Reading Journey 3: The Boys by Katie Hafner

Hello, fellow bookworm! Today I'm going to share with you updates on the book that I am reading, The Boys by Katie Hafner.  It's about an introverted man Ethan who fell in love with Barb, an extroverted woman. They thought that they complemented each other but it turns out their differences drove them apart.  In the beginning, Ethan left the most impression on me because of his introvertedness to which I could relate. His sad childhood made me identify with him more. When he met Barb, it's so nice seeing he's opening up to new experiences. Barb was his total opposite. She loved to explore the world.  They got married, went to an amazing escapade in Italy, but when they fostered twin boys, their relationship became wobbly. It was aggravated by the pandemic when people globally literally stayed and worked from home. This part made the story realistic as I also experienced staying at home, social distancing, and the wearing of the mask and plastic face shield.  The strain

Short Book Reviews 4



The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller novel written by British–Cypriot author Alex Michaelides. It tested how much I trust my gut feelings. It blew me away with its twist.


The story is about Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who is obsessed with saving a patient at the Grove, a psychiatric hospital. Alicia Berenson murdered her husband, went mad, and refused to speak to anyone. Theo, who is also the narrator of the story, was determined to treat her.


Michaelides led me to believe in the narrator with his explanations and stories about the effects of childhood, his knowledge about psychology,  his bad childhood and troubled marriage. I have persuaded him to side with Theo. However, several chapters into the story, I felt something was off with him; he is a psychotherapist but acts like a detective. But he seems knowledgeable in his field and sympathetic towards Alicia. He just wanted to help her not harm her.  I felt sorry for Alicia, too, and I wanted her to be able to speak again so she could share what really happened on the day she murdered her husband. I trusted Theo as the narrator but I was wrong. It felt like ten buckets of ice-cold water with big chunks of ice were thrown on me when he revealed his connection with Alicia. I was flabbergasted. 


Personally, The Silent Patient is the most haunting psychological thriller I've encountered so far. 



Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis


⭐⭐⭐☆☆


The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis is a story of three women of different generations who hold heartbreaking stories of loss and hope.  It is told from dual perspectives at different points in time giving more insight into Soline's life as a Resistance volunteer during the Second World War in Paris  and a seamstress and businesswoman in Boston, and Rory's relationship with her mother, Camilla, both of them are living in Boston as well.


The Keeper of Happy Endings is written well but didn't captivate me as much as the Last of the Moon Girls, the first Barbara Davis novel I read. Some parts of the plot are familiar and the twist is predictable.  However, it's still a good read because the characters are interesting, and the themes -- war, power of wealth, family, hope, and love -- engendered self-reflection questions.


Thank you, Barbara Davis, Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.



The Odyssey by Lara Williams


⭐⭐⭐☆☆


I was intrigued by the life of a cruise ship crew member so I chose this book to download on NetGalley. The author, Lara Williams, concocted a peculiar story about consumerism, and people's strange way of pursuing faith in somebody. The story is about Ingrid and her life on the WA ship as a crew member and a mentee to the captain of the ship, Keith. Ingrid's idiosyncrasies, her routines at work, her friendship with other staff, her alcoholism, and her married life make her a unique character.


Adding more colors to the life of Ingrid, the people around her are eccentric as well. Her friends on the ship, Mia and Ezra, play this game called Families, and they would act as a family following a storyline they spontaneously created. They would assign a role each time they play the game-- father, mother, and baby. One time, Mia played as the baby who was choking. It was so incomprehensible when I read the part saying that she choked herself for real. It was a terrifying situation for Ingrid and Ezra. Mia could've died. At this point, I was wondering what I was reading.


Another bizarre character is the captain who is Ingrid's mentor.  He was a fanatic of a Japanese philosophy that he imposed on his mentees. He gave directives that harmed his subordinates. For example, he continued to have a meeting with Ingrid even though the ship was already sinking.


The Odyssey is an interesting read that reminds me of comedies with peculiar characters such as Derek played by Ricky Gervais, and Mr. Bean by Rowan Atkinson. Each of them has unique characteristics and stories that defy common sense and create absurd humor. The characters in The Odyssey make the novel leaves an inerasable mark in my mind.


Thank you, NetGalley, Lara Williams,  and Zando for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 


1414° by Paul Bradley Carr


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Paul Bradley Carr's 1414°, a technothriller, shows the ugly side of progress and advanced technology that comes down to the Silicon Valley as sexual harassment, maltreatment of women and minorities in the society hide behind the top-notch tech giants.  To bring the offenders to justice, a mysterious figure called Fate played like a marionettist, stealthily, adroitly, and indirectly maneuvering events using a powerful algorithm that lead to the demise of companies and CEOs who abused their power to their advantage. Lou McCarthy, a journalist, investigates the mysterious death of two CEOs. Unbeknownst to her, she's also manipulated by Fate to get involved in the case that endangers not only her life but also her mother's. 


I enjoyed this book so much. The fast-paced plot, fascinating characters, and inconceivable twist fastened my attention up to the last pages. I have so many questions in the beginning that the book answered in the end: Why is the title 1414°? Who is Fate? Would Lou be able to get out of this mess to save herself and her mother? Would Fate be successful in destroying Raum? The story is well-written and profound, exposing what could happen if technology is in the hands of the wrong people.


If you love technothriller, this book is for you.


Thank you, Paul Bradley Carr, Snafublishing LLC, and NetGalley for the ARC for an honest review. 


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