Book Reviews

The Holdout by Graham Moore

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.

As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.

My Review:

I have to admit I wasn’t too sure about this book. While I absolutely LOVE psychological thrillers, legal thrillers are not my cup of tea. But this book was such a happy surprise. It was so much more than just a courtroom drama.

This story begins with a black teacher accused of an affair with his white 15 year old student. There is enough evidence to convict him. Or is there? Surprise….

Ten years later the twelve jurors meet again for a reunion. There is another murder. More secrets. And more surprises.

Moore just kept the reader guessing. Who dunnit? You’ll have to read it to find out. AND there are three deaths or murders(?) to investigate. It’s one of those kind of books. And I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to read a thriller.

2020 Reading Challenges

Book Bingo

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

– C.S. Lewis

This challenge looks like a ton of fun. It’s the 6th year that Unruly Reader has put on this challenge. They’ve made it where you can black out the entire card or go for BINGO by completing just a row or a column. – I’m going to try for a complete blackout.

Here’s what I’m going to try for in each of the categories but these may change. For the most part for this and most of the challenges, I’m trying to use books that have been on my TBR lists. I figured this is a great way to make that list smaller.

And don’t forget if you decide to join this challenge along with me, make sure you go to Unruly Reader‘s website here and sign up.

The categories are:

Icy – A book that takes place in snowy winter, a story featuring a cold-hearted character, or a chilling tale

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Landscape – A book whose setting is vital to the story

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson 

Novella – Shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Harlem Renaissance – A book written by a Harlem Renaissance author 

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Longing – A story filled with yearning, desire, or wistfulness 

Longing by Karen Kingsbury

Lies & Deception – A book with lies, so many lies. Or a book that deceived you.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Expectations – A story of fulfilled or thwarted expectations, or a book that failed to meet your expectations 

Underdog – A book about a character who defies the odds

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Personal Growth – Self-improvement: pragmatically or spiritually

Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure

Long Haired Author – A book by an author who has (or had) long hair

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

A Friend’s Suggestion – Ask a friend what you should read next

Stardust by Neil Gaiman – my daughter, Nicole recommended this to me

Podcast – Listen to a serial podcast or read a book written by a podcaster

Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood by Karina Longworth

Carnegie Medal Nominee – A book nominated for the Carnegie Medal

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Modern Classic – A contemporary book that will stand the test of time

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Road Trip – Wanderlust, restlessness, desperation, quest? A book with a road trip in it

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Olympic Sport – A book with a character who participates (at any level) in a sport featured in the Olympics

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Checklist – A book you’re checking off your list, or a book containing a checklist for a better life

The 52 Weeks: How Two Women Got Unstuck, Got Inspired, and Got Going, and How You Can Too! by Karen Amster-Young

South America – A book written by a South American author or a book that takes place in South America

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Back to School – A story with a school setting

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Love – A book that illustrates love 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Native American – A character or an author who is Native American

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

Horror – A story that inspires a feeling of dread

Carrie by Stephen King

Political – Election year! Read something political

Secret Lives of the First Ladies by Cormac O’Brien

Memoir – A nonfiction personal account based on the author’s experience

Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton

Indulge – The hot fudge of reading: all pleasure, no virtue

Learning by Karen Kingsbury

Grab a book, start reading and let me know what books you’re choosing for the categories.