Bites From Our Backlist- Not As Things Appear Edition

Posted July 23, 2020 by stuckint in Bites From Our Backlist / 0 Comments

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of Bites From Our Backlist, where talk about titles whose release dates have passed us by but that we are too excited to talk about that we can’t not review them

Today I am sharing titles that took unexpected turns than what I anticipated.

The Dilemma by BA Paris

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 30, 2020
Pages: 352

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.
But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?
Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

What I Loved: I am not sure what it is about Paris’ writing, but everything I read by her completely sucks me in and has me on the edge of my seat from page one. In this latest domestic thriller, the reader watches and as a husband and wife, who should have the communication thing down after decades of marriage, just stopped talking to each other. There is also the tension surrounding what it actually going on vs what the characters think is happening and it is simultaneously deliciouly suspenseful and unnervingly human. 

The characters on the whole are likeable. Paris does a fantastic job helping you to see and empathize with Adam and Livia’s actions and motivations. 

What I Didn’t Love: While I adored this novel, it won’t be for everyone, as Goodresds reviews will attest. The pacing is a little slower but I personally thought the slightly slower pace (most of the book takes place across one day) only augmented the growing sense of unease. Similarly, this book would have never happened if two married characters hadn’t just sat down and had a serious heart to heart about what was going on. I could definitely see people getting frustrated. So if your prime to random angry outburst directed towards characters being ridiculous, maybe don’t read this one in a public, or strictly quiet, place.

The Patient by Jasper Dewitt

The Patient by Jasper DeWitt
on July 7, 2020

The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.
In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient.
We learn, as Parker did on his first day at the hospital, of the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case—a 40-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis. His symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.
Desperate and fearful, the hospital’s directors keep him strictly confined and allow minimal contact with staff for their own safety, convinced that releasing him would unleash catastrophe on the outside world. Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But from his first encounter with the mystery patient, things spiral out of control and, facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.
Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.

What I Loved: This quick little book has been heavily marketed as The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King, and in a way I would say that’s accurate if Stephen King = supernatural twist.

I will admit I was not expecting some of the twists. Honestly I have the horrible habit of trying to guess the twists by prediction the most outrageous twist imaginable. I would say I am correct about 50% of the time so I was quite tickled The Patient managed to surprise me. 

The book is short so the pacing is realtively quick and consistent. I for one was sucked into the mystery of this patient who supposedly drives any caregivers insane. 

What I Didn’t Love: I was not expecting this book to be epistolary but it was laid out kind of like blog entries. I found the format a little jarring initially but once I got the hang of it, it was no longer distracting. I think it is a natural hazard of writing such a short book- the characters were very one dimensional and I would have liked a little more back story on all of them. 

But overall the novel was enjoyable. I would recommend it to people looking for short horror. 

One To Watch by Kate Stayman London

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
on July 7, 2020

Real seen on TV
Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers--and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?
Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition--under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She's in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That's it.
But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She's in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men--and herself--for a chance to live happily ever after.

What I Loved: This book! This book is so good. It was exactly what I was expecting, and in this case, that is not a criticism. I have such fond memories growing up watching The Bachelor and Bachelorette with my mom. So when I heard the premise of this book I knew I had to have it. 

Bea is a wonderful careful, she is confident but flawed and while I knew the book was a romance I wondered whether she would actually get her HEA.

While some aspects of the book were predictable- as romances often are- this one had a lot more depth to it that I appreciated. From body positivity to cyber bullying 

I loved the diverse cast of characters and the suspense of what was going to happen as Bea got to know the different guys. 

What I Didn’t Love: If you can’t tell I adored this book and have very few complaints. Honestly if you are looking for a fun rom-com to read this summer you need this book.

What About You?

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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