Monday 18 May 2020

My 2020 Reading Challenge - Update #2

*Books marked * were sent either via Netgalley to review or as a PR sample but all views my own
It's time for my second reading challenge update of the year! It really doesn't feel like that long ago I shared my first update but as I've read quite a few books since then, if I left this post any longer, it would go on for ages! In case you haven't seen these posts of mine before, each year I set myself a reading challenge on Goodreads and throughout the year I share several updates, giving mini reviews on each book. This year I'm aiming for 100 books and I'm currently at number 38, according to Goodreads I'm a little behind schedule if I want to hit my target but I go through phases where I've constantly got my head stuck in a book and others where I don't pick one up for weeks. Anyone else like that? Anyway I better get started because there's a lot of books I want to talk about!
3 books stacked on desk, background of musical programs

Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar* - ⭐⭐

I'm usually always a fan of a thriller type novel but Precious You just didn't do it for me. It started off really well and I got Killing Eve vibes from it which is never a bad thing but overall I found it a little dull. A great premise but I really struggled to get through it.

The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe - ⭐⭐⭐

I've read a few books centered around Aushwitz now, it's a topic I'm genuinely really interested in so I was really happy to receive this at Christmas. Overall I did enjoy this (not sure enjoy is the right word to use for a topic like this but I'll go with it) but I did struggle with it more than I expected to. I'm not even particularly sure why, I just didn't connect with it in the way I did books like People Like Us and The Tattooist Of Auschwitz.

The House Guest by Mark Edwards* - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I can't help but love every book from Mark Edwards! He has become one of my favourite thriller authors and I always look forward to a new release from him. The House Guest, like many of his other books blew me away. Whilst a little different to the books I've read of Mark's before, it was still absolutely brilliant. Well paced, tense and just enough twists and turns.

The Apartment by K.L. Slater* - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What an amazing book! It had to be 5 stars. A page turner from the very beginning. Just enough twists and plenty of characters I was never sure whether to trust or not. I've got another of K.L. Slater's books waiting for me on my kindle so I can't wait to get stuck into that.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was just utterly incredible. Only recently has a book topped it, otherwise I could have genuinely seen it as been my top book of 2020, though I have no doubt it will be at least in my top 5 books of the year. It is the perfect thriller. So smart and sophisticated and full of suspense. It still baffles me now when I think about it and I just want everyone to read it so we can all talk about it! LOVED IT.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides held up in front of bookshelf

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste NG - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book completely took me by surprise. I found it started off a little slow and though I was determined to push through, I didn't think it would become a favourite of mine, but about a quarter of the way through it's like something switched. I felt it really stepped up a gear and I found myself desperate to pick it up again each time I put it down. With issues of gender and race throughout, it was something so unique to everything else I had already read. I've heard it's been adapted into a film so I'll be seeing that as soon as it's out.

Aria's Travelling Book Shop by Rebecca Raisin* - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I just love books about books. I adore when I find characters that I can relate to in my love for books and Aria was just lovely. In fact, the book was full of likeable characters and just such a beautiful, light-hearted plot.

The Chocolate Lovers' Club by Carole Matthews - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I tend to really enjoy anything by Carole Matthews and she has so many books so I'm trying to work my way through them all! The Chocolate Lovers' Club was nice and light-hearted though it does touch on more serious subjects throughout and I found myself really getting invested in each and every character. There are 3 more books in this series so I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
The Chocolate Lover's Club by Carole Matthews held up in front of desk

The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It had been a while since I'd read anything by Paige Toon so when we first went into lockdown and she announced she was reducing all of her e-books down to 99p, I grabbed the one's I'd not already read. What a kind thing to do! She's always been one of my favourite authors but that made me love her even more. The Longest Holiday ended up being one of the best books I've read this year. Paige just knows exactly how to hit you right in the feels. It just had everything you could hope for in a romance.

The Vow by Debbie Howells* - ⭐⭐⭐

On the whole, I did enjoy The Vow. It grabbed my attention right from the start and I was really intrigued with where it was going to go and if the characters really were who they said they were. I found Debbie's writing style really comfortable and it easy to just keep going and going with it. Unfortunately I did find there was just something missing. I found it quite easy to guess how it was going to go so just a little too predictable for me in the end.

Lucy In The Sky by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐

Another from Paige Toon and whilst I did really enjoy it, it wasn't quite on the same level as The Longest Holiday. I think maybe the fact I'd read that so recently and had rated it so high meant Lucy In The Sky just had a lot to live upto! I didn't relate to Lucy quite so much but it still had so many parts that made me smile and I'm really glad it's another I can add to my collection.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce - ⭐⭐⭐

I can't even say how many times I've seen this book mentioned online over the last few months! It seems to have been everywhere and I just couldn't resist reading it for myself any longer. Unfortunately whilst it had some thrilling moments, I was a little disappointed. I just didn't like any of the characters so it was hard to root for anyone and really get invested in the story.

