Book Recommendations | Mystery/Thriller Edition

Good morning dearest readers and welcome back! Today, I’m going to be doing a book recommendation post (my very first one!!!) and sharing with you some of my favorite books.

At first, I wasn’t sure whether to do this in a “if you liked this, then I think you should read…” format, or if I should do it in a “here are all my favorite books! I highly recommend you read them” format, or if I should do it by genre.

I’ve finally decided to do it by genre and I’m going to try to do them monthly. To start it off, I’m going to be sharing some amazing mystery and thriller books.

I have another idea which is to recommend books to characters from other books (inspired by Meeghan’s Overwatch recommendation posts! Definitely check them out!!!!) but I’m not going to do that for now. Let me know if you’d like to see it soon though!!

Without further chit chat, let’s get started!

The Fixer: ★★★★★ | The Long Game: ★★★★★

by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

These two books are my all time favorite political thrillers, and I loved re-reading them again this year. Tess, Asher, Vivvie, Henry, even Emilia, were all spectacular characters and I loved following them on their adventures from navigating friendships to terrorists. The twists in both of these books are amazing, and I really wish that there had been a third book.

I definitely would recommend this for a YA political mystery, with some family drama.


Look For Me by Lisa Gardner: ★★★★★

Lisa Gardner is one of my automatic-read authors, and this book did not disappoint. The mystery was engaging, and the topics that the story touched on were heart-breaking while also being realistically portrayed. D.D. and Flora were both really great characters, and I loved how different, but also how similar, that they both were. The final reveal shocked me, and it never even crossed my mind that X could have been the killer.

I would recommend it if you like police procedurals and murder mysteries.


Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci: ★★★★★

Baldacci books and I have a complicated history. I loved the Will Robie series, read one of his King and Maxwell books and wasn’t really wowed by it, and then I read Long Road to Mercy and I was so annoyed and angry about it.

However, Hell’s Corner was a hit for me and I loved the complicated plot and characters. Mary and Stone were really interesting and made an awesome pair. I loved how Stone taught Mary some really important life lessons without explicitly doing so, and watching them both have each other’s back. I was sorely disappointed to find out after I read the book, that this was the last one in the series. The ending was absolutely shocking and kind of aggravating, but in a good way.

I would recommend this, especially if you’re looking for a political mystery with assassins and MI6 agents.


Vicious by V.E. Schwab: ★★★★☆

Even though this is technically sci-fi, I’m still going to put it here, because it was definitely a thriller and I loved it. The concept of ExtraOrdinary people, who unlock powerful powers after a near-death traumatic experience, was so intriguing.

I loved reading about how Eli and Victor became EO’s and what led to the thrilling chase and fight between these two ex-best friends. And guys. Victor is not a hero. Eli wants to be a hero but he’s also not a hero. They are both villains, and that made everything much more fun, because there’s no “good guy” to root for.

I also loved the found family relationship with Mitch, Sydney, and Victor. It was really sweet and honestly, I just really liked this book.

I’d definitely recommend this for a science-fiction novel with thriller aspects, and amazing characters!


No Exit by Taylor Adams: ★★★★☆

This was really good. The mystery is not very interesting, but it is really thrilling. Darby was a great main character, and I felt her pain and struggles as she tried to help the little girl, while surviving a horrible blizzard.

The setting and the blizzard added to the helplessness of the situation and increased the terror of Darby, and me as the reader. The ending was rather implausible, but to be honest, I didn’t really care and I was glad that things turned out the way they did. This was one of the first truly thrilling thrillers that I read.

I would recommend this for a short thriller, with a powerful punch.


Chat with me

That’s it guys! I feel like this was not a really good recommendation post, but hopefully it’ll still make you want to pick up one of these great books! I am obviously horrible at this lol.

What are you reading? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think? Do you have any suggestions for great and amazing thrillers? What recommendation post would you like to see next? Was this an utter disaster, or are you partially curious about these books? Chat with me in the comments below!

