Review: Big Little Lies // Suspenseful with An End You Won’t See Coming

By Liane Moriarty

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Community Rating: 4.24

Genre: Psycho Thriller

Publication Date: July 29th 2014

Format Read: Paperback

Triggers: Anxiety, Domestic Abuse, Bullying

Goodreads Summary: Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. 

Continue reading “Review: Big Little Lies // Suspenseful with An End You Won’t See Coming”

Author Interview: Mark Zaslove on Death and Taxes

Over the past few weeks, I was lucky enough to interview Mark Zaslove, an author who just recently came out with his new book, Death and Taxes!! I really enjoyed hearing Mark’s answers to my questions, and now I can’t wait to share with you. Hopefully you find it just as enjoyable as I have!!

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Review: One of Us Is Lying

By Karen M McManus

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.07

Genre: YA Mystery

Publication Date: May 30th 2017

Format Read: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Continue reading “Review: One of Us Is Lying”

6 Hot August 2017 Book Releases

I know this post is really late, and so about half of these are already published, but I wanted to make sure I gave all of the August books a chance at fame*.  So, halfway through the month, we’re going to celebrate all of the August releases.  I have to admit, I’m VERY excited about all of these books even though I haven’t read a single one!

*ha, I’m assuming that my blog would help a book sell

Young Adult

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Wonder Woman, by Leigh Bardugo—  I’ve heard A LOT of hype about this book, and after watching the Wonder Woman movie, I really want to hear this take.  Obviously it’s not quite the same story, but it sounds amazing, and I’ve heard it’s a must read for DC fans!

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

All Things NewAll Things New, by Lauren Miller– This book sounds TOUGH but really good at the same time.  It could definitely go either way but I feel like it’ll be emotional wreck of a book that I can’t put down.

Jessa has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn’t help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and visible scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels. 

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, where she meets Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world, perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Adult Contemporary

The One That Got Away

The One that Got Away, by Melissa Pimentel— This SOUNDS ADORABLE and perfectly romantically fun.  I love “one that got away” stories, and this literally has that title, so why wouldn’t I read it?!?!? It seems like a perfect light read and I’m looking forward to seeing what other people think.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . . The Burning GirlThe Burning Girl, by Claire Messud— I can’t quite tell if this is adult or YA, but Goodreads is telling me adult so we’ll go with it.  Apparently Messud is an amazing author, and this book sounds really emotional and profound which I love.

Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship.

Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.

Thriller

Emma in the Night

Emma In The Night, by Wendy Walker— aaaaah you can’t even understand how good this sounds. Dysfunctional family thrillers are my absolute favorite because they’re so twisted and messed up and exciting.  Plus it’s about girls and doesn’t have girl in the title so BONUS POINTS FOR CREATIVITY, WENDY!

From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

The Readymade ThiefThe Readymade Thief, by Augustus Rose— This sounds hecka good, and has a super unique plot, which is something that you don’t find very often in a thriller.  I love the whole idea of it, and the female protag thing is always a bonus for me (although apparently that’s become a bit of a readily repeated trope now that people hate, but ROLL WITH ME HERE)…. and it looks like it’s set up for ROMANCE!

Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run. Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, she finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle, but the façade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. They believe Lee holds the key to it all.

Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families, but the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.

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What books are you looking forward to for this month? Have you read any of the ones I talked about? 

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July 2017 Book Releases: Great YA and Historical Fiction

This month, there aren’t a ton of books that I found interesting to write down, but I did find a lot of great YA books, so although that’s normally not my favorite genre, it seems like an awesome month for those who enjoy it.  OOH and there’s historical fiction books that look SUPER GREAT and I can’t wait to read them.  I have 8 books total to recommend to you all, so here we go!

Mystery / ThrillerMy Sister's Bones

MY SISTER’S BONES (JULY 11TH)– In the vein of Fiona Barton’s The Widow and Renée Knight’s Disclaimer, a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother’s death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria?

The One Person You Should Trust Is Lying to You…

Kate has spent fifteen years bringing global injustice home: as a decorated war reporter, she’s always in a place of conflict, writing about ordinary people in unimaginable situations. When her mother dies, Kate returns home from Syria for the funeral. But an incident with a young Syrian boy haunts her dreams, and when Kate sees a boy in the garden of the house next door—a house inhabited by an Iraqi refugee who claims her husband is away and she has no children—Kate becomes convinced that something is very wrong.

