The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson ~ Fiction Book Review

wpb26I LOVED this book!!! The Kind Worth Killing has received a fair amount of attention. Usually I’ve found that you can’t believe the hype, especially when a book is touted as the next Gone Girl ‘fill in the blank’. I don’t like this marketing ploy. I think it’s unfair to both authors and readers, but especially readers. Who’s to say what it is about a book you love that made you love it? Just because another book has similar qualities, it doesn’t necessarily make it a comparable work. Take, for overused example, Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train – maybe if my hopes hadn’t been built up by the hype and comparisons, the latter book wouldn’t have been such a disappointment.

I almost didn’t pick up The Kind Worth Killing for that very reason. But I’m very glad I did. I don’t want to hop on the comparison bandwagon and say that if you liked Gone Girl then this is the book you’ve been waiting for, but it’s the most apt book for this comparison that I’ve come across.

  • Interesting, well developed characters? Check
  • Engaging plot? Check
  • Sharp dialogue? Check
  • Successful plot twists? (As in actually catching the reader by surprise with a turn of events that they didn’t see coming). Check

I can’t say that everyone will feel the same way I do about this book, but I was extremely happy with this novel. I couldn’t put it down. It inspired me to be more creative in every way that I can. It made me think. It’s been a couple of weeks since I read it, and it’s still on my mind. That is the quality that I LOVE most in a book. 5++++ stars!

My Top 5 Books of 2015

Despite a 3 month hiatus while moving and fixing up our new house, I read 48 books in 2015. That’s a visit to 48 different worlds, a brief stint spent living 48 different lives, and countless new (if imaginary) friends. This past year, I read novels to broaden my literary horizons, works to learn from, pieces to grow from, and books just for fun. It was incredibly hard to pick my top 5 favorites this year, but here they are:

wpb11). TANA FRENCH – Okay, I know that I’m cheating here, but seriously, if you like mysteries with a twist and you haven’t read anything by French before, you’re missing out. On my grandmother’s recommendation, I read In The Woods at the beginning of the year. I then proceeded to read everything French has written, and she can’t write more fast enough! I highly recommend anything by this author.

wpb2) EIGHTEEN by Jan Burke – This is a collection of 18 short stories by bestselling author Jan Burke. The anthology includes an Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award and Macavity Award winner, an Agatha Award winner, an Edgar Award and an Agatha Award nominee, and the first story ever to feature her popular character, Irene Kelly. I read a Jan Burke book years ago and loved it, yet strangely never picked up another. After reading this book, I will not make that mistake again. This collection spans every color of the mystery rainbow, historical to modern day, professional detective to amateur, and everything in between. This is a must read!

wpb33) GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn – I didn’t expect to like this book. I saw the movie first (which I hate and almost never do), but after watching the movie I was really interested in seeing how Flynn had structured the novel. I am so glad that I did! I enjoyed this book on many different levels. Even though I knew what was going to happen, it still seemed fresh. This book delivers!

wpb24) THROUGH A WINDOW by Jane Goodall – I read a number of nonfiction books this year, and was wondering which one to include on this list until I looked back and saw this one. I love Goodall’s writing. I love her subject matter. Put them together and you get a thought provoking, engaging work that reads like fiction and stirs the heart like a Disney movie.

wpb45) THE 6TH EXTINCTION by James Rollins – This was a given. Rollins is returning to his weird science, Michael Crichton-ish early works and I could not be happier. I though that I might eventually outgrow these type of fast paced thrillers, but I’m happy to report that hasn’t happened yet! Take one part heavy science, add a dash of outlandish ideas and a dollop of adventure and you get a recipe that makes this reader very happy.

 

(On a side note, I’ve taken to using a board on Pinterest to keep track of the books I read, and I’ve found that it works really well. This is definitely a habit that I will carry on into 2016. Click the above link to see all of the books on my 2015 reading list.)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ~ Fiction Review

book5Gone Girl. The books that launched a thousand articles that began with, “If you loved Gone Girl. then . . .” And now, I know why.

I did love it, as in, ‘I must immediately read every book this author has ever written‘ kind of love it, which I haven’t felt since I was introduced to Tana French. That was actually only earlier this year, but it seems like forever ago because I have now read all of French’s books and am stuck waiting for the next one to be published. Imagine my relief to have found another author that I enjoy so much. And to think, it almost didn’t happen.

I rarely ever see the movie before I read the book. Like never. But I watched the movie for this book several months ago. Even more rare – I really liked it. Enjoyed it enough where I thought, ‘If the movie is as close to the book as everyone says, then I’ll really like the book. Maybe I should read it. Even if I already knows what happens.’ This is not a conversation I often have with myself. Part of the joy of reading is surprise. Sometimes it’s guessing what’s supposed to be the surprise. Sometimes, the shampoo bottle says, ‘wash and lather,’ but it doesn’t say, ‘repeat.’ Shocking, I know.

So, what makes me really, REALLY know I love a book? The biggest compliment that I can give an author (in my occasionally humble opinion)? It’s, as a writer, being jealous that I didn’t write it first. Would I be proud to have written a tricky little plot twist like this? Yes. Which leads me to the second biggest compliment that I can give an author. Your book inspires me to keep writing, keep getting better, and to keep thinking of the most twisted, unexpected plots that I can. Thank you, Gillian Flynn.

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