It’s been another very strange month overall, and I think nothing captures that more than the fact that when I went onto Goodreads to see how many books I’d added, I simultaneously thought the number was much higher and much lower than I expected. This month, I added another 91 books to my TBR, which is quite a bit fewer than the 110 added in April, but much, much more than the 67 than March. I didn’t think I’d spent that much time on Goodreads this month, but somehow managed to add nearly 5 whole pages to my TBR list. I definitely went on a bit of a thriller kick this month because I’d realized I hadn’t read very many thrillers yet this year, and my solution to that was somehow to add a ton to my list instead of actually reading the ones I have. Somehow, that made perfect sense. I also stumbled upon several upcoming releases from authors I’ve already read and loved!
1) Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
I have no memory at all of adding this book to my list, but I’m not surprised that it’s on there. It’s been compared to Gone Girl and Room, which are two of my favourites! This book is about a woman named Lena, who has managed to flee from the shack in the woods where she was imprisoned with her two children. After a hit and run accident, she is taken to the hospital accompanied by a child who seems to be her daughter, who identifies the woman as Lena, causing police to question whether she could be the same Lena who went missing 13 years before. This book is set in Germany, which immediately sets it apart for me from other similar thrillers that I’ve read so far, and it also includes multiple perspectives including the child’s. I know a lot of people took issue with the child’s narration in Room, but it was one of the strengths of that book for me since it brought the character to life and helped to tell the story from a unique angle. I’d be very interested to try another book that is along the same lines. This one came out last February, but I hadn’t even heard of it until recently.
2) Just An Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe
I was first drawn to this one because of the cover art, but as soon as I saw it compared to both Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult, I knew I would have to add it to my list. This one is about a woman named Alice who is suddenly single, unemployed, and forced to move back to her parents’ small town, where she is very envious of her twin sister Libby’s life. Libby is married with two young children and she is also a doctor, and she has a best friend, Jess, who is much closer to Libby than her own sister. Their mother Karen has always tried to protect her daughters, but is finding that harder to do now that they are both adults. The synopsis for this one is actually relatively vague, but it seems like one of those books that will focus on family dynamics and possibly family secrets. If it weren’t for the comparisons to two of my favourite authors, I’m not sure if I would have added it to my TBR so quickly, but it does sound interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily say this one is particularly high on my list, but I might pick it up at some point.
3) One Mistake by Rona Halsall
This is one of many books that I added this month because of the cover art, because for some reason, creepy houses is still something that really catches my attention. This book is about a woman named Sara who grew up in foster care, and had promised herself that if she ever had a family of her own, she would do whatever it took to protect them. When her husband Matt loses his job, Sara decides it’s up to her to help her family, taking an offer from her boss to get the money that she needs in exchange for a favour. Trusting her boss might save her family, but it could risk costing her everything. I’ve had one other of this author’s books on my TBR since 2018, and I didn’t even realize it was by the same person. Like many thrillers, this one has been compared to other popular ones such as My Lovely Wife and The Girl on the Train. It is one of many thrillers that I have on my TBR and it’s one that I’d love to pick up at some point.
4) My Husband’s Lie by Emma Davies
This is probably another one that drew me in because of the house on the cover! It is about a woman named Thea who is surprised to see that her childhood home is up for sale, and she decides it is the perfect place for her and her husband to raise her own children. Thea assumed that moving back to this house would bring her family closer, but her husband is growing more distant and her old friends seem to be avoiding her. While exploring the house, she finds a loose panel that she used to use as a hiding place, and soon finds a faded newspaper clipping hidden inside that she begins to realize that there are secrets she never knew about. This is another author that has been compared to Liane Moriarty, as well as Diane Chamberlain and Amanda Prowse. I wasn’t such a fan of the one Amanda Prowse book that I’ve read so far, but I really like both of those other authors so I’d be interested in giving this one a chance. This book just came out in April and has not received very much attention yet, so I’d be interested to see more reviews as more people read it.
5) Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
Lisa Jewell was at the top of my priority author’s list to try this year, and I’ve already read and loved two of her books! I was very excited to see another new release coming out last this year, and immediately added it to my TBR. It is about a man named Owen who feels like his life is falling apart, especially after being suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct. While searching for advice online, he inadvertently falls into incel forums, where he meets Bryn. Across the street from Owen lives Roan, a psychologist, and his family, who have always had a bad feeling about their neighbour and whose daughter believes he once followed her home. At the same time, Saffyre Maddox, one of Roan’s patients who has been searching for a way to stay connected to him since their sessions have ended, and has taken to following him. When Saffyre disappears, Owen is the last person to see her alive. To be honest, I added this one to my TBR before even looking at what it was about, and now that I’ve read the synopsis properly, I’m even more interested in picking it up! I love Lisa Jewell’s writing style and I’m very interested to read more of her books.
6) The Institute by Stephen King
Full disclosure: I’m not really a fan of Stephen King. I’ve only read two of his books so far, and I didn’t particularly care for either of them, but that may be because they were some of his older titles (Carrie and Misery). I’m often interested in the general plotlines, but I haven’t really enjoyed his writing that much. I’ve decided to try one or two of his more recent releases before completely writing him off as an author that’s just not for me. This book is about a boy named Luke who wakes up at The Institute after his parents are murdered in the middle of the night. The room looks like his, but outside his door are other rooms with other children who have special talents, and were all moved to The Institute in a similar way to him. The director, Mrs. Sigsby and the staff are dedicated to extracting the source of the childrens’ special abilities from them. Children who cooperate are rewarded, and those who don’t are punished and victims sometimes disappear into the Back Half, from which they never return. This book and The Outsider are the two that I’m most likely to try, since they are the ones that seem most interesting to me. I have enjoyed books with this kind of storyline in the past, so I thought it would be a good one to try.
