This was a lighter month of reading (between moving and travel and work being really busy I just haven’t had as much time to read as I usually do), but still a very solid month of reading. A lot of thrillers. You can tell I’m stressed by how many thrillers I read in a month… they are my favorite escape. My friends tease me for this but for me, reading something dark and/or stressful distracts me from my own stressors!
The two standouts this month for me were definitely Mad Honey and The Cage. Both kept me up at night reading – for very different reason! I really enjoyed them both. Lastly, as you may recall, I keep all book reviews over in The Library too. This page is updated in real time as I read and finish books You can search and filter by genre or grade to easily find your next perfect book. Tell me what to read next in the comments!
Everything I Read in October 2022
Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
This is a really important book but the annoying thing is that if I told you the secondary (and possibly most important) thing this book is about, it would ruin a big twist. This is exactly what my mom told me, which was annoying but I’m glad she didn’t tell me! There is a trigger warning for domestic abuse. Olivia McAfee is a beekeeper living in New Hampshire with her high school age son, Asher. They live a small but idyllic life. Asher is madly in love with his girlfriend Lily, Olivia has found happiness (after an abusive marriage) with her bees and small town life. Asher’s girlfriend Lily has secrets of her own. When the unthinkable happens (Lily has been found dead) and Asher is brought in for questioning, more secrets come out.
The book alternates between the perspective of Olivia and Lily and is utterly unputdownable. Alternating between past and present and taking us through Asher’s court trial and the verdict, I was on the edge of my seat. I really loved it. I cried a few times… it’s very sad, but also suspenseful. As with everything Jodi Picoult writes, it’s impeccably researched, too. Highly recommend this one! Overall Score: A // Order on Amazon or Bookshop.org
This month’s thrillers
Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
I am so conflicted on this one! On the one hand, it took me about a hundred and fifty pages to get into it (I came so close to DNFing it but had heard such rave reviews). On the other hand, once I got into it I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot and structure of the novel were both really creative and unique; it had some great twists and I LOVED the ending.
Here is the premise. Kelly and Jen have a teenage son (Todd) together. Todd is, by all accounts, very sweet and a total rule follower/do-gooder. One night, Todd commits a terrible murder, which Kelly and Jen witness. It is gruesome and awful, and the end of the beautiful life their family has built together. The next day, Jen wakes up and it is the day before. The next day, it’s the day before that. She is stuck in some sort of wild time loop. Can she stop the murder? Can she figure out what happened to unravel her family’s secrets? Is anyone who she thought they were? I would definitely recommend this but just be prepared for it to take a bit to get into. Once you’re in, you’ll be hooked. Overall Score: B+ // Order on Amazon or Bookshop.org
The Cage, by Bonnie Kistler
This is one of those thrillers that you think about for weeks after finishing it. It had me on the edge of my seat with my stomach tied in knots until the very last page. Here is the premise: two women at a glamorous New York fashion behemoth are in an elevator that gets stuck together. Only one walks out alive. Was it murder or was it suicide?
The book then alternates between the perspective of the general counsel at the firm they work together and Shea: the women who got out alive. We get to know Shea and how down on her luck she is. In the 2008 recession both she and her husband lost their high-paying jobs and with that lost everything: their credit, their home, their wardrobes… their dignity. There is also a big mystery and a scandal at the company. I don’t want to say too much but this is definitely worth picking up… I really loved it! Overall Score: A // Order on Amazon or Bookshop.org
Stay Awake, by Megan Goldin
This book was torture to read at times as it felt like the story would/could never be resolved! This one is very complex, so be prepared to have to pay very good attention at all times. I had some bad airplane delays and was grateful to have this with me as it totally captured every ounce of my attention. Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi cab. She has blacked out and has no idea where she is. STAY AWAKE is written on her skin. She looks for her phone and that’s gone — replaced by a bloody knife. When she asks the taxi driver to take her home, a stranger answers and tells her that she no longer lives there. She’s disoriented and can’t remember anything. She knows she is a good person, but all signs point to her being the murderer.
The book alternates between the present and two years ago where Liv was a successful magazine writer living with her good friend. But now she is on the run and can’t remember anything. This was really stressful to read but also so satisfying. I definitely recommend it. Overall Score: A- // Order on Amazon or Bookshop.org
The Soulmate, by Sally Hepworth
I love Sally Hepworth’s books and was so excited when I received an an advance copy in the mail. Pippa is married to Gabe, the love of her life. Their marriage has had its ups and downs but they are happy, living in a beautiful coastal town, nestled atop the cliffs. Unfortunately, the cliffs have become a popular place for people to come to end their life. Gabe has developed something of a reputation for being a rescuer… literally, talking people off of a ledge.
Then one day, it doesn’t work and a woman falls to her death. When Pippa realizes that Gabe actually knew the victim, questions arise and secrets come out. Pippa begins to wonder if she has been just turning a blind eye to her husband’s bad behavior… questioning if she ever really knew him at all. The book is told from both the perspective of Pippa and the dead woman. I enjoyed this but I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. But still, worth reading. Everything Sally Hepworth writes is excellent. (If you were curious/wondering, The Mother-in-Law and The Good Sister remain two of my favorites!!!) Overall Score: B+ // Order on Amazon or Bookshop.org