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – Review

Hello, my dear fellow bookworms! How are you all doing? Today, I’m going to be reviewing one of my new favorite books, A Man Called Over by Fredrik Backman. This was a sad, but also hilarious read, and I’m so excited to try the rest of Backman’s books.

Book: A Man Called Ove

Author: Fredrik Backman

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


Quote: “People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”

*Ove. He’s grumpy, he’s temperamental, he’s cranky, and he has rigid routines that can not be broken or discarded so simply. He is up at 5:45 in the morning, and you had better not turn on the lights or the radiators, lest you get a sharp telling off, or you might find yourself flung out into the snow. He is also blunt, has strict principles, and if you do not drive a Saab, or God forbid, if you drive one of those foreign cars, then you should do everything in your ability to steer very far and clear of him. But Ove is also heartbroken, he’s lonely, he’s sad. His wife has passed on, leaving him to continue in the world alone. Everyone sees a grumpy and cranky old man, but in reality, he hides behind this facade while he grieves and misses his wife terribly on the inside. As they said in the book: “But if anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her. And not after either.”

*Parvaneh and co. They were the right dose of lightness and hilarity that was needed in this heartbreak of a book. I loved how similar Parvaneh and Ove’s tempers were, and it was fun reading about them screaming back and forth at each other, before Ove grumbled and gave in. He reminded me of a little kid in those moments, and Parvaneh of an annoyed mother (which she is). I also loved how he got to know his neighbors as time went on, and he became more involved in the community. It was so sweet and made me feel so warm and happy, especially when they became like one big family by the end of the book.

*Ove’s past and Sonja. The chapters in which they talked about how Ove grew up, and then when he met Sonja were the hardest, and saddest to read. Ove lost so much early on in his life, but it helped give him a set of principles that he still abides by to this day. I really wanted to hug him, and apologize to him for the cruelty of the world. And then he met Sonja. The way he talked about her, the way she loved him even with his stiffness, and grumpiness was so sweet. They were two very different people, but they were also super compatible in a way. When she died, Ove lost something again, and was left alone, as he’d been when he was a child. These were truly the saddest and most painful chapters. Sonja came bursting into his life with all her color, her laughter, her energy, and her sunshine, and then, she was gone. Leaving him to continue life without her. Something that he didn’t want to do. “People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was his color. All the color he had.”

*Suicide. At the beginning of the book, Ove is determined to die, so that he can join his wife and leave the misery and the hollowness behind. But each time, his attempts are foiled, and to his great chagrin, he continues to live. And from that, his relationship with his neighbors blossoms, until he doesn’t attempt to die anymore. He now has a purpose, a reason to keep going, and I liked that it was his newfound “family” that made him stop and continue to live his life.


Quote: “For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

*Age. Ove is 59. Fifty-nine. I find that really really hard to believe. It is the first sentence in the book, yet by the end of the chapter, I’d already forgotten how old he was, and I assumed that he was in his 70s, close to his 80s. Definitely not 59. I feel like that’s really far-fetched, and not plausible at all.


Quote: “And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.”

I really loved this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! I loved the characters, the found-family aspect, and how Ove became such a loving person, despite his outward grumpiness and strict rules. I don’t believe his age to be 59, but that isn’t a big deal for me.

One sentence summary: A heartbreaking, yet funny book with beautiful characters.

Overall, 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read A Man Called Ove? What did you think? Have you read any other book by Fredrik Backman? What was the last book that made you cry? Chat with me in the comments below!

Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci – Reivew

Welcome guys!!! Today’s review is of Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci. This was an amazing thriller with a political conspiracy that was so twisted, I couldn’t see, let alone guess the ending. I also really liked Oliver Stone, and loved Mary Chapman.