As she struggles to separate her memories of Syria from the quiet town in which she grew up—and also to reconcile her memories of a traumatic childhood with her sister’s insistence that all was not as Kate remembers—she begins to wonder what is actually true…and what is just in her mind.

In this gripping, timely debut, Nuala Ellwood brings us an unforgettable damaged character, a haunting , humanizing look at the Syrian conflict, and a deeply harrowing psychological thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.

This sounds heavy, but Zuky seemed to enjoy it (although she said it was a little dark) and so I think it deserves to be given a try.  I like dark, and the whole refugee/war thing is something that I would like to read more about, and in a thriller that could be super cool.  There’s lots of triggers and stuff going on, but if you can get past that, and enjoy dark thrillers, it seems like this one should be read.The Secrets She Keeps

THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS (JULY 11TH)– In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of a shocking kidnapping plot and the secrets some women hold close, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.

This sounds a lot like a Liane Moriarty book based on the description, and since I have adored both of her books that I’ve read, I really really want to give this one a shot.  I think the stalker concept in fiction is cool, and the “not as perfect as it seems” concept has always drawn me in.  Plus Stephen King blurbed it so like….!!!

Historical FictionThe Diplomat's Daughter

THE DIPLOMAT’S DAUGHTER (JULY 11TH)– During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi’s parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe—all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.

As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds.

Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her “elegant and extremely gratifying” (USA Today) storytelling, Karin Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.

WWII HISTORICAL FICTION AND A LOVE STORY WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT. I’m dying to read this and I just heard about it 30 seconds ago.  The whole Pearl Harbor internment camp thing makes me sick, and I’ve always loved reading about books of the people who were imprisoned.  I can’t wait.

The Life She Was Given

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN (July 25th)— From acclaimed author Ellen Marie Wiseman comes a vivid, daring novel about the devastating power of family secrets–beginning in the poignant, lurid world of a Depression-era traveling circus and coming full circle in the transformative 1950s.
On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn’t allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She’s never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it’s for Lilly’s own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time–and sold to the circus sideshow.
More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents’ estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.
At first, The Barlow Brothers’ Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus’s biggest attraction. . .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly’s fate and her family’s shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.
Moving between Julia and Lilly’s stories, Ellen Marie Wiseman portrays two extraordinary, very different women in a novel that, while tender and heartbreaking, offers moments of joy and indomitable hope.

I have a weird affinity for circus books, not sure why but I always seem to pick them out of the pile.  This one also happens to be historical fiction, another one of my favorites, and so LOVE LOVE LOVE I can’t wait for it to come out and for me to get it.

Adult ContemporaryGoodbye, Vitamin

GOODBYE, VITAMIN (JULY 11TH)– A young woman returns home to care for her failing father in this fine, funny, and inescapably touching debut, from an affecting and wonderfully original new literary voice.

A few days after Christmas in a small suburb outside of L.A., pairs of a man’s pants hang from the trees. The pants belong to Howard Young, a prominent history professor, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Howard’s wife, Annie, summons their daughter, Ruth. Freshly disengaged from her fiance and still broken up about it, feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job and arrives home to find her parents’ situation worse than she’d realized. Her father is erratically lucid and her mother, a devoted and creative cook, sees the sources of memory loss in every pot and pan. But as Howard’s condition intensifies, the comedy in Ruth’s situation takes hold, gently transforming her grief. She throws herself into caretaking: cooking dementia-fighting meals (a feast of jellyfish!), researching supplements, anything to reignite her father’s once-notable memory. And when the university finally lets Howard go, Ruth and one of her father’s handsome former students take their efforts to help Howard one step too far.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

I had a really difficult time finding an adult contemporary book to write down on this list.  In the end, I went with this one because… well… it’s the only book I could find that fit this genre.  It sounds like a tough read, but apparently there’s “comedy” so maybe it’ll be good. I personally won’t read it but someone should give it a try and let me know.

