Murderous May: The Girl on the Train – BOOK REVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA!

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Book Review
Book Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins

Introduction: I have had this book on my shelf for AGES. I had been dying to read it but I never had the time. And then, with a hint of luck, I had to go sit during a long appointment and I had all the time in the world to read this book! And I read about 85% of the book in one sitting and finished it one day later. I not only wanted to read it because of all the fantastic reviews I had read about it, but because I want to watch the film adaption as well. I always love reading the book before seeing the movie – hence why I haven’t watched many movies lately! So many are based on good books!

Review:

This book has been compared to Gone Girl since it hopped on the suspense/mystery novel scene – and while you can definitely say they are similar (because of, you know, murders and mystery) they are both fantastic in their own ways. They are two separate entities that shouldn’t be compared! Unless you are using them in a list of the best suspense books in the last decade, then list them together!

This book follows Rachel, a drunk, angry, depressed, bitter woman who has been divorced by Tom. Slowly throughout this book we are introduced to her back story – a glorious tale woven so beautifully by Paula Hawkins. Tom is now married to Anna, the other woman in his and Rachel’s relationship, and it all goes downhill from there. When a girl that Rachel has seen is missing, Rachel decides that she has to help this mystery.

Reading this book from Rachel’s, Anna and Meghan’s point of view is truly incredible. Rachel isn’t totally reliable because of her being an alcoholic, Anna sounds like the not-so-perfect housewife Tom probably desired at some point, and Meghan gives an inside view to the outside view Rachel has been watching. These three tales woven together are just so beautifully written that it’s hard not to want to tell everyone to read this book just to show them how three separate characters who barely interact can have  their lives so entwined with one enough.

So is all this hype worth it? I would say yes. Don’t put this book in some high and mighty place in your mind and then be disappointed. I decided I would read this to see the movie – all the comparisons to Gone Girl made me quite suspicious so I didn’t leave my standards high. But, surprisingly, this book was excellent. If I would have given it silly expectations, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.

If I could describe this book in a few words, I would give it – insanity, murder, and suspicion. Every time I thought I had an idea of where this book was going, Paula had to go and shake it up like a magic eight ball. Typically I can see the ending from a mile away, and this book was different. I did NOT expect the ending. Will the reader guess it? Potentially, but it’s not a dead giveaway – which is why I like this book! Paula didn’t make it obvious and made the reader work for it if they wanted to guess.

Overall – this fast-paced, mind-blowing novel is definitely what I needed in my life! It lived up to the hype, and I’m excited to watch the film now! The psychological, murderous novel full of absolute insanity is spectacular! I can’t wait to read more by Paula Hawkins! Her and Gillian Flynn need to write a book together…because the insanity between the two of them in one book? That’d be killer!

Five out of five stars.

Positives:
1. Fast-Paced
2. Unpredictable Twists and Turns
3. Unreliable Narrators
4. Well Developed Characters
5. Complex Plot with a Layered Storyline
6. Unique Concepts

Negatives:
1. Comparisons to Gone Girl
2. Over-Hyped? Maybe.

Positive & Negative All Wrapped Up In One:
1. Dual (3 to be exact) POVs
2. Stereotypical Relationships
3. Black-Out Drunk Moments

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Quick Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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Photo via Goodreads.

I love Gillian Flynn and her writing story! I decided to read this novel after I became obsessed with all things Gone Girl.

This novel, from my understanding, was the first one she had ever written that was published. Even for a first novel, it was amazingly thought out and had me hooked at every word. I found it to be a little short and I saw the ending coming, but I still found the book addicting and well planned.

There’s not much wrong that I can critique about the book, other than wanting more action to happen or the book to be longer (but I think that’s because I adore Gillian Flynn and I just want more books and writing by her out right now). I did see the ending coming from the very beginning, but that might be due to the part that I read and watch a lot of books and television shows about crime.

I found this book not to be as good as Gone Girl, but still an amazing read. For me, the book was a five out of five stars. A good crime novel mystery that made me want more out of Gillian Flynn immediately.

Wonderful novel! 5 out of 5 stars!

Book Review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo

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Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review
Title: Two Graves
Author: Zoe Kalo
Type of Book: Novella (Approximately 70 pages)
Spoilers below?: Yes.

Introduction: I was really interested in the premise of this book. It sounded suspenseful, potentially spooky, and intense. As soon as I was able to get my hands on this book, I began my read and it shockingly didn’t even take my an hour (include probably about 30 minutes of checking social media in that since I got distracted).

Quick Review: The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but if you are looking for something pretty to put on your shelf than this book fits the bill. The cover made me get the impression the book might be spooky, but it’s not as spooky as you might think. I found this book to be entertaining, but not what I expected from the cover and summary.

