5 Thrillers to Cozy Up to This Fall

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I have a confession. I’ve never read Gone Girl. I heard all the buzz about it and because I wasn’t into thrillers at the time, I spoiled myself on Wikipedia (haha). The first thriller I ever read was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. People were drawing a lot of comparisons to this one and Gone Girl. I personally think they each stand on their own. Gone Girl sounds much more dark and eery.

What I quickly learned is that I don’t like domestic thrillers. After the popularity of The Girl on the Train an influx of domestic thrillers hit the shelves and I steered clear not finding plots that genuinely interested me.

This describes in-detail what the genre is and why I’m not particularly drawn to this type of thriller:

Crime writer Julia Crouch describes “domestic noir” as a story that, “takes place primarily in homes and workplaces, concerns itself largely…with the female experience, is based around relationships and takes as its base a broadly feminist view that the domestic sphere is a challenging and sometimes dangerous prospect for its inhabitants.” – Source

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I realize that not all domestic thrillers are about crazy cheating, murderous spouses. I don’t mind thrillers that take place at home or at work as long as it doesn’t revolve around rich and unhappy suburbanites (i.e. the character has a thriving career, the perfect spouse, and live in a mansion but he or she is unhappy so *cheats* and *stab stab stab*). This is an exaggeration of course, but I can’t relate!

However, it seems that many thrillers have an underlying theme about what it means to simply be human and the lengths one will go to hide something. I will attribute The Girl on the Train to my gateway into thriller but I’m happy to have found a mix blend of other types of thriller which I gladly included on this list.


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The Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins (Published: January 13, 2015)

Synopsis:
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Goodreads Rating: 3.9 stars

My Rating: 4 stars

I know there were mixed reviews on this one, but it was so well-written and there were themes of motherhood interwoven in the plot that I missed the first time around. The “plot twist” left something to be desired, but the ride was still insane to me. I definitely recommend it.


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Dark Matter by Black Crouch (Published: July 26, 2016)

Synopsis:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Goodreads Rating: 4.10 stars

My Rating: 4 stars

Dark Matter was such a pleasant surprise! It’s not just a thriller, it’s a sci-fi. It explores themes of other realities and is a psychological mind-f*ck! I throughly enjoyed it. What I liked most is the plot wasn’t your run of the mill “domestic thriller” even though the plot does connect to a marital relationship. I could easily see myself in the main character’s shoes to the point that I questioned my own reality and choices.


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Bonfire by Kristen Rytter (Published: November 7th 2017)

Synopsis:

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?

Goodreads Rating: 3.53 stars

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Bonfire wasn’t perfect, but not because the author is an actress. Although the story suffered from a few debut flaws, I’m still impressed by the overall themes and concepts of this story. The story wasn’t particularly twisty, but definitely suspenseful. The protagonist, Abby Williams, is sharp-witted, observant, and such a cynic. Her character was the strongest aspect of the story.


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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Published: January 2, 2018)

Synopsis:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Goodreads Rating: 3.99 stars

My Rating: (To Be Read)


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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (Published: July 3, 2018)

Synopsis:

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips

In the new novel from the bestselling author of Final Girls, The Last Time I Lied follows a young woman as she returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago.

Goodreads Rating: 4.16 stars

My Rating: Currently Reading.

I found this book through the BOTM subscription. One of the panel judges pitched it as The Parent Trap meets Moonrise Kingdom and I was sold.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of these thrillers? Do you recommend any not on this list? Do you like thrillers? Let me know!

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Literary quotes that will give you all the feels about autumn.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  ― Albert Camus

“Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.”
Leo Tolstoy

“It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“The last dead leaves of fall crackled underfoot, winter-crisp.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

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Happy Monday! I hope these quotes get you in the mood for the week to come. ❤

xo

🍁🍁The FALL Book Tag🍁🍁

I found this tag through Elise on her blog The Bookish Actress. The creator of the tag is Bionic Book Worm. If you do use this tag make sure to link her!

You can do the tag now or save it in your drafts for later. As for me, I was so excited to do this tag to get me in the mood for the new season. I know it’s technically still summer, but some trees are actually changing. Can you really blame me?

Here are my responses to the Fall Book Tag:

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The Hate U Give was my only five star read of the summer. It was definitely a refreshing read. I loved the “voice”, the characters, and how much family and friendships played a roll in Starr’s life. This was probably one of the most authentic YA Contemporary books I’ve read. It took me a year to finally read it. I’m glad I took my time if only because there subject matter was too real. I was so afraid I wouldn’t like this book because of the hype. This book exceeded my expectations! It was so relatable and reminiscent of my early, early Baptist upbringing before my mom switched denominations.