YA / Teen

The Color Project

THE COLOR PROJECT (JULY 18TH)– Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

I follow Sierra on Twitter and she’s super nice and amazing and so it makes me really want to read her book!! I’m 90% sure that this is a debut, so it’s super important to go out and support it.  This book sounds very character-centric and cute yet difficult, so I’m super excited!!!Changes in Latitudes

CHANGES IN LATITUDE (JULY 25TH)– A “road” trip romance that takes place at sea!

All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents’ divorce. So when she learns of her mom’s plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she’s stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.

Cassie is furious. And nervous. It’s been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother’s role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point. Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who’s as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together–wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline–the harder it is to fight the attraction.

​Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents’ split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can’t even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life’s unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them… or dive right in.

This is the PERFECT summer read so it’s perfect that it’s coming out this month.  It looks like such a cliche teen read but with an element of familial heartbreak that normally makes me fall in love with a book more than I would otherwise.  Plus the entire synopsis is full of puns, meaning that there’s probably a pretty good sense of humor in the book.The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

THE GALLERY OF UNFINISHED GIRLS (JULY 25TH)– Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn’t been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year.

Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is lying comatose in faraway Puerto Rico after suffering a stroke. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.

Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she never has before. She can share her deepest secrets and feel safe. But Mercedes can’t take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, the Estate offers more solace than she could hope for. But Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.

Legit this sounds incredible, my favorite one on the list thus far… it sounds super down to earth contemporary while being about art, which isn’t typical or overdone, and there MC is lesbian (or maybe bi/pan) which is awesome and also super far from overdone.  And Mercedes is an awesome name which is what drew me in in the first place.  I’m 150%  going onto Netgalley to see if I can get a copy*.  I’ll probably end up buying it eventually if I don’t.

*UPDATE: I requested on Edelweiss so pray for me!

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What books are you looking forward to this month?  Have you gotten ARCs of any on the list? Which ones look the best to you?

 

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Review: The Roanoke Girls (Disturbingly Wonderful)

By Amy Engel

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 3.75

Genre: Psycho Mystery & Adult Contemporary Mix

Publication Date: March 7th 2017

Format Read: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

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wow.  just wow.  This book took me on an absolute roller coaster of emotions and I’m not even sure what to say.  First off, the synopsis gives literally nothing away so I’m going to have to keep this review super vague to avoid spoilers.  Second, if you are worried about triggers then I would head straight down to the trigger section, which does contain spoilers, written in white so that you have to highlight over it to read it.

Back to the review.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!! It was so intriguing, I couldn’t put it down, and the whole weird relationship between the characters drew me in.  Amy Engle normally writes YA and this CERTAINLY wasn’t that, but I think it still gave her a better perspective on the younger characters (there were flashback chapters and present time chapters) than most adult authors had, because everything felt so REAL.  I had been reading this before bed for a few minutes each night, but I had to stop doing that and bring it out into the real world and binge it in 2 days because it was THAT. GOOD.  Once you get into it you won’t want to put it down, I promise.halfway (3)

I know I normally do the characters section first, but I felt like with this book I literally couldn’t.  What I loved about this book is that it was told from dual time frames, but with the same perspective in each– Lane Roanoke.  In one perspective, Lane was just arriving at her grandparent’s house, known as Roanoke, for the first time as a 15 year old (I think) and in the other time frame, Lane was coming back to Roanoke as an adult.  It was her first time back in 10 years, because she ran away from the place and hated its disgustingness.  She only comes back because her cousin, Allegra, has gone missing.

This was fabulously done because the author managed to flip back and forth while giving away simultaneously nothing and everything, twisting their lives together, and making everything exceedingly confusing and yet simultaneously perfectly clear to the reader.  And when it revealed everything in dual format like that, you suspected everyone of hurting Allegra, and guessed at (yet tried to ignore) the sick truth of the matter.

Also, it made everything feel like a time warp, because stuff repeated itself in the two time frames slightly, but not exactly, which kept the reader guessing but helped to promote Lane’s perspective that “everything was exactly as it was 10 years ago” and honestly I loved the whole story.

Everything moved at just the right speed.  You grew attached to the characters and felt like you understood them, but yet there was always action and stuff happening and sick revelations and it made me fall in love.

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Lane is the main character.  As a child, she was naive and yet the opposite of, a wonderful mix for a 15 year old.  As an adult, she was experienced and knowledgeable and yet had a hard time making decisions, and I think it was her strength and yet fallibility that made me fall for her (In the most non-romantic way possible).

