Symptoms of a Heartbreak Review

I love medical drama shows whether it’s Grey’s Anatomy or New Amsterdam.

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I’ve never read medical fiction that grasped my attention until Symptoms of a Heartbreak. It has humor, heartache and all the emotions you could expect from that type of book and I couldn’t put it down. Let’s take a look at Sona Charaipotra’s Symptoms of a Heartbreak.


The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in Sona Charaipotra’s contemporary romantic comedy.

Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.

But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.

It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.

In her solo debut, Sona Charaipotra brings us a compelling #ownvoices protagonist who’s not afraid to chase what she wants. Symptoms of a Heartbreak goes from romantic comedy highs to tearjerker lows and is the ultimate cure-all for young adult readers needing an infusion of something heartfelt.

Order here!

Tawney’s Review:

Frist off, any book about cancer is hard, especially since my Mom went through it. But I’m glad to say that she is alive and cancer free!

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Saira had a friend pass away from cancer and since then she has been trying to save other children with cancer. She’s smart and only 16, a medical prodigy…like Doogie Howser! Except Saira is a badass Indian-American teen who probably could do circles around Doogie.

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Saira makes tough decisions regarding life and death with her young patients and unfortunately some doctors don’t take her seriously because she too is so young. She also still has to abide by her parents rules. These situations could make for a dramatic book and you feel the emotions with every heartache and tough decision Saira goes through. But Charaipotra brings humor to her characters and the story that it’s a light sweat read.

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Charaipotra does a wonderful job with description from the food being cooked to the corridors of the hospital. It was easy for readers to immerse themselves into Saira’s world. With so many diverse characters you can’t help but fall in love with all of them…especially Dadi. Family is also a big part of Saira’s life and it was wonderful to see such a positive family dynamic, even if they could be meddling. LOL.

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Should you read this? Yes! Not only do you have hospital drama but a romance. This book was a wonderful read containing humor, drama, heartache and love with a fierce intelligent heroine!




Sona Charaipotra

The author of the YA doc dramedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak, Sona Charaipotra is not a doctor — much to her pediatrician parents’ chagrin. They were really hoping she’d grow up to take over their practice one day. Instead, she became a writer, working as a celebrity reporter at People and (the dearly departed) TeenPeople magazines, and contributing to publications from the New York Times to TeenVogue. These days, she uses her Masters in screenwriting from NYU and her MFA in creative writing from the New School to poke plot holes in her favorite teen TV shows, like Riverdale — for work, of course. She’s the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent, and the co-author (with Dhonielle Clayton) of the YA dance dramas Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces, as well as the upcoming psychological thriller The Rumor Game. She’s a proud We Need Diverse Books team member. Find her sharing pictures of her kids and her chai on Instagram @sonesone2, and talking writing and books on Twitter @sona_c.
The author of the YA doc dramedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak, Sona Charaipotra is not a doctor — much to her pediatrician parents’ chagrin. They were really hoping she’d grow up to take over their practice one day. Instead, she became a writer, working as a celebrity reporter at People and (the dearly departed) TeenPeople magazines, and contributing to publications from the New York Times to TeenVogue. These days, she uses her Masters in screenwriting from NYU and her MFA in creative writing from the New School to poke plot holes in her favorite teen TV shows, like Riverdale — for work, of course. She’s the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent, and the co-author (with Dhonielle Clayton) of the YA dance dramas Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces, as well as the upcoming psychological thriller The Rumor Game. She’s a proud We Need Diverse Books team member. Find her sharing pictures of her kids and her chai on Instagram , and talking writing and books on Twitter.

A Blade So Black Review

My goal this year is to read more diverse books. I wholeheartedly love all the diverse authors out there showing what they can do. Especially the women! I’m a big fan of L.L. McKinney. If you don’t follow her on social media, I recommend it! She’s intelligent, witty and an eye opener for those living in a privileged world. She tells it as it is and I love it! Her book A Blade So Black caught my eye with the beautiful African American Alice on the front holding a blade. It was fierce, it was diverse and it called to me!

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Let’s take a look at A Blade So Black!

