floor for the entire last third of the book. This was juicy and salacious and intriguing. I don’t want to say too much about this one besides read it.

The Wife Stalker

Synopsis: Breezing into the upscale seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent. Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else. Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

Would I Recommend It: I LOVED this. This is one of the better thrillers I’ve read recently. I did not see the twist coming AT ALL and I really want to say which books it reminds me of, but that would give it away. Pay close attention as you’re reading. I will say, the ending left me with the same icky feeling as the end of Behind Her Eyes, so do with that what you will. I definitely, definitely recommend this one.

| shop the post |

You Might Also Like...