I am a voracious reader. I think books are so important, not only because they help people expand their vocabularies and become better writers, but books also allow for a meaningful escape.
Whenever I am feeling down, stressed, or in need of inspiration, I will pick up a book. As a matter of fact, my shelves are full of books, some of which I haven’t even read yet. I have this tendency to just buy books and then end up buying more and more and not reading them… it’s definitely a bad habit that I will have to kick.
I thought I would use this time to tell you about a few books that I’ve read and I am so passionate about. I’ve been into thrilling reads lately, so this list of books contains a lot of thrillers and mysteries. I will do my best to not give much away, and I’ll link each book to Indigo so you can all read the proper descriptions. Here are the books, saving the absolute best for last:
1. The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
Travel writer, Lo Blacklock is invited to take a trip and write about a luxury cruise ship named, Aurora. While Lo is surrounded by some well-known guests and trying to enjoy herself, she is still shaken up about a previous event before her trip. Lo gets to her room in Cabin 9, and is awakened by piercing screams, and a loud splash coming from outside Cabin 10. In horror, Lo sees a woman’s body floating into the depths of the ocean. Lo, convinced that a terrible event has just happened, is brought to the strange reality that all of the crew and guests have been accounted for… which brings us to the question: Who was the woman murdered in Cabin 10, and why will no one believe what she witnessed that night?
This book hooked me right from the start. From the very beginning, during Lo’s tragic event, to the mysterious woman’s body in the water. Ruth Ware creates a clear image of the characters at sea, and Lo’s personality and the events that she saw jump right off the page, captivating the reader, and making them crave more.
I remember reading the scene when Lo witnessed the woman being thrown off the balcony, into the water (it was last summer when I read this book, so I do not have a crystal clear memory of it). I actually remember getting chills, especially at the part where the reader discovers everyone is on the ship and someone must be hiding the truth.
2. The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena
New parents, Anne and Marco Conti, visit their neighbours for a dinner next door. They bring their baby monitor with them, checking on their child every half hour, in shifts. When their night with the people right next door comes to an end, they arrive in their baby’s room to discover that their child is gone, without any signs of forced entry into the home. Anne starts to question her credibility as a new mother, and even questions herself on that night. Did she leave the door unlocked, as she was the last person to check on her baby? Blame and suspicion is immediately placed on Anne and Marco – Marco, an unreliable father, and Anne, with a history of blackouts and mental illness – the perfect criminals. The story and secrets unfolds, ending in an ultimate twist.
This was another page turner for me. First off, I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have your child missing from its crib. Second, I loved the betrayals and mistrust. I think it really spoke to the fact that not every marriage is perfect and everyone has their secrets, and eventually these secrets will come out (for better AND for worse). Although, if you are the avid mystery/thriller reader, you might be able to figure out the ending of this book… I however, was not when I first started reading it, so I was in complete shock at the turn of events.
3. All The Missing Girls – Megan Miranda
Nicolette (Nic) fled her town, Cooley Ridge, after her best friend Corinne went missing as a teenager, and has not looked back since. She has made a successful life for herself, but has to drop everything in order to care for her father back in Cooley Ridge. Just when Nic returns home, another girl goes missing, throwing salt back into the wounds of Corrine’s past. Nic works to find the truth behind the disappearances, which in turn, reveals secrets of what actually happened the night of her best friend’s disappearance all those years ago.
Wow. Just wow. What a thrill to read. The reason why I love this book so much is that the whole story is told backwards, and it’s done perfectly. The book starts off at Day 1, where Nic returns back to Cooley Ridge. Once the girl goes missing, the next chapter is Day 15, and each chapter counts down back to Day 1. Considering this story is about how two girls went missing and no one knows why, I think it was the BEST way possible to tell a story like this. Not only does it make the reader on the hook for wanting more and wanting to know the truth, but it throws the reader a huge curveball, making them rethink what they already know. It’s an EXCELLENT read, and I will probably end up reading it again in the future.
Side note: Megan Miranda has another excellent book called “The Perfect Stranger.” I was going to write about it, as well, but my mind is a bit blurry on that one. I’ll have to give it another read and let you know about it later.
4. Beartown – Fredrick Backman
Truthfully, I can’t give a huge synopsis because it will spoil the entire book. Instead, I’m going to copy the description that’s posted on Indigo, as well as written on the book’s cover:
“People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.”
This book shines so much on reality, especially in light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. If you can put two and two together (the synopsis and the movements I am describing), then you know what I am speaking of, and what this book is about. I COULD NOT put this book down. It really amazed me that a town would go to lengths to protect a hockey team, and not in a good way. I was amazed because these actions have happened before, especially to protect student athletes.
I see things plain and simple: If you are student athlete and you do something so irresponsible, stupid, and awful, you should be punished, just like any other student would. NOT coddled and protected by people in big suits to preserve a college scholarship. I don’t want to give anything else away… but just read this book if you want a new book to read. I was so impressed, surprised, chilled, and blown away. Fredrick Backman managed to make the lives of so many characters incredibly life-like, and somehow created characters that seemed so irrelevant, make everything tie together perfectly, with a little bow.
So… are you interested in reading any of these books? Give the books a click and check out the real synopsis’ to find out more.
I’m thinking of making more of these posts. If you have any recommendations, leave them below in the comments!