Reviews: Queenie & Before She Knew Him

I decided to choose 3 books from Book of the Month in March. I only got to reading around 2 of them this month, but I’m hoping to read The Mastermind within the next month or so. Here are the ones I chose:

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff

Down below are quick reviews / verdicts of Queenie & Before She Knew Him.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Genre: Contemporary
Themes: relationships, politics, mental health, self realization
Rating: 2/5

Quick Review: I chose this book based off the all the hype on bookstagram and let me tell you straight up that it is not worth the hype. I hated this book. The writing was all over place and it seemed to read more of a first draft than a polished book. The main character is extremely unlikable. She puts herself in situations which could have been avoided which I couldn’t emphasize and she has a terrible attitude throughout the whole book. The only good thing about this book is that the author sheds light on sensitive and important topics in realistic ways. Overall, I don’t recommend reading this book as they are other great contempories to read.

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Genre: Thriller
Themes: neighbors, mental health, marriage, Massachusetts
Rating: 3/5

Quick Review: This was my main pick for BOTM. I can’t resist a good thriller! Overall, this was a decent read. It wasn’t the best thriller I’ve read, but I didn’t completely hate it either. The premise of the story is very intriguing and it pulls you in. However, I did find the writing to be a bit flat. I noticed that the author alternated the perspectives of the characters which I appreciated, but I wish the chapters were from first person narration versus third person narration. I feel like this is what could have made the book a bit stronger. I didn’t see the twists coming in this book and loved the idea of unreliable narrators. If you love thrillers or suspense, I’d recommend checking this one out, but just don’t go in with high hopes.

Review: I’ll Be Watching You

I’ll Be Waching You by Courtney Evan Tate

Publication Date: 3/26/19
Publisher: Harlequin Books (Harper Collins)
Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from TLC Book Tours & Harlequin Books (Harper Collins) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Courtney Evan Tate’s latest novel, I’ll Be Watching You, follows the story of Emmy who is grieving over the loss of her fifteen-year-old Leah, who supposedly drowned close to shore one summer night according to police. Emmy discovers that Leah has been secretly involved with someone who was possibly older and has a dark appetite. I thought this was a mediocre thriller. The alternating perspectives of the mother and daughter were interesting to read. I did prefer the daughter’s perspective as I found the mother’s perspective to be a bit immature and unbelievable. I found the writing style to be gripping and interesting, but I felt that the story was a bit too formulaic for thriller which I found to be a bit dull. On a somewhat unrelated note, I usually don’t comment on cover art, but I think a better image could have taken its place. Overall, it’s a decent read, but there are better thrillers out there.

Christina Lauren Novels

This past year I discovered Christina Lauren and they have now become one of my favorite authors. They are a best friend duo who write contemporary romance novels. I’ve finally caught up with all of their stand alone novels and made a quick infographic if you’re trying to decide which one of their books would fit your romantic tastes 🙂

I can’t wait for their new novel to come out in October 2019!

Review: When Polly Met Olly

When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May

Publication Date: 1/7/19
Publisher: HQ Digital
Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from HQ Digital in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: When Polly Met Olly is the second book I’ve read from Zoe May. This lighthearted romance read follows how New York matchmakers, Polly and Olly, working for competing firms meet and fall for each other. Overall, it was a decent read. I loved the concept of the story. However, I found myself a bit surprised with the amount of British terms used for someone who was supposedly living in New York for several years and the dialogue from other characters used British term as well. Aside from that, I do like Zoe’s writing style as it kept it me interested throughout the story. I wasn’t a big fan of the chemistry between the two main characters. It seemed a bit too far fetched, but the story came together and had a cute ending. Overall, I’d recommend reading Zoe’s other book, Perfect Match, over this one, but I am looking forward to more of her future work.

Review: A Woman Is No Man

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

Publication Date: 3/5/19
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5

Review: I decided to choose A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum as my February BOTM pick. This contemporary novel follows three generations of Palestinian women living in Brooklyn: Fareeda who moves to America from the refugee camps in Palestine, Isra who has an arranged marriage with one of the sons and faces motherhood, and Deya who is the daughter of Isra and faces whether to enter into an arranged marriage of her own or take control of her future. Overall, this debut is extremely empowering and tragic. It shows the resilience and strength of women, the oppression of culture, and the choices that affect others. I took my time with this one because the content was so heavy and emotional. The beginning started a bit slow for me, but I didn’t mind due to the intriguing plot line. Etaf’s writing style can be described as raw and beautifully tragic This book gave me into a bit more insight about the culture of Palestine. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read a book that sheds light on a culture that isn’t discussed much in fiction and that will resonate with you.

Review: The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Publication Date: 2/5/19
Publisher: Celadon Books
Rating: 4/5

Review: My January BOTM pick was the psychological thriller, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. After a woman murders her husband and refuses to speak, a psychotherapist is determined to uncover such a heinous act. This thriller started off a bit slow, but the premise grips you from page one. The author does an amazing job capturing the depth of the characters. I also really liked the psychology aspect of the novel. The alternating narratives were great which kept the story moving. I didn’t see the twist coming and I liked the way the author ended the story. I would recommend picking up this one if you love psychological thrillers.