Book: Hell’s Corner

Author: David Baldacci

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: Oliver Stone and the Camel Club return in #1 bestselling author David Baldacci’s most stunning adventure yet.An attack on the heart of power . . . “In sight of the White House . . . “At a place known as . . . “HELL’S CORNER John Carr, aka Oliver Stone-once the most skilled assassin his country ever had-stands in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, perhaps for the last time. The president has personally requested that Stone serve his country again on a high-risk, covert mission. Though he’s fought for decades to leave his past career behind, Stone has no choice but to say yes. Then Stone’s mission changes drastically before it even begins. It’s the night of a state dinner honoring the British prime minister. As he watches the prime minister’s motorcade leave the White House that evening, a bomb is detonated in Lafayette Park, an apparent terrorist attack against both leaders. It’s in the chaotic aftermath that Stone takes on a new, more urgent assignment: find those responsible for the bombing. British MI-6 agent Mary Chapman becomes Stone’s partner in the search for the unknown attackers. But their opponents are elusive, capable, and increasingly lethal; worst of all, it seems that the park bombing may just have been the opening salvo in their plan. With nowhere else to turn, Stone enlists the help of the only people he knows he can trust: the Camel Club. Yet that may be a big mistake. In the shadowy worlds of politics and intelligence, there is no one you can really trust. Nothing is really what it seems to be. And Hell’s Corner truly lives up to its name. This may be Oliver Stone’s and the Camel Club’s last stand.


Quote: “Everyone has choices. You make them and then you live with the consequences.”

*Oliver Stone aka John Carr. I read the last book in the series, without knowing, and yet I was still able to enjoy this. It even made me more curious to learn more about Stone and his past. Even though Stone is old, he is still as sharp and quick as he was in his younger days and I liked that. He didn’t let age get the better of him, and he also didn’t really care about the fact that he upset a lot of important people. He only cared about his friends, his partner, and his back. He was willing to sacrifice himself for them and I really admired that.

*Mary Chapman. I. Need. More. Mary. I was horrified when I found out that this was the 5th book and the current last one, and that it was also published in 2010 meaning that there is pretty much a 0% chance that I’ll get more Mary. She is really sassy, and I loved her amazing British self. She’s also much younger than Stone, but just as seasoned and smart as he. They made an amazing team and she also added a lot of humor in an otherwise humorless book. She’s also from MI6 which is terrific, since I love MI6 (and FBI and CIA…). I also liked how she learned to question orders, and also how, even though she was loyal from the start, she grew even more loyal as the story progressed and was ready to sacrifice herself for Stone and his friends. And that’s really something, because she doesn’t really know his friends but she trusts Stone and he trusts them, and so she trusts and helps them too. It was just uplifting and put a permanent smile on my face.

*Plot. I really liked the conspiracy aspect, and how it was introduced from the get-go. I had a few theories, and was exasperated at first because no one seemed to be thinking about my ideas, but it turned out that my theory was wrong. The plot was intense, the characters were being led all around the place, and I was following right behind them. I also really liked the dynamics between the FBI, NIC, NSC, CIA, ATF, and all the other countless agencies that were involved. It was also hilarious how Mary was baffled at all the politics going on, and the fact that agents didn’t even trust their agencies, and how each agency seemed to be trying to bring the other down.

*The Ending. I was shocked, I was in disbelief and I really believed that (no spoilers!) it actually happened. I was going to cry. It was so amazing, fast paced, and wowing, and it was a really satisfying end, even though I sincerely wish that there were more books with Mary, or that she got her own series. *sighs*

*Restaurant Scene. There is this scene, Chapter 79, page 330 in the hardcover, in which Stone and Mary were arguing at a restaurant, and Mary got up to go, and Stone grabbed her wrist to stop her, and this guy comes over and tells Stone to let her go. And then Mary says:

“We were just arguing over who was going to pay the check. But thanks for coming to a lady’s aid, love.”

Chapter 79, Page 330

I just loved it (And I also loved the “love” part too lol). It’s pretty trivial, and I’m probably over-exaggerating, but I really really liked that moment. It just made me feel so happy and warm.


Quote: “And just because they’re no longer a superpower doesn’t mean they don’t want to be again.”

