In typical fashion these days, I am a day late for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana. Oh well, I’m still going to share some mini reviews and link up! I’m also an affiliate with Bookshop, so all purchase links will give me a small % at no extra cost to you and you’re supporting independent bookstores!
Time for the book reviews!
Beach Read by Emily Henry
This is a book that I meant to read all Spring and Summer, and I finally did – finishing on September 1. I had heard that the title and cover were misleading from a ton of reviews, so I wasn’t surprised that the book wasn’t super light and fluffy. Despite that, I really loved the book! Gus and January both had a lot of baggage to work through, and I thought it was handled fairly realistically. You don’t always agree with their decisions, but you can understand them. Plus, I liked the idea that they would spend the summer writing in each other’s genres (for January, she’d try more literary fiction and Gus would try to write a happily-ever-after type of book).
The Only Child by Mi-ae Seo, translated into English from Korean by Jung Yewon
This was a really interesting character study. I love reading books translated from other languages, so I’m glad that I found the time to check this one out. It’s a bit obvious that the work has been translated, but I eventually got into the groove of the writing style. The Only Child is essentially a look at nature vs. nurture. What makes a person do evil things? I don’t want to give too much away, so that’s about all I’ll note. It was a good read all around, and the ending left me really surprised!
The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis
copy for review; all opinions are my own
Phoenix has been on the run for most of her life, alongside her mom. Now they are “settling down” in her mom’s old hometown, finally ready to enact revenge on the one man who ruined her life. This is a YA book, but it’s definitely for older readers, and I think adults would really love it too. It’s dark and twisty and you don’t always agree with the things that Phoenix does…but at the same time, you realize she’s a product of her mom. She’s been shaped and twisted into a mini version of her mom, so that she can find the information she needs to bring down a very powerful man since her mom cannot show her face to these people she grew up around.
I loved the LGBT+ rep. It definitely made things a bit tougher for Phoenix, but it was a sweet addition and it shows that Phoenix is still a kid looking for love and affection. It’s not necessarily going to come from the places she seeks, but she IS seeking. The Hollow Inside is the author’s debut, and it’s written so well. I can’t wait to see what she does next! This would be a great book for a book club, or just to discuss with a friend. There’s a lot of black and white, but more areas of gray than anything, when it comes to the character’s actions. Nobody is a saint in this one.
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
copy for review/from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Chloe Sevre is a freshman in college, and she wants what most people are looking for: adventures, good grades, and maybe even a hookup or two. Oh, and she plans to kill a guy named Will Bachman.
Chloe is a psychopath; diagnosed and given a full ride to this college if she participates in a clinical study. Chloe doesn’t mind the study as it gets her that much closer to Will, and she’s also really good at manipulation, as well as the ability to share what she wants, when she wants. Along with Chloe, we have two other POV’s – people also in the study. Nobody in the study knows about the others, but it doesn’t take long for these people to start figuring each other out…especially when they seem to be getting murdered one-by-one. I was really fascinated by this premise, and while you get various POV’s, Chloe definitely feels like the main character. She’s a psychopath, so why do you kind of root for her? You don’t want her killed by some random person, but you also kind of want her to get revenge on Will once the past details come to light.
I love how the author puts you in the position of rooting for Chloe and her psychopathic friends. You don’t agree with the things they do, but you also understand certain aspects of themselves and their behaviors. After all, they aren’t aliens. They might not have empathy or see the world like most, but they are human beings, and Kurian very clearly shows you that throughout the book.
I definitely recommend it for those who enjoy a psychological thriller, and the way the book ends, I kind of hope there’s a sequel.
Before You Go…If You’re a Harry Potter Fan
I’ve been having fun with TikTok lately and I posted a video yesterday about Harry’s “obsession” with Draco Malfoy in 6th year. Don’t worry…it’s literally seconds long!