A Blade So Black delivers an irresistible urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland . . . but it’s not the Wonderland you remember.

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

Debut author L.L. McKinney delivers an action-packed twist on an old classic, full of romance and otherworldly intrigue.

Order here!

Tawney’s Review:

I love Alice and Wonderland. There’s just something about that story and the chaotic mess she went through. Give me McKinney’s Alice and it just got better! Alice is loud, witty, brave and just a badass heroine. She the MC we want and need. She’s relatable and the friend you are looking for. I loved it!

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I was enthralled by McKinney’s world. The Looking Glass Pub, the nightmares, the relationship between Alice and her mom and the everyday issues a young biracial girl faces. McKinney’s world building was vivid and enticing weaving Carroll’s classic with her own making for an invigorating read. While Alice deals with the fantasy world she also deals with her world of social injustices of police shootings, racial issues, urban plight, which makes an emotional mashup that impacts the reader.

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This book gave me Buffy vibes and I loved it. Alice’s relationship with her Mom was refreshing to see as most YA has the characters go off on their own. I loved McKinney’s retelling of Lewis Carroll classic but set in the modern world not to mention all the Sailor Moon inspired aesthetics! I love Sailor Moon. Her supporting characters are not to be missed as well. Over all I highly enjoyed this book and look forward to the sequel A Dream So Dark. I need more Alice in my life! I need more McKinney in my life! I think I have a girl crush.

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Should you read it? Yes, with adventure, worldly topics and a fierce heroine, McKinnye’s Alice is one not to missed!

About the Author:

Leatrice “Elle” McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is a poet and active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests.

Elle’s also a gamer, Blerd, and adamant Hei Hei stan, living in Kansas, surrounded by more nieces and nephews than she knows what to do with. Aside from rockin’ the Favorite Aunt thing, she spends her free time plagued by her cat–Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, esquire, Baron o’Butterscotch or #SirChester for short–or defending the realm from the enemies of Azeroth. FOR THE HORDE!

Follow: Twitter * Instagram * Facebook * Blog


We Hunt The Flame Review

It’s been a while since I reviewed. A bad case of bronchitis could do that to you. Ugh cough cough. But I did read due to lack of sleep.

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Today’s book is one that had me enthralled to the very end. It was one of my most anticipated books for my summer reads. And I wasn’t disappointed! I’ve followed Hafsah since she self-pub Unbreathable and for her Icydesign, but what I just loved was watching her journey through this publishing world!. And her gorgeous book is out in the world! Let’s take a look at We Hunt The Flame.

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya Book 1) by [Faizal, Hafsah]

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Order here

Tawney’s Review:

Hafsah’s book was captivating. It’s set in an Arabian inspired fantasy with Arabian myths and legends. You can’t help but dive into this world full throttle and go on this journey with the characters. Every step of the way you connect with the characters, especially Zafira, our heroine.

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Zafira has helped her village by masquerading as a Hunter but soon the Silver Witch calls for her to save more than her village. She is destined to go on a quest to bring back magic to the realm and accompanying her is Nasir, the son of the sultan. His job is to kill her once her task is complete. Oh the drama!

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The characters are witty, strong and very relatable. You have this love hate relationship with Nasir and can’t quite grip if he’s good or bad. What I loved about this fantasy was the heroines! Bring on the fierce girls. They were fierce and capable of handling their own situations, whether it’s in peril or chatting to a friend. It was very refreshing to see such diverse characters.

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Hafash’s world building was splendid. No info dumping here but descriptive vivid scenes with emotional connections to the characters. Every step of the way the reader is along on this journey. Hafsah writes this fantastic world with imagination and ancient Arabic myths, connecting a system of magic that the reader can’t help but lose themselves in the story.


Should you read this? Yes, there’s magic, adventure, love and loss. If you love fantasy take a dive into Hafsah’s diverse fantasy world that gives you much magic.

About the Author:

Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah Faizal is an American Muslim and brand designer. She’s the founder of IceyDesigns, where she creates websites for authors and beauteous goodies for everyone else. When she’s not writing, she can be found dreaming up her next design, deciding between Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim, or traversing the world. Born in Florida and raised in California, she now resides in Texas with her family and a library of books waiting to be devoured. WE HUNT THE FLAME is her first novel.