Allegra was only there in the past, since she is missing in the present.  She’s such a wild crazy teenager and yet she has secrets, dark secrets, and that’s her allure.

Granddad was portrayed in so many different ways it was honestly just crazy.

and Cooper is perfect and Cooper and Lane I ship them so much asdfghjkl I don’t know how else to explain it.

Engle did such a fabulous job of creating  3D characters who felt real, and that’s what made the book so so disturbing.  The characters came alive on the page and you understood them, even the ones you would rather not understand.

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The writing style was incredible.  I don’t have the book with me right now, but Engle used so much beautiful descriptive language that everything was SO VIVID.  I normally don’t picture things that well, but with this book I was forced to because it was painted there for me.  It wasn’t a separate paragraph description type book either (which put me to sleep) it was word choice and subtle details that put this out above the rest.

The romance in this book was fucked, because everyone was so messed up and crazy, but the way the romance worked made it real and not cliche at all.

The whole idea was really unique and cool so I liked that.  Other people I talked to didn’t, and although I’m not condoning* it, I still liked reading about it? idk I just did

*I promise I’m really really not, and if you read the book you know why.  Also Mahriya told me how to do little font so now I wanted to try it and copy everyone who already does this hahaha
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ummmm…. nothing?

There was a LOT of sex happening so if you’re offended by that then this is not the book for you, at all.  We had inappropriate sexual relations (see the trigger), friends with benefits situations, 15 year olds having sex, and just generally a lot of sex.  So yeah.

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None, 0/10
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I’m going to put as non-spoilery spoilers in the bullets, and then you can highlight over to get more detail

  • Suicide– Lane’s mother commits suicide in the beginning of the novel, and it is talked about, although it’s not central to the plot.  some people wondered if Allegra killed herself, although Lane never did.
  • Depression– Lane’s mother was very, very depressed.  She had many incidences of depression that Lane recalls, and it seems like Lane is pretty low down herself, although I don’t know if depression is actually the right word for Lane.
  • Not “normal” sexual content– THIS IS THE BIGGEST SPOILER OF THEM ALL SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT PLEASE DON’T READ THIS… Grandad literally has sex with all of the “Roanoke Girls” including Allegra, who we actually “see” having sex with him.  He loves them, or so he says, and it is consensual, but they start at 13 years old, it’s incest, and granddad is married to Gran.  so it’s fucked up on all sorts of levels… THIS IS THE BIGGEST SPOILER OF THEM ALL SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT PLEASE DON’T READ THIS
  • Miscarriage– Allegra miscarries all of her babies, and you hear about how she feels and what happens
  • Cutting– I’m like 90% sure that this is the way Lane’s mother kills herself.  Also, Allegra carves words into wood, which I know isn’t the same as cutting, persay, but it had that ring to it and sort of reminded me of cutting, so if I could be triggered by it I decided I’d better include it. 

halfway (10)

This was a wonderfully disturbing novel that I could not put down.  I’m going to look at her other books now, because although I doubt they’re anything near as messed up, since they’re YA, Engle’s writing style was really really good.  So… if you like sexy thrillers with messed up relationships and drama, this is for you!!!

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Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affected the content of my review.

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Have you read The Roanoke Girls? Or any other Amy Engle books? Do any books that you’ve read sound similar that you can recommend?


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Review: Final Girls (Holy Shit My Head’s Still Spinning)

By Riley Sager

My Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.23

Genre: Psycho Thriller/Mystery/Slasher 

Publication Date: July 11th 2017

Format Read: Phone Ebook

Goodreads Summary: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.  Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.  That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Overview…

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It was one of the most incredible psycho thrillers that I’ve ever read, kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and had a very, very good ending that helped pull the entire piece together.  I first came across this book when Stephen King (yes, THE Stephen King) recommended it via Twitter, and I cannot explain how excited I was to receive an e-ARC and have the opportunity to read it.  The best possible compliment I can give the book is that it reminded me somewhat of a Gillian Flynn novel, and was definitely up to her standards, although of course it was uniquely Riley Sager.  But, if you enjoyed the likes of Sharp Objects and Gone Girl, I can promise you that you will adore this can’t-put-down read.

