Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
This is such a haunting novel. It follows a white family as they begin their vacation at an Airbnb, when suddenly the owners of the house show up—an elderly Black couple. The book is about family, trust, and humanity, in a way.
I went into this novel pretty blind, knowing only that it was gaining a lot of momentum in the book community.
The beginning is wonderfully done and had sucked me in immediately. The world opens up slowly, and the plot unravels piece by piece. It is truly chilling. It is a dark and atmospheric book, but the thrilling elements to it added another dimension. But more than that, it is uncanny. It felt familiar in a strange way, almost like déjà vu. I had goosebumps at times because I didn’t know what was going to happen next.
The book also has very timely discussions surrounding race and class, which alone are worth reading the book for.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
This book was such a treat! I had no expectations going into it, I was just on the lookout for some new historical fiction books to read. I am so glad I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this (in audiobook format, thank you Netgalley).
This dual timeline novel was so atmospheric. The trick to these stories is that both plotlines need to be interesting—and they were! I adored reading about Nella & Eliza as much as Caroline.
It reminded me a bit of The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. Not only do we have a hidden, women-run shop in both stories, we also have the arrival of a newcomer who asks for a job! If you enjoyed McKay’s book, this one will be right up your alley. The plot similarities end there, though because Penner’s novel was very unique; I don’t think I’ve read anything like it before.
I was definitely at the edge of my seat as the novel began to unfold. The storytelling was wonderful, and Penner will be on my radar for sure!
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
This book absolutely broke me. Like, I sobbed. A lot. But it was so beautifully written, everyone needs to read it.
This book made me feel so many emotions: anger, frustration, sadness, and love. It brings to light so many important issues surrounding child abuse and neglect, and as someone who is working in this industry right now, it breaks my heart.
It’s definitely really hard to read at times, so be aware (many trigger warnings in this one as well—child abuse, slut shaming, homophobia, death, murder, PTSD, and more).
I read it in a matter of days because of how fast-paced it was, and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
I’ve already placed holds on Allegedly and Grown, also by Jackson, because I need to read even more by her!
I loved these books, but I’d love to know what your thoughts were if you read them! Did you feel the same way as me?