Lock Every Door – Violet
The Bingo space reasoning for this book is obvious given the color of the cover. Lock Every Door completely kept my interest throughout; however, I would put it at the bottom of the list for Riley Sager’s books. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. I would recommend it to anyone interested in a creepy read in the same vein as Get Out. In fact, I’m interested to know which one came first. The plots are so similar that I wonder if one inspired the other.
For those who haven’t seen Get Out, I won’t add any more. It’s hard to summarize Lock Every Door without giving anything away, so I’ll just say that the topic is controversial and timely. It’s a fast-paced read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, so check it out and let me know what you think! I’m very interested to hear other’s thoughts on the Get Out comparison.
The Final Girls – Adaptation
My second favorite Riley Sager book looks to be in the works for a movie adaptation. At least that was the news pre-COVID. Universal Pictures won the bid to option rights in 2017, but I haven’t found anything to say that any actors have been cast or any other moves have been made toward production. I would be interested in catching the film if it is ever made.
The final girl trope was a new one for me. I learned about it earlier this year while watching a movie bearing the same name. So, when I saw this novel, I was excited to pick it up! It went a different way than I expected, but I enjoyed it all the same. Call me naïve, but I was shocked by the twist at the end. If I remember correctly, I gasped out loud. It’s a great read for this spooky Halloween season!
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance – Book Club
“Two weeks later, I wore a coat to school for the first time that year. Fall had made its presence known in the form of wet, earthy smells and shivering tree limbs shedding leaves in various shades of exotic cat. I walked to school that morning, listening to the crisp sounds that punctuated each one of my footfalls and the honks of geese flying overhead. I found it strange that there could be so much beauty in the death of all these living things. Maybe it was only beautiful because we knew they would be resurrected next spring. I don’t think I would enjoy fall quite as much if I knew there was an eternal winter to follow.”
This book was at the top of the list for many book clubs in 2019. This story had a Beauty and the Beast-esque feel. It’s a fairytale for grown-ups, with a sweet take on a fantastical love story that faces highly unusual trials and tribulations (think blizzards and tornados). While this novel seems to be beloved by many, it wasn’t my favorite. To be fair, I’ve read some fast-moving books this year, so it is up against some books that may be considered comparing apples to oranges. While I try to judge books on their own merit, I’ve read so many amazing books this year, that it is hard not to rank them!
The Girl With the Louding Voice – UnCannon
“I want to enter a room, and people will hear me even before I open my mouth to be speaking. I want to live in this life and help many people so that when I grow old and die, I will still be living through the people I am helping”
Written by a Nigerian woman, The Girl with the Louding Voice, is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel about a young Nigerian woman trying to earn her education despite struggle after struggle after struggle. Her determination to find her louding voice is inspirational. While pain is relative, this novel certainly puts things into perspective. The characters and their stories are unforgettable. I have learned my lesson to not judge a book by its cover numerous times this year. The cover of The Girl with the Louding Voice is extremely different from what I traditionally pick up to read, but with all the recommendations, I just knew I had to read it. I am so glad I did!
Anxious People – Money
A book about a bank robbery gone wrong and filled with “idiots”, Anxious People received rave reviews from many of the “book worms” I follow. However, I didn’t LOVE this one. I found myself laughing out loud a few times, but it wasn’t enough. While Frederik Backman is known for his whimsical style, this one may have been too quirky for me. At times, it felt like Backman was trying too hard to create poignancy. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice tidy bow, but the fact that all the individual stories (and there are many!) ended in moving/inspirational ways just seemed too forced.
Also, there was a joke written throughout the book that I can only assume did not translate well. A Real Estate Agent continually says, “House Tricks… How’s tricks!?” I just did a Google search and it says it means “How’s it going?” Is anyone else familiar with this supposed colloquialism?
What You Wish For – Reader’s Choice
“Dude, I’m not happy because it comes easily to me. I bite and scratch and claw my way toward happiness every day.”
“Joy was cumulative. It wasn’t about finding one big thing – but about collecting as many tiny pieces as you could.”
“The world keeps hanging on to this idea that love is for the gullible. But nothing could be more wrong. Love is only for the brave.”
My Reader’s Choice Bingo Space is taking the place of The Roaring 20s. Katherine Center writes beautiful, heartfelt love stories that keep me coming back for more. This book is simply pure joy. I loved the relationship between the two main characters. I loved the supporting characters. I loved the setting. With her attention to detail, Katherine Center made me feel a part of the beautiful little artsy school. This was the whimsical I was looking for in Anxious People.
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes – Nostalgia
Taking place in the early 2000s, this book was in my wheelhouse for teenage nostalgia. I grew up in the age of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N*Sync, and the Backstreet Boys, all of whom are mentioned in the novel. I was excited by the synopsis I read online, but The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes was just OK. The story slowly built suspense, but the ending was anti-climactic. While I finished it, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I was hoping for more juicy gossip, but this one left me feeling “meh.”
P.S. I Love You – White Whale
P.S. I Love You was released in 2005, the year my young adult anxiety bloomed. Ever since, I have been scared to read this book. My greatest fear is losing my beloved, and that’s exactly what happens to the main character to kick off the novel. For years and years, I built this book into a terrifying tale that would leave me weeping in a corner for months, if not years, and now, all I have to say about it is – It’s an endearing story and a lovely, albeit boring, read. Also, I didn’t love the ending. Seriously. That’s it.
A book about grief is going to be difficult to write, as the emotional rollercoaster of loss is unpredictable and untidy. Cecelia Ahern made a valiant attempt at capturing the ups and downs, but ultimately the story fell flat. Now I just have to decide if the movie is going to be worth my time.