Plot: I was incredibly confused by the plot. I understood something happened to the main character’s son (which I thought was her brother? She was sixteen, so did she have her kid at twelve or thirteen? The way she talked it was like he was her brother, so was this supposed to be one of those situations where the grandparents raise the grandchild as their own?…) but then I was left confused as to what exactly happened. I re-read this book a few times trying to understand what happened, but I was left even more confused as my brain tried to put the story together. The book at least had my hooked at what supposedly happened, but to no avail. Then, after I got so thrilled to find out what was happening, the book kind of just ended. I know this is going to be a series, but it left me feeling a little sad. Was that the cliffhanger for the next book? I hope so! I want to know so much more! This was only a little seventy page novella, so I hope there’s more to come.

I was also very confused as to who the “Father” the main character was talking to. This “Father” left, so I was left assuming this was the Father of both the main character and her “little brother” (Apparently son as I read more reviews). But, she never gives him any form of affection or father-daughter like talk between the two, so I’m assuming he was the Father of her child? I would have liked if this was more specified. As much as I love putting the work into a good mystery, this wasn’t much of a mystery, and more of just some plot details left out. If this book was centered on finding how the relationships between the characters, then sweet! I’ll do the work for that. But this book did not give me this feel.

I found the sixteen year old version of the main character and the man she talked on the phone with sounded way to adult-like. I know there are very mature kids out there, but it just seemed odd. If these two had a kid together at a  very young age, I wouldn’t think they’d be acting super mature towards each other and playing the adult roles. It just seemed odd to me, but maybe it isn’t. That’s just my opinion.

Now here’s the real mystery that bugged me – why did  this woman want revenge and against whom? This person appears, but we never know why or who he is. It clearly wasn’t the Father of her child. Did this person do something to her child? That’s hinted at. There just wasn’t enough information for me to truly understand. I get wanting to leave a cliffhanger, but this felt like the entire plot wasn’t even addressed. It’s like, reading Gone Girl (spoiler alert……) and never finding out what happened to Nick Dunne’s wife and her never returning – she just leaves and disappears, Nick tries to find her, and then the end in the middle of his hunt. It didn’t seem right. Perhaps this was just an introduction to the rest of the series (and that could work!) but without a hint as to when the next book would come out seems unfair to the reader.

Overall: I expected a lot more and I hope more is added (whether it’s in this novella or a series of novellas or a series of books). This novella was super interesting, but it was just missing some bits and pieces that would have made it so much better! This author is incredible at describing wardrobes and pieces of music, it’d be a real shame to not see more of her work floating around in my local book shops!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

This novella was fantastic, and I’m glad I got a chance to read and review it. I definitely want to read more since this book was so well written, and I’m sure there is more to this story lurking in Zoe Kalo’s brain. It’s intriguing, it left me speechless, and it had my brain working overtime trying to connect anything and everything to try to solve the story.

Quick Book Review: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

In honour of the Inferno film release, here is my review of Angels and Demons!

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Photo via Goodreads.

As a swimmer I expected to like this novel, but sadly I found it lacking.

The story itself is incredibly amazing, but it lacked any form of excitement. It seemed to be more of an essay than a story about how the Three-Year Swim Club came to being and how they entered a quest to get to the Olympics.

The author did a great job researching and presenting this novel, but it was not what I expected at all. Despite the incredible writing and fantastic story, I just felt like it was lacking a good ‘umph’ to the story to make anybody want to pick it up and read it.

I expected a lot of explanation into swimming, but sadly there wasn’t much of that either. With the lack of exciting plot movement and swimming descriptions, I just felt let down.

I love non-fiction, and as a non-fiction novel it was fantastic, but it was just not what I expected off of the back cover.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Guilty:A Split Moment – A Split Family by Jane Bidder

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Photo via Goodreads.

** spoiler alert ** This book was an amazing take on having a family member go to prison.

This book started out very slow for me, and I did not enjoy the first quarter of the book. I found it very hard to get into, until Simon went to prison. Once Simon went to prison for texting and driving and in turn killing a woman, the book became very interesting to me and had my hanging on at every word. It gave a very interesting perspective on what happens to family relationships when one person is thrown into a prison.

I found the relationships in this book very believable, and I also found the plot line very believable as well. The conversations made sense, and along the way I had constant questions that were eventually answered.

The only way this book could have been any better was if the beginning was more catchy to hold onto my attention. It felt very slow and boring at the beginning, but it was an introduction.

I still have questions about what happened to the characters and there is a special place in my heart for them.

Four out of five stars! Due to the boring beginning.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.