2019 Best to Worst Reads

2:50 AM

Welcome to my annual book review. Nothing very extensive here just quick summaries, personal takes and NO SPOILERS.

1. The Family Upstairs 

This book will make you mad, you start to question how people can be too gullible. The novel has a dark and gothic vibe to it. The book is about a girl who discovers on her 25th birthday that she's an heir to a mansion and finds out about her parent's identity. 25 years before, in that same place the police discovers 3 dead bodies and 4 missing children. The book is structured into three perspectives, all from the people who lived in the mansion. The story gets really chaotic along the way so brace yourself for a bucket filled with secrets!

2. Lock Every Door 

Standing ovation for this one, straight up 5/5. This psychological suspense novel is about a broke millennial in her 20s who just got cheated on, was offered to apartment sit a unit in one of the most prestigious buildings in New York for $12,000. Of course shit hits the fan. It’s hard to put the book down cos you’ll be stuck trying to figure out what’s up —plus the protagonist is a relatable and compelling individual. What transpired can actually happen, or perhaps is already happening. This was waaaay better than his previous books, even the cover. 

3. First They Killed My Father

The third best book I read last year was a narrative written by a survivor of the Cambodian genocide, Loung Ung. ‘First They Killed My Father’ takes you back to 1975 with little Loung’s horrific experience as she paints a very clear picture of what happened and how she survived. A very inspiring story rated 4.3/5 in Goodreads. Actually been to Cambodia twice, the country is such a gem, filled with rich culture, you gotta see it! 

4. The Husband's Secret

This book throws you right into the lion’s den with a question of how far you’re willing to go to protect your family over a terrible mistake in the past. It's basically about a husband's secret and how it impacted the lives of 2 women, both perspectives you get to read, no worries. I found myself zoning out to Tess’ perspective in the middle of the book. The author really has a knack for creating a perfect husband with a monstrous secret, always. In Big Little Lies and there was a character there who is very similar to John-Paul, however the only difference is what makes them evil. I love Moriarty's style where you get introduced and sucked in to the lives of different women, the author perfectly encapsulates you in each story, growing attached to the characters. Ladies aged 20 up will appreciate this book.

5. Shiver

Shiver is a collection of horror short stories from Junji Ito that I bought on my birthday (since Fully Booked gives you 20% discount if you're a card holder.) Not gonna deny this is very pricy but worth it. Curated by the horror-manga master himself, this book is a master piece a lot of people will like. Promise. 

6. Pet Sematary

The Creeds move into this peaceful town. Everything seems to be going well for them till the accident. Something powerful lurks in the woods that'll make you understand why sometimes, dead is better.

I've seen this film at a very young age (please don't watch the remake, it's garbage and they changed a vital part of the story!) As I read the book, a wave of nostalgia hit me. This is one of his best works! It's eerie, terrifying and heartbreaking. The fate of the family alone was a nightmare. I guess this is also why Stephen King's the master of horror because his stories are very realistic.

7. Penpal

One of the best horror stories that I've read! The narrator talks about his childhood experiences as it continues to haunt him.  It was a really creepy read, it's also short enough to finish in one sitting.

8. Helium 

You can feel so many emotions here, there were parts that I couldn't appreciate considering how I strongly disagree with his views so it was a good mood buster. All in all I liked it because unlike most poetry books, he didn't really put a lot of flowery words, just raw emotion which I love. If you want to read great quotes, pick this book up.

9. Mine

I was very adamant about reading this because for one, I can’t really forgive cheaters. I hate them with a burning passion, most especially home wreckers. Then one time on a plane ride I chanced upon this copy lurking in my iPad and gave it a try, it was still something horrifying if you really think about it. My first Halloween book this month. It’s great to see things in a whole different perspective because there are two sides and you get to see both perspectives from the ladies, the homewrecker who deserves to live a long and ugly life and perspective of the wife, in a stormy, stormy night with a girl she held captive. What we don't get to read is the side of the greatest evil, the husband. 

Mind you I had nightmares the first time I slept after reading the first 100 pages. I mean, not that I had any personal experience (me and my parents) but someone from the family did and I heard stories of how much it destroyed them so even the death of the other girl made me want to dance on her grave, good riddance! This book will make you hate men.

10. Final Girls

Good thing I read this before Lock Every Door because this novel sucked. The ending was whack, it seemed like they couldn't think of how to wrap up the book so they decided to just, end it the way it is. The book is about 3 Final Girls (if you don't know what a final girl is, it's the only lady who survives in a horror movie). Their paths crossed after one of them committed suicide, and they try to find out the reason behind it because they think the girl was murdered.

Final Girl 1 - Survived of a camping massacre
Final Girl 2 - Survived of a motel massacre
Final Girl 3 - Survivor of a sorority house massacre

This book's filled with annoying characters that I was actually in a bad mood reading it. The plot twist will make you roll your eyes.

11. Tomie

The book is a collection of stories about a monster named Tomie, who doesn't die but multiplies if you cut her to pieces. She's so beautiful she makes boys mad. I wish it didn't take the sci-fi route, some stories were almost there.

12. Nine Perfect Strangers

This has been the hardest to read among her books, what a slow burn but best 
cover I’d say. The summary behind was really really interesting though. I love how all her books are always centered around women and their prejudices — along with real life marital situations we’re all afraid of. I didn't like how it was also about LSD I really am not a fan of books with drug topics. 

13. In a Dark, Dark Wood

This girl hasn't seen her best friend for 10 years, one day she gets invited to her bachelorrete party in the woods. That's all I can say, I don't wanna spoil the story for you. As an avid fan of thriller, hard pass for this one.

14. Lullaby

I did not understand how it ended. This book surely is a chilling reminder of how badly things could go if your children are left in the hands of a crazy babysitter. It's a story about a nanny who killed the kids. 

15. One Was Lost

Remind me never to read books about camping ever again. Thought it might be about witches, which I’m obsessed with as of the moment. The story was strong at first but the ending was such a bummer and 90% of the characters were assholes. It’s a page turner. The letters on their wrists were corny —however, it was unpredictable and I felt really, really bad towards the end, everything was too unfair. You will not get the thought process of any of the characters. It’s an easy read, enough to make you finish it in no time!

16. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I was wondering if I read this back when I was 8 years old, would I be scared? Highly doubt it, I remember reading True Philippine Ghost Stories when I was a kid and those books were hella scary.

17. Choke

The plot alone, I didn't like. I don't even know why I bought the book to begin with. It's about a sex addict, going to rehab along with other sex addicts and his mom is in the hospital so he has to work this weird ass job as an actor of a live museum? What I hated was his job and the scenes there because it was so boring. He had a crazy love story with this girl who works in the hospital. It's actually such a crazy story especially the ending with the sex toy.

I'll be reviewing more books for 2020, this time I'll do it semi annually.

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