My five-stars books and my honest opinion on them
Disclaimer: this is my opinion. I have always been a reader, but at the same time, my taste in books – just like everything else in my life – is very specific. This means that my opinion on these books is not an absolute truth and no one should expect it to be; so be careful and hopefully you will enjoy this article.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This book is honestly amazing and worth the time you spend reading; it is a mix of thriller while giving off dark academia with secret societies kind of vibes and it is often – correctly in my opinion – associated with Dead Poets Society. I am a five-star slut, so I tend to give books five stars if I am satisfied with the ending and have the feeling of emptiness when I finish it, but this book deserves them all. If you are looking for a book that makes you feel like you are walking in the hallways of Hogwarts, but minus the magic part and adding more drama and mystery, this is the perfect book. The characters are incredibly annoying, but nonetheless it is such a page-turner and at the end you will find yourself wondering how you managed to read so many pages in such a short amount of time.
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker
Besides the fact that you can use this book as a defensive weapon seeing its number of pages and its weight, I admire the way the writer managed to accompany the reader through this thriller novel. It was such an adventure to solve the mystery, and even with all the clues and statements the revelation left me speechless. I had to put down the book because my brain was unable to process what I just read – and this is exactly the feeling that a good murder book should leave you. If you are still not convinced, even my grandma liked it, and she is a picky reader (now that I read this again, this might not seem like an incentive to read, but it was meant as a compliment).
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
You might start noticing a pattern here: yes, I do like mystery and thriller novels, but I also read other things I swear. However, this is a psychological thriller with a mystery in the background. I don’t really know if I am stupid or if this book is actually well-written because the moment I realized the solution of the mystery I had to gasp out loud and visibly put my hand on top of my mouth as a sign of surprise. It is a fast read – it took me less than two days to finish it and I was not even putting much effort into it – and it will leave you speechless. I am not really sure how to describe it, because it is a complicated family with an obscure past kind of vibe, but at the same time there is a big deal of psychological drama in the mix.
The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes
Not exactly a murder mystery, but it is close enough for me to like it. I would classify it as a psychological novel because the main character of the book is diagnosed with a dissociative identity disorder. It is not an easy book because it is quite explicit about rape and mental disorders, and should come with a lot of trigger warnings – so, be aware of this before reading it. As readers we follow the story of Billy Milligan, his trial for armed robbery and rape, and the attempt of his lawyer to plead insanity. Because of the themes, I found it particularly heavy to read, but I also think it addresses them properly and does not fail to take nuances into consideration.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Finally, not a thriller/murder mystery book and you might have been waiting for this moment. It was quite an easy read because the plot is overall interesting and the meaning behind it makes you think a lot about life choices. What if in third grade I had decided to start football instead of figure skating, would I be a whole different person now? What if I had said those things to that specific person and that time, would it be different now? These are the kind of questions this book raises, and tries to give an answer to. It is a perfect nighttime read, because there are multiple themes to internalize after reading and things to think over. But, honestly, the journey of the protagonist through this imaginary library was eye-opening, maybe because it was the right book at the right time, I don’t really know.
If This Is a Man by Primo Levi
I read this book in high school as part of the curriculum, and it is one of the few books that I read for school that I actually rated on Goodreads. In Italy, it is a well-known book, because it is a memoir from a Holocaust survivor – and I think the majority of students have had to read it at one point in their lives. Nevertheless, in spite of the explicit descriptions of the harsh conditions people had to suffer, I think it is one of those books that has to be read. The plot is nothing special, nothing that we do not already know, but, nonetheless, every page is more excruciating than the last one. The atrocities, the injustices and all the violence are described in such an easy way that makes you wonder how is this possible? How can it be possible that people were tortured only based on them being Jews? Yes, it is not an easy book to read, but is a must-read in my opinion.
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
This is the only romance in my list, and I have to say that this genre was not on my bookshelf until three months ago, when I decided to give it a chance. I did not expect this book to be so explicit, but it is – so yes, another trigger warning, or you know just a heads up on what you are getting yourself into. It is a love story between the grumpy guy and the sunshine girl, very much like Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls with a bit of more family drama added in the mix. For sure an easy read, lots of dialogues and the pages go on quite fast – so if you need a love story, I would suggest this one.
An important thing: I did not mention all the trigger warnings in these books, and I don’t really talk about the plot a lot, so I would recommend google before reading.
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