Convenience Store Woman- Book Review

Book Details

Title:- Convenience Store Woman

Author:- Sayaka Murata

Translator:- Ginny Tapley Takemori

Date published:- first published July 2016, June 27th 2018

Genre:- Japanese fiction

No. of pages:- 163 pages


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall rating:- 4/5

Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of “Smile Mart,” she finds peace and purpose in her life. In the store, unlike anywhere else, she understands the rules of social interaction ― many are laid out line by line in the store’s manual ― and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less. Managers come and go, but Keiko stays at the store for eighteen years. It’s almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. Keiko is very happy, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, increasingly pressure her to find a husband, and to start a proper career, prompting her to take desperate action…

A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and a world hidden from view, Convenience Store Woman is an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.

Lately I decided to try a hand on reading East Asian fiction, particularly the Japanese fiction to take a break from English ones. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is my third Japanese fiction book I have read so far and there are many more to come!

Keiko Furukura is a thirty something year old woman, unmarried and still working at the convenience store–the same store she had been working since she was eighteen. Basically the story is about her life in the store, her life in general.

There were no chapters but the story was short and fast to read. The story is mainly told in Keiko’s POV and there are some funny moments in the story. Keiko’s character reminded me a little of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. The story itself is very realistic–how people can be judgmental, when you are not married, people’s perception about you in general and how Keiko sometimes feel like she was ostracized from the society. I have to say, the story was good and I enjoyed reading the book in general. Overall, this book worth 4 stars!

Sayaka Murata (in Japanese, 村田 沙耶香) is one of the most exciting up-and-coming writers in Japan today.
She herself still works part time in a convenience store, which gave her the inspiration to write Convenience Store Woman (Konbini Ningen). She debuted in 2003 with Junyu (Breastfeeding), which won the Gunzo Prize for new writers. In 2009 she won the Noma Prize for New Writers with Gin iro no uta (Silver Song), and in 2013 the Mishima Yukio Prize for Shiro-oro no machi no, sono hone no taion no (Of Bones, of Body Heat, of Whitening City). Convenience Store Woman won the 2016 Akutagawa Award. Murata has two short stories published in English (both translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori): “Lover on the Breeze” (Ruptured Fiction(s) of the Earthquake, Waseda Bungaku, 2011) and “A Clean Marriage” (Granta 127: Japan, 2014). 

The House Across the Lake – Book Review

Book Details

Title:- The House Across the Lake

Author:- Riley Sager

Date published:- June 21st 2022

No. of pages:- 369 pages

Genre:- Psychological Thriller/Horror


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 3/5

Overall rating:- 3.5/5

The New York Times best-selling author of Final Girls and Survive the Night is back with his most unexpected thriller yet.

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.

With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy surprises, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake unveils more than one twist that will shock readers until the very last page.

This may be my 5th or 6th book I have read of Riley Sager and I always enjoyed reading his books. This book is also one of my highly anticipated books and looked so forward to read the book. I started last year and then finished this year.

So you can figure out how the book is.

This book partially reminds me of the Woman in the Window–Casey Fletcher is a widow, who is in the lake house in Vermont, venting off her sorrow by drinking. Just across the lake, another couple lives in the house–Katherine and Tom Pryce. Casey saves Katherine from drowning and the two become friends. And while spying through the binoculars one night, Katherine goes into a fight with Tom and the next day, Katherine had gone missing.

This book started out slow and boring that I nearly DNFed the book. But I don’t usually do DNF so I thought I would finish this book off ASAP. Yeah the first part was boring, slow, not too much going on…but the tension and the actual story starts somewhere in the middle and the tension starts building towards the end. An unexpected twist at the end actually made my rating to increase from 2.5 to 3.5 because the ending was so completely unexpected with a serial killer in the twist. I heard the book is in talks of turning into a movie but having read all of Riley Sager’s book, I must say, this wasn’t as good as his previous ones.

Overall, this book worth 3.5 stars.

If you do want to check out his books, try Home Before Dark–that was really, really good. And als my favorite book of his was Lock Every Door too. I will soon put up my ranking of Riley Sager’s books soon.

Riley Sager is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, most recently THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE and SURVIVE THE NIGHT. His first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel and has been published in more than thirty countries. His latest novel, THE ONLY ONE LEFT, will be published in June.

A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is “Rear Window.” Or maybe “Jaws.” But probably, if he’s being honest, “Mary Poppins.”

