I’ve been so bad about reading this year. I think I set a very lofty goal for 2022 and I will definitely fall short. But here are some good books I’ve read lately:
1 – Stranded by Sarah Goodwin
Excellent, thrilling read about the breakdown of a “society.” It’s like Lord of the Flies meets Survivor.
Maddy is selected to be on a reality TV show about survival–living on an remote island for 1 year with 7 other people. It’s a story of how they survive on basically nothing, and what happens when everyone turns against her. It was compelling and I could not put it down.
2 – Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Beautiful, sad, compelling story about a family and the challenges they face, both real and internal. The story centers around the death of the daughter and who did it, but it really is about each family member and their place in the community and family and how they cope with the death. It was a very powerful read.
3 – And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall
This was an excellent book! It starts slow and then it picks up and I love the way it’s told. The book is about a PI tasked with finding someone, but as she digs deeper, she’s not sure what is real and what is not.
I like the main character a lot and the twists and turns pay off. The topic of domestic violence is throughout the book, so if that is a rough topic for you, it may not be the right read for you. It was well done, though. I hope there is another book in the series.
4 – Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
A++ book. I loved it. It’s not perfect but it’s a story that was well written, unique and it has stuck with me even after I finished it. Think The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Road.
Calla is the storyteller. When girls get their first period, they are taken from their families and there is a lottery that assigns you to what “type” of woman they will be. The White Tickets = marriage and children. Blue Tickets = career woman, no children.
“Blue ticket: Don’t underestimate the relief of a decision being taken away from you.”
So Calla is a Blue Ticket and works in a lab, drinks too much and sleeps around. It feels like she’s doing these things to mute the voice in her head that is questioning why she can’t be a mother. She has this biological drive that she can’t outrun and eventually she does what is not allowed: she gets pregnant. And she has to go on the run.
“But remember that it’s open season on women like you. You are a criminal now.”
The book is about free will, about biology, about women’s rights and motherhood. It’s so compelling I could not put it down. The way the book is written is fascinating and different (although a lot of reviews did not like the way it was written). The way the story ends is heartbreaking and thought provoking. I really recommend this book.
5- The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
I absolutely loved this book. It was so well written. I loved the characters and the atmosphere.
Charlie is a writer who is immersed in her grief after her son dies unexpectedly. The grief is palpable in the book. This subject matter is usually not what I’d want to read because it’s hard as a mother, but the pain and grief was well written and not dwelled on, or overly graphic. Charlie needs to get out of her fog of sadness and so she takes a job to write a book about a southern family in Louisiana that lives on a plantation and 30 years ago, their toddler was kidnapped and never found. So Charlie stays at the plantation and gets to know the family while researching the book.
I don’t want to give much more away but I will say that I stayed up way too late many nights because I couldn’t put the book down. I am also very excited there are more books in the series!