The Plot…

Wow.  Just wow.  That’s really all I have to say for this section.  Sager did such a good job of creating a plot which moved quickly enough to be an edge of your seat read, but not so quickly that you felt as though it was rushed.  Although there were elements of “action” throughout, there were also plenty of scenes which took their time to unfold, and the fast paced scenes were all the better for it.

Although there were plot twists, very good ones, it always seemed realistic, and in fact probable, after the fact.  That’s something that I love about this book.  It never felt like they were stretching to create a plot and thereby doing something which didn’t fit with the natural character flow.  Twists were VERY, VERY surprising, but in hindsight you could see how/why.

What I think made this book special was that throughout the book, Quincy can’t remember what happened to her at Pine Cottage, the place where all of her friends were killed by a psycho named Joe and she was brutally injured.  Because of the way it unfolds, you know that there is something more to the story but you don’t know what.  To pull you in, Sager occasionally utilizes flashbacks to Pine Cottage so that you see what is happening slowly, as present day occurs.  I think this offered a good change of pace and kept you hooked the entire time.

The Characters…

The main character, Quincy, has a lot of issues that she attempts to cover up throughout the novel.  She seems afraid of facing her real self in a way that makes her at once vulnerable and strong.  Even though she is a Final Girl– supposedly the toughest and the strongest– she has a plethora of weaknesses, and everything seems real.  

Sam, the other mainest character, is a deeper, more mysterious personality, and that helps add a lot to the book.  Whereas Quincy’s emotions are all laid out there for the readers to see, Sam is a mystery who you struggle to uncover, and yet she somehow seems so developed the entire time.

Reasons I Loved It…

It was overall an amazing read.  Thrillers are always exciting, and I loved this one because the whole premise was likely to happen.  3 mass murders, 3 female survivors, all lauded by the media…. It’s just so cool and such a 21st century thing.  After the general concept, Sager did a great job at actually DOING something with her plot and bringing it to life.  It would have been easy to make a flat story line, but Sager did the opposite.

Ugh Moments…

Umm this is a 5 star review so I don’t really think there are any?  Like I honestly can’t think of any flaws whatsoever and that’s worrying me slightly? I’ll edit this if I think of anything.

Diversity and Triggers…

I can’t really think of any diverse characters in this novel whatsoever, so you aren’t going to get any of that.  

As far as triggers, there are TONS of mentions of mental illness.  Quincy has anxiety and just a generally messed up brain and has to take Xanax for it.  Her mental disorder causes her to steal things and drink too much wine, but IMO this is a normal reaction for someone who saw all of their friends murdered in college??  It never stereotyped or grouped all illnesses together, so it wasn’t making a comment on mental illness in general.

There was also a boy named Joe who was locked up in the mental institution, escaped, and murdered all of Quincy’s friends at Pine Cottage.  That being said, once more it is not stereotyped and there is other development with this character.

Obviously, the book contains violence, including many deaths, stabbing, and strangulation which, although to me that sounds exciting, may be worrisome to others.  Also there are drug and alcohol references.

Summary…

IF YOU READ ONE THRILLER THIS YEAR IT HAS TO BE THIS ONE.  I know it’s early to say this, but I think it might be one of my favorite reads of 2017, and it most likely would have been in the top 5 of 2016 as well.  I will be on the lookout for more of Riley Sager’s books in the future, because it was that good.

Oh Also Look at the Other Cover…

I used the cover up top of the one I actually read, but there is another (prettier) one that I couldn’t resist sharing.30215662

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Disclaimer: Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Also, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you are interested in purchasing this book (which you totally should be) use my link and I will receive a small comission 🙂

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Review: The Fourth Monkey (Awesome Twist With Sexism and Too Many Details)

BEFORE WE START: JUST A REMINDER THAT YOU ONLY HAVE UNTIL THE END OF APRIL TO SUBMIT YOUR BOOK BLOGGER AWARD NOMINATIONS.  READ THE RULES HERE! I would appreciate it if everyone could spread the word 🙂

By JD Barker

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.53

Genre: Police Mystery/Serial Killer Thriller

Publication Date: June 27th 2017

Format Read: Phone Ebook via Netgalley at Agent Request

Challenges met: What’s in a Name?

Goodreads Summary: For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.   As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.  With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller. 