Hold Your Breath (Detective Morgan Brooke series Book 9) – ARC Book Review

Book Details

Title:- Hold your Breath – Detective Morgan Brooke series Book 9

Author:- Helen Phifer

Date published:- 2nd June 2023

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 289 pages

Genre:- Thriller


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall rating:- 4/5

The biting wind whips around the crystal-clear waters of the lake. The girl sits with her eyes open, as if transfixed by the waves on the shoreline, but she has taken her last breath…

When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to Lake Thirlmere one frosty night, she’s devastated to find the body of a young woman positioned in front of the glistening reservoir. She has ligature marks on her limbs, glue residue on her eyes, and her beautiful face is as cold as ice. Knowing only a dangerous serial killer would arrange a scene so carefully, Morgan is in a race against time to stop them before more innocent lives are lost.

The victim is twenty-year-old Jasmine Armer and her mother is distraught to hear that her beautiful daughter is gone. And Morgan is shocked when she learns that Jasmine’s father recently committed suicide at the same picturesque spot. The killer must have known the family. Then Morgan receives a terrifying package at the station of an intricate death mask. She immediately recognises Jasmine’s long lashes and perfectly-plump lips.

With the killer taunting her, Morgan knows time is running out. And then Morgan gets the heart-shattering call that her friend, Emily, has been killed. Ligature marks on Emily’s arms are identical to Jasmine’s. Heartbroken Morgan knows this isn’t the end of the killer’s twisted game, but can she track them down before they take another life?

This is the ninth book of the series and as usual Helen Phifer did it again!

The story starts off with the discovery of a body of a young woman named Jasmine, the same spot where Morgan’s father committed suicide. Morgan then receives a package with a horrible mask inside the package and thought that someone was playing a prank on her not knowing that there is going to be a connection between the package and the case. Then another girl was murdered in the similar fashion and soon, Morgan suspected that there is a serial killer on loose.

This was fast paced and a page turner. There were twists and turns and the reader felt like they were also on the part of mission to catch the killer with Detective Morgan. I have been reading Morgan Brooke series for a long time and I have to say, each time I read the new book, I wasn’t disappointed. Overall, it was an unputdownable thriller and for ones who haven’t read this book yet, try out the series! Worth four stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

It Starts With Us – Most Hyped Book Review Part 3

Book Details

Book title:- It Starts with Us

Author:- Colleen Hoover

Date published:- October 18th 2022

No. of pages:- 323 pages

Genre;- Romance


Plot:- 3/5

Writing:- 3/5

Overall rating:- 3/5

Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

Switching between the perspectives of Lily and Atlas, It Starts with Us picks up right where the epilogue for the “gripping, pulse-pounding” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of Perfect Neighbors) bestselling phenomenon It Ends with Us left off. Revealing more about Atlas’s past and following Lily as she embraces a second chance at true love while navigating a jealous ex-husband, it proves that “no one delivers an emotional read like Colleen Hoover” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author).

OK, I am not going to get into too much details about the book since I am sure everyone would have read this book but I am going to tell you my honest opinion.

Colleen Hoover is the most overrated author–no offense, but some of her books, I am not sure why it is worth mentioning on Instagram. However, I did enjoy reading It Ends with Us, because I like Atlas and the topic is mainly about domestic abuse. This book follows the story immediately after It Ends With Us.

The story is told from Lily’s and Atlas’ POV. They have feelings for each other but Lily is in a civil arrangement with her ex-husband Ryle who cannot stand Atlas so Lily was afraid to tell Ryle that she was actually seeing Atlas. Meanwhile, Atlas finds out that he has a half brother that he was clueless about and is trying ways to bond with his brother. And both Atlas and Lily reconnect each other by reading through Lily’s letters to Ellen.

I honestly feel like I was reading a fan fiction of It Ends With Us. I feel Hoover basically wrote this book so that the fans will know what is going to happen to Lily’s and Atlas’ love story. I wasn’t feeling into the story like I thought I would and I literally found myself skimming through the book. But the only thing I like about the book was Atlas. Atlas actually became one of my favorite fictional characters and boy, I wish there was a real Atlas out there!

If you want to read this book, you have to read It Ends with Us. Luckily, this was the second and final book of the series so I am not much to complain. Overall this book worth three stars!

I will be putting up a post soon ranking Colleen Hoover’s books from least favorite to most favorite!

The Couple in the Photo – ARC Book Review

Book Title:- The Couple in the photo

Author:- Helen Cooper

Date published:- will be published on June 22nd 2023

Publisher:- Hodder and Stoughton

No. of pages:- 322 pages

Genre:- Psychological Thriller


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall rating:- 4/5

They’re your best friends.

Lucy and her husband do everything with their closest friends Cora and Scott. They’ve even bought a beach house together to enjoy summers with their kids. They’re more than they’re family.

They’re hiding something.

When a colleague passes around photographs from her honeymoon in the Maldives, Lucy is shocked to see Scott in one of the pictures, his arm around another woman.

The truth will change everything.

Then news breaks that the woman from the photograph has mysteriously vanished. Why was Scott there and what is he hiding?

