• Chane Brown

A Year in (Book) Review- 2020

** I started this last year and never got a chance to finish this blog post as I’d have to do more digging about what I have said for these books. So I know this is a little late (ok a lot late) but better late than never.

At the start of this year, I gave myself a goal. Not necessarily a New Year's resolution, but a goal. My goal was to try and read 12 books this year. To some, that may seem like a pretty pathetic goal, but for someone who rarely reads and is a slow reader at that, it was a decent and attainable goal that I set up for myself. Now that we are nearing the end of the year, I have hit my goal and then smashed it. I became such a book worm. I have now read 21 books this year and I am not slowing down. I turned off the TV most days and enjoyed the peace and quiet in the house with my book in my lap.

Below is a list of all the books I have read this year with my review on them. However, I will try and avoid any spoilers!

- The Fire Witness by Lar Kepler

This starts out as a murder in a children's group home, an eerie view from the killers perspective hunting down a target within the home. With someone dead and a girl missing from the home, Joona Linna, a detective, dives deep to solve this mysterious case.

This book wasn’t too bad as it definitely kept me on my toes initially. The beginning of this book was very much like a horror film which I love! The horror quickly turned to a murder mystery and definitely slowed my interest in the book as it went along. I think this book is a 3 out of 5

- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This is a story about 2 completely different families that are brought together in a perfect little town. A travelling mother and daughter finally settling down and a perfect family with a dark horse as a child. We are brought onto the scene of a huge fire burning down the perfect families house. Afterwards, we are thrown back in time to how the fire came to be.

I know everyone and their mothers has either read this book or watched the show but I wasn’t the biggest fan. It was slow to start, slow in the middle, and left me unfulfilled. The show was decently played but even then I didn't even finish watching the series. At least the book I was able to complete. Not my favorite book that is for sure. 3 out of 5

- One Shot by Lee Child

This book starts out with a mass killing in a square. Some ex military man supposedly went into a parking garage and open fire at the people coming out on their lunch break below (I think? Its been awhile since I read this book). He did wind up in the hospital because he tried to overdose on prescription pills afterwards and therefore couldn't remember if he actually did murder these innocent people. All the clues point to yes but Jack Reacher, a detective, came into the case to find the truth.

This book did manage to keep me intrigued throughout it and trying to figure out how they were going to get this "innocent" man off the hook. I will probably give it 3.5 stars.

- Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

This book starts out with a widow who works as a midwife with 2 kids of her own. She is dirt poor and barely making it by with the money that they have. I think this book is set in the 1800s and this woman, Alinor, had a love affair with a catholic believer in a time when Christianity took over England. The controversy of having this affair at that day in age put her and her family at risk enough let alone some of the other rumors that circle around this beautiful woman.

This book is a slow moving book but it did intrigue me. I was always hoping for Alinor to find that happiness and love and definitely rooted for her throughout the book. I think I would want to read the second book that came out this year, but it isn't on my priority list.

-The Binding by Bridget Collins

I started out loving this book. Loving the mystery of this book binding But when this fantasy book took more of a love turn, I was just unimpressed. I still like this book and I like the different angle it gave on love but I was hoping for more of the book binding stories than for it to focus on a love story. I did like how the story was written from 3 different perspectives and each perspective gave you that persons side of the story.

- Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

I LOVE THIS BOOK. I will warn you that I definitely cried while reading this book but a book can move me to tears, I think it is excellent. It accomplished it's task of bringing some emotion out and so I will give this book 4.5 stars. This book is about a single mother who is looking for her long lost brother and found out that he was adopted into a wealthy family and made a name for herself. Their sibling bond that develops throughout this story makes you relate to them and watch the connection develop between two completely different worlds.

-The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Book 1)

- A Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfusss (Book 2)

-A Slow Regard to Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (Book 2.5)

This tale is about a magically gifted young man who provides an insight to his childhood and how he grew to be the most notorious wizard of his time. His childhood years were spent learning from another wizard while his troupe travelled throughout the lands. However, when his troupe was murdered he then had to find his own way as an orphan for many years until he found some luck and managed to attend the university to study the magic that he longed to master.

