This bestselling author recognizes a good story when she sees it. Here are three of the best books she discovered during lockdown.
by Rachael Tamayo
If you are to write, then you must read. This is an all-inclusive rule for every writer, and every genre. Read to avoid writer’s block. Read when you just don’t feel like writing. And above all else, read for fun and the pure enjoyment of the fantastic getaway that diving into a great book can provide.
These are a few of my recent finds:
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This is the story that spans three summers and the young Cadence and her family’s summers at their family compound on an island in Maine. They meet up yearly with cousins and aunts and uncles and their Grandpa to spend a lovely, perfect summer together. Tradition.
Unfortunately, one summer, there is a terrible accident, and Cadence ends up with debilitating headaches and no memory of the incident or the summer surrounding them, and no one will tell her what happened or why. It’s two years later when she returns to the island, two years older when she finally meets her cousins, her first love, her island once more and starts to ask questions and recover memories from two summers before.
This book was simply stunning and beautiful. As things unravel you really wonder what is going to happen, then at one point you think you have it figured out, but trust me, you don’t. The ending left me gasping, tearful, stunned. I was not expecting it at all, and I was simply astounded by it. Love this book, really. It’s just so damn good.
Please don’t stone me because I don’t like Twilight. I like vampire books as much as the next person—I mean, I read Dracula for God’s sake.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. This book left me torn. This book has a major Rear Window vibe. In short, it’s about a woman stuck at home with agoraphobia, and she witnesses a murder. At least she thinks she does. The majority of the book is spent with her trying—and failing—to prove that she isn’t crazy. What I did not like was the pace. It is dead slow, drags and drags. Lots and lots of filler in this one. And it’s overly descriptive for my taste. Every action is described to death, to the point that if I had been reading this on Kindle or in paperback, I would have set it down and never finished it. Listening to it on Audible makes it easier to get through. This one is far from action packed. Also, the main character is a cliché in the world of thrillers. The alcoholic female who sees something she wasn’t meant to has been done to death, in my opinion. Although done well here, it’s been worn out.
What I liked was it was a good story. The ending is great, really. While there are parts that are pretty unrealistic, it was acceptable. I managed to get past them and just enjoy the story. But it did take a really long time to get moving, and quite honestly, it turned me off of this author probably forever.
The Twilight Saga series by Stephanie Meyer vs. the Lost Archangels series by Tatenda Creed. Okay, I’ve seen the movies. Meh. I sat down and decided as an author I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so I read the first Twilight book. It’s very much like the movie. It’s flat, predictable, the story is weak. I decided to skip ahead to the new book, Midnight Sun, to see if I liked that better, and I did not.
So now that you know I don’t like Twilight, please don’t stone me. I like vampire books as much as the next person—I mean, I read Dracula (the original) for God’s sake.
That brings me to the Lost Archangels series. If you like Twilight (or don’t), I can’t recommend these books enough. Hands down my absolute favorite paranormal series. Crazy original, creative, sexy, romantic, suspenseful. Seriously the whole package. This author should be famous, really. Read them.
Books have the amazing ability to take us on an adventure, to provide a safe escape from pandemics and quarantines, from the day-to-day problems we’ve faced that we’d never seen before. Libraries are a wonderful escape. I often find myself wishing I had more time to sit and read.
So take a break, pick up a book. Maybe even venture outside of your comfort zone and try a new genre. You just might discover your new favorite author.
Rachael Tamayo is the author of the internationally acclaimed, bestselling Deadly Sins series, her most recent books. You can find information about all her books, the next Deadly Sins title, contact information, her full reading list, and more at RachaelTamayoWrites.com. Connect with Rachael on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also find her on TikTok and Goodreads.
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