Welcome to another installment of Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl)!
This week’s topic is the first ten books ever reviewed. I started off reviewing books on my Bookstagram account and Goodreads before committing to launch my blog. Those first reviews were much shorter and it’s interesting to see how my style has changed.
For this installment I decided to focus on the first ten reviews I featured on What Jess Reads! When I first began I was actively reading graphic novels/trade print releases for my favorite comics. Since then my reading preferences have shifted more to standard books. I still am a huge comic lover, but I don’t get to read much lately. I’m hopeful that will change this year and would love for you to leave suggestions in the comments if you have favorites you think I should check out!
Below are my first ten reviews and their Goodreads synopsis!
1. THE OWL ALWAYS HUNTS AT NIGHT by Samuel Bjork
When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.
Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.
But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.
2. WATCH ME DISAPPEAR by Janelle Brown
It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body—only a hiking boot—has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.
But then Olive starts having waking dreams—or are they hallucinations?—that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.
3. LADY KILLER Vol. 1 by Joelle Jones
Betty Draper meets Hannibal!
Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival.
4. ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Megan Miranda
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
5. WONDER WOMAN, Vol. 1: THE LIES by Greg Rucka
A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!
New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka returns to Wonder Woman! After suffering an unimaginable loss, Diana must rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. However, in the midst of her grief, her Lasso of Truth stopped working! Start down the rabbit hole as dark secrets from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present!
From the ashes of DC Universe: Rebirth, critically acclaimed writer Greg Rucka along with illustrator Liam Sharpunveil a tale that will forever alter the DC icon in Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies!
Collecting: Wonder Woman 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, Rebirth
6. THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…
7. THE PARTY by Robyn Harding
In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.
One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.
Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?
But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.
Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.
8. DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH by Brian K. Vaughan
Doctor Stephen Strange embarks on the most important paranormal investigation of his career, as he sets out to solve an attempted murder – his own! And with his most trusted friend also at death’s door, Strange turns to an unexpected corner of the Marvel Universe to recruit a new ally.
9. THE WEIGHT OF LIES by Emily Carpenter
In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty -year -old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.
Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of a privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.
Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first, island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.
Soon, Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.
10. DEADLY CLASS, Vol. 2: KIDS OF THE BLACK HOLE by Rick Remender
Marcus Lopez is settling into life at Kings Dominion for the Deadly Arts, a secret elite school, to train the next generation of assassins. He has a girl, a circle of friends, and he’s learning a trade: the craft of killing. But his murderous past is about to catch up with him, and there are a few things about Marcus that even his friends don’t know. Secrets that threaten the lives of everyone around him. Because there’s a reason Marcus was sought out by the school’s shadowy principal Master Lin, a man who’s long had an eye for Marcus’s unique talents. Continuing the story of a group of damaged, deranged, and struggling teenagers living through one of the country’s most vibrant and chilling eras. Collecting DEADLY CLASS #7-11.