Most surprising five star reads in 2019 - so far

This year has been a good reading year for me. That is not always the case. For instance, last year I think I read a total of 8 books and three of them were rushed during the last couple of weeks.

2019 has been more successful with 49 books read so far and I am still managing to get a lot of reading in. Not only have the number of books been higher, but the quality of them has been good too. I have rated over 20 of them 5/5 stars. That's pretty darn good.

I thought I would highlight two of the books that were surprise 5 stars. They might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed them and maybe you will too.

The first book I read this year was Heather Tucker's debut novel, The Clay Girl. It was recommended to me by a good friend who has good taste in books. This recommendation and the intriguing first sentence from the description on the back of the book: "Vincent Appleton smiles at his daughters, raises a gun, and blows off his head," quickly moved it to the top of my "to read" list. It was one of my choices for our book club and I was so glad it was chosen.

The Clay Girl by Heather Tucker

Here's the thing about books... I don't always remember ALL of the details, the characters, the plot or even the story line, but I always remember how reading the book made me feel. This particular story is told by Ari, an 8 year old with spunk and gumption. She is a wonderful character that has not left me.

What I delighted in the most about The Clay Girl was the writing. Tucker has a gift for phrasing and use of language. I have never read a book with writing like this before. There were some sentences that I found myself reading over and over just to savour them, and feel them in my mouth. The writing style is so unique that it took a few chapters to get used to it, wondering, do I even know what's going on? Be patient, give it time and yes, you will know what's going on and be spellbound by the writing.

In the summer, I joined an online book club that, I will admit, I wasn't too sure about. I liked that it was international and that many of their book choices were not genres I would gravitate towards. I was concerned that maybe I would end up not liking the books and therefore, might want to spend time reading what I really wanted to read without the comfort zone challenge.

The second book I read with this particular book club was Linwood Barclay's Broken Promise. It's the first of a trilogy. I had never read anything by him before, nor had I ever felt compelled to when I saw his books (he has many) in bookstores.

Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

This book pulled me in from the beginning. It was told like an episode of The Mentalist or Criminal Minds. I liked that it was easy to read and, for me, easy to follow. In the end, things are not neat and tidy, and rightfully so as it is the beginning of a trilogy and it has me wanting to read more.

I liked that it had me guessing a little, made me wonder about some things and through me off every once in a while. If you enjoy a good thriller, or if you're not sure you like thrillers, try this one out. I am already looking forward to when I can go back to the world of Promise Falls and will most likely check out more of Barclay's books too.

Here's to more 5 star reading adventures.

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