*Nothing. I can’t think of a single thing that I disliked about this. Maybe it should have been a bit faster, but no, I think it was perfect.


Quote: “Every time I walk with Alex I’m reminded both how lucky I am to have friends like him and also how unworthy I am to have friends like him.”

I really loved this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The plot was great, the characters were fabulous, and the ending was totally unexpected and shocked me so much that I couldn’t believe it.

One sentence summary: An amazing political thriller with two spectacular main characters.

Overall, 5 stars

★★★★★

That’s it for this review! Have you read Hell’s Corner? Were you just as shocked by that ending? Do you know any books with amazing female agents from MI6 or another government agency? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Review

Welcome guys!!! Today’s review is of my new all-time favorite book, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardguo. I was supposed to review this last month and it totally slipped my mind?? But here we finally are! I loved the characters, the plot was okay, but the team, was ridiculously awesome. There are spoilers in this review and in the comments, so if you’d like, you can skip straight to The Wrap to here my final thoughts.

Book: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


SPOILERS BELOW!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!

Quote: “No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

*Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker. No words need to be said. Okay fine. I love his grayness, how he murders and attacks and kills mercilessly. How he has no conscience unless it had to do with his merry little band. His terrible childhood. How he is totally swoon-worthy. Also because I’m twisted and have this strong desire to love him, or make him see the world without wanting to kill or just thinking other humans are pieces of a chess game. His tragic past also added to his character and just made me understand and feel for him even more. His love for money and what can only be called arrogance made the story even more hilarious. (When he nearly drowned, and Nina tells him he has to live to get his 3 million kruge, and he instantly clears and says 4 million-that made me laugh so much)

*Inej. She’s been through so much trauma which drives her everyday. I love how at the end, even though her shoes were melting to her feet and she was tired and exhausted, the thought of saving other girls from slavery spurred her to continue. I also absolutely love Inej and her relationship with Kaz. Every single time they spoke to each other, it was filled with sarcasm hiding their love and admiration for each other. The way she also worries about the whole group and about every plan was just sweet and amazing.

*Jesper and Wylan. These two are amazing. Jesper for his quips and Wylan for being so cute and worried. Their constant flirting too was hilarious and I loved them both individually, and together. Wylan was adorable and is the only one who acted his age. It’s not that surprising, since he didn’t have a really horrible past compared to the rest of the Dregs.

*Nina and Matthias. I didn’t really like Nina? But her optimism, and her loyalty to her people and the way she flirts with everything was cool. Matthias was the same. His constant sour mood and the way he slowly warmed to the rest of the Dregs and actually began joking with them was great. Also, their enemies-to-lovers romance was okay, though I didn’t really care about them. Together they made Kaz’s merry little band complete.

*Dialogue. All the dialogue in this book is genius. Purely amazing. The sarcasm, the wit, the awesomeness that is every word in this book makes me want to read it again and again. There’s a reason this book has 18 pages of quotes on Goodreads (and I think that is still not enough…).

*Diversity and Representation. This book is amazingly so diverse. The characters are a mix of skin tones, and many are bisexual or gay. Nina is curvy and is also considered the most gorgeous of them all. Kaz is also disabled and yet he’s still one of the most feared gangsters in the Barrel. I also love how it doesn’t consume his character or that it isn’t the focus of the story. And Wylan is dyslexic, yet he’s still amazing and smart and it doesn’t make the gang feel any different towards him. They all suffer from PTSD and it’s handled while also not taking over the story which I thought was perfect.

*Plot. The plot was okay. I didn’t really care about the heist, but more about the characters which is a bit surprising, since I LOVE heists. I thought it was just meh and I focused more on the characters than on the plot.


Quote: “Take good care of my babies,” Jesper said as he handed them over to Dirix. “If I see a single scratch or nick on those, I’ll spell forgive me on your chest in bullet holes.”

