Good morning and Happy Labor Day from sunny (and hot) Santa Barbara! Today’s reading update is a bit different because I’ve actually ventured more than 30 miles from my house for the first time… maybe this year? Visiting with friends, eating good food, drinking good wine and enjoying the AC has been lovely because it has been HOT! Did I mention… it’s been HOT?
Today I’m reading THE ONLY CHILD by Andrew Pyper which is a book I went into without knowing much about it. I really enjoyed the author’s THE HOMECOMING last year, so when I saw a couple of his books at a discount I grabbed them up. This wound up on my TBR this month because I landed on the space for the lowest rated book from my TBR for Becca’s #BookoplAthon going on this month, so I was curious to see why it ranked in the low 3 stars range.
THE ONLY CHILD follows psychiatrist Dr. Lilly Dominick. She has a dark past, having somehow survived the brutal murder of her mother in the Alaskan wilds and made her way through the snow and cold to safety herself. She lacks clear memories of what happened and it has haunted her ever since. When a mysterious man is brought in for evaluation after mutilating a man Lily is captivated. She thinks he is sexy and he is psycho, neither of which is something she should be thinking. This man won’t tell her much about himself, but he claims to have known her mother, though his age proves that impossible and he has more impossible things to tell her.
This book is contemporary, but with strong gothic vibes. Though I didn’t realize it going in, it is very pointedly utilizing other classics of the past, FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley most notably to me, though looking back at Goodreads, it also mentions a few others. As the book gets further into the story, the characters begin to reference the classics and draw them even more into the story.
I can see why this hasn’t received the best ratings. The pacing is slow and it does remind me a lot of FRANKENSTEIN in that regard as well. We’ve got journal entries and letters filling in backstory as Lily and this man explore her past and his own. While I’m interested to see where this story is heading, it isn’t entirely calling me to pick it back up once I’ve set it aside for a bit.
In other reading, I am halfway through A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson which is our first September pick for the #SaturdayBookstaClub that I help host on Bookstagram. This one I am really loving! This is a YA thriller in which we’re following Pip, a girl who has decided to use her senior project to look into the disappearance of a local girl five years ago. Everyone believes her boyfriend killed her and then killed himself, but Pip knew the boy and she doesn’t believe it’s true. Pip is curious and gutsy and a lot of fun to follow. The book is full of mixed media with interviews and transcripts to liven up the story along with lots of twists and new clues.
For those in the U.S. I hope you are having a lovely Labor Day and for everyone a lovely Monday! What are you reading to start off the new week?