By: Karlie Harris
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. With romance and memoirs both being my favorite genres, I picked a few books out of my physical copy collection to review and share!
I’m Glad My Mom Died
By Jennette McCurdy
I’m Glad My Mom Died, a heartbreaking true story of McCurdy’s time as a child actor (including her experience as Sam Puckett on popular Nickelodeon show, ICarly) is a phenomenal memoir. However, I was misled into thinking it was going to be “impressively hilarious” as the quote on the physical cover suggested. That’s the only reason why I give the book 4 stars instead of 5. I understand that it’s an intense (and morbid) memoir and therefore isn’t particularly meant to be ridden with humor, but I was working under the assumption that I was going to laugh out loud. That never happened. The humor was there, but it was just a bit dry for my taste. The humor is appropriate for an audience that enjoys dark humor; her stories were just so intense and graphic that I couldn’t get past that and find myself laughing. McCurdy tells the story of her mother, hardships, and overall growth very well, in impressive detail, and the chapters were relatively short, which encouraged me even further to race through. As a reader of McCurdy’s stories, I genuinely felt as though I was there with her through each of the terrifyingly rough stages in her life.
The Silent Patient
By Alex Michaelides
This was my first psychological thriller and I am proud to say that it was an impeccable one to start with. From start to finish, The Silent Patient had my brain twisted just how it was intended by Michaelides. The book is about psychotherapist Theo Faber’s immediate interest in a “silent patient,” Alicia Berenson, who shot her husband in the face five times. I especially enjoyed how the author added in discussion questions at the end of his book to answer a lot of commonly asked questions from previous readers. I found myself asking the majority of the questions found in the discussion and was very relieved to have them answered so intriguingly. To anyone that may ask me what to expect and more importantly what NOT to expect from this book, the first thing I’ll say is that you’ll be strung along thinking one thing, only to read a completely chilling ending that so quickly and smoothly comes together out of nowhere. I love how Alicia, herself, had the majority of the story centered around her, but never her actual point of view which surprisingly worked out in the shocking end. Long story short, if you are looking to get immersed in the genre of psychological thriller, The Silent Patient is a must read.
The Awakening / The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)
By L.J Smith
The Awakening / The Struggle is the first duo book of The Vampire Diaries by L.J Smith—that inspired the hit TV show—about extremely popular (and mean girl) Elena Gilbert of Mystic Falls High who meets the new, mysterious Stefan Salvatore, who is later revealed to be an immortal vampire. Although Elena is terrified when she discovers this about Stefan, she is still determined to make him her boyfriend. Considering I watched the entire show (not including the spin-offs) before reading this book, it’s not surprising to say that the book was a bit underwhelming. I saw somewhere that this book reminded them of the Twilight movie series which didn’t really excite me too much simply because I’m not a huge fan of those movies. I wish that Elena wasn’t so annoyingly attached to Stefan before she even knew him throughout the book, in contrast to the show where Elena finds him intriguing; however, she doesn’t throw herself at him from the jump. Their love story should have been lengthened instead of being told so quickly in such a predictable way. Still, I enjoyed the book enough to finish both parts of the duology in its entirety.
Five Feet Apart
By Rachael Lippincott
I’d definitely recommend Five Feet Apart to anyone that loves a good romance, full of twists and turns, and a rollercoaster of emotions through a story depicting patients’ lives with the late stages of Cystic-Fibrosis. It’s so intriguing to read a story involving two CF patients who can’t help but fall in love with each other, yet can’t go within six feet without getting fatally infected. I loved this book; however, I wish that I didn’t watch the movie before reading the book because I’d rather read the heartbreaking moments before watching them as a way to truly feel those events. Either way, I fell for the heart-wrenching storyline/plot. Lippincott quickly had me attached to her witty, mysterious character, Will, and her lovable, insanely organized character, Stella. Poe and Nurse Barb also made the story worthwhile, as well, with their humor and strong personalities.