Overview…

This was the first police procedural type thriller I’ve ever read, and so I was really excited about that aspect going in.  However, I found that these are NOT my ideal reads, which was a bit disappointing.  I think what saved this book for me was that there was another time line within it, which was written from the perspective of the 4th monkey killer (4MK) himself, back when he was a child.  This part was far, far better, and I would always look forward to the flashbacks, told by way of a diary.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, and even some of the police parts were interesting, and so I would recommend, especially if you enjoy police thrillers.

The Characters…

The main character was police Detective Sam Porter.  He’s a middle aged married guy, 50s (I think), and he’s worked on the force for years, mostly on the 4MK cases.  However, at the time the book starts he was supposed to be on a “break” for reasons which we don’t find out until later in the book.  His assistant, Nash, is also a Detective, and the two are almost always together.  One of the biggest problems which I had with the characterization in this book is that these two seemed to be almost identical, until the very end.  I felt like JD Barker was imposing his sense of humor on both of the characters, which led to them being very much alike in many ways, even though Nash was supposed to be the more outgoing, funny one.

The side characters– Clair and Watson specifically– were quite well developed and offered awesome distinctive personalities to the book.  I think Clair might have had her own pov chapter at some point as well, which is something I like.  A strong, young woman is something that I can get behind.  There were lots of other characters which flitted into and out of these scenes, but none were well developed and I kept mixing them up and not remembering their names, at no loss to the meaning of the novel, so I think it’s a bit irrelevant.

Although Porter was the MC for most of the book, 4MK writes a diary which is “read” throughout and offers a different perspective to the novel.  These parts were my favorite, because 4MK had SUCH a distinctive, strong personality that was very very creepy and yet kind of cool at the same time.  Plus, his mother was FREAKING WEIRD but yet awesome at the same time, because she was so damn strong, and the father was cool too.  (I’m not a psycho I just think it was cool).

Another perspective, from a kidnapped girl, was (IMO) a good part to read, because she was a strong girl even though she was suffering, and she fought so hard, which is definitely a positive.  Not saying her name because that part is a semi spoiler.

The Plot…

There was alternating POV between 3 main people, and then one more who just had a single chapter.  I liked this because it created more suspense, and also provided some interest in the slower parts.  As I said earlier, I wasn’t a huge fan of Porter’s POV, but it was broken up well so that the boring parts never lasted for too long.

In general, I thought pacing was good, but it did move quickly.  There wasn’t much time for world building or character development and you were pretty much figuring out everything on the fly.  I think there was one scene where they went back and recapped what 4MK was for the readers, but other than that it was go-go-go.

What I Loved…

I loved the pacing of the novel, and the twist at the end.  You could 150% see how it happened looking back, but I never for an instant guessed the truth.  The way they piece everything together is really really cool as well.  It causes the reader to keep guessing along the entire time.

I could have read an entire book of just 4MK’s childhood perspective, and that really made the book for me.

The whole idea of the 4 monkeys, which comes from some type of ancient myth, is so creative!

What I Hated…

This book was GROSS.  Like I can’t explain how gross.  I’m not one to be turned off by intense descriptions, but this book had me cringing and skim reading because I was feeling sick by the descriptions.  If you’re not one for gore or vivid detail, I highly suggest skipping this read.  But, on the other hand, congrats to Barker for writing in such a realistic way 🙂

The Porter/Nash personality complex sort of threw me off a little bit in the beginning.

Sexism…

ALRIGHT PEOPLE.  LISTEN UP.  This was the biggest problem with the book for me.  Although Barker wrote 2 very strong, independent women who knew what they wanted and went for it, there were underlying notes of sexism in much of the book.  This not only pissed me off, but at some parts made me slightly uncomfortable, and caused me to dislike the male characters a bit.

Clair was one of the youngest women to ever work her way up at the police station, and she’s described as super good at her job, tough as nails, doesn’t take BS from anyone.  However, Nash (one of the biggest side characters) consistently flirted with her and spoke in a manner to her that was incredibly unprofessional, and made me squirm.  Nothing physical ever happened, but he spoke down to her often just because she was a woman.  This was considered funny by many of the characters, despite the fact that Clair was consistently warding off his advances.  MEN: JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT A WOMAN DOESN’T MEAN SHE WANTS YOU.  If a woman is constantly declining your flirtation or sexual passions, then you need to leave her the fuck alone.  This works the other way too.

