Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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China Rich Girlfriend

Kevin Kwan really fought his niche with this series. They are really fascinating and entertaining! China Rich Girlfriend picks up where Crazy Rich Asians left off but I felt like it’s not as focused on Nick and Rachel. It’s mainly the same characters with a few new ones thrown in. I was glad to have a character recap at the beginning of the book as a reminder of the main characters back-stories and relationships to one another.

Nick and Rachel are planning their wedding but Nick has only invited a couple of family members who were not concerned that Rachel was not from a prominent Asian family. But word gets out about the wedding and, of course, drama ensues. I’ll go ahead and tell you as well that they find Rachel’s real father (hence the new characters) so she and Nick end up honeymooning to Asia. There, they get to spend time with old and new friends and new family. But, again, there is drama. So much drama, in fact, that someone almost dies. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you who. All in all, it is a mostly happy ending but I am excited to see what the third book brings. Because I cannot imagine what the level of drama could be bumped up to. It almost reminds me of Gossip Girl on steroids and with adults instead of teens (side note – new Gossip Girl coming to HBO?! Anyone?!).

Great summer/beach read and I can’t wait to read the next one!


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The Silent Patient

This is going to be a difficult one to review without giving away too much information. So fair warning. I’ll go ahead and say this was a great book and I definitely recommend it. Keep reading if you don’t care about reading a few details.

I would say The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a mystery/psychological thriller. Theo is a psychotherapist and has the opportunity to work with a notorious criminal, Alicia Berenson. Alicia, a renowned artist, was found having brutally killed her husband. But she never speaks again. Not to defend herself, not to give an explanation, not to give an apology.

She lives at a residential home for criminals with mental illnesses and a position opens up. Theo has dreamed of working with Alicia and takes the job because he thinks he can get her to talk. You don’t find out why he is so obsessed with her until the end of the book but he has very personal and egotistical motivations to try to get her to talk. However, it almost backfires.

The format of the story is interesting and jumps in time between present and the days leading up to the murder of Alicia’s husband. But I never would have guessed the twist that the story takes towards the end of the book. Though there is a feeling of something being slightly off throughout the book, it’s pretty much impossible to put your finger on until the end.

This was a quick read (I finished in less than a week), which I appreciate and it definitely keeps your attention. You won’t want to put it down. Enjoy!


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Faithful Place

This is the third book in the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French and this was probably my least favorite of the three. Maybe it was the fact that the female lead from the first two was not in this book or maybe it was because French wrote in the local dialect, which even reading made it a little difficult to follow at times. I don’t remember the first two books being that way but I may just be misremembering as it’s been a little while since I read them. The book was still good though!

Faithful Place jumps between times in Detective Mackey’s life from present time to when he was a teenager in love, living at home with his family. His love, Rosie, disappears the night they are supposed to run away together and now, 22 years later, her suitcase is found in the abandoned house on their street. Mackey is quickly sucked back into the life of his family, most of whom he hasn’t seen or spoken to in those 22 years. He works in undercover, not murder, so is instructed to stay away from the investigation. But of course he can’t – and who can blame him – and things just keep going downhill.

I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, as it was a little slow at times, but it kept my attention and I still got through it pretty quickly. And the outcome was definitely a surprise. It’s a good whodunit mystery of lost loves and quirky families. And you don’t necessarily need to have read the first two before reading this one as most of the characters from the first two are not in this story. Enjoy!


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The Great Alone

Kristin Hannah is an excellent writer. And although The Great Alone is not at all happy – to be honest, it’s pretty darn depressing – I still wanted to keep reading. After returning from the Vietnam War, Leni’s dad inherits land in Alaska. So Leni and her parents load up in a VW bus and make the trek from Seattle to Alaska to live off the land. The story covers their adventures in learning to live on their own in the wilderness, making friends, and starting a new life. But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. In fact, it’s very little rainbows and sunshine.

Leni’s dad returned from the war a different man, which affected every person around him. The characters in the story deal with PTSD, alcoholism, domestic violence, death, and heartbreak. But there is also redemption and joy found in relationships. As a child, Leni deals with things no child should ever have to deal with. But she’s a survivor. And Hannah’s telling of her survival is poetic. I definitely recommend this book but be warned – it is a little intense and probably not a good beach read. Enjoy!


