One of my goals this year was to read more. My actual resolution was “a book a month,” and while that resolution fell by the wayside by February, I’m happy to say I’ve been picking up steam, thanks to the “Book of the Month Club” and the awesome selection of curated books they’ve been providing me, like Sarah Pinborough’s thriller “Behind Her Eyes.”
The actual event that caused me to realize “Wait a second. It actually doesn’t take that long to read a book if the book is good” was a couple of weekends ago, when I read the entirety of “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood on a lazy weekend. I started watching the Hulu TV series the week prior, became obsessed, and wanted more. So I ordered the book on Amazon and shocked myself that I could read just as quickly now (if not more quickly) than in my high school days of binge-reading Harry Potter!
My next dive into reading came this past weekend, when I was visiting Gambier, Ohio for my little brother’s college graduation from Kenyon College. For those that don’t know, Gambier is located right in the center of nowhere. So the plane ride up and first day of settling in before graduation events started was the perfect time to really dive into a new book.
This book was my February “Book of the Month Club” book, “Behind Her Eyes.” I’d gotten about 50 pages in here and there over the previous two months, but I’m one of those people that really needs to commit a solid couple of hours to get into my book of choice.
What is “Book of the Month Club?”
Yes. There is a subscription service for books, and it’s pretty awesome. I discovered it about a year ago, and even despite my lack-of-reading recently, I’ve fallen in love with it. I’m one of those people that can spend hours in a bookstore, but when faced with so many decisions and no specific recommendation from a friend or otherwise, I end up floundering. I either walk out with a BUNCH of books that I will ultimately never read, or don’t get anything at all, overwhelmed by the possibilities.
So, Book of the Month Club seemed like a perfect fit.
Essentially how it works is you just buy a subscription and select your curated book! I got the 3-month recurring one, charging a little under $45 every three months for “renewal.” Then, every month, you are sent an email on the first with the details about the 5 newest “selected” books for the month, curated by avid readers, featuring a review by an actual person, pictures of the book’s contents, etc.
From there, you select the book you want of the five, and add it to your box. You also have the option of adding up to two previous “BotM” books for just $9.99 a piece. This is a great deal for brand-new-to-the market hard back books! Plus they come shipped in a cute little box, which includes a bookmark, postcard, and maybe even an extra surprise. I’ve gotten a Watermelon Ring Pop (my fav!) and a beer koozie before. Extra surprises are fun, okay?
But what if neither of the five books sound good? What if you are backlogged on reading (like yours truly?) You can opt to just skip the month! So, really for the past year I’ve paid a 3 month subscription only twice for 12 months. Another great thing I love about this subscription service? If you forget to “skip”, they assume that you “skipped.” So basically, unless you go to the process of logging in, picking a box, and “confirming” your box, your subscription will automatically roll over into an extra month.
That’s a life saver for me. Because sometimes I am forgetful. And this is literally the only subscription service I know of with that extra bit of forgiveness for the forgetful.
Get to the review, already!
Right. In short, “Behind Her Eyes” was thrilling. It’s been so long since I’ve read consistently that I could not point blank tell you which “genre” of book is my favorite. (Well, outside of autobiographies written by female comedians.) However, I’ve only recently started delving into the “Thriller” genre. I read “The Circle” by Dave Eggers (highly recommend! Get it here!) this past December, a modern-day thriller of sorts, and “Behind Her Eyes” by Sarah Pinborough became my second taste. I was very taken by the well-written synopsis first (below), and it only got better from there.
“Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.
When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before.
David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
In Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough has written a novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling.”
So, how did you like it?
I don’t know much about the “Thriller” genre, but from these two books I can surmise that you feel some faint level of suspense from the moment you finish the first chapter. Then, when you reach around the final third of the book, it becomes an utter page-turner. And usually, the mystery keeps you on your toes. Even if you are someone that can predict where the ends of books/movies/tv shows, you still shouldn’t be able to pinpoint the ending.
And let me tell you: I’ve never been so consistently wrong about where the story was going. Seriously. And I am one of those obnoxious people that predicts movie endings. By the third to last chapter of the book I was like “Ah, I know what happened. I know where this is going now.” And in the second to last I was like, “ I WAS RIGHT!” and then the last chapter game and I was like, “I WAS SO SO WRONG OH MY GOD!”
“Behind Her Eyes” is twisty and twisted, even though the beginning of the book struck me as slightly mundane. But oh man, since I stopped reading it on Friday night, I haven’t been able to keep it from creeping into my mind. I don’t want to give anything away. So, I trust that you’ll pick up the book and take it from there. Assuming you want an awesome, suspenseful read. And one by a female author! Whoo! [Grab it on Amazon or Kindle here!]
As my Book of the Month Club bookmark said, “You think you know how it ends? You’re wrong. I promise.” And gosh, a bookmark has never spoken more truth.
As you might have guessed, I’m now getting back into the swing of reading things! And while I’m chugging along with my Book of the Month books, I’d love more recommendations! Let me know what I should read next in the comments!