As Lucy looks for answers, her whole life begins to unravel. If the lies start here, where do they end?

This was actually an interesting thriller.

The story starts with Lucy looking over at photos of her colleague’s honeymoon pictures. In one picture, she recognizes one of her friends Scott with another woman beside him. But Scott was in Japan for a business trip and there is no way he would be in Maldives. But few days later, news reached that a woman was found dead possibly murdered in Maldives and Lucy realized that was the same woman who was standing next to Scott on the photo.

This was fast paced, page turner and I was literally hooked into the book. The only thing was this book was predictable and by the end of the book I kind of predicted what was going to happen and my prediction was correct. Some parts in the book is unrealistic in my opinion. So overall this book worth four stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the ARC. The review is based on my honest review only

Helen Cooper is from Derby, England, and now lives in Leicester. She has a MA in Creative Writing and a background in teaching English and Academic Writing. Her creative writing has been published in Mslexia and Writers’ Forum; she was shortlisted in the Bath Short Story Prize in 2014, and came third in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize in 2018. The Downstairs Neighbour is her first novel.

Last Girl Ghosted – Book Review

Book Details

Book Name:- Last Girl Ghosted

Author:- Lisa Unger

Date published:- October 5th 2021

Genre:- Psychological Thriller

No. of pages:- 394 pages


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 3/5

Overall rating:- 3.5/5

Think twice before you swipe.

She met him through a dating app. An intriguing picture on a screen, a date at a downtown bar. What she thought might be just a quick hookup quickly became much more. She fell for him—hard. It happens sometimes, a powerful connection with a perfect stranger takes you by surprise. Could it be love?

But then, just as things were getting real, he stood her up. Then he disappeared—profiles deleted, phone disconnected. She was ghosted.

Maybe it was her fault. She shared too much, too fast. But isn’t that always what women think—that they’re the ones to blame? Soon she learns there were others. Girls who thought they were in love. Girls who later went missing. She had been looking for a connection, but now she’s looking for answers. Chasing a digital trail into his dark past—and hers—she finds herself on a dangerous hunt. And she’s not sure whether she’s the predator—or the prey.

This is the second book I have read from this author and I thought this was an OK thriller

Wren Greenwood was forced to go on an online dating site and meets a mysterious man named Adam. Adam and Wren soon started dating and Wren started sharing a secret with Adam. But the next day, Adam has disappeared from the face of the earth. Bailey Kirk then approaches Wren Greenwood and tells her about the other missing girls who also had gone on date with Adam through online. Now Wren is determined to find the truth even though it will lead her to a past she wanted to forget.

The story shifts back and forth between past and present–the past detailing about Wren’s childhood and her own relationship with her father. The story itself was fast paced and the part about Wren going back to her hometown was interesting. However, I didn’t feel too much connected with the characters or maybe it was just me. I do like reading about Wren’s childhood which gave us an impression of what her childhood was like, with reasons why she was prompted to write a column known as Dear Birdie, which solves people’s problems. I feel the whole story itself was predictable, even towards the end so I wasn’t surprised about the ending, as I expected that kind of ending. I have to say, this wasn’t a great thriller, but more like OK, which worth three stars in my opinion.

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twenty novels, including her latest SECLUDED CABIN SLEEPS SIX. With books published in thirty-three languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is regarded as a master of suspense.

Unger’s critically acclaimed novels have been featured on “Best Book” lists from the Today show, Good Morning AmericaEntertainment WeeklyPeopleAmazonGoodreadsL.A. TimesThe Boston GlobeSun SentinelTampa Bay Times, and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, numerous awards including the Strand Critics, Audie, Hammett, Macavity, ITW Thriller, and Goodreads Choice. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Mystery and Suspense, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York TimesWall Street JournalNPR, and Travel+Leisure. Lisa is the current co-President of the International Thriller Writers organization. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.

Books that will get you out of reading slump (thriller version) Part 1

Have you ever had a reading slump? I did. But some books have helped me get out of the reading slump. Here are some of my personal recommendations that helped me to get out of the reading slump.

  1. The Housemaid – Freida McFadden

My all time favorite thriller!

2. The Step Daughter – Georgina Cross

3. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (Book 1 and 2) – Holly Jackson

This would definitely get you out of the slump in my opinion!

4. The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

5. The Sun Down Motel – Simone St James

6. The Girl from the Silent Lake – Leslie Wolfe

7. My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing

8. Home Before Dark – Riley Sager

9. The Maid – Nita Prose

10. The Overnight Guest – Heather Gudenkauf

Widow Lake Detective Ellie Reeves series Book 8- ARC Book Review

Title:- Widow Lake

Author:- Rita Herron

Date published:- will be published on May 31st 2023

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 407 pages

Genre:- Mystery


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

“Help,” a tiny voice cried out into the darkness. Little Betsy trembled, praying someone would hear her, save her. “Please,” she whimpered. “I’m scared.”