In the diary flashbacks, 4MK (as a child) looks on with lust at his older (meaning 30s) female neighbor while she is naked, and while she is hooking up with his mother.  This could be blown off, but then later the neighbor states that she knew 4MK was there, but she enjoys having her body looked at because she wanted to be desired.  To me, this perpetuates rape culture, where men believe that women want to be stared at like pieces of meat, and that if they wear revealing clothing it’s because they want the man to “like it”.  It’s troubling that a woman in the novel could so easily say something that goes directly against what we are fighting to change in our society today.

I don’t know if Barker intended this, as he did create strong women in his writing, and the MC has obvious affection and respect for his wife, but I do fear that the one scene described above, combined with Nash’s actions, create an underlying theme of sexism that shouldn’t be ignored.

Other Triggers…

Homosexuality– yes I know this of itself is not a trigger.  But you should know that in the book, two women were sleeping together for a long time, and they are not looked on very highly for it.  Then again, they are both married, and it’s their husbands who find out, so that could have kind of a lot to do with it.

Abuse– There is a man in the book who beats his wife, and tries to rape someone else, but there are no particularly strong details, and it only happens in one chapter.

It’s very gruesome, as I said earlier, so if you are not okay with that, then don’t read this book.  I can’t think of anything specific to point out, so we’ll leave it at that.

Summary…

This review has gotten really long, so I’ll keep this quick.  I loved the story and the twist at the end, and thought that the plot had good flow.  The police part was my least favorite, and the diary my favorite.  Most of the character development was good, except for the overlapping of the MC and his sidekick.  There was sexism though, and this caused it to lose a star in my review.

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Disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley at the request of an agent in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Dear Mr.M (A Not So Thrilling Thriller)

By Herman Koch

Genre: Psychological Thriller

My Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 3.32

Goodreads Summary: Once a celebrated writer, M’s greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning (it was called Payback in my version), and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend (Herman). Upon publication, M.’s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.’s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.

I was really excited when I heard about this, because it seemed like an awesome premise that hasn’t really been done before.  Too often authors get stuck in the genre rut, but this seemed to be evading that.  Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly meet my expectations.

The Plot…

From the start, it seemed exciting, if a bit confusing and difficult to follow.  In the beginning, the author makes good use of cliffhanger quotes such as “That’s what makes this different.  I’m not a character.  I’m real.” (end chapter) to draw the reader in.  Therefore, even though I was a little confused at first, I kept at it, because it seemed like you were supposed to be slightly lost.  However, as it continued, nothing really cleared up, and it became repetitive and somewhat slow.  Even the foreshadowing attempts seemed weak, as it became obvious that Koch was trying to end every chapter with an “ooh what?!?” moment only to immediately solve it in the next chapter.  Plotwise, I thought it was dragged out and much slower than it needed to be, especially considering the fact that there actually was a good idea, it was just poorly done.  Koch tried to plot jump and add 3rd person character details about Mr. M, which is unique, it just didn’t seem to be working in this context.  Feel free to contradict me, but that’s how I felt.

The Characters…

From what I’ve heard, Koch is famous for making incredibly unlikeable characters.  I don’t think this was an exception.  I actually DESPISED Mr. M, if only because he was pathetic and wouldn’t just act the way he wanted to, suppressing his feelings and then occasionally “letting it slip”.  He has ideas for the world that most would find appalling, but for me that’s not what made me hate him.  It’s the fact that he seems afraid to be himself.  The fact that “himself” wasn’t great almost seemed to me as though Koch were trying too hard to make him hated.  It was semi-unnecessary for the plot.

As far as the other characters, present in the flashback (Laura, Herman, David, etc.) I loved them, and for me they were the redeeming characteristic of this book.  They were relatable because they had flaws, but you still rooted for them.  I thoroughly enjoyed the parts where they were in it, although I had to ignore some terrible similes such as “which had till then remained sleeping in its basket like a big hairy dog, now stretched itself slowly, walking up to him and licked his hand.” Note that they are talking about a hangover here, not a person.  But besides these bits, Koch had great characterization and you felt like you really knew the people, making thee book better.

