How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper (BOTM)
I was kind of struggling with what book to choose from BOTM for May…none of them were really jumping out at me, but I knew i wanted something kind of quirky and charming. “How Not to Die Alone” kept being compared to a male version of “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”, one of my favs, so I went for this one, and I’m glad I did! The protagonist, Andrew, who lives by himself and loves model trains, has the interesting job of trying to track down relatives or friends of deceased people who don’t appear to have any immediate family or friends. Due to an awkward misunderstanding, Andrew’s coworkers and under the impression that he has a wife and 2 kids, when he doesn’t. An invitation for him to host a dinner party at his house throws a wrench into his life, as does the arrival of new coworker, Peggy. Similar to Eleanor Oliphant, there is a (pretty sad) backstory involved but otherwise, this is a funny book and a quick read. I really related to Andrew’s painful social anxiety and could definitely see myself thinking similar things in the situations he gets himself into. Would recommend this one for sure!
No Exit by Taylor Adams
This has been on my list to read for awhile and I needed a good thriller! No Exit follows main character, Darby, as she ends up stranded at a Colorado rest stop in a blizzard with 4 other strangers. After wandering outdoors to find cell service, she happens upon a van with a child inside locked in a cage. Knowing that one of the other rest stop visitors is the kidnapper, she looks for ways to break the child out of the van and/or find a way to kill the kidnapper. This is a very quick read and really keeps you on the edge of your seat! I will say, the writing was very mediocre. Its also not quite as “smart” as some of the thrillers I’ve read…there really isn’t a deeper twist or anything that it leads up to. But if you’re looking for a quick fast-paced thriller heavy on suspense and action, this is it!
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
I finished my books really early this month since they were both fairly short, so I decided to pick up this very short story that I got as a free addition in a Book of the Month box last year. I love Gillian Flynn so I was hoping for something good, but I was pretty disappointed. It starts off introducing the main character, a woman posing as a psychic/palm reader. I can’t remember her name but now that I think about it I’m not sure that Flynn gives her one. One of her clients, Susan, claims that her stepson is evil and that it somehow related to the (presumably haunted) house that they recently moved into. The “psychic” agrees to go to her house for a few weeks to “cleanse” it, but then she starts to believe that Susan’s stories are actually true. The first half of this is decent and I enjoyed the backstory of the main character, and I even liked the initial twist, but beyond that is…mehh. It only took under an hour to get through but its pretty underwhelming. I don’t think that’s necessarily due to the length, I just really didn’t like the way it ended. It really had potential except for the ending!