On the hottest day of the year, as a heatwave takes hold of the Appalachian Mountains, a five-year-old girl goes missing. Just as the sun is setting, a family vacation becomes a worst nightmare—Betsy, with her green eyes, ponytail and rainbow t-shirt—disappears in the woods by Widow Lake. Detective Ellie Reeves is straight on the scene, promising Betsy’s heartbroken parents that she will stop at nothing to find their precious daughter.

Hours later, Ellie is called back to the lake. One of her team have discovered some remains near where Betsy disappeared. The bones belong to a local girl, Amy Dean, who vanished ten years ago to the day, along with her two-year-old baby girl Paisley. But why was Paisley never reported missing? And could she still be alive?

Ellie is suddenly up against the toughest case of her career. Her instincts tell her that the two cases are somehow connected, and she works day and night to uncover the link. When she comes across some little graves beside the water’s edge, she knows she needs to stop the evil lurking around this tranquil lake.

When Ellie discovers a notebook scrawled with the handwriting of a little girl, it could be the breakthrough she needs. Can she unravel a decades-old mystery, and stop the monster claiming innocent lives?

Detective Ellie Reeves is back again with a pang in Book 8!!!

One of my favorite tropes in a thriller book is abt serial killers and this was one of them.

The book was fast paced, twists and turns in nearly every chapter and the author did a good job of making the reader feel like they are at the edge of the seat. The chapters were short which made it easier for the reader to read and I was literally hooked into the story from the beginning till the end! Overall this is a five star read!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the Arc. The review is based on my honest opinion only

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. But she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a teacher instead. Now she writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job.
With over ninety books to her credit, she’s penned romantic suspense, romantic comedy and YA novels, but she especially likes writing dark romantic suspense and crime fiction set in small southern towns.
For more on. Rita and her titles, visit her at You can also find her on www.Facebook/ and

Unsolved – ARC Book Review

Title:- Unsolved

Author:- Heather Critchlow

Date published:- 11th May 2023

Publisher:- Canelo

No. of pages:- 325 pages

Genre:- Psychological Thriller


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

He won’t rest until he finds out the truth…

Cal Lovett is obsessed with finding justice for the families of missing people. His true crime podcast is his way of helping others, even if he can’t help himself.

His sister, Margot, disappeared when he was a child. Only one man seems to know something. But he’s behind bars and can’t be trusted.

So when the family of a missing Scottish woman begs for his help, he heads to Aberdeenshire in search of the truth.

Does Cal have what it takes to unearth the secrets hiding in the hills? And what if he finds something that leads him back to the heart of his own family’s past?

This book has some of my favorite tropes- missing girls, possible serial killer and a podcast that investigate cold cases. Not to mention that this is the beginning of the series.

The story starts with Cal who wants to know what happened to his sister who disappeared years ago while investigating on another cold case of a missing girl named Layla who mysteriously disappeared in 1986.

The pacing was good, it was fast paced, there were some twists and I like the shift between the past and present so that the reader would have a glimpse of what really happened to Layla. Overall this was a page turner and cannot wait to read the next one in series! Worth five stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

The Doctor – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Doctor

Author:- Annie Payne

Date published:- will be published on May 25th 2023

No. of pages:- 384 pages

Genre:- Psychological Thriller


Plot:- 3/5

Writing:- 2/5

Overall rating:- 3/5

Care giver, life saver… or cold-blooded killer?

Running away from a past she’d rather forget, Doctor Alison Wilson has moved to a new town to take up the role of Medical Officer at failing hospital Saint Margaret’s.

Tasked with shaking things up, she quickly learns that things are worse than they initially seem: patient records are in disarray, staff morale is low, and there’s something afoot that she can’t quite put her finger on…

As Alison starts to dig into the hospital’s past, she gradually discovers a trail of lies that runs deeper and darker than she could have ever imagined.

There’s a cold-blooded killer in the hospital. And they’re hiding in plain sight…

I got an invitation to review this book. Judging by the book cover, I know this is going to be a medical thriller and I was excited to read this book. But honestly this book did not live up to my expectations.

The story starts with Allison moving to a small town hospital to work as a medical director. But ever since she got there, things are starting to go downhill. Patients seemed to be dying, someone hacked into her account and someone is determined to make her life as miserable as possible. Someone who do not want her to work at that hospital.

The plot was great, writing was ok in my opinion but overall, I didn’t find this book great. The book wasn’t fast paced, there were parts in the book that were utterly boring, not a complete page turner. I would say the character herself seems bit of naive in my opinion. With that being said, this was not a great thriller and was rather slow paced. Worth three stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon for ARC. Review is based on my honest opinion only.