These three items belong to a series. This is probably the 4th time that I have read this series and every time I get angry at Patrick Rothfuss for leaving us hanging for the 3rd book to finally be finished and printed. Its only been 10 years that he has been working on the 3rd book and it is frustrating that my story has been incomplete for that long. However, they are one of my favourite series and I will probably continue to read about Kvothe's story until my dying day.

- The Great Influenza by John M. Barry

I have really struggled with this book. I've set it on my bedside table to read at night and I'll get 10 pages in and be bored out of my mind that my body would just prefer sleep.

The whole first section isn't even worth reading. It dives into the history of medicine and how it evolved through the centuries rather than have anything to do with the Spanish flu. This section was pointless and a waster of paper and ink.

I got 300 pages into the book and such a small portion is dedicated to the virus itself and how it tore through cities, countries, and the world. The author has focused his attention to the biology and he has jumped around between so many different scientists and individuals and their role in trying to solve this disease that it is very difficult to follow. It seems like it is written by a teenage that acquired all this knowledge about the virus and then threw everything they could into their report without much organization.

I have picked up this book so many times trying to grind my teeth and get through it but I believe that this is actually a waste of time. I don't like the writing style or really anything about this book. 0 out of 5 stars in my eyes.

- Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Maggie lived in an infamous house that the world knew all about. She and her family spent 3 weeks living in the house before fleeing in the dead of the night. Her father wrote a book about their experience called the House of horrors and detailed all the ghostly experiences that they may have faced. Maggie, not believing in ghosts moves back to Baneberry Hall after her father dies. She plans to renovate the hall and prep it for sale. However, she isn't met with the warmest of welcomes.

This was a perfect October book. Spooky enough for the season and just a thriller that you cannot put down. I think I read this book in 2 days because I just couldn't bring myself to part with the book. I definitely think that if you are wanting a new horror book, this is one you should read.

- A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

- The Queen of Raiders by Sarah Kozloff

- A Broken Queen by Sarah Kozloff

- The Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff

This series started off really interesting and book number 2 (A Queen of Raiders) was incredible, I highly recommend that book and I loved it. However, book number 3 of this series was so incredibly dull. I was bored throughout it and coming off of the high from book 2 it was incredible disappointing. Book 4 made a little bit of a comeback but not enough to really love this series. However, I did name my son after a character in the first book.

- Don't Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Meh. It wasn't scary, it wasn't a thriller, it was just meh.

- Verity by Colleen Hoover

This book was incredibly insane and I still don't know what to take for the ending. I read this book while I was pregnant and some of the scenes that were portrayed in there was horrific. This book I highly recommend and is your number 1 thriller. It starts with a woman standing on a sidewalk waiting to cross when someone gets run over by a tax right in front of her. Blood goes everywhere and it is incredibly gruesome. Beyond that I am not going to ruin the story for you but I do think that this should be a read for everyone.

- In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This book wasn't too bad. It was interesting and I didn't think of the twist at the end. However, the main character annoyed me with her cowardice. It just seemed like a bizarre trait and didn't add to the story. I was entertained by this book but I didn't love it.

On a side note, I did read this book while I was in labor and in the hospital after just giving birth to Ryton.

-The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb

I enjoyed this book from the beginning. I found that it was mysterious and captured my attention from the start. However, once you were approaching the end it became very rushed. The ending was shocking and had a beautiful ending but I wish they took 50 more pages to wind down the book and to give more answers to all the questions the author gave us throughout this book. You had so much build up and then during a major scene it was only a page. I really don't like how this book was executed.

-One Day in December by Josie Silver

I loved this book. I am a hopeless romantic by heart and this really set the scene for me during Christmas time. However, I was incredibly frustrated by how things were panning out or I guess you could say, weren't panning out, but this book had me gripped and pulling on my heart strings the whole time. If you are a sap like I am, this book is definitely one to read.

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