*Wylan’s POV. My adorable little Wylan did not get his own POV. I would have loved to read his POV and figure out what he was thinking, and how he was coping with Jesper’s constant flirting, and being the only one with a decent conscience compared to the rest of the crew. It was really disappointing that he was left out.

*The Ending. (Note: A friend has pointed out that I might have read this wrong, but until I re-read it, I think I’m going to leave my initial opinion the way it was.) I could tell and feel that there was going to be a trap at the end of the book. The fact that Kaz walked right into it without anticipating it made me upset. I was surprised that he agreed to go to an island picked out by someone else, and even more surprised and frustrated when he realized it was a trap after it was too late. The reason he didn’t give Van Eck Kuwei was because he just wanted to cheat him, not because of a trap, and I felt that that was a little out of character for him.


Quote: “Please, my darling Inej, treasure of my heart, won’t you do me the honor of acquiring me a new hat?” 

I really loved this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The characters are spectacular, the plot was okay, and I can’t wait to read book 2. I’ve definitely found my new favorite book and this is going to be probably at the very top of my favorite books of 2019.

One sentence summary: An okay heist with strong and complex characters.

Overall, 5 stars

★★★★★

Have you read Six of Crows? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for books similar to this? Am I the only one who didn’t really like Nina? Let’s chat in the comments below!

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – Review

Hello everyone!! I hope you all had a great weekend. Today I’m going to review We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. The plot was predictable and the story was slow, however, the characters were hilarious and amazing. I was a bit disappointed because the plot wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be.

Book: We Hunt the Flame

Author: Hafsah Faizal

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


Quote: “Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.” 

*Nasir and Altair. Words can not begin to describe how amazing both of these guys are. Altair Al-Badawi is annoying, talkative, obnoxious, and a serious pain. Yet I still enjoyed his jokes and endless talking. Nasir Ghameq, the notorious Amir Al-Maut (Prince of Death), was gloomy, very dark, and such a poor boy who’d been wronged too many times in his young life. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he didn’t have to carry so much pain in his heart. I absolutely loved him. He and Altair were such great platonic friends and made me feel amazing.

*Zafira. She was okay. I didn’t love her, just found her likable. Her strong bond with her best friend and sister of her heart Yasmine was amazing. I also loved how she fed her people in return for nothing, and her decision to fight the sexist views of the Demenhur caliph. She was definitely a strong heroine. Her romance with Nasir was perfect.

*Kifah, Benyamin, and Deen. They were all great side characters. Kifah was strong, ferocious, and not someone to mess with. Benyamin was quietly wise, and the way he treated the rest of the characters like a tired mother was sweet and hilarious. Deen’s love for Zafira and his loyalty was very heartwarming.

*Arabian Rep. The representation was great. There were a lot of Arabic words sprinkled across the story which I really liked. The setting of the story also had the feel of Arabia to it, and I loved reading about the food, and experiencing part of the culture through a wedding.

*Writing. I loved the writing so much. It was super eloquent, and it made me smile reading the Arabic words that were used to emphasize or curse (there was a Glossary and Pronunciation Guide linked). The descriptions were beautiful and it added so much depth and beauty to the story.


Quote: “Promise me,” Yasmine said softly, “that if you die, you will die fighting to return to me.” 

*Plot. I wasn’t really invested in the plot, and it was also pretty slow. The story was also rather predictable and the twists didn’t ‘wow’ me. Not much happened until the last third or fourth of the book. However, I loved the characters and the slow-burn relationships.


Quote: “Maybe the tiny lions were merely ornaments, a display of pride for the victory over a man who defied men, only to be slain by women.”

In the end, I really liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it. The characters were amazing and in my opinion the strongest point of the story, though the plot was predictable. I loved the Arabia aspect and the Arabic words and culture helped enhance the story.

One sentence summary: An amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.

Overall, 4 stars!

★★★★☆

Have you read We Hunt the Flame? What did you think? Do you prefer a great plot or awesome characters? Let’s chat in the comments below!