For the third mini-reviews post, I decided to switch it up and do it every month. These days I don’t seem to read more than about three or four books a month anyway, so I’ll try it this way.
I did have quite an ambitious TBR list, but it was hard to keep to it. I generally take on more than I can chew, but I gave it my best.
The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg
This is the second book by Danish author Katrine Engberg that I’ve read. Her debut novel is The Tenant, a great debut thriller that put her on the map of fellow Nordic Noir writers.
Her style is easy to read and flows nicely, so it was a pretty fast read.
In the second book that follows detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner, murders start happening around Copenhagen.
A young paperboy discovers the body of the first victim on his morning route. The victim was killed in the rare and sordid manner of exsanguination and the body was left in a fountain, close to a mental hospital.
Once the second body appears, the detectives start to make the connection between these murders and the mental hospital.
Young people that suffered from various types of mental illnesses were treated at an institution that was supposed to treat them called The Butterfly House. Instead, they find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation two years after the house closed down.
The murders are unlike any others and too many coincidences point to The Butterfly House.
Lead investigator Korner is trying his best to get the murderer without his partner Werner, who is on maternity leave. But she can’t stay away even though she’s officially off-duty. She gets herself in quite a jam by stirring things up by herself.
Thankfully, their fellow aging detective helps her and Kroner out and saves the day.
Wow, what an ending. I enjoyed the story more than the first one, probably because the intricate plot kept me guessing the whole time. At one point I suspected almost everyone that used to be at the Butterfly House either as a patient or caregiver. I had a feeling the killer was somehow involved with the Butterfly House but wasn’t sure how, and I never guessed the ending.
I gave it four stars on Goodreads.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
I finished this book a couple of days ago, and I needed some time to gather my thoughts on it. First, let me summarize the plot quickly for you. I will then share some of my thoughts and feelings about this read.
Nella is the only Black girl working at publishing house Wagner books. Until two years later, when Hazel is hired.
What starts as normal friendly hair tips and fashion exchanges between colleagues, moves to a very weird and uncomfortable situation. Nella starts finding threatening notes on her desk, and she starts digging into the strange happenings.
What she ends up finding is even worse than she imagined, and she feels like she has to come to a decision she is not ready to make.
Well, let me start by saying that I enjoyed the writing a lot. The first quarter of the book was pretty decent until Hazel entered the picture.
Then I became very confused. I wasn’t sure where this book was going. I’m not sure if it can be considered a thriller, but it certainly had some elements of suspense.
At times the plot got me mad because of the way the characters seemed to be backstabbing each other. I wasn’t sure who was to be trusted and who had ulterior motives.
It wasn’t until the last few pages of the book that we got some answers, but the ending seemed a little uneventful. After the author built up the element of suspense, I expected some mind-blowing end.
But for a debut novel, I gave it three stars on Goodreads. I am looking forward to another novel by the author.
The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
Another winner, as far as I’m concerned. A well-plotted, easy-to-read police procedural that is just gruesome enough. My first read by this author, and I can’t wait for the sequel.
On her first day back to regular duties at the Serial Crimes Unit, DI Anjelica Henley gets called to a crime scene. The team discovers dismembered body parts from two victims by the river.
Although serial killer Peter Olivier is serving time for very similar crimes, the team is convinced they have a copycat on their hands. Nicknamed the Jigsaw Man, because of the way he cut up his victims, Olivier is not thrilled to be imitated.
If anything, it gets him riled up and he decides to take of the situation himself.
Body parts of new victims continue to appear throughout the city, and Henley feels like she’s out of her depth.
Will she catch this monster before Olivier gets to him first?
I absolutely loved this first DI Henley police procedural. It is well written, with short chapters that you breeze through. The book got me on my toes from beginning to end, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened at the end.
If you don’t have a queasy stomach, I definitely recommend this thriller. There are some pretty graphic scenes, so be forewarned.
Although I enjoyed it very much, I only gave it four stars on Goodreads. Some parts were really hard to read, but all in all, very good book.
The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Probably my favorite book this month, it is my first read by author V.E. Schwab.
A little out of my comfort zone, I am glad I gave in and read it. It is categorized as fantasy fiction, and I’m generally not a fan of fantasy at all.
A young desperate girl that longs for freedom makes a deal with a dangerous stranger in 1714, in France. As soon as the next day she realizes that she made a mistake, but she cannot undo the deal she made.
She asked the dark god to live forever, but to be forgotten as soon as she is out of sight. Doomed to be alone forever, she tries her best to enjoy life as best as she can.
The only constant in her life is Luc, her beautiful but hateful fantasy man, who visits her every year on her birthday. And every year that he comes to see her, he asks her if she’s ready to give up her soul.
That is, until three hundred years later when she meets someone who can remember her. Then her world is turned upside down again.
I enjoyed this book so much, I gave it five stars on Goodreads.
The author brought you back and forth from the very beginning until the present day. Cleverly separating the two timelines, you can follow through the progress of Addie’s life from the very beginning.
Once she meets the only person in the world that remembers her, she shares her life story with him. He ends up writing a book about her life, and it is remarkable but very sad at the same time.
V.E. Schwab evoked so many emotions in me while reading this book I didn’t feel in a long time. She taught us lessons and gave us hope. She showed us that wishing for something different doesn’t guarantee our happiness.
What I really got from this book is that we should take life one day at a time and enjoy it to the fullest.
A beautiful story that is very well-written. I recommend it to anyone, of any age group. It really is that good!
The Anna Edit By Anna Newton
This book from YouTube beauty and lifestyle blogger Anna Newton is my last read of the month. It is not fiction, so there is no plot or storyline. It is a guide to keeping three areas of your life organized: your life, your work, and your home.
I’ve been following Anna on YouTube for a while now, and I love her personality and her style. Her writing is also up my alley, although some reviewers find her too casual. I actually like that about her, she seems very down-to-earth and approachable.
Additional Thoughts on the Book
I enjoyed the way she organized the book, the only complaint I have is the color of the headings. That seems to be unanimous, as many readers seemed to be bothered by it. The light green is hard to read, even though I love the color in general. It just doesn’t make the headings pop up as they should.
Otherwise, I liked the book well enough to rate it 4/5 on Goodreads. It is super easy to follow, and the advice she gives is really good and doable.
If you’re into finding ways to simplify your life and bring some order to it, I gladly recommend reading Anna’s book.
This sums up my September reading list. I hope you enjoyed it, and I always welcome feedback. have you guys read any of these books? If you did, how did you like them?
Looking forward to hearing from you. Till next time, Anca.