Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

I loved the idea behind this book – a club of high schoolers who celebrate their love of all things horror by pulling pranks and ‘fear tests’ on their fellow students. But even better than that, I loved the execution of this book! It’s all fun and games until someone takes it too far . . . that’s when things get really interesting. The thrills, the chills, the ‘everybody’s a suspect’ kept me gripped until the very end! My only complaint would be that the ending left so many questions unanswered – I can only assume that means there’s a sequel!

Three 12 year old girls who have been researching the man at the center of a local urban legend sneak out of a slumber party and go to the train yard, where one of them gets severely beaten. But who’s to blame?

It’s certainly a compelling plot, and brings to mind news reports surrounding murky figures such as slender man. Gudenkauf had me hooked! She does a good job of providing plenty of suspects for the reader, and while the twist had occurred to me while reading, it and was the one I had hoped she wouldn’t take, there’s no denying that I couldn’t put this book down!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This was a page turner – plenty of suspects, lots of suspense, and danger round every corner. That said, I wasn’t feeling any of the characters, which kept me from being as vested in the outcome as I would have liked, but still a stellar read. Recommended for readers who want to be kept on their toes. Not recommended for those who want to scoop the mystery.

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I’ve had a hard time with non-fiction lately, but I enjoyed reading about the naturalist aspects of this book – the plants, animals and science. It took a while for the author to approach the purpose of the book – the story of how his son went missing while hiking in Costa Rica, and what he had to do to find him. Recommended for those who like a slow burning true mystery. Not recommended for those looking for light entertainment.

I just started:

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Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf ~ Fiction Book Review

35890573 I’ve had mixed feelings about Heather Gudenkauf’s last few books. I love love LOVED The Weight of Silence. I quite liked a few of her following books. But as she transitions from a kind of literary fiction to a more mainstream mystery and thriller writer, I find myself underwhelmed. The books don’t really seem like they were written by the same author. Does anyone else feel this way?

I suspect that perhaps there’s been a change in editors? The writing seems a little sloppy in places. The story is good. It’s enjoyable. But there are dozens of other authors whose mysteries and thrillers are either on par or superior with a style I enjoy reading more. I wish Gudenkauf would return to her roots and write more books with substance. 4 stars.

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf ~ Fiction Book Review

25785334Hmm. I am a big Heather Gudenkauf fan. That’s one of the reasons this long awaited release was so exciting. It’s her first book to be released in hard back, a wonderful accomplishment for any writer. I greatly anticipated getting my hands on a copy this book.

That said, from page one I found myself asking, “This is Gudenkauf?” The writing was uncharacteristically simple and sparce. The characters weren’t as well developed as hers usually are. And the plot? It was a simple paint by numbers murder mystery. Not at all what I was expecting.

It wasn’t bad, I enjoyed it, but my first suspect was indeed the guilty culprit and the writing kept taking me out of the story. This book gave me the impression that Gudenkauf got the much coveted deal for a hard cover release before the book was written, and she choked. She’s a much more talented writer than this book portrays. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick and enjoyable mystery, but not to anyone expecting The Weight of Silence. It is with a heavy heart that I give this one only 4 stars.

Little Lies by Heather Gudenkauf ~ Short Fiction Review

21484071This was the only thing written by Heather Gudenkauf that I had left to read. I’m a big fan of hers, but felt let down by her latest book. I needed to check and make sure she was the writer I remembered her as being, and I just got a Kindle which enabled me to finally get a hold of this novella (for 99 cents!), so I gave it a try. Bottom line – Gundenkauf is redeemed.

She does have a way with words. She knows how to develop characters and draw the reader into the story and make them care. This piece felt a little rushed, but, then again, there’s a thin line for novellas, and sometimes it’s hard to make a story fit certain criteria.

Even though I had already read the book that this was a prequel to, I enjoyed this quick little mystery. 4.5 stars!

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