Author: Amber

Top Eight Rainy Day Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana.

I struggled to come up with books for this topic because a lot of the books that I read are perfect for spring or summer, not so much for grey and dreary days. Then I remembered that I read a lot of thrillers, and those are actually great for curling up on the sofa with!

If you’ve taken part in the meme this week then feel free to leave your link in the comments below and I’ll come check it out.

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is one of my favourite books of all time! I reread it recently and it definitely held up. If you’re looking for something short and feel-good, then this is the book for you. It’s also a really good introduction to classics, in my opinion.
2. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
I flew through this one, and I maintain that it’s Lapena’s best book. It’s creepy and eerie and atmospheric. 
3. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
This one really got to me! It’s probably one of the creepiest thrillers I’ve ever read because the amnesia storyline really stood out and sent chills down my spine.

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by Alex MichaelidesThe Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 5th February 2019
Publisher: Orion
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him...

I read this book as a buddy read with Amy and Steffi, and we all ended up powering through it in record time (and completely ignoring any deadlines we’d set ourselves), so I think that says a lot about what The Silent Patient is like.

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Monthly Wrap Up: March 2019

Me in March

Another busy month! March was supposed to be quite chilled out, but it turned out to be quite hectic because we were seeing friends a lot. We did take my little sister ice skating for her birthday, which means we’re all becoming pros at this point. Unfortunately, I still can’t skate backwards, but SOON.

I went to an event at the Gollancz offices which showcased their upcoming books for 2019. I had a really good time for most of it, but unfortunately the chaos and crushing when the ARCs were released made me really anxious so I left early.

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Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen HaganWatch Us Rise by Ellen Hagan, Renée Watson
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 21st February 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission. Sick of the way that young women are treated even at their 'progressive' New York City high school, they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. One problem - no one shows up. That hardly stops them. They start posting everything from videos of Chelsea performing her poetry to Jasmine's response to being reduced to a racist and sexist stereotype in the school's theatre department. And soon, they've gone viral, creating a platform they never could've predicted.

With such positive support, the Women's Rights Club is also targeted by trolls. But Jasmine and Chelsea won't let their voices - or those of the other young women in their city - be silenced. They'll risk everything to be heard and effect change ... but at what cost?
 

Watch Us Rise had a lot of promise as a feminist YA story, but unfortunately it fell pretty flat for me. I was unable to connect with any of the characters, mostly because they were either lacking substance or completely irritating.

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Five Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book (and Three Things That Make Me Put It Down)

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in months (years?) but I felt like getting back into it this week because I like the topic! Here are five things that will absolutely 100% make me pick up a book, and three things that will make me cast it back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.

+ Rich People Drama

I’m an absolute sucker for Rich People Drama, a term that I’ve been using in the book blogosphere for YEARS. It probably all started with the It Girl series, which is set in a fancy boarding school and there’s drama and drugs and Rich People Problems. I’ve read a tonne of these types of books throughout the years, the most recent being Crazy Rich Asians, and I can’t wait to get to the sequel!

+ Middle Eastern fantasy

I only discovered this recently but apparently I have a love of epic fantasy involving Middle Eastern mythology! It started with Aladdin, I guess, and then evolved when I discovered the Rebel of the Sands trilogy (which I love) and The City of Brass (which I ADORE with my whole heart). Give me all the djinn!

+ No romance

I used to be a massive shipper, but over the past three years or so my shipping tendencies have fizzled out. I’m not sure what happened, but I just don’t get into it as much as I used to. So if someone tells me that a book has no romance, I’m much more likely to pick it up because I’m going to be more invested in the story or the world building than two (or more) characters getting it on.

+ Buddy reading

This isn’t necessarily about the books themselves, but if someone offers to buddy read a book with me, or someone puts out a call for buddy readers, I’m going to jump straight on it. I just love reading books alongside other people and talking about them during and afterwards. (As a sidenote, if any of you want to buddy read anything then let me know! We can chat.)

+ Feminism

This should be pretty self explanatory. If a book promises to be feminist, or to have a feminist main character, then I’m all for it. I read The Nowhere Girls in 2017 and realised that YA fiction has been missing some hardcore feminist books, so I need more. I also want more feminist adult books, so if you have any recommendations then hit me up.

– Instalove

Another self explanatory one, especially considering what I mentioned above about not shipping anything. First of all, I’ve always hated instalove. Secondly, if I’m going to ship anything (which is rare), then I’m going to ship a slow burn romance, not a love at first sight attraction.

– “The next Game of Thrones/Harry Potter/Star Wars

This drives me crazy! I get that the publishers need to market the book somehow, but if they keep putting those same words on every single book that they want to do well, then it gets a bit redundant, don’t you think?

– Models on the cover

I just really dislike seeing faces on the covers of books unless they’re in shadows, or they’re drawn. Photographs of real life people are the WORST.

And that’s it! Let me know if you’ve done this week’s list in the comments below and I’ll come and check out your post!