This may be one of my favorite book review posts yet! I have been enjoying time outside, and really getting into some great thrillers that are perfect for your spring reading list!
Spring Reading List
The Last House Guest
The Last House Guest takes place in a vacation town in Maine, where a “townie” and a wealthy girl meet and become unlikely friends. Fast forward a few years, and the wealthy friend tragically dies. The story follows Avery as she searches for closure and answers to what actually happened that summer.
While I would still label The Last House Guest as a “thriller”, and there were certainly some suspenseful parts, I didn’t love how every single one of the “plot twists” were slightly predictable. I had a hard time connecting to any characters, too, which always makes it hard to really get into the story. There were also a few characters who “hadn’t spoken in years”, and suddenly, they’re in cahoots and spilling secrets to each other. The drama between the characters all seemed very lackluster… Like there was a really good story in there, but Megan Miranda didn’t quite get deep enough.
I really wanted to like The Last House Guest, but I found it moved VERY slowly…. right up until the ending. All the action was crammed into a few pages. Like the author only had so many pages available, and crammed more action than the entire book itself into the last 10 pages. Too much happened in those few pages, that the “intensity factor” was completely lost on me, and I was annoyed.
I did really like the cover of The Last House Guest! The colors were fun, and the 3D texture was a nice touch. I am a big fan of judging a book by the cover – but the cover art was better than this book, in my opinion. I would label this one as good, but not great – a solid B-.
The Truth About Melody Browne
I grabbed The Truth About Melody Browne while we were in Miami, after I finished The Last House Guest. While I did enjoy reading this (it was a page-turner), I finally figured out what my “issue” is with Lisa Jewell (though I do generally enjoy her writing). There’s an immaturity to the way she writes about romantic and sexual relationships — as if those parts are being told by a 15 year old girl, or someone who is really embarrassed to talk about sexuality. I mean, Melody Browne would have been a lot better off if she had loosened up – the poor girl hadn’t had sex with a man since her son was born. HER SON IS TURNING 18. Her new boyfriend stays over, and Lisa Jewell is very careful to write that he wore his underwear the whole time. Yawn 😂
That aside, I did find myself unable to put this one down!
Melody Browne lives a very simple life, and doesn’t remember much from her childhood. After an awkward first date mishap, she ends up slowly remembering more and more about her past. It was fascinating and also so sad, as she discovered her unbelievably tragic life. In true Lisa Jewell form, however, there is a “happy” ending. However, I didn’t find myself completely eye rolling at the end (which is typical for me and books with happy endings!)
This one gets an unenthusiastic thumbs up from me. The Truth About Melody Browne was good, but not great. It is a very quick read, and a great option to kick off your Spring reading list (it can only get better from here 😉)
Too Good To Be True
Too Good To Be True promised to be liked by fans of Lisa Jewell. In the beginning, I did find this to be a little confusing, only because it jumped around between three narrators. Once I got in the groove, I couldn’t put Too Good To Be True down. Maybe halfway through there’s a twist that I 100% did not see coming. Which I LOVED.
The story is told from 3 different perspectives – which was a little confusing to start. I had to flip back every few pages, to figure out who was telling this part of the story. But once I really got into it, I couldn’t put it down! The main plot tells the story of a husband and wife, whose marriage is on the rocks, and with money troubles, and then we meet a young girl named Skye, who seems to have it all (despite a rather severe case of OCD). There was A LOT of depth to the characters, and they all had their flaws… which I absolutely loved.
As I read, it was interesting to see the timelines from each of the narrators. It almost forces you to mentally choose a side, and then decide who is telling the truth. There were times I wanted to reach into the book, grab Skye by the shoulders and shake some sense into her!! I can’t really give too many more details without giving too much away, and taking all the fun out of the story, though!! 😉
I will say, the story seemed to slow down as it progressed, which is really my only negative for this book. There were a lot of details in the last half of the book that I could have easily skipped over. But overall, I would definitely recommend you add Too Good To Be True to your Spring reading list!
The Wife Upstairs
I lent The Wife Upstairs to my neighbor before I read it, and she likened it to a Jane Eyre novel. She also read through it VERY quickly. That’s one thing I look for in a book – is it a quick read? With our busy schedules, I need a book that will completely suck me in and keep me turning the pages. The Wife Upstairs checked those boxes for me!
This one was a page-turner with alternating narrators (like Too Good To Be True)… but I had a really hard time connecting to any of the characters. I actually didn’t like them 😂 I found myself rooting against everyone – which I don’t think was the author’s intention. The big “twist” was rather predictable, and from reading reviews, this was the great disappointment from other readers, as well.
Overall, this was a good story. Another “good, not great” read! (I think Verity has ruined me from giving rave reviews anymore 😂)
Where the Crawdads Sing
Too many people liked Where the Crawdads Sing, so I had originally decided not to read it. Because I’m difficult like that. Finally, after hearing rave review after rave review, I picked it up. I feel like this is a book you either love or hate – there is no in between.
I was prepared to feel uncomfortable. I was prepared for heartbreak. I was not prepared for pages and pages of details and descriptions of the nature/scenery. It was a VERY well-written book, and Delia Owens’ writing flows and really paints a picture for the reader…. but all the detail didn’t take away from allowing me connect to the characters. While I did find myself skimming over paragraphs to get back into the action, I read this in just 4 days (which is fast for me).
I wouldn’t call Where the Crawdads Sing “suspenseful” at all, and while I wouldn’t put this in the “police procedural” file, I would label it as a “courtroom chick lit” novel. I found the court portions of the book to be lackluster, but I did not predict the ending of this one! Actually, the minute I finished, I immediately text my neighbor, “So _____ killed him?!?!” I wouldn’t say it was shocking, and while I should have seen it coming, the author did a great job to keep me guessing.
Ok fine, I agree with all the other 5 star reviews. This ended up to be a really good read; one I kept thinking about once I had finished. Any time I find myself hoping for a sequel or more of an epilogue, that’s when you know it was good!
Such a Fun Age
I finished the last page of Such a Fun Age, and sat there, trying to put a label on what I was feeling. The last page was a doozey, I’ll give Kiley Reid that!
I picked this book based on the fun front cover — but this book gets real. I was excited, as one of the main characters was a blogger and Instagram Influencer. Promising to touch on social issues, it seemed like a timely read, with all that is going on in the world now.
Alix is an Influencer, wife, and mother immediately seemed like an easy character to connect to. She is portrayed as extremely privileged, superficial, and maybe a bit of a narcissist, which I feel like is a cop-out when writing about Influencers. However, I liked her. Throughout the story, however, I found myself getting annoyed with Alix more and more (which I believe was the author’s intention). Maybe deep down inside, I was rooting for her, but her character was destined to be unliked.
Emira, the other main character, was harder for me to connect to, but I found her character to be really interesting. I almost said “complex”, but I think the author only scratched the surface with the depth that she could have taken this character.
This book tackled race and privilege, but I think it was lacking something – I am just not sure what. I wouldn’t label this as an “issues” book… but there were some heavy, uncomfortable moments about privilege and race, but Kiley Reid wrote about them very well. Such A Fun Age was a quick read, and one worth adding to your Spring Reading list. Additionally, Such a Fun Age would be a great discussion book for book clubs – as I feel like there is a lot to dive into with this one!
Have you read any of the books on my Spring Reading list? What was your favorite? Check out this book review post for more Lisa Jewell!