Just One More Chapter: Books I Couldn’t Put Down

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.

Carl Sagan

There are some books that don’t start to glue your eyes to the page until after a few chapters. These aren’t those books. These books grip your attention from page one and refuse to let go until you stay up all night reading. Yes, you’ll tell yourself “just one more chapter, then I’ll sleep” only to find yourself red eyed at 3am wondering how you got there.

Whether or not you agree with my picks, I hope you find new books to read and devour. Enjoy!

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

My heart was stolen immediately. Yes, my thriller-loving self picked up a romantic comedy and I couldn’t get enough of it. The characters Ruthie and Teddy couldn’t be more different in every aspect of their lives, but they manage to compliment each other without it feeling forced or cringe-worthy. The book follows their misadventures towards love and self acceptance with so many colorful characters thrown in the mix.

What I Loved:

❤️The book glued itself to my hands and refused to let go from page one

❤️I laughed out loud so many times which is rare for me

❤️The characters are incredibly relatable

❤️Sassy old ladies. Need I say more?

❤️Hello wonderful character arcs

What I Didn’t Love:

👀The encounter with Rose at the very end felt rushed and out of place. It only took up one page and barely counts as something I didn’t like.

👀There aren’t 456 more books by this author that I can go find and read right now.

👀The fact that any books I read in the near future won’t give me the warm fuzzies and belly laughs like this one did.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey isn’t my favorite actor, but I really enjoy his work and his movies. I loved that he broke away from the shirtless “alright, alright, alright” roles. What I didn’t know was anything about his methodology and his journey. Greenlights is all about how he turned obstacles (red lights) into opportunities and the insane, hilarious, sometimes cringe-y, and heartwarming ways in which he achieved these accomplishments. I listened to his narration of the audiobook version and loved it instantly. It’s only about 7 hours long and I finished it in two days.

What I Loved:

❤️He didn’t romanticize the Hollywood experience and gave an honest rendition of how he got where he is today

❤️He stuck to his beliefs and never shied away from a challenge or a challenging role. Nor did he take roles that would compromise who he was even if that meant not working for a year.

❤️Learning about his absolutely wild ride of a life

❤️The personality that oozes from the pages

❤️This was not your average “self-help” book, but rather a unique way of looking at how to create opportunities

What I Didn’t Love:

👀I wanted there to be more about his career. We got some great snippets, but as an actor and someone who has worked in the film industry I wanted to keep learning from him.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

This book follows the story of a woman in the midst of an emotional crisis as she heads to London for some peace of mind and to figure out her next steps. In addition to the modern timeline, we get to follow the stories of two 18th century women, an apothecary and her somewhat apprentice. What follows is adventure spanning centuries, a good ole detective story, and a strong message about following your dreams without sacrificing yourself as a whole, especially for someone else.

What I Loved:

❤️The multiple timelines and the author’s ability to create memorable characters with flaws while also making them endearing

❤️The historical references! I love it when books talk about those history books forget aka the commoners. We tend to forget about the every day people of the past despite them representing the majority of the historical population

❤️Strong female characters and not-your-typical woman spurned trope

What I Didn’t Love:

👀Just one thing because of my background in history/archaeology. The discovery of the undisturbed apothecary underneath a modern building wouldn’t happen, especially when there are modern structures surrounding it. Every time a building is constructed (especially when there’s an existing structure, even more so when it’s an historical structure) a survey or excavation is undertaken. They wouldn’t go well… let’s build around it and pretend we can’t see it. HOWEVER, the story wouldn’t have been as cool if this happened. I’m being nitpicky so don’t let that point bother you.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Friendship, self discovery, and growth with a dash of murder mystery. That’s all you need to know for this wonderful story which is one of my top reads of the year so far. The audiobook version was in-cred-i-ble. While many people say this isn’t their favorite book by this author, it’s the only I’ve read and I am so excited to read more by her.

What I Loved:

❤️Strong female protagonist who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and goes after her goals

❤️Plus-sized protagonist who embraces her she and embodies body positivity

❤️The incredible food descriptions and adventures

❤️A love story that progressed slowly and was respectful of boundaries even under stressful situations

What I Didn’t Love:

👀There’s no sequel

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

I’ve been in a thriller slump and haven’t been impressed with what I’ve read recently. That all changed with The Sun Down Motel. Readers follow the stories of two women in two timelines to uncover the creepy happenings of the roadside motel and the disappearances and murders of several people. If mysteries, serial killers, amateur sleuths, ghosts, and creep disappearances get your heart pumping in books, you need to read this.

What I Loved:

❤️Female driven plot

❤️Social commentary on how people in power always blame the female victims and convince society and the victim that their assault/murder/etc was somehow their fault.

❤️The creep factors

❤️How none of the story felt pushed or unrealistic despite the appearance of ghosts and serial killers

What I Didn’t Love:

👀The beginning had a slow burn to it, but that’s really the only thing I can see people not loving.

Have You Read Any of These?

I would love to hear your thoughts! I have a ton of book recommendations if you loved any of these, so never hesitate to reach out! For more book reviews and posts follow me on Instagram @curious_artifact_lancaster

6 thoughts on “Just One More Chapter: Books I Couldn’t Put Down

  1. Second first impression is one i’ve been wanting to read! Happy to hear you loved it so much!! (also- absolutely agree on the dislike that they don’t have lots of books written to binge after that one you just read 🤣)

    The last book that I just LOVED from the very start had been The upside of falling by Alex Light.. just- so good! from the very first pages, I knew it was gonna be a favorite

    Liked by 1 person

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