It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve done a Reading Lately post. But Alison and I have decided to move our Reading Lately linkup to the first Friday of every month instead of the last Friday. Don’t forget to link up your latest book review posts to share what you’ve been reading lately!
The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
This is the “sequel” to The Wrath & The Dawn which I read last month (read review here). I put sequel in quotation marks because it feels more like a continuation of the story. The ending of the first story seems unnatural and not really an ending. It feels like a cliffhanger you’d see on a tv show series finale. I definitely would have liked it better if this was one book. Shazi is in the middle of the desert, reunited with her father and sister. But all she really wants is to return to Khalid. As tensions and dangers rise for Shazi in the desert, she discovers the power she truly holds, which help her return to Khalid and save their marriage.
The story is told with the same beautiful writing and imagery. Still captivating and touching. But like I said, it really is just a continuation of the story rather than a sequel. So I definitely recommend this book to finish the story. FYI: The book The Crown & The Arrow is an in between “novel”, it the beginning of the first book told from Khalid’s perspective. It’s free on Amazon as an ebook, but honestly it’s kind of just a waste. It’s only 11 pages and doesn’t add any new information. Anyways, this book is less about the love story between Khalid and Shazi and more about breaking the curse on Khalid and saving their kingdom. A must read if you’ve read the first book, and I loved these books!
Watch me Disappear by Janelle Brown
Billie disappears hiking one weekend by herself, leaving her husband Jonathan and daughter Olive brokenhearted. Search parties eventually get called off when rescuers find no sign of her. Jonathan and Olive can only assume her dead. A publisher contacts Jonathan suggesting he write a book about life with his wife and after her going missing. As the one year mark of her disappearance approaches, Olive begins seeing psychic visions of her mother and takes this as a sign that her mother is still alive. When her father won’t get on board with her and sends her to a therapist instead, Olive begins searching for her mother on her own. What Olive doesn’t know, that as Jonathan researches his novel some questionable information about his wife surfaces. Was she the person he thought she was? Is she still alive?
This story is told in the alternating perspectives of Jonathan, Olive, and chapters of Jonathan’s book. I found it to be a little slow, it didn’t really pick up pace until about 75% in. While it’s a mystery, it takes a long time to go anywhere. Some parts seem unbelievable and others underdeveloped. But it’s a quick, easy read. And I really enjoyed that the book was set locally to me. It created a great visual while reading the book being able to picture Santa Cruz and Berkeley. It was well written and it’s an interesting read. I didn’t dislike it, but it is a little slow.
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
Alice Lake is a single mom living in a small cottage near the beach. One morning she notices a man sitting on the beach in the pouring rain outside her house. She doesn’t think much of it until he’s still sitting in the same position later that evening. Against her better judgement, she goes out to talk to him and invites him inside. He has no idea who he is or how he ended up there.
Meanwhile, four hours away in a suburb of London, Lily Monrose’s husband fails to return home from work one evening. When she calls the police to file a missing persons report, they tell her that her husband never existed.
And twenty years earlier, siblings Kirsty and Gray are on holiday with their parents. When a nineteen year old rich kid takes an interest in fifteen year old Kirsty, Gray gets a bad feeling.
The chapters alternate perspectives between Alice, Lily, and Gray. It did confuse me the first time the story jumped back to Gray’s perspective (my own fault for forgetting the time span). But you definitely need to add this thriller to your list! The story draws you in with its psychological thrill and well developed characters. The tension rises as their three stories intertwine. This book does a good job staying focused on the mystery and not being overly romantic. I found it a little predictable, figuring things out somewhat early. But I still enjoyed this story!
The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood
After the collapse of the American government, a religious regime takes over the country. Women no longer have any rights; they are not allowed to read, hold property, or have their names anymore. Fertility rates are low so the government forces women of fertile age into becoming handmaids, where they become baby making machines for the wealthy Commanders who run the government. The narrator, Offred, is a handmaid whose name indicates the Commander she serves (of Fred). The handmaids leave the house and go to the market with another handmaid once a day. Through flashbacks, we get a glimpse of the narrator’s life before all this.
I read this book because Emma Watson’s picked it for her Goodreads Book Club, Our Shared Shelf. Conveniently this was also the pick for the Beyond Bloggers Book Club on Goodreads as well.
Now maybe because it was recommended by Emma Watson and because of all the recent hype, I had pretty high expectations for this book. But I feel kind of let down. It started out slow and confusing, so it was hard to get into. But then nothing happened. The story didn’t really go anywhere, there was no climax. I also thought the writing didn’t seem to flow very well at times, so I found myself rereading parts. The jumping around between the past and the present made it confusing. Also the going back and forth using quotation marks was confusing.
I see why it’s popular from a feminist standpoint, it’s a terrifying idea. And I do appreciate reading this, but it was hard to get into and took a long time to read (even though it’s only 325 pages). I guess without going anywhere, it will just sort of end at some point. But the novel ends unresolved, and I really disliked it. While I think it has a strong message, I didn’t really enjoy the read. I do want to watch the series though!
Now it’s time to start reading my choices for Erin’s Book Challenge! Don’t forget to link up and show us what you’ve been reading lately!
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Your review of The Handmaid’s Tale is very interesting to me! I have been really trying to get into this book. At this point I have basically given up, because I have so many other books I want to read, and I hate wasting time on a book I do not enjoy or learn from. I have been feeling guilty about abandoning the book because it seems EVERYONE loves this book. I do want to watch the series tho!! Also I Found You has moved up on my to read list! Thanks for the great reviews!
I agree.. I hate wasting my time on a book but I also hate quitting lol. I feel like I’m part of the minority that didn’t love it :/ I like the idea though!
Jacqueline garcia says
Ive yet to read any of these books, but they certainly are now on my tbr (:
Great! I’d love to know your thoughts on them when you’ve read them 🙂
I haven’t read any of these, but I did try watching The Handmaid’s Tale. I just couldn’t get into it..
I am worried about that since I had a hard time with the book.. but I’ll give it a go!
Darcee || The Bucket List Project Blog says
Fantastic! I need some new reads to pick up before we travel next week. Thank you. I keep hearing about The Handmaid’s Tale (with the show on Netflix and everything) but the I Found You sounds right up my alley.
I’ve heard the show is really good, so I’m interested to give it a try! I really liked the idea of it, but nothing really happened. It was like reading a diary of day to day life.
Alison @ Puppies & Pretties says
That’s too bad about Handmaids Tale. I’ve been wanting to read it since, well, everyone is. Your review definitely tempers my expectations.
Great great recs! Thanks for sharing!