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I’m Glad About You

We are 5 months into the year and I am halfway through my 2019 reading challenge! 17 down, 17 to go. The book I just finished was a breath of fresh air. Theresa Rebeck was the creator of the tv show Smash, which apparently wasn’t a smash but I loved it. All 2 seasons of it. I’m Glad About You definitely had a feeling of Smash and I thought about the show as I read it, even though I didn’t Rebeck was the creator of both until I read her bio at the end of the book.

This was a quick and entertaining read, but fair warning – it’s not happy. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it there are very few happy moments in the book. But that makes it feel real. Not that life is full of unhappy moments, but it’s refreshing to sometimes read a book where not everything goes right and is wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end. It feels more real.

Alison and Kyle were “the” couple in high school. They were that on again, off again couple that everyone knew would end up together. Except they didn’t. Alison went off to pursue acting while Kyle became a doctor and returned to their hometown to practice medicine. But somehow their lives kept crossing paths. Neither is happy with their life and they both always wonder what could have been. But I give them props for not acting on it. Kyle, with a wife and 3 children by the end of the story, is a devout Catholic. So even when is marriage is crumbling, he doesn’t give up. Alison, who puts up with a lot of stuff as an actress just doesn’t have the heart for it anymore but continues to chug along anyway. On one hand, I give them props for not just throwing in the towel and giving up. But on the other hand, if you’re miserable, make a change!

This book evoked all sorts of emotions which is why I loved it. My only complaint is that the writing would change perspectives between paragraphs with no warning or pause or anything. So that was a little confusing at times. But other than that, great writing, great story, great book. Definitely recommend it. Enjoy!


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Nine Perfect Strangers

Most of you probably know Liane Moriarty, either because you’ve read her books or because you’ve watched or heard HBO’s series Big Little Lies. I’m pretty sure I was the only person I knew that didn’t like the show….even among friends who had also read the book. Similar to author Jodi Picoult, I read a number of Moriarty’s books at one time then took a break. But I recently picked up her newest.

Nine Perfect Strangers is, once again, set in Australia, where a group of nine people gather at a health resort for a ten day retreat. You are introduced to some of the characters before they all converge on Tranquillum House but the title is a little misleading. Not all nine of the characters are strangers to each other – there is a married couple as well as a family (the parents and daughter). But I guess that is just semantics.

These strangers come together and begin the retreat in silence, but as the days go on, everyone realizes the director has some very strange methods. Everything comes to a head when the guests discover [spoiler alert] that they have been drugged slowly throughout their stay but when they discover this they are all locked in the yoga/meditation room. Obviously this was completely unethical and illegal. The end of the story goes through their attempts to get out, the director’s whole plan and reasoning for her methods, and then how they get out. It is all wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end and you even get updates on the characters years later. So really every little thread is taken care of, which I can appreciate.

This was a quick and interesting read – definitely good for summer. There were a wide array of characters and personalities, which kept me engaged. Hope you enjoy it!


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No Exit

If you get scared easily or may lose sleep over something you read, No Exit by Taylor Adams is maybe not the best read for you. The gist is that Darby, a college girl driving home because her mother is sick, gets stranded at a rest stop in the mountains during a massive snow storm. She quickly discovers that someone she is stranded with has a child locked in their van and she sets out to be a hero. I sometimes give away some spoiler details in my reviews but I feel like this one is worth not sharing.

I will say the whole thing is very unrealistic and implausible but I still could not put it down. Darby has to first figure out whose van the child is in and from there decide what she’s going to do and who she’s going to trust. She makes a LOT of wrong decisions along the way and you may scream at her from time to time.

I liked this book because it was a quick read that didn’t drag on and it really kept my attention. I think I even liked the fact that it was so completely unbelievable. I may never look at rest areas the same – not that they were ever at the top of my list of favorite places…or even places I enjoy. It’s a newer book – released in January this year – but it is worth the hold list waiting period (if you do the library thing). Enjoy!