August Reading Wrap-up – The 3 Books I Read in August.
In August, I was in a fanatic mood to just read more. It was one of my main goals. I have actually read a lot of books during the past few months, but I haven’t had the time to write up all the reviews yet!
Here are three books I read in the month of August. There was an interesting find as well as a dud and a shocker of a book (in the good sense!).
I’ve been reading a lot more thrillers than previously, and I think I found myself a new favourite author in terms of shock value!
Read on to see what I thought of the three books I read in August!
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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Goodreads Synopsis of The Good Daughter:
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress–because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever. Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.
What I thought of The Good Daughter:
OMG! OMG! JUST WOW!
This book was recommended to me by another book reviewer on youtube. I was sick of boring books I kept picking up and wanted a real shocker, a real thriller of a book that would tear me down raw and spooked.
The book I was looking for came in terms of The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter.
Just take a look at Karin Slaughter’s last name.
Slaughter – that is the perfect last name for someone who is writing these kinds of books.
The beginning of the book was just full of that horror, blood-soaked, flesh-ripping scare tactics of films such as SAW (which by the way was directed by Australians). Australia represent, woo!!
Then the book continued to delve deep into characters and their relationships with each other.
The Good Daughter is a character-driven story with a huge bloody event from the past creeping up on everyone.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially to those who love hope and psychological thrillers.
Life Undercover by Amaryllis Fox
Goodreads Synopsis of Life Undercover:
Amaryllis Fox’s riveting memoir tells the story of her ten years in the most elite clandestine ops unit of the CIA, hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorists in sixteen countries while marrying and giving birth to a daughter
Amaryllis Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying theology and international law when her writing mentor Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, Fox applied to a master’s program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world.
At twenty-one, she was recruited by the CIA. Her first assignment was reading and analyzing hundreds of classified cables a day from foreign governments and synthesizing them into daily briefs for the president. Her next assignment was at the Iraq desk in the Counterterrorism center.
At twenty-two, she was fast-tracked into advanced operations training, sent from Langley to “the Farm,” where she lived for six months in a simulated world learning how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture, and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. At the end of this training she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover–the most difficult and coveted job in the field as an art dealer specializing in tribal and indigenous art and sent to infiltrate terrorist networks in remote areas of the Middle East and Asia.
Life Undercover is exhilarating, intimate, fiercely intelligent — an impossible to put down record of an extraordinary life, and of Amaryllis Fox’s astonishing courage and passion.
What I Thought of Life Undercover:
Let’s just say that I was expecting a real-life spy thriller with nice mysteries like Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code.
But instead, I was given a personal memoir of a lovely life courageously spent living altruistic values.
Amaryllis Fox has lived through some interesting journeys when she was only starting to enter university. She has had even better journeys and secret lives as she joined the CIA.
Life Undercover is less a James Bond book, and more a memoir that reveals an incredible life in the CIA. There are some key messages in this book that Amaryllis lives every day.
I would recommend this book to those who want to read about an incredible life about a woman who can be stronger than she thinks.
It will make you think about the consequences of your actions in a world that is more complex than you think.
The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross
Goodreads Synopsis of The Fifth Column:
#1 New York Times bestselling author of The One Man Andrew Gross once again delivers a tense, stirring thriller of a family torn apart set against the backdrop of a nation plunged into war.
February, 1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. In New York City, twenty-two thousand cheering Nazi supporters pack Madison Square Garden for a raucous, hate-filled rally. In a Hell’s Kitchen bar, Charles Mossman is reeling from the loss of his job and the demise of his marriage when a group draped in Nazi flags barges in. Drunk, Charlie takes a swing at one with tragic results and a torrent of unintended consequences follows.
Two years later. America is wrestling with whether to enter the growing war. Charles’s estranged wife and six-year-old daughter, Emma, now live in a quiet brownstone in the German-speaking New York City neighborhood of Yorkville, where support for Hitler is common. Charles, just out of prison, struggles to put his life back together, while across the hall from his family, a kindly Swiss couple, Trudi and Willi Bauer, have taken a liking to Emma. But Charles begins to suspect that they might not be who they say they are.
As the threat of war grows, and fears of a “fifth column”—German spies embedded into everyday life—are everywhere, Charles puts together that the seemingly amiable Bauers may be part of a sinister conspiracy. When Pearl Harbor is attacked and America can no longer sit on the sideline, that conspiracy turns into a deadly threat with Charles the only one who can see it and Emma, an innocent pawn.
What I Thought of The Fifth Column:
I came to The Fifth Column expecting a Dan Brown type thriller, which would blow my pants off with how exciting and thrilling it could get.
I expected this because the cover awed me with words like ‘a great storyteller‘ and ‘the international no.1 bestseller‘.
Well, I mean if it’s an international number one bestselling then it must be a great read, right?
But what I got instead was a very predictable and somewhat seemingly robot-written book. There was just no imagination or awe in the book.
Perhaps it’s about what my expectations are as a reader? Since if I read a thriller book I want that book to take me to another world and just hammer me again and again with magical scenes of suspense.
I don’t want an okay thriller. I want an amazing thriller that will make me never forget it till I die.
But alas, The Fifth Column was an okay thriller.
I would recommend The Fifth Column to those who want a seemingly well-scripted, well-written book. But is okay with a book that has no imagination, and no real suspense on its pages.