Monday (Book) Madness

This week I read:

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This book had ALL the feels. It grabbed me by the throat and pulled me along on an emotional rollercoaster, keeping me breathless and slightly dizzy. I couldn’t put it down – even though the most eventful part happens near the beginning, I had to keep reading. Right book, right time. ūüėć

 

Drowning With Others
An interesting premise, well written, but I didn’t connect with or care about any of the characters, and the stakes never seemed quite dire enough for me. While I wouldn’t not recommend the book (it kept my attention and I enjoyed it), I feel like I liked the idea of the plot better that the book itself.¬†

 

I just started:

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The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin ~ Fiction Book Review

29959030Put any variation of the word lie in a title and you’ve got my attention. I like reading about lies. Lies are usually told out of desperation to conceal¬†dirty little secrets. Dark, tasty little tidbits that the characters would rather keep hidden. Makes for an interesting plot that can go any number of directions.

That’s why it’s one of my buzz words when looking for reading material.¬†I immediately start thinking, “What’s the lie about? What crimes will the truth reveal? How will it impact the characters’ lives? What will they do to keep the lie a secret?”

So when I see the word lie, I expect something juicy. In this book, the main character did tell a lie – just not one that impressed me. I guessed the lie early in and only kept reading because I was sure there was a twist, something that would impress me. It never happened.

Maybe it was due to the culture difference – the book is set in Ireland. Maybe what’s shocking over there is simply run of the mill over here. Or maybe I’m just spoiled and being too harsh. Either way, I found this book pretty disappointing, and at times, the writing annoying. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 on whole point rating systems.

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards ~ Fiction Book Review

25153134I have to start out by saying that after reading the blurb, this book was NOTHING like what I expected Рin the best way!!!! The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. If I was a nail biter, my nails would have been bloody, ragged stumps by the time I was done reading this book. Then it took a twist that completely blindsided me. Then another and another!

Few things feel quite as good as a book that gets under your skin – even if it gets under there with a creepy, crawly, spider leg prickle. I want to reveal some of the things I loved about this ¬†book so badly – but then I’d spoil it for you! I will say that sometimes this mystery felt like horror, which made me wonder – should I read more horror?

I give this book 5 stars and will be looking for more written by this author.

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson ~ Fiction Book Review

 

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This book, originally written in Norwegian, has probably lost a lot in translation. Told from the perspective of an aging man who has moved to a secluded cabin in the wilderness to be by himself, it is a coming-of-age tale, both of his teenage years as narrator Trond reflects upon his youth, and as an old man as he ruminates about his current situation. Even after translation, the story is beautifully written.

My issue with this book, however, is that I was waiting for something that never happened. The big payoff, the defining moment, the climax – call it what you will, it never happened for me. There were plenty of smaller events, but no one big pivotal moment. Or maybe I just missed it. Chances are that I’ve been spoiled by mainstream fiction and its cheap thrills. This was a lovely book, it really was. I just prefer¬†books with a little more action than self exploration. However, it has won a TON of awards, so it was definitely worth checking out. 4 stars.

Looking For Alaska by John Green ~ Fiction Book Review

99561Like all books that get¬†a lot of hype, this one has received mixed reviews. A lot of love, a lot of hate, and plenty of middle of the road, “Mehs”. ¬†Personally, I really enjoyed it. It didn’t make me cry, but then again, The Fault In Our Stars, the book for which author John Green is most known for, didn’t either. What this book did do was make me both think and feel.

It reminded me of my own youth, that tumultuous time of constantly being in emotional overload, sometimes without even knowing why, and of making piss poor decisions against my better judgement. (I blame it on my ‘not quite fully developed’ frontal lobe.)

What I love most about this book, and this whole new crop of awesome  books that are taking over the YA market, is that they treat teenagers as humans.  Imagine that. Those grumbly little misfits may actually be intelligent creatures with pain, frustration, and other feelings that adults may identify with. Go figure. 5 stars.

Flawless (Pretty Little Liars #2) by Sara Shepard ~ Fiction Book Review

162089I keep asking myself why I’m reading these books. I’m slightly ashamed of myself. But the¬†honest truth is that I’m reading them because I can’t stop! They’re my guilty pleasure. When I’m reading an adult book, I’m thinking of these and wishing I was reading them instead.

In the second installment of the Pretty Little Liars series, the girls are back with new drama and old worries. The reader learns more about “the ¬†Jenna thing” while more potential suspects for A’s true identity are introduced. The suspect pool is then reduced the only it truly can be – by a death.

These aren’t the best written books and honestly I find some of the characters so vapid and annoying that I want to slap someone, but they are addictive, and I NEED to know who A really is. So what this YA series lacks in the literature department it makes up for in knowing how to keep a reader hooked – and, as most¬†writers will tell you, that’s a vital skill to have! 5 stars!

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurty ~ Fiction Book Review

2116376I have some mixed feelings about this book by Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurty. On the one hand, it’s a powerful coming of age story. Raw and real and blunt. Probably a little scandalous, too. How do you resist that?

On the other hand, I wasn’t a fan of the writing. Parts just didn’t read well. There was an underlying awkwardness that was perhaps intentional. Regardless, when a sentence isn’t grammatically correct (incomplete is fine by me, especially as an agent of effect), but when it reads like a conversation you hear at Walmart and it’s narration, not dialogue, I get an itchy feeling under my skin where I just can’t scratch and make it go away.

So . . . on the scales of literary justice, the love and hate evens out to about a 4. A quick read good for a laugh, a gasp, and a WTF? I love books that reveal that depravity isn’t a recently grown branch on the tree of humanity. 4 stars.

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