I set a goal. In January, 2019 I decided I wanted to read 30 books for the year. That’s about 2-3 books a month. “I can do that easily” I thought to myself. “That’s nothing.”
Turns out, when you have a busy year, you can’t read as much as you used to. According to my goodreads challenge, I only read 8,925 pages across 27 books… but I did read some damn good books.
PS: I’ll share the reviews I wrote after I read the book – but sometimes I didn’t review (I know, I know). I’ll try to be writing reviews from memory, so please forgive me.
To Live by C.G. Cooper
“Never say you’re sorry for what you’re about to do. They won’t understand, and you might not either, but you never say you’re sorry.”
This was an excellent book. It was about a war veteran who tries to find something to hold on to after a loss in his life, and what he finds surprises both himself and us. (I know, I sound like a cheesy tag line)
I gave this book 5 stars, and definitely recommend picking it up and reading it! It was heartwarming and interesting, and definitely made you think.
The Hunger by Alma Katsu
“Then the Lord must be mightily displeased with you, because he has led you into the valley of death. Make peace with your Lord before it is too late, because the hungry ones are coming for you.”
Where do I even begin?
I had a friend suggest this book (he knows I love all things creepy and paranormal).
I started reading it at first, and was like, “great, historical fiction”… which is not usually my favorite.
But something about it drew me in. The darkness, the different personalities of the characters.
Each character felt like a real person, and I liked the point of view from each character.
It’s weird to think these characters were real humans once. Obviously, the book is a little exaggerated for the sake of the horror aspect, but it makes for a great story!
Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
“There’s nothing wrong with me, Merry. Only my bones want to grow through my skin like the growing things and pierce the world.”
14 year old Marjorie is possessed… or so her father and his bishop think. The story is told from the point of view of Merry; Marjorie’s 8 year old sister. However – it’s not happening real time; the story is being told by an adult Merry to an author writing about the experience. We switch between reading the conversation between the author (Rachel) and Merry, Merry as a child reliving the experiences and a blogger picking apart what really happened. All parts are equally important and give a good insight to what is actually happening in the book.
Marjorie and Merry start of as regular 8 and 14 year old girls. Marjorie is the light of Merry’s life, and she adores her older sister.
“Because I was convinced that I was going to grow up to be exactly like Marjorie, entering her room was like discovering a living, breathing map of my future.”
The book continues with Merry realizing something is wrong. Her father sinks deeper into a religious frame of mind, and her mother takes up more smoking and drinking. Marjorie changes, getting darker and meaner. After a particularly dark incident, the priest that Merry’s father has been talking to decides to contact the media, and a TV show about Marjorie and her family starts.
As things get more dramatic and dark, we start to see that maybe it isn’t Marjorie that is possessed.
The culmination of the book leaves with a twist that no one saw coming; and when I finished my jaw basically hit the floor.
I loved this book. I think it takes a good hard look at mental health, media influence and how much we can put on a show for those we love.
My friend who recommended it said:
“I think it was a good narrative of where we are at as a society. Sweeping mental health issues under the table and playing on our spectator nature.”
There were points in reading where I had to set the book down and take a break from it (definitely the sign of a good book.) It’s emotionally moving, and you can’t help but feel for each of the characters.
Speaking of characters, all are well written, three dimensional and feel like real people.
I loved this book, and highly recommend reading it to anyone
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
My friend recommended this book to me and set me on the course with some words of wisdom:
“I am going to tell you absolutely zero about this book. Enjoy the ride, it’s a doozy.”
Needless to say when I texted him with my many questions, he would reply with Who? What? and not tell me anything. And I’m glad he didn’t.
Be warned – if you are an empath this book will put you in a weird place!
The writer did an amazing job of keeping me guessing throughout the entire book. The character would second guess herself, and I would second guess myself. Usually I can pick my way through the plot of a thriller and figure out what happened pretty quick, but not this time. Each twist and turn I was like “WHAT?!” and would text my friend T.
This is an excellent book, with strong characters, interesting turns and and TOTALLY unexpected ending. I’m sure if I had been paying better attention I may have guessed it… there are so many hints in the details of the book!
I definitely recommend this if you are in the mood for a good thriller/drama story!
A List of Books
I read a lot more books than that, but those are the majority that I had reviews for .. Here is my 2019 list of books read:
The Shining by Stephen King
The Forgotten Hours by Kathrin Schumann
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith
Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapowski
Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale
Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale
Everything We Give by Kerry Lonsdale
The Hunger by Alma Katsu
The Nightmare Society Volume One
A Head full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
The Demonic by Lee Mountford
The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates
The Friend by Teresa Driscoll
The Girl who Lived by Christopher Greyson
Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
Gilchrist by Christian Galacar
To Live by C.G. Cooper
Blood Sugar by Nicole Blackman
Ark by Veronica Roth
A God in the Shed by J. F. Dubeau