Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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The Turn of the Key

I definitely should have read this book in October because it was possibly the most suspenseful book I have ever read. If you are easily scared or easily lose sleep from books, you may want to skip this one.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware is her best I have read. There are so many layers to the story that even if you figure out some pieces of it there will still be a surprise along the way. There also will be some spoilers in this review – it’s impossible not to. You have been warned.

Rowan takes a job as a live-in nanny in a remote home in Scotland for a family with four girls. The home/estate had been renovated but also had a history, including numerous deaths. Right off the bat, on Rowan’s first night, strange things start happening and of course the parents are off for work for the first week. There is a mysterious locked door in her room, the security system of speakers and video cameras appears to have a mind of its own, the other staff (a housekeeper and a grounds keeper) randomly appear, and the girls show her the poison garden, which was kept by the previous owner who was a scientist studying the most poisonous plants known to man. And the girls are a handful. It’s enough to send anyone running, as the previous nannies had. And then one of the girls is dead (this is not a spoiler – you find this out at the beginning).

A little more than halfway through the book, things start falling into place a little. It becomes more and more obvious that the girls are somehow creating things to make it seem like ghosts in the house (though the main culprit, I think, is a little young to have pulled off everything she did). But then there’s the wrench of Rowan and why she even took the job to begin with. And then there’s the poison garden, which you would think would play a role in the death since that’s how a little girl previously died in the home.

This book will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat but if you’re a little creeped out, maybe read it on a road trip or on a plane and not at night. You can get through it pretty quick. Enjoy!


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What You Did

I got a new Kindle for my birthday (thanks babe!) and got 3 months of Kindle Unlimited. Free books! I didn’t have a whole lot of time to browse but downloaded a couple that popped up right away. I’m not sure what this was based on but they both seemed fairly accurate to my tastes: one thriller/mystery and one historical fiction.

What You Did by Claire McGowan left me with very torn feelings. It was definitely intense but I honestly wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. The main storyline is one that is an intense topic to cover – sexual assault – so I feel like I maybe just could’t really relate to any of the characters.

A reunion for 6 university friends quickly takes a turn for the worse when one of the women, Karen, was attacked by one of the men. I don’t want to get too graphic but by attack I mean in the most horrifying way without being killed. She accuses Mike, the husband of her best friend and the guy who she has been having an affair with for years. This eventually leads to Mike being stabbed by Karen’s son and Karen’s daughter trying to take her life.

This book covered every topic that you never want to deal with or even think about: sexual assault, attempted murder, affairs, attempted suicide, infertility, and lots and lots of lies. I think it was a little much for one storyline. It was a quick read so it at least didn’t drag on too much. Give it a read if you enjoy intense and uncomfortable topics and hopefully you enjoy!


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Recursion

If you don’t like books that make you think, then you can expect Recursion by Blake Crouch will make your brain hurt. He writes great sci-fi, which isn’t always my jam, but both of Crouch’s books I’ve read have been fantastic.

Helena sets out to create a device that will help Alzheimer patients save their memories. And she succeeds. But the device does so much more than she intended and in the wrong hands, the device creates a world that is self-destructing due to memories being tampered with. Think sci-fi Groundhog Day meets the Matrix. Imagine reliving the same lifetime over and over only to get to the same day to have all the other lifetimes flood back into your memory. And then horrific things taking place as you try to stop them.

But don’t think too hard while you’re reading because you will lose your mind trying to figure out if what’s happening makes sense or is even slightly plausible. It’s not real but it is slightly terrifying. Enjoy (haha)!


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Where the Crawdads Sing

I waited for a while to get this book on Kindle loan from the library and it was worth every minute. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was engaging, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching. The story is about Kya, who grew up in the marsh of North Carolina’s coast. She and her family were outcasts, not at all accepted by the town they lived near. And as young girl, she can’t even rely on her own family to support and protect her.