7) All This Time by Rachel Lippincourt and Mikki Daughtry
I mean to read Five Feet Apart last year but ran out of time before I could get to it, but this book immediately caught my attention because I recognized the author’s name. It also didn’t hurt that it was a very interesting cover! This book is about a boy named Kyle, whose life turns upside down the night of his graduation party. Not only did his girlfriend Kimberly break up with him, but the two of them are also involved in a car crash, leaving Kyle with a brain injury and Kimberly dies. Kyle is left believing no one will understand his loss, until he crosses paths with Marley, a girl suffering from a loss of her own and the two of them soon begin to grow closer. This book is not due out until the end of September so it will be quite a while before I get a chance to try it, but it sounds pretty interesting. I’ve read quite a few YA books that deal with grief and loss, and I’m hoping that this will be one of the stronger ones.
8) Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton
This is another case where I have no memory of adding this book to my list, but I’m not surprised given that it has a social media focus. This book is about a guy named MIles who was recently dumped by his fiance and no longer believes in love, who meets a woman named Zoey whose boss sends her to New York to “grow.” Neither of them know it, but they are both ghostwriting client profiles for rival online dating services. They believe they have nothing in common, but soon meet anonymously online and start to bond. I’ve seen quite a few books lately that have some variant of this kind of You’ve Got Mail scenario, and it intrigues me every time! It is such a fun concept and I tend to love books that focus on online friendships/relationships or social media generally. I’m especially intrigued by this one because both characters are ghostwriters for online dating profiles, which is a role I’ve never really heard of before. I don’t know very much about dating apps in general, but it seems a bit weird to me to rely on someone else to write your profile for you!
9) You Have a Match by Emma Lord
This was another book that I added to my TBR immediately upon seeing it on my Goodreads feed, and mostly because of author recognition. Emma Lord is the author who wrote Tweet Cute, which is one of my most anticipated books to try this year! This book is not due out until next January, but it sounds so good! This one is about a girl named Abby who signs up for DNA service, and soon discovers that she has a sister she never knew about. Her sister, Savannah, is an Instagram star who is only a year and a half older than her, and was given up for adoption. Abby decides to meet up with her at summer camp to try and figure out why she was given up, and is also trying to deal with her feelings for her best friend, Leo who is also working at the camp. Given that this book is still about 6 months away, there is not too much known about it, but it sounds very interesting. I’ve seen it compared to The Parent Trap, which is one of my favourite movies (the Hayley Mills version, not the Lindsay Lohan one), and I’m very interested in giving this one a chance.
10) The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton
I’ve had Karen Hamilton’s The Perfect Girlfriend for two years now, ever since I saw it come up in my local newspaper’s book section, but I haven’t picked it up yet! This book is her upcoming release due out at the end of June, and it seems like a very interesting thriller too. This one is about best friends Nina and Marie, who were best friends. When Nina is diagnosed with a terminal illness, she asks Marie to fulfill her last wishes, but she doesn’t realize that her friend may not be someone she can trust. Marie has always wanted Nina’s life and thinks she can keep her promise on her own terms, only to realize that Nina may have been hiding some secrets of her own. I’ve read a few thrillers that deal with women trying to take over each other’s lives or families, and this one seems just as intriguing. I wouldn’t say this one is at the top of my list right now, but it is definitely one I’d be interested in trying at some point in the future.
11) Closer Than You Think by Darren O’Sullivan
I think it’s no surprise by now why this book initially caught my attention. This book is due out in July, and I’d never heard of this author before. This one is about a woman named Claire who has struggled to rebuild her life after escaping from a serial killer known as the Black-Out Killer. Since her escape, Claire became an overnight celebrity and symbol of hope, especially when the murders stop. Ten years later, Claire now has a loving and supportive family, but is still haunted by what happened to her that night. Just as things seem to be improving, there is another victim found killed in the same way as the Black-Out Killer’s previous murders, making Claire suspect that the killer might be coming back for her. This is another thriller plot that I’ve seen several times in the past, but it is one that I’ve often enjoyed before. It’s so creepy to think of a serial killer coming after someone so many years later and it’s a plot that I usually find is done very well.
12) Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard
I recently read Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard, my first book by this author, and I really enjoyed it! I have so many of her other books on my TBR already, but was excited to see another upcoming release. This one is not due out until next spring so it will be a long time before I’ll get to try it. This one is about a girl named Peyton, who has spent most of her school years bullied and alone. When she starts sixth form, she is determined to make friends, and even finds a boyfriend. When her new friends and boyfriend let her down too, she is left back in the same boat as when she started, and decides that her only chance at happiness is to buy a one-way ticket to escape to somewhere new. To be honest, I’m not such a fan of stories that are mostly focused on travel, but this one sounds like it could be very interesting. I really enjoyed Sara Barnard’s writing style in the one book I’ve read so far, so I think there’s a good chance I’ll enjoy this one too even though it’s not a plot that I particularly care for.