Follow Hafsah: Twitter * Instagram * Blog


Once and Future Review

I love Arthurian tales. I have always loved Merlin and Excalibur and seek out new tales to be told.

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Today’s review is a gender swapping, sci-fi LGBT twist to the legend of King Arthur. Not to mention a gorgeous cover.

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Let’s take a look at Once & Future.


Once & Future by [McCarthy, Cori, Capetta, Amy Rose]

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.
Now I’m done hiding.
My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.
When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
No pressure.
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Tawney’s Review: First off wow. This was a very imaginative retelling. McCarthy and Capetta did a wonderful job and keeping the Arthurian legend real while giving life to a newer futuristic storyline.
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There is very much a diverse cast of representation from race and sexuality in this book. Merlin seems to be aging backwards and in this version he’s young and loves K-pop! Not to mention that he does spells in song form and he loves men. He is the humorous character you just kept help but love. Ari is our King Arthur and she is so strong and motivated that it’s hard not to connect with her, especially with her heart wrenching romance with Gwenivere.
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I loved Firefly and I felt this book gave me a little something I was missing from that series… a great sci-fi! The pace was swift and the description vivid. The only problem I had was it felt a little rushed at the end and I wanted more! Once and Future was fun, suspenseful and adventurous. I look forward to the sequel.
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Should you read it? Yes! A Fun gender swapping Arthurian tale with lovable characters and a sci-fi twist.


Spotlight: The Forever Series by Tara Gallina

Today I’m here to tell you about a steamy romance that may be flying under your radar.

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Tara Gallina’s The Forever Series is a sizzling series full of romance, sex and Sebastian!

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Let’s take a look at the books and why they are just the perfect sexy romance you need right now.

My best friend has been obsessed with Sebastian since our freshman year in college. She wants him to herself, which is fine by me. He’s a paycheck, a means to an end goal. He’s temporary. But he’s also tempting—the way he looks at me, the things he says, the way he touches me… If I’m not careful, I might do something I’ll regret. ~Ainsley Belle

At twenty, Ainsley knows it’s time to follow her own dreams and not the future her that was planned for her—a future she never wanted. Losing her job couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Sebastian Gianni isn’t the ideal boss, but he has a position to fill and Ainsley is desperate. The sexy twenty-two-year-old comes from money, owns a successful business, and graduates from college in three months. He has his life together in a way Ainsley could only dream.
No wonder her best friend is obsessed with dating him. Even his ex-girlfriend is determined to get him back, although threatening him seems like the wrong approach. Ainsley would be a fool to fall for the guy, too.
By no means, should she trust him. He has more secrets than anyone she knows, which makes her wonder if the mafia rumors about him are true. It doesn’t matter that he’s a good listener, and sweet and protective at times. That playful flirty side he shares with her alone means nothing. Right?
When a kiss turns into a secret romance neither can give up, Ainsley learns the truth about Sebastian’s corrupt family and why his ex-girlfriend won’t go away. A future together is near impossible and comes with a risk that could get them both killed—or give them everything they’ve ever wanted.

Tawney’s Review: I highly recommend this book! I received an ARC for a review and couldn’t have been more pleased with this sexy romance!  There is wonderful chemistry and a smoldering passion between Ainsley & Sebastian. As their relationship develops you can feel the tension and the passion waiting to explode. There are also many thrills with Sebastian’s rumored connection to the Mafia. I couldn’t stop reading this novel and binge read it until the very end. And wow what an ending! If you are looking for a good sexy read with wonderful characters and some thrills, than Risking Forever is the one for you.

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The sequel to Risking Forever: vol 1. Continue the story.