She raises herself and makes a couple friends along the way who help her get by, including helping her to educate herself. But when it comes to dealing with people and emotions, she is in unfamiliar territory. Understandably, she has a hard time trusting, since everyone in her life has abandoned her. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a human connection and tries for it. But is taken advantage of. Things get nasty when she is charged with murder and any progress she has made socially is trampled. She distances herself from the friends she did have and appears to give up. But her attorney would not let that happen.

This is a story of survival, growing up, life lessons, and overcoming obstacles. And Kya does all of those things despite of people’s cruelty. This was a great read and I it was hard to put down, even when I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Definitely deserves all of the accolades it has received. Enjoy!


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The Art of Racing in the Rain

If you don’t like to cry, don’t read this book. If you don’t mind crying, I recommend not reading this book in a public space. Luckily for me I finished last night at home so avoided that embarrassment.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein had been on my list for a while, but when I saw the movie preview, I moved it to the top and put a hold in to get it. I like reading books before I see the movies!

This is not really a spoiler because the first chapter of the book is a dog at the end of his life. I knew then that I’d be in trouble, but I plowed through. The story is from the perspective of the dog, Enzo, and it covers his life with his family. The family grows and the family deals with a lot of stuff. Serious illness, conniving family members, hurtful accusations, and questions of custody. And Denny, Enzo’s owner, is dealing with all of this while trying to make a living and chase his dream to become a professional race car driver.

I mean, how much can one person take in a life! There are many sad things in this book but I will say the ending, for the family, is not. It’s a fascinating perspective from the eyes of the dog and it makes me look at my dogs differently. I always wonder what they’re thinking and why they do the things they do. My dog is 14 now so I think the end of the book hit me especially hard.

It was a good, albeit emotional, read and it was quick (I finished in 3 days). So if you like to read the book before the movie you can probably even finish while it’s still in theaters. Enjoy!


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One Day in December

Surprise, surprise – more love! Sorry I’m not sorry – I love these books. Although I do like a thriller or nonfiction break occasionally (which is coming up soon). One Day in December by Josie Silver was a quick, easy read about missed chances and what-ifs. It’s not quite a rom com because honestly I didn’t find much humor in it. Some was even a little sad.

Laurie experiences love at first sight through a bus window and is pretty sure the guy felt the same way. But he didn’t make it on the bus before it pulled away (I’m sure in a highly dramatic fashion). She spends the next year searching for ‘bus boy’. (Side note – when you’re dating, you HAVE to have nicknames.) And eventually she does find him….when he is introduced to her as her roommate’s new boyfriend who she is falling head-over-heels for. What would you do?! Would you immediately tell your roommate (who has been searching with you) that she is dating ‘bus boy’??

Laurie has to make this decision and (spoiler alert) she doesn’t say a word. She continues to live with this secret for years and I think it literally eats away at her. The story covers many years and the relationships of the two roommates, both with each other and with their significant others, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I won’t give everything away because where’s the fun in that.

But this would make another GREAT movie, as with my last book, and if you like the cheesy, gushy stories (but with a little more real life thrown in) this one is for you. Enjoy!

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Match Making for Beginners

No I’m not taking a course in match making. Though that would be a highly intriguing career choice. Match Making for Beginners by Maddie Dawson was another free Kindle book and complete disclosure – I liked the cover. And it was free!

The story was very cute and entertaining. It had elements of your typical rom com but also some twists. Main character Marnie just wants a regular old life. She is on track for that until her fiancé decides, at the altar, that he doesn’t want to marry her. But his eccentric aunt Blix had already picked out Marnie as special. Blix considers herself a match maker and enjoys life to the fullest and she sets out to set Marnie up for the same wonderful life.

Blix passes from a tumor and leaves Marnie the building she owns/rents in Brooklyn. And she adds stipulations requiring Marnie to stay there at least 3 months before making any decisions about the building. Both families of course think the whole situation is nuts. Marnie’s family think she is being scammed. Ex-fiancé’s family think the house should have gone to them. So Marnie moves into Blix’s house, starts developing relationships with the other tenants, and has to decide what her next life move will be.

The ending left a few pieces hanging, but overall the book was cute and I definitely recommend it. It would also make a great movie. Enjoy it for free on your Kindle!

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