My Recent Reads: Jules


Jules Nguyen, Freelancer

Sometime between middle and high school, I reverted back into reading a tiny fraction of what I used to as a kid. Fortunately, during quarantine, I started reading more, graduating from my childhood’s Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew mysteries to YA psychological thrillers. Here are three of my recent favorite books, each paired with a brief summary and review. The Perfect Stranger: A Novel: 9781501107993: Miranda, Megan:  Books

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda 


Ex-journalist Leah has started her life fresh after a scandal resulting from her last article, and in turn, has been rooming with an erratic college friend, Emmy Grey. When Emmy disappears a few days after a local woman was murdered, Leah has a difficult time trying to convince people of Emmy’s existence as she realizes how little she actually knows of Emmy. Emmy doesn’t seem to have any friends, family, and didn’t leave her name on anything before her disappearance. 


Something that I found to be really interesting about this book was the way in which it twisted my mind. There were multiple points throughout the book where I had to stop and rethink what I thought had happened due to its entirely unexpected plot twists. Unlike many other books, it was difficult to put myself in Leah’s shoes and navigate through her story, as there were so many variables to consider in each circumstance, and I could easily feel the emotional struggle of Leah throughout the novel. Ultimately, everything was wrapped up well in my opinion, and eventually clicked into a logical place in my head. 


The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney | Goodreads

The Girl Before by JP Delaney 


Emma, suffering from the aftermath of a home break-in, is attracted to an architectural masterpiece of a house: a minimalist, technologically advanced house with an architect with controlling rules designed to transform the tenant; no pillows, no books, no clutter, etc. We meet Jane, who after a tragedy, has also been on the hunt for a new house and a new beginning. She too is attracted to the minimalistic house and the pleasing peculiarity of its architect. When she discovers that a previous woman died in the house, she too tries to uncover the truth. 


I always enjoy witnessing multiple perspectives in a story, and multiple timelines are double the fun for me. Both Emma and Jane’s stories kept me on my toes as I tried to figure out what had happened. This story asked a multitude of moral questions in such a way that I, as the reader, could answer on my own. It was filled with action and suspense as the mysteries surrounding the house and creator were slowly unraveled. 

An Anonymous Girl: A Novel: Hendricks, Greer, Pekkanen, Sarah:  9781250133731: Books

An Anonymous Girl By Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen


Jess enters a psychological study conducted by the alluring Dr. Shields, looking to get paid some quick money for rent and for her disabled sister. However, she herself pays dearly, as she finds herself tangled in a web of deceit and manipulation. The line between what is Dr. Shields’ experiment and what is reality becomes blurred as she tries to find what Dr. Shields isn’t telling her. 


Like The Girl Before, this book deals to its reader a number of moral questions that I struggled to fully find the answers to. Both this aspect and the plot twists made me feel constantly wary of Jess, paranoid of who was trustworthy—including the protagonist herself—and who was trying to deceive who for their personal gain. Figuring out the individual motives behind what each of the characters did was a challenge, but when I did, it gave me a sense of satisfaction, like finally untangling a ball of yarn.