Publisher: Penguin Group Putnam / G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Penguin Group Putnam / G.P. Putnam’s Sons in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.
Review: How Not To Die Alone is Richard Roper’s debut novel. This contemporary novel follows a middle aged man, Andrew, who works for a death registry and is offered a second chance at life and love when he develops an unlikely friendship. I started reading this book a couple of months ago and dismissed this book a bit too quickly. I initially didn’t finish it quite simply because I thought it wasn’t a right fit for me. The book was a bit depressing for my taste as the main character works for a death registry. After seeing this book as a May BOTM selection, I decided to pick it up again to see what I was missing out on. I’m glad I decided to read it again because even though the book is a bit depressing, there are moments where it’s funny, sweet, and touching. I liked the characters in the book as they were pretty lovable and realistic. The story was intriguing even though the death registry part was a bit morbid and I wasn’t a big fan of the British terms/jargon. I recommend you pick it up if you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant.
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.
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.
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 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: 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.