There are a handful of books that are well known to be 5 stars, and plenty of books that are well-known to be best sellers of various genres. As a reader there is no better feeling than stumbling across a book you’ve never heard of before, a book you assume will just be average, and realising it is one of the best books you’ve read in a while – 5 star book! On the opposite side of it there is nothing worse to a reader than picking up a bestselling book that you’ve heard great things about, and it turning out to be a flop. That’s why today I’ve decided to share my favourite 5 star books I haven’t seen talked about before. I’ve got a collection of contemporary fiction, ya and some thrillers, a good mix I’d say. There are a few you may have heard of before, but I haven’t actually seen these discussed on any book blog so far, so I wouldn’t count them as popular and well known.
The chain by Adrian McKinty
Summary- It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die.
This concept really drew me in, the never ending chain of kidnapping after kidnapping, forcing mothers to kidnap another child to get their own back. These mothers go through the torture of their own kid being kidnapped, and then have to put another mother through the exact same thing. This is one of the most tense thrillers I’ve read and I only read it because I found it on my family bookshelf, not because I had seen anything about it before. I would really recommend this book, it has some great aspects to it: a truly horrifying story, a great main character Rachel, and it wastes no time getting into it! Whilst most thrillers take the time to slowly build up suspense before really getting started, this one throws you right into the deep end when Rachels daughter, Kylie, is kidnapped by people participating in the chain. Right from the start we are taken on this incredibly tense, horrifying journey, where morals are tested to the point of no return and victims become abusers, and abusers become victims. I loved the aspect of the concept how our characters were neither good nor bad, they were both; trying to do the right thing whilst fighting for themselves and their family. I would really really recommend.
The rearranged life of Oona Lockheart by Margarita Montimore
I discuss this one in my January reading wrap up , this was my favorite January read! Read that post to check out my summary of it, would recommend for a great, underrated contemporary fiction.
This time next year By Sophie Cousins
I’ve taken this review from my post February reading wrap up + March TBR . Easy to read, lovely characters, realistic, funny and a great romance! I literally cannot fault this book it was great. We follow the two main characters, Minnie Cooper and Quinn Hamilton. They were born in the same hospital at the same time, their mothers becoming friends in the ward. Before Minnie is born, her mum tells Quinns mum how she plans to call her child Quinn. At the time, there was a competition where the first baby born on new years day would win a huge cash prize, enough to set you up for life. When Quinns mum gives birth first and wins the prize, she decides to take the name Quinn for herself, creating a rivalry and hatred between them. One day Minnie and Quinn meet on their birthdays, 1st of Jan. We follow them on a journey of hatred ( from Minnies side) to friends to complicated friends, to lovers, a classic story. Even though them falling in love is not unexpected, this story is unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. I hadn’t met characters like Quinn and Minnie before, I thought they were so well written! Overall I’ll be recommending this book to anyone who asks from now on!
The girlfriend by Michelle Frances
Summary: Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life. Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems. When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.
Another great thriller I loved, but I haven’t seen discussed! I looked up the author and I found this book was classed as a ‘bestseller’ but I hadn’t seen it discussed anywhere so I’m still classing it as relatively unknown haha! This is a slow burning, psychological thriller exploring a relationship between the mother and girlfriend of Daniel; it built up the suspense, with little events building up our perception of Cherry as we start to learn about her and who she is. I’d really recommend this book for a slower, but still just as tense thriller. I love the psycho girlfriend/boyfriend troupe in thrillers, and that combined with this interesting mother/girlfriend dynamic just really made the book for me.
The Keeper of lost things by Ruth Hogan
On a lighter note, here is a lovely, heartwarming, contemporary fiction I read last year, but haven’t seem it get the hype it deserves.
Summary: Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost. Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners. Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made. As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
This is honestly just the cutest book. I love the vibes of it, very warming, beautiful and unique. If you are in need of a feel good read, that still tackles tougher topics like grief in points, I would point you in this direction. It’s a lovely story that pieces together really well, one of my favourite books of 2020 I’d say. I read their second book, the wisdom of sally redshoes, shortly after and once again LOVED it, I think Ruth Hogans way of writing, with her style and content, really suits me. I’d really recommend checking her work out.
That was all today, I hope you found a book to add to your TBR! These were some of my top 10 reads for 2020, and I read more than 50 books last year so that is saying something haha!
Thanks for reading