Ugh Moments…

There were a few times in this book where I was like WTFFF WHYYYY and so I wanted to share them with you.  First, it is incredibly sexist through many portions, claiming that women are meant to clean and do housework, giving them lots of time on their hands, and also speaks of them primarily as objects of sexual desire rather than human beings.  I’m not 100% sure if this was the character’s opinion, or Koch himself.  Either way, it disgusted me.

The ending.  It sucked.   I think the reason this happened was because it became predictable halfway through, so the author threw in one last twist that for me ruined the entire thing.  I’m not sure why he had to do that, but for me it didn’t fit in with what we had learned in the rest of the book.  That’s all I can really say without spoilers.

Reasons to Read It…

Despite flaws, this book really wasn’t that bad.  If you are interested in a different take on this genre, it may be the book for you.  I thought it was a fun unique idea that mixed up the genre, it just wasn’t executed as well as I might have liked.

Despite being dragged out, it did have a solid plotline, and for the most part (until the end) it was well executed and well planned out.  I could see it being better to read all in one sitting, or perhaps over a couple of day rather than weeks as I did it, for maximum enjoyment.

In Summary…

Yes, I didn’t like a lot of aspects of this book, specifically the slight boredom factor in the center and the bad ending, but it had a good overall plot, and the characters were well done!  I wouldn’t put it on the top of your TBR, but it certainly wouldn’t be horrible to read.

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I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with the copy in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Sharp Objects

A 5 star review of Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn

By Gillian Flynn

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Let me start out by saying that this book was SO good.  I’d already read Gone Girl going in, so I had high expectations, and this book delivered.  It is rare that an author can write multiple thrillers that catch your attention, but I think she managed to do that well.  There are some occasional repetitive themes between the two, but not overmuch so that you can predict the ending.  However, I did read Dark Places immediately after, and those have a lot in common so I would recommend spreading them out a little bit and/or turning off the part of your brain that connects the dots between the two, at least until the end.

The story is about a woman name Camille Preaker, who happens to be a writer for a not-super-popular-but-still-decent newspaper.  She has a troubled past, and this comes back to haunt her throughout the novel.  Unfortunately for her, her boss wants her to go back to the town where she grew up in order to cover the mystery of missing/murdered children from the town.  Despite her protests, she is sent there, where she shows up at her mother’s house unannounced to cover the case.

From there, there are many twists and turns full of romance, completely twisted family relationships, murder, and (it is a Gillian Flynn novel after all) deception.  It is such a fast paced novel, but it is written really well and you find yourself relating to Camille and feeling bad for her, even though it is very likely that your situation is nothing like hers.  You root for her, and you want her to conquer all of her demons, making this a powerful, can’t put down read.

What I love about Flynn is that she doesn’t create traditional protagonist heroes who save the day with their cunning and superiority to the villains.  Camille is a real human being who had flaws (probably more of those than positives) and this makes her journey believable.  And, I can almost promise you that you will not predict the ending, and you will suspect many different people the entire time.  She does a great job of creating not-obvious red herrings that lead you to suspect them.

I should probably introduce the rest of Camille’s family, so that you can understand why she didn’t want to go home.  First, there is her mother, Adora.  Adora seems to HATE Camille, despite her outpouring of emotion towards everything else, especially…. Amma!  Amma is Camille’s half sister, the child of Adora’s second marriage.  Amma is just 13, but she acts much older, and is a dramatic, party hard, devil child that wins her parents affections easily.  And let’s just say that her and Camille don’t really get along.  Amma’s father (Adora’s husband) is also in the novel, but I don’t even know his name, if that gives you an idea of the roll he plays.

This book was amazing, and I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys relationship thrillers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train (by Paula Hopkins, read review here) because it is a similar fast paced style that still leaves plenty of time for emotional breakdowns and sudden twists that will leave you reeling.

I would not recommend this book to children, as there are VERY mature themes throughout including (MINOR SPOILERS BUT MOSTLY THIS IS A DISCLAIMER): murder, cutting/self-harm, and sex  (END SPOILERS).  These are a pretty big part of the book so if you are uncomfortable, I suggest you look elsewhere.  That being said, it was soooo good and it wasn’t like the only reason it’s good is because it’s twisted.

What is your opinion on Gillian Flynn?  Which of her books is your personal favorite?

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