Normal People by Sally Rooney - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If I could just blog about this book from now on, I would. God, I can't stop thinking about it! I've already reviewed it and mentioned it in my recent favourites but I seriously can't get over it. I completely fell in love with Marianne and Connell's relationship and I don't think I've ever wanted it to work out so much for two characters in a book before. Perfect in every way.
Normal People by Sally Rooney held up in front of desk

The Little Bookshop Of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans* - ⭐⭐⭐

I actually reviewed this recently so you can find that here if you want to know my full thoughts but in short, it was a lovely read. It was so easy to picture the setting and I fell in love with the bookshop. I also couldn't help but root for Hallie and Dimitri and I loved their journey from a friendship to a relationship.

Half A World Away by Mike Gayle - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well, I expected this book to be emotional but Jesus, I couldn't see at the end! Kerry and Noah, two siblings are separated in care when they're young and it's only when Kerry hires a private investigator many years later that they find each other again and their lives couldn't be more different. It was always going to be a heartwrenching read but I never expected it to go down the path it did. It broke my heart, yet it was also uplifting too. This is a book I urge everyone to read.

Just Like The Other Girls by Claire Douglas* -⭐⭐⭐⭐

Claire Douglas does it again! I've loved all of her previous books so it's probably no wonder I loved this too but she just always gets it right. This was so cleverly written and all of the characters seemed so well thought out, I genuinely felt like they were all real. There's a shocker of a moment halfway through which kept me gripped to the end and whilst I did feel the ending didn't quite pack the punch some previous thrillers of Claire's have, it was still brilliant. Already looking forward to reading more from Claire again in future!

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena - ⭐⭐⭐

I had really high hopes for this but it just fell a little flat for me. I love the premise of a group of people staying in a swish hotel, murders start almost instantly and no one knows the culprit is but I didn't find it was particularly tense. It had moments of suspense and it wasn't until the end I figured out who might be the murderer but I just wanted more. I don't feel it ever really got going until it was too late.
An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena book on desk, musical programs in background
So that wraps up my second update for my 2020 reading challenge! How are almost in June already? It'll soon be time for my mid year book tag which I've loved writing over the last two years so this year is no exception.

I'd love to know if you've read any of the books I mentioned?

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Sarah Trademark said...

I haven’t started any books this year but keep meaning to! xx

Natalia GutiƩrrez said...

Woow! This is such an extensive list! I have been reading a lot more during the quarantine but I'm nowhere near this number. Thanks for the recommendations!


Mollie said...

Oh my goodness, you're reading list is so extensive! I read Blood Orange p really gripping!

Mollie |

Riana Ang-Canning said...

So many great reads! I read The Silent Patient last year and loved it. The Chocolate Lovers' Club sounds super fun so I may need to look into that series!

jennyinneverland said...

I read The Chocolate Lovers Club years ago and remember really enjoying it! I also read one of Shari Lapena's books a while ago, I can't remember what it was called but I was SO underwhelmed by it!


Tiffany Timms said...

I never used to read loads but just can't seem to stop at the moment! xx

Tiffany Timms said...

No problem! xx

Tiffany Timms said...

It's good isn't it? I've seen so many people talking about it over the last month or so xx

Tiffany Timms said...

I can't get over how good The Silent Patient is xx

Tiffany Timms said...

I always seem to see great reviews for Shari Lapena's books but I've never been blown away by them for some reason! I expected so much from An Unwanted Guest but found it was just okay xx

Heather Nixon said...

I read An Unwanted Guest last year and loved it x

Kelly~Diane said...

I haven't read any of these books but I like the sound of the Librarian of Auschwitz. Thank you for sharing.

rewuest said...

I loved Normal People! One of my favorite reads last year. I thought Everything I Never Told You was just okay, quite disappointing after I loved Little Fires Everywhere.

Rachel ||

Sophie said...

Everything I never told you has been on my TBR for ages right now and I still haven't read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm definitely the same with reading in bursts then nothing for a couple of weeks, especially since lockdown started too x


Tiffany Timms said...

Really glad you enjoyed it! x

Tiffany Timms said...

No problem! x

Tiffany Timms said...

Yay glad you loved it too! Ah that's interesting. It did take me a while to get into but I ended up really invested in it. I'm desperate to get my hands on Little Fires Everywhere xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Really hope you get chance to read it! It's one of the biggest surprises of the year for me so far x

Abi Howard said...

I love Everything I Never Told You and have heard SO many good things about The Silent Patient! This is a great list, definitely bookmarking it for the next time I order books

Abi |

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