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I didn’t see the ending coming AT all. I finished at around 1 AM in the morning and I was left in a near catatonic state (hyperbole, of course). I mean, c’mon. Aelin always WINS. I can’t say anymore otherwise I’d spoil it but I love how so many supporting characters are now very large players and in a bigger game. AHHHH.

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Red Rising, the first in the trilogy, has action but it’s more of a slow burn before the climax. It’s sequel, Golden Son, on the other hand hits the ground running. Some books I’ve read have all action and no substance. In Pierce Brown’s case, the author manages to keep me on the edge of the seat. Every action is followed by a consequence. Nothing happens without bringing meaning to the overall plot. That is what I call craftsmanship.

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Ahhh… I love The Song Sisters. I love the romantic side-plot of Lara Jean’s dad. I love the bittersweetness of goodbyes and new beginnings. I love that Lara Jean went to New York, road trips to North Carolina, and flies to Korea with her sisters. She seems so worldly and grown-up now. *tear tear* While I wasn’t crazy about P.S. I Love You, I was head over heels with Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I know this book isn’t particularly plot heavy, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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I wanted to pick a book I actually read this year and I chose Nyxia Unleashed, the sequel to Nyxia. It’s such a fun, high-octane, diverse sci-fi series. LOOK AT THAT COVER. It’s so glossy and bright. I had the opportunity to review a copy of the sequel in advance courtesy of Netgalley this year. You can check it out my review here: Nyxia Unleashed.

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TIE!

All hail the Queen. V. E. Schwab quickly became my top favorite author. I’ve read three of her books (all first in various series). I will auto-buy anything she writes. I’m so excited for Vengeful! I’m dying to get my hands on it.

I discovered the Throne of Glass series three years ago, but I didn’t really get into them until two years ago. What the heck?! Time flies. I wish I had time to reread the series.
I’m beyond excited for BOTH these books. I have a reason to live! Hahaha

I TAG:

Luna – bookishluna

Monica – tornpagesandroses

Qui – TheBlackLitQueen

Justine May – bookishwisps

Kaya – afictionalbookworm

Melanie – meltotheany

Claire – bookscoffeeandrepeat

Series I Need to Catch Up On

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Back in March, I wrote a blog post titled: Series I Want to Start But Haven’t Yet. What of book series I’m behind on? With so many great series that released this year and so many other series I’m trying to finish, it can be a little overwhelming to stay on track. Especially if an author is expanding their universe in future installments (i.e. King of Scars, Lady Midnight) I want to make sure I read other books set in their universe. It can be pretty easy to get behind, especially if you haven’t followed a fandom from literally day one.

Here are the book series I still need to finish!

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The Grishaverse // Next: Siege and Storm 

I didn’t exactly love Shadow and Bone at first, but mainly because I had a difficult time connecting to Alina and people hyped up The Darkling like mad. However, I’m still captivated by Leigh Bardugo’s writing enough that I want to continue. Not to mention, King of Scars will be out in 2019. I want to have a fully immersive experience.

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor // Next: Days of Blood and Starlight 

This is another book I didn’t instantly fall in love with, but the writing was so atmospheric and beautiful. I didn’t “get” the romance at first, so I wasn’t ready to jump into the sequel. But I still loved Karou, the setting, and her monster friends. I originally rated this book 3 stars because DOSAB is a bit of a mindf–k and I think I just wasn’t ready for it. If I ever reread it, I’d probably boost my rating. I have a feeling the sequel will improve my feelings.

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer // Next: Scarlet

I think I read Cinder roughly three years ago. I immediately ordered the sequel because I was so intrigued. What I didn’t know is that the series changes POV. This “multi-POV” or changing POV trend was something I was still adjusting to. I didn’t feel like reading from a new character’s perspective. As a result, I’ve neglected to continue this series. I don’t see as much people reading this series right now, which means the hype died down. It makes me want to put off reading the series because who will I talk to about it??

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The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon // Next: The Mime Order 

The Bone Season is the only series on this list that isn’t complete. It’s a seven part book series and only three books have been published in it. Since Book #4 isn’t getting released until 2019 or 2020, I want to catch up on the series eventually.

This book has conflicting reviews, but not because it’s bad per say. There’s so much new information to process and attention to detail to absorb.

I personally enjoyed The Bone Season. The ending was a whirlwind, so before I continue the series I plan to reread TBS. I love Paige Mahoney and Jax makes for an interesting frenemy. However, I’m still confused by Paige and the Warden’s connection though… I’m going a reread will help me understand better. Nevertheless, I’m so hype for Samantha Shannon’s writing.

Let’s Chat!

What series have you started that you’re behind on? What popular series have never started to begin with but are living on your shelves? Do you have any plans to beat the backlist this year?