Book Reviews: The Silent Patient, Searching for Silvie Lee and Waiting for Tom Hanks

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides 

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Official Goodreads blurb: 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….

My take: 4.5 out of 5. I love a good thriller and this one ticks all the boxes. It is an absolute page turner, the tricks and mysteries are absolutely properly developed and kept well under wraps until the last minute. I also really enjoyed the true psychological thriller aspect of it. It being set in the confines of a psychiatric institution just fuels the fire. Sadly i cant say more because its one of the books that the less you know the more youll enjoy it.  It is a bit dangerous because you want to finish it all at once, i picked it up in one reading on a plane and was done by the time we landed. Highly recommended it.

Searching for Silvie Lee by Jean Kwok 

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Official Goodreads blurb: A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation. It begins with a mystery. Slvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.

But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.

My take: 3.5 out of 5   As I mentioned above, I love a good mystery or thriller, especially a family  mystery. But after reading the Silent Patient, this book just didn’t have the same strength. It’s a solid book, a good story and some of the twists are really properly kept to the end, but some of the characters are a tad annoying as well as how the difference of the type of Chinese spoken is written on the page. A good book there are just better. I know its sold as a having a cultural element but i feel that’s just marketing. I feel this story has nothing to do with the cultural side and more with personalities.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerri Winfrey 

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Official Goodreads blurb: Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

My take:  3 out of 5 This is a very cute book. Again look at me using the word cute and not great. I gravitated towards it because i am rom com obsessed, and I kind of do search for my Tom Hanks so of course I was going to relate. However I actually do not. This is definitely a book calling out to be adapted into a Hallmark movie that i will love but accept that its most predictable and less good than others. An enjoyable read for romcom and chick lit obsessed people like me but high quality this is not.

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