The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides | Book Review

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Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

Date Published: February 5, 2019

Date Read: April 22, 2019

Publisher: Celadon Books

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Setting: London

Get This Copy Here: Amazon | Book Depository

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Great plot twist!

You know what I like about thrillers? It’s their capability to lure you in and take a hold of you like nothing else in the world matters but what’s going on inside the book – that is The Silent Patient for you. It has this ability to grab your attention until you’re in too deep. The Silent Patient is yet another book that lived up to its hype. It took me 2 months from its release to finally read it, and I am glad I did. I was in the mood for some thriller and The Silent Patient definitely did not disappoint.

What is tricky with thrillers is how they will reveal their respective plot twists. Some we see coming from a mile away,  some would just hit you right in the face without warning. The Silent Patient’s plot twist can best be described as a snake watching you and biding its sweet perfect timing to strike. This is what I loved most about The Silent Patient, how you thought it as was so obvious yet it was able to surprise you in the end. It was sinister and clever just what thrillers should be. It was presented in such unconventional way. The book was well put-together from the beginning to the very end. I love that there were no plot holes, everything was coherent and everything made perfect sense. A solid book! The Silent Patient will keep you guessing, and just when you thought you had it all figured out, the twist will come and laugh at your face.

The characters were varied, never boring always kept you guessing. I love how all of them were somehow related to each other. Alicia Berenson frustrated me at times but also surprised me, I didn’t have that inkling about her character from the beginning so to say I was surprised about it all would be an understatement. You see what’s good about thrillers is you really don’t know who to trust. Everyone has a motive, everyone can be a suspect. The Silent Patient toyed with my mind and I gladly gave in. Other characters gave the book more depth, everyone was an integral part on how the ending will come about. It was well-thought out. The only thing that has been keeping me from giving it full five stars is its pacing. It was a little slow for a thriller. Maybe I was looking for something that would constantly keep me at the edge of my seat. But this one had more of melancholic and a little calm vibe to it, maybe because the narration happened after the fact.

I also loved how Greek mythology came into play. It was well tied up into the story giving more texture and flavor to it. It is indeed a fantastic debut novel. I am sure to watch out for more books from this talented author.

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“About love. About how we often mistake love for fireworks—for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm—and constant.”
― Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

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❝About love. About how we often mistake love for fireworks—for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm—and constant.❞ – Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient . ••• Finished reading this one and oh boy that twist is really something huh? Loved it! That’s what I love about thrillers, its capability to lure you in, to take a hold of you like nothing else matters. The Silent Patient isn’t something I have expected. And though it has a slow pace, I love how everything else is connected. There were no loose ends. And I really appreciate that! Now I am into thriller kick! Any recommendations? 4/5⭐️ ••• #TheSilentPatient #AlexMichaelides #Botm #bookofthemonth #botmbookbassador

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Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata | Book Review

 

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Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis–but will it be for the better?

Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko’s thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Convenience Store Woman is a fresh, charming portrait of an unforgettable heroine that recalls Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and Amelie.

Date Published: June 27, 2018

Publisher: Portobello Books

Date Read: March 2019

No. of Pages: 167

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Japanese Literature

Setting: Japan

Get your  copy here: Amazon | Book Depository

 

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Japanese counterpart of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Convenience Store Woman albeit a short read definitely packed a punch. It wasn’t what I had expected. It had the usual Japanese literature vibe – the calmness, subtlety, the minimalist sense (if that makes any sense at all) yet with so much depth and impact. The kind where you wouldn’t know what hit you until it’s a little too late. I love that this book goes beyond what it seems. It’s not just having mental sickness, but it is always deeper than what it actually is, and I really appreciated that in this book.

Keiko Furukura reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant, that’s why I was quick to say that Convenience Store Woman is the Japanese counterpart of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. You would really notice how they are both unaware of how they deal with people and sometimes how funny their actions and thoughts get. But the similarities end there, Convenience Store Woman delves more on the perception of people in the society and how they affect one’s personality and one’s way of socializing and communicating.

Convenience Store Woman is equal parts funny and equal parts sad. You would feel empathy for our main character, the way she tries her best to fit in with the standard set by the society, of how she tried to conform, otherwise she should be “cured”. Convenience Store Woman tackles how society sees an adult single woman who works the bare minimum – useless. The early times when women are treated differently isn’t too far off from today’s society. It may have been under modern circumstance and whatnot, but the prejudice is still very apparent. This book highlighted how the world doles out too much double standard and conformism, act otherwise and you will be branded as someone that needed fixing. It is an exhausting taught, making one ponder on how this society still has a long way to go to be free of this inequality in gender and gender roles. I love that this book tackled this facet and didn’t shy away from providing a pill of reality dressed in humorous but often melancholic work of fiction. Thought-provoking and relevant, Convenience Store Woman sure knows how to keep its reader interested up to the very last page. Finished this book in one sitting!

I loved the ending! I was scared that our character would just succumb and conform through and through, but boy that ending was a sweet redemption. It may not be what I was hoping for but it sure packed a punch! Sayaka Murata is an author that I would continue to watch out for. Did you know she actually worked in a convenience store? Talk about real and raw voice there! Japanese literature will always have a special place in my heart, its calmness, it feels like homecoming. Can’t wait to read more stories like this!

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“When something was strange, everyone thought they had the right to come stomping in all over your life to figure out why. I found that arrogant and infuriating, not to mention a pain in the neck. Sometimes I even wanted to hit them with a shovel to shut them up, like I did that time in elementary school. But I recalled how upset my sister had been when I’d casually mentioned this to her before and kept my mouth shut.”
― Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman

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National Poetry Month 2019

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April is National Poetry Month and what best way to celebrate it than to read and feed my soul with gut-punching, heart-wrenching, tear-inducing, soul-crushing poetry books. May it be contemporary or not, I am here to read any poetry book I can get my hands on! I know last year I promised to post some recommendations and reviews of poetry books as well, but never really came around to actually doing it, I blame the jitters I have while waiting for the Bar Exam results, for that I am truly sorry. So yes, despite my busy schedule, I will devote some of my time posting for National Poetry Month, and you bet I’m going to stick with it this time! I was consistent the previous years doing something for National Poetry Month, be it be posting my fave poems a day, or writing one, I always make sure I do something related to poetry. You can call it an annual tradition. A huge chunk of me loving books is because of poetry. Poetry books are the first books I ever collected, it is still my life goal to have a huge shelf filled with every kind of poetry book. I am mad serious about it, and though the past year this passion may have dimmed a little, I am back to rekindle that fire. I even dreamed of writing a poetry book someday, but that topic would be for another time. For now I’ll savor other people’s poems, and maybe I could find the courage to write mine someday.

I will be posting mini reviews, along with my favorite poem from each book I will finish. You can also check my bookstagram @nerdytalksbookblog for regular updates on the book I am reading and my initial thoughts about each of them. As of this writing I already have read and made mini reviews on 6 poetry books, all of it contemporary ones. So excited to continue with this little project for the whole month of April. Let me know if you want to join me and maybe we can share our favorite poetry books to each other! Or better yet, recommend me your favorite poetry book and I’ll see if I could squeeze it in this April!

Would love to hear if you have little projects like mine for this month!

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