The toga party and sheet draped loosely around my body didn’t make me kiss him. The alcohol and near attack by a drunk douche didn’t make me either. I can’t even blame it on the flirty dare Sebastian gave me a moment before I claimed his lips with a gentle kiss. While each contributed to the incident, I did it because I’m selfish.
For once in my life I took what I wanted. I didn’t think about anyone else but myself. I wanted a kiss, and I got a lot more. I figured it’d be good. I just didn’t know how much I’d grow to crave it—crave him.
No one can find out about us. If they do, I could end up homeless, friendless, or worse, in danger. It’s not like what we do in secret changes anything—other than my feelings for him. He’s as unattainable as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. At least now I know the truth about his family and why his life isn’t his own.
He made me an offer I refuse to accept. If I don’t find a way to separate my body from my heart when we’re together, I’ll end up as trapped as he is. ~ Ainsley

Tawney’s Review: So glad to be returning to Ainsley and Sebastian! Daring Forever takes us right where Risking Forever left off with Ainsley and Sebastian growing closer and closer. Now here’s where things get steamy as you can just feel the heat radiating between the two. Sebastian’s mystique starts to peel away and we get to see the real man behind those layers rather than the tough persona. The dialogue between the two is fantastic as they banter and flirt. Tara does a wonderful job at keeping the chemistry between the two sizzling. The description is vivid and you can feel every glance and yearning from Ainsley. And can we just sit and drool at these covers? I highly recommend The Forever Series if you are looking for a sexy read with steamy characters and hot tension. I can’t wait for the third instalment!

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The final installment to the Forever Series—for now.

It happened. I knew it would. I fell for him. The revelation didn’t rise within me like an orange sun emerging from the ocean. This wake-up call was more of a slap to the face. And now that it’s out, the silence from Sebastian has me wondering if I’ve lost my hearing.
What did I expect, for him to love me back? He’s made it clear since the beginning that can’t happen. This is on me. Walking away would be the smart choice. I have dreams to follow, and a new life to start far away.
If only I could take Sebastian with me. If only I could convince him the risk is worth the reward. If he knew he could escape his father without harm, he’d go. Not just for me but for himself. He may not love me, but he cares. I wouldn’t have given myself to him, if I had thought otherwise. ~ Ainsley

Tawney’s Review:  It’s the conclusion to Sebastian and Ainsley’s story and I couldn’t wait to see the outcome of this smoldering romance.  Sebastian and Ainsley have been through it all and author Tara Gallina likes to pull at your heartstrings. She does a wonderful  job at immersing the reader right with Sebastian and Ainsley. Her description and detail just paints the vivid picture of the complications that the couple go through. You can’t help but connect with Sebastian and Ainsley, rooting for them all the way. I couldn’t turn each page fast enough, as the pace was swift and some parts intense to the point I wanted to peek to the ending to see what happens. Well I didn’t and it was worth the read! There is such a connection between Sebastian and Ainsley that you feel it too as Tara takes you on a suspenseful fulfilling conclusions to their love story. 

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Just when you think it’s over here is another book in The Forever series with Sebastian’s point of view!


Hiring Ainsley was a mistake but firing the little beauty when she’s broke seems unfair. Besides, I like being around her. She doesn’t want anything from me like everyone else. She’s not aggressive or forceful. She’s sweet, unexpected, and, damn, if she isn’t getting under my skin. If I’m not careful, I’ll drag her into my arms, my bed, and into the dark pit of my world—a place she doesn’t belong. A place I don’t belong, but a place I might be able to withstand if she’s with me. ~ Sebastian Gianni

Sebastian – Risking Forever is the companion novel to, Risking Forever: vol 1, and told from Sebastian’s POV. **Warning**This novel contains spoilers that aren’t revealed in Risking Forever: vol 1 until mid-point in Daring Forever: vol 2. I kept the stories separate to maintain the mystery and suspense in Risking Forever and recommend reading the other 2 first.

Tawney’s Review: If this series couldn’t get any better we get Sebastian’s point of view! We get to hear his thoughts and perspective on Ainsley. Author Tara Gallina does a wonderful job at bringing Sebastian to life and taking on the man’s perspective. I was not disappointed. I do suggestion readers read this book once they finish with the series and Ainsley’s point of view. It was immensely fun and heartbreaking to follow Sebastian. You wanted to both hug him and hit him at the same time. This was the companion novel we needed. I immensely enjoyed this book.

Order the series here!


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And so the big question now is what’s next Tara? Because we need more romance from you!

About the Author:

Tara GallinaTara Gallina grew up breathing the salty air in a small town near Clearwater Beach, Florida. The sun and sand were her playground, bathing suits and jean shorts her go-to wear.

After moving to Orlando, FL with her hubs, she left the workforce to enjoy motherhood and rekindled her love of writing. While romance is one of her favorite genres, she writes young and new adult and has a soft spot for retellings.

She has two furry writing companions who often steal her seat when she’s working: a mini shih-poo named Bella, and an exotic cat named Tigerlily but who answers to Kitty because the menfolk in the house like it better. Speaking of kitties, she is obsessed with Hello Kitty, has a pink office, thinks everything is better with sparkles, freezes in temperatures below seventy, and is happiest when visiting local hotspots like Disney World or Harry Potter with her family.

Follow Tara: Website * Instagram *Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads




XL Review

  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 26, 2019)
  • Order here!


WIll Daughtry is a late bloomer–at least, that’s what everyone tells him. On his sixteenth birthday, Will is just shy of five feet, and he is bitterly resigned to being tiny forever. His only comforts are his best friend and stepbrother, Drew (6’3″), and their pal Monica (5’10”), the girl Will’s been quietly pining for since fifth grade. Everyone else literally overlooks him. But with them, he feels whole. That is, until things take an unexpected turn, and he realizes he’s really and truly on his own.

That’s when he starts to grow. And grow fast. Astonishingly fast. For the first time, Will’s happy with his stature, and the world’s at his feet (for a change). People see him differently; more important, he sees himself differently. But the highest heights come with some low, low lows, and his most precious relationships suffer excruciating growing pains. Will has to figure out what to do with himself–and all of this new “himself” he never expected to have.

This book was a refreshingly cute YA.

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Being a teen is already hard with preparing for college and growing up, but add in some flaws and sometimes being a teenager just sucks. Will is short for is age barely making it to 5′ foot and those that surround him always tower above him. His best friend is his stepbrother Drew who happens to be a basketball star and Monica…who is taller than him by a foot.

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And with flaws there is always those that bully teens who are different. This book tackles a variety of teen angst from bullying, jealousy, friendship, and the need to be accepted. I found the plot interesting and lighthearted. It had its humorous parts and also sad parts and Brown’s writing was descriptive with a fast pace.

The humor was great but I think teenage boys would be more interested in this book than girls. Though any girl could understand the struggles of being abnormal, it’s more relatable to boys. Will finally grows and grows and it’s fun to read and watch the conclusion play out.

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Should you read it? Yes, an interesting viewpoint on being an abnormal teen and struggling with it while navigating friendships and school.


The Silent Patient Review

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

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….

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Tawney’s Review:

I love Thrillers. The Silent Patient caught my eye at the bookstore with its intriguing cover and plot.

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The book starts off with a murder, like every other thriller! A wife kills her husband but never states why she did it. Alicia remains silent and hasn’t spoken with anyone regarding Gabriel’s murder. There is a shroud of mystery around the deed and the criminal psychotherapist Theo wants to uncover those answers. So he takes a job at the hospital she is imprisoned in and starts to weed his way into her mind.

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There were many great scenes of dialogue between Theo and Alicia but little character development. The pace was slow at the start of the book and quickened toward the end, finishing a little too abruptly. It wasn’t as suspenseful as most thrillers nor was it engaging. I would find myself putting the book down and doing other things. I usually finish a thriller in one full sitting. This one I just couldn’t get into. I didn’t get that palpitating heartbeat turning each page for answers. 30 pages in I knew what happened.

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Unfortunately, there was no big mystery for me. I felt like I could guess what happened next so once I finished the book I was sorely disappointed and left unsatisfied.

This book wasn’t my cup of tea and I would recommend better thrillers like The Last Mrs. Parrish or the The Other Woman, but many people seemed to have liked it and the book has been opted for the big screen.


Should you read it? Yes